Columns

Fri
22
Feb
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Johnson: Organ Pipe: "The most dangerous national park" in America

Lukeville, Ariz.: I’m currently in “Roving Reporter” mode, taking a shorts and t-shirt break from Lovely Ouray’s long-John winter. Try not to hold that against me (grin). This column comes to you from Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument—way, way down on the border of Meh-hee-co—where I’m immersed in a lush volcanic desert landscape that begs exploration. That’s what our National Parks are for, right? Well, not so fast. Almost 70 percent of Organ Pipe has been closed since 2002. That’s when Park Ranger Kris Eggle was shot and killed by drug runners armed with AK-47s.

Fri
08
Feb
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Billings: It's always something

Life is filled with metaphors…and how horses interact in the pasture is a metaphor for life.  

Thu
31
Jan
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Alaimo: My iShovel buried your butterfly drone with snow

Follow the news or Facebook lately and one would think we are living in an age of terror on the brink of collapse. Armed Crazies, GMOs, Fracking, Global Warming, Government Conspiracies, and who knows what else. Someday when I feel brave I will weigh in on those but for today let me say that sometimes I agree we are a destructive mess—other times I am not so sure. Sometimes I think we are living in an age of generosity and wonder. This month’s science sure makes me feel that way.

Thu
31
Jan
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The Hall is missing a good one

In 1900, a 10-year-old boy and his family traveled by wagon across the Kansas plains into Colorado and settled in the still-wild mining town of Ouray. Howard Wood, born in Kansas City in 1889, was nicknamed 'Joe' after a circus clown. He kept that moniker until he died in 1985 at the age of 95, when he was the last living major league baseball player to have played in the majors prior to 1910.
His highest vote total for the Hall of Fame was 18 percent. It certainly can be argued that he deserves the honor. But the shroud of scandal kept Hall voters away. In that, he shares a common thread with four of the game's greatest players ever, who themselves may never get into the Hall.

Thu
17
Jan
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Johnson: The Geography of Happiness and “The Paradox of Choice?”

It fell to me unexpectedly, the honor of toasting “in” the New Year. With mind and lips numb from the better part of a growler of “Hillary” from Ourayle House, I raised my glass and paused. It was dramatic…deliberate…full of intention and promise that something profound was about to be imparted. Let’s face it; some people are not suited for the spotlight. Blank of mind, I succumbed to the old standard: “To our health and happiness. Cheers!”
Perhaps it was fitting, because “health and happiness” has become my standard New Year's resolution of late. I like how general and undemanding it is, as opposed to onerous things like, “lose ten pounds,” or, “write a novel.” The “health” part is simple enough for that’s something I do anyway. But “happiness” is becoming more elusive and fleeting in today’s impersonal, device ridden culture…where “Satisfaction” is more dependent upon “upgrades” and “smart-stuff” than relationships. Why?

Fri
11
Jan
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Billings: New snow and a new year

Ah….snow, glorious snow…..all I can say is that we need the moisture. Other than that…..for me…it isn’t that great. Makes it much more difficult to do things on the ranch. Already this season, I have fallen twice…..so now courtesy of a dear friend, I have a pair of “Yak Traks.” They are great. I know for all you skiers, this snow is a blessing. We all have a different perspective. And isn’t that a marvelous thing. We have so many differences, but we are united by what we have in common. And that makes it all worthwhile.

Fri
11
Jan
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Magstadt: Life will be beautiful in 2013…but will we be any better?

It's the start of a new year, which means we've put the old year behind us now. We can forget all about the disappointments of 2012 and start afresh.
Things will be different from now on. Just wait and see.
We will be nicer to each other, more considerate of our neighbors and more honest with ourselves. We will not spoil our children, brag about them on bumper stickers or tell them how "special" they are so often (or in the face of mounting evidence to contrary) that it ceases to have any meaning, becomes galling to others and drives many of our best schoolteachers out of the profession and into another more rewarding line of work.

Sun
09
Dec
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Billings: Renewal, reunion and being reunited

This is the time of year to ponder renewal, reunion and being reunited. As the old year draws to a close and the new one looms on the horizon, we think of all the possibilities. In the chaos of 2012, the hope and peace of 2013 becomes present. It would be a blessing.
We can think of renewal of license plate tags, of non-profit status with the state, renewal of memberships in organizations, of insurance…and while those things are important, it is the renewal of faith and friendships and hope for the future, which is more important…at least from this perspective. How do we live our lives with gusto going forward into the New Year?

Sun
09
Dec
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Todd: Paving Ridgway's bumpy road to the future

You could have seen this coming. Take a struggling economy, mix in local businesses whose owners are fighting to stay afloat, add a $3.5 million Streetscape project that would be generously funded by the very same business owners, and opposition flows freely.
The Streetscape Committee recommended Wednesday afternoon to Ridgway Town Council to postpone placing the project in front of Ridgway voters on the April 2013 ballot. Reworking and retooling the project, whether by using other financing means and methods and/or scaling the project back are all options for review. Could a November 2013 vote be on the horizon? Perhaps.

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