Category Archives: 2007

Despite storm, forecasters worried about dry weather

Print this articleWeather’s capricious nature makes it a challenge to predict accurately, a case in point this month. Snow finally arrived Dec. 1, after weeks of unseasonably warm, dry days. Long-term forecasts are an inexact science, to be sure, proving … Continue reading

Published in -December 2007

Victory for a view: Commnet opts not to put a cell tower on Bluff’s ridgeline

Print this articleA 150-foot cell tower once proposed to be built on a scenic ridgeline near Bluff, Utah, apparently will have a different home. In response to widespread community objection among Bluff residents to despoiling one of the town’s most … Continue reading

Published in -December 2007

Monumental issues: Reaction varies to the draft plan for Canyons of the Ancients, but defining roads is a contentious point

Print this article  It’s a pair of documents totaling around 900 pages, but so far the main points of dispute involving Canyons of the Ancients National Monument’s draft resource management plan boil down to two issues: • What, exactly, is … Continue reading

Published in -December 2007

A life on canvas: Celebrating the art of Stanton Englehart

Print this articleMontezuma-Cortez High School art teacher Sharon Englehart recalls her father, Stanton Englehart, studying art in the 1960s. “I can remember living in a Quonset hut. There was always an easel there.” Once he earned both his bachelor’s and … Continue reading

Published in -December 2007, Arts & Entertainment

Imagining a life on the river

Print this articleHaving just moved to Colorado, I have been on the Colorado River only once. After reading “The Very Hard Way,” I will have Bert Loper on my mind the next river trip I take. I will be imagining … Continue reading

Published in -December 2007, Arts & Entertainment

Pieces of silver: Book tells history of Native American earrings

Print this articleOne day, New Salem, Mass., silversmith Bobby Bauver was chatting with a friend from New Mexico, Robert Gallegos, a connoisseur of Native American and Hispanic art. Gallegos was about to sell a collection of Navajo and Pueblo earrings. … Continue reading

Published in -November 2007, Arts & Entertainment

Growing practice

Print this articleClinics held in Durango make it easier to get a state permit for the use of medical marijuana Suffering from cancer? Smoke some marijuana. How about from multiple sclerosis, AIDS, hepatitis, glaucoma, nausea or chronic pain? You too … Continue reading

Published in -November 2007

Volunteer shortage worries fire departments

Print this articleFewer young people stepping up to provide emergency services In Elm City, North Carolina, in January 2007, first responders to a structure fire have to wait 10 minutes for extra help to arrive. While they wait, the house … Continue reading

Published in -November 2007

A towering dilemma: Bluff, Utah, debates putting a cell antenna on its scenic ridge

Print this articleEven while cell-phone towers are spreading like cheatgrass in other areas of the Four Corners, some residents of a bucolic Bluff, Utah, are trying to stave off locating an antenna on the pristine sandstone ridgeline north of their … Continue reading

Published in -November 2007

Something in the air: Exhibit celebrates Four Corners Plein Aire Painters

Print this articleThe artist heads toward the mesa, carrying easel and paint box. In summer, he dons a straw hat, and slathers on suntan lotion. In winter, she wears layers, and tight-fitting gloves, open at the finger tips, so she … Continue reading

Published in -October 2007, Arts & Entertainment

A groundbreaking venture in Dove Creek

Print this articleAg community hopeful that biodiesel plant will bring new prosperity The saffron sunflowers that garnished the makeshift stage outside Dove Creek, Colo., on Sept. 8 represented more than beauty or even prosperity. They were symbols of a better, … Continue reading

Published in -October 2007

‘Economic blackmail’ fueling power-plant push?

Print this article  Building the controversial Desert Rock power plant to boost the Navajo Nation’s economy doesn’t make sense when there are cleaner options for generating energy, says the author of the critically acclaimed “Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind … Continue reading

Published in -October 2007

Is this any way to treat your ‘best friend’?

