Santa goat is coming to town!


The holidays are rolling around, so we'll be hosting our annual Open House here in our western Colorado office on Wednesday, Dec. 15. Please join us at 119 Grand Ave., Paonia, for refreshments and conversation from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Geoff Wheeler stopped by our headquarters to visit "the home of the magazine he's growing to love." He's from Milwaukee, Wis., and was traveling through en route to his daughter's wedding. A "recovering business owner," Geoff said he enjoyed the serenity of our small town and is even considering moving here.

Longtime subscriber Tim Furney was out taking pictures of golden aspen trees in late September when he decided to pay HCN a visit. Tim, a self-described "phone drone" in Denver, Colo., is also a poet. He charmed us with a few of his witty rhymes: "When 30 million people in Colorado are homing / We'll just make a landfill out of Wyoming."

John Bartholow, a retired water quality specialist for the U.S. Geological Survey, not only made an appearance at our 40th anniversary party in his hometown of Fort Collins, Colo., on Sept. 18, he also dropped by our Paonia office a few weeks later while photographing fall colors. Continuing a career-long passion for water conservation and river restoration, John serves on the board of directors for the "Save the Poudre" campaign on behalf of the Cache la Poudre watershed in northern Colorado.

After reading our "From Corn to Cabernet" feature (Aug. 17, 2009) about wineries in western Colorado, longtime subscribers Cathy and Barry Stamp decided to come see the vineyards -- and our newsroom -- for themselves. Residents of Golden, Colo., Barry is a consulting engineer and Cathy is an attorney specializing in adventure and recreation law and liability. We'll be sure to call her next time one of our staff is sued for injuries incurred during a high-speed obstacle race with the office chairs.

Hillary Rosner's feature "One Tough Sucker" in the June 7 issue, about the plight of the razorback sucker in the Colorado River, just won a 2010 Kavli Science Journalism Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in the small newspaper category. "It's a particular honor to win for this story because it touches on so many topics I love reporting on -- biodiversity, resource management, human ingenuity," Rosner told the AAAS.

And the National Association of Science Writers recently presented a 2009 Science in Society award to J. Madeleine Nash's HCN story "Bring in the Cows," which explains how grazing is helping to preserve a rare butterfly. The story, which ran May 25, 2009, was selected as the winner in the Science Reporting with a Local or Regional Focus category. The peer-judged award "highlight(s) innovative reporting that goes well beyond the research findings and considers the associated ethical problems and social effects."

In our Nov. 22 story on the proposed Rosemont Mine, we reported that the U.S. Forest Service's waffling included an unsigned 2009 memo that said the agency couldn't stop the mine by selecting a "no action" alternative in the environmental-impact study. The final version of the memo still included that statement and was signed by Jeanine Derby, then-Coronado National Forest Supervisor. A year earlier, Derby had said in an interview that the agency could select a no-action alternative.

Vote counts are finally done in some close races that weren't decided when we published our Nov. 22 elections wrap-up. Arizona voters narrowly approved a ballot measure for medical marijuana. Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski's unusual write-in campaign beat Tea Partier Joe Miller. And Colorado Republicans took control of the state's House of Representatives. (But legal challenges might keep some of those outcomes up in the air for a while longer.)

Reader Steve Roelof of Portland, Ore., wrote about our "Dam removal for dummies" story in the Nov. 8 issue: "Oregon grape is a prized native plant, often extensively used in restoration projects, so I would be surprised if it were considered invasive and slated for removal on this site. Also, the reference to white ash should probably read Oregon ash." You're right on both counts, Steve; thanks for the sharp eye.

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