Tuesday, Nov 4, 2002  content presented by Telluride Today .com About The Watch

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Polls Are Open Until 7 P.M. 

Capping what has been an unusually subdued campaign by local standards, voters in San Miguel County will decide today whether to retain County Commissioner Vern Ebert in office for another four-year term, or to replace him with challenger David Glynn.

We Lost Because We Didn't Show Up' Say Defeated Miners,  By Martinique Davis

 Dreams of a 2002 State Tournament performance came to a crashing halt for Telluride High School’s Varsity volleyball players on Saturday, with the team suffering three painful defeats in the Regional Tournament in Palisade – thus losing their ticket to the State Tournament next weekend.

Watch the World, Afghanistan One Year Later: A First Hand Account, By Elizabeth Covington

 After 23 years of war, they want a peaceful life for themselves and their countrymen. They want their children in school. They want to rebuild their homes and to free their fields from mines. They want to rebuild their roads and bridges.

A Spanish Resource Guide Underway to Assist Region’s Growing Latin Community, Paginas Amarillas, By Elizabeth Covington

“These guys feel like they came here to work and they are sometimes taken advantage of because they don’t speak English,” said Faisuly Schurer. “I am involved because I care. My father immigrated from Columbia 28 years ago. He came to make a better life for his family. Latinos arriving today just want a better life.”

A Little Bit of Art, a Little Bit of Science’ in John Hopkins’s Glass Pieces, By Martinique Davis

 What started five years ago as a hobby has taken over half of local artist John Hopkins’ garage space. 

Hopkins’ garage used to store old house effects. Now, the area is home to a glass cutting table and large kiln, the workspace where Hopkins designs and fires his always-original fused glass art.

Full Stories

Polls Are Open Until 7 P.M. 

Capping what has been an unusually subdued campaign by local standards, voters in San Miguel County will decide today whether to retain County Commissioner Vern Ebert in office for another four-year term, or to replace him with challenger David Glynn.

Voters in the Telluride region will decide two taxing questions: whether to expand the Telluride Middle/High School, and if so, whether to upgrade the proposed auditorium into a performing arts center; and whether to subsidize emergency care at the Telluride Medical Center. Voters in the Town of Telluride are being asked to authorize additional bonding backed by existing revenues, to go toward the effort to acquire the Valley Floor.

Voters will also decide elect a county treasurer, a county clerk and a county coroner.  In the treasurer’s race, it’s longtime incumbent Sherry Rose, facing a challenge from Terry Selby; for clerk it’s Doris Ruffe, who was appointed to the job to fill the term of retiring longtime clerk Gay Cappis against the chair of the San Miguel County Planning and Zoning Commission, Oak Smith. In the coroner’s race, longtime Coroner Bob Dempsey is being challenged by former Telluride Town Councilmember Harley Brooke-Hitching.

The polls are open until 7 p.m. tonight.

In addition to the local races, voters will face a ballot that includes several regional and statewide races and questions.

The race between Democrat Jim Isgar and Republican Kay Alexander to represent the Sixth Senate District in the next Colorado General Assembly has drawn an extraordinary amount of advertising, due to the fact that Democrats held a bare majority in the last legislature and that the Sixth District was targeted as a swing district that could go to either party. The senate was the only elected branch of state government under Democratic Party control during the last two years. If Republicans take control today, they will likely control both the state senate and the house of representatives, as well as the governor’s mansion, for the next two years at least.

The race to represent House District 58 between Democrat Bill Patterson and Republican Ray Rose has also had a higher profile than the usual contest in the heavily Republican district, possibly because Patterson was recently mayor in Montrose, the biggest city in the district, and has proven he can win Republican votes.

Though Colorado Gov. Bill Owens is running for a second term today, his Democratic challenger Rollie Heath has trailed him by large margins in polls, and Owens is not considered to be at risk of losing his reelection bid.

Local voters will also weigh in on one of the most closely watched Senate races in the country. Incumbent Republican Senator Wayne Allard and challenger Democrat Tom Strickland have been neck and neck in the polls for months. The race has drawn national attention not only because control of the U.S. Senate is at stake, but also because the campaign has been dominated by negative advertising.

