Subscription Preview

To read the full article, you must log in or subscribe. Enter your email address:

Western Colorado wingnuts?

* Nice rack *

COLORADO: Hey, nice rack! Courtesy Dennis Slifer

NORTH DAKOTA

A woman named Donna recently called Fargo, N.D., radio station Y94 to air a problem so bizarre, the station's hosts were almost speechless. Her complaint? Deer-crossing signs placed along busy highways were "irresponsible" because they simply encouraged the animals to cross there, and that was why she'd smacked her car into deer not once, not twice, but three times. "You'd think they'd put deer-crossing signs at school crossings where it would be safer," she said indignantly. "Why place the signs on busy interstates?" When told the signs were warnings to motorists to drive carefully, Donna just couldn't accept it. The government could move signs wherever it wanted, she insisted, and it should stop erecting signs at dangerous places on roads where they "attracted" deer. It took several minutes before Donna -- reluctantly -- saw the light, though she never admitted that she believed deer could read.

COLORADO

How embarrassing for rural Delta County in western Colorado: A file containing the names of a couple of dozen "sovereign citizens" -- residents declaring themselves free of pesky taxes, laws or regulations by governmental authorities -- was labeled "Wingnuts" by one staffer. That title became public when a reporter for the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel wrote a front-page story about the anti-government folks, headlined "Watchdogs or Wingnuts?" A week later, red-faced county commissioners apologized.

From our friends

Serious words from a devoted reader:

"I've been a big fan of HCN since a friend first donated a subscription to me...I've received piles of HCN on at least four continents at this point. So, you see, the printed magazine, in the past 20 years, has become part of the warp and weft of my life and I am unwilling to leave it behind..."

Paul Brockmann, constant traveler

HCN in the outhouses of the West

From my Alaska trip: I flew into a small town that is not reachable by road, then hopped on a motorboat and drove across lakes and rivers for 2.5 hours to reach the scientists' camp way out in the boondocks -- out there they have a few rough cabins and a generator that makes electricity only in the evening and two outhouses -- and lo and behold, for reading material in the outhouses they have issues of the Economist magazines and HCN -- amazing to discover HCN readers way out there!

Ray Ring, HCN Senior Editor