High Country News October 25, 2010
It's not the Old West -- it's our guide to this year's Western elections.
When Obama plucked Janet Napolitano out of the governor's seat to run Homeland Security, he surrendered Arizona to the ultra-conservatives.
California flashes back to the 1970s with campaigns to legalize marijuana and re-elect Jerry Brown as governor, while other key races are also sizzling hot.
Colorado voters are almost evenly split between Republicans, Democrats and the nonaffiliated, including the Tea Party -- and a Salazar looks vulnerable.
Pro-business, semi-green Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick has a good chance of keeping his seat, while Idaho's Republican Party fractures over a loyalty oath.
A Montana populist, Ken Toole, tries to keep his seat on the Public Service Commission, while other key races involve wealthy hunters and the state Supreme Court.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tries gun-play in his battle with Sharron Angle, and former poli-sci prof Dina Titus tries to keep her Nevada House seat out of Joe Heck's reach.
Ultra-conservative anti-wolf Steve Pearce wants his old House seat back from Democratic oilman Harry Teague, and the next governor of New Mexico will be a woman.
John Kitzhaber, champion of land-use planning, is running for governor again -- and the Tea Party has failed to draw much attention.
Right-wingers ousted wilderness-dealmaker Sen. Bob Bennett in the Republican primary, and now anti-wilderness Mike Lee will probably take his place in the Senate.
A Tea Party loss ironically helps Republican Dino Rossi's effort to unseat Sen. Patty Murray, while conflicting ballot measures seek to raise taxes on wealthy people or choke off all potential tax hikes.
Wyoming's popular Democratic Gov. Dave Freudenthal is carefully staying out of the race between his wannabe successors, Leslie Petersen and Matt Mead.
A first-hand account by a longtime Arizona investigative reporter, John Dougherty, about his surprising Senate campaign.
Proposals to make dangerous rapids safer rouse controversy among avid river-users.
New solar energy projects are coming to California and Nevada.
"Farmworker Reality Tours" teach citizens about the lives of California's migrant farmworkers.
The West has known extremist politics before, but we usually seem to end up tacking pretty close to the center.
High Country News welcomes new assistant editor Cally Carswell and says goodbye to business employee Jessica Spencer; Sen. Michael Bennet visits; Paonia "hippie reunion"; visitors.
Colorado clean-energy activist Leslie Glustrom sees the eventual decline of coal production as a possible ally.
Writers on the Range
A lover of old Western architecture spends his days dismantling and recycling tumbledown buildings.
In her second memoir, Raw Edges, Phyllis Barber leaves her marriage and tries to find herself.
In her first short story collection, From the Hilltop, Toni Jensen relies on her Metis heritage to explore American Indian life off the reservation.
During the labor struggles of the early 20th century, rough-and-tumble Butte, Mont., survived as a community because of -- rather than despite -- its ethnic diversity.