Columns

Mon
06
Nov

There’s no substitute for laziness

If you've missed any of our reporting over the last year or so as it relates specifically to recent sexual assault cases in Ouray County, no worries. A local neighboring publication, printed weekly and tossed hither and thither, took the liberty of lifting our work and ever so gently massaging it into their own last week.
But Alan, you say, you reprint snippets from the Gunnison, Lake City, Silverton and Montrose papers. And you've been known to reprint entire stories from a few of these publications.
Oh, so true, our ever watchful reader. We have a working relationship with these papers and willingly trade back and forth. When we reference other area papers, we use it to augment our own work, not as the roux for our gumbo. And when we reprint entire stories, we reprint entire stories. No changes. No trying to make it look like our own. Full attribution and permission.

Mon
06
Nov

The man who invented nature—a postmodern parable

Ecocide: “the extensive damage to…ecosystem(s) of a given territory…to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by inhabitants of that territory has been or will be severely diminished.”
  ~Wikipedia

Mon
06
Nov

On transitions and numbered days

So deep into August I can almost feel September’s cool breath upon my neck. Children are headed back to school where they belong, ruing the loss of summer and freedom as they gaze out classroom windows. Moms and Dads fair worse in work ruts, pondering with puppy-love fondness a recent vacation to Lovely Ouray, grieving the funeral procession of the 50 abysmal weeks that stands between them and a return to paradise. Ouranians know the days of summer are numbered when they can find a parking spot on Main Street.

Mon
06
Nov

Jumping clear out of his trailer

When Winifred Colby of Montrose fell ill while attending the last day of the Highgraders Holiday a few Sundays ago in Ouray, she was later most distraught about not being able to find out who won the events. She was helped to her car, she said, by Ouray resident, mining veteran and firefighter Steve Martinez and made her way home.
This week, she called me to get a copy of the paper with the results, insisting to pay for it.
Winifred — I'll use her first name because I can't imagine she's ever met a stranger — is 80 years old and told me that she can't remember what she had for breakfast, but she remembers long-ago details as crisply as a fall day.
Her father, Bud Wood, was a firefighter in Pueblo. He was also a war-time trainer, and one of his tasks was to teach Western Slope firefighters how to handle Japanese incendiary bombs.
"They flew them here on balloons, you know," Winifred told me.
No, I didn't know.

Mon
06
Nov

A redundant river runs though it

Joe from New Jersey, one of our many subscribers who doesn't live here, comes here often and thinks about our area even more often, renewed his subscription this week.
He said to "tell Ouray hello."
I think he means in the general sense, the one that translates to, sure, there are beautiful parts of New Jersey, but then there's Ouray.

Mon
06
Nov

A Sixth Extinction—fair warning or fake news?

A new National Academy of Sciences study concludes the planet is facing a real threat of “biological annihilation.” The scientists who carried out the research call the decimation of the world’s large mam- mals a “global epidemic” and say the rate of decline is accelerating.
Up to 50 percent of all individual ani- mals have been lost in recent decades. Two-fifths of the 177 mammal species sur- veyed lost more than 80 percent of their range or geographic distribution between 1900 and 2016.
The release of this study coincides with news that the world’s population has reached an all-time high of 7.6 billion. In Asia, the world’s most populous continent, three-fourths of the mammal species sur- veyed have lost 80 percent of their range in the last century or so.
The fact that animal and human popu- lations are moving in opposite directions is unsettling but not surprising.

Mon
06
Nov

Kosmikophobia, or your ticker?

I was told this week a big, fat, hairy rumor. Maybe rumor is too harsh. Let's call it a belief — that there have been grizzly sightings up on Owl Creek Pass.
Not grizzled, as in older vacationers with silvery beards. We're talking the 600-lb. variety of ursus arctos horribilis, brown bear, Kodiak bear. You get the idea. Something that requires a lot of berries...and a few more vacationers...than our beloved black bear.
I immediately said Sasquatch had a bet- ter chance of being spotted up there than a grizzly, but I was looked at like I'm some sort of transplant with an accent.
For the record, I'm not a transplant, but I do have a slight accent.
I referred again to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, clawing at the issue to find out if they are hiding this whole covert grizzly operation from the public, just as one of their sister government agencies is keeping the facts of UFOs from us.

Mon
06
Nov

Filling “the holes in our hearts” with memorable experiences instead of “stuff”

One must take inspiration and relief where I find it these days. For me it’s mostly outdoors in nature, my antidote to “The Sultan” and “Sheeple” who continue to invent new ways to disappoint. I was recently heartened by an essay, “The Hole in our Hearts,” by fellow blogger and wonderer, Juliet—a millennial half my age with an “old soul” beyond her years.
The essay begins with a tone-setting quote from Thoreau, “...for my greatest skill has been to want but little.” Gosh, almost sounds un-American today, enough to have “Wall Streeters” sitting on the windowsills in their “Ivory Palaces.”
I was burning a little midnight oil the night after consuming Juliet’s thought provoking essay—nose buried in Krakauer's "Eiger Dreams, Ventures Among Men and Mountains,"—trying to read myself through a bout of insomnia brought on by the CBS Evening News. I

Mon
07
Aug
atodd's picture

Time to pack up…and go home

Summer is most assuredly in full swing. The heat around here has been a little much for me. I don’t know what you do to cool off...there are many options, I know.
Around here there is the Ouray Pool (in its new beauty) or the state park with the lake. Both are great ideas. For me and mine, we “head for the mountains”; more directly, we head for the cabin on the ranch at the base of the San Juan Mountain range. It is easily 15 degrees cooler, secluded and out of phone range (for the most part). I have visions of Nana and Appa (names the grandkids have given us) sitting on the wood porch with a trusty rifle setting comfortably at our side and two perfectly behaved cattle dogs laying at our feet. The scene in my head is classic and very Norman Rockwell like. A blissful thought, indeed. I have made my decision...we are going to the cabin to cool off. All that I have to do is “pack up.”

Mon
07
Aug
atodd's picture

Sucking mega-bits through a straw

In 2016, over 1,000 billion gigabytes of data were exchanged worldwide. That sounds like a lot.
At the same time, 35 million Americans didn't, and still don't, have access to 25 megabits per second broadband.
The upload speed at my house (and office) is 0.69 Mbps, and the download speed is 5.04 Mbps. That's not a lot.
We've all followed the efforts and roadblocks to getting high speed broadband to rural Colorado in recent years—to anywhere not off an I-25 or I-70 exit.
We're still waiting.
In March, Gov. Hickenlooper announced that Anthony Neal-Graves would head Colorado's Broadband Office. Graves was put in charge of driving the state's broadband strategy. In the announcement, the governor's office stated that seven in 10 people in rural Colorado have access to broadband, and the state wants to raise the rural level to 85 percent by the end of 2018 and achieve 100 percent for all of Colorado by 2020.

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