After the Christmas rush and before Lent begins is a great time to enjoy a European tradition similar to Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

Colorado State University Extension is teaming up with the Central Colorado Beekeepers Association to offer a class on beekeeping in the Upper Arkansas Valley.

Winter is a long season in Colorado. For some time we have been bundling up to endure low temperatures, blustery winds and snow. We will probably be doing so for many more weeks.

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A good friend of mine, Dave, previously from Chaffee County, has been working in Kenya for the past 13 years. He shared a story from a recent Christmas party in Kisumu, Kenya, that involved a young man, Jehoshaphat, who he has worked with through the Family of Hope Organization.

A steady wind blew from the high country while the sun fingered its way down the spruce across the far side of the valley. Only during an occasional calm did the sound of the stream below rise up to where I sat.

Most parents want to be able to provide their children with all or part of the means to obtain a college education.

You no doubt remember the old line attributed to Ben Franklin when he was asked what kind of government the Constitutional Convention had created: “A republic, if you can keep it.” Well, I’ve noticed an interesting thing in recent years: It’s got bipartisan appeal.

For those of Scottish descent, Robbie Burns Night dinners are a popular celebration. The birth of Scots poet Robert Burns is celebrated usually on Jan. 23 or 25, and the dinner has a defined agenda.

I want to start out by making it clear that I have nothing against cowboys.

Wow – what a first week of the second session of the 72nd General Assembly. A lot of “Pomp and Circumstance” was packed into the first two days. However, there was a lot more pomp and very little circumstance in those 48 hours.

Sometimes not knowing the history or all the details about an issue can lead to incorrect assumptions and accusations.

When beef gets short, a lot of cowboys are forced to do without. The cook must come up with meatless meals. The following recipes are from the Cowboy Vegetarian Cookbook.


June Shaputis gave this county a great gift in 1987. She pored over the local newspapers to reconstruct a history of burials in Chaffee County and then put it all together in “Chaffee County, Colorado Burials,” her Chaffee County opus.

Dear Editor:

I write to note the retirement of Karen Prosser, clerk of the Chaffee County Combined Courts, and to honor her selfless service as well as that of her predecessors.

Dear Editor: 

The local Salvation Army extension would like to thank all the volunteers and donors who contributed to another successful kettle bell fundraising season. Our sincere appreciation goes out for the generosity of our community. A total of $25,913 was raised in Chaffee County to help local residents.

Development fees: where, how used?

Increasing development fees appears to be one idea coming out of the county’s comprehensive plan currently under consideration.

At a meeting last week, Nora Bland of Cushing Terrell, the firm hired to draft a comprehensive plan, told Chaffee County Housing Policy Advisory Committee members that housing is the county’s No. 1 issue.

The U.S. ended 2019 with punitive air strikes on extremists in Iraq, Syria and Somalia. That’s a signal to all. America isn’t in withdrawal – anywhere. Nor have Americans declared victory against Islamist terrorism and walked away from the fight.

Dear Editor:

I never thought I’d be “that” person, but here goes:

Stop signs. For the love of all that is holy, can we pretty please have more stop signs? 

Dear Editor:

On Jan. 9, The Mountain Mail published a guest opinion by Star Parker entitled “President’s timely move against evil.” 

Parker asserts the “muted” reaction of Democrats to the assassination of Iranian general Soleimani differentiates Republicans from Democrats: “One part of America believes there is good and evil, and one part doesn’t.”

The assassinated Iranian general was undoubtedly evil. The attack was nevertheless a devastating strategic blunder.

Many Christians dedicate the month of January for the respect of human life and to pray for religious vocations. With that in mind, I’d like to tell you one of my favorite stories from the “Lives of the Saints.”

Dear Editor:

(Warning: Disturbing thoughts ahead! Sharp curves! Steep grades! The following letter is not recommended for people with nervous conditions.)

I don’t know about you, but I think 2020 could be a monumentally historic year.

Iranians pull back

In “reprisal” for the death of a top general by a U.S. air strike, on Wednesday Iran launched a dozen surface-to-surface missiles at two bases in Iraq housing American troops.

Purpose of the launch apparently was to send a propaganda message to Iranians that the regime had avenged Qasem Soleimani’s death with a lethal strike on U.S. forces in Iraq.

The awful truth about the corporate and governmental power elites in our democratic society is that they really don’t like democracy at all. They prefer to rule by buying lawmakers, hiring lobbyists, running Orwellian PR campaigns and relying on authoritarian police power to control people.