 

We Lost Because We Didn't Show Up' Say Defeated Miners,  By Martinique Davis

 Dreams of a 2002 State Tournament performance came to a crashing halt for Telluride High School’s Varsity volleyball players on Saturday, with the team suffering three painful defeats in the Regional Tournament in Palisade – thus losing their ticket to the State Tournament next weekend.

“We lost because we didn’t show up,” says senior Chelsey Padilla of Saturday’s games, where the team fell to Meeker, North Park, and district rival Dolores.

The skilled squad stormed the court on Saturday as the San Juan League champions, with high hopes of advancing to the state tournament.  The girls came out strong for their first game against Meeker, narrowly missing the win 19-17. 

The ladies weren’t able to recover from the first loss, and fell to Meeker in the second game of the match 15-11.

Padilla consents, “We started strong against Meeker, but we let them catch up.  That’s been our issue all year long – we get ahead, then we slack a little bit and then are stuck having to catch up.”

The same condition of starting strong and losing momentum plagued Telluride in their second match of the day, against their #1 rival team Dolores.  Telluride ended up winning the first game of the match 16-14, after falling behind early in the game and wielding a powerful comeback led by Telluride offense Rhea DePagter and Padilla.

The second game found Telluride behind again throughout the first points of the game, but the girls picked up the pace mid-game to bring the game to within one point, 11-12.  Telluride then lost their grasp on the victory with faulted serves in the last minutes of the game, falling to Dolores 15-12.

Telluride’s fate was then riding on the last game of the Dolores match, as the team needed a match win to advance in the tournament.  Padilla says the team did not expect to lose to Dolores in the third game, and confides the 15-5 loss was a big disappointment for the whole team.

She says: “We didn’t realize we lost until it was almost over.  We had beaten Dolores twice before in the regular season, and we didn’t expect to lose to them at Regionals.  It didn’t hit us that we lost to them until the third game was already over.”

Chalking up the day’s two losses against Dolores and Meeker, Telluride entered their third match of the day against North Park without expectations of advancing to the State tournament – their two earlier losses kicked them out of advancing position. 

North Park was undefeated in the tournament, and pulled two fast wins over Telluride 15-4, 15-10.

DePagter says of the Tournament, “All four teams were really good, but the other three teams showed up ready to play, and we just weren’t ready to play.  Their attitude was ‘We’re going to win, we’re not going to lose,’ and we didn’t really have that attitude.” 

Saturday proved to be a trying day for the team’s players not only skills-wise but on the emotional front as well.  Senior DePagter admits of Saturday’s games, “It was pretty hard, and very emotional.  Even after our last game I still had to come to grips with the fact that my senior year was over, and that I’m not going to play high school volleyball anymore.”

Padilla agrees that the team’s losses proved to be emotionally draining, adding, “Last year I took going to State for granted.  It wasn’t until our last volleyball game this year that it really hit me – that I wasn’t going to play another game in High School.”

THS Junior and varsity volleyball player Mary Faye Samuelson agrees that the team’s Regional Tournament performance was disappointing.  “We didn’t play up to our potential.  Maybe our expectations were too high, but the way we played on Saturday wasn’t the way we normally play.”  She consents that though next year’s team will be different with the absence of the seven strong seniors who lead the team this year, she feels confident that next year’s team will shine.

“I’m pretty optimistic about next year.  I think we have a good chance of going far if we play together as a team, and maybe not set our goals so high – it’s hard when you fall short of your goals.”

Padilla consents that though next year may be a “rebuilding year” for THS Volleyball, there are many players on the team with enormous potential. 

Samuelson adds that though her team didn’t make it to the State Tournament, the season overall was an accomplishment for all of the team’s players.  “I was just really excited to be a part of the team,” she says.

DePagter agrees that though it was hard losing in the Regional Tournament, she is happy with the team’s accomplishments.  “It was a good season overall.  We won a lot of games, we had a lot of fun, and we had a good team.  It all came down to one day – Saturday – and we just didn’t show up.”

 

Watch the World, Afghanistan One Year Later: A First Hand Account, By Elizabeth Covington

 After 23 years of war, they want a peaceful life for themselves and their countrymen. They want their children in school. They want to rebuild their homes and to free their fields from mines. They want to rebuild their roads and bridges.

