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Resilience.

The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. — The Oxford English Dictionary

Leadville locals are used to being described as tough. Most residents know the Leadville Race Series saying, “you’re tougher than you think you are,” while others have read articles on Cloud City that utilize “tough” as the town’s primary descriptor.

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Last week, the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors, of which Editor Emerita Marcia Martinek and I are members, signed a statement urging state, tribal and local public institutions to commit to transparency during the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter, drafted by the National Freed…

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How quickly things change. Two weeks ago, the thought of remotely publishing the Herald Democrat was a distant hypothetical. Remote publication, we believe, is now a necessity.

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The Herald Democrat is used to uncertainty. Coverage decisions are often made on the fly and improvisation plays a large part in the newspaper’s production days. Problem-solving is one of our strengths.

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Two county commissioners, a sheriff, a county clerk and four City Council members. A superintendent, a college campus vice president and two principals. The directors of Full Circle, Build a Generation, the Advocates, Cloud City Conservation Center and Get Outdoors Leadville!. Several direct…

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The Herald Democrat covered the 13th annual Leadville Loppet this weekend. The event, a fundraiser for the Mineral Belt Trail Committee, got us thinking about our appreciation of the 12-mile recreation path.

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Growing up in Charlottes-ville, Virginia, I was lucky to be surrounded by family, friends and educators who found value in discourse.

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It was my first day on the job as a reporter for the Herald Democrat when I received a tip about Fernando Mendoza. I didn’t know who the undersheriff was; I barely knew how to answer my office phone.

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When Marcia Martinek arrived at the Herald Dem-ocrat in 2002, the newspaper was in a tough spot. The former editor and reporter had quit and the effects of the Climax Mine’s closure still rippled through town.

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This is my 908th editorial since taking the editor’s position at the Herald Democrat in July 2002. It’s also my last.

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Although the “red flag law” has received the most attention in Lake County, there are more than 400 new laws that also went into effect on January 1 in Colorado.

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The new year is upon us, but during the past couple of weeks we’ve been looking back to 2019 and compiling the year in review, which starts in this newspaper and continues over several weeks until we run out of 2019 events.

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This week in this newspaper, Matt Main took the time to write a letter about the Get Outdoors Leadville Gear Lending Library and what a benefit it is to be able to borrow outdoor gear.

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Here’s the thing about the Red Flag Law. However eloquently a person might speak about it, it is almost impossible to change anyone’s mind on the other side of the issue.

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We’ve recently been interviewing reporter candidates here at the Herald. We advertise nationally and generally run across a few who have never heard of Leadville before. Some have never left the east or west coasts and ventured into the midsection of the country.

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It was great to celebrate 140 years of serving the community this past month, but we are all too aware that after 140 years, people tend at times to take the Herald Democrat for granted.

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We know this is the time of year when other people keep reminding us, or even nagging us, about that for which we should be thankful.

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We have concluded, based on our recent experiment with the Magic 8-Ball, that this is not the way to predict Leadville/Lake County’s future.

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When I started as a reporter at the Littleton Independent many years ago, the former owner/editor of the newspaper was Houstoun Waring. He held the title of editor emeritus.

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With all the attention recently on the Herald Democrat’s 140th birthday, we wanted to share some thoughts of our early editor, Carlyle Channing Davis, who was a newspaperman in Leadville from 1879 to 1896. He gave a first-hand view of the early days in Leadville in his book, “Olden Days in C…

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Thanks to all who participated in last week’s Business After Hours, which was a celebration by most of the businesses that date back to 1879 and marked their 140th birthdays this year. The Herald Democrat is one of them.

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The school bond issue is not the only matter on which you will cast a vote Nov. 5.

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I wrote a recent article on Boom Days for Discover magazine, a publication of Arkansas Valley Publishing, as is the Herald Democrat. Since the festival has been around for so many years, I asked current president Dave TenEyck what might be the biggest detriment to its continuing in the future.

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Last week I had the opportunity to speak to several journalism classes at Metro State University. The topic was community journalism, and the students were pretty much newcomers to the field of journalism. So they weren’t too knowledgeable about things like the Sunshine Law or the Journalism…

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The year 1879 was a big year for Leadville. It became a city the year before, but 1879 is when things really started to happen. If you’ve seen Howard Tritz’s ’79ers medal, it celebrates those who were here in Leadville in 1879 and who settled this city in the first place. It belonged to his …

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Everyone is always talking about collaboration, right? Working together so that each person or entity can contribute its expertise to getting something completed.

