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It was 1952 when the cities of Aurora and Colorado Springs first started gobbling up water rights in a remote, high mountain valley on Colorado’s Western Slope. The valley is called Homestake, and now those same cities want even more of its pure water.

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It was 1952 when the cities of Aurora and Colorado Springs first started gobbling up water rights in a remote, high mountain valley on Colorado’s Western Slope. The valley is called Homestake, and now those same cities want even more of its pure water.

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Most Americans alive 20 years ago remember where they were on Sept. 11, 2001. They remember the airplane hijackings, the attacks and the collapse of the Twin Towers. They remember the nearly 3,000 who perished.

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A question was asked of me a couple of days ago: What if The Matchless Mine were to burn down? The thought took my breath away. I couldn’t even imagine that happening to The Matchless Mine, but it could.

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New Mexico, the third-ranking United States oil producer, has moved to curtail methane pollution from the oil and gas industry, moving it closer to neighboring Colorado’s leadership. Methane is a dangerous greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change and also damages human health.

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It feels like an apocalypse in the American Southwest — wildfires, floods, drought, heat and smoke. This was not the norm when I moved to Colorado 35 years ago. Climate scientists may have predicted the arrival of these extreme events, but many admit their predictions have come true faster t…

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In the past 20 years, massive wildfires have scorched large swaths of Colorado, starting in June 2002 when the Hayman Fire roared across Park and Teller counties.

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Maybe it’s just a professional preoccupation, but I’ve always been intrigued by why voters cast their ballots as they do. I’ve never made a formal study of it, but have talked with plenty of them over the years, and one thing sticks with me from those conversations: There’s no one thing. Peo…

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Leadville/Lake County Fire-Rescue continues to develop creative ways to care for the needs of our rapidly growing community. As emergency call volumes have increased, we realized early on that we had to put into place a strategic plan to ensure we have the staff and resources to provide grea…

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Call me naïve, but I’ve never quite gotten why some politicians want to limit voters’ ability to cast their ballots. Sure, I know that plenty of people like to flip the classic Clausewitz quote and say that politics is war by other means. All’s fair, etc., they insist.

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During his 50 years in rural western Colorado, Jamie Jacobson has seen a lot of flooding. While caretaking a farm in 1974, Jacobson watched three acres of its riverfront float away. More recently, it’s been drought, and then worse drought.

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In the early morning hours on Saturday, June 28, 1969, the beginning of what would eventually grow into a worldwide phenomenon took place. Responding to the recurring and violent raids committed by police at New York City’s Stonewall Inn, the Stonewall Riots became synonymous with calls for …

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“It’s like having gasoline out there,” said Brian Steinhardt, forest fire zone manager for the Prescott and Coconino National Forests in Arizona, in a recent AP story about the increasingly fire-prone West.

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Sometimes you have to set your sights on a target that’s seemingly out of reach and pour your energy into accomplishing it.

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The amount of speeches that people have heard from graduates are uncountable. There are numerous graduating classes across the country and world listening to a single person talk. This person in the eyes of many, is at the top. I, however, don’t feel as if I deserve to be viewed as that, whe…

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There is a fight going on over the heart of our democracy, and I worry that democracy is losing. Over the last few months, several states have moved decisively to make it harder for their citizens to vote, and more are on tap. It’s hard to tell yet whether this is just a blip or an actual re…

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One hundred and fifteen thousand dollars. That’s what it takes for a down payment to buy an average-priced home in Durango. Then an aspiring homeowner must fork out another $2,900 each month, which is more than two-thirds of their household’s paychecks if they make the median income for the …

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It’s so easy, in the course of our day-to-day lives, to get caught up in the political preoccupations of the moment. What’s the Senate going to do about the filibuster? How should infrastructure money be spent? Is the country going to come out of this year as badly divided as it started? The…

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As Washington turns its attention to infrastructure and other matters of policy, the Senate filibuster isn’t commanding quite the same headlines as it did a few weeks back. But that’s only because the issue is percolating behind the scenes. At some point, it will return to the limelight.