The muted reaction of leading Democratic politicians to the elimination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani reinforces my sense of what divides our country and differentiates the two parties.

If you’re fortunate, you’ll live independently and in good health throughout your retirement years. However, if you ever needed some type of long-term care, such as a stay in a nursing home, would you be financially prepared?

The morning sun at my back, I made my way slowly along the high bank, the soft crunch of dried grass, snow lying in its shaded crevices, beneath my boots. The summer flow’s high tide mark was clearly visible a good foot further up the bank from the stream’s current level, and a fine layer of…

Welcome back to “In the Garden.” This column first appeared in The Mountain Mail on Oct. 31, 2000. After 18 years of writing a weekly column, I found myself burned out and “recycling” older articles. Busted!

“What do you think?” my husband, Peter, asked about the link he’d sent me as we prepared to head home from the holidays.

“The funeral home?” I asked.

“Yeah, that one.” 

“I thought it was a joke.”

“No, it’s right on our way.”

“We’re going to spend the night in a funeral home?”

“It’s very inexpensive.”

I suddenly felt like I was in the opening scene of every horror film I’d ever watched. 

A lot of new things have been occurring at Ark-Valley Humane Society. With the recent completion of our new addition, we are now fully moved in to the new space. 

We love our new space for the animals – some of our favorites are the beautiful, big cat room that friendly cats can hang out in and our private meet-and-greet rooms for families to sit down and hang out with new animals.

When moving from sea level or a lower elevation to Chaffee County, one of the changes you will notice is the difference in baking and cooking.

Growing up in the flatlands of Upper Michigan, I knew there was such a thing as altitude adjustment because the directions came on the cake mix boxes. Of course, I had no reason to pay attention to them at the time, nor did I have to worry about adjusting other recipes.

For most students, January means a return to school after a winter vacation. Because there are few three-day weekends or other interruptions, the months between winter and spring breaks are the time when teachers plan to put the pedal to the metal. 

Working-class jobs don’t matter. We can easily replace them. West Virginians won’t mind installing solar panels instead of mining coal.

Such was the callous sentiment behind the statement of former Vice President Joe Biden when asked last about the left’s green revolution. Would he move forward with green policies that directly killed hundreds of thousands of blue-collar jobs?

The prospect of war with Iran is terrifying.

Experts predict as many as a million people could die if the current tensions lead to a full-blown war. Millions more would become refugees across the Middle East, while working families across the U.S. would bear the brunt of our casualties.

McGraw posed an interesting question. If a cowboy herds a herd of cattle, we call him a herder. If a sheepman herds a flock of sheep, he’s still a herder. Why isn’t he called a flocker?

‘Further aggression will not be tolerated’

The death last week in Iraq of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Quds Force, has Trump administration critics in Congress and elsewhere claiming the president has gone too far.

The first session of the 72nd General Assembly ended at 6:45 p.m. May 3, and here we are in 2020 already gaveling in the second session.

This marks my last year in the Legislature – I have already served seven years of my eight-year term limit. I purchased a statue of a bull rider to place on my desk this year. The inscription reads: “This is not my first rodeo – I have seen this bull before.” 

It’s 2020 – what may this year hold for Salida Regional Library? Opportunity is the word that first comes to my mind.

Dear Editor:

While his wife is wishing for “peace on the earth,” the man who sits in the White House is spinning from one destructive, self-serving blunder to another. 

Already under impeachment for trying to badger a vulnerable ally into actions to undermine a competitor in the 2020 election, this man has now set off a firebomb in the Middle East with the assassination of an Iranian general. 

In a full-blown U.S. war with Iran, up to a million people could die initially.

Hundreds of thousands more could die in the vacuum to follow. Millions would be made refugees. That’s the conclusion of experts surveyed by Vox reporter Alex Ward. “The worst-case scenarios here are quite serious,” Middle East scholar Michael Hanna warned.

Dear Editor:

Now that Heart of the Community Christmas Drive has wrapped up, I wanted to thank everyone who helped with the success of the program, including: 

Dear Editor:

The Salida Community Center would like to thank all of the numerous volunteers for making this year’s Community Christmas Dinner a huge success. 

We would like to thank Jeanine Zeman for doing an awesome job organizing all of the volunteers. A special thank you to Jeff Yoast and Ira Curry for manning the kitchen and to Don Potts from Shallots. Ken Brandon was so much help and helped a great deal with recycling.

Throughout history and especially within the sacred Scriptures, names have always been important.

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