Columns

Fri
26
Oct

First man on Moon landed here

Thanks to all our readers and friends for the emails and phone calls expressing your sentiments regarding my column last week. Very much appreciated.

Need a Jeep? You're in luck. This year's winner of the annual Ouray Jeep Raffle is selling the grand prize, as was posted on social media. No price given, but you can bet she at least wants to cover the taxes.

Thu
18
Oct

Sing all you want, Mom

I can see her now, as plainly as I saw her more than 50 years ago, in the backyard of our house in Kansas. I'm watching her hang clothes on the line, battling a steady breeze that flutters her efforts.

Thu
18
Oct

A snake in the closet

Usually police blotters are pretty "Joe Friday" in their reporting: just the facts, ma'am.
But the activity blotter dated Sept. 28 from the Montrose County Sheriff's Office gave great detail of terror and bravery in a Montrose residence. It read like this:
0955 Hours: Deputy was dispatched to a report of a snake in a house in the 1000 Block 6435 Road.
"On 09/27/18, at approximately 0955 hrs., I responded to a report of a snake inside the residence. Upon arriving, I met with the reporting party.
She walked me to a back bedroom of the residence and pointed to the closet door in the room, where the bottom of the door met the floor. I observed a dark green "scaly" back protruding from underneath the closet door. After showing me the apparent serpent that had found its way inside her residence, she fled the room and returned to the front of the residence.

Thu
18
Oct

Can't argue what you can't argue

Every day for the past 23 days I've received an email from the Colorado Democrats. Well, not all Colorado Democrats, just the ones at the state party level who send out broadcast emails that somehow manage to bypass my spam folder.
It's pretty much the same email, just updated daly. It chronicles State Treasurer Walker Stapleton's parking spot at the state capitol.
Stapleton, who is the Republican candidate for governor and running against Jared Polis (D), has not shown up for work for 23 consecutive days according the opposition party. And the email shows a timeline of photos of the parking spot from each of the 23 days. I suppose it's the truth. Who knows for sure? The sun is shining brightly in each photo as, I guess, it never rains in sunny Denver?

Thu
18
Oct

Local author pens OMRT history book

We don't normally do book reviews, but I can make an exception because I'm the one buying ink by the barrel.
Karen Risch, a contributor to this paper in many ways, has penned the true story accounts of Ouray Mountain Rescue Team.
Risch, who was a part of OMRT from 1996 to 2010, has been stopping by the Plaindealer office for several years using our archives for story and photo research. In addition to Plaindealer accounts, which she said is the only written source of these rescues, she has interviewed countless people who have contributed to OMRT along the way. The final product is nearly 350 pages of terrific accounts of rescues from 1974 and on.
Chapter titles such as "Kissing the Gorge," "The Mountain Shook," and "No Place to Run," all invite the reader to experience what this team has done and is prepared to do if ever there is trouble in the mountains.

Thu
18
Oct

What's it going to be, El or La?

So, what's it going to be? An unseasonably warm winter or teeth-chattering cold with lots of snow?
It depends on whom you listen to.
The Farmer's Almanac, which has been prognosticating on weather since 1818 using "mathematical and astronomical" formulas, predicts a colder than average winter from the Continental Divide east to the Appalachians. West of the Rockies, in mid-Atlantic states and in the Southeast everything is predicted to be "near-normal."
Is that normal-normal or the new-normal, as some would have it?
And if you're in the Great Lakes, Midwest and up toward New England, brace for colder than average winter days and more precipitation than you usually shovel. The Pacific Northwest, according to the new Farmer's Almanac, will be snowy, snowy and snowy.
On their map, they predict the region of the upper Plains including Colorado as what will be "teeth-chattering cold, plentiful snow."

Thu
18
Oct

Row and spiral eaters

There I was, sitting with Beecher and my sister, Annie, at the dinner table. Terrific entrée accented by some Olathe sweet corn.
Nothing says diversity at the dinner table like observing how everyone eats an ear of corn. Annie goes round and round, from end to end, like a blade on a piece of wood turned on a lathe. Beecher goes round the big end just a bit, then switches to the across method, like a typewriter. I start on the left, go across to the right and repeat, 100 percent typewriter method.
There's no telling why people would go round and round and round. Or partially around and then across. The corn-shaped little dish that holds the butter is flat. And when you put the cob down, if it is uneven in any way - one side with kernels, one without - then it can tip and and part of the cob without kernels will soak in the butter.
As long as you have complete rows, you can always soak the remaining corn in butter without soaking the bare cob.

Thu
18
Oct

Swimming bears and turning 60 in dog years

The county commissioners decided to hold more meetings before making a decision about winter use, plowing and access rights on County Road 5 and about a proposed trail system for county roads 5, 7 and 9. At this rate, the county commissioners might make a decision by the time the snow melts in April.

Thu
18
Oct

Uphill climb for trail group

The Ouray Trail Group faces an uphill climb this month. The Ouray Ranger District set a Sept. 1 deadline to remove the staircase OTG erected on the west end of Box Canyon Park or face having the ORD remove the staircase and recycle it. There didn't seem to be any "ifs, ands or buts" when it came to this directive. The staircase was funded by an anonymous donor to the tune of $30,000-plus.
We reported last week that in May the acting district ranger, Sabrina Flores, was in attendance for a field trip to the staircase with City of Ouray officials, representatives of a private landowner and a county commissioner.
No members of the Ouray Trail Group, which puts in 5,000 hours a year maintaining one of the best, if not the best, local trail system in the state, was invited along on this field trip. The trip was to designed to give Flores the lay of the land and help her make a determination on the future of the staircase.

Thu
18
Oct

Ouray council owns the Chamber issue now

From 2012 to 2014, I served on the Ridgway Chamber's board of directors. The last year, perhaps because it was my turn, I was elected president. Six of those nine months were the most stressful, sleepless nights of tossing and turning I've had since moving back to my home state in 2010.
The reason? Money. The chamber had none. In fact, the chamber was in arrears. As an organization, we were in the hole for the first nine months, so much so that I tossed and turned most nights wondering if I was going to have to be the one to tell our members that their money was gone.
This was before the the town raised the lodging and occupancy tax, in 2015, which nearly tripled the amount of money flowing into the chamber's coffers.

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