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Know the West

Dear friends


Postal P.S.

In the good old days, HCN only had to worry about habitat and species and clean air. Today, as the Old West curdles into the New West, the paper also worries about small towns. The Dec. 23, 1996, story on the Red Lodge, Mont., post office by John Clayton had a happy ending. But McCall, Idaho, also fighting to keep its mail downtown, is still facing problems.

Kathy Showers e-mailed us to say that four McCallites headed to Washington, D.C., March 4, to lobby the Idaho delegation. Their hope, Kathy wrote, is something called the "Runyon Concept" advanced by Postmaster General Marvin Runyon. It would split post offices into a small downtown facility, where residents would receive mail, and an out-of-town facility, where sorting would be done.

Spring visitors

Former intern Patrick Dowd stopped by, looking healthy but pleading exhaustion from a season of teaching skiing at Aspen. Tired of life at low elevations, Patrick said he will lead an Outward Bound course at Machu Picchu, in Peru, elevation 19,000.

Congratulations to another former intern, Shara Rutberg, who was crowned the 20th Red Lady at the Crested Butte Red Lady Ball earlier this month. Shara is a reporter for the Crested Butte Chronicle and Pilot.

Joe Jensen, a subscriber and commercial printer from Chicago, dropped in to say hello while on vacation, and ended up conducting a spur-of-the-moment seminar on printing for HCN staff.

Steve Boyle of BIO-Logic Research and Missy Rogers, an artist, both of Montrose, came by.

Evelyn G. Helm, who describes herself as a "die-hard fan of land conservation and saving birds," wonders if she is the only HCN reader in Sun City, Ariz. She can be reached at 10154 W. Desert Hills Drive, Sun City, AZ 85351.

Subscribers Jane Yazzie, who teaches at the community college in Craig, Colo., and her husband, Larry, who works at the Craig Power Plant, stopped off on their way home from attending a funeral on the Navajo Reservation.

Jeff Gersh, who wrote the article, "Subdivide and Conquer," in the Fall 1996 Amicus Journal, writes to say he is working on a documentary film of the same name. Readers with data and stories about sprawl in the West can contact him at [email protected]

What a blip

Henrietta Hay, an 82-year-old who writes a regular, and regularly provocative, column for the Grand Junction, Colo., Daily Sentinel, was recently interviewed by Betsy Marston on her show, Broadsides, on Paonia's KVNF. Then she dropped in to visit the HCN office with Terry Pickens, the director of the Mesa County Public Library District. Pickens describes herself as a "Henrietta groupie" and a 30-year friend.

Henrietta wrote in her column about turning 80: "When I was 20, I was a romantic and idealist. I knew I could change the world, although I wasn't too sure what needed to be changed. Sixty years later, I know that human evolution is a very slow process, and that a lifetime is a mere blip."


When we put a classified ad in HCN looking for an assistant editor, we expected maybe 10 applicants, one of whom we hoped might be both qualified and willing to move to a town of 1,400. Instead, we heard from more than 40 applicants, almost all of whom were qualified, and some of whom were incredibly well qualified.

Overwhelmed, we reversed Solomon's solution, deciding to hire two people rather than one. Coming in soon as an associate editor is Peter Chilson of Seattle, Wash., where he teaches writing and journalism at four colleges and writes feature-length articles on a freelance basis for such magazines as the North American Review and Audubon. His experience includes an MFA from Penn and work as an AP writer in Africa and New England.

Greg Hanscom will fill the assistant editor slot. The Utah native was an HCN intern last summer and is now a graduate student in journalism at the University of Montana, Missoula.

They will replace, more or less, Elizabeth Manning, who leaves at the end of March, and Lisa Jones, who left at the end of December. Both Elizabeth and Lisa are remaining in Paonia, from where they will freelance. As part of the changes, associate editor Paul Larmer will be advanced to senior editor.

- Ed Marston, for the staff