Thursday, Jan 31, 2003  content presented by Telluride Today .com About The Watch

Headlines (click headline for full story )

From Buzzards to Beaux Arts Ball: TCAH Has an Illustrious History

First Time Dog Sled Races Draws Mushers and Dogs to Norwood

In the Wake of Awarding Grants, Telluride Foundation Hears Complaints Along with Gratitude

Bantams Triumph In Weekend Games, Last Performance on Oval as a Team

County Completes Study to Support Housing Impact Fees on Residential Development

Jagged Edge Store Relocates to East End of Colorado Avenue, New Digs at 223 East Colorado

Koffee With Kandee

Local’s Gallery Celebrates its First Year with Open House,  More Artists Sought for Year Two

Amid Political Maneuvering, Town Manager Search Narrows to Three Candidates,  One Is Under Investigation for Past Financial Improprieties

One Manager Finalist Under Investigation in Boise

Mountain Village Building Official Files Charges in Carbon Monoxide Accident,  Mountain Village Police Dept. Investigating Incident as a Criminal Matter

Plan for Twenty New Homesites Near Hillside Wins Key County Approvals

TMVS Marketing Campaign Wins Top Award

Super Bowl Ad Shot in Telluride Draws Raves

From Buzzards to Beaux Arts Ball: TCAH Has an Illustrious History

 By Marta Tarbell

 It couldn't have happened without Bill Dodge, then-president of Bank of Telluride, who posed deshabille, in 1995, in a smoking jacket (chomping on the obligatory cigar), looking for just the right thing to wear to the Beaux Arts Ball, as bemused coworkers peered into his office.

Not to be outdone, Peter Kenworthy, Dodge's successor as president at Bank of Telluride, posed with the staff, with dropped trous (see picture at TKTK).

Ever since it roared back to life in the early 90s, the new and improved TCAH and its new and improved Beaux Arts Ball (formerly known as the Buzzards Ball, which took as its theme "Come as whoever you wish you could be") was revived in 1992 – "I think that's right," says long-ago Telluride Council on the Arts Director Amy Kimberly, to whom all roads lead as the responsible party) has served for the last decade as Telluride's colorful, exhibitionistic, no-such-thing-as-overdressed warning signal that we're careening our way to Mardi Gras.

"When I took over TCAH, it was a mess," Kimberly recollects, from her offices at KDNK Radio in Carbondale.

TCAH had kicked off in 1974, as we discovered from an invitation to a 1976 "Society Turn Dinner," held at the Sheridan Restaurant, featuring champagne, quiche, prime rib, chokoladebrot and Harvey's Bristol Cream Sherry or Port. TCAH's board back then was made up of John Fahnestock, as president; Richard Harris, vice president; Leslie Starr, secretary; Beth Christiansen, treasurer; and Jane Vass, Tom Russell, Lynda Tenney, Arleen Friedman and Jane Hill as board members.

A brief history on the invitation proclaimed that TCAH "was founded in January, 1974, under the guidance of Jim and Evelyn Kyle and Sue Wood, the first president. Nineteen-seventy-four marked the beginning of several continuing annual events: The community Spring-Thing and Christmas programs; Chautauqua; the Telluride Film Festival and the San Francisco Chamber Players Festival. Also during the first year, the council helped obtain microfilm copies of old Telluride newspapers and began recording interviews with oldtimers; hosted modern dancer Barbara Gardner; sold T-Hell-U-Ride buttons; helped print the Historical Walking Tour brochure; held a Dog Show; and helped sponsor local dance, art and music classes and the community chorus. Gerald Martin served as president for the second half of the year.

"In 1975, with Tom Russell as president, the council added to this list the first annual Buzzards (Beaux Arts) Ball, a masquerade ball to fund live theatre in Telluride; Ma Yogashakti, a flea market, pancake breakfast and dog show during Coloride; a Craft Fair with Chautauqua; and helped sponsor the American Recorder Society Workshop in Early Music-Telluride I, and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival."

 

90S REVIVAL

By the time she took over TCAH in the 90s, however, Kimberly recollects: "It was in the gutter.

"I took it back to what it originally had been – a gathering place for artists to get together and network.

"The town was changing" in the early 90s, she points out. "There was more money coming into the community, and artists were having a hard time making a living. There was no one addressing their needs."

So she put together a TCAH meeting, billed it as a "gathering for artists" – "And 60 people came!"

The second meeting drew nearly twice that number – "And TCAH had to hire me," Kimberly recalls, with a laugh. "They had no choice."

One project during Kimberly's years – the now-collectible Pandora's Box: A Telluride Publication of the Arts, with contributions from everyone from Norwood writer Oleh Lysiak to Rep actor Jeb Berrier to Sean McNamara, Erin Homer-Hamilton, Anne Pizey, Christina Peterson, Heather Van Fleet, and Carl Patrick.

Of other TCAH-sponsored projects: "Our major issues were uniting individual artists and uniting Telluride's many nonprofits," Kimberly recalls. "We got a dialog started. We tried to get a theater in the middle/high school" back when that building was in its first round of planning. TCAH worked with the Telluride Artisans Guild to set up a cart in the Elks Park, so artisans could peddle their wares – a precursor to today's Locals Gallery, in the Potters Wheel, on east main street, celebrating its first year as a main street business with an open house tonight (see story, page TK).

"We helped start the mentorship program" in Telluride High School, Kimberly recalls, "and helped bridge the gap, when the school arts were cut," by working alongside Jazz and Bluegrass festival organizers to start "artists in the schools.

"Now Kathryn is doing that again," Kimberly says. "I'm so thrilled."

A quick flip through TCAH scrapbooks reveals the organization's role in early festival development, its organizers working with everything from Film to Bluegrass, Jazz and Chamber Music in those festivals' early years; its list of nearly 100 members includes Bill and Stella Pence, Vicki Ranta, David Sklare, Terry Tice and Susan Gulick, Tom Hale, Jane and Jerry Rosenfeld, Dave and Lael Fruen, Sherwood and Lynn Rae Swartz, Jim Burleigh and Kathy Wahlstrand, Dicky Unruh and Michael and Sue Theile.

Today, TCAH's gently guiding hand can be felt in everything from efforts to mount this summer's online box office to stabilizing and growing the increasingly successful TAG Bazaar that boasted a record 45 plus booths this holiday season to helping mount the Telluride Repertory Theatre's Shakespeare in the Schools program.

"It's so important, as a conduit to all the nonprofits in the community," says Kimberly, who passed the mantel of executive director to Art Goodtimes in 94; he, in turn, was replaced by Amy Levek, who quit upon being elected mayor of Telluride; now TCAH is run by the ultra-persuasive Kathryn Hurtley (see photo at TKTK of reluctant Watch staffers cajoled into donning top hats and feather boas by Hurtley and her partner in crime, Telluride Gallery of Fine Art's Will Thompson).

Thompson just might be the consummate Beaux Arts Ballgoer – he has attended every one since that first one, in 92, and he's got the pictures to show it.

"Oh, yeah," he cackles, flipping through his Xeroxed newspaper clippings of everything from himself and Jeffrey Price playing Prince Charming to an outside-the-frame Cinderella to Sally Courtney "dancing" with Fred Astaire to Men Without Rhythm fiddling with their shirt studs.

In the world according to Thompson, the decade's second ball, held at the Peaks, might well be its most infamous – "The manager told us we could only sell 350 tickets,"

San Diego Artist Crooks Lights Up the Telluride Landscape

 

"It comes as a shock to me," says San Diego native William Glen Crooks, whose seemingly lit-from-within oil and plein air paintings of scenes in and around Telluride debut tonight at the Scott White Contemporary Art gallery, "when I go to other places and they don't have any light."

To this artist's eye, Michigan "is blue-gray," and Kansas "sort of lavender" – whereas Southern California is "just a blaze of light" by comparison.

Around Telluride, where Crooks spent some time late last summer: "It's blue and green," he says.

Crooks might change that assessment to "gray and brown" when he arrives for tonight's opening of his show at Scott White Contemporary Art, with a 6-8 p.m. reception.