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The tragedy and trauma of surviving and overcoming an experience of sexual violence can be second to none. It can happen to anyone regardless of age, race, sexuality, gender or social status. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the prevalence of sexual viol…

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The importance of having a safe, comfortable, affordable home became more obvious than ever over the last 13 months. Yet counties and municipalities across Colorado continue to struggle to deliver enough affordable housing for the workers that form the backbone of our communities and economi…

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Pushback against a “meatless day” proclaimed by Governor Jared Polis last month was predictably vigorous. It was part of the “war on rural Colorado,” said a state senator who runs a cattle-feeding operation. Twenty-six of Colorado’s 64 counties adopted “meat-in” proclamations. Governors from…

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For the 2021 fire season, the writing is on the wall. The American West, despite a few days of intense winter, is far drier than it was leading up to last year’s record-breaking fires.

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We often think of foreign and domestic policy as two separate and distinct fields. But for an American president, they are inextricably tied together. And as the Biden administration moves forward on its priorities, this is likely to become clear.

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As the events of the past few months have unfolded, I have often found myself wondering what our Founders would have made of it all. Impossible to know, of course, but they had plenty of insight to offer.

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“More Americans could lose their lives to deaths of despair, deaths due to drugs, alcohol and suicide, if we do not do something immediately. Deaths of despair have been on the rise for the last decade, and in the context of COVID-19, deaths of despair should be seen as the epidemic within t…

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Farmington, a city of 45,000 in the northwestern corner of New Mexico, has run on a fossil fuel economy for a century. It is one of the few places on the planet where a 26-kiloton nuclear device was detonated underground to free up natural gas from the rock.

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There was an interesting moment in Washington D.C. at the end of January, on Antony Blinken’s first full day as secretary of state. Meeting with the press corps that covers the U.S. State Department, he called an independent press “a cornerstone of our democracy,” and told the assembled repo…

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Around this time of year, I start thinking about cherry pie. More specifically, cherry pie topped with real whipped cream. The reason is George Washington. Our first president’s birthday is Feb. 22, and where I grew up, in Ohio, it was a holiday, so schools and workplaces were closed and res…

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With the handoff of power from one president to another, we enter this new phase of our national life in deep distress. We are divided and polarized, struggling to communicate reasonably with one another, and seemingly unable to find common ground on basic issues. Yet the path forward is nei…

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I am a lifelong conservative Republican whose faith in the criminal justice system was shattered by my near-death experience with it. I came within nine days of being sent to the gas chamber for a crime I did not commit.

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Joe Biden won’t become President of the United States for a few weeks yet, but it’s fair to say he’s already feeling the pressures of the office. I think being president-elect may be the second hardest job in the world.

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The new year brings opportunities and chances for growth, safety and happiness. There is also no better time to start working for a better future than the present. This last year has been difficult for all of us and it is the sincerest wish of the Advocates of Lake County that 2021 will be a…

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I have to admit, I almost feel sorry for old 2020. It’s been catching a lot of hate these days, and not without cause. Of course, the year we call 2020 — with the obligatory eye-roll — isn’t an actual force unto itself, just a measure of time, one of the handy concepts we use to create a sen…

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When the history of this era is written, special attention should be reserved for the prominent United States politicians who dismissed or misrepresented the COVID-19 pandemic for political purposes.

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My first sense that this virus would be different was when my library supervisor called to be sure, at my age, that I wanted to work during the pandemic. Until that moment, I hadn’t personally realized how deadly the virus could be.  For someone who’s been managing a diagnosis of major depre…

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It is one of the great paradoxes of our time. Never in the history of the world have people had more access to information. At the same time, never has there been more uncertainty and less trust in the information available. Yet in a sea of spin, misinformation and outright manipulation, peo…

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December brings holiday lights, joyful songs, sentimental movies, great food, family gatherings, shopping excursions, and in our snow globe world, a blanket of snow. This year, however, December also comes with some unexpected challenges that can take a toll on how we celebrate the holiday season.

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By mid-September, there was no one left to call. The West, with its thousands of federal, state, and local fire engines and crews, had been tapped out.

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Every year right after an election, I’d find a small pile of requests waiting for me from journalists. They wanted some sort of comment on what it all meant. “What are the voters telling us?” they’d ask.

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Small Business Saturday is a relatively new American tradition. While Black Friday has been an informal holiday for more than 60 years, it wasn’t until 2010 that the Saturday after Thanksgiving earned its official title, designating it as a day to shop local and support hometown retailers.