“We lost because we didn’t show up,” says senior Chelsey Padilla of Saturday’s games, where the team fell to Meeker, North Park, and district rival Dolores.

The skilled squad stormed the court on Saturday as the San Juan League champions, with high hopes of advancing to the state tournament.  The girls came out strong for their first game against Meeker, narrowly missing the win 19-17. 

The ladies weren’t able to recover from the first loss, and fell to Meeker in the second game of the match 15-11.

Padilla consents, “We started strong against Meeker, but we let them catch up.  That’s been our issue all year long – we get ahead, then we slack a little bit and then are stuck having to catch up.”

The same condition of starting strong and losing momentum plagued Telluride in their second match of the day, against their #1 rival team Dolores.  Telluride ended up winning the first game of the match 16-14, after falling behind early in the game and wielding a powerful comeback led by Telluride offense Rhea DePagter and Padilla.

The second game found Telluride behind again throughout the first points of the game, but the girls picked up the pace mid-game to bring the game to within one point, 11-12.  Telluride then lost their grasp on the victory with faulted serves in the last minutes of the game, falling to Dolores 15-12.

Telluride’s fate was then riding on the last game of the Dolores match, as the team needed a match win to advance in the tournament.  Padilla says the team did not expect to lose to Dolores in the third game, and confides the 15-5 loss was a big disappointment for the whole team.

She says: “We didn’t realize we lost until it was almost over.  We had beaten Dolores twice before in the regular season, and we didn’t expect to lose to them at Regionals.  It didn’t hit us that we lost to them until the third game was already over.”

Chalking up the day’s two losses against Dolores and Meeker, Telluride entered their third match of the day against North Park without expectations of advancing to the State tournament – their two earlier losses kicked them out of advancing position. 

North Park was undefeated in the tournament, and pulled two fast wins over Telluride 15-4, 15-10.

DePagter says of the Tournament, “All four teams were really good, but the other three teams showed up ready to play, and we just weren’t ready to play.  Their attitude was ‘We’re going to win, we’re not going to lose,’ and we didn’t really have that attitude.” 

Saturday proved to be a trying day for the team’s players not only skills-wise but on the emotional front as well.  Senior DePagter admits of Saturday’s games, “It was pretty hard, and very emotional.  Even after our last game I still had to come to grips with the fact that my senior year was over, and that I’m not going to play high school volleyball anymore.”

Padilla agrees that the team’s losses proved to be emotionally draining, adding, “Last year I took going to State for granted.  It wasn’t until our last volleyball game this year that it really hit me – that I wasn’t going to play another game in High School.”

THS Junior and varsity volleyball player Mary Faye Samuelson agrees that the team’s Regional Tournament performance was disappointing.  “We didn’t play up to our potential.  Maybe our expectations were too high, but the way we played on Saturday wasn’t the way we normally play.”  She consents that though next year’s team will be different with the absence of the seven strong seniors who lead the team this year, she feels confident that next year’s team will shine.

“I’m pretty optimistic about next year.  I think we have a good chance of going far if we play together as a team, and maybe not set our goals so high – it’s hard when you fall short of your goals.”

Padilla consents that though next year may be a “rebuilding year” for THS Volleyball, there are many players on the team with enormous potential. 

Samuelson adds that though her team didn’t make it to the State Tournament, the season overall was an accomplishment for all of the team’s players.  “I was just really excited to be a part of the team,” she says.

DePagter agrees that though it was hard losing in the Regional Tournament, she is happy with the team’s accomplishments.  “It was a good season overall.  We won a lot of games, we had a lot of fun, and we had a good team.  It all came down to one day – Saturday – and we just didn’t show up.”

 

A Spanish Resource Guide Underway to Assist Region’s Growing Latin Community, Paginas Amarillas, By Elizabeth Covington

“These guys feel like they came here to work and they are sometimes taken advantage of because they don’t speak English,” said Faisuly Schurer. “I am involved because I care. My father immigrated from Columbia 28 years ago. He came to make a better life for his family. Latinos arriving today just want a better life.”

Latin American immigrants pay “coyotes” $5,000 and more a head to be smuggled across the border to the United States, Schurer said.

