Riddles in the Rocks – The Bonanza Caldera

By Bill Hatcher Sherlock Holmes is, perhaps, the most famous detective of all time. Recently, he has received renewed attention in film and on television. However, a different sort of detective has been investigating a real-life enigma here in central Colorado for the past eight years. And if his pursuit seems less glamorous than what […]

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History

By John Mattingly In 1965, on the last day of my matriculation year of high school in Australia, our history teacher, a bravely bearded Mr. Chambers, suggested to our class that one of the more interesting – perhaps even more important – things we could do in the next couple of decades was try to […]

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Celebrating My Anniversary Alone

By Susan Tweit One morning in August, I woke in the half-darkness at five o’clock. I lay there hoping I’d go back to sleep, and then remembered what awakened me. “Happy Anniversary,” I said softly out loud. I wasn’t talking to myself, though I do that often. (I’m a writer. I live alone. Both good […]

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Unintended Consequences

 By Slim Wolfe I live in one of the Southwest’s raggedy towns, which suits me just fine, because it’s as far away as a person can get from the American dream of straight streets, neat little boxes, well-kept lawns and mortgages. There was a tradition of creative hard-scrabble building here which must jar the eye […]

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The Pest House – A Notorious Structure Gets a New Life

 By Mike Rosso When Marilyn and Harold Sampson of Lawrence, Kansas decided to purchase property in Chaffee County in 2005, they probably didn’t expect to someday own an infamous piece of the county’s history. The sent their son Darrell on a scouting mission and he discovered six acres of land on County Road 160 that […]

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Smoothie Operators

(a mixed-up true story with made-up names) By Mark Kneeskern “Let’s say we take my world in a rented rig.” The Costco parking lot in Colorado Springs at 11pm: a peculiar place to discuss the strategies of a mobile smoothie enterprise which will follow 25,000 bicyclists across the state of Iowa. Earlier that evening: I’m […]

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Regional News

Ballot ID Simmers, Boils Over In Chaffee County, the issue of ballot secrecy simmered in the spring and early summer and then finally exploded in mid-August. A Buena Vista man said he cracked the code to identify ballots cast by specific voters in the June primary. County officials had long denied ballots could be traced […]

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The Crowded Acre – Barn. Heart.

by Jennifer Welch I can’t think of a single aspect of farming that isn’t an act of love. It usually begins with the break of day, or just before it. I feel through the darkness of the room for my boots and jacket before fumbling down the stairs and out the back door. I slowly […]

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Colorado Trail

by Columbine Quillen Once, a great long while ago, a donkey named Virgil and I hiked from Denver to Buena Vista on the pristine Colorado Trail. The Colorado Trail is a 486-mile footpath that traverses the state from Denver to Durango through the rugged foothills and the Rocky Mountains. Finding myself in Colorado this summer […]

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Writing about Autism

By Hal Walter School is back in session, and this year I am more grateful for that than ever. As the parent of an autistic son, I must admit I have become comfortable with the notion of school as not only a learning opportunity for Harrison, but as respite care as well. When Harrison is […]

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The Caboose

by Forrest Whitman Ed Quillen, Yellow Slime, and our own Southwest Chief Ed Quillen is no longer with us, but in late spring he had sent me a train report on his trip to the Pacific Northwest. He reported that the trainsets built by train manufacturer Talgo are great, and more are on order from […]

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Making Sense of the Affordable Care Act

By Elizabeth Ritchie, RN The entire conversation of health care reform starts with the consensus that in the United States the health care status quo cannot be sustained. Reining in health care costs and putting health care back in the hands of individuals rather than insurance companies has been attempted by presidents since Teddy Roosevelt’s […]

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Down on the Ground in the Carbon Cycle

By George Sibley So far this wildfire season, we’ve been lucky in Central Colorado (knock on wood). There have been little fires here and there, but nothing like those that other parts of Colorado – and the Rocky Mountains in general – have been experiencing. The ferocity of some of these fires has been compounded […]

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Leadville Cherokee: mountain music

By Tyler Grimes “A funky jam band” is how the Leadville Cherokee were described at a recent show at the State Highway Theater in Buena Vista. The band of five from – of course – Leadville, can certainly be described as funky and jamming, with a dose of bluegrass, reggae and rock. They describe themselves […]

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San Luis Valley News

By Patty LaTaille State Stalks Stalled Saguache Tax Assessments State officials and Colorado taxpayers are concerned about tens of thousands of dollars in school funding that they’ve collectively paid to Saguache County in recent years due to a county assessor who has “slacked off” in adding new construction to the county tax coffers. This failure […]

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