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As snow blankets Colorado’s high-country and three ski areas are open for the season, Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) member ski areas are excited to welcome guests back to the slopes for the 2020-21 winter season. While many things in our lives are different, what guests have come to love…

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If you happened to read the Albuquerque Journal recently you would have learned about a family who used their (galloping) goats to gobble up weeds and earn some extra money while keeping the city’s weeds and grass trimmed. In the Orlando Sentinel, you would have discovered that a man was att…

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The Advocates of Lake County could not fully work with victims of domestic violence in our county without the support of the entire community. We are very fortunate to collaborate with many organizations in providing services to victims and working to eliminate violence.

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Our ghost presided in our house on Poplar Street. The first time I met her I was doing dishes at the kitchen sink. I had the strangest feeling someone was looking at me from the doorway to the dining room. I turned and saw nothing, but for some unknown reason I said “Hello, I’m glad you are …

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“Why doesn’t the victim just leave?” is a common question posed to advocates for victims of domestic violence. It is important to acknowledge that this question blames victims for their situations, and a more appropriate question would be “why does the abuser continue to abuse?”.

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In 1982, Colorado was a different place than it is today. The population statewide was roughly 3.1 million. The value of the average home was about $130,000. The Denver Broncos were still a year away from drafting John Elway. And, in that year, the state passed the Gallagher Amendment, which…

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It probably feels like the 2020 elections have been going on for years, and in a sense they have. Ever since Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016, the political world has been girding for this moment.

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The howl of the wolf is a primal sound, and when you hear it, it makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck. One of my own favorite wolf encounters was while exploring the Alaska Range, when I inadvertently got between a pack of wolves and their pups. The pups were warbling pitifully d…

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As if things weren’t hard enough for Colorado’s small businesses, news comes that the Trump administration plans to claw back a chunk of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds legitimate businesses have used as a lifeline to keep their employees on the payroll.

Columnists

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It was 1952 when the cities of Aurora and Colorado Springs first started gobbling up water rights in a remote, high mountain valley on Colorado’s Western Slope. The valley is called Homestake, and now those same cities want even more of its pure water.

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Most Americans alive 20 years ago remember where they were on Sept. 11, 2001. They remember the airplane hijackings, the attacks and the collapse of the Twin Towers. They remember the nearly 3,000 who perished.

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A question was asked of me a couple of days ago: What if The Matchless Mine were to burn down? The thought took my breath away. I couldn’t even imagine that happening to The Matchless Mine, but it could.

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Maybe it’s just a professional preoccupation, but I’ve always been intrigued by why voters cast their ballots as they do. I’ve never made a formal study of it, but have talked with plenty of them over the years, and one thing sticks with me from those conversations: There’s no one thing. Peo…

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Leadville/Lake County Fire-Rescue continues to develop creative ways to care for the needs of our rapidly growing community. As emergency call volumes have increased, we realized early on that we had to put into place a strategic plan to ensure we have the staff and resources to provide grea…

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Call me naïve, but I’ve never quite gotten why some politicians want to limit voters’ ability to cast their ballots. Sure, I know that plenty of people like to flip the classic Clausewitz quote and say that politics is war by other means. All’s fair, etc., they insist.

Letters to the Editor

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I am writing with concerns and information about the Leadville Mill, which is to be located near the wastewater treatment plant off U.S. 24 just east of Malta curve. There are a number of issues with this new operation which are troublesome to me.

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“Help a Senior!” is a new volunteer program that aims to help seniors age in place right here in Leadville. With help from volunteers, seniors will be able to live in their beloved Leadville while managing the upkeep of their homes and receiving the social support that is so essential to wel…

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This feedback may be a bit dated considering the 2020 date on the publication, but we only recently had the opportunity to see a copy of “The Women of Leadville”. What a fascinating publication. It has all the markings of a labor of love by people who love their community.

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Are any other Lake County citizens wondering why our county departments and BOCC are still spending our monies on creating master plans? As I recall, the Lake County Senior Master Plan was done utilizing folks here in town. Some of those folks have moved, but new folks have moved in who migh…

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It has been an honor to work for you Leadvillians at the City of Leadville these past seven and a half years. Side by side with the mayor and City Council, I believe that we have managed with grace, pride and great ethics. The accomplishments I have had the privilege to be part of will forev…

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I’ve been out of town for a couple of weeks, so I’m just catching up on reading the Herald. I’m quite confused after seeing that the Lake County Community Law Enforcement Board was discussing the fact that the Lake County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) is no longer responding to some suicide calls.…

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I’ve called and written Representative Lauren Boebert’s office hundreds of times. I’ve perused her website. She has voted 100 percent of the time against the hundreds of vulnerable retirees I represent as president of the Denver Metro Retiree Chapter.