If some of Crooks's Telluride region paintings look, at first glance, unfamiliar, chalk it up to artistic license.

Take "Shoes" – an oil on canvas featuring a jumble of shoes and socks next to a swing on a sun-dappled porch on Pine Street, with, the artist confides, its unfamiliar-looking late-afternoon sunlight "kind of grafted" from the light at Imperial Beach, in San Diego, where Crooks lives.

There's a bit more artistic license in the painting as well, he confesses – in the actual setting: "The socks didn't match."

Initially, Crooks painted them as they looked, but "I couldn't make that work. It looked like one big multicolored sock.

"So I had to make them match," he says – although "the character of the shoes," he adds, "still remains."

"Stone Neighbors" depicts a scene Crooks stumbled on "near a place called Lizard Head." He had been driving around, found a vista, decided "that's what I want," pulled off the road, "did a small painting," and drove away. "Then I thought, I'd better photograph this," to better remember it back in the studio.

"Stone Neighbors" – dark blue mountains fronted by green coniferous trees – is "pretty damn close" to the real view, Crooks says. "Except I removed a hill that screwed up the composition by creating a problem on the left half of the bottom," he confides, going on to insert "a red building" he spotted further on down the road in its stead.

"He just went off on his own," says Scott White curator Kelly Drum, of Crooks' visit to Telluride. As an artists, she says, Crooks "is known in his work for bringing our attention to scenes that we normally would overlook and miss – he picks things that the rest of us wouldn't, and makes us stop and realize they're interesting and beautiful."

The show includes paintings of everything from Telluride's Excelsior Café to downvalley's Sawpit Mercantile to Marie Scott's house on the road to Ridgway (titled "Morning in the Forest").

"I'm from California," Crooks chuckles, when asked how the word forest gained inclusion in the title. "The whole of Colorado is a forest, to me."

Crooks essentially taught himself to paint; after finishing high school, he says, "I realized I couldn't stand the idea of being under somebody's thumb" any longer. After auditing an art class at a nearby college, he took off for Europe, where "I thought I was supposed to go," he recalls.

On that trip, Crooks decided that "I didn't know how to draw properly," and abandoned painting for the next four years, to work exclusively on his drawing.

After a second trip to Europe, where he drew his way across the continent, "drawing from statues, very basic stuff," he returned home and decided he was ready to start painting again.

During his European sojourns, Crooks says: "I think I wanted to be an Italian." Once back home, however, he came to terms with his undeniable Americanism.

And so "I drifted back into being an American," he says.

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 First Time Dog Sled Races Draws Mushers and Dogs to Norwood

 By Martinique Davis

 

“Mush!” 

On command, a sprightly crew of scruffy sled dogs halt their raucous yipping and yelping and strain against their harnesses. The musher’s sled lurches forward and the cloud of condensation in the cold air created by the dogs’ panting breaths dissipates as the eight-dog team sprints ahead into the snow-covered track.

At top speeds reaching 30 mph, the dogsled team races round the track as the canine roar of other teams waiting to start ricochets round the gathered crowd. Spectators watch as the first team rounds the first corner, a fast moving dog-powered vehicle speeding across a white-blanketed mountain landscape.

Sled dog races would seem to be the stuff of Jack London novels and Alaskan films – but Telluride and Norwood-area locals now have the opportunity to see a real sled dog race, as the Lone Cone Conquest Sled Dog Race kicks off for the first time ever this TKTK at the Gurley Lake Reservoir outside of Norwood.

An International Sled Dog Association-sanctioned event, the Lone Cone Conquest will include 4, 6, and 8-dog Sprint races, a 3-dog Junior Sprint race, and a 2-dog Skijor (two dogs pulling a handler on skis) race. 

A spectator-friendly event, onlookers can watch the teams start and finish as well as see their progress throughout more than half of the course from the race viewing area.  Visitors to the race can also check out the Race Village, which have food, beverages, souvenirs, music, and more for sale. For a buck a ride, the Norwood Snowmobile Club will also be offering snowmobile rides to other viewing areas around the course.

Norwood Public Schools Principal Jim Hoffman, one of the race organizers and a seasoned dog musher himself, predicts that the race will shape up to be one of the most exciting winter events ever to hit the Norwood region.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun – it’s a great observation site, and the Gurley Lake area is just gorgeous,” he said. “I’m hoping that Norwood will become one of the major North American sled dog race spots in the future.”

Hoffman says the race came to fruition “quite by accident.” At the end of last summer, Hoffman ran into Norwood locals Doug and Linda Avery, who had fallen in love with sled dog racing after watching a race in Ouray last winter.

Hoffman, who ranks an impressive 8th place internationally, 7th nationally, and 6th in the state of Colorado for the 8-dog Division, began talking with the Averys about sled dog racing and soon enough, the three self-proclaimed dog-lovers teamed up to bring a sled dog race to Norwood.

Avery, a physical therapist at Peak Fitness Center in Norwood and a volunteer fireman, explains that aside from being personally interested in the sport he envisioned the mid-winter dog race could benefit the entire region.

“January and February are typically dead quiet in Norwood, and bringing a race to town could potentially bring 300-500 people to the area during that time," he said. "The hotels are already getting booked, and the restaurants and retail businesses are sure to get some business during that time. Most importantly, of course, is that we have a good time… It’s a win-win deal."

Hoffman agrees the Lone Cone Conquest has the potential to be an extremely successful Norwood-area event. 

“Gurley Lake is the perfect place for a dog race,” he explains. “You mostly hear about races in Alaska and Canada, but some of the best competition is really here in Colorado.  It could be a really successful race, and it could be really successful for the whole community. It’s a great thing to do this time of year, and hopefully people will come back to do it again in years to come.”

Hoffman and Avery said that the race couldn’t have been put together without the help of several key individuals and groups, including race sponsors Back Narrows Inn, Eagle’s Nest Ranch, Campbell Insurance Company, Williams Construction, J2F Guest Ranch, and Telluride Realty; web designers Cory Kellerson and Norwood High School student Chris Royer; and, of course, Hoffman’s wife Kathy and Avery’s wife Linda.

Hoffman and Avery are expecting between fifty and a hundred teams to enter the race.  Spectator parking opens at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, with the first 2-dog Skijor competition beginning at 9 a.m., followed by 6, 8, 4, and Junior 3 dog races starting consecutively after that.

The race starts at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, with the same race order.

For more information on the Lone Cone Conquest Sled Dog Race, or for directions to the race site at Gurley Lake Reservoir, contact 327-4555 or visit www.loneconeconquest.com.

In the Wake of Awarding Grants, Telluride Foundation Hears Complaints Along with Gratitude

 By Marta Tarbell

 In the wake of the inevitable disappointment and ebullience surrounding the Telluride Foundation's third granting cycle that distributed $362,500 to 52 (out of 66 requesting) community organizations at the end of last year, that organization's CEO and executive director Paul Major remains unflappable.

"Our mantra is to educate, engage and energize donors," says the 40-something Major, who relocated three years ago to Telluride from Park City, where he spent the better part of the last decade working to bring the U.S. Ski Team into the global spotlight.

But as it grows, the foundation, which this month added three members to bring its board membership to 31, has faced mounting charges, some from within its own ranks, that it is having negative impacts on local nonprofits, and contributing to a widening gap between the Telluride nonprofit community and its donor base (for a list of board members, see page TK).

The most unhappy voices, not too surprisingly, belong to nonprofit administrators whose grants from the foundation are spiraling downward (and who, because they fear exacerbating the problem, have asked to not be identified).

Pronouncing some of the charges "hurtful" upon viewing a draft of this story, Major steers The Watch to some foundation success stories, as well.

Karinne Webb, director of One to One, is one. "I can't say enough wonderful things about the foundation," says Webb, whose organization provides five programs offering guidance, companionship and understanding to upwards of 60 children ages five to 17 in San Miguel County.

For starters: "The foundation has brought more funding resources to our town than we had before," says Webb, from donors whose money "we would not have access to, otherwise."

