Opinions

Wed
08
Mar
atodd's picture

Expecting a miracle

We're going to be grandparents, and it hasn't really hit me. It may not sink in until it's time to drive to Utah and see Ross and Kelly and our new granddaughter, Olivia, at the end of this month.
Grandchildren are truly a blessing from above.
They are also not as mathematically likely to occur, especially to me and Beecher.
It's not that our two boys couldn't get a date. Rather, with only two children, our chances are greatly reduced compared to what our chances would have been half a century ago.
The more children, the greater the chance at grandchildren. Especially if the fertility rate doesn't decline.
But since the 1960s, it has steadily declined.
And for a couple of average white parents, our chances are even less than others.
According to the Pew Research Center, since the World War II baby boom, the trend to smaller families has been on the rise.

Wed
08
Mar
atodd's picture

Random encounters of the fourth kind

On the road in Chiricahua National Monument, a dazzling landscape of improbably balanced boulders, granite figurines and Déjà vu.
Listen up: Itineraries and reservations are fine for business trips and family reunions, but if you want to let Miss Sara N. Dipity out of her box, wandering is best done with plans cast in “Jello.” Thus, we land once again in Chiricahua—as far off the beaten path as one can get without disappearing—way, way down in the southeast corner of Arizona, at the juncture of Old and New Mexico.
It’s an all-day “white knuckle” drive to get to Chiricahua from Camp Madera, a renowned “birding” canyon midway between Tucson and Nogales. Roads are frighteningly narrow and shoulder-less. RV “Goldie’s” wide body struggles to stay between centerline and pavement’s edge. Still, it’s a heart-melting back-road drive, meandering sky-island mountains and seas of golden grassland savannas, the likes of which would bring Kerouac and Kuralt to tears.

Wed
08
Mar
atodd's picture

The privilege of serving

Dear Editor,
Thank You!!!
It is with very mixed emotions that I took an action a couple of weeks ago that everyone works towards to some degree. On Feb. 14, 2017 I took a step into my future by handing in my notice of retire- ment to the Ridgway Marshal’s Office. I am not sure where the road is going to take me, but I will never forget the road that I have traveled to this point. I have been in Law Enforcement for 37 years and one of my best assignments I have had was the privilege of serving the community of Ridgway for the last 16+ years. I was involved a vehicle accident in September 2016 and have not fully recovered to the point that I would be capable of providing the services that you deserve.
During the time I served I have made many friends in the area; Krista and I plan on staying in the community for the fore- seeable future. I wish the citizens and businesses of the community the best.
Thank you for allowing me to serve you.

Thu
23
Feb
atodd's picture

I'm mad, too

Seems to be a lot of angry folks around here lately, so I'm going to start selling bumper stickers.
In the late 1970s, early 1980s, there was a charismatic figure in the Fort Worth, Texas area named Eddie Chiles. Eddie, who was on a first-name basis with all of Texas, was a self-made man, having started an oil supply company with two trucks and a few employees.
He grew the company to over 5,000 employees, bought the Texas Rangers baseball club and was an economic force in the state.
But what he was best identified with were the bumper stickers. The sticker read, "I'm mad, too, Eddie!"
It all started with his disdain for big government. Eddie was known to colorfully express his views about big government spending, especially the "Liberals in Congress," so much so that he was encouraged to express his views on the radio, where he could have a lasting effect.

Thu
23
Feb
atodd's picture

Commentary

Thu
23
Feb
atodd's picture

Warming trend

Dear Editor,

This year's February daytime warming trend referred to in your front page story on the Ice Park is indeed real and more severe than in the past two Februaries, 2015 and 2016. Nighttime February temperatures have also increased dramatically this year. Since ice is made at night, these figures are concerning for the Ice Park. I thought your readers might like to see a listing of the monthly average high and low temperatures for the last two Februaries and for the first 18 days/nights of this February.

Average High
Feb. 2015                44.3 degrees
Feb. 2016                42.8 degrees
Feb. 1-18, 2017            47.8 degrees
Historical Feb. Average        39.0 degrees

Average Low
Feb. 2015                23.2 degrees
Feb. 2016                19.8 degrees
Feb. 1-18, 2017            28.3 degrees
Historical Feb. Average        17.1 degrees

Thu
16
Feb
atodd's picture

Time to fix winter water woes in Ouray

The Ouray Ice Park had to close for the season last week. A statement from the folks who run the Ice Park said the recent warm-up of temperatures in Ouray, coupled with the extended warm weather outlook, pointed toward their inability to keep what ice they had in good, safe condition.
Last year the Ice Park stayed open a month and a half longer than this year, closing on March 20. As we reported in early March 2016, sections of the park did not receive the amount of water the ice farmers would have liked, so there was less ice than desired. This year, there was even less water available to make ice.
Weather, lack of ice and a lack of an "ice box" effect played a role this year. It's certainly not all attributable to the weather. Last year in February, for instance, there were eight days in Ouray in the 40s, 13 days in the 50s and one day in the 60s. Pretty much like this year.

Thu
16
Feb
atodd's picture

The wolf in your midst…and your bedroom?

Dogs are wolves in disguise. They’re smarter than other wolves. We know that because long ago they learned not to bite the hand that feeds them.
Long ago humans found some early version of the canine species to be useful and decided to domesticate the creature. So we reinvented wolves as guard dogs, herding dogs, hunting dogs and “service dogs” of all sorts.
It’s a shaggy dog story.
We love living in this corner of Colorado and one of the things we love about it is that most people here love dogs and rarely leave home without them. People here think nothing of taking dogs to the park in Ridgway when the Farmer’s Market is in full swing or leaving Fido the family Rottweiler in a wide-open Jeep parked outside a bar or restaurant.
Whether bred to race or kill rats, dogs help us cope with the rat race called life.

Thu
16
Feb
atodd's picture

A delicious serving of thanks

Dear Editor,

The Ridgway-Ouray Community Council extends a big thank you to all who helped make the Feb. 4 Spaghetti Dinner a huge success. ROCC very much appreciates donations to the dinner from Ridgway Mountain Market, Colorado Boy Brewing Co. and The Liquor Store. Thanks also to the Wiesbaden Hot Springs Spa and Lodgings for providing complimentary accommodations for our speaker.
We express much gratitude to Roland McCook for his wonderful presentation, “An Evening with the Ute Nation” and to the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Drum Group and flute player Eldean Ketchum for their fine performances.
Last but not least, we recognize the many volunteers who dedicated their time and talents to organizing and preparing the Spaghetti Dinner. And thanks to all of you who came out to support ROCC and enjoy this fun, delicious and educational community event. It couldn’t have happened without you.

Sincerely,
Don Swartz and Kate Kellogg
ROCC Co-Presidents

Thu
19
Jan
atodd's picture

Feds want their money back

While you were toiling away these last few years struggling to pay off the high rates and deductibles associated with your health insurance purchase through the Colorado Exchange, state employees of the Exchange were using federal funds to throw baby showers, hand out excessive tips and generally misuse funds.
That's just the tip of the $9 million healthcare needle the Office of Inspector General has charged the state of Colorado with, in a December 2016 report, of not correctly expending Establishment Grant Funds to be used to create a health insurance marketplace in accordance with the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.
The feds want their money back.
The state is balking.

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