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As stated in the Herald Democrat article published on April 28, the Lake County Aquatic Center closed due to a leak in the pool liner that was unable to be identified or repaired.

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My deepest appreciation to everyone with whom I’ve worked, laughed, played and collaborated over the past five years as vice president and campus dean at Colorado Mountain College (CMC) Leadville and Chaffee County. I am proud of our many accomplishments and grateful for the support and kind…

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In the early 1980s, what may have precipitated the first tomato war was a comment made to Taylor Adams, owner of the Inn of the Black Wolf at Twin Lakes (the inn was so named because Ms. Adams raised wolves there).

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The Herald’s June 24 edition included a letter to the editor that expressed objections to possible funding of an engineering plan for wastewater, potable water and fire protection for Twin Lakes Village and adjacent Gordon Acres. The writer is to be commended for her concern for best use of …

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The summer solstice is at hand, the longest day of the year. Then comes St. John’s Eve — the 23 of June. Bonfires were common throughout town, lighting up the nighttime sky. Everyone who had someone named John in their family was sure to have a bonfire of their own or participate in someone else’s.

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I hope from my letter that restaurants in town will post their menus outside of their establishments. I have been a local for over 22 years.  I had a very disabled friend come to visit the other day who uses a cane. I was very lucky to park right in front of the restaurant we planned to eat …

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There’s still gold in them thar hills. At least that is the consensus among those active in mining and milling operations. With skyrocketing inflation giving precious metals such as gold and silver the amplitude for record-setting growth, is it any wonder such ventures are now being hotly pursued?

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On June 17, family and friends were invited to an awards ceremony at Fire Station One to honor 24 firefighters, 15 of whom completed their training and were to take an oath of office. The remaining nine firefighters were to receive a distinguished service award/commendation.

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It has come to our attention that the Penn Mine, located at County Road 1 and 3A, is seeking to open and mine silver and gold. Their request is being reviewed by the Colorado Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety (DRMS). The comment period was pretty short and their notice in the newspa…

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During the past 143 years, Leadville has somehow survived a multitude of ups and downs. Many of you have seen these cyclical challenges during your lifetimes and are proud of our unending ability to face change and continue to live in and love this place. Heck, I think most of us are proud o…

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No amount of government stimulus can compete with open economies. Policymakers should recognize that there is a limit to what can be done by policy. In other words, government stimulus is no substitute for open economies where people can freely gather and exchange goods and services. While s…

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The people of Lake County need a swimming pool to learn and practice the lifelong and lifesaving skill of swimming. Colorado saw a record number of drownings in 2020. “No one dies from not being able to play basketball,” said U.S. champion swimmer Sabir Muhammad.

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How does taking Dr. Lisa Zwerdlinger’s practice into St. Vincent Health actually make health care better in Leadville/Lake County? The clinic at St. Vincent’s felt independent, but in my opinion may not have been since they’ve hired Dr. Zwerdlinger for all the high level positions at St. Vin…

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On behalf of our team at Full Circle of Lake County, we are so grateful to have the opportunity to serve our community, in partnership with so many amazing organizations across Lake County.

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May is Mental Health Month, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) always does its NAMI Walk during this month.  For NAMI Colorado, it will be this Saturday,  May 22. Here, with NAMI High Country Colorado (HCC), Team Troy is doing ours on Saturday morning, bright and early at 7 a…

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I was grateful to see John Scott’s letter printed in the March 25 Herald about “not guilty until convicted.” I hated to see that charges were filed on the Kents, but will wait until the trials conclude to believe what really happened. As humans, we are so quick to judge without removing the …

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I have had the pleasure of serving Leadville for the last 14 years as a physician assistant at Rocky Mountain Family Practice (RMFP). It has been incredibly rewarding to be a part of a community that has allowed me to be a part of some of the happiest and most stressful times of their lives.

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As a fourth generation Leadville native, I have had a long history with St. Vincent Hospital. First of all, it is my birthplace. Secondly, many of my family members have been cared for there, and even spent their last moments in its comforting embrace. Our family has always felt grateful to …