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Know the West

Welcome, Eric and Kati


Eric Strebel, our soft-spoken new Web developer, joined the HCN team Dec. 1. He's been working with computers since 1978, when he got his first personal computer. Eric eventually developed his programming hobby into a livelihood. Prior to joining us, he freelanced and operated Mountain West Communication's website for about a decade. Eric enjoys fishing, hiking in the mountains and perfecting his salsa recipe. He lives in nearby Hotchkiss, Colo., with Barbara, his wife of 32 years.

Since November, our new circulation assistant, Kati Johnson, has been helping to fill the caverns of HCN's databases with information. She's also one of the friendly voices you may hear when you call our headquarters. The comforts of family and fast food from her hometown of Omaha, Neb., tug at her heartstrings from time to time, but as a Paonia resident since 2004, she loves the small-town convenience of living close to everything she needs. On a typical weekend, she's playing cards and dice with her two teenage boys, Jonas and Noah, humiliating her husband, Ryan, at cribbage or reading a book.

Elaine Brett and Sarah Carlquist, residents of nearby Hotchkiss and Delta, Colo., stopped in to chat with us in December. They were in town to discuss a potential community business incubator for our hometown of Paonia, and talked land-swap politics with HCN staff regarding local billionaire businessman Bill Koch's proposed trade of several parcels for federal lands dividing his property. Elaine is a semi-retired business and development consultant, and Sarah is a Delta County Economic Development Board assistant.

We also enjoyed a big group of visitors on Dec. 14 when we had our annual Holiday Open House here in our Paonia office. Roughly 100 readers and friends dropped by for amazing hors d'oeuvres made by our own HCN staffers, luscious cake from local baker Ellen Hutto, libations from Alfred Eames Cellars and Revolution Brewing, and the chance to hobnob with each other and with HCN staffers. We also had a door-prize drawing -- some lucky winners walked off with HCN-logo T-shirts, bags and even socks.

Our recent feature story "The Slow Migration from Science to Policy" (HCN, 12/26/11 & 1/09/12) stated that researcher Tony Clevinger had documented more than 70,000 individual animal crossings on wildlife overpasses and underpasses along the Trans-Canada Highway in Banff. The number should have been 200,000.

In the same issue, in the article "A Westerner for the White House," we misspelled the last name of Montana's lieutenant governor as Bolinger -- it should have been "Bohlinger." HCN regrets the errors.