|Friday, Aug 22, 2003 content presented by Telluride Today .com||About The Watch|
Town of Telluride
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Town of Telluride
Council Accepts MV Funds for Refrigeration of Ice Rink
By Liz Lance
Telluride Parks and Recreation Director Rick Herrington appeared before the Telluride Town Council on Tuesday, answering questions about the costs of completing construction of the Town Park Pavilion and the cost of operations after it opens in February. Council then unanimously and formally accepted a gift of $300,000 from Mountain Village Metro Services to help pay for refrigeration for the Hanley Ice Rink.
When the pavilion was first proposed two years ago, refrigerated ice was an option that voters were told could be added at a future date. It is being installed now, however, thanks to the contribution from Metro Services, supplemented further by donations from the Andy Hanley Recreational Fund. Former Mountain Village Mayor Andy Hanley died in 2001.
Refrigeration is expected to extend the skating season by as much as 10 weeks and increase the safety of the ice. The operating costs of the refrigerated ice rink are estimated at $5,000 a month for one year, leaving a $61,000 deficit between projected revenue and expenses.
To cover that deficit, council on Tuesday discussed raising user’s fees for the new rink. Hockey players paid on average $125 per person last year in user fees, and those fees are expected to double this year. But even at $250 per person, the user fees in Telluride will be much less than the regional average of $500 per person. Councilmember Jenny Russell said she would like to see the hockey team user fees reflect the regional average because the costs “should be covered by the people benefiting from it, not the town as a whole.”
Overall, members of council and members of the public in attendance on Tuesday said they are pleased with the progress made so far on the pavilion and rink, and the decision to accept the money from Mountain Village.
“This is a fantastic public/private partnership,” Mayor John Steel said. “The big problem is yet to begin, and that is who’s going to use it when.”
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Town of Telluride
1986 Sewer Agreement No Impediment to Condemnation, Judge Rules
Town’s Motion to Dismiss Granted
By Liz Lance
The San Miguel Valley Corporation has lost a round in the heated battle over the Valley Floor last week, when District Court Judge Charles Greenacre dismissed a legal action filed by SMVC in August 2002 alleging that the Town of Telluride’s condemnation action to acquire the Valley Floor was in violation of a 1986 sewer agreement.
The town originally entered into the 1986 with the Cordillera corporation, a predecessor corporation to SMVC. Part of that agreement stipulates that the town would not prevent the development of any Cordillera property by withholding sewage treatment services. In 1995, the town and the Mountain Village Metropolitan District executed a second agreement stating the same thing. SMVC’s August 2002 complaint accused the town of anticipating breaching that contract because the town was intending to file for condemnation on a portion of its land.
District Court Judge Charles Greenacre dismissed SMVC’s complaint and granted the town’s motion for summary judgment on the basis that the original agreements never prohibited the town from exercising its condemnation powers; the decision to proceed with condemnation does not assume an intent to withhold sewage services; and that in the 15 years since the agreement was implemented, SMVC has not proposed a development site, nor requested any sewage services.
Furthermore, Judge Greenacre awarded the town its costs, which include filing and copying fees, and opened the door for the town to pursue a claim for attorneys’ fees. The town specifically asked for attorneys’ fees in its motion on the basis that this lawsuit was frivolous.
Beware of Computer Worms, Even if They Appear Helpful
The Blaster Worm has reached Telluride. It is, says Ken Olson of Etech, the one of the biggest threats to computer systems since the Nimda and Code Red worms. His business alone has seen about 25 local computers infected by the virus in the past week and a half.
The Blaster Worm exploits a weakness in Windows XP and 2000, and causes the system to crash repeatedly, making it, in effect, unusable, although it is not known to delete any files. The Blaster worm can infect a system when it is connected to the Internet, and does not require a file download to infect.
If a computer is infected, the user needs to use a fix tool from their anti-virus software and then install a patch which is available online at windowsupdate.microsoft.com.
As if that were not enough to be concerned about, the Welchia worm, which appeared on Wednesday, spreads the same way, but, in fact, attempts to fix the damage done by the Blaster worm, making it seem benevolent. Security experts warn against even these benign sounding worms, however, because they still look for vulnerable systems, and more importantly, eat up valuable bandwidth.
Town of Telluride
Council Eliminates Conditions and Sends Airline Tax Question to the Voters
By Liz Lance
The Telluride Town Council resolved its last doubts on Tuesday and sent a relatively simple question to Telluride voters to impose a new two percent tax on food and lodging to support the airline guarantee program. Many local hotels and restaurants already charge a two percent “resort fee” that is donated to the program. The tax, if approved, would supplant the voluntary fee.
A similar taxing measure will appear on the Mountain Village ballot in November. Implementation of the tax in Telluride is contingent on the passage of the Mountain Village measure.
But that is the only serious stipulation that council decided to attach to the Telluride ballot question.
After much debate, council members agreed to simplify the language of the ballot question and exclude four conditions that they were considering. They were that the Telluride Ski and Golf Company commit to an annual contribution of at least $500,000 to the air services program; that Telski continue to assume full responsibility for existing airline guarantee program debt (currently at $1.69 million); that the real estate community generate a minimum annual contribution to the program; and that after Jan. 1, 2005, no town funds other than this tax’s revenue be contributed to the program.
Jim Wear, Executive Vice President of Telski, insisted that Telski is not trying to get out of any obligation to contribute to the airline guarantee program, but said there was no reason to include Telski’s commitment on the ballot question. Even though Councilmember Jenny Russell argued that voters might look at a side agreement with suspicion, the council decided to trust Telski’s commitment and leave the condition off the ballot.
A more contentious issue was whether the real estate community should be held to a minimum annual contribution to the program. Many real estate agents spoke against the inclusion of that condition on the ballot, some arguing that requiring a contribution from real estate agents would be discriminatory and would create a disparity between the realtors and the rest of the business community. While a tax on food and lodging would be passed on to a business’s customers, any contribution from the real estate community would be out-of-pocket, they said.
