Dear Friends

  • "I WAS HERE": Roger Piozak in Paonia

    photo courtesy Roger Piozak
 

Remember the Alamo

Tim Sullivan, who survived an HCN internship last fall, has known for a long time that his home state, Utah, is a little different than the rest. He called the office recently with the latest evidence.

"I'm very worried about the Mexican Army coming across our borders," Bob Scott, a World War II veteran, recently told the Utah Legislature. Scott wasn't the only Utahn alarmed by a recent bill that would abolish the state militia, a branch of the National Guard. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that one speaker testified to having heard that Mexico would overthrow the Southwest within five years, while another accused the bill's sponsor of being in cahoots with Mexican officials.

Last we checked, the only invasion from Mexico was in the form of immigrants who are making Utah home and doing a great deal of work in the state's booming service economy. Tim is now living in the heart of that machine, in Park City, where he's landed a job with the twice-a-week Park Record. His beat will be developer-besieged Summit County.

Former intern Kayley Mendenhall is covering a different kind of invasion for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, where she's working as a general assignment reporter for former HCN senior editor Ray Ring. Kayley just wrote a story about the hundreds of snowmobilers who take over West Yellowstone, Mont., each winter. One local doctor tells her that the gateway town averages four to five snowmobile accidents each day.

And from the urban jungle, we heard recently from Andy Lenderman, an intern in 1997, who now reports for the Albuquerque Tribune. Last fall, Andy won the New Mexico Press Association's first place prize for in-depth reporting. His winning story was about a group of business executives who were trying to raise $10,000 as a bonus to convince the local school superintendent to stay. The superintendent was in the midst of a heated contract battle with Albuquerque Public Schools, a district that suffers from high dropout rates, mediocre test scores, a teacher shortage and a growing achievement gap between Anglos and other students.

"New Mexico is a poor state and the schools reflect that," says Andy. "I had 31 front-page stories in a row during this contract battle. It was a nightmare."

A year in review

This issue includes our annual index for the year 2000. Now that we are on the Web (www.hcn.org), the staff wonders if readers still find it a useful tool. Please feel free to give us some feedback - by mail or e-mail.

Hellos

Reader Roger Piozak from Boulder, Colo., dropped by the office in October, to find, amazingly, an empty HCN headquarters. We'd have been none the wiser had Roger not dropped us a note with a photo of himself out front under the sign. We're not sure if it was a weekend or if we were all playing hooky, but here's hoping we're here to say hello next time.

Subscribers Greg and Wendy Perry stopped by in December. They live in Zuni, N.M., where they teach high school biology and third grade respectively, and were on the way to Basalt for their honeymoon to do a little cross-country skiing. The Perrys got turned on to the paper when they inherited the mailbox - and the subscription - of ex-Zuni teacher Ken Holmes. After reading the paper for free for nearly a year, they sent in the renewal notice and a check. Bill Freudenburg came through recently, as he has every year since the late 1970s, to revisit the site of his first major research project. Now a professor of rural sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Bill earned his Ph.D. studying the energy boom towns of Paonia, Craig, Meeker and Walden, Colo.

Even Caterpillar tractor salesmen read HCN. Craig Seal from Carbondale, Colo., stopped in to renew his subscription after visiting his clients at the coal mines in our North Fork Valley. We asked Craig if he'd bring one of his big machines over for HCNto use in the Backhoe Rodeo, a 4th of July traditon here in Paonia. We're not holding our breath, but we'll see what rolls over McClure Pass next summer.

Good-byes

After a year of trying to teach the HCN staff modern accounting methods, business manager Janet Kauffman is bidding us farewell. Janet says working for HCN wasn't all that different from working for former Soviet Bloc countries - in both places, she says, the accounting systems were outmoded, and both places required a translator ("Accrual? What's that?" "What do you mean you need a purchase order?").

"You've come a long way in a year," she tells us encouragingly. "But I don't have the patience for you guys."

Perhaps it says something about this crew that Janet has accepted a new job teaching accounting in, of all places, Kosovo. "It's the same job I did here," she says. "I'll be trying to get a financial statement that's recognizable to the rest of the world."

We wish Janet the very best.

Finally, we hear longtime military environmental watchdog Grace Potorti has retired as executive director of the Rural Alliance for Military Accountability (HCN, 3/15/99: Locals work to tame the Air Force). In her farewell letter, Grace says RAMA will continue without her. "My best to all of you," she signs off. "May you continue to Kick Butt and Take Names."

