High Country News skips an issue

 

We'll be skipping the July 9th issue. (We publish 22 issues per year.) Instead, we'll be picking western Colorado cherries, celebrating the Fourth of July, welcoming new interns and working on exciting new stories.

You'll see the next edition of HCN around July 23; in the meantime, enjoy the sweet lazy days of early summer, and visit hcn.org for fresh news and commentary.

GROWING THE HCN COMMUNITY

Ten board members and more than a dozen former interns descended on HCN's headquarters in Paonia, Colo., for a board meeting/intern reunion June 1-3. The event helped the board members realize something the staff has long known: Our interns form the very heart of the HCN community and its work.

This understanding colored the board meeting discussions, which centered on how to expand and engage the HCN community. While print subscribership has been constant for the past five years -- at approximately 23,000 -- HCN's stories are reaching more eyeballs than at any point in its 42-year history, mostly thanks to growing online readership; visits to hcn.org have hit 100,000/month, up 16 percent from last year.

But how to turn those casual website visitors into dues-paying community members? We discussed ways to use both the tools of the digital age (social networks, e-mail newsletter, mobile apps) and face-to-face standbys (potluck dinners, events at universities) to reach new audiences and keep our community together.

BREAKFAST IN BOZEMAN

There's never a shortage of ideas when HCN readers get together, as Executive Director Paul Larmer and Senior Editor Ray Ring can attest, following a May 8 gathering at the Sola cafe in Bozeman, Mont. Over strong coffee, eight area readers talked with the two about Montana politics, land-use planning, energy development and the slow starvation of public conservation agencies. Republican Whitney Tilt, the former director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, said conservationists in his party face a tough decision in the U.S. Senate contest between hook-and-bullet Democrat Jon Tester and controversial Republican Denny Rehberg. Retired Yellowstone National Park supervisor Bob Barbee regaled the group with tales of his relationship with Reagan-era Interior Secretary James Watt. (Surprisingly, it was pretty good). Betsy de Leiris, Martha Collins, Craig Groves, Jennifer Boyer, Kent Madin and Lisa Tuckerman also added greatly to the conversation.

CORRECTION

A sidebar to our June 11 story "The Spider Hunters" said that Pholcidae are not true spiders. They are true spiders, however, and are commonly known as daddy longlegs or cellar spiders.

FAREWELL TO A WISE CURMUDGEON

On Sunday, June 3, the West lost a unique voice -- journalist Ed Quillen, who for nearly three decades wrote about the region's communities and issues with a keen eye for irony and an appreciation for history.

Ed died at his home in Salida, Colo., at the all-too-young age of 61. "Colorado has lost one of its most thoughtful and colorful characters," said Curtis Hubbard, editorial page editor of the Denver Post, where Ed was a regular op-ed columnist.

He also frequently contributed to High Country News, with pieces ranging from provocative solutions for thorny problems, to political analyses, to hilarious satire.

Ed was born in 1950 in Greeley, Colo. He edited his high school newspaper, and majored in English at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. There, he met and married Martha Patterson in 1969. Ed dropped out of college a few years later to write at the weekly Longmont Scene, and then reported to the U.S. Army. (With typical wryness, Ed noted that officers "quickly agreed that he was not military material and gave him an honorable discharge.")

In 1974, Ed and Martha began working for Kremmling's weekly Middle Park Times, which they owned from 1975 to 1977. They then moved to Salida, where Ed became managing editor of the daily Mountain Mail until 1983, when he decided to freelance full-time. The couple founded Colorado Central Magazine in 1994, and sold it in early 2009.

Our heartfelt condolences to Martha, daughters Columbine and Abby, and the entire family. We'll miss Ed's sometimes curmudgeonly, always wise and ever-entertaining perspective. You can share your memories of Ed and find links to his HCN columns here.

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