Legendary

By Ben Lara Editor’s note: This tribute to Brett Beasley was read during a Celebration of Life event held on February 10, 2017. My name is Ben Lara and for the past seven years I had the amazing experience in working with Brett as his immediate supervisor.  Brett started his Forest Service career in 1995 in […]

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A Public Lands Champion, Brett Beasley: 1970-2017

By Mike Rosso On February 4, 2017, U.S. Forest Service employee and Salida resident Brett Beasley, along with a teenaged boy, set out from 11,380-foot-high Uncle Bud’s Hut near Leadville for some backcountry skiing. The weather then turned bad. A fast-moving blizzard blew in and the pair likely became disoriented, resulting in a frigid night […]

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Rok Skool

By Mike Rosso Since 2011, many Chaffee County teens have learned the fine art of rockin’ out, thanks to Rok Skool, a musical education program offered through Articipate, a Salida-based nonprofit organization dedicated to keeping arts education alive and thriving in the 21st century. The founders, Jill and Trevor “Bones” Davis, saw an alarming trend […]

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Salida’s Housing Crunch: A Firsthand Look

By Jessica Wierzbinski It can’t really be that hard to find a place to house your family, right? Not even in a little mountain town that has in recent years become a veritable Mecca for mountain biking, river sporting, alternatively medicating, retiring and any number of other activities folks come here for. Even amid this […]

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The Way We Really Were

By Virginia McConnell Simmons Model T’s needed gasoline, frequent repairs and replacement of ruined tires and inner tubes, so in 1911 Salida’s Arkansas Valley Garage Men’s Association undertook promoting tourism. The Rainbow Route soon followed the Arkansas River from near Cañon City to Salida, but a trip to Gunnison required crossing Poncha Pass to Saguache […]

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Roller Skating in Colombia

By Lillian Wood Chaffee County’s roller derby team, the Ark Valley High Rollers, first formed in January 2010. Since then, they’ve recruited many new players (playfully referred to as “fresh meat”), and are now 18 strong and ranked 188 out of 284 by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA). When they became a sanctioned […]

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Salida’s Vandaveer Ranch

By Daniel Smith Photos by Mike Rosso From cattle ranch to golf course subdivision, center for natural resources to concert venue, on to citizen-driven development: WHAT’S AHEAD? Over the years, various visions for the 192-acre property have been floated by planners and city leaders. The former Vandaveer Ranch property on Salida’s eastern border has been a work in […]

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Places: Old Monarch Pass

Story and photos by Ericka Kastner As I write this, a full moon is rising and will shine overhead this evening. There’s no place I’d rather witness this orb of night than at the top of the Continental Divide.

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Living Small – The Tiny Home Movement

By Mike Rosso It might be a reaction to the mega mansions and trophy homes of the 1990s and 2000s. Housing shortages and rising home prices may also be contributing to it, but the minimalist, tiny home movement is alive and kicking, nationally and here in Central Colorado. What is a tiny home? Also known […]

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Affordable Housing – Has it Become a Myth?

by Daniel Smith It’s a phenomenon affecting communities from Denver to small mountain towns – a lack of affordable housing for lower-income workers often employed in service industries vital to a community’s economic health. Many political candidates are voicing concerns over the need for affordable housing, but assessing and addressing the issue is a lengthy […]

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Mine Spills Not That Rare

By Christopher Kolomitz When the Gold King Mine blew out in southwestern Colorado above Silverton in early August, it sent millions of gallons of toxic sludge into the Animas River, turning the popular river orange and prompting closure of the waterway.  The blowout reminded Central Colorado residents of two eerily similar incidents that fouled the […]

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Bad Times for the Boreal Toad

By Daniel Smith It’s the amphibian of your youth. Brown, squat, lumpy with “warts” – the kind your mother warned you about. The Boreal Toad (Anaxyrus Boreas) is the quintessential toad in appearance. The little four-inch toad is the focus of an important preservation campaign in Chaffee County, which has one of the few isolated […]

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