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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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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.

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This week’s editorial marks the last of a series explaining Colorado’s 2020 ballot measures. And though I am ready to retire my blue book for the season, writing about state government was a fascinating change of pace. I hope the series helped Herald readers vote with knowledge and fervor.

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The Herald Democrat’s online poll on the presidential election saw 136 clicks over the last two weeks — the highest rate of participation we have seen in a Herald poll in 2020. We hope a similar level of participation is underway for early voting. 

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Last week, the Herald looked at two citizen initiatives on November’s ballot concerning abortion and state income tax. Up this week are Proposition 117 and 118 — concerning state enterprises and paid medical leave. 

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Last week, the Herald looked at ballot measures that will decide Colorado’s involvement in the national popular vote and the future of the gray wolf. Up this week are Proposition 115 and 116 — concerning abortion and state income tax. 

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Many Lake County residents have already received Colorado’s 2020 Blue Book, an informational booklet that provides voters with the text, and a subsequent analysis, of each measure on November’s ballot. Lake County Clerk and Recorder’s Office will begin mailing ballots on Oct. 9. 

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Lake County School District is navigating a variety of bad options. T h a t ’ s h o w p a r e n t Beverly Lauchner put it in a Lake County School District (LCSD) Board of Education meeting last week. 

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The first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed within Lake County School District last week. 

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Dark clouds are brewing over the Herald Democrat’s office this morning as snow lingers on the horizon. Labor Day is old news and the aspens are beginning to turn. Summer has undoubtedly come to an end in the high country.

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Though the return to school is often nerve-racking for students, teachers and parents, this year’s back-to-school jitters are of a different breed. Because this year, there are more questions than there are answers.

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As I mentioned in last week’s editorial, the cover of the 2020 Leadville/Lake County Heritage Guide, “The Women of Leadville,” will feature four local women, dressed as suffragettes, advocating for their right to vote.

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In three weeks time, the Herald Democrat will release the 2020 Leadville/Lake County Heritage Guide: “The Women of Leadville.”

Columnists

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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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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…

Letters to the Editor

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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 …

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On behalf of Lake County’s sexual assault survivors, Advocates of Lake County would like to call attention to our state legislators who voted “yes” on Senate Bill 73 to eliminate the civil statute of limitations for sexual assault. The staff, board and volunteers of Advocates of Lake County …

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It is my pleasure to share the progress of St. Vincent Health’s efforts in our community. For the last six months since I have been a part of St. Vincent Health (SVH), we have been actively recruiting for additional providers for our clinic. We have received dozens of applicants for our phys…

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The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum (NMHFM) was recently awarded a grant from the Leadville Trail 100 Legacy Foundation and the Leadville Race Series to help fund the creation of a mural celebrating Leadville’s rich mining heritage and mining’s future.

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The unwitting taxpayers of Lake County have elected three “full-time” county commissioners at $63,000 and $66,000 per year who must be unwilling, unqualified, or otherwise unable to execute the duties they were elected to perform. They are now creating the position of county manager at $100,…

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Recently it was brought to our attention that the Leadville Boom Days Committee has made the determination to cancel their event for the summer of 2021. We respect their decision. Furthermore, we want to take this opportunity to clearly define the process for 2021 special events as we respon…

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The Lake County Housing Coalition, facilitated by Lake County Build a Generation, has been working hard since 2016 to address community housing issues. With the help of subject matter experts and community volunteers, there is a clear path forward through policy change, funding and public/pr…

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As Lake County approaches 25 percent of our population vaccinated, Governor Polis has broadened the vaccine parameters. As of Friday, April 2, all Coloradans over the age of 16 are now eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, and all Coloradans over the age of 18 will be eligible to receive t…

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One hundred sixty-one years ago this month, a prospecting party worked its way north along the Arkansas River, testing gulches as they went. On April 25, a prospector named Abe Lee dipped his pan into a stream near the upper end of the valley and declared that he had found California — gold!…

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The Greater Arkansas River Nature Association is seeking the next generation of leadership for our board of directors. If you have a passion for taking care of the public lands of the Upper Arkansas Valley, environmental education, and sustainability, we would love to connect with you. Board…

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As we begin the 1B.3 vaccination phase, Valley-Wide Health Systems is looking back at the past year of coronavirus response and ahead at the future of this pandemic. There’s no doubt that the past 12 months have been hard on our communities, our patients and our staff. However, at the same t…

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As many of you know, National Alliance on Mental Illness is the country’s largest grassroots mental health organization that supplies advocacy, education and support services to folks with mental illness and their families. All National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) programs and groups a…

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With the pandemic taking away almost all high school sports and activities in 2020 including the Colorado High School Mountain Bike League, Leadville Racing is looking forward to being able to race in the fall of 2021. With this being said the team is in need of updating all team equipment, …

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When Get Outdoors Leadville! learned of Ed Stege’s retirement from the Leadville National Fish Hatchery, one thing was clear: we will miss Ed! Over our four-plus years of operation, Ed was an outstanding partner who ensured Lake County youth and families had an opportunity to connect with na…