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Know the West

Dear friends


The staff of High Country News cordially invites all readers and friends to a holiday open house at our Paonia, Colo., office (119 Grand Ave.) on Wednesday, Dec. 12, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. We'll provide refreshments.

Some fresh faces now grace the office, including Ryan Foster, our director of digital media. A native of Paonia and a digital jack-of-all-trades, during the past year Ryan was a consultant, redesigning hcn.org and providing technical know-how for our first multimedia projects.

HCN's new development associate Marisa McCune spearheads donor correspondence and organizes board meetings and marketing events. A San Francisco Bay Area native, Marisa worked previously at a nonprofit animal organization.

New fulfillment associate Becca Frenier prepares mailings, updates our database and assists subscribers. Becca grew up in Virginia, then came to Colorado "for the mountains." Becca is also working on a degree in environmental science at nearby Mesa State College.

Utne Magazine, a bimonthly that reprints the best of the alternative media, just nominated HCN for its 2007 Independent Press awards. Last year we received Utne's award for best local/regional coverage; this year we're being considered in the in-depth/investigative reporting category, along with Mother Jones, the Village Voice, the Columbia Journalism Review, and others.

We're proud that an HCN essay made it into The Best American Science and Nature Writing of 2007, even if we're the only ones who are aware of it. We originally published "Fishering" by Portland author Brian Doyle in March 2006, but due to an oversight by the author, the anthology credit went to Ecotone, a literary journal that later reprinted the essay.

In October, TIME Magazine lauded 45 of the planet's "environmental heroes" - and alongside Mikhail Gorbachev, Robert Redford and Al Gore were former HCN intern Chip Giller (fall 1994), the founder of green news site Grist.org, and HCN's hometown scientist, Theo Colborn, who studies endocrine disruptors.

Former HCN associate editor Peter Chilson, who now teaches at Washington State University, recently published Disturbance-Loving Species (Houghton Mifflin/ Mariner), a story collection that won the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference Bakeless Prize. Other new books from former HCN interns include Emerald City: An Environmental History of Seattle (Yale University Press) by Matthew Klingle (summer '89), assistant professor of history and environmental studies at Maine's Bowdoin College, and Kitchen Literacy: How We Lost Knowledge of Where Food Comes From and Why We Need to Get It Back (Island Press), by writer and historian Ann Vileisis (spring '92).

The Cortez Journal in southwest Colorado hired former intern Stephanie Paige Ogburn (summer 2006) to report on education and the arts. Robyn Morrison (spring 2000; former HCN special projects editor) was recently selected to serve on a Forest Service citizens' committee to advise the agency on recreation fee issues. And freelance writer Becca Clarren (spring 1999; former HCN associate editor) had a feature story in the summer issue of Ms. Magazine. "The Invisible Ones" investigated modern-day slavery in America.