Councilmembers Russell and Mark Buchsieb both argued that the three percent real estate transfer tax that already exists is a sufficient contribution to the town from that community. RETT is one of the biggest sources of town revenues.
“The transfer tax has been the engine that goes into everything we’re passionate about,” Buchsieb said, referring specifically to open space funding.
Mayor John Steel, who in past council meetings has said he would not support the tax measure without the real estate contribution, admitted that he had done a 180 degree turn on the issue and now supported the exclusion of that condition.
“I have been assured by the real estate community that this is on their plate to work on a different form of end-user tax,” Steel explained, although he challenged the brokers to contribute something on their own. “The public feels this [tax measure] should be as broad based as possible and the real estate community should step up.”
Council decided to leave the last proposed condition stipulating that none of the town’s general fund be committed to the air services program after Jan.1, 2005, off the ballot question after hearing persuasive arguments from the public regarding the need to have a contingency plan if the travel and tourism sector experiences dramatic downturns in the future.
Local realtor Henry Lystad told council members that it’s hard to predict the future. “There are dramatic swings in travel and tourism. We’re making our best guess that we won’t need future money, but don’t put the nail in the coffin.”
After hashing out the details of the ballot question, only one councilmember, Hilary White, voted against forwarding the question to the ballot, arguing that the town was losing track of its long-term vision, and getting swept up in the terrorism fear factor of the past few years.
“I have been swept up in the past, but now I am speaking from my heart and for the people who are very opposed to this,” she said, calling the airline guarantee program a “disgusting corporate subsidy.”
A cutting-edge study of acid rock drainage in the Ophir Valley received a financial boost this week, when the U.S. Forest Service announced it will contribute an additional $47,000 to the project.
The contribution to the ongoing Howard Fork ARD Source Interception Study brings to $70,000 total Forest Service funds dedicated to the study. Acid rock drainage is the acidic, metal-contaminated water that flows from some abandoned mine openings and portals.
"The Forest Service has a lot of land in the Ophir basin that is inter-mixed with private land," said Linda Lanham, the Forest Service's abandoned mine land/haz mat/minerals manager based in Delta. "We want to restore the watershed in the Howard Fork Valley to its pre-mining character."
The project is a multi-year attempt to identify strategies to reduce acid rock drainage that is flowing from mines in the Howard Fork drainage surrounding Ophir. Unique to the study is an attempt to determine if ground water, which is flowing through and out of old mine tunnels, can be intercepted before it has a chance to enter mine workings and become contaminated.
The adit in Chapman Gulch and the Carbonero mine adit are both at 11,400 feet, Lanham explained, "and we are trying to see if they are tied to any source of water" from the neighboring high basins, such as Bridal Veil and Bear Creek, which lie to the north of the Ophir Valley.
To do this field crews have been in the Ophir Valley for the past two summers, "collecting water samples from the adits and testing them to see if the surface water and adit water have the same chemistry," Lanham said. "More water is coming out of the adits than is coming in to the basin from snowmelt and rainfall. They have done the math and something else is feeding" those draining adits, "either from Bridal Veil Basin or lower in the ridge."
To test the chemistry of the water field crews sample for isotopes.
"They call it fingerprinting the water," said Trust for Land Restoration executive director Pat Willits. TLR, a land conservation nonprofit that specializes in protecting reclaimed mined lands, is leading the project. Also a partner in the project is landowner Glen Pauls, who contributed $6,000 to the study.
"The idea is to code the water coming out of Lena Basin, Lewis Lakes, Blue Lakes, and determine if the water from those location is showing up in the Howard Fork," Willits said. "People like Eric Jacobsen, Bill Wenger and Scott Smith think the Carbonero probably connects with other mine tunnels that might go halfway to Telluride." Because the Carbonero and Chapman adits exit the mountain at 11,400 feet, "there is not a lot of mountain" above them, so "where does that water come from?" Moreover, that the adits don't dry up in the summer, even during last summer's particularly dry conditions, gives credence to the idea that the source for the adits is groundwater stored in adjacent high basins.
The additional money provided by the Forest Service will make it possible for TLR to undertake the isotope sampling. If fingerprinting shows that water from basins north of the Howard Fork is the same as that draining into the Howard Fork, TLR will then try to determine ways to intercept or at least slow down that water movement. In addition, the funding will help support ongoing and expanded monitoring and sampling in the Howard Fork.
Diverting uncontaminated groundwater before it is contaminated in the mining tunnels is an excellent alternative to conventional clean-up methods. In a traditional clean up (such as that undertaken by Idarado in Savage, Marshall and neighboring basins) contaminated water is run through a treatment process. Not only is the method extremely expensive, but federal water law forces the landowner to accept the responsibility of running the treatment plant virtually forever, regardless of cost. No landowner wants to take on that liability, not the Forest Service or the private landowner.
Only two other sites in Colorado are experimenting with the new technique, Willits said.
Total cost of the study will be $150,000.
The San Miguel River Restoration Assessment, a study of restoration opportunities in the San Miguel watershed that was completed in 2001, identified the Howard Fork as one of five top restoration needs in the entire watershed. In May 2001, just after the restoration assessment was complete, the San Miguel Watershed Coalition and TLR convened the Howard Fork Roundtable, a gathering of local property owners, the Town of Ophir, San Miguel County, the EPA and state agencies such as the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Colorado Division of Minerals and Geology. Several projects were launched as a result of that meeting.
Last summer, the Forest Service redirected mine adit water away from the Carribeau tailings pile, west of Ophir, next to the Howard Fork. This summer, Camille Price with the Colorado Department of Public Health, and local property owner Scott Smith have developed a plan to pull the Carribeau tailings away from the river and stabilize and cap them. Clean-up funds that were previously unavailable have been secured and some work may begin this fall.
Meanwhile, Leigh Sullivan, on behalf of the Watershed Coalition, has been maintaining monitoring and sampling stations throughout the Howard Fork basin as part of two other ongoing studies, a stormwater chemistry project being conducted by the USGS, and an air quality/rainfall chemistry project which has been supported by EPA, USFS, San Miguel County, Town of Ophir, and the Institute for Alpine and Arctic Research.
