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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Aerial Adventures in a Canyon

When Salidan Monty Holmes purchased nearly 30 acres of arid canyon land near Wellsville, Colorado in 2000, his original dream of building cabins on the property transformed into something much bigger and much bolder. Lacking access to electricity for the properties, he decided on another strategy, to “make lemonade outta lemons,” and did what any […]

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Quillen’s Corner – This Land is My Land, This Land is Your Land

by Martha Quillen The transfer of wealth from America’s middle classes to those who already have the most continues – with very little resistance. “Why Workers Won’t Unite,” an article by Kim Phillips-Fein in The Atlantic this April, explores why laborers haven’t come together to reverse this ominous trend – and also why old-fashioned economic […]

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Spring Cleaning

By Richard R. Cuyler, Salida, Colorado March and Mountain Bluebirds and nest boxes with last year’s residue of white and down and grass. I open one and she commands the other, the cocked head saying it’s her own.

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Quillen’s Corner – Fear and Loathing One Hundred Years After Sand Creek

by Martha Quillen In The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil, Stanford professor Philip Zimbardo illustrates how ordinary people can be incited into acts of almost unimaginable violence. “The process begins,” he warns, “with creating stereotyped conceptions of the other, dehumanized perception of the other, the other as worthless, the other as all-powerful, […]

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A Sister City for Salida

by Mike Rosso A recent decision by a town council 6,000 miles away has led to the first sister-city designation for Salida, Colorado. Lago, in the province of Cosenza in the Calabria region of southern Italy, is the ancestral home of many early settlers to Salida, many of whose names are very familiar to locals. A […]

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Off the Grid – Salida Goes Solar

by Ron Sering Many places claim to be in Colorado’s sun belt, but Salida makes good on it. Estimates vary between 260 and 300 days of sunshine a year. That’s a lot of energy, and through a combination of improved technology and innovative funding, Salida is tapping into it. From the top of the Palace […]

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Wendell Forbes Hutchinson, Sept. 25, 1924 – Sept. 20, 2014

By Betty Plotz Salida area rancher, veterinarian, historian and pioneer Wendell “Doc Hutch” Hutchinson died on Sept. 20, 2014, just five days short of his 90th birthday. His great-grandfather, Joseph Sykes Hutchinson, came to Colorado in 1866 after being wounded during the Battle of Vicksburg during the Civil War. Joseph began as a prospector near […]

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Pickin’ Sisters

Article and photos by Ericka Kastner Early exposure to musical performance prompted two Salida teens, known on stage as The Powell Sisters, to enter the Colorado bluegrass music scene. Years later, they’re strumming their way into house parties and music festivals across the country. Phoebe Powell, 16, says she was first inspired to learn the […]

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Quillen’s Corner – Changing Times Cause Conflict

I went to Aspen last weekend because Ed’s book, Deeper Into the Heart of the Rockies, which was compiled and edited by our daughter Abby, was a finalist in the Colorado Humanities 23rd annual book awards. We didn’t win, but it was nice to see the stunned joy other writers displayed upon winning. Perhaps more […]

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The Caboose

by Forrest Whitman Salida’s Magic Caboose Saturday, June 21 was dedication day for Denver and Rio Grande Railroad caboose 0576. It’s a magic caboose chock full of symbolism. It would take an author as sensitive as, say, Gabriel Garcia Marquez to write up all of that. A caboose speaks to the kid in us all. […]

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Driving Nature Into the Ground? Motorized Recreation on Public Lands

by Bill Hatcher “In Colorado, the outdoors is what’s for dinner!” That’s Sherry Ellms, Professor of Environmental Studies at Naropa University in Boulder. I had asked her what motorized recreation says about American Culture. And while playful, her dining metaphor belies our tendency to “consume” nature. In 1991, 11,700 OHVs (off-highway vehicles, such as dirt […]

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This Space is Getting Hot

by Central Staff If a follower of the Grateful Dead is known as a “deadhead,” it stands to reason that a “chilihead” is someone who follows a pepper … or in the case of Joe Wetherington, all things pepper. Chili Heads is the name of Joe’s new store, located on Rainbow Blvd. in Salida, which […]

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