“I was just talking to a lady who paid a coyote $5,000 to bring her across the desert,” said Schurer. “That is a lot of money. They crossed and then were caught and put in jail. She had to pay another $5,000 to get out. She has been here for less than two weeks and is $10,000 in debt. They are willing to go into debt, to risk their lives to make a better life. My father risked his life.”

Schurer along with Sergio Gonzalez and others from San Miguel County’s Latino community are working with Daniel Measer Kanow, cultural coordinator for the San Miguel Resource Center, to create a resource guide for the county’s Latino community. The resource guide will be a sixty to seventy page written-in-Spanish guide to the county’s community organizations and services. The guide will include transportation, law enforcement, health, education, government, immigration, tourism, recreation, and work, among other issues. It will also contain a bilingual glossary containing useful words and phrases in English and Spanish.

“There is definitely a lack of full acceptability for the Latin American community in the county,” said Kanow. “There is also a lack of bi-cultural competency among service organizations and service providers.”

The resource center decided to undertake the guide as a way of dispersing information about domestic violence in a non-threatening way, Kanow added. It is an opportunity to distribute the resource center’s information along with other community information. Additionally, the resource center hopes to attract more bilingual advocates to its program.

“We hope this guide and the community meetings we are holding will move the community in the direction of creating more accessibility for the Latin American community.”

The guide is a first step in bringing together the Latino community, a population in San Miguel County that according to the U.S. Census more than quadrupled from 1990 to 2000, increasing from 102 to 439.

“We hope all this will lead to a Latin resource center and to greater cultural competency among service providers, as well as among businesses,” Kanow said.

The meetings Kanow referred are gatherings that took place September and October. The third is tonight at 6 p.m. at the Wilkinson Public Library Program Room. The whole community is invited, and a translator will be present for Spanish-only speakers.

Fifteen participants attended the first get-together and the gathering grew to 45 at the second. At the second, a Spanish-only assembly, participants outlined the resource guide and talked about their most immediate concerns.

“The most pressing need may be cashing their paychecks,” said Schurer. “If they don’t have a driver’s license or ID card, they can’t cash their checks.”

Second to cashing checks meeting participants reported affordable housing as a concern, said Kanow. “However, that is not as important as cashing a paycheck and having an ID card. Until those first are satisfied, the rest will always be second.”

In addition to the meetings, Kanow and the Latino community are gathering information through a needs assessment.

“This will give us some perspective on who we are doing the book for and what their concerns are,” said Kanow. “Additionally, it is another way for the Latino community to participate in making the book happen.”

Four members of the Latino community, Schurer, Sergio Gonzales, Oscar Perla, and Javier Martinez, conducted a door-to-door survey. They did not collect names or addresses, but did ask seventy respondents’ their most pressing concerns, as well as their ages, country of origin, time living in San Miguel County, work, and fluency in English.

“The results were more or less as one would expect,” said Kanow. “It is a really young community and there are only a few elders. Most have been in town less than two years.”

Specifically, 60 percent of those surveyed are 15-25 years old. Eighteen percent are 26-34 years old and 14 percent are 45-54 years old. Six percent are 35-44 years old, and the 55-64-years-old category represents two percent of the population.

Not surprisingly most Latinos, 64 percent, are from Mexico, said Kanow. The country represented by the next largest percentage of the population is El Salvador at 17 percent. Guatemala, with 13 percent, represents third largest segment of the population; Peru and Columbia are last with six percent.

Again, not surprisingly most Latinos have recently moved to the county; the great majority, 59 percent, have lived here for less than two years. Twenty-two percent have resided in the county for three to five years. And 19 percent have lived here for more than six years.

As for fluency, over half, 59 percent, reported they speak no English. Forty-seven percent reported their English is “little to fluent.”

“Many are involved in [English as a Second Language classes],” said Kanow. “Being bilingual is important. Speaking English gives folks the opportunity to work for higher pay.”

In the employment category, most Latinos, 35 percent, work in restaurants. An equal percentage, 17 percent, work in cleaning and custodial, in construction, and in a category called “grocery stores, housewife, ski mountain and school district.” The final 13 percent are unemployed.

From the Nov. 7 meeting Kanow hopes to pull together a committee to review the book as it is developed.