As Meth Production Mounts, So Do Lethal Residues
With methamphetamine-lab activity mounting in the Four Corners region – just last month, a speeding stop in northern New Mexico netted a $400,000 cache of the drug -- the Seventh Judicial District Attorney’s Office will host a seminar, dubbed Clandestine Laboratory Awareness, at the Fox Cinema Theater next week.
“Is there a meth lab in your neighborhood?” reads the seminar’s promotional brochure. “The increase in the production of methamphetamine in homes, apartments, garages, storage units, motels and automobiles has created a hidden threat of hazardous waste sites in communities across the United States. Every neighborhood is potentially at risk.”
In Colorado, the number of federal prison sentences for meth-related offenses is roughly twice the national average; seizures of meth labs in the state have skyrocketed from roughly 25 in 1997 to nearly 500 in 2001.
Nationally, over the last decade, meth-lab busts have grown by nearly 3000 percent. “Typically, the waste is buried in the back yard,” reports the district attorney’s office, or “tossed down the storm sewer, into the creek or into the trash.”
More and more, rural and wilderness areas being used as dump sites for the toxic residues of meth production as well. Every one pound of meth creates six pounds of hazardous-material wastes.
As the meth trade grows: “The dangers associated with illegal drug laboratories pose a significant threat to a variety of professionals beyond the emergency response committee,” explains Leanne Martin, who has organized the daylong seminar for Thursday, Aug. 28, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., at the Fox Theater Center, in Montrose.
San Miguel County Sheriff Bill Masters reports that to date “we have not found a meth lab in the county.” Still, as use of meth increases, so does dumping of its haz-mat byproduct, to the extent that “a number of the apartments” and other sites now being used for meth production “themselves become haz-mat sites.”
Gases often linger in meth “box labs,” operations so small that all the equipment packs up neatly into a cardboard box.
The State of Montana now prints brochures for distribution to farmers, ranchers, hunters, fisherman and anyone else who might stumble upon a meth lab, or the remains of a meth lab, and expose themselves to health hazards from the poisonous gas and liquid byproducts of meth manufacture.
Anyone can make meth, using such everyday ingredients as pseudoephedrine, sulfur, battery acid and iodine; according to Masters, recipes abound on the internet.
But while in the past meth manufacturers might have picked rural areas because they offered isolation for “the obnoxious odor” that accompanies cooking the meth at high temperatures, a new cold-manufacturing process has led to a new problem.
Cold-processed meth “doesn’t release that much of a smell,” Masters reports, and so “people can manufacture it in motel rooms or condos, the kinds of places you rent with kitchen facilities.” Residual lethal fumes and gases can now turn anywhere, from dump sites to rental rooms, into haz-mat sites.
In Denver, a Dept. of Transportation employee was disabled for a month after exposure to meth fumes while cleaning a trash container. In central Montana, a sheriff’s deputy exposed to meth gases six months ago still suffers from respiratory problems. Montana and Colorado are among the several states that made it illegal to expose children to meth labs, effective July 1.
Of course, as Masters, a vocal and persistent opponent of the so-called War on Drugs, points out: “The real issue about the drug is that anybody can go to Wal-Mart and buy all the supplies they need. It’s perfect for drug abusers and dealers, because you don’t have to go to Mexico” to get it. “The supply of this drug is limitless. You can never control the supply of this drug.”
He points out, however, that meth “seems to be popular mostly among white blue-collar workers,” as opposed to “crack, the substance that really hit the inner city African-American community.”
Meth users, Masters adds “get almost instantly addicted.” Once addicted, he adds: “People say it takes six to eight months before they can appreciate or enjoy anything pleasurable. It takes hold of the pleasure center of the brain.”
Center is located at 27 Cascade Ave., in Montrose. There is no cost to
participants. Call 240-4481 to reserve a space.
Long Awaited Ophir Road Improvements to Start Soon
Road construction doesn’t get more exciting than this. The Ophir Road, also know as Country Road D65, will soon be getting a dramatic facelift, which involves dynamite and rock removal.
Crews will begin working on the intersection where the road joins Hwy. 145, as well as a quarter-mile stretch of the road that now includes a sharp, blind turn, on Sept. 2 a bit later than the anticipated start time of early August.
The intersection is considered dangerous as drivers turning from Road D65 south onto Hwy. 145 cannot see cars in the south-bound land that are approaching from the north.
According to San Miguel County Road Superintendent Mike Horner, this project has been in the works for six years, but was delayed while the department sought the proper permits from the Forest Service, and undertaking necessary archaeological studies to ensure the road construction would not affect any historical buildings or artifacts in the area.
Telluride Gravel, which has been awarded the contract, will improve the intersection so it can accommodate larger trucks and realign the sharp turn, improve the drainage and add a retaining wall and guardrails. Horner said that although a quarter-mile stretch is a relatively short distance, the work is intensive because of the amount of rock that will be removed.
Horner also said the department is trying to retain the aesthetics of the area by using natural rocks or stacked boulders in the retaining wall, and a rusted guardrail similar to the one on Keystone Hill. In spite of the effort to make the newly realigned intersection feel like its surroundings, some local residents are concerned that straightening the road will affect the character of the now-wooded and slightly concealed entrance to the Ophir Valley.
The work should be finished by Nov. 17. In the meantime, traffic will be diverted to the south entrance to Ophir that passes through Silver Bell mill site on County Rd. D64.
Next year the department hopes to complete work on the second turn on Road D65.
The Man Behind the Mudd Butts Masks
Stasiuk Enjoys his 23rd ‘Academy Blitz’
Photos and Story by Brett Schreckengost
Sculptor, theater artist and art educator Mike Stasiuk skillfully slaps another layer of paper maché on a giant ant-legged abdomen. He is surrounded by the bustling activity of the Telluride Academy’s Mudd Butts youth theater group as they make their final preparations for Friday night’s opening show. With only two days left Stasiuk and his helpers face the looming task of completing the complex costume props that will accompany the actors during their three successive night performances on the Sheridan Opera House stage.
