Dear Friends

  • NETWORKER: Sarah Hauze pages through the HCN bound volumes for news of former interns

    Cindy Wehling

Our election issue

If there's a theme for this year's election issue, it's that Old West politicians are under increasing attack: Our cover story reports on Washington Sen. Slade Gorton's tough re-election battle, and Todd Wilkinson writes on p. 5 that several of Montana's statewide races remain neck-and-neck. Western citizens are demanding more power in the political process, a theme that emerges in HCN associate editor Michelle Nijhuis' interview with Ralph Nader and in our reports on growth initiative battles in Arizona and Colorado.

Initiatives, including the anti-game farm I-143 in Montana (see story next page) continue to leap over state Legislatures in an attempt to appeal directly to voters. Yet despite the region's growth and increased activism, the West still doesn't matter much in presidential politics, says Washington columnist Jon Margolis on p. 11.

We can't hope to be a voter's guide for the West, but we've tried to highlight some of the most contentious races and issues in this year's elections. We hope they resonate in your town.

Sarah the intern sleuth

Three afternoons a week, 17-year-old Sarah Hauze slips into the offices of High Country News to resume her job as a sleuth. Sarah, a Paonia High School senior, is compiling a directory of all the newspaper's former interns, almost 200 over our 30-year existence.

The idea of an Intern Directory was hatched when staff decided it would serve as a useful networking tool, both for the young people who worked here for part of a year, and for us: We're curious about the career paths interns have chosen and whether they think their time with us was well spent.

Sarah, who is able to work for us because of a work-study course organized by the school, says she didn't have to look far to find five former HCN interns: Four work as editor-reporters, and one is the new HCN development director.

Sarah hopes to attend the University of Colorado or Colorado State University next fall, and she tells us journalism looks good as a possible career.

"I'm learning so much about all of the steps to get the paper out," she told us. "I never realized how many people it takes, working as a team, to successfully put out even one issue of the paper."

Sarah's father, David, is a musician who plays early Renaissance instruments; her mother, Marylee, works at a preschool.


We chatted recently with subscriber Gail Schwartz of Aspen, who is running for regent of the University of Colorado. She'd like the state's Western Slope to gain more access to higher education without having to travel over the Rockies.

From Orcas Island, Wash., came Keith and Suzanne Price and their young son, Sebastian, who were on a "dinosaur tour" of Utah and Colorado. They'd just visited Grand Junction's Dinosaur Museum, where Sebastian touched a dinosaur bone still imprisoned by rock. "The youngest of our species has the greatest affinity for some of the oldest animals of the planet," says Keith.

David Cahill of Salt Lake City dropped in on his way to a Broncos game in Denver. Macon Cowles of Golden, Colo., popped his head in the door, as did Tom McDowell of Lakewood, Colo., to say, "Thanks for doing a great job!"

Former intern Juniper Davis from Missoula, Mont., and friend Kat Hodges of Aspen said hello and talked about how smoky the summer had been, and Kent and Lois Gill from Camp Sherman, Ore., told us they had to say hello because they'd visited the office exactly a decade ago. The occasion: the celebration of their wedding anniversary -- then the 40th and now the 50th. Their three children were throwing a party for them in nearby Ouray.

Biting commentary

If you live near Durango or Telluride, Colo., and are longing to hear some really funny, biting Western commentary, don't miss a pair of HCN readings next month. On Friday, Nov. 10, Maria's Bookshop in Durango (960 Main Ave.) will host a reading from our new book, Living in the Runaway West: Partisan Views from the Writers on the Range, featuring local talents David Petersen, Ken Wright and David Feela. The following night (Saturday, Nov. 11), Ken Wright and David Feela will be joined by Hal Clifford, Lou Bendrick and Art Goodtimes for a reading at the Telluride Public Library, also at 7 p.m.

Burma Shave lives again

Ruth Shepherdof Salem, Ore., tells us she read Ed Marston's Sept. 25 essay about the usual fare of happy-face signs along the roads of the West, and wondered if he'd stood next to her when she took pictures "of that remarkable road marker" -- the one at Brothers that says settlers tried to farm and then starved out. After showing the Brothers marker to her 15-year-old grandson during a 1,000-mile trip, she says the two of them spent hours making up truth-telling Burma Shave signs. Those mostly-gone markers along roads tried to entice consumers with a series of rhyming ditties. "I recommend the game for cooped-up participants of all ages," she says, and here's some samples:

Look straight across

Below these skies

The history here

Is full of lies.

- Burma Shave

They turned the land

with plows that bent

and built their shacks ...

And then they went

- Burma Shave

Radio High Country News

Adam Burke, producer of Radio High Country News, has some good news about the half-hour show's increasing reach. The news and interview program can now be heard on 15 public-radio stations. Here's the list so you'll know when to tune in:


KRZA, Alamosa, Colo./Taos, N.M., Mondays at 8:30 a.m.
KGNU, Boulder, Mondays at 4 p.m.
KDNK, Carbondale, Mondays at 4:30 p.m.
KOTO, Telluride, Tuesdays at 6:15 p.m.
KRCC, Colorado Springs, Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m.
KAFM, Grand Junction, Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m.
KBUT, Crested Butte, and Gunnison, Thursdays at 4 p.m.
KVNF, Paonia, Thursdays at 6 p.m.
KAJX, Aspen, Fridays at noon.

New Mexico

KGLP, Gallup, Mondays at 3:30 p.m.
KTAO, Taos, Thursdays at 6:30 p.m.


KZMU, Moab, Thursdays at 6:30 p.m.
KRCL, Salt Lake City and Park City, Fridays at 5:30 a.m.


KUWR, Laramie, first and third Friday at 6:30 p.m.


KBOO, Portland, Ore., runs our news headlines each week.

If your public radio station doesn't run Radio HCN, you can listen on the Web at

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