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We said not too long ago that the past election for Lake County sheriff might not be over yet and sure enough, we got another letter pertaining to the election last week.

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This coming weekend includes Labor Day, a day off for many, although not all, of us.

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School starts on Monday and when school opens, can homework be far behind?

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We’ve all heard of urban legends, right? Although some may not consider Leadville to be all that urban, the concept still applies. An urban legend is a made-up story that is told so many times, most people believe it is true. It is generally an interesting story that could even be the kind t…

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Boom Days starts on Friday, and for those who are new to this unique Leadville celebration, the Herald always has suggestions on how to enjoy the event to the fullest.

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Evergreen Cemetery is a wonderful place to walk if you’re into that sort of thing. Reading the inscriptions on the gravestones is often a lesson in history, and at the very least you leave with a better feel for the hardships the earliest Leadvillians experienced as you note the number of st…

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If you watched either or both nights of the debate between Democratic candidates for president last week, you know that the election season is upon us. Like it or not.

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There’s something to be said for spending time with people who “get it.” People who know who you are, what you do, how you probably feel about most things.

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How much do you actually know about Leadville? You are probably already answering questions from visitors about this town. Here are some questions and answers about Leadville that are good to know.

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One of the more difficult things in life is to know something’s wrong and find no one will listen to you.

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Around this time of year, we get pleas or at least suggestions that when our fair city is overrun with tourists, the Herald might be so kind as to keep all “bad” news out of the paper, or at the very least, off the front page.

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Despite the weather still clinging to winter, we’ve reached the summer season. The big one. And businesses are more than ready to feel the onslaught of tourists, even if they won’t be heading over Independence Pass in our direction quite yet. Twin Lakes folks will have to wait a while longer.

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It was my fourth day on the job as editor of the Herald Democrat newspaper, just before the city’s annual Boom Days summer event. If you’re a newcomer, Boom Days is a three-day festival the first weekend in August where the community celebrates the boom and bust days of the early miners. It …

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Save some summer for yourself. That’s the message of the day. We’ve had a long winter with the snow starting on Halloween in 2018. So its been six months and 16 days as of today.

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What is it about “more” that makes it so appealing? As it applies to Leadville/Lake County, some want more housing. More people. More activities. More tourism. More special events. More happening in the shoulder or off seasons. More indoor activities. More businesses, even (gasp) big box bus…

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We always start to worry when Leadville History Month comes around each April and there appears to be no celebration or special events in the offing.

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We’ve been around long enough (140 years!) to know that projects can be announced with great fanfare, public meetings can be held, drawings can be shared, and yet there are some, in fact many, that never make it off the drawing board.

Columnists

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In the Northern Hemisphere, we have officially crossed the vernal equinox and moved into the season of spring. The duration of light each day now exceeds the dark and continues to increase, an expression of growing Yang energy.

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Driving by the sign “HITCHHIKERS MAY BE ESCAPING INMATES,” took me aback. Making an illegal U-turn in front of the medium-security W. S. Key Correctional Center on a rural Oklahoma highway this February, I drove back to snap a couple of pictures of the sign.

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In my 17 1/2 years as editor of the Herald Democrat, I never once attended the Wednesday morning coffee. It’s not that I wouldn’t have been welcome (better make that somewhat welcome). But it was made clear to us at the newspaper that we were only to attend if we refrained from covering what…

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A recent report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture examines the impact of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in rural America. Widely viewed as a program that helps combat urban poverty and food insecurity, SNAP has seen a greater percentage of utilization in rural areas…

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The Center for Rural Affairs has long focused on strategies to support economicvitality for small communities. Our work to assist small businesses, develop value-added agriculture, and improve policy all focus on creating widespread opportunity for people who live in rural areas.

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January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. This month, the providers at the St. Vincent Clinic share some straight talk on the sensitive subject of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Cervical Cancer prevention.

Letters to the Editor

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For the sixth consecutive year, the Lake County Intermediate School third grade students and teachers had the amazing opportunity to engage in a learning expedition about the history and legacy of the famous “skiing soldiers” of the 10th Mountain Division. And, again in 2020, the culmination…

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As a community partner of Lake County Government, on Feb. 13th, I was contacted by several elected official offices informing me of a data breach of Lake County’s network.

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The state-mandated date for caucus for both political parties is this coming Saturday. The Republicans will gather at Freight at 9:30 a.m., with the meeting starting at 10:00. All registered Republicans are invited to attend. The Democrats will gather at the Lake County High School at 2:00 p.m..

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Last night I was visiting with one of my Republican friends and colleagues. We found ourselves reflecting on the national political climate, our time in the Capitol, and what motivated us to serve in the Senate. It was a great conversation.