For One to One, community grants from the foundation have gone to replace funding from elsewhere that has dried up over the last three years that the foundation has been in existence. During that period, One to One has consistently received what it has requested from the foundation – $10,000 in 2000, $15,000 in 2001 and $20,000 in the 2002 community granting cycle.

Nonprofits whose community grant dollars have gone steadily down, however, are not quite so sanguine.

"We are very pleased and we very much appreciate their support," says Telluride Mountain School Head Ernie Patterson of the $2,500 check the foundation proffered this year. "We are grateful to be one of the organizations they have supported over the years.”

"We had obviously hoped for more," Patterson continues, "but we understand that it will take time for the foundation to develop, and that we have a responsibility to educate them about us in order to win the level of support we believe we deserve. We're just thankful to be in the loop."

"We are very pleased that the foundation responded so favorably to our request," says Greenbucks Coordinator Kandee DeGraw, albeit with half of the $5,000 Greenbucks had asked for.

"We are very grateful that the foundation continues to support us," says Telluride Council on the Arts and Humanities Director Kathryn Hurtley, who requested $6,000 for the Small Grants Program and Homegrown Performance Series, and came away with a technical-assistance grant instead.

 

ARE WE OFF THE RECORD?

Not surprisingly, off-the-record criticism of the foundation's 2002 community granting cycle is more case-specific.

"A technical-assistance grant seems to present the notion to donors that something is wrong with the organization," says one less-than-thrilled recipient. "There were no directives given with our technical assistance grant, which made the message unclear at best and insensitive at the worst. Nonprofits don't know if their technical assistance grants were because of finance problems, programming problems, or because the foundation disliked that organization's mission."

"A technical-assistance grant is not a red flag whatsoever," Major rebuts flatly. "In fact, it's just the opposite. Maybe we've done a poor job in communicating" the intent of the technical-assistance grants, he allows, going on to explain that technical-assistance grants go entirely to "outside assistance" – something on which the foundation found itself relying, during a recent strategic planning session of its own.

"But any time you try something new, it's hard to get a clear message across," he avers. "Even if it's a well-functioning organization, like the Ah Haa School or the Telluride Academy, even if everything is going great, there's probably still a way of doing things better," he adds. But "don't we have a responsibility to organizations that are providing a critical social service and can't make payroll, or pay the utility bill?

"Clearly, philosophically, our direction is to support great programs, like Ah Haa, while keeping a clear opening for important organizations that service the underserved or emerging community needs, and may need more fundamental help."

These two sometimes-at-odds purposes "set the tone" for foundation granting, says Major; in trying to make it more specific, he cautions: "You'll be splitting hairs.

Case in point: Last year, Major says: "The Telluride Academy, which is a great organization, had its best year ever. It asked for strategic-planning money in its grant" to facilitate hiring an executive director to replace founder Wendy Brooks, who will continue in a more auxiliary capacity – "and that's what we gave them."

Then too, there's the Ah Haa School, which, in its most recent granting round, got $16,000 in funds, up from $12,500 the year before.

"They're a great organization, and they should be rewarded for being a great organization," Major believes.

 

'PERSONALITY, NOT PROCESS'

"Bare-bones administrative costs" are a compelling component of the foundation's structure, according to an anonymous Friend of the Foundation (of whom there are 46 to date, each of whom commits to donating at least $25,000 a year for four years) with longtime nonprofit experience elsewhere in the U.S. and Canada. Furthermore: Donations to the foundation "are discretionary," he notes.

But many grant applicants, as well as observers of the local nonprofit scene, worry that foundation granting decisions are discretionary as well, and go on to ask: Who makes the ultimate granting decisions, and what are the criteria?

One foundation observer, concerned that the foundation's rather illustrious board roster – and the makeup of its granting and executive committees, in particular – is driven "by personality, not process," 

Observing that at least one member of the foundation's granting committee sits on the boards of at least three nonprofits that every year receive top-dollar grants, a nonprofit administrator of an arts-oriented organization worries: "It's very incestuous."

"The real challenge," says the head of another decades-old nonprofit that did not receive the money it requested in the 2002 granting cycle,  "ithat the Telluride Foundation has to answer is: What is their goal? Is it to support the weak, in hopes they'll survive – or to reward the strong? Or is it to look at how many children are being served by our groups? How much consolidation is there going to be, and is this a good thing?

"If only we all knew what the rules were. They claim to distribute equitably throughout the community. But what is equitable?"

To this and other queries, Major has a four-page, single-spaced typed response.

"The foundation is committed to preserving and enriching the quality of life of the residents, visitors and work force of the Telluride region … by providing leadership in philanthropy, strengthening community groups, serving as a responsible steward for entrusted funds, and supporting activities that celebrate our unique community," it reads.

Major takes issue as well with suggestions that foundation guidelines are unclear. "They are clear and readily available," he writes, and goes on to outline them: "1. The foundation generally makes grants only to organizations based in San Miguel County or which serve people living or working in San Miguel County. 2. Priority is given to well-run organizations whose mission and proposed project address a current and proven public need in the country. 3. Applicants that show strong community support for their organizations and its projects, as well as a collaboration of community resources, will be given priority. 4. The foundation will support new organizations only when it is clear they are capable of being self-sufficient and will not become a financial burden on others. 5. Organizations less than three years old must show a sound plan for establishing self-sufficiency."

He goes on to request that this article include a copy of the Telluride Foundation's mission statement (see page TK).

In response to yet another nonprofit administrator's worries that nonprofit organizations with foundation board members sitting on their boards fare better in the community grant-giving process, Major says: "We have a very clear conflict of interest policy that "requires any board members to excuse themselves" from the discussion and decision-making process. Ditto for anyone on the foundation's five-member grant committee "if they are affiliated with the non-profit being evaluated," he adds – a policy that was, he adds, implemented just this year so as "to increase transparency."

 

TWO $25,000 GRANTS

As to whether the foundation tries to prop up fashionable, albeit financially beleaguered nonprofits, critics cite its 2001 grant of $25,000 to already-in-the-red Dance in Telluride.

That grant was one of the largest foundation grants ever, matched only by a grant of $25,000 to the Telluride Medical Center that same year. (Foundation granting committee members sit on both of those boards.)

Compounding the bad press, after receiving the $25,000 grant, Dance in Telluride went on to have the worst summer season in its five-year history, in terms of marketing and ticket sales.  

For its 2002 granting cycle, the foundation has limited its assistance to Dance in Telluride to a technical-assistance grant.

To put the 2001 grant of $25,000 to Dance in Telluride in perspective, Major points out that the $25,000 grant in question went "to support a locals' performance" during the 2002 summer season.

"It was one of 40 awarded in December of that year," points out Major, a year in which 11 of the foundation's 40 grants "were for $10,000 or more," many going "to under-served causes that few people are fully aware of."

He ticks off a few: The Girl Scouts of Chipeta Council, the Rocky Mountain Holistic Health Center, the Wright Stuff Foundation. "Mountainfilm alone received $20,000 in that granting cycle," Major points out. That same year, One-to-One, the San Miguel Resource Center and the Wright Stuff received $15,000 each; the Ah Haa School and the Horizon Program were granted $12,500, and checks for $10,000 went to the Sheridan Arts Foundation, Telluride Academy and the Sheridan Arts Foundation.

In its 2002 granting cycle, the foundation offered technical assistant grants to four other nonprofit organizations as well (to Telluride Academy, TCTV, Skate 81435 and Telluride Council on the Arts and Humanities), each one with a ceiling of approximately $5,000, and all aimed at bringing in professional consultants to help organizations with what Major calls "capacity building."

"We have met with them to get a thorough understanding of what the technical assistance grant for the academy is all about," says Telluride Academy Board President Jenny McCargo. "We will use most of its $5,000 to help us in our hiring process" for a new executive director, in the wake of Executive Director Wendy Brooks's announcement that she intends to step down. Once Brooks's replacement has been found, McCargo says: "We will be able to reapply for the $15,000 in scholarship funding" the academy initially asked for.