Print this articleI got my first dog shortly after I learned to walk, and would waddle around with the fat little puppy named, for the obvious reason, “Blackie” clutched to my chest. So we grew up together, and became closer … Continue reading

Published in -September 2007, David Long

Tiny Ophir works to preserve its beauty

Print this articleThe residents of Ophir, Colo., love their mountain views so much they’ve managed over the years to turn prime real estate into permanent open space. Now the Ophir Valley Project is seeking to preserve another 1,200 acres of … Continue reading

Published in -September 2007

County says maybe, Utes say no to Desert Rock

Print this article  The Montezuma County commissioners refused last month to either oppose or support the controversial Desert Rock power plant, opting instead to give it a complicated maybe. But also in August, the proposed 1,500-megawatt, coal-burning plant got a … Continue reading

Published in -September 2007

So many ways to die: Despite grim topic, ‘Death’ proves compulsively readable By Gail Binkly

Print this article Somewhere back in high school, Chris Becker missed the lecture in English class about not picking too broad a topic for your term paper. How else to explain the immensity of the subject he tackles in his … Continue reading

Published in -September 2007, Arts & Entertainment

Not-so-happy trails? A proposed travel plan for the Mancos-Cortez area draws diametrically opposed comments

Print this article  How should trails and travel be managed on public lands in the Mancos- Cortez area? The public has plenty of answers — many of them diametrically opposed. That much is clear from comments received on a proposal … Continue reading

Published in -September 2007

The public’s right to know: E-mails, open meetings among isues that prompt conflicts

Print this articleMumbled conversations. Executive sessions for questionable purposes. Workshops where more gets done than in formal meetings. E-mail exchanges in which decisions are tacitly made. There are many ways elected officials can skirt public scrutiny, if they choose to. … Continue reading

Published in -September 2007

Desperate GOP woos outed commie

Print this articleI recently got a letter from the Republican National Committee asking for money. (Me, an outed commie, being solicited by the GOP! What’s next? An appeal from Jerry Falwell? Oh, wait, I forgot . . . ) Anyway, … Continue reading

Published in -August 2007, David Long

More controversy over Canyons of the Ancients

Print this articleOn the eve of the appearance of the long-awaited management plan for Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, Montezuma County commissioners are voicing concern about the future of grazing on the monument – and, in a broad sense, … Continue reading

Published in -August 2007

Fatally flawed: ‘Sicko’ shows the holes in our health-care system

Print this articleBack in the 1990s, I heard one of Rush Limbaugh’s radio shows in which he took a call from a woman concerned about health care. She said her friend had full health coverage because she was married to … Continue reading

Published in -August 2007, Arts & Entertainment

Desert Rock hearings draw hundreds

Print this articleIf Bureau of Indian Affairs officials truly expected only technical comments from the public regarding the draft environmental impact statement for the Desert Rock power plant, they must have been disappointed. What they got was a little bit … Continue reading

Published in -August 2007

Cortez, county may be headed to court

Print this articleRelations between Montezuma County and the city of Cortez — which have been strained for years — may be headed for an all-time low. The city is planning to sue the county over $48,000 city officials believe they … Continue reading

Published in -August 2007

Commissioners urge clean-up of old power plants

Print this articleThe Montezuma County commissioners have mixed feelings about the proposed Desert Rock power plant. While the La Plata County commissioners, Durango City Council, and Cortez City Council have passed resolutions opposing the 1,500-megawatt plant planned in New Mexico, … Continue reading

Published in -August 2007

An eyewitness recounts the trauma of the shooting

Print this articleEditor’s note: This interview with an eyewitness to the shooting of Cortez Police Officer Dale Claxton was conducted in 2000 but never published until now. The witness at the time asked that her identity be kept secret, so … Continue reading

Published in -July 2007

Unsolved mysteries: The discovery of the remains of Jason McVean leaves many questions

Print this article  Related: An eyewitness recounts the trauma of the shooting And then there were three. The last major piece of a 9-year-old puzzle fell into place last month with the discovery of the remains of the third fugitive … Continue reading