“We might be halfway there,” Stasiuk says as he continues his work on the oversized insect. “Potentially we could keep working non-stop until Friday night.”
Stasiuk and his team create about forty original, wearable art objects for each annual Mudd Butts performance. Stars of the show in their own right, the objects take the form of costumes, masks, puppets and props. In what has become a tradition, as well as an integral part of Telluride Academy’s financing, many of the objects are auctioned off following the final Mudd Butts performance.
Embarking on his twenty-third “Academy Blitz,” as he describes it, Stasiuk and his team show no sign of slowing down as they feverishly apply paint, paper, glue and glitter to a mass of monkey masks, Disco Ants and ten-headed Hindu Demons.
When he’s not in Telluride or traveling around the globe with Mudd Butts International, Mike maintains a working studio and teaches elementary school twice a week in Portsmouth, N.H. Stasiuk earned a fine arts degree from the University of Michigan but he developed his unique form of playful art after art school.
“I was going there to be a painter,” he said, “but I reached a point where I wanted to have fun and find some sort of personal starting point for my work.”
As a collector of old toys, tools, kitchen utensils and general nostalgia Stasiuk incorporates these elements into a variety of figures, marionettes and pull-toys. His toy-like figurative objects of human and animal forms usually feature moving parts and joints like a flapping jaw or a wagging tail. Ranging in size from Barbie Doll stature to a towering seven foot giant, the pieces are meant to be interacted with on levels that go beyond just observation and interpretation.
Stasiuk constructs cartoon-like figures from an array of found objects, like his “Lobster Marionette” made from a baseball shin guard, football shoulder pad parts, a child’s boat, a ping-pong paddle handle, shoe stretcher knobs, bowling pins, a hockey stick, coat hangers, game pieces, rhythm sticks, string, chains, and screw eyes. Random discarded objects take on personality in their new arrangements, just begging to be played with by young and old. Stasiuk’s creations are regularly shown at the Clark Gallery, one of Boston’s leading galleries where his mixed-media pieces fetch as much as six thousand dollars apiece.
Each year Stasiuk looks forward to his two-and-a-half week Mudd Butts stint in Telluride when he can work on “more of the fun stuff,” far away from his Portsmouth studio.
“I started doing this as a way of taking the art training and doing something that felt more like fooling around,” he says. “And the sensibility of fooling around is what I can bring back to the found-objects sculpture that I do as my gallery thing. There’s a dialogue going on between the two different ways of working that really enriches both.”
Normally viewed from a distance, theatrical props don’t usually require the same finish detailing, as do gallery items. Mudd Butts props however, get a little more attention to detail because they are destined to move from stage to auction to home where one might be put them on display.
“The auction has kind of raised the bar for the quality of the objects, so we try to maintain a craftsmanship standard that allows them to be seen both close up and onstage,” says Stasiuk.
This year’s Mudd Butts show is based on the Indian verse epic Ramayana, an ancient story that features a challenging array of complicated “prop-stumes” ranging from a Shiva on a stick to a trio of white Disco Ants. The intricacies and minute details of Hindu and Indian art has made this year’s outfitting even more demanding that usual, according to Stasiuk.
“It’s difficult to improve on what’s been done traditionally, so simplifying everything has been a big part of the task,” he says.
Each of one of the demon headdresses is adorned with a gold leaf-like finish, a multitude of faux gemstones, and painted with henna inscriptions. It will take a total of six actors with four hand puppets to animate the fierce ten-headed demon Ramamnan. Stasiuk’s parent-helpers, Judy Gluckstern and Lisa Barlow put the finishing touches on the last few heads with a bottle of Elmer’s in one hand and a pile of glitter in the next.
“I just get a kick out of helping out and learning from Mike,” says Barlow. “My daughter was in Mudd Butts years ago, but I keep coming back.”
Don’t miss Mike’s work starring in the show this weekend at the Sheridan Opera House beginning on Friday night, 7:30 p.m. The auction immediately follows Sunday night’s performance (around 9:30 p.m.). Although show tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for kids, the auction is free and open to anyone interested in attending. Mudd Butts tickets can be purchased by calling the Telluride Academy at 728-5311 or online at <www.telluridetickets.com>.
Adventures of Three Fun Guys High in the Forest Above Telluride
Three Fungi Sit Down in a Bar and Order a Beer…
By Brett Schreckengost
Big snaps his cell phone from his hip-clip, suspiciously checking the caller-ID on the camouflaged-custom Nokia before answering.
“Guido, you’re late. What gives?” he barks.
“Any time you can get it together, come on over. OK?” He returns the phone to his belt and heads over to the tool shed, where he picks up a wicker picnic basket and loads it up with a few paper bags.
“Paper, not plastic, mind you,” he points out, adding to the basket his trusty Buckmaster knife, a small ostrich-hair bristle brush, a safety kit and a few beers.
The windowless Economizer van is already running when Guido finally gets to Big’s riverside condo, carrying a similar yet less refined kit under his arm.
Guido also brings a friend. “This is Jackson Ho’ Joe. He’s gonna tag along today…. if that’s alright,” he says, hesitantly.
Big, already less than happy about the time frame, grudgingly lets the newcomer into the van.
On one condition: “Guido, Get the blindfold or he’s out.” The threesome heads south into the spruce forests high above the Telluride valley, Big spinning a few circles at a few spots along the dirt road, just in case Jackson Ho’ Joe musters any sense of direction from the back seat of the coach.
“You can take someone to your secret mushroom patches, but you can never under any circumstance tell them how to get there!” he explains.
“That’s the fungi code. Besides, he’s a real-estate agent. He’ll never come back up here again.” Ignoring Guido’s banter, Big focuses on the winding road and the task at hand, which, if his carefully spun plan proves spot on, as it usually does, involves harvesting baskets-full of the choice-edible mushrooms showing themselves in the forests this mushroom season.
