UP BEAR CREEK | Greenspan Challenges May for Commissioner

09/02/14 | By | 129 More

ELECTION SEASON … It’s always good when the electorate is given choices during elections. So one has to applaud Jonathan Greenspan for standing up to challenge incumbent commissioner Joan May. Unless a community’s best citizens are willing to get involved in the running of local government, democracy doesn’t work very well … That said, Greenspan is going to have a tough row to hoe. Not only is May one of the hardest working and most effective citizen politicians this county has seen, but she is nationally recognized for her leadership, as her recent re-appointment to a national Forest Service committee demonstrates. But she isn’t one of those local politicians who spend all of their time outside the county. She has been a strong voice on the Airport Board; has helped negotiate the conversion of rogue trails to Forest Service routes in the Alta Lakes area; serves on the Telluride Foundation board, the San Miguel Watershed Coalition board, the EcoAction Partners board; continues to work on the proposed Regional Transit Authority, the Gunnison Sage Grouse Endangered Species listing issue, and the Dept. of Energy’s Uranium Leasing program. And all that is just a partial listing … Greenspan notes in his initial statements that he wants to increase the economic diversity of the region. Always a good goal. But he fails to note how San Miguel County has recently positioned itself to take advantage of the new state cannabis laws – allowing retail sales and commercial growing opportunities unlike most other counties on the Western Slope. Already that regulatory acceptance of cannabitourism has seen quantifiable sales tax increases for the county (not to mention an uptick in lodging and restaurant numbers) – a significant new source of revenue for the county and the town of Telluride … He also suggests that his being new to county government will bring new ideas. And yet when Courtney White made two presentations of the exciting new Carbon Ranch concept that the county is interested in trying to implement in our region, Greenspan wasn’t in attendance at either one … And Greenspan has joined with West End conservatives to call for term limits for local county offices. It’s curious. Business doesn’t consider the artificial changing of leadership positions as a plus, but somehow there are a group of folks who think such a strategy helps government, as though consistency and solid performance were insignificant issues, particularly in small counties with limited leadership pools. It’s true incumbents have an edge over untested candidates, but I’ve always been of the opinion that the ballot box is the best test of eligibility for office. If elected officials are doing a bad job, toss ‘em out. If they’re doing a good job, why lose them prematurely? Maybe that’s why we have a sheriff who’s been in office for over 30 years, getting elected again and again … Anyway, we’ll look to see over the course of the next few months what Greenspan thinks he can do better than the excellent incumbent we have in place.

4-H … The County’s Cally Anderson has been doing a great job reinvigorating Colorado State University’s Cooperative Extension San Miguel Basin 4-H program in Norwood. This year she helped send ten 4-H students to the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo. The program had representatives competing in Shooting Sports, Cake Decorating, Horseless Horse, Scrapbooking, Specialty Foods, Foods and Nutrition and Clothing Construction. And our San Miguel Basin contingent did very well … Cheyenne Joseph won a Grand Champion ribbon (first place) in Baking Unit 21 (Biscuits – “best little hardtack in the state”). Emily Case won a Reserve Champion ribbon (second in state) for Unit 3 Cake Decorating. Shania Joseph took third place in Foods and Nutrition Unit 2 (Muffins). Mackenzie Keetch won fourth place in Baking Unit 24 (Tarts). Cidney Priestley took fourth place in Cake Decorating Unit 5. Kaybree Hibbert won sixth place for her two-page Scrapbook. And Cassidy Peterson garnered an eighth place in Foods and Nutrition Unit 1 (Cookies) … Congratulations to Anderson, her 4-H state winners and the additional qualifiers – Ethon Case, Sabrina Grierson, and Hailey Hibbert.

ALOHA MEDICINALS … One of the nicest spin-offs at the Mushroom Festival this year was the donation of a laminar flow hood to the Telluride Institute, the festival sponsor. A necessary piece of lab equipment essential in maintaining sterile conditions when doing biological sampling, the stainless steel workstation was hauled to Telluride by John Holliday and his company Aloha Medicinals of Carson City, Nevada, for the mushroom tissue culturing that was done this year on fungal specimens brought in by the event’s citizen scientists The laminar flow hood is worth over $7,000 … The Institute in turn has loaned it to the Telluride Schools for their student biological sampling program for the next couple of years while the Institute attempts to secure a campus facility for its own innovative Watershed Education Program and Bridal Veil Living Classroom projects.

HOUSE CONCERT … Got to attend a marvelous musical event at the Aldasoro home of Randye Mandell and Scott Doser last week. The amazing Scott Cossu wowed a celebratory crowd along with the Slydersz, friends and special guests. It was a benefit for Cossu’s summer tour and a delight for all in attendance.




Chinese Mountains


                                    -for Dolores


That’s what she called them

Her favorite rendezvous

in the silvery San Juans


Not wanting to draw

attention to specific sites

she relished


Thick spruce

Rock spires

High alpine hoodoos



in a calligraphy

of mist


She took us there

as hunter/gatherers

of earth wisdom


Sharing bardic tales

around a small fire

Our voices smoky


& wild

in the deep

starry sky

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Category: Commentary, Opinion, Up Bear Creek

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