 

‘EMERGING' NEEDS

"There is a strong predisposition on the part of the board to support excellence," says Major, running in tandem with the foundation's commitment to "try to support an organization in crisis. But while we're disposed to focus on excellence, and even reward excellence, many of the needs in our community are not being met, or are just emerging."
Case in point: The huge increase in the region's Latino population has led to "increased calls and contacts at the San Miguel Resource Center, an increasing need for child care, housing assistances and the crisis in health insurance."

The health care problem, he says, is particularly acute in Norwood, where 40 percent of the people using the Norwood Clinic "don't have any health insurance.

"Nineteen of the 52 grants we issued this past December address these social issues, in one way or another," asserts Major. "In some cases, we have actively sought out the groups addressing these needs that might not have been aware of our presence, or what we have to offer."

A good example, he says, is Canyon Chapel, a homeless shelter that provides crisis intervention and housing, and which received $15,000 from the foundation this year.

Off the record, however, more than a few nonprofit administrators worry openly about the future.

"What do they want – for us to be like Scottsdale?" wonders one, concerned that her organization's scruffy image runs counter to the foundation's aesthetic.

"They are driving a wedge between the donors and the nonprofits," says another, whose direct contact with donor-board members is dwindling as longtime auction donors are now beginning to say they give through the foundation.

"That's just not true," Major responds. He adds that plans for "site visits" to nonprofits funded by foundation dollars are in the works, for both donors and board members.

The foundation exists to accommodate donors "who simply don’t have the time to sit on a group’s board or otherwise be actively involved," Major says – donors who, like the anonymous donor referred to earlier in this article, divide their time between Telluride and at least one other residence, and who, in Major's words, "prefer to write a check and feel good about the fact that their money is being put to good use.

"Part-time residents are usually more affluent than local residents," weighs in the anonymous donor. "But whether we're full-time or part-time residents, we're full-time lovers of Telluride.

"There is the potential," he adds, "for this community to be a little jewel."

 

PERCEPTION IS EVERYTHING

"We are striving to provide programs that appeal to all types of donors," Major says.

But the perception of a disconnect between foundation donors and recipient nonprofits has led some nonprofit administrators to not even bother applying for its community grants.

"It costs us several thousand dollars in soft costs to make a grant application," explains one who has yet to put forth a funding request to the foundation. "Then, if we only get several thousand dollars worth of grant money, it's a wash. It's a pointless exercise, really."

Then, too, Major points out, there are nonprofits whose requests "are turned down because they wrote a poor grant or did not meet our grant guidelines.

"Or they requested funds for projects we simply do not fund."

As to charges that the foundation should be working with these errant nonprofits – some of whose staffers pronounce themselves baffled at the perception there were problems in their grants – to ensure the viability of their grants, Major says: "We have added that opportunity," in response to requests from board members.

Effective immediately, he says: "Our staff will work with grant seekers to preview their grants prior to deadline, and give them feedback.

"We want to be their advocates," he emphasizes, to which end: "We now have pre-grant meetings to answer any questions and continually remind them that we are available to answer any and all questions.

"Anyone who wants to see us can make an appointment."

 

Next week, The Watch will continue its series on the Telluride Foundation, with Part II: It's the Economy, Stupid!

Bantams Triumph In Weekend Games, Last Performance on Oval as a Team

 If you have not seen the talented, fearless, scrappy Lizard Head Bantam team this season, you missed a great opportunity. Sunday wrapped up their home ice schedule; they now take their undefeated road show to indoor facilities as the days get longer and the winter sun melts Telluride's outdoor ice.

The Telluride Bantam hockey team continued on their quest for the Rocky Mountain Youth League championship by out-skating and out-shooting the Gunnison Blades on Saturday morning and surprising the league leading Craig Cougars on Sunday.

The Lizard Heads carried an undefeated 4-0 record (6-1-1 overall) into these crucial league games at the Lizard Head Ice Gardens. Oval. Missing star defenseman Lance Kipfer to SAT tests for both Saturday games, and an injured Nick Kenworthy, the Lizard Heads only had seven skaters to the 20 young men on the bench for the Blades. "Sometimes a short bench helps your team," crowed Bantam Coach John Cohn. "We may have had only seven players but they played like 16 all-stars."

With defenseman Charlie Cohn's accurate wrist shots, five goals were buried in the net in the first game and one in the second game on Saturday. Cohn added three more in the first game on Sunday, and lit the lamp three more times in the finale, putting Cohn's goal total for the season to 26, and threatening the all-time Lizard Head record of 40 set by Curtis Nelson in 1999. The Bantams have played 11 games to date, and have eight regular season games left – plus the tournament.

Defensive play by David Conrad (two goals in the first game, one on Sunday) and an aggressive, dogged Andrew Hess left the Gunnison Blades unable to dent the Telluride armor. Hess's deceptive speed can clear out anyone from in front of the net. Goalie Ryan Roth once again proved he just might be the best Bantam goalie in the league, turning back 29 shots in game one and 23 in the second.

The combination of Colby Ward (three goals Saturday) and J.D. Kirkendoll (two goals and six assists) was continually challenging the Blade's defense and goalie. If the Lizard Head offense wasn't putting pressure on the Blades, its defense was pushing the puck inside the blue line and taking wicked slap shots. Ian Fallenius showed new skills with stick handling, and is quickly becoming the team's enforcer. His linemates – Walter Kvale (who played while sick, with mom handing him meds from the sidelines) and Seamus Rozycki (rookie) held their own and allowed the first line to put the biscuit in the basket.

Coach Cohn boasts: "The boys played unbelievably under the circumstances. These are the kids who make it to every practice. You can tell what good shape they are in when they play double and triple shifts. With only seven players, we faced adversity – and came out way on top.

"I am proud to be associated with these athletes."

Cohn stayed mum about which player it was with whom he collided on the ice, leading to a slightly fractured right shoulder.

Otherwise, the only negative aspect of Saturday's games was Rozycki's possibly season-ending ankle injury. "If all of the players had the heart and dedication of Rozycki," Cohn said, "we would be sending our kids to D1 hockey schools.

"We will miss him," Cohn said.

On Sunday, under sunny guys, the Bantams brought their 6-0 perfect record to the Lizard Head Ice Gardens. The Craig Cougars had an 11-1-1 record for the season and came to town very confident. After going down two goals early in the game, Telluride came alive with defenseman Cohn scoring three coast-to-coast runs to take the lead. Ward put in another goal, but the Cougars kept pace, never falling behind by more than two. Conrad added one in a low-slot rebound shot, and Cohn added one for insurance, to take the 6-4 win. Roth turned back 30 shots in yet another stellar performance, showing all concerned that he was the difference that made the game.

In between contests, Cougar Coach Pearson told Cohn that his team didn't show up for their first game; hence, the loss. Cohn went back to his troops in the locker room to report that Craig thinks they lost because they had an "off" game, going on to urge the Bantams to "come out strong and show the Cougars that loss was no fluke."

Coach Pearson was overheard scolding his boys, urging them to "play more physical." When the puck dropped for game two, the Cougars were indeed physical. But physical play does not overcome speed, skill and sheer determination. Before five minutes had elapsed in the first period, the Lizard Heads had two goals, scored by Kirkendoll.

Kirkendoll added a one-timer from a difficult angle midway through the second period, and the defense took over. When Cohn added an unassisted goal in the third, the final nail was in the coffin. The Bantams had swept the double header with a score of 4-1. Once again, the difference in the game was the unreal playing of goalie Roth.

Cohn had this to say: "Our second line – Fallenius, Kvale and Conrad – did more than just hold their own. They played big-time hockey.

The smaller guys, Kirkendoll and Ward, on the first line kept getting pummeled by the much larger Cougars, only to bounce back up and get right in the middle of the physical action. "These guys played huge," Cohn said.

 "You had to see it to believe it," he said, especially Kipfer, who played the whole sheet of ice, "and never giving less than 100 percent." Defensemen Kipper, Hess and Cohn put in 40 out of 45 minutes in the game. "It was inspiring for anyone who enjoys seeing young athletes perform up to and above their potential," Cohn said.

Next up for the undefeated Bantams: Steamboat Springs.