Published in -July 2007

The legacy of uranium: Cummins’ first novel explores the mining era

Print this articleWhen Houghton Mifflin accepted author Ann Cummins’ short story collection, “Red Ant House,” for publication, her editor offered her a two-book contract. For the second book, she would write a novel. “I had no idea how to do … Continue reading

Published in -July 2007, Arts & Entertainment

What isn’t in the 1,600-page Desert Rock EIS: An analysis of the draft document

Print this article  Related: Power Play: Desert Rock’s foes remain stubborn as public hearings loom In reviewing the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the proposed Desert Rock coal-fired power plant, I was struck by what was left out of … Continue reading

Published in -July 2007

Power play: Desert Rock’s foes remain stubborn as public hearings loom

Print this article  Related: What isn’t in the 1,600-page Desert Rock EIS The desert sun beats hard upon a pair of small trailers, a pressed-wood building, and a Porta-Potty sitting on a rise, surrounded by acres and acres of sparse … Continue reading

Published in -July 2007

‘As the River Flows’: A rafting-season chronicle

Print this article  Dolores river group seeks solutions On March 14, the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) hosted its annual public meeting on McPhee Dam and Reservoir. As the meeting was not well advertised, only two members of the public attended. … Continue reading

Published in -June 2007

Dolores river group seeks solutions

Print this article   ‘As the River Flows’: A rafting-season chronicle For the past three years, a dedicated group of community leaders has been meeting to discuss ways to manage the Dolores River that will benefit fish, wildlife and human … Continue reading

Published in -June 2007

New Mancos mayor ready to shoulder responsibility

Print this article  “Literally, one minute I was resigning as a town board trustee, the next, they were addressing me as ‘Your Honor’ – it was weird.” That is how Michele Black describes suddenly becoming mayor of Mancos, Colo. We … Continue reading

Published in -June 2007

Slavery in the southwest

Print this articleIn mid-February 1862, Confederates clashed with the Union Army on the Rio Grande near Fort Craig, New Mexico Territory, in the Battle of Valverde. The Confederates claimed victory, and took control of Albuquerque and Santa Fe. At the … Continue reading

Published in -June 2007

Impacts of fuel costs are felt across the Four Corners

Print this article  Petroleum is the lifeblood of the national economy. When fuel prices rise, everyone is affected. But the impacts hit particularly hard in places such as the Four Corners, where driving long distances is a way of life. … Continue reading

Published in -June 2007

Playing catch during the release

Print this articleThere’s pot-hunting on public lands, and then there’s pot-hunting on public lands. One kind is the looting of ancient crockery artifacts from the plethora of Anasazi ruins across the Four Corners. The other kind involved BLM lawenforcement rangers … Continue reading

Published in -June 2007

Time to transcend group identities

Print this articleFor those who have been vacationing on the moon, the Don Imus radio/TV show is no more. And while he deserved to be canned for the offensive and nonsensical remarks he made, the whole episode also raises some … Continue reading

Published in -May 2007, David Long

Shelter from the storm – a success story

Print this articleCovered with drywall mud from a hard day of hanging sheetrock, Darrin Blue Eyes arrived at the Bridge Shelter and De-Tox Center in Cortez soon after it opened one chilly evening last month. A Navajo man who jokingly … Continue reading

Published in -May 2007

Paying attention to details

Print this article  In the early 1990s, Cortez artist Jerry Cohoe didn’t consider the pencil a serious drawing medium. His pencil was a tool to sketch plans for paintings and prints. Then he spotted pencil drawings at an art show. … Continue reading

Published in -May 2007, Arts & Entertainment

The battle over motorized recreation in San Juan County, Utah

Print this articleA canyon wren flutes a series of delicate notes, a descending scale, into the soft air. In a deep pool beneath a pink boulder, speckled fish dart in and out of shadows. A raven swoops low, looking for … Continue reading

Published in -May 2007

Do ‘family affairs’ matter to the religious right?

Print this articleRemember family values? You know, all those traditional straitlaced behaviors embraced and espoused by the political and religious right during the last several elections that made them uniquely fit to steer the ship of state? Things like honesty, … Continue reading

Published in -April 2007, David Long