A Farmer Far Afield – One Word: Plastics

By John Mattingly So much of our world in the U.S. is packaged in plastic. Much of our food comes wrapped in it. Even the bulk items in a supermarket are put in a plastic bag and in another plastic bag for carryout. As a farmer, I’ve always thought food stamps should be redeemable only […]

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Earnest Irony

Salida’s newest rock band, Ironically Charged, proves it’s never too early to rock ‘n roll By Jennifer Dempsey – photos by Mike Rosso Ironically Charged Lily Pinto, 10, lead and rhythm guitar Musical inspirations: Michael Jackson, Chris Nasca, Bones and Sunga Jung. Musical goals: to play lead guitar more efficiently and share my music with […]

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Quillen’s Corner

By Ed Quillen Names on our Land Place names have long fascinated me, and perhaps for that reason, I try to use the right ones, and it grates on me when I hear the wrong name. For instance, the eminence at the end of F Street across the river from Salida is Tenderfoot Hill, according […]

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Book Review

Forgotten Cuchareños of the Lower Valley By Virginia Sanchez The History Press, Paperback, 191 pp $19.99 ISBN #1609491343 Reviewed by Annie Dawid As a fiction writer, reading Virginia Sanchez’s book about the history of Hispano Southern Colorado made me wish I were writing a long-planned, much-delayed novel which takes place in the Huérfano Valley during […]

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Colorado’s Mysterious Singing Sands

by Mary Syrett In April of 2011, while hiking among the sand dunes in Great Sand Dunes National Park, I heard something unusual. If you listen carefully, you may discover that sand at various locations among the dunes “sings,” making audible sound vibrations. Sand dunes in the park do seem to have a built-in “sound […]

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Trekking up Hagerman Pass

By Jan MacKell Just one of the many great things about living in Colorado are the striking views. Indeed, the state offers amazing mountain vistas quite unlike anywhere else on earth. And, where best to take in awe inspiring views than from a pleasing array of historic mountain passes? The pioneers of yesterday blazed their […]

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News from the San Luis Valley

by Patty LaTaille & Mike Rosso How Dry Is It – Really? A Fire Hazard Emergency has been declared within Saguache County as of June 15. It’s a rarity – but here it is: Due to the serious drought in the SLV, the Board of County Commissioners of Saguache County decided that – based upon […]

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Grandin lecture enlightening on many levels

By Hal Walter There was a “Wide Load” approaching, and the truck traveling ahead in our lane hit the brakes. I in turn hit my brakes, and that’s when Harrison lost his lunch. I pulled over to the first pullout along the Arkansas River on U.S. 50 to assess the vomit damage. We had no […]

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Down on the Ground with the Media Punks

By George Sibley There’s a certain kind of a high school punk you probably all remember – the guys (or girls) who were always picking fights – between other people. They would exploit misunderstandings, momentary irritations, whatever, egging a couple people into making a big deal out of nothing; then – “Let’s you and him […]

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Breathing Space

Essay and artwork by Patricia Nolan “Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson Alone, a mile beyond the Mt. Shavano trailhead, my old woman legs need to rest. I sit on a downed log and absorb my surroundings. Cool air, warm sun at 9,500 feet. I look through an […]

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Micro Hydropower

By Michael Brown Most hydropower plants are conventional in design, meaning they use one-way water flow to generate electricity. There are two categories of conventional plants, run-of-river and storage plants. Run-of-river plants use little, if any, stored water to provide water flow through the turbines. Micro hydro power is probably the least common of the […]

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SWIFT team

SWIFT Crews – Offenders Fighting Colorado Fires

By Mike Rosso A unique team of firefighters are being trained in Chaffee and Fremont County through a program with the Colorado Correctional Facility. Dubbed the State Wildland Inmate Fire Team (SWIFT), the program is designed to prepare offenders for placement on Type 2 hand crews to be utilized on wildfires statewide. Begun in the […]

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Learning (Again) to Dance with the Wind

By Susan Tweit One recent morning we sat in the VA Medical Center in Denver waiting for Richard’s oncology consult, followed, if all looked well with his blood work, by his third infusion of Avastin, a chemotherapy drug that aims to slow the growth of the aggressive glioblastoma colonizing his right brain. After his oncologist […]

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salida hydroelectric

Water into Watts

A Local Hydroelectric Plant Passes the Century Mark By Ron Sering There are many remarkable things about Salida Hydroelectric station two. The location itself is dense with history. The distinctive red brick powerhouse is situated a short distance from the train track that once linked Salida with its historic mining operations. The Victorian structure and […]

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