High Country News Classifieds
  • MANAGER PERMACULTURE LANDSCAPE CONTRACTOR
    Permaculture / Landscape Company Manager / Site Lead Red Ant Works, Inc. - 20+ year landscape construction and horticultural care company seeks manager and site...
  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Field seminars for adults in natural and human history of the Colorado Plateau with lodge, river trip and base camp options. Small groups, guest experts.
  • COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
    San Juan Citizens Alliance is looking for a passionate, dynamic, organized, and technology-savvy communications professional to help grow our membership and presence in the Four...
  • ENERGY AND CLIMATE PROGRAM ASSOCIATE
    San Juan Citizens Alliance seeks an Energy and Climate Program Associate to focus on public outreach, education and organizing to advance campaigns to mitigate climate...
  • REAL ESTATE SPECIALIST
    This position provides professional real estate services and is responsible for managing and completing real estate projects utilizing a project management database that is designed...
  • WILDFIRE MITIGATION SPECIALIST
    The Wildfire Mitigation Specialist is responsible for delivering wildfire risk mitigation information, recommendations and programmatic resources to wildland urban interface homeowners, community members and partners....
  • DEVELOPMENT POSITIONS
    Thorne Nature Experience is hiring for a Development Director and Senior Individual Giving Manager. Individuals will work collaboratively with Thorne's Executive Director to develop and...
  • SENIOR PROGRAM MANAGER, LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION & ENERGY
    The National Parks Conservation Association, a 100-year-old nonprofit advocacy organization and the nation's leading voice for national parks seeks a Senior Program Manager, Landscape Conservation...
  • BACKCOUNTRY AND FRONTCOUNTRY STEWARDSHIP CREW MEMBERS
    The San Juan Mountains Association (SJMA) is hiring a crew of ambassadors to work in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service to educate visitors on...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, NATURAL HISTORY INSTITUTE
    The Executive Director is the chief executive officer of the Natural History Institute (NHI). The Executive Director has broad authority to lead and manage the...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AT FRIENDS OF CEDAR MESA
    - The Land, History, and People of the Bears Ears Region - The Bears Ears and Cedar Mesa region is one of the most beautiful,...
  • SENIOR DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE
    Greater Yellowstone Coalition seeks a Senior Development Associate to coordinate the organization's individual giving program. The position description is available at http://greateryellowstone.org/careers Please email a...
  • TRAIL CREW TECHNICAL ADVISORS
    SEEKING TALENTED TRAIL CREWLEADERS The Pacific Crest Trail Association, headquartered in Sacramento, California ,is dedicated to protecting, preserving and promoting the Pacific Crest National Scenic...
  • ENDANGERED SPECIES POLICY ADVOCATE
    Are you a Guardian for wildlife, great and small, across the West? WildEarth Guardians (Guardians) seeks a full-time Endangered Species Policy Advocate (Advocate) for the...
  • WESTERN NATIVE SEED
    Native plant seeds for the Western US. Trees, shrubs, grasses, wildflowers and regional mixes. Call or email for free price list. 719-942-3935. [email protected] or visit...
  • ASSOCIATE PROGRAM MANAGER - GRANTS & CONTRACTS
    ORGANIZATION BACKGROUND Parks California is an ambitious new organization working to ensure that our state's parks thrive. From redwood groves and desert springs to lighthouses...
  • WILDLANDS ATTORNEY- SOUTHERN UTAH WILDERNESS ALLIANCE
    Immediate Opening-Wildlands Attorney The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) has an immediate opening for a full-time Wildlands Attorney. Interested applicants should email a cover letter,...
  • STREAM RESTORATION PROJECT MANAGER
    The Clark Fork Coalition seeks a Stream Restoration Project Manager to develop and manage a suite of restoration projects near Missoula, MT. The Stream Restoration...
  • THE LAND DESK: A PUBLIC LANDS NEWSLETTER
    Western lands and communities--in context--delivered to your inbox 3x/week. From award-winning journalist and HCN contributor Jonathan P. Thompson. $6/month; $60/year.
  • CONSERVATIONIST? IRRIGABLE LAND?
    Stellar seed-saving NGO is available to serious partner. Package must include financial support. Details: http://seeds.ojaidigital.net.