Columns

Mon
30
Sep
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Alaimo: The clear and murky allure of our finny friends

Fall is here. Interestingly, the large amount of rain this year has kept the rivers running more than they usually do, giving us a number of good runoffs on the Uncompahgre, and prompting the question of how fish can eat (or even breathe) in muddy water. Usually we don’t think about fish at all except maybe to decide whether to use dill or lemon pepper, so this month’s Science will be on trout and what amazing little critters they are.

Sat
21
Sep
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Johnson: The Less is More gospel of Simple Glenn

Boonie Boondocker, my roving curmudgeon (but evolving) RV pal, thought I should meet a fellow wanderer friend—a “minimalist” type who lives in a van. Okay. I’m fascinated by out of the box people, especially those who live fulltime on the road. So Boonie nudged a destination-less wanderer’s path toward Lovely Ouray.

Sat
21
Sep
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Todd: Soaked in thankfulness

My apologies to any of my neighbors who were wondering the other night what that misshapen object was on my deck reflecting the setting sun.
Yes, it was me. Taking a shower with a camping shower.
Thank you for noticing that I was partially clothed, and for not calling the Sheriff. I'm sure he appreciates not having to make that house call.
With all the rain and swollen rivers we've had lately, being short on water is the furthest thought for most in Ouray County, and all of Colorado for that matter.
A water shortage was the furthest thing from my mind Saturday morning. Fourteen golf teams, including mine, were slogging through the Ridgway Area Chamber of Commerce golf tournament in a relentless rain at Divide Ranch and Club. We all couldn't have been any more soaked. When one of our team members, Richard Kersen, had his driver fly out of his wet grip off the tee box, we knew it was going to be a sloppy, wet day.

Wed
11
Sep
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Magstadt: Attention all newcomers: Welcome to the Animal Farm!

The front-page headline in the Plaindealer (08/15/2013) proclaimed, “Visual impact hearing reveals rift.” The article reported a meeting at which the Board of County Commissioners heard public comments on proposed changes to Section 9 of the county land use code, the so-called Visual Impact Regulations or VIR.
These changes would add roads to the existing list and tighten regulations affecting structures and land uses in the future. There are some burning (pardon the pun) questions reasonable people can disagree over. If your old nonconforming house burns down why can’t you rebuild it on the old foundation? What if the fire destroys a little over half the house?

Wed
11
Sep
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Don't blame the businesses

It would be easy to be mad at the business owners who successfully derailed the Streetscape ballot initiative last week, if bringing the $2.7 million question to the voters is what you feel you have been deprived of.
On the other hand, if you are one of the scores of Ridgway businesses who have opposed this effort from the beginning, or even just recently, you're satisfied with the outcome of last week's council vote to shelve the project.
But if you're upset at the businesses for doing what they thought was necessary at the eleventh hour, you shouldn't be. If they were wrong, their efforts wouldn't have worked. If their methods seemed overt and heavy-handed, perhaps that's what the situation as they saw it called for.
Instead, if you're upset at the last-minute process that seemingly didn't involve you, don't blame the business people for not inviting you to the party. Quite frankly, that's not their responsibility.

Thu
22
Aug
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Alaimo: What changes and works better stays more

My lady and I were arguing about genetically modified food this week. She is against them and I am (mostly) in favor of their continued development. I wrote about this in June and if you think this is an odd topic to continue to argue, let me tell you, arguing about genetically modified food beats arguing about visual impact regulations or (worse yet) who was supposed to put the garbage out and didn’t. But the funny thing about discussing genetically modified foods (GMFs) is that even though 34 percent of Americans polled (in 2010) were concerned about the development of GMFs, most of those polled as concerned did not have a clear understanding about what genetically modified organisms actually are or what their use as food is. So this week (just so we can all argue better) I will take some time to write about the basics of natural genetics. Then next week, I will visit some more about the pros and cons of GMFs.

Fri
16
Aug
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Slow ideas in turbulent times and a fast-changing world

Browsing through a magazine recently I came across an article with an irresistible title: “Slow Ideas.” Now that’s something I can relate to. All my ideas fall into the slow category—few and far between, and speed-wise more like a snail than a gazelle.
It turns out that the guy who wrote the article, Atul Gawande, is a surgeon and a staff writer for The New Yorker. In his spare time, he’s the director of Ariadne Labs at the Harvard School of Public Health. His major research interest lies in the field of health system innovation.
Gawande takes two seminal ideas from the history of modern medical science—anesthesia and antisepsis—to illustrate his theory. Both date back to the 19th century. One—anesthesia—caught on quickly despite resistance. (Some naysayers considered it a “needless luxury!”) Ether was first used experimentally in 1846 and by the early 1850s nearly every hospital in America and Britain was using it routinely.

Thu
01
Aug
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Todd: The dichotomy of marijuana

Feeling lonely? Write a column about about your views on whether or not to approve retail marijuana in the county. The phone calls, office visits and emails will make you feel like you're everyone's long lost rich uncle.
It's been over a week of "attaboy" and "you missed the point" and "it is people like you that are ruining this country."
There are three aspects to marijuana in Colorado. One is illegal trafficking. Another is the legal personal growing, possession, use and gifting. The third is medical use of marijuana.
We have not commented or levied an opinion on marijuana as medicine. To be clear, any drug that is regulated and beneficial to people with medical needs, including marijuana, should be made available to patients.
What does a Colorado medical marijuana patient look like?

Thu
01
Aug
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Billings: Letting loose of head full of ideas

In an effort to clean house, I was perusing my book shelves to see what I can donate to the school or library. On the shelf where all my big art books are, most of which I inherited from my father, was a book entitled “Silhoutte 1000.” I naturally assumed that it was about silhouettes and I thought, “Hmm, that would make an interesting metaphor for life.” So I pulled it from the shelf and discovered that it wasn’t that at all. It was my mother’s college yearbook from 1969, when after my brother and I were out of the house, she went back to college to get her accounting degree. So you can imagine what road that book took me down. Mom graduated from college two years after I did.

Thu
18
Jul
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Magstadt - Edward Snowden: The “Tinker” who went out in the cold

Edward Snowden:  The “Tinker” who went out in the cold

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