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We often think of the government as a slow-moving institution. But last week, our local, state and federal governments seemed to dole out decisions at a record pace.

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Last week, a friend asked me how we print the Herald Democrat in such a small office. I laughed at the thought and then regretted my chuckle. How would he know any better?

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From messages scribed in permanent marker across protestors’ signs to President Trump’s tweets, the nation has been flooded with the written word throughout the last week.

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I drove to Virginia last weekend, a much anticipated trip that had been pushed back for months due to COVID-19. It’s a long journey — 26 hours of flat country with a few cities and mountain ranges sprinkled in between.

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Memorial Day will take place this year without in-person gatherings. There will be no ceremonies at Evergreen Cemetery and Tennessee Pass, no motorcycle ride from Silverthorne to Leadville and no barbecue at the Elks Lodge.

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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 25 % of American wage and salary workers worked from home, at least occasionally, in 2017-2018. This percentage is now much higher due to COVID-19.

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As a global pandemic and upcoming presidential election loom, it is easy to forget about the functions of our democracy at a local level.

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The Herald Democrat received two letters last week, notes that reminded the newspaper of its role as a connector, a bridge between humans, space and time.

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Food distribution at St. George, missed paychecks for service industry workers, remote learning at Lake County School District, a vote-by-mail county assembly, changes in law enforcement strategy, a Q&A on the Paycheck Protection Program and now a look at local testing — these are just s…

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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…

Columnists

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The numbers are in, and they are good. At the conclusion of Connect for Health Colorado’s Open Enrollment Period for 2020 coverage, 166,850 Coloradans had signed up for a private health insurance plan through Connect for Health Colorado, our state’s nonprofit health insurance Marketplace. Se…

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These are uncertain, divided times for our nation. Unemployment is at mind-boggling levels, a virus we still don’t fully understand is stifling the course of ordinary life, many businesses are struggling, nationwide protests continue against systemic and deep-seated racism, and local policy …

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My name is Dominika Piech and it is with pride and honor that I represent the Class of 2020 of Lake County High School. First and foremost, I would like to thank the faculty, coaches, and staff, as well as the parents and guardians of us graduating students. You have all made sacrifices and …

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Researchers have observed that people who are able to specifically identify their emotions are less likely to binge drink, be physically aggressive, or injure themselves when distressed. It can be easy to get caught up in your emotions as you are feeling them especially during stressful time…

Letters to the Editor

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Lake County has been an amazing community for me. From the moment I arrived, I have grown so much as a person and I would like to contribute an idea to the residents of Lake County.

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President Trump has no respect for the rights of our U.S. citizens or our constitutional rights to protest. It’s truly amazing that the GOP condones this action and all other deplorable actions of Trump.

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Lake County Public Health Agency (LCPHA) exists to support the health and well-being of the whole Leadville-Lake County community and its many diverse residents. Racism and discrimination go against every part of our mission. Lake County Public Health Agency affirms that the lives and well-b…

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We would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank our community for their outpouring of support during these challenging times. Over 100 volunteers have stepped in to help us shift our operations from serving almost daily hot meals to offering take out lunches and a full grocery pantr…

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All Lives Matter? Of course. However, when you counter Black Lives Matter with All Lives Matter it indicates — strongly suggests —that you haven’t gotten it yet. All Lives Matter? Of course they do. The thing is, Black and Brown lives have not.

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The Black Lives Matter movement got its roots during the days of slavery. Black people endured horrendous treatment from their White owners who decided that Black people were not human. Slaves were punished by whipping, shackling, hanging, beating, burning, mutilation, branding and imprisonm…

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One Leadville, a group of Leadville community members in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, has organized educational teach-ins and protests at the Lake County Courthouse each evening this week (Monday, June 15 to Sunday, June 21 from 5-7 p.m.), open to the public. We are heart…

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I’m writing to ask you to vote for my friend, Andrew Romanoff, in our upcoming primary election. I met Andrew through Mental Health Colorado where he served as president and CEO. He came to speak at a NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) High Country Colorado (Lake and Summit Counties)…

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“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try,” said former Secretary of Defense James Mattis. “Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We ar…

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Last week, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Leadville Police Department released a statement responding to the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police. Their statement (viewable on the City’s website at: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/leadville)…

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I am writing in response to the statements released by our city and county elected officials and law enforcement. I appreciate and am encouraged by the statement released by the BOCC and the mayor. I appreciate the expression of humility before the problem, the acknowledgment that they can l…

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This letter is in response to Nathaniel Week’s letter about his carefree travels last week. At first, it made me upset. To spend too much time on that feeling would be a mistake, though. To discuss how fortunate he is to be able to feel comfort, instead of a sense of group dread or sadness i…

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Senator Cory Gardner, you should be ashamed of yourself for supporting President Trump. Since before he got into office, he has assaulted our United States constitution and divided our nation.

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At Lake County Build a Generation, we are building a movement for community health. That movement starts with our local Lake County community, but sometimes requires that we work with partners across the state and even the nation. We are not an island — the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic shows ju…

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The Lake County Democrats are appalled by the actions of the police in the murder of George Floyd. We say “enough is enough”! The ingrained racism of our society has to be called out and stamped out. We have to do more than wring our hands.

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We may not currently have all the solutions, or even yet understand how to ask the right questions, but we do recognize the need for positive action and allyship with our community members of Color, now more than ever. We also agree that we should leverage our position as elected representat…

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As of May 29, here in Colorado, 28 counties have reported not a single death from COVID-19. Twenty-two others report less than 20 deaths total. There are only 1,168 deaths in all of Colorado due to COVID-19 since this ‘pandemic’ began months ago. Over 99% recover and often those who catch th…

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It is hard to believe how the past three months have unfolded — both close to home and in parts of our country that seem very far away from our beloved mountain towns.

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I opened my home as a short-term rental because I like to make money. It was easy, and I made good money. Every year I pay about $100 for my license, yet having more places gets a discount for renting out multiple short-term homes? This is an injustice for the few of us trying to earn an hon…

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I will be retiring next month after 25 years at Colorado Mountain College. My time at the Leadville campus actually started 31 years ago when I first arrived to take a position in early June 1989. I left the college for a time, to advance my career in higher education, but I came back becaus…

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May is Mental Health Month and all Coloradans may have had their mental health taxed with the isolation, anxiety over jobs or finances or fear of catching a deadly virus during this time. I’m hoping that makes all of us more aware of brain disorders and the outside influences that impact tho…

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After reading Debbie Lopez’s letter to the editor on the cancelling of events because of coronavirus, we think all Leadville Race Series races should be canceled as well. Thank you for a good write-up Debbie.

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Year after year, the Lake County School District Art Department receives a tremendous amount of support from our community members, businesses and families during our annual Spring Art Show fundraiser. This year, despite our inability to hold the art show, businesses and community members ma…

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I am pleased to offer my endorsement for Jo Reese. Jo is running for a contested seat for the Sangre de Cristo Electric Association Board of Directors. The seat she is running for serves Lake and Chaffee County outside of Town of Buena Vista limits.

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While emergency relief funding is on the way for many local companies, local business owners must focus on keeping their companies afloat in a new business environment. They can start planning for the sporadic opening by asking such questions as: how to reach across to vendors, customers and…

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