The monsoon July and August weather, combined with the proximity of Mars and last night’s mushroom metaphor dream left no doubt in his mind that the Boletes or (Boletus Edulis) and Chanterelles or (Cantharellus cibarius) would make an early showing this year. Truth be told, it was Guido’s sighting of a certain ’shroomer’s BMW motorcycle parked along the highway Wednesday that spurred a search so early in the season. BMW-‘shroomer embarks on solo mushroom missions only, with the help of years of experience and a Global Positioning System for precise pinpointing of secret patches. He never comes back with and empty basket.
Eager to be the first in the search for caps and stems, Big is determined to bring the Boletes home in the grandest of fashions. For a moment his thoughts drift back to a springtime morel mission, when he and Guido staggered out of the burn forest empty-handed after 11-hour search combing the ash covered forest floor. Dehydrated, exhausted and covered head to toe in black soot, that one time the duo was forced to admit defeat, and go home skunked, well after dark.
“It’s just not gonna happen this time,” Big mutters to himself as he tucks the van into an alley of aspen at his top-secret honey-hole mushroom picking grounds.
Guido slides open the door for Jackson Ho’ Joe and takes off his blindfold.
“Hey, isn’t that Lizard Head?” asks Joe, pointing through the trees “ And isn’t that…?” “No, that’s Needle Rock,” counter Big. “Just keep your eyes on the ground, Bubba. You’re not gonna find any fungi up in the sky.”
The hunters gather their gear and head off slowly, scattering into the dense spruce. Moving in precision, close to the ground at a crawl, Guido pauses to smear a thumbful of organic San Juan mud under each eye, a gladiator heading to battle. He believes that the native soil smear is the key to unlocking the magical mushroom barrier that can render them invisible to mere mortals.
“Come to papa,” he murmurs – and sure enough, he’s the first hunter to hoot out a victory call. His cohorts who come running with knifes in hand.
“Whatcha got there?” Big grills him. “A coupl’a chanterelles? Not quite enough for an omelet, though.”
Guido stays with his less than thrilling discovery; his compatriots head back to their stagger spots. Methodically, Guido brushes each speck of soil from the thumb-sized, apricot-scented delicacies, then drops them into his brown paper shopping bag.
Just beyond the ridge Big freezes in his tracks, eyeing a familiar sight in off in the distance. Boletes, lots of them, popping up through the carpet of spruce needles like a bunch of submerged basketballs. “The mother lode!” he whispers to himself, stealthily heading toward the fields of joy. Careful not to cut too deep, he harvests the fruiting bodies with the Buckmaster; carefully, like eggs from a golden goose, he sets them gently into his wicker mushroom picker basket. The leather-colored Boletes range in size from tennis- to soft-ball, and are in perfect, unmolested shape.
Ecstatic, and far from his erstwhile partners, Big starts talking out loud as he slips deeper into the forest “A mushroom goes into a bar and sits down an orders a beer,” he’s saying to himself, remembering the cool Coors chilling in his basket. “The bartender says: ‘We don’t serve mushrooms here.’”
Content with his bagful of Boletes, Big cracks a cold one chuckling to himself.
“Why not? I’m a Fun-gi.”
Building Bridges Between East and West, Past and Present
Painter Robert Kelly at Scott White
Aug. 22, 5-8 p.m., Opening Reception
"It caught me off-guard," said painter Robert Kelly of last week's black out in New York City. Kelly was in the street moving a crate and had left his wallet and keys upstairs in his studio. When the electricity stopped, so did the elevator that accessed the studio and Kelly had to retrieve the wallet and keys by climbing up the emergency stairs.
He spent the dark evening driving around the city and enjoying the complete darkness and the "black canyons. Having been there for 9-11, it is a cool crowd when the city gets that way. Everybody is their best, magnanimous self." Folks were voluntarily directing traffic. Restaurants spilled out into the sidewalks and streets. "It was like the 19th century," said Kelly.
That Kelly would draw a parallel between a New York City black out and the 19th century is apropos of his paintings. A recent collection of his work will be shown at Scott White Contemporary Art, 317 E. Colorado Ave., Aug. 22 through Sept. 21. An opening reception will be held in the gallery, Friday, Aug. 22, 5-8 p.m. In addition Kelly is giving a lecture at the Ah Haa School for the Arts, sponsored by the gallery, Saturday Aug. 23 at 10 a.m.
A native of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Kelly describes his paintings as "visual mantras" that challenge the conventional concepts of history. Layers of ash, water and oil-based media covering collaged elements such as ledger sheets, book pages and archival newsprint are timelessly suspended in Kelly's paintings. By layering and scraping away color over these surface textures, Kelly is able to invoke a sense of antiquity. The large, highly textured and worn surfaces are exemplary of Kelly's technique – highly personal and indebted to tradition.
For Kelly, his family roots in Santa Fe (the Kelly family is one of the few Anglo families there that date back more than a century) and the East Coast artists and writers who visited them there created in him a "bridge between East and West. That is the same thing my work is doing, bridging the past and the present."
The Santa Fe of Kelly's childhood was a "richly counter-cultural place where mentorships were not with the conventional set." Kelly was mentored by the "usual renegades," he says, referring to writers and artists from the East Coast that frequented Santa Fe. "Back then there were a few old families here and we bonded up. All our parents got along and our grandparents lived as neighbors. Whenever they had costume parties," Robert and his brother (the photographer Tom Kelly who showed an exquisite collection of photographs of Sadus over Telluride MountainFilm weekend) “were invited.”
"I owe a lot to Santa Fe and my heritage. I think we had natural inclinations as kids" to paint and draw, he said. "We were involved in the arts and had deep friendships with art teachers. I took painting courses with parent's friends, but not with the models. They would always ask whether that little boy has seen a naked body," said Kelly, laughing.
Then in the 60s "the hippies came around and my dad would take us to the farms where the tipis were set up before they went to Woodstock. It was a wonderful backdrop."
Add to that rich backdrop, Kelly's mother who was from the East Coast and moved to Santa Fe where she married into the Kelly family, "and really became a Kelly."
In addition Kelly's father and grandfather, as well as Kelly, were educated at Harvard University, an icon of the East Coast establishment.
