Kudos to the new owners of the Revenue-Virginius mine, who expressed their intent to keep the local workforce and management structure in place. They plan to expand from 250 tons of production a day at first to 400 tons per day. They also hope to become a local hub for processing raw materials.
With a loan payout period of 13 years, and an eye on expansion, it's clear that this group plans to grow and encourage the growth of mining in the San Juans.
The operation is subterranean, and the company estimates only one truck load of processed ore will be moved to Montrose for rail daily. Here's betting the impact will be felt far more economically than environmentally.
Area businesses are hiring. Something's up. Gas prices are dropping. Things are looking good. Cascade Falls Lodge is now the Ouray Inn. Apteka is getting a face lift within. O'Brien's has new owners. Antlers Motel and Matterhorn Inn are being rejuvenated. And the Coachlight is opening again. Things are looking up and looking anew in Ouray. And with gas prices dropping and mountain passes soon to be open for keeps, this looks like a good summer shaping up.
An email sent to us this week demonstrates that one Ridgway School Board member, just within the past week, was having discussions by email with all other school board members as a group. This, to sound like a broken record, constitutes an illegal meeting per Colorado law. And while there is no indication that the other four board members responded and engaged in discussion, it would be refreshing if once, just once, someone on the board would identify this as unlawful behavior.
Speaking of behavior, a handful of Ridgway secondary school students chose not to go to class last Thursday and Friday. The term "protest" was being used as an excuse for their absences. The so-called protest was over the Ridgway School Board's action not to renew Principal Jim Bob Hobbs' contract. In our view, this protest was a simple case of truancy.
Speaking of truancy, it was interesting to see Jim Bob Hobbs express concern that he is floating in the breeze for the next three weeks, unsure of "where I stand," as he put it. He insisted that the only way for him to fully grasp his situation would be to have a sit-down with someone. Phone calls and voice mails are unacceptable to him. We would suggest that in order to meet with your boss, your boss needs to know if you're going to be at work.
As far as where things stand, we would say just somewhere south of the intersection of Dignity and Grace. While responding to his recent rash of illnesses that have caused him to take three sick days in the span of two weeks, he pointed out that he has "23 sick days in the bank."
Now, I come from the corporate world, having worked for over 25 years, mostly in management positions, for one of the leading media companies in the United States. I can tell you that treating or even intimating that sick days are there to be burned through, or used as vacation days, is irresponsible behavior.
But, who knows? He probably was sick. Everyone's sick, and tired, and ready for this to all be over. Good grief, it's even spilled over to encouraging the kids to skip school. So, as board chair Roger Sagal put it pointedly, we are "witnessing a little bit of why changes that are being made are being made."
We don't blame him for slamming his notebook on the table for emphasis after stating that.
If I may suggest, from my corporate days when we had an employee that was on his or her way out that was not contributing to productivity, we just paid them and told them to put on their traveling shoes. The board should do that with outgoing superintendent Cheryl Gomez and outgoing principal Jim Bob Hobbs. Clean your desk. Say goodbye. Tell us where to mail your last paycheck.
Alan Todd is co-publisher of the Ouray County Plaindealer. He can be reached at 970-325-2838, or firstname.lastname@example.org.