Sunday marked the last time these boys will play together as a unit in the Lizard Head Ice Gardens, as many will be Midgets by next season.

It's your loss, if you didn't get the chance to see these young warriors triumph.

 

San Miguel County

County Completes Study to Support Housing Impact Fees on Residential Development

 By Seth Cagin

 Salaries and wages in San Miguel County increased 36 percent in the decade of the 1990s. At the same time, however, housing costs jumped 274 percent for single-family homes and 127 percent for free market condominiums.

That set of statistics succinctly explains why there is an affordable housing crunch in the Telluride region. In order to help redress the imbalance between local salaries and housing costs, San Miguel County last year commissioned a study to provide a legal basis for the possible imposition of an impact fee on new residential development. Such a fee would mitigate the impacts of new development by providing funds to subsidize deed-restricted affordable housing.

Because 30 percent of employees in the Telluride R-1 School District currently live in deed-restricted housing, the Employee Housing Mitigation Support Study by RPI Consulting provides support for requiring new development to mitigate that same percentage of new employees it generates. That is how “current levels of service” can be sustained, as a new Colorado state statute permits, Andrew Klotz of RPI told a meeting of county officials and the interested public on Wednesday night.  “Proportionality,” or assuring that new development is not asked to pay more than its fair share of impacts, is one of the key legal tests of any impact fee.

The RPI study cites studies showing that more new employees are generated by bigger houses than by smaller ones. It goes on to calculate how much of a subsidy is required to house an employee. ($46,013 per employee.) It then calculates how much of a fee is justified per square footage of new residential construction to mitigate that construction’s impacts. While fees would increase with square footage, they would range from about $5,000 for a 5,000 square-foot house to about $25,000 for a 10,000 s.f. house.

The result if housing mitigation fees were to be imposed in the county, the study concludes, would be the generation of between $1 million and $1.3 million over the next five years.

The idea is for growth to pay its own way, Klotz said. Just as a new house consumes more water, it consumes affordable housing, which is another type of local capital infrastructure. Impact fees enable a community to keep from losing ground to new development, he explained.

The county’s current formula for mitigating housing impacts, including a requirement that new subdivisions provide one deed-restricted lot per seven free-market lots, is not generating adequate new housing because “we’re not seeing new subdivisions in the county,” County Planner Mike Rozycki said. Instead, new homes are being built one-per-35 acre parcel. A fee on new construction would therefore be more equitable and effective, he suggested.

The adoption of a new housing impact fee in the county would require a new deed-restriction, Klotz said, because the existing deed-restriction does not cap prices and therefore does not ensure affordability.  Strict income and personal asset restrictions would also need to be incorporated.

The study will be formally presented to the San Miguel County Commissioners in February, Rozycki said. If the commissioners accept it, they could give direction to staff to begin drafting amendments to the county land use code to implement its recommendations. The study itself is a step in that direction because it meets a second legal requirement for impact fees, which is to demonstrate a “nexus” between development and its impacts.

Watch Business

Jagged Edge Store Relocates to East End of Colorado Avenue, New Digs at 223 East Colorado

As part of the changes that have recently taken place with the Jagged Edge Mountain Gear brand, Jagged Edge’s retail store will be relocating early next month to a temporary annex east of town on the second floor of 223 E. Colorado Avenue, Jagged Edge will be open for business at its new location beginning Feb. 8.  
“This is a period of change for the store, during which we will be working toward opening a permanent Main Street location that will most likely be timed with the introduction of the new Jagged Edge product line in the fall," Susan Dalton, new owner of the Jagged Edge retail store and owner of Cadeaux, said in a press release. Dalton, who is a former investor Jagged Edge Mountain Gear, the corporate company from whom she purchased the store, and long-time supporter of the brand, believes strongly in the link between Telluride and Jagged Edge’s unique outdoor sportswear line.
Dalton will kick off the Feb. 8 relocation with a mid-winter sale for locals and visitors, primarily selling off-price Jagged Edge product in addition to other complimentary outdoor lines. 

"This is a great opportunity for us to offer quality outdoor sportswear to our locals and visitors at very low prices” she added. Jagged Edge is also implementing a local's discount program and invites resident applicants to register.  

The first week of January, Jagged Edge announced that as part of a restructuring plan it sold its trademark to Russell Corporation, a maker of athletic wear, such as Russell Athletics, and owner of the Moving Comfort brand. The Jagged Edge store in Telluride holds the exclusive right to the name Jagged Edge for a retail store.
In addition to Jagged Edge label products, Jagged Edge’s retail store carries Prana, Oobe, Sporthill, Ibex, Turtlefur, Kombi, Smartwool, Wild Rose, Manzella, and Shred Alert brands.  The store also offers Merrell, Dansko, and Montrail footwear and accessories. 
Store hours at the new location are 11 am - 6 pm daily. 

 

Koffee With Kandee

 ‘If It Has Glitter in It, You Know I Probably Had Something to Do With It’

 

KOTO on a weekday is a hub of activity. Luci Reeve sits in the DJ booth with hundreds of CDs spread around her. She has a system. Tthey don’t seem alphabetized, but it only takes a few seconds for her to find a request. The Luci Show is famous for its 80s dance bent, the kind of music you can roller skate to.

 

Kandee DeGraw: The Lucy Show 10 a.m. to noon?

Luci Reeve: Yeah, on Fridays. 

KD: Let’s talk about the Bo Arts Ball.

LR: Beaux (BOZ) Arts…(correcting my pronunciation)

KD: Yeah, whatever, I never get it right.

LR: Don’t let me forget and have any dead air, OK?

KD:  Phone’s ringing.

LR: (grabs phone) KOTO, yeah, yeah. OK, thanks, bye. (She flips some knobs and fiddles with some switches.)  The Beaux Arts Ball is the yearly Arts Council fundraiser, as you well know. It is happening next weekend, next Saturday. I am usually in charge of decorating and entertainment. I usually have my trusty sidekick Sue Hobby with me, but she is in L.A.  I don’t have that … you know Sue, that decorating genius, on my side this time.  

KD: I am sure you will be just fine.  I have seen your work.

LR: Oh, yeah. If it has glitter in it, you know I probably had something to do with it.

KD: Are you going to wear roller skates to the ball?

LR: That’s a good question. I would love to and I have been thinking about it, but I did just have knee surgery a month ago. That is on top of the brain surgery nine months ago.  The brain is fine, thank you for asking. When I was getting over that my knee started hurting pretty bad and so when I went to the knee guy, he said, “Oh you don’t have an ACL what are you talking about?  You need one.” Then I went back and had knee surgery and that worked out really well, except I have just knocked out by the sinus thing that is going around. 

KD: Tell me about it. Now was the brain surgery responsible for your fantastic new hairdo? 

LR: Thank you. The surgeon’s hair cutting techniques left a lot to be desired.  Sort of nothing here (left side), spiky here (right side). It was kinda weird. But thanks to some great haircutters in town, I got away from that look.

KD: What are you going to wear? Do you know?

LR: Nooo. One of the finest byproducts of this stupid sinus medication is that I got fat. I can’t fit into anything.

KD: But you can make something right?

LR: I could, but I have been sewing away furiously for the AIDS Benefit. 

KD: What are you doing for the AIDS Benefit this year?

LR: Blue. Silk and velvet and denim princess dresses. Kathy Green dyed the silk and velvet and I whipped them in to princess dresses. I really like them, with big hoop skirts.  That will be fun.

KD: Where is your sewing shop? 

LR:  In my bedroom. So I can’t do it after my husband wants to go to sleep.  I have to stop.

KD: Your husband is…

LR: B.F. Deal.  He is the reason, well gosh, that we are both here at the radio station.  Anyways…So sew… For the ball we have Ralph Dinosaur. When he is not playing the Luci Show will be doing some dance music. I have got my best friends together and we are going to do a pre Lip Sync preview. We aren’t going to do this piece for Lip Sync… but you know how good we are. (laughs)  I have got the best talent.  I have got Ashley and Beraza, Suzanne (Cheavens)…

KD: Are you going to give away any secrets?

