Turning Ukraine’s way
Russia’s senseless war on Ukraine appears to be turning.
Armed with weaponry by a coalition of U.S. and NATO countries, in recent weeks Ukraine has launched offensives taking back territory given up in the war’s first months starting in February.
Ukrainians’ will to fight for their country and freedom from oppression against a much larger foe has been and is an inspiration to the world.
Russia’s army reportedly in some instances is running from combat when faced with advancing Ukrainian forces, leaving behind their weapons, from tanks to artillery pieces.
In the meantime, Vladimir Putin, Russian president, sees continuing and increasing criticism from world leaders such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, who said last week this is not a time for war.
The war is also being questioned from within Russia with – among others – pop stars daring to state their opposition, willing to face what could be serious consequences for their audacity.
The questions arise as, according to reports, at least eight Russian business leaders have died, in some cases with their spouses and children, under mysterious circumstances, since the war’s start. Six of the deaths involved officials of a Russian energy company, who were critical of the war.
While cracks in Russia’s war effort appear to be widening, at the front, from within the country and among world leaders, the war continues, with fears that a desperate and unhinged Russian leader could turn to more drastic measures such as bombing nuclear power plants or using small-scale nuclear weapons.
The war may be turning but the dangers to Ukraine, to Europe and the world are, if anything, more serious and increasing.
Building cooling off?
Is Chaffee County’s red hot building market finally showing signs of cooling off?
According to a report to county commissioners, building permits in August totaled 338, down about 7 percent from August 2021’s total of 365.
Dan Swallow, county Building Department director, said fees for the month came to $118,000, down 23 percent from 2021’s August total of $153,000.
For the year, the department has collected $1.136 million in fees compared to $1.435 million for the same period a year ago, a decline of $299,000 or 21 percent.
One of the elements fueling the county’s building boom the past two years were historically low interest rates, which dropped below 3 percent in 2020 in the throes of the coronavirus.
Over the past two years, interest rates have been steadily rising, climbing to 6 percent and higher currently, as the Federal Reserve attempts to bring down rapidly increasing prices and inflation.
Interest rates are just one of many factors involved in building and construction decisions, but federal officials’ efforts to cool inflation by raising rates appears to be having an impact on construction in the county.
Kesner celebrates 100
Few buildings in the county at 100 years or older can claim to have the same use today as they did a century earlier.
On Sept. 19, 1922, Salida School District’s Kesner Building was dedicated, named for Superintendent Edgar E. Kesner, who died earlier that year.
Remarkably, a century later, it’s still being used to educate Salida students as home to Colorado Mountain College administration and classrooms.
At 100 years, the Kesner Building appears poised to continue to serve for decades to come.