With this issue we get our chance to punditify, prognosticate and otherwise ponder what Western voters meant to do when they each took five or 10 minutes to punch out their preferences: Urban voters may pull down levers in booths with curtains; rural voters tend to stand at open lecterns and punch out squares in cardboard-like ballots. A glance at maps on page 9 tells 99 percent of the story, while several HCN reporters and writers attempt to explain why it turned out that way.
What's wrong with this picture?
Reader Dick Dorworth photographed this outdoor promo in Twin Falls, Idaho, and challenged us to find the flaw. The colloquial word "melts?" The backward N?
We also heard from several readers that Outdoor Life has relented two months after pulling an essay on the ethics of bear hunting by Colorado biologist Tom Beck. The November issue includes his formerly quashed piece. California reader Mildred Dickemann tells us that an accompanying article by a Maine biologist, Craig McLaughlin, debunks Beck's concerns, pointing out that hunters use decoys to bring birds in, so why not set bait piles to attract bears? Judging by the persistence of ballot measures, we don't think there's a resolution to this issue.
Congratulations to HCN contributing editor Chip Rawlins of Boulder, Wyo., who just gave birth to his third book. It's called Broken Country: Mountains & Memory, and takes us back to 1973 and what you might call his break for the hills, in this case the Salt River Mountains of Wyoming where he became the shepherd of a band of sheep. Much of the book comes from his journal of that time, where he recorded observations about everything from the Vietnam War to insect life. He also came to some decisions about the woman who then shared his sleeping bag: "She wanted things and I wanted out." The book is $25 from publisher Henry Holt and Co., 115 W. 18th St., New York, NY 10011.
Corrections and emendations
We made Derek Ryter's day. All his life, he tells us, people have spelled his name as if he were an oil derrick; then on Nov. 11, in a photo caption about potential oil and gas drilling on Montana's Rocky Mountain Front, we misspelled the real derrick as a "derek."
Can a pesticide be an herbicide? Can a pesticide also be a fungicide? Yes and yes, say staffers at the National Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides in Eugene, Ore. Pesticide is the generic term for agents that kill both insects and weeds. We point this out to answer at least one reader who called to question our choice of words in a Hotline Nov. 11 about the soon-to-be-unveiled ingredients of some pesticides.
Thanks to several readers who pointed out that in our coverage of ballot initiatives Oct. 28, we said that a 1924 initiative stopped all dams on the Klamath River. Unfortunately, that is not true; dams were built along the Klamath River in California and Oregon to provide power to the Western grid.
The e-mail address to find information about the next Animas-La Plata negotiating session should have been: firstname.lastname@example.org. We left out the "d."
* Betsy Marston, for the staff