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I was reading the letters to the editor in last week’s paper. I was shocked to read that our new sheriff is being compared to the old sheriff and the old administration.

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I am honored to be your public servant as county commissioner and look forward to being your choice for the next term as I officially seek re-election and your vote.

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It is important to hold our governing bodies and politicians accountable and to ask questions when things seem awry. It is equally important to celebrate when our systems of power and our representatives get something right. To that end, I want to take a moment to hold up a local success.

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In response I am writing this letter reluctantly, but find it necessary to address the editor’s notes following the letter my wife, Stacy Kelly, wrote in last week’s paper.

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Remember back in the days not so long ago when we lived in what might be described as “more normal” times. Remember when we could take it for granted that our elected officials would somehow find a way to do the right thing — that we would stick close to facts and the truth by using these va…

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I appreciate the Herald Democrat’s coverage of the legal case that drew us into the system in the blink of an eye. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Although our legal nightmare is over, we are left with more questions than answers.

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As a resident of Leadville, I have always enjoyed the friendly and helpful attitude of our local population.

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I would like to invite everyone to our Souper Bowl this Sunday, Jan. 26, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge at 812 Hemlock. This is a fundraiser for the Lake County Democrats, but all are invited to join us. We will have live music by the Oro City String Band featuring S…

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January 2020 marks the 16th National Stalking Awareness Month. It is critical to raise the issue of stalking as its own form of violence as well as a crime that frequently predicts and co-occurs with domestic and sexual violence. Stalking impacts over 1 in 6 women and 1 in 17 men in the Unit…

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We were very excited when Leadville “finally” got its own radio station in 1950. The call letters were KLVC. After a few years the call letters were changed to KBRR because “KBRRRRRR” sounded so much more like the winter weather in Leadville. The station was located on the hill opposite the …

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I am going to be a candidate for Lake County commissioner in our upcoming election. We are very fortunate in Lake County that many of our county services are being provided without a hitch. However, we do have some problems, some in the very way we do business. We have not done a good job, f…

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The City of Leadville’s budget should represent who we are and what is important to us as a community. Also important is for city government to remember that it is not our money, but rather a resource that the people of Leadville work hard to provide for the services and protections that mak…

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Last spring I began working through the process of property valuation appeals, finally reaching my goal of attaining a hearing with the state Board of Assessment Appeals (BAA) after the expected rubber-stamping of that valuation by the Lake County Assessor Office (LCAO) and the County Board …

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I am writing in regard to an incident north of town on Dec. 29 early in the morning. My son in one vehicle and my granddaughter in another were coming off Colo. 91. The traffic light near Safeway had been replaced by a stop sign; neither one saw it and they went on through.

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Thank you for the opportunity to serve as a member of the Leadville City Council representing Ward 3. It has been a great learning experience, and I have enjoyed being involved in thoughtful, open-minded debate around issues involving the city for the past two-and-a-half years. The community…

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The holiday season is a time we often choose to reflect on the past year, plan our upcoming New Year and gather to celebrate the communities we are part of – family, friends, work associates, the town we live in and more. We celebrate community in part because we know that strength of a grou…

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The men who worked at the Arkansas Valley Smelter in Stringtown were strong union supporters, and even if only one or two workers had a grievance against the company, the entire union would vote to strike.

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The following is an email communication I sent to both of Colorado’s standing senators regarding the impeachment trial of President Trump. If you believe that the rule of law is above all essential to the conduct and preservation of democracy, then I would urge you to similarly communicate t…

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A unique arrangement existed between Ninth Street Elementary School and the Leadville High School in the 1940s and early 1950s. For our exposure to music, the chorus director and the band director from the high school used to come to Ninth Street School for that purpose. Most of the time the…

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This last week I purchased a household membership to the Get Outdoors Leadville Gear Lending Library. What a wonderful community resource! For a nominal membership fee, residents can have access to outdoor recreation equipment. Outdoor recreation offers so many positive benefits to our commu…

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Quite a few years ago, I went to a school board meeting because I was interested in perhaps running for the board. After almost four hours, I left because I had to get up early the next day. I have no idea how long that meeting lasted.

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I am running as a Democratic candidate for Lake County commissioner in the 2020 elections (District 3). I believe that Lake County and Leadville need forward-looking and engaged leadership so that together we can build a thriving community and restore trust in local government.

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I would like to take a moment to provide some clarification and education around the basic tenets to HB 1177, more commonly known as “The Red Flag Law,” or “Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) Bill.”