Opinions

Mon
07
Aug
atodd's picture

A critical decision

Dear Editor,
In the next two weeks, the Ouray School Board will be making a critical decision that I believe will be a real “game changer” in this community. The 2017–18 school budget will have ramifications for jobs, curriculum quality and the presence or absence of financial reserves. The School Board is in a thankless position and nobody need envy the responsibility it holds in making this decision.
The School Board budget, however, is not the only key decision we face as a community as it pertains to our school. The other is the prospect of passing an MLO (mil levy override) in November to properly fund the school given the untenable budgetary cuts handed down by state laws. These are independent decisions, but they are tightly coupled.

Mon
07
Aug
atodd's picture

Hiking on high… a fun way to get in shape for summer

If you are like me—a little kid with 67 birthdays—then you believe Einstein was spot on when he said, “Play is the highest form of research.” And how fortunate are we to have the “lab” in our own backyard?

It’s been a long winter; we are sooo ready to get outside and play in the mountains. But alas, they are waist deep in snow. Take heart my spring-fevered friends, I’m about to share some high altitude options for May and June that do not involve packing skis or waddling around on snowshoes. 

Mon
07
Aug
atodd's picture

Inhabiting a separate parallel universe

Dear Editor,

Mon
07
Aug
atodd's picture

Thanks for mining conference

Dear Editor,
I’m writing to express my thanks to the organizers of the San Juan Mining and Reclamation Conference held in Ouray May 23-25. It was a very worthwhile event. Even without a background in science, engineering or mining, each of the conference presenters helped me gain a better appreciation of what is being done and what can be done to clean up the many legacy mines in Ouray County.
I also want to thank the management and employees of Ouray Silver Mines for allowing us to tour their mill and mine at the Revenue-Virginius Mine. It was fascinating. OSM’s community outreach is a case study on how to do it right.
 
Kevin Kennedy
Loghill Mesa
 

Mon
07
Aug
atodd's picture

Ouray Hot Springs Pool is open

The Ouray Hot Springs Pool opened Saturday a few hours later than scheduled, but after nine months what did a little more anticipation matter?
Evidently, it didn't. I was there at 10:00 a.m. when it was scheduled to open, and when I came back at noon the same people, and then some, were waiting for the doors to open.
We know there's still work to be done, but swimming and soaking had to be done this Memorial Day weekend. The new design has five distinct pools, but the majority were closed. On Saturday only one pool was open. On Sunday and Monday just two were open.
There's so much more water to come. And soon.
In the meantime, how did this weekend stack up compared to Memorial Day weekend last year?
This year, 1,945 visitors dipped their toes in the pool. Last year, 3,081 ushered in the summer's first official weekend at the pool.

Mon
07
Aug
atodd's picture

Cowboys, rodeo queens and broken filters

Our life on the ranch is incredible. We have been blessed to be allowed to live on a beautiful piece of private land in one of the most picturesque areas of this country. But changes and updates to things believed "perfect" are normal, right? I only ask that the littlest of things be "made better." The problem is that I have to ask over and over and over again. I pride myself on not being a nag or "that kinda" wife but sometimes blunt statements are necessary when you are dealing with a house full of cowboys, rodeo queens and broken filters.
The lights in the bathrooms are circa 1970 and only six of the 10 sockets are functional. Most of you, I think, would say that it is appropriate to update the lighting fixtures in the bathrooms. I have purchased the necessary parts, located the circuits, purchased LED lightbulbs and asked the cowboy to complete the job. That original request was given more than a year ago.

Thu
18
May
atodd's picture

What may lead to the erosion of Ouray’s Historic District

I am writing to follow up on comments I made at the Ouray City Council meeting on Monday, May 15, 2017 regarding language in the Planning Commission’s recommendation and draft ordinance that would seemingly sanction the use of intermodal shipping containers as residences or permissible as a building material. I was particularly disappointed because of the Planning Commission’s and Council’s apparent lack of knowledge and concern about Ouray’s National Historic District and the significant benefits and recognition it provides the community. In fact only five individuals, including my wife and myself, out of nearly 50 present, indicated that they were members of the Ouray County Historical Society.
The issue of Historic Preservation in both the City and County of Ouray goes back at least 35 years and perhaps more.

Thu
18
May
atodd's picture

Let’s put the polite back into politics

Fair warning: what follows contains the word “politics.” It’s about the word, more than the thing. It’s not about gun control or abortion or immigration or Obamacare or any of the other issues that divide and distract us. Rather, it’s about something Aristotle called the “golden mean” by which he meant the middle ground between two extremes.
Words like “politics” and “civil” are familiar to all of us. They were also familiar to the ancient Athenians and Romans and have roots in Greek and Latin. Both these words represent ideals that we have incorporated into our concept of good government and that the Founding Fathers enshrined in the Constitution.

Thu
18
May
atodd's picture

Saving energy and money

Dear Editor,
One of the most cost effective government programs is the Energy Star Program administered by the EPA. President Trump has called for eliminating this program in his budget! This program benefits commercial businesses and residential homeowners to the tune of billions of dollars each year.  In addition it is a tremendous benefit to our environment.
The average home owner spends $2060 annually on energy bills for a single family home. If a homeowner purchases Energy Star appliances and LED light bulbs along with added insulation, weather stripping windows and doors, lowering the temperature of their home and hot water heater, that amount could be cut in half! My wife and I recently purchased a home in Ridgway and had an energy audit done. This cost us nothing because San Miguel Power Company paid for it. Thanks to the infrared equipment we discovered some leaks which we have since taken care of.  

Thu
18
May
atodd's picture

Some facts about sexual assault

Last month was national Sexual Assault Awareness Month, not that folks in Ouray County need an occasion lately to raise awareness of the topic.
We have five current sexual assault cases connected with Ouray County, each at various points of progress in the court system.
A plea has been submitted in one, with the court’s acceptance and sentencing still to come. Two others await trial and/or possible pleas, as well. Yet two others, which didn't occur in the county but are alleged to have been committed by Ouray County residents, are just beginning the legal process.
Three of these cases are alleged violations against minors. All of the accused/convicted are men.
I had a conversation with one of the alleged victims last week. What do you say, other than if it's true, you hope for justice and healing? I can never understand what the victim of sexual assault goes through.

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