HCN stories win awards

  • Carol Kiese and Gene Meyer stopped by our offices in early August.

    Marian Lyman Kirst

Our May 17, 2010, feature "Accidental Wilderness" by David Wolman just received recognition in the Society of Environmental Journalists 2010-2011 Awards for Reporting on the Environment. The story took third place in the category "Kevin Carmody Award for Outstanding In-depth Reporting, Small Market."

And in the 2011 Excellence in Journalism Awards from the Native American Journalists Association, Terri Hansen's Dec. 24, 2010, story, "Celebrating Shades of Green," won the "Best Feature Monthly, Division 1" category. Congrats to David and Terri!

Summer visitors come to call
HCN reader Art Castro, a retired civil engineer from Denver, stopped by our Paonia, Colo., office on his way back from nearby Silverton. He and his grandniece Dori and grandnephew David Buttz had spent the weekend driving part of the alpine loop from Silverton to Lake City. Castro commented on something our staffers know well -- Paonia is "a cute little town."

On her way to an annual family reunion in nearby Marble, Louise Singleton of Santa Fe, N.M., decided to drop by HCN headquarters to say hello. Louise's in-laws aren't too enthusiastic about mountains, so the family alternates between beach and backwoods each year. A former director of the Colorado Agricultural Leadership program, Louise lived in the state for 45 years, and had questions about the local coal-mining industry that we did our best to answer.

Glenn and Patricia Dahlgren stopped in to change their subscriber address - to one in 81428, HCN's zip code. The couple, formerly from Phoenix, Ariz., drove through Paonia a few years ago and decided this was where they wanted to end up. So they built a house just outside of town, and after Patricia's recent retirement, they moved in full-time. Welcome to the 'hood!

Longtime friends Carol Kiese and Gene Meyer dropped by in early August. Over burritos they bought from a food peddler (and kindly shared with a hungry intern), the two explained that they are originally from St. Louis, Mo. "We worked together on a ranch when we were younger," said Gene. Carol, a quarter horse trainer and former rafting guide, now lives in Paonia; Gene, who still lives in St. Louis and is self-employed in construction, was out for a visit.

Just a few decades ago -- in 1985 -- HCN had a staff of three, a budget a good ways south of $100,000, and one summer intern, Lisa McKhann, who dropped in recently from Duluth, Minn., while on a biking trip. First, she was curious about what happened to all the giant butterfly decorations that Paonia residents used to plaster on their houses. Our favorite theory is that equally giant blackbirds plucked them off and ate them, but the truth is that like most fads, those three-foot-wide butterflies finally fluttered off into the sunset. Lisa brought us up to date on what she'd been doing these last 26 years, and the news was heartening. What she learned about writing, layout and newspaper design at HCN served her well, she said, leading to jobs designing books and teaching writing classes. We are thrilled to hear we've been helpful.

We found a note tucked in our front door one morning. JC Greeley and Zoe Morgese of Denver, Colo., left us business cards from their work at the Anchor Center for Blind Children, with a note: "Reader and friend ... sorry to miss seeing the office and staff but had to stop by!" Sorry we missed you, too.

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