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This November, Lake County residents will vote on just three statewide ballot measures — a smaller number than in last year’s election. This year’s initiatives pertain to state government’s use of custodial money, the sales tax rate on retail marijuana and the property tax assessment rate fo…

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This November, Lake County residents will vote on just three statewide ballot measures — a smaller number than in last year’s election. This year’s initiatives pertain to state government’s use of custodial money, the sales tax rate on retail marijuana and the property tax assessment rate fo…

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This week, the Herald is proud to provide coverage of the reinstatement of veteran health care services in Lake County.

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In 2018, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization found that only four percent of all sports media coverage across the world focused on women. According to Statista, in 2019, only seven percent of the $30 billion spent on sports sponsorship across the world was di…

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In last week’s Herald Democrat, the newspaper published a cartoon by Leadville local Paul Irwin. The piece of art was controversial, as many of Irwin’s submissions are.

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St. Vincent Health’s new hospital opened to the public last week, an exciting milestone in Leadville and Twin Lakes’ path to growth and modernization.

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Independent redistricting commissions are currently working to redraw Colorado’s political lines. The process is the state’s first “independent” attempt at the exercise without the lead of the state’s dominant political party — a reform passed by 70 percent of voters in the 2018 election.

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New businesses, vaccines, trail races, rainy afternoons, the return of parades, a new school, burros, construction projects, heat waves — oh my! What a summer it’s been.

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This week’s newspaper marks the halfway point of the Herald’s “Our Forests” series, a compilation of articles on forest health and wildfire risk in Lake County. Out of all the fascinating information Patrick and I have learned while writing the series, what sticks out most is the interconnec…

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The Herald was dismayed to see Lake County Public Health Agency and Lake County Office of Emergency Management’s COVID-19 community briefing return to our email inboxes last week. The briefing marked the first of its kind since early April — a symbolic ending to a four-month period in which …

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The use of American Indian mascots by public schools across Colorado will soon be illegal, thanks to a new bill signed into law by Governor Jared Polis in June — Senate Bill 116.

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Though Leadville Boom Days weekend is traditionally the Herald’s busiest weekend of the year, the event never feels like “work.” Our staff always joins in on the festivities, and it is safe to say we will miss the celebration this year.

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The Herald is pleased to have seen the Local Journalism Sustainability Act introduced in both houses of Congress this summer. The bills, which mirror each other, aim to support local news organizations through tax credits for subscribers, advertisers and newspapers themselves.

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This time last year, the Herald staff was putting finishing touches on “The Women of Leadville,” the 2020 edition of the newspaper’s biannual Heritage Guide. Of all the fascinating women featured in the publication, one woman continues to mystify me — Nellie Davis.

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Last month, The Associated Press announced that it will no longer publish the names or photographs of suspects charged with minor crimes. In doing so, the national news cooperative acknowledges the immortality of news in the internet age — upholding the fundamental principle of “innocent unt…

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Personnel questions persist for many in regard to recent staffing changes at the Leadville Police Department and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. And truth is, many of these questions will remain unanswered due to their personal nature.

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Smoky skies closed out June in Leadville. A dusting of ash coated patio furniture as the smoke-filled air antagonized locals’ seasonal allergies. Leadville/Lake County Fire-Rescue (LLCFR) has already responded to four local wildfire starts this summer — the result of campfires, lightning and…

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A second independence day for our nation is now enshrined into law, thanks to a new piece of legislation declaring Juneteenth a federal holiday.

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Leadville City Council passed a moratorium on the development of new formula businesses in Leadville’s historic downtown earlier this month. The moratorium is council’s first step towards enacting permanent protections against formula businesses hoping to open in the downtown corridor, an ef…

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After last week’s glorious weather, it finally feels safe to proclaim ... summer is here! You know what they say, move to Leadville for the winters, stay for the summers. Or is it the other way around?

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Has anyone noticed the ever-growing size of the Herald’s classified advertising section in recent weeks? In last week’s newspaper, the section topped out at four and half pages, one of the largest spreads of classifieds in recent memory.

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The dialogue around the Board of County Commissioners’ decision to hire a county manager is heating up.

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A proposal to change the federal population threshold for metropolitan areas is currently sitting with the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. The proposed change could have far-reaching implications for nonmetropolian communities across the United States, bringing up the question — how do…

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Colorado will gain an eighth congressional seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2022, thanks to a statewide population increase of more than 725,000 people from 2010 to 2020.

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The Herald presents the 2020 Best Of Leadville & Twin Lakes publication this week. Thanks to all of our advertisers and award winners who made this colorful tribute to the best of Lake County possible!

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As of April 26, the Gun Violence Archive had reported 160 mass shootings and 11 mass murders in the United States in 2021. The Washington D.C.-based research group defines a mass shooting as an incident where four or more people are injured or killed by a gun, and a mass murder as an inciden…

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Our city’s streets are public property. We, the Leadville taxpayers, own them together. Why should residents be allowed to pay for unhindered control over public right-of-ways?

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As the weather warms, many Leadvillians are looking forward to the fresh produce that accompanies summertime. Whether from Cloud City Farm, private gardens, or Community Supported Agriculture boxes from other parts of the state, fresh produce will soon arrive in Leadville.

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Abe Lee first discovered gold in California Gulch on April 26, 1860. Nearly 161 years later, we celebrate the storied legacy of the town Lee helped found by way of Leadville History Month.

