A river of toxic tears

As the Environmental Pollution Agency — as it is being referred to anywhere downstream of Silverton — tripled the estimate of toxic water spill this week from the Gold King Mine into Cement Creek, a tributary of the Animas River, the Animas was passing its orange glow from Colorado into New Mexico.

Mine waste must be addressed

Asking anyone in Silverton, Colo., how the past week has gone would be like ask- ing Mrs. Lincoln how she enjoyed the play.
The disaster that unfolded last week has thrust the problem of acid-mine drainage leaking from abandoned mines in the spectacular San Juans into the national — and even global — spotlight.
The bad publicity so many local busi- ness owners feared from a possible Superfund designation could not possibly match this.

Look again: That mountain may be a molehill…

Summer always makes me think of lakes and mountains – and mountain lakes.
My college roommate from Alaska spent a few days at the cabin recently. Mike is a retired physician battling Parkinson’s now, but he’s doing pretty well and hasn’t lost his lust for adventure or his sense of humor. People facing challenges, whether climbing a mountain or combating a chronic illness, are an inspiration.

Coordinators needed

Dear Editor,
Ouray County Cares sponsored by Ridgway Community Pride is looking for a few good people to coordinate the annual holiday program providing gifts, food and toys to families in need. This program is entirely volunteer driven, is well funded and gets extensive support from all areas of the community including individual volunteers, businesses and county entities.

A compassionate weekend

Dear Editor,
Twenty years ago we saw how special Ouray County was. This past weekend was another example of loving your neighbor by helping them. This is called Compassion Weekend. Ten hardworking people arrived at our house and proceeded to dig out the weeds underneath our trees and put mulch around them. Another group took bricks that we had and outlined the two flower gardens. Another group stacked all the firewood that was in a pile on the back of our property. These are jobs that my husband Dick and I could no longer do.

Healthy river takes patience

A long-time flyfisherman told Eric Gardunio, aquatic biologist in Montrose, that back in the 1980s the sight of four-pound Rainbow trout smacking big, puffy flies on the surface of the Gunnison River throughout summer was common.
"You just don't see that now," Gardunio said.
Overcoming whirling disease has been an uphill battle. Caused by a parasite that disrupts the nervous system of a Rainbow, the disease has decimated Rainbow populations throughout the West. The disease makes feeding nearly impossible and renders young Rainbows vulnerable to predators.

In order to shoe a horse it always pays to catch it first

There seems to be a new trend in the area of running…Barefoot. I, myself, no longer run. I have horses and they are much better at running, so I let them carry me. Anyway, the Barefoot Running “takeover” is definitely on the rise with humans. Many orthopedic sources are saying “it is healthier for the structure of the human body, to run without additional cushioning.” I do NOT agree with this statement based solely (pun intended) on past experience. Why, just this morning I stepped out on the front porch and stepped on a “goat head.” Jump, jump, **it, jump, jump **it…that really hurts.

Tom Magstadt

Colorado and California – Different states, similar fates?

Summer is beautiful in the mountains, but it's also a harbinger of horrors great and small, forest fires being among the worst and most devastating. Mud is no fun either, but without it – in the absence of abundant snow on the upper elevations and a long, slow thaw – we face something far more unforgiving.