"There is a cultural bridge of being fluent in both worlds, of being bi-cultural and understanding the world out there, and yet I continue to be attached to the Hispanic and historical heritage of Santa Fe itself," he said.
That love of things different and sense of familiarity with things foreign has led Kelly to travel and live around the world. He has lived in Argentina and Italy, and traveled extensively in Europe, North Africa, the Near East and Nepal (his brother Tom lives in Kathmandu). He currently lives and works in New York City.
"I find familiarity in a culture and draw upon that in my work," he said, adding that his work is "becoming a little more formal and less referential, though this body of work does play with what is historical" and bringing it "into the present tense."
Kelly covers his canvases with Nepalese rice paper and creates a "palimpsest, which means to wipe away the historical evidence and what was once there. It is a perfect motif of my work and describes what my work tends to do. We make ourselves aware of history and what is a paradox and what is not a paradox. So in some ways the bridge between East and West, between Santa Fe and New York" is happening "in my work."
For more information on Kelly’s show and lecture call Scott White Contemporary Art at 369-0073.
Shopping for a Home with Toby Brown
At the Top of North Oak Street: a Human-Scale in a Traditional Neighborhood
By Elizabeth Covington
The lot has a storied past, says Toby Brown as we walk out of the red, one-room cabin at the top of North Oak Street.
"Nearly everybody in town claims to have lived here," says Brown grinning. Before Joan Child and Jerry Zaret built a house on the lot, which is sandwiched between Rich and Liz Salem ("it is nice to have a conservationist as your neighbor," says Brown) and Erik and Josephine Fallenius ("who are redoing the old shed next summer"), the lot housed several old sheds, none of which had electricity or running water, but were nevertheless constantly occupied.
A storied past notwithstanding, the falling down sheds and the lot have had facelift.
In 1999 Telluride residents Child and Zaret built a 3,500-square foot cream-colored house, designed by architect Scott Merrill, the town architect for Seaside, Florida, for two years before launching his own practice in Vero Beach in 1990. And while the lot has had a makeover (the red cabin was once one of those no electricity, no water sheds), the house fits into the North Oak Street neighborhood as well in its time as the sheds did in theirs.
In stride with the New Urbanism of Seaside ("a simple, insistent, commonsense plea for a return to traditional neighborhood planning," says Merrill of Seaside founders Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk's and Andre Duany's philosophy), the house, though not small, is simple and consistent with the pedestrian scale of the historic street. In addition, the house is set back from the street and hidden from view by the red cabin and old evergreen trees.
Moreover, the architect left "elbow room," Brown points out. Instead of cramming the main house against the cabin so as to maximize built square footage, the designer created a small slice of a garden, filled this year with blooming wildflowers and separating the main house from the cabin.
"North Oak Street is like beachfront property," Brown says to being his pitch to a prospective seller. "North Oak is A-plus. It has the most historic homes, and the highest price per square foot, $1,000." It is no surprise then that this house is listed for $3.5 million.
Wide steps made of wood planks colored a weathered black greet the visitor to main house and a set of three full-light windows open into a mudroom; the middle full-light window is the entry door. The mud room is at once ready for ski boots and muddy hiking boots, and is soothing to the eye. Made of resilient poured concrete, the spacious, uncluttered floors are colored the same weathered black as the front steps. The color is of a favorite sweater, the one you pull out of the sweater chest on the first chilly day of fall. Fabricated by Buddy Rhodes of California, the concrete is smooth and its patina is comforting to the eye, as well as to sock feet. On either side of the room two Shaker style red benches with upright backs wait for a tired hiker or skier.
Off the mudroom are a bedroom with attached bath and sauna.
The bedroom is one of two in the house, and Brown notes that the house with its "non-traditional" spaces would suit a couple better than a family of five. However, if a buyer falls in love with the house (not too hard, given the attention to detail) and really needs that extra bedroom, Brown points out a quick and workable solution. Dividing the entryway/mudroom are faux columns that break up the room's visual expanse. A room could be added here, and Brown gestures to where the new wall would fit smoothly between the columns.
"Joan and Jerry are purists, though, and have chosen to leave the room as is," he says, stepping back from the imagined wall.
Brown's enthusiasm for showing a well-designed house and his appreciation for the architectural craft that went into the house are readily apparent. A realtor in Telluride for 13 years ("I'm sorry to say"), Brown readily admits that the local real estate market is "long in [oversized] log homes. There are dozens and dozens of log home and mountain houses [on the local market]. You can hardly distinguish one from the other."
How did the market get to a place where there are dozens of log homes on the market?
"The log home was a log cabin when I was a kid," says Brown. "Then people wanted more in a second home and they built 4,500 square foot log cabins. That was big in 1990 and it was successful.
"Then the 4,500-foot house became a 10,000 square foot cabin. I think it has become oppressive."
By stark contrast, this house tucked on to a town lot "reflects the character of the Town of Telluride," says Brown. In other words, in keeping with the New Urbanism, the Merrill-crafted house maintains the proportion, scale and design of a home in a traditional neighborhood.
Following the flow of the house Brown steps through a pair of French doors that lead to a garden and patio space, hidden from the neighbors' view by mature trees on the south and the bridge, an elevated hall connecting the main house to an attached structure the owners call the library.
On a level above the patio is another outside sitting area; the owners (former denizens of New York City and not in need of an extra car in a pedestrian-friendly town) turned town-required, off-street parking into a second outdoor patio. From that higher patio a visitor having lunch can take in stunning views of the ski area.
Brown is eager to move on to the simple aesthetics of the upstairs living area. The living, dining and kitchen areas are folded into one open room that is spanned by a coffered ceiling, Brown points out, and he takes time to explain the intricate level of craftsmanship involved in building it. He also directs my attention to the floor-to-ceiling windows grouped purposefully in sets of three, each elegant set framing the east and west walls of the living area. The effect is "Greek Orthodox Revival meets farmhouse," says Brown.