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Last summer, Colorado Media Project surveyed Colorado journalists to gather information about the state’s news ecosystem. Colorado Media Project (CMP) disseminated two surveys to journalists statewide in collaboration with the University of Denver, the Colorado Trust, Colorado Press Associat…

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This week, the Herald celebrates Women’s History Month with a feature on pilot Amelia Earhart, thanks to Lake County resident Reggie Ward Jr., who facilitated the feature by contributing historic photographs of Earhart that his family has safeguarded for over 50 years.

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This week’s newspaper features two perspectives on the danger of avalanches from different decades — a fitting bit of content for a snowy week.

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This time last year, the Herald was winding down after a festive weekend at Leadville’s 72nd annual skijoring competition. But more was on our mind than just catching up on sleep.

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It’s been an emotional week for Leadville. It feels tragic that the first Lake County local to die of complications related to the coronavirus, Bud Elliott, is someone who gave our community so much. And it feels equally devastating that American flags were lowered to half-staff across the U…

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In honoring Black History Month, the Herald looks to the Black-owned and operated newspapers that have contributed important reporting and discourse to our nation’s history.

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If you read the Herald Democrat last week, you know that Leadville City Council adopted revisions to the city’s short-term rental ordinance earlier this month. The revised ordinance offers smart changes to Leadville’s short-term rental licensing program — revisions that will better protect o…

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The movement to hire both a city and county manager in Leadville and Lake County is gaining ground.

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In this week’s newspaper, the Herald launches its Public Meetings Planner, a new public service project for the newspaper in 2021. Yes, we know, another calendar.

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I hand off my pen this week to National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, the 22 year old poet/activist from Los Angeles who graced the world with her words on Inauguration Day.

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This week’s online poll asks readers what the most pressing infrastructure project for Leadville and Lake County is in 2021. All of the projects listed are long-term, ongoing endeavors. Here’s where they stand now:

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Public spaces in the United States have always been ardently political. Such spaces have served as sites for military battles, for protests, for lynchings, for law making, for exploration and for celebration.

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Vaccinations against COVID-19 arrived in Lake County on December 22, ushering in a new phase of the pandemic that Dr. Lisa Zwerdlinger called “the beginning of the end.”

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As we look back at 2020, let us remember the Leadville locals who took time to exercise their First Amendment rights by writing a letter to the Herald Democrat. The following quotations are taken from letters published in the Herald throughout 2020.

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The pandemic has changed our perceptions of time. Though much of the year has been allotted to working, homeschooling and taking care of the sick, we have also experienced an increase in unstructured hours.

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A multitude of holidays are celebrated by cultures across the world every December. This week, the Herald will look at a few December celebrations that might be lesser known to our readership.

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“Why can’t you make the Herald Democrat more positive?” tops my list of most dreaded questions.

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Senate Bill 217, a law enforcement accountability measure passed by Colorado’s legislature in June, is on the mind of municipalities and counties across the state as they assemble budgets for 2021.

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The Herald Democrat’s Winter  Adventure Guide hit the stands last week, welcoming Leadville’s snowy season.

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I spent the last week of October in Washington D.C. visiting family and friends. For a few days of my visit, it rained and rained and rained — a consistent and soothing wave of precipitation that just didn’t stop.

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The 2020 election is over. And though the lawsuits and political commentary will continue for months to come, the Herald is ready to bid adieu to election season.

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Unlike many large newspapers, the Herald Democrat does not have an editorial board that collaborates on editorial writing and letter vetting. It’s just me.

Columnists

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One of the great privileges of teaching and working on a university campus is the chance to be in regular touch with young people. Even better, I sometimes get asked to give talks elsewhere and to meet with young people of all kinds and descriptions — sometimes one on one, sometimes in small…

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I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what it means to be an American, to have a shared stake in this country and its fortunes. In some ways, I suppose the question is unanswerable: We are a vast, diverse country, and we each answer the question in our own way.

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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.

A question was asked of me a couple of days ago: Wha…

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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…

Letters to the Editor

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We must do more to strengthen our power grid against an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) event. Such an event can result from an attack by terrorists or by another country, (for example, China may already have the capability — which it may use in an economic crisis), or it can occur naturally. It…

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I am writing in support of the upcoming City of Leadville ballot measure 2A to establish an accommodations tax to support affordable housing, and I wanted to share my rationale.

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We shared a historic day on Sept. 8 as we cut the ribbon on our brand new hospital. I assure you — we will approach our new services with the same determination and care that it took to plan and build the new hospital.

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I would like to add my voice to the gathering storm of protest over the proposed permitting of Union Milling. The Leadville Mill owners are seeking a permit to process large amounts of mine tailings, up to 80 truckloads a day, right through town to a location next to the wastewater treatment…

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Good guy alert! On Wednesday, Sept. 8, I was waiting for a big yellow truck hauling rock to pass before I turned onto Hwy. 300. He was going pretty slow and I thought, “What is wrong with this guy?”

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Are we really going to send our kids off to a school where the first thing happening is our kids sitting in front of a tablet computer and basically being forced to look at a video screen? To learn from a video screen? To begin a long journey into a lifetime of staring at video screens?

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First, thanks to everyone, especially the community locals who supported and encouraged me forward for and during this year’s race. The volunteers were exceptional.

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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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