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for people who care about the West

Fresh eggs and fresh journalism awards


The sun has been shining for weeks here in Paonia, Colorado, and despite some frosty nights, we are in the full throes of spring. A thin layer of snow coats Mount Lamborn above town, but down here, fruit blossoms have burst forth, and blooming hyacinth, daffodils and tulips have brought a riot of color to yards and parks. Our staffers are sprucing up their gardens, and our circulation associate, Pam Peters, is keeping us well supplied with fresh eggs from her warmed-up chickens.

Spring means an uptick in visitors, as readers emerge from their winter dens to come see us. Subscribers Sarah Brooks and Valerie Cotten from Fort Collins, Colorado, stopped by in late March after a week in Utah, where they saw the San Rafael Swell and Capitol Reef National Park. They reported that the trees were still brown in their hometown, so they were happy to see our budding spring leaves.

Reader Ethan Mansfield also dropped by in March. Originally from Boise, Idaho, he’d just accepted a job in nearby Glenwood Springs, with a company that helps rural communities with planning and economic development. 

Jane Schelly and Doug Potter came by for a tour. From Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, the pair passed through on their way from Aspen to Telluride on a ski trip. Doug’s a longtime subscriber, who used to steal his parents’ old