Nothing is wasted in this house. The pattern of three windows is repeated on each floor, as is the dark gray, weathered black color. That dark gray, which first greets the visitor on the outside steps and in the poured concrete entryway, appears again in the painted wood-planked floor of the master bedroom.
A fourth window on the east wall is not out of place; it is purposefully placed in the line of sight of the bridge, Brown says, turning his back to the window and looking through the bridge.
An airy, light-filled hallway, the bridge is a skywalk of sorts connecting the second floor living area with the library. In addition to not needing that extra car, this New York couple is efficient, Brown says, and he points to the rows of celadon green cabinets and drawers built into the bridge.
Small and cozy, the library is big enough for four couples sitting close to each other. Built-in cabinets on the north wall hold a complete entertainment center, and on the south wall three floor-to-ceiling windows (the middle one is a door opening to the parking lot-cum-patio) offer unparallel views of the ski area. These are views you don't get, Brown says, from other North Oak Street lots that are oriented east-to-west.
In keeping with the human-scale size of the house, the master bedroom, built into the apex of the roof (there is plenty of headroom created by two shed dormers), is smaller than the oversized master bedrooms currently in vogue in upscale homes. A bed, two small bedside tables and two dressers fit easily in the modest, but comfortable room.
Though modest in size, the room, like the house, is not lacking in modern conveniences.
The spacious shower has steam, and the drawers built into the roofline, as well as a large walk-in closet, offer plenty of room to keep several cozy sweaters.
- Alex Maryol Band Takes Sunset Concert Stage Wednesday
- As Summer Days Wane, Start Time Moves Back to 5:30 p.m.
feel every person has a calling, a place in life no matter who they
are,” says Alex Maryol, 20-year-old front man of the Alex Maryol Band,
which takes the stage Wednesday, Aug. 27 at 5:30 p.m. in the
third-to-last performance of the Mountain Village Sunset Concert Series.
gifted musician and prolific songwriter from Santa Fe is currently
working on a second album.
his relative youth, Maryol has shared stages with blues heavy hitters
from Corey Harris to Joe Ely to Otis Taylor. He performs, on average,
twenty nights a month, mostly at northern New Mexico’s busiest
debut recording, They Call Me
Lefty, recorded in 98-99 at Santa Fe’s Stepbridge Studios.
won critical notice as well as a strong following for Maryol’s solo
and band performances. Of Lefty, Mayrol
told New Mexico Culturenet Youth Outreach Coordinator Max Friedenberg in
a recent interview: It was “good for a debut and I like it, but it
doesn’t really represent what I’m doing now.”
folks, Jim and Ann Maryol, own and operate Tia Sophia’s, a popular
Fe locals and tourists alike, a fixture in the heart of Santa Fe since
1975. Now that their son’s career is taking off, it is becoming
something of a shrine as well; the walls are decorated with photos and
press about their blues guitarist son.
dad used to play a lot of Chuck Berry in the car when he was growing up,
he told Friedenberg; his mom bought him a classical guitar at seven.
“Alex was probably three or four months old when he would try to pick
himself up in his crib to listen to music,” she elaborated. “When he
was three-and-a-half I sent him to Miss Gillian’s Yamaha Music School
for piano...he was very shy. Um, he’s over that now.”
realizing that “rock ‘n’ roll, at the core, in its hear, is the
blues,” a lá Led Zeppelin and the Stones, Maryol soon found himself
teaming up with Thomas “Blues” Uhde, AKA Tommy Blues, a harmonica
player whose acrobatic melodies are featured on Lefty.
current Alex Maryol Band lineup includes Tommy Blues, when he’s
available, as well as drummer Mike Chavez and Jose Romero on bass.
last three Sunset Concerts will start up at 5:30 p.m., instead of 6 p.m.
Unlike the first league game between Joe James's Two Guys Painting and Oscar Perla's Latinos Cindy Bread, in which players nearly came to blows, turning it more into a shoving and complaining match on both sides than a game, the six games of this week provided clean yet exciting entertainment.
Fortunately, the four other soccer teams did not
follow the examples set in the first game as they produced fun yet
competitive soccer matches.
809 Area Code Scam Makes E-mail Rounds
A chain email message that is making the rounds here in Telluride warning of a scam, is in fact a spammed scam of its own. This email message warns of calling the 809 area code, saying it is in the Virgin Islands and that the caller can be charged up to $2,425 a minute.
According to Internet Scambusters, the 809 area code scam has been around since 1996, and works by leaving urgent-sounding messages about a loved one’s death, litigation or fantastic prizes and urging the person to quickly call back a number with the 809 area code. Because no international calling codes are needed, the caller is not aware that they are calling the Caribbean, and can be charged up to $25 a minute for these “pay-per-call” calls (similar to 900 numbers in the United States).
The email message some Telluride residents have seen this week takes the original text of the Internet Scambusters and changes important details to make it sound worse than it actually is. The email subject reads “DON’T EVER DIAL AREA CODE 809,” when most phone numbers in the 809 area code are actually legitimate. It further purports the area code is new, which it isn’t, although it is currently used for the Dominican Republic, not the Virgin Islands. Furthermore, the per-minute charges of calling one of these numbers are inflated to 100 times more than the actual cost of $25 per minute. And the biggest tip-off that this email is spam is the fact that it urges the recipient to send the message to everyone they know.
KWK Jane K. Trenary
‘Colorado Is My Soul Place’
every inch the outdoorswoman – easy-to-manage haircut, practical
clothes, trim physique, crinkly smile, that just-in-from-a-trail-ride
look. Here’s what you don’t know about Jane Trenary: The Town of
Mountain Village’s one-woman force for recycling.
Kandee DeGraw: I have always heard you talk about the equestrian center in
Ridgway. Tell me about the place.
Jane Trenary: The equestrian center is named Delwhinnie. The dressage experience was wonderful. I competed for years in Minnesota with the same horse, a big warm-blood named Zeke. He was quite a handful. It is fun. But once Bob and I came to Colorado, we discovered such a spectacular trail-riding system that I gave up dressage about a year ago.
KD: For you or the horse?
