Columns

Thu
18
Oct

Wishing on the City fountains

I'm sure, what with water restrictions in both municipalities, that no one would water their lawn, or the sidewalk, or the street on a Monday or off days. Right?

The funny thing about watering those sidewalks and streets is they just don't get any greener.

I saw someone in Ouray watering the Uncompahgre River last week from the east side of the city. It's an interesting technique. First, water the sidewalk and street until they are saturated. This should take about three seconds. Then, watch as the water runs downhill all the way to the river. There you have it — you're a self-made water replenishment system. Maybe the city should adopt this system. It could water the pool parking lot with pool discharge water and watch it run off into the river, skipping this whole tedious business of getting approval from CDPHE.

Sat
22
Sep

“Reds Under the Beds” and schoolteachers in the streets

The headline in The New York Times (April 26, 2018) read, “Teachers in Arizona and Colorado Walk Out Over Education Funding.” The story opened with news of a walkout that caused hundred of public schools in Arizona to shut down and “turned the streets of Downtown Phoenix into seas of crimson….”
Teachers, students and sympathizers wearing red T-shirts and chanting “Red for ED” marched to the State Capitol.
Red for Ed! For those of us old enough to remember Joseph McCarthy and catchy Cold War slogans like “Better dead than red,” such a chant issuing from street demonstrations in Denver and Phoenix seems farfetched.
FAKE NEWS!
I lived in Phoenix. My first job was in Phoenix. Teaching.
Oh sure, antiwar and civil rights demonstrations happened on college campuses back in the day, but they DO NOT happen in Arizona in this day and age. Or Colorado.
Do they?

Sat
22
Sep

Access is what it's all about

We don't kid ourselves around the ol' newspaper about the tenuous nature of legal notices being required to be published with us.
Government entities are required to publish notices in the dominant medium serving that area. In return, newspapers offer a vehicle of transparency for the public, a verification that governments are doing what they are supposed to do. Likewise, many court-related orders require legal notice postings in the newspaper. You'll find an example of that in the "Summons by Publication" on page 14 in this issue.

Sat
22
Sep

Turning 141 this week

Like an odometer tracking the historic mileage of Ouray County, we just rolled over to our 141st year this week. The Silverton Standard and the Miner is two years older, being the oldest operating business on the Western Slope.
The paper has been through a lot, including several name changes and an ownership duo who, according to former owner/publisher Joyce Jorgensen, drank and argued frequently until one torched the newspaper office out of vengeance on the other.
One of the original owners, Henry Ripley, established the Ouray Times with his brother, William, printing the first edition June 16, 1877, just one year after the city of Ouray was incorporated. A train of six wagons brought the type and press from Cañon City, which also happened to be the first press in Colorado Territory, having been used to print the Cherry Creek Pioneer in Denver City, among other first papers in Colorado communities.

Sat
22
Sep

There they go again!

Well, they did it again. That lisp of a leaflet just 11 miles west of us as the crow flies, but worlds away using any measurement of ethics, lifted our work again.
It took a paragraph from the story we ran last week about the Ridgway School Board hiring a new superintendent. That would be our story, our work.
You'll recall just a few months ago they used the collective work of our reporting on local court cases involving sexual abuse as the basis for one of their probing, in-depth rehashed looks into Ouray County.
Never mind that not a soul from that pilfering periodical set foot in court for any of the local, high-profile cases. Somehow the background and history of those cases just flowed from their pages like a prison break when the warden wasn't looking.
They don't need to be here to impress our work upon its readers.

Sat
22
Sep

Developing a flashy personality

This month finds our family celebrating a wonderful birthday. It’s not the kids..not the grandkids..not the Cowboy…it’s Wiley’s first birthday.
Wiley is my colt. Steve bought him for me last July as a weanling (horse under the age of 1). We have had him at home since November. He is a joy to behold. I have never raised a horse from weanling. It is an experience I have always wanted to be a part of but never had the chance. I am loving every minute of it. He changes daily and his muscle structure is a wonder to look at. As Steve puts it, “he’s a well built son of a **tch.”

Sat
22
Sep

Early season bear scare

This may be the worst bear story of the season, and the season has barely begun.
It's a near-tragic story. And a bit curious one from my view. Though my co-publishing bride thinks not.
Early Sunday morning in Orchard Mesa, on the southeast end of Grand Junction, a mother was awakened at 2:30 a.m. by screams. According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the woman went outside to investigate and witnessed a large black bear dragging her 5-year-old daughter.
The mother screamed. The bear dropped the girl.
The girl received more than 80 stitches at St. Mary's Hospital with what were described as serious injuries.
Next is the curious part. The report said the girl had gone outside to investigate noises in the yard that she may have thought were coming from her dog.
I told Beecher that when I was five, if it was 2:30 in the morning and I heard noises outside, the last place I would have gone was outside. My bride says she would have.

Sat
22
Sep

A doctor, a church, a dark night and a drug deal

“You can buy it on the street, Tom,” he said. “When you get home, just go out and get some so Maggy can try it, okay?”
It was circa 1980. The “it” was marijuana, a “controlled substance” I had never bought and MJ had never even tried. The thin, gray-haired man in the pinstriped suit prescribing pot was a distinguished MD—a hematologist, to be precise. (“Maggy” was a term of affection he adopted early on in MJ’s treatment.)
Hematology is a specialized field of medicine dealing with diseases of the blood and related organs. More precisely, it is “The diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases of the blood and bone marrow as well as of the immunologic, hemostatic (blood clotting) and vascular systems.”
I had learned a lot about hematology by this time. It was the reason we were at the world-famous Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. The reason I was thinking about marijuana and how to get my hands on some.

Sat
22
Sep

On 20-20 hindsight: Suffer the children to find their way

It's not so much about what I do for a living as it is where. I came by that philosophy as a youngster in large part due to my vagabond father’s example. He left friends, relatives and job security in the rearview mirror—followed his heart and Route 66 west from Ohio to Arizona—scant possessions and a family of five squeezed into a ’49 Ford.
If whimsical gods favor your continued existence, there will come a time when the bulk of your life lies in the unalterable past. Compensation for this injustice is said to be “wisdom.” No one said it’s a fair trade, wisdom for youth, but it beats the cold-coffin alternative.
Wisdom, more-or-less, is simple 20-20 hindsight, the ability to see past mistakes and wrong turns in focus. As Geezers we use hindsight to navigate whatever grains of sand remain in our “hourglass,” some from the safety of a rocking chair, others from the uncertainty of mountain peaks and mountain bike seats.

Sat
22
Sep

Somewhere near Disappointment Valley

"In the spring of 1880 two hundred and twenty-five exhausted persons reached the San Juan. First they build a little fort, and then their homes: one-room cabins of crooked cottonwood logs. There were no doors in the doorways, no glass in the windows. The sun seared the flats, lanced off the cliffs. Sandstorms whipped the town…Time has made a cruel mockery of the town's heroic founding."
"One Man's West"
David Lavender

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