LR: No Lip Sync secrets. I don’t think they have figured it out yet. They really put the pressure on themselves and figure out their song like three days before, their costume two days before and their choreography the day before.  Cheavens and Ashley … it is a secret from them too…

KD: How are you going to top last year?

LR: Oh man, I don’t think there is a possibility of that happening! There is no way.  Johnny A is outta town. Sue is outta town …. I am going to do something with Tiare and Jessica.  We came in third the last time we did it. They weren’t available last year.

KD: And then you blew the roof of the place. 

LR: Yeah, thank you very much.   You know, we went around and asked all the experts, “What would it take to win Lip Sync?”  We just incorporated what they said.

KD: Nudity.  Sequins?

LR: You need a song that is under three minutes, excellent choreography, and nudity.

KD: Really? They didn’t mention sequins?

LR: They didn’t. But you know I can’t do anything without sequins.  I am not a non-sequin type of person.

KD: And there are really only two kinds of people in the world.

LR: Make it a Doris Day…

KD: …or a Sandra Dee…

LR: What do you want to hear from Kylie Minogue?

KD: Whatever. You have Saturday Night Fever, that’s nice. How long have you been working on the ball?

LR: You mean how many years or how long this time?  I can’t ever remember when I got on the arts council. Fifteen years … maybe.  (phone rings) KOTO.  This is Liza, oh good, Yeah we have her CD here, under O for Oxnard.  Thanks. (hangs up)  I love those kind of calls, my least favorite are, “I hate your f--- show.” Then they hang up. 

KD: It isn’t constructive criticism really….

LR: It is all criticism.  I have been on the arts council since as long as I can remember.  They have been doing the ball… well one year we did it at the Opera House, do you remember?

KD: Remember, I was a cigarette girl, “Cigars, Condoms, Cigarettes!”

LR: The year we had it at the Peaks, that was really fun. Ron and Joyce came and they like it. They gambled all night.

KD: That was the year we all made clear plastic dresses. They we rode down in the busses and froze our asses off. Oh yeah then we partied at the Americana ’til 5 in morning. Didn’t Harry spin?

LR: Yes…. That’s right.  That was a good one.  It is always a good time, if you like to dance you can dance all night long.  Of if you just like to hang out, seems like a good thing to do.

KD: Let’s talk about the dress code.

LR: What dress code? Oh yeah I was going to tell you about the Lip Sync we are going to do at the ball.   We haven’t decided exactly yet what we are going to do, because we have a whole week and a day.  But we are probably going to do something from Chicago.  The dresses are going to be fabulous with beads on them. We are going to have three girl parts and three guy parts.  Cheavens and I are going to help Ashley do the guy parts.  (phone rings) KOTO, Garden, by Liza Oxnard, she’s a local, yeah she sells them at Wizard.  (hangs up)  So yeah, Tiare, Jessica and Beraza are going to be the girls and Cheavens, me and Ashley are going to be the boys.  How’s that for your dress code?

KD: Perhaps in the interest of time, tell me what you don’t do… No, really, what else do you do? You run the Nugget?

LR: Oh, me personally. I am going down on Monday for an appointment with my new favorite doctor, my ear nose and throat doctor. I have my favorite knee surgeon, my favorite brain surgeon, and now my favorite ear, nose and throat.

KD: Now is the whole sinus thing a side effect of the brain surgery or just the crud….

LR: Well, it’s the crud and living in this dirty dry environment of Telluride.  I have never had a sinus infection before and I am assuming it is because of my weakened condition, the year of surgery.  Who knows… nobody can tell. They are getting aggressive. What else do I do?  Run the Nugget, I am on the television board.

KD: TCTV?

LR: Yes. I am on the TCAH Board.  I am stage manager for the AIDS Benefit. For the last two years have put a line in the show. 

KD: Now for people who don’t know, you are Luci of the Showgirls line from the show last year.

LR: Yeah, Sue Hobby and I and I think we outdid ourselves last year. 

KD: I think you outdid everyone last year…

LR: Well we certainly blew our wad on that whole line and don’t have any good ideas for this year. Not like that amazing. What else? I work on the festivals in the summer.  Summer is so far away though that it is hard to… you know….

KD: Which festivals?

LR: Well, let’s start at the beginning… Mountainfilm…

KD: What do you do?

LR: Manage the Nugget.  Bluegrass? Manage dispatch.  Jazz? Manage dispatch.  Blues and Brews? Manage dispatch.  I got into a rut there.  Film Festival?  I used to manage concessions but I just got tired of it.  That wasn’t really the job that I wanted, it was just a job that they made me do because nobody else would do it.  So after ten years I say I wanted to something else. Stella, bless her heart, said, “What do you wanna do?”  I said I wanted to project.  So the next year I started being a projectionist.  I have got plenty of ins with the film crowd, cause of B.F.  He is Mr. Deal.  Let’s see … do I do any other festivals?  Every now and then I will do something else, but that is a lot.  What do you wanna hear from Evelyn Champagne King.  My favorites …”I Am Love” and “Love Come Down,” I play those all the time.

KD: “Love Come Down.” Couldn’t we all use a little more of that?

LR:  It is one of my favorites of all time. I used to roller skate to that in New York. 

KD: Central Park.

LR:  Oh yeah, and all those roller discos. Oh, man, when I lived there, there were three major roller discos in town that everybody went to, Cher, Caroline Kennedy … everybody was seen at them, including me.

KD:  I do recall you and Sean Fernandez on Main Street.  He sure did love that.

LR:  He still does, but he was in that car wreck where he broke his ribs, so neither of us has actually done very much in the past few years.

KD:  It is amazing how much more it hurts when you get older.

LR: Getting old really sucks, but consider the alternative. Youth is wasted the young.

KD: That is so true and such a pithy cliché. Annoying and true.

LR:  I do remember them fondly, those youthful days.

KD: Happy stupid days.

LR:  Oh yeah, the biggest news of all, my mom is coming in to town this weekend.  This busy crazy weekend. 

KD:  Just for the weekend?

LR:  Yeah she flew into Colorado Springs and my sister picked her up and they are slowly driving this way. 

KD:  Where is she from?

LR:  She lives in Oak Ridge Tennessee.

KD: Is that where you are from? You have no accent.

LR:  Oak Ridge is like Telluride. Nobody who lives there is actually from there, because it used to be a farm. Then they turned it into a secret military installation during the war and after the war if became the Atomic City. I was born there; a lot of people are now.

Anyway. I’ll see you at the ball.

(“I Can Dream About You: lyrics fill the room.)

 

Local’s Gallery Celebrates its First Year with Open House

 More Artists Sought for Year Two

 By Martinique Davis

 Telluride’s creative vibes will be flowing at their peak this Friday, January 31 as the Local’s Gallery (a Telluride artists’ co-operative) will be celebrating its first birthday with an all-day open house.

“It’s basically to celebrate the fact that we made it,” says co-op founding artist Cheryl Kimleigh of the event, which will allow visitors to meet the artists, find out more about the co-op, munch on hors d’oeuvres, and generally support local art in Telluride.

You’ll find many new artists at the open house, including local stained glass artist Deb Steuber, whose lively stained glass pieces shine in the east main street shop’s front window.

Long-time local Ginny Gordon’s one-of-a-kind “digital darkroom” photographs are also on display. Her piece, “Colorado Avenue Winter Morning,” is one of several images that conveys a very painterly feel.

Michael Ebert’s fine art photography pieces, like the photograph titled “Solitude,” will also grace the open house walls during Friday’s celebration.

The Local’s Gallery One Year Anniversary Open House would not be complete, of course, without the faithful artists that have displayed their work in the gallery since its inception, including Sandra J. Perkins (gourd art), June Carter (fun knitted hats and scarves), Sheri J. Worth (paintings), Kathy Green (silk and velvet scarves), Melissa Jane McKay (hand painted creations), Kimleigh (jewelry) and more.

The gallery, nestled in a space alongside The Potter’s Wheel, had an overall successful first year in existence, says Kimleigh.

