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Monday, October 3, 2011

Up Bear Creek / 29sep50011

One of Norwood’s legendary
ranching elders takes her leave

DORA CORNFORTH SPOR … I had the good fortune to count Dora as a political colleague and a personal acquaintance/friend, although my hippie ways were an aberration that she tolerated more than embraced. And like most relationships, ours had its ups and downs … I recall being invited to ride with her in her carriage one Pioneer Day, although that was early on in my run as commissioner, when I’d managed to get rid of building codes in the west half of the county. Dora was a diehard Republican, and – all else aside -- less government was always better government to her way of thinking. Although she took on the Weed Advisory Board chairmanship with relish. And did serve as appointed chair of the first Wright’s Mesa Planning Group in the mid-Nineties, a ground-breaking process that ended in flames – not because of any failing in her leadership, but mostly because of a serious structural defect. Anyone who showed up could participate and vote on issues. So, after two years of work by Dora and 20 or so folks, a crowd of 200 showed up and shot down all the group’s carefully crafted recommendations … I got to know her as a founding member of the Weed Advisory Board, which morphed into the County’s award-winning Weed Department under the able leadership of Sheila Grother. But in the early days, the Weed Board ran the weed control program. And so there were many interesting discussions about weeds, treatment and budgets … Dora was always firm, in control, gracious but brooking no shenanigans. And she had a way of making even the biggest ego in the room toe her line … I appreciated the stylish way she dressed – western, but with a showy flair that made her stand out for the community leader she was … I always told her that she should have been county commissioner – she was a strong, reasonable and intelligent chair, with a hefty dose of common sense, in any group she led. She had a good feeling for what the West End of the county needed and wanted. But she didn’t mix with the east end crowd, and so wisely kept her political powder dry by not getting sparked into east end battles … I remember having tea and cookies in her living room. Her kindnesses showed through in spite of a sometimes rough demeanor. And her anonymous support for those in need was legendary. She’s the kind of charming Old West figure that could have been a character in a novel by Ivan Doig or Cormac McCarthy … Thank you for all your many contributions to our community, Dora. You will be missed … The Rev. Clint Perry wiped away a few tears, told some funny stories about “his friend,” and conducted a lovely graveside service last week at the Norwood Cemetery. Understated, unvarnished, funny, paradoxical, and heartful – just like Dora.

SMART METERS … There’s been some upset with a proposal by San Miguel Power Association to start installing smart meters in people’s homes and on their properties by next month. Wireless smart meters have generated huge controversies in California and British Columbia – emitting radiation and generating privacy concerns. But SMPA appears to be wanting to install digital smart meters – a much safer technology … Still, some concerns linger in the minds of the co-op’s owner/consumers. Hopefully, SMPA can respond to those concerns and gain public confidence that what they’re doing is aiding us, our health and the environment. In these times of technological advancement, when sometimes unsafe technology is loosed upon unsuspecting citizens, it’s incumbent upon SMPA to ensure that its public feels confident that digital smart meters will “do no harm,” as well as make for a smarter grid.

RARE METALS … Come hear Dr. Jim Burnell of the Colorado Geological Survey speak about some of the critical and strategic metals in our surrounding mountains that are necessary for many of our alternative energy solutions … He will speak at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 5 in the public meeting room at the Wilkinson Library.

TED LIVELLI … Turns out I didn’t give Ted his due, and I got his job wrong at FilmFest … Craig Chapot said Ted had done some sound work for him back in ’78. Dean Rolley also said he’d done sound work for him at FF. Not as a projectionist (an elite group of folks), as I mistakenly said … Ah, be well, Ted, and come visit us again.



Roofbeam. Brooms. Flutes
& drums. Rise & deliver
the He to the She
& the She to the He

Teresa & Jonathan go
walking the wed way
as One. And two, too
Also. Always. Alluvium

of the flow, fanning
across our hard peaks &
deep root cellars – the mud
they make of us --

joined as we are
in their spirit clan. Edge
of the mesa. Looking
south to the Wilsons

For this we gather
in ritual time
Hearts beating faster
than the speed of light


  1. Art - jolly good report - thanks for the good description of the woman who just passed. Very good tribute to her.

    Just met two other neat women of your communidad: Ronni and Amy at the SW Women in Conservation Luncheon at Randall Davey Audubon in Santa Fe last Friday.
    In solidarity,
    cc aka cirrelda

  2. nice to have wonderful strong women, liberal and conservative, in our communities... it balances out the dominating male energy of so much of this country...