New HCN employees and several visitors at the office.

  • John and Sharon Sullivan stopped by the office before a writing workshop with local author Craig Childs.

    Katie Mast

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New development assistant Christine List, who joined our staff in December, says the decision to move to Paonia, Colo., HCN's hometown, was a family affair. A Chicago native and longtime Northern California resident, Christine wanted to live in the same town as her daughter, Keaton, and her grandchildren. She brings years of experience as an education and litigation secretary, along with an unusual hobby: making glass beads. "I love playing with fire," admits Christine, who once belonged to a group of bead-makers called the Flame Dames. She's excited about helping HCN grow by encouraging reader contributions, especially via our monthly giving program, and she's looking forward to teaching her grandkids bead-making – as soon as she can get her hands on a torch.

Gretchen King just became our full-time community engagement coordinator – handling social media, outreach, syndication and marketing. She's been part-time since August; a generous posthumous gift from a reader enabled us to expand her hours. Gretchen and her husband, Mike, returned to her native Colorado from Alaska seven years ago to establish Revolution Brewing, Delta County's only microbrewery, located (conveniently!) just a few blocks from HCN headquarters. Her son, Riley, two dogs and some fish keep her busy at home, though the great outdoors remain her downtime playground. Enamored with Paonia, population 1,500, Gretchen laughs that as a teenager, she considered her birthplace – nearby Grand Junction, with 60,000 people – far too small.

The evening before an early-November writing workshop with noted author and HCN contributing editor Craig Childs, Grand Junction readers John and Sharon Sullivan dropped by. Sharon, a writer for the Grand Junction Free Press, hoped to learn more about freelancing at the workshop and maybe one day find her way onto the pages of HCN. John, taking a day off from his upholstery business, was eager to explore nearby trails.

Mike Lindsay, a retired machinist from Powell, Wyo., enjoyed Paonia's relatively warm December weather. Compared to Wyoming, he said, our nearly freezing temperature felt quite pleasant. Mike was on his way to Grand Junction to celebrate his daughter's graduation from Colorado Mesa University.

Giving credit where it’s due
In the Feb. 3 issue, "The great Flathead fish fiasco" should have included an endnote saying that reporting for the story was supported by the Institutes for Journalism and Natural Resources. The nonprofit group aims to advance public understanding of environment, natural resource and public health issues through better journalism. IJNR provides multi-day field expeditions for journalists to give them firsthand experience with the people and places they cover.

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