“People are always telling me how much they enjoy buying truly local art, things you can’t find anywhere else but Telluride. We’re providing a place for local artists to showcase their work, which fulfills a need in this community.”

Artist Green agrees. “The first few years are always a huge struggle for new businesses,” she says, “so we’re very happy we made it a year! There seems to be a resurgence going on in Telluride in the arts in the past few years… I’m grateful to Dori Calvillo [owner of the Potter’s Wheel] for her willingness to share her space with local artists.”

Kimleigh says that the gallery has had its downs as well as ups, including high turnover in artists. Eyeing the next year of business, Kimleigh says that goals for the Local’s Gallery include stabilizing the core group of artists as well as diversifying Local’s Gallery art.

New artists are encouraged to stop by the gallery during the open house, as the gallery is in need of more artists – specifically wood turners and wall artists.

“It would be nice to have a solid core group of artists, a group that is just a little larger than what we currently have,” Kimleigh explains.

“Core group artist” Worth says that without the Local’s Gallery, her true-to-Telluride pastel paintings would not likely be shown at all.

“I’m very excited to be able to hang my work before the public,” she says, adding that the Local’s Gallery is her first gallery experience. You may recognize Worth’s work on posters from various Telluride festivals, such as the Chamber Music Festival.

Molly Krownapple, another local artist showcasing her jewelry, pillows, and other creations, agrees that the Local’s Gallery offers an opportunity for local artists that would not exist otherwise.

“I think it is great that small-time artists can share their work with the community in a venue like this,” she says.

The Local’s Gallery One Year Anniversary Open House will take place all day today, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., but the “main gathering,” says Kimleigh, will likely be between 5 and 7 p.m. Call the gallery at 728-4912 for more information.

Amid Political Maneuvering, Town Manager Search Narrows to Three Candidates,  One Is Under Investigation for Past Financial Improprieties

 By Elizabeth Covington

 The search for a new Telluride town manager, a process that has been slowed by and fraught with political maneuvering, took a turn on its ear this week, when the Telluride Town Council announced on Tuesday a list of three finalists. The next day, one of those finalists was identified as under investigation by the Idaho state attorney general's office for financial misconduct while in the position of mayor's chief of staff in Boise, Idaho. (See sidebar.)

In addition to the Boise mayor's chief of staff, council named the assistant city administrator of South Jordan, Utah, and the interim county attorney for Gloucester County, Virginia, who until April 2002 served as the city manager for Portsmouth, Virginia, as finalists.

The publication of the three finalists' names came on the heels of a confusing meeting Monday evening where council's divisive politics were starkly apparent. Immediately after Mayor John Steel convened the meeting, Councilmember Stu Fraser raised his hand to make a motion.

"Wouldn't you like first to announce the finalists?" Steel asked. The meeting had been called to announce the finalists.

"No," came the reply from Fraser.

Fraser then moved to continue the meeting for 24 hours so that council could enter into an executive session first. 

"A small explanation is in order," said Councilmember Dave Johnson who seconded the motion. "Today a meeting was called thinking we had a clear understanding of the hiring committee's pleasure. As it turned out, the understanding is not as clear or as tight as" as council hoped. "This is an opportunity to invite the committee to sit with us in executive session, so we can hear them directly and query them."

"I'm very surprised and I wish somebody had communicated with me today," said Steel.

"Ditto," said Councilmember Hilary White.

"The simple fact that I won't be here disturbs me personally," Steel said.

When asked to explain what he meant by a lack of a "clear understanding," Johnson refused, saying the recommendations had been made in confidence from the committee to council.

"The recommendations must be kept confidential," seconded Steel. "However, I am just as curious. I find this extraordinary."

"I agree that we would like to have you here," said Councilmember Jenny Russell. "This will be more of an informational meeting and you won't be voting."

"This is not just an informational meeting," countered Steel. "Apparently some great change has occurred."

"Deja vue," said White.

"I feel something is a bit underhanded about this," said Steel in response to a subsequent discussion about how to properly notice the Tuesday meeting. "Between sacrificing me and sacrificing you, Stu, I would sacrifice you."

"And I would sacrifice you," said Fraser.

The damage the chaos and in-fighting has wrought on town government is not lost on one councilmember. This week Johnson lamented that council, through its internal politics, may have wrought irreparable harm on itself.

"[Selection of the next town manager] is going to be a knock-down, drag-out fight," Johnson, "and we are bordering on being an entirely ineffective council."

Following a two and a half hour executive session Tuesday evening, council reported the three finalists.

Interim manager Steve Ferris was not named and this week he expressed his disappointment in not making the final cut.

"I am disappointed, but I am grateful for all the people who have supported me," Ferris said.

 THE FINALISTS

Of the two finalists who are not under investigation, one resides in Virginia and the other is living in South Jordan, Utah. 

Daniel Stuck from Portsmouth, Virginia, currently serves as the interim county attorney for Gloucester County, Virginia. Prior to working for Gloucester he was the city manager for Portsmouth, a city in Virginia's tidewater area that has a population 100,000 and counts as one of its main industries the Unites States Navy shipyard.

In Portsmouth Stuck oversaw a total operating budget of $360 million and implemented a number of budget reform steps to improve the financial and operational performance of city government. Prior to working for Portsmouth, Stuck was the county administrator for York County, population 56,000. There he managed 650 employees and a $127 million total operating budget.

Stuck also served as the assistant county attorney for York County, where a majority of his work was in environmental, property acquisition, childhood protective services, wetlands, zoning, personnel and education issues.

Stuck graduated from T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond and also earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Richmond in 1975.

Candidate Keith Morey is the assistant city administrator for South Jordan, Utah. There he manages police, fire, ambulance, court and economic development departments. He coordinated the planning and entitlement process of a 4,600-acre master planned community called Sunrise, a project which will double the size and population of South Jordan over the next 10 to 15 years. He also served as the city's representative to an effort to expand a light rail line into the Sunrise project.

He also recently served as city administrator for Mapleton, Utah, and as chief of staff to Congressman Chris Cannon from 1998 –1999. Prior to that he served as city administrator for Payson, Utah, a city with a $13 million municipal program, 20 department heads and over 100 full-time employees.

Morey earned a masters degree in public administration from the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University and his bachelor's degree from Brigham Young in 1990.

One Manager Finalist Under Investigation in Boise

 Gary Lyman, who was named by Telluride Town Council on Tuesday evening as a finalist in the town manager search, is the subject of an investigation by the Idaho state attorney general's office, according to The Idaho Statesman. Following inquiries by the city council into spending improprieties, Lyman took leave of his office in November and at the request of Boise Mayor Brent Coles tendered his resignation at the end of December.

This week the Statesman reported that Lyman and Coles traveled to Rochester, New York, in November for a meeting sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. There Lyman and Coles "skipped part of the meeting Nov. 12 to fly to New York City, where they took City Attorney Susan Mimura and an assistant to dinner and a Broadway musical as Mimura's yearly bonus," wrote Statesman in its Jan. 25. edition. Travel, lodging, meals and entertainment were all paid for with city funds, a tab that cost the city $5,318, costs.

City Council President Mike Wetherell first raised questions about the trip "while reviewing city checks as part of his regular duties," the Statesman reported. "Wetherell said he noticed $3,500 worth of airline tickets to Rochester for Coles and Lyman. He also found what he thought was an unusual invoice form the U.S. Conference of Mayors for $580. He later learned that invoice was for tickets to see Oklahoma! at the Gershwin Theater on Broadway."

Coles has since repaid $5,318 in costs related to the New York trip.

Though the mayor has said he will not resign, a petition to recall Coles has collected 10,000 votes, the Statesman reported this week. Recall backers have until Feb. 11 to gather the 18,693 signatures needed to put the question of whether Coles should remain in office on the May ballot.

"Trust is the key to the relationship. The council must trust the manager to do what he is paid to do and must be willing to listen to the suggestions of the manager as it relates to the needs of the organization," Lyman wrote in response to a supplemental question asking candidates to "discuss the council-manager relationship."

