Columns

Thu
21
Nov
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Magstadt: Like a deer caught in the headlines…uh…headlights

Headline:  "Local Areas Lead Kansas, Missouri in Deer Collisions"

Here in full was the story in the Kansas City Star:

Fall is the peak time for deer-car collisions, and the Kansas City area ranks at the top in both Kansas and Missouri.
The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism said Johnson County had the most crashes in that state last year with 304. Statewide, there were nearly 8,695 vehicle accidents involving deer, with two human deaths and 322 injuries.

The Missouri Department of Transportation said that Kansas City and Lees Summit led the state in deer collisions in 2011 Statewide, there were 3,980 deer-car collisions last year, with five human deaths and 411 injuries.

This is the time of year that deer focus on mating, and motorists are advised to be prepared for deer to dart across the road, especially between dusk and dawn.

Wed
13
Nov
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Johnson: On The Road - The birth and death of Thompson Springs, Utah

The 2010 census taker who wandered into Thompson Springs, Utah, managed to find 39 residents. I’m betting the 2020 census will not bring good news for the “Chamber of Commerce.” You see, Thompson is on “life support,” better days are faded memories; it hardly makes for a worthy pee stop. Once a thriving supply town with stores, cafe and railroad depot, Thompson has succumbed to the terminal grip of irrelevance—a building-by-building decay courtesy of neglect and the dry rot of Time.

Wed
13
Nov
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Todd: ACA numbers hard to get

Since last week, we've learned that around 250,000 Coloradans have lost their insurance due to the Affordable Care Act and must now go find new insurance. Some can extend their individual insurance for a year, with no guarantees what the insurance world will look like then. It sounds like the scaled-down version of the enrollment extension proposal that Republicans and a dozen or so Democrats, including Colorado's Sen. Mark Udall, are urging the Obama administration to put in place.
But, extension or no extension, there are a quarter of a million Coloradans who need to go shopping.

Thu
07
Nov
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Todd: Exchanging my healthcare

If we can but prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people, under the pretence of taking care of them, they must become happy.

- Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Cooper, November 29, 1802

Thu
07
Nov
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Billings: A standing invitation to help with hay

People see horses grazing in the pasture and think what a beautiful sight it is, and it is — serene and pastoral. Pastoral – pasture…get it? But not all horses have pasture. The ones that don’t get fed hay — grass hay, grass/alfalfa mix or straight alfalfa. And in some cases, that is better. Early spring grass may be too rich for some horses, and late in the season, before the snow, the grass is depleted of much of its vitamins and minerals.

Hey — so what’s hay anyway? It isn’t straw. That’s for sure.

Hay is grass, legumes or other herbaceous plants that have been cut, dried and stored for use as animal fodder, particularly for grazing livestock such as cattle, horses, goats and sheep. Hay is also fed to pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs.

Wed
30
Oct
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Billings: Time to slow down

It’s that time of year again — the beginning of the holiday season starting with Halloween this week.

When I first moved here some 20 years ago, I was told that we had our first snow around Halloween. Ha! Not anymore. This year certainly proved that. I was also told that you put on long underwear in October and take it off in May. Now, coming from a big city, I thought that was just about the most ridiculous thing I had heard of. Guess what? For me, that is certainly true, although this year it was on and off in September. Crazy weather patterns — but of course, there is no such thing as climate change. So who is the fool here? Some big government officials think climate change doesn’t exist. What planet do they live on?

Wed
30
Oct
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Todd: Tictacs, demons and deviants

Halloween in the early part of the century — the one before this one — had its moments in and around Ouray County. In 1906, the order of law was anything but the order for All Saints Day. There was vandalism, tictacs (a prank involving cutting notches in the ends of a wooden spool and spinning it by string against a window, making a “tick-tack” noise) and even a dead horse.

From the Nov. 2, 1906 Ouray Herald:

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Fri
18
Oct
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Johnson: Beauty and the Beast: An Idiot’s Guide to surviving Old Man Winter in Las Crevice

By the time you get your grubby hands on this edition of the finest little newspaper in Colorado, the Lovely Woman and I will be rolling our antique but adequate RV, Goldie, into a remote, red rocked boondock near Moab, Utah: MounTain BiKing MeCCa of the world. Truth be known, Moab’s proximity is one of the best reasons to live in Lovely Ouray County, a mere two and a half hours is all that stands between us and what is essentially another world of topography, climate and recreational opportunity. So that’s the plan, to begin our annual winter migration in fall, roll west through the lonesome sage of Paradox Valley — with its nuclear red canyon walls — then brush up to the forested skirt of the LaSalle triplets and finally, coast into western Utah’s crimson labyrinths like escaped lab rats, out for kicks and in for trouble. The problem, if one dare call a choice between two wonderful things a “problem,” is Ms Autumn’s lingering mood this year.

Fri
18
Oct
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Magstadt: A story about art, friendship and the art of friendship

Art. What is it? Why do some people love opera or ballet and others prefer a visit to the dentist? That was the question at the heart of a play performed at Wright Opera House in Ouray last week.
Theatergoers got a full plate of food-for-thought on a weekend when severe weather threatened to trump transcendent art; what they did not know, however, is that there was a story within the story. As it happens, the cast and director are all from Kansas City and, as members of the vibrant local artistic community, they are friends off-stage — friends portraying the often fickle and fragile nature of friendship in the face of a dispute over a work of art. But it could just as well be a difference of opinion over visual impact regulations in Ouray County.     

Mon
30
Sep
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RISCH & KERSEN: Shedding light on savings

The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that switching to LED lighting over the next two decades could save the country $250 billion in energy costs and avoid 1,800 million metric tons of carbon emission over that time. The nation's electricity consumption for lighting would be reduced by nearly one half.
So what does that mean for Ouray? As it turns out, virtually all of the lighting in the city's public buildings is from old-style fluorescent fixtures whose technology dates back some 70 years or more. In 2007 Congress mandated their obsolescence and as of last year the various component lamps, ballasts, etc., are no longer being manufactured. It is only a matter of time before they will have to be replaced and that raises the questions of just when and with what?

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