“The committee will help me put together the book in English and then translate it into Spanish,” said Kanow.

To date Kanow has received financial pledges supporting the book from the county sheriff’s office, the towns of Telluride and Mountain Village, the county, Wright Stuff Foundation, Ah Haa School for the Arts, and One-to-One Mentoring Program. The resource center is providing Kanow’s time.

“All of these groups will have a lot to say about the book,” Kanow said. “I want their input.

“We have some Anglos doing some of this work. But we really need the energy to come from the Latino community. I hope to distribute the book on cinco de mayo.”

“Everyone tells the same story,” Schurer concluded. “They used to have a business, but had to pay off the mafia, so they couldn’t continue their business. They had kids going hungry, so they had to do something. They pay the coyote and come to the States.”

A Little Bit of Art, a Little Bit of Science’ in John Hopkins’s Glass Pieces, By Martinique Davis

 What started five years ago as a hobby has taken over half of local artist John Hopkins’ garage space. 

Hopkins’ garage used to store old house effects. Now, the area is home to a glass cutting table and large kiln, the workspace where Hopkins designs and fires his always-original fused glass art.

Hopkins’s colorful fused glass wares, on display at The Local’s Gallery on Colorado Ave., are each an individual experiment in creativity, he says.

“It’s a little bit of art, and a little bit of science,” Hopkins explains of his fused glass method. “There is a bit of chance involved in all my projects.  I’m not 100 percent sure what will happen when I put a piece in the kiln.”

He points to a deep blue and red glass piece, which he says started as a vase, but ended up as a candleholder due to the tricky nature of the glass fusing process. To create a piece of fused glass art, Hopkins begins by arranging an assortment of different glass pieces together, creating a collage of colors and shapes.  He then fires the piece at an extremely high temperature, above 1,400 degrees.  The rest, he says, is often left to chance.

“It’s all a part of the creative learning process,” he says.

Hopkins’ inventory varies in almost all facets, from eclectic chess, tic-tac-toe and backgammon playing boards to elegant decorative plates, from small pocket mirrors framed with opaque pastel glass borders to the tall “Big Bang Theory” piece displayed in the gallery window.  The “Big Bang Theory” is made of an old, legless coffee table that Hopkins transformed into a freestanding wood-and-fused-glass piece.  The “Big Bang Theory” highlights windows of transparent glass overlaid with thin firework streaks of color exploding from glass globules, with each pane fitted into shaped spaces in the wood.

“I don’t want to mass produce things,” Hopkins says. “It’s much more fun to try and create something different, and experiment to see what will happen.”

Hopkins is currently working on a massive “waterfall” piece, which he explains will serve as an artistic feature in a local home and will span the length of two floors. 

“I’ve never made a waterfall,” he says, “but that is the creative process that I love about fusing glass. I know that something will happen.”

He adds that since he has now been experimenting with fused glass for a few years, he is starting to get a feel for what will work and what won’t work – and is thus experiencing fewer failures.

“I make as many failures as successes,” he admits. “It’s only the successes you see here!”

Hopkins says that one of the beauties of working with glass is that it is reusable; he often reuses already-fired glass for certain projects, which often results in inimitable pieces.

Though he is new to fusing glass, Hopkins has always been attracted to the world of art, he says. In his three decades in the Telluride area, Hopkins has been President of the Telluride Arts Commission, has served as chair of the Telluride Commission for the Arts and Special Events, and has also spend many years working full-time in world of theatre as a drama teacher.  

He first got involved with fusing glass after taking a class through Telluride’s Ah Haa School five years ago. 

“I got hooked,” he explains, confiding that his background in theatrical arts, especially scenic and lighting design, helped paved the way for his love of glass art. 

“The way light and color work together, and how light moves through transparent materials, has always interested me,” he says. “So glass art was natural for me.”     

What started as a class soon became a hobby.

“The Ah Haa class was just an experiment, but the next thing I knew, I had bought a little glass and a little kiln,” Hopkins recalls. “Then I got a little more glass, and a little bit bigger kiln, then an even bigger kiln… and in the process, I’ve lost half of my garage – but it’s a lot of fun.” 

It didn’t take long before Hopkins was selling his diverse fused art pieces at The Local’s Gallery.  Hopkins was one of the original artists to show his work at the gallery when it opened last winter.

