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Friday, November 4, 2011

Up Bear Creek / 27oct50011

Mail-in Ballots & Instant Runoff Voting

ENDORSEMENTS … Shucks. Off-season elections are hard … Thank goodness for the mail-in ballot. Something my postal union Dad always championed (although I bet he might be cursing first-term Obama the way he cursed second-term Bush, given all that hasn’t happened – Guantanamo, Iraq, Afghanistan, job turnaround – and the little that has, thanks mostly to a dysfunctional split-party Congress) … I can see good arguments on both sides for and against the small state tax increase for education. I’ll probably vote for it, even though I pay for a public education system that I don’t use, preferring the Telluride Mountain School for my children, in spite of the added cost … And I must say that I really haven’t an opinion on the Norwood School Board elections. I’m just sad that Marty Hollinbeck threw in the towel, as she was a breath of fresh air at the Norwood School. And I hope she’ll stay involved, as one of my fellow Green Party members in the county … In Telluride’s municipal elections, it’s tricky for me since I know some of those running very well. Like my birth-twin David Oyster (Aug. 18. 1945) and activist Chris Myer – both of whom have been regulars at our ten-year-running noon Peace Walk down Colorado Avenue on the 11th of every month. Glad I don’t have to choose between those two, both of whom would be good mayors … Plus, I think Stu has done a fine job as mayor, winning the presidency of the Colorado Association of Ski Towns and managing to fairly represent one of the most intelligent (and fractious) communities on the Western Slope (To-Hell-U-Ride) … Thom Carnevale has also done well as an incumbent councilmember, and I love his column that keeps us abreast of the liberal side of the national argument … Eileen McGinley is an old friend and ally on many causes (although, like everyone, we disagree sometimes on some things). She’d be a good councilperson … Mark Buchsieb has always had the community at heart …  I think Benjamin Steenblik would make a great young person’s rep on council … And I just met Kristen Permakoff, who seems genuinely interested in contributing to the political discourse after 17 years here (how did we never meet?) … It’s a cliché, but in these times of government-bashing, it’s good to have a great slate of able citizens from many different perspectives running for elected office as potential representatives of the Town of Telluride … I’ve heard a lot of bad-mouthing of Instant Runoff Voting (and Aspen and Boulder have had some problems with the results), but it will be good to give this ballot innovation a local test drive. It seems to be one way to open the political process to multiple candidates in the face of a two-party lock on the electoral system in this country (although it may not work so well in non-partisan elections) … Oh, and don’t forget to put a stamp on your mail-in ballot – even voting isn’t free anymore.

NORWOOD … I just have to say, I’m sure loving Norwood these days. Our wonderful Uncompahgre Medical Clinic not only has a superb new sliding-fee dental wing, but it’s one of the state’s leaders in moving towards Behavioral Medicine … The Farmer’s Market was small this summer, but a great alternative to long-distance foods … Although I was out of town, I heard Wright’s Stuff fundraiser dinner was a great success … The whole community is proud of Robin Snyder’s award as Colorado Early Childhood Professional of the Year for her excellent work as Director and Lead Teacher of the Norwood Preschool (preschool education being a field I actually trained for in college) … Cheers to our Sheriff’s Office for the naming and capture of (most of) the bad guys & gals in the legal pot grow-op raid … Wonderful to see Wright’s Mesa ranchers get a third cutting of hay this year … Kudos to county poet laureate Ellen Metrick’s directing of a youth production of the Tempest at the Livery … And the list goes on…

ELEGY … “I am not among those fortunate enough to have called Michael Johnson a friend, although our relationship was always amicable. There were, however, two unusual aspects to our relationship. His daughter, Loren, and mine, Chanoane, were playmates when children. Loren would come down into the canyon to spend the night with us, or vice versa, as children often do. As a result, Michael and his wife, Bev, would invite me along on family camping trips to the canyons of the West End, when Wright’s Mesa was beginning to feel the heavy hand of winter, and my daughter was off in the Front Range with her mother … That Loren could come down to spend the night was unusual in light of the more unique aspect of our relationship. You see, I live in a house that Michael built. He did not build it as a spec house, but as a place for himself and his family. He and Bev lived in a small attached shed, now a mud room, while he build the rest of the house. It was the early ‘80s and Michael was a contractor. Unfortunately his business came upon hard times (my understanding is that it was due to circumstances beyond his control), and he was forced to sell his home to meet his financial obligations … I had loved the place from afar and put in the fest offer I could muster without ever setting foot. Some Texans outbid me by about 10%. It was money for which I knew Michael and his family had a great need, yet I got the home! Michael’s comment was, “I didn’t build the place to be a hunting lodge for some Texans. I built it to be the home for a little girl.” … He got his wish. I raised Chanoane here in a home we both dearly love, and I am to this day grateful for the understanding heart of Michael Johnson.” – Jim Rosenthal of Naturita Canyon


Now That You
Think you

Let Go

-Jack Mueller
Log Hill Village

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