JT: For my horse and myself. I love trail riding, but in Minnesota, you know, dressage was the big thing, fun to do. I am just into nature, and my horse, well we are trying to train him to do trails. He is about 90 percent doing really well…some of the time.
KD: The rest of the time?
JT: Well, he is very high-spirited, so he really needs to get used to a lot of his new environment when we are going over the trails. Motorcycles, dirt bikes, omigod, that is a handful. We bought Bob an Appy – an Appaloosa. He is a delight, a Schoolmaster horse, and lots of friends have ridden with us.
KD: Do you have them up here, in Telluride? Or in Ridgway?
JT: We used to have them at Mary Pat’s, in Montrose and with a wonderful, horse- whisper lady named Maree who was introducing my horse to trail riding. It was a long drive – three-and-a-half hours in a day, for a one-day event. So, just for the summer, we have moved to the two horses up to Mary Rubadeau’s. She is caretaking up on Mt. Wilson, and literally, we put the saddles on and there are 12 trails right out their pasture. It is wonderful. I love just putting the saddle on and just going out the pasture. I have to tell you one quick story from the horse barn. I am walking two horses, one on each arm, walking in the field. I have an aqua hat and an aqua t-shirt, and I am walking really slowly in the middle of the field. I had my sunglasses on and a hummingbird came straight at my nose, came all the way to my nose and stopped, about a half an inch from my nose, hovered, then took his beak and touched my nose! And then came back and said, “I don’t she is a flower,” and he took off. I was hooting and hollering in the middle of the field thinking, “Wow, what a gift!” I was touched by a hummingbird!
KD: Did you used to live in Ridgway?
JT: No. Bob and I moved here from Minnesota and we looked at getting a ski place. We checked out all of Colorado and we were running out of places to look for the family. We were looking and looking, and out of the blue, I said, “Hey, we’ve never been to Telluride. Let’s go check it out.” The first day we drove in, that was it. Sold. This is where we want to live. I was still flying as a flight attendant out of Minneapolis. We would come to Telluride and we were renting places. I was flying my brains out in Minneapolis, coming back here and enjoying Telluride, and then going back to work. I was flying ten days on, and that was getting tiring after one year. Finally Bob said, let’s move full time, and I quit flying. It was a kind of scary event to just pack up and go, oh (pause), no regrets. We bought five acres in Mountain Village, right along Skunk Creek. The wildlife is awesome, the bears the deer, the elk herd, the hummingbirds, the porcupines, the skunks, the mountain lions and birds. (Laughs) They are all in our neighborhood.
KD: Is the house done?
JT: The house is totally done. Bob and I lived in our guesthouse during construction, which isn’t very big; it’s 900 square feet. We had two labs, two cats and Bob and I, very cozy. It was quite an event.
JT: Oh, yeah, during construction, big- time. We are so happy for the space. Across the way, is Skunk Creek, there was a beautiful acre of land on the other side. By a fluke, we were renting a log house in Ski Ranches, before me moved into the guest house. A real estate agent was pounding in a for sale sign across the street from where we were renting. We bought that. So now we have the privacy, we don’t have houses looking down at us. It is quite a luxury. That was meant to be. It’s such a quiet and peaceful place to live.
KD: Nice. What else are you doing in town?
JT: Recycling is a big passion in my life. We used to do recycling in Minnesota. The Sstate of Minnesota was very positive about residents recycling. I find it a little bit frustrating, especially in Mountain Village, for a lot of the locals, some are part-time, to get involved in recycling glass, bottles, newspaper, aluminum. I have been on a recycling committee for Telluride and the Mountain Village, when I am here and not sailing. But it has been kind of slow just trying to get everybody inspired.
KD: Is it the waste companies, or the town, or what?
JT: Well, most people have to pay on the side to have recycling picked up at your home, so a lot of the part-time people… it isn’t really financially feasible for them to be doing that when they aren’t here all the time. I have been trying to get a huge commercial recycling dumpster somewhere in Mountain Village but it has to be watched over very carefully ’cause everybody puts their regular garbage in there. I am just tickled that there are hotels and a few restaurants in both towns that are very, very conscientious about recycling and we should advertise who they are.
KD: Oh yeah, like who?
JT: Downstairs Deli, Baked in Telluride and Harmons recycle. Telluride Ski and Golf has recycling bins along the golf course, at the halfway house and on the mountain.
KD: That’s good work. I didn’t know you were into all that.
JT: I want to help the environment. We are so wasteful. We need to be a little more conservative with our natural environment. My other big passion is photography. That just started in the last couple of years. I am into macro, very close-up natural photography. They are unique-looking pictures. They are not landscape, they are very different looking. Like one favorite I took – brown mud, with a few twigs, leaves and water in the composition.
KD: Black and white or color?
JT: I do both. But I do have a digital camera and I am still learning on that one. I would eventually like to get in on the Ah-Haa gallery showings for the locals.
KD: Do you develop your own stuff?
JT: Nope, sorry, way too many other fun things to do that aren’t that. (Laughs) That is not high on my list.
KD: Standing in a dark room….
JT: No thanks.
KD: So you have gone from the regular world to sort of finding yourself out here….
JT: It wasn’t hard to do once I got here. The career of a flight attendant is so spectacular. You worked four days a week and then you had five days off. You are traveling all the time. You could pick your cities, by seniority, San Francisco, Manhattan layovers, long layovers in London. It just gave you an opportunity to go sightseeing , see the world. You flew with different crews each trip so you really got a chance to meet a variety of people. It was a great career. But once I moved to Telluride, we live outside practically all day. It is such a unique tiny intimate town. Both towns feel like family. They are all a family. After I quit flying, Bob learned his passion of fly-fishing out here and I got into the photography and the activity level is go, go, go, all day long. Sheew. The climate is A-plus. I love the sunshine. I adore all of the different characters in town. The variety of people is very stimulating
KD: Where you were born?
JT: West Bend, Wisconsin. The Midwest is a wonderful place to be brought up, but Colorado is my soul place. I give thanks every day to be able to live in such a wondrous spiritual place.
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