“The Local’s Gallery gives a lot of us an opportunity to show our art on Main Street.  Without the support of Dori [Cavillo, owner of the Potter’s Wheel, where The Local’s Gallery is located], all these artists wouldn’t be exhibiting their work,” Hopkins says.

The Local’s Gallery is looking for more artists to participate. For more information, contact the Potter’s Wheel/Local’s Gallery at 728-4912.

 

 

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Forest Service Revives an Outmoded and Ill-Conceived Timber Sale, Dateline: Wright’s Mesa, By Grace Herndon

 From its Byzantine collection of outmoded policies, the U.S. Forest Service has resurrected the decades old Goat Creek Timber Sale proposal. To their considerable credit, the San Miguel County Commissioners will informally review the plan this Wednesday, Nov. 7, in Telluride.

Goat Creek and its neighboring drainages on the Lone Cone are part of the Norwood-Wright's Mesa watershed, which provides both domestic and ag water for this community. Moreover, prime access to the upper reaches of the Lone Cone's year-round outdoor recreation treasures runs right through Goat Creek. Fortunately for Wright's Mesa water users and mountain recreationists, San Miguel County's Environmental Health official Dave Schneck has raised serious questions about the wisdom of this timber sale plan.

First planned in 1987 by the USFS as part of a batch of aspen clearcuts in the so-called "Lone Cone-Beaver Park Diversity Unit," the Goat Creek sale went unsold. And, according to Forest Service officials, USFS rules require the planned sale to more or less be removed from the books – one way or the other. So its back.

No matter that its prime customer, Louisiana-Pacific Corp., has closed down its notorious Olathe waferboard plant. (Its legacy is thousands of aspen clearcuts that will mar Western Colorado's once glorious, and mostly old growth, aspen groves for decades to come.) No matter that the public now clearly understands the cumulative effects of such widespread clearcutting – a taboo subject among government decision-makers just a few years ago.

Sheep Mountain Alliance, along with numbers of other citizens groups, strongly supports the "no action alternative" for this outmoded and ill-conceived timber sale. Along with SMA, retired Ouray USFS Ranger Walt Rule has written highly relevant comments opposing the Goat Creek proposal.

Wildfires of course, are the dominant theme in professional forest management circles these days. Following last summer’s Beaver Creek wildfire, the Forest Service saw the Goat Creek plan as an opportunity to include salvage logging in its decades-old timber sale. Rule, however, says that "current literature and up-to-date science is raising questions about the appropriateness of salvage logging after a fire."

In an Oct. 11 letter from Forest Supervisor Robert Storch in Delta, the agency said that it was necessary to revise the Environmental Assessment covering the Goat Creek Timber sale proposal. Forest Service officials say that the West Beaver fire encroached into the Goat Creek timber sale area, changing the ground conditions as well as damaging timber. The Forest Service now believes that salvage logging is required to deal with this change.

On Oct. 22, Rule responded to that claim, noting that salvage logging often does "more damage" through road building, skidding trails and yarding. He suggests that "study and long observations to evaluate fire, its effects and the results of treatment and non treatment" would be highly useful. Observers say that big new fire budgets encourage agencies to use big time "treatments" to "repair" wildfire damage. Scientists disagree on the subject, but it's well known that money drives many an agency policy.

Other critics raise other concerns. For example, criticism is focused on the unknown but potentially damaging effect of additional timber cutting on this critical watershed. Schneck early on pointed out the dangers of Dissolved Organic Compounds. As SMA's Joan May has also pointed out, "The current state of the water in the Goat Creek area already shows DOC and turbidity levels that are about what will be acceptable" when new standards are adopted next year.

With so many unanswered questions looming over the USFS timber sale plan, San Miguel County Commissioners should ask the Forest Service to back off their present plan and, with more public comment and a lengthy study period, we'd all learn more about the forest's ability to restore itself –naturally. The Goat Creek Timber sale would cover some 400 acres, about 15 miles south of Norwoood.

Call the commissioners office today to let them know how you feel. I'd say let's give the forest a chance to replenish itself and avoid, among other things, doing more, unknown damage to Wright's Mesa's watershed.