Mountain Village Building Official Files Charges in Carbon Monoxide Accident,  Mountain Village Police Dept. Investigating Incident as a Criminal Matter

 By Elizabeth Covington

 Charges for mechanical and building code violations stemming from a Jan. 3 incident which resulted in carbon monoxide poisoning of eight people staying in the Blue Mesa Lodge building and several firefighters and EMTs were filed this week by Mountain Village Building Inspector John Cheroske.

The charges were filed against Mike Reidel of Black Diamond Expert Services based in Montrose and against La Piazza, the restaurant in the Mountain Village that allegedly hired Reidel.

In addition the Mountain Village Police Department is investigating the incident as a criminal matter, said Mountain Village Police Chief Dale Wood. The department is working closely with the District Attorney's office to review possible charges to be brought in the matter.

Cheroske's investigation concluded that the boiler providing hot water to the restaurant  had been improperly modified so as to circumvent several safety components integral to its operation. That modification resulted in carbon monoxide backing up into the building.

Cheroske began his investigation after Telluride Fire Protection District Chief Jim Boeckel contacted him about the Jan. 3 incident. That evening the Mountain Village Fire Department and ambulance were called to the Blue Mesa Lodge, the building that houses La Piazza del Villagio on the first floor. Two people, staying in the upstairs condominiums, were unconscious and had "collapsed apparently trying to get out of their condo," Cheroske wrote in the notice. "After extricating the people from the building, the emergency responders started to notice signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning with the emergency crews."

A carbon monoxide detector read an excess of 200 parts per million. In addition to the two people pulled from the building, six others staying in the condos as well as several firefighters and EMTs were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning. The two people pulled first from the building were transported to the Telluride Medical Center and treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.

Levels of carbon monoxide over 50 parts per million are considered hazardous and levels over 90 parts per million could cause death. That evening the fire department took multiple readings of more than 200 parts per million, with some readings reaching 248 parts per million.

The two victims pulled from the building were less than a half hour from dying, Cheroske said  in an interview this week.

"We were informed that the owner of the restaurant first contacted Mike Reidel of Black Diamond Expert Services" to examine the boiler and determine why it was not working, Cheroske wrote in his report.

The boiler was not working because the exhaust fan, which is integral to the safe operations of the system, was burned out, Cheroske determined.

According to his report, an investigation and examination of the boiler determined that the power vent on the boiler's exhaust system failed as a result of alteration by Reidel's Black Diamond Services.

Instead of repairing the burned-out fan, "Reidel bypassed the power vent by disconnecting the…power supply and re-routing the power back to the" boiler, Cheroske wrote. "The power vent and pressure switch are considered safety devices that insure that the products of combustion are vented from the boiler."

Essentially, Reidel bypassed the safety elements of the boiler and re-connected the power supply directly to the thermostat on the boiler so that it would operate. As a result, the exhaust fan did not work, and failed to turn on prior to operation of the boiler, with the carbon monoxide that should have been vented from the boiler collecting in the ducts between the first floor ceiling and the floor on the second floor, Cheroske said.

The power vent, which ventilates to the outside exhaust from combustion in the boiler, had not worked since Dec. 30, 2002, Cheroske concluded in the report.

Eventually, because carbon monoxide is lighter than air, the poisonous gas filtered out of the ducts and walls and rose into the second-floor condominiums.

Because the boiler was altered, a building permit was required, but Black Diamond failed to obtain that permit, Cheroske said. The violation carries with it an order for a $74.40 fine for failure to obtain the required permit and a $2,000 fine as an investigation fee. Reidel does not have a Mountain Village business license.

"The important thing is to communicate with our department," Cheroske emphasized, to prevent incidents like this one from occurring. "Contractors can call our department any time and ask questions, ask us to consult on a project, or ask us whether a building permit is required for a project.

"It is also important for owners to understand that they should get references and shouldn't just take the low bid on a project. They should do their due diligence and call the building department."

Calls to Black Diamond Services were not returned.

 

Plan for Twenty New Homesites Near Hillside Wins Key County Approvals

 By Seth Cagin

 The long envisioned build-out of a four-acre parcel of land between the Hillside Subdivision and the Eider Creek Condominiums on the north side of the Colorado Hwy. 145 Spur moved a step closer to reality this week, as the San Miguel County Commissioners granted a series of required approvals.

The proposed Sunset Ridge subdivision would contain 20 lots zoned for single-family homes. The developer, the Sunset Ridge Land Company, would not build the homes, but would install infrastructure and sell lots individually.

The commissioners’ actions this week were to review the property for its potential geohazards, approving its development subject to a series of mitigations recommended by engineers. The commissioners also amended past approvals for development of the property, reducing the density from 30 units of housing in multifamily units to 20 single-family lots.

Access to the new homes will be via Pilot Knob Lane, which currently provides access to a portion of the Hillside Subdivision from Colorado Ave. Traffic studies submitted to the county by the applicant, Sunset Ridge Land Company, concluded that new right-hand turn lanes on Colorado Ave. will be necessary to accommodate new traffic.

Despite the county approvals, the development does face an additional hurdle, which may or may not prove to be a high one, and that is to obtain central water and sewage service from the Town of Telluride. Interim Telluride Town Manager Steve Ferris, in a memorandum to the county dated Jan. 27, stated that the town had not received enough information from the developer in sufficient time to “examine and clarify existing arrangements regarding sewer, water and access to the site.” Ferris asked the commissioners to delay taking action on the applications until the town had time to comment. But county officials responded by noting that their approvals were contingent on resolving the issues with the town, and that approvals would not be final in any case pending another public hearing for final plat approval.

Moreover, the county required central water and sewer as a condition of approval, in order to help minimize disturbances to the site and subsequent geohazard risks. “Obviously we have an issue we need to resolve with the Town of Telluride, the applicant’s attorney, Tom Kennedy, told the commissioners. “We are optimistic that between now and final plat review we’ll have something definitive with the town.”

Kennedy submitted for the record a letter he wrote to Town Attorney Sandy Stuller detailing a lengthy history of previous agreements by the town to provide water and sewer services and access to the property.

“We agree that the process with the town can take place between preliminary and final approvals of this project,” Telluride Special Projects Coordinator Lance McDonald told the commissioners.

Other issues considered by the commissioners prior to voting their approval of the applications included design covenants, employee housing mitigations and landscaping. Agreements and plans addressing those issues will be required as part of the final approval.

Super Bowl Ad Shot in Telluride Draws Raves

 The Budweiser Clydesdale’s visit to Telluride early this winter has apparently paid off.

Various surveys and polls following Sunday’s Super Bowl have ranked the ad shot here as one of the three most popular of the evening.

The ad features the Clydesdale’s standing around, a bit bored, while a zebra reviews a replay.

The Clydesdales and zebra stand in a mountain meadow, surrounded by the glory of the San Juans.

Budweiser shot two commercials here in December. The first, featured the Clydesdales trot down a brightly lit main street Telluride, and was shown prior to Christmas.

The other two Super Bowl commercials that drew acclaim were a Reebok ad featuring “Terrible Terry Tate” violently tackling coworkers who violate office etiquette and a Fedex ad that parodied the movie Castaway.  Also popular was Pepsi Twist’s parody of the Osbournes, in which Ozzie Osbourne finds himself stranded in an episode of The Osmonds, with Donny and Marie.

TMVS Marketing Campaign Wins Top Award

Telluride and Mountain Village Visitors Services and its marketing agency, Hill and Company, have won the 2002 Gold Adrian Award for their campaign marketing the Telluride region.  The theme of that campaign, featuring images including a poodle in dreadlocks and a ballerina in a hiking boot, is “Only in Telluride.”

In addition, the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International awarded a bronze award to TMVS and Hill & Company for the 2002 design of the TMVS web site, <www.visittelluride.com>.

Hill & Company also received awards for its campaigns for the Vail Cascade Resort and Spas complete campaign and for the Grand County Colorado Tourism Board.

The prestigious HSMAI awards were created to showcase the best in hospitality and travel advertising, marketing materials, public relations, and website design and development, according to a Hill & Co. press release. Each year the event attracts more than 1,800 entries from 50 countries around the world.

 

 

 

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