Columns

“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.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.)

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.

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

Misleading headline? Really?

We don't mind being corrected. It's not a big deal. In fact, it's part of what we signed on to do.
So when a county commissioner just blurts out during an open meeting in front of the public that we misrepresented a conversation, he should be able tell us at least one thing we got wrong. Right?
Wrong.
Tuesday, County Commissioner Ben Tisdel told the other commissioners, a sizable crowd and anyone else who cared for an opinion devoid of facts, that our article entitled "Road committee steers commissioners in direction of tax increase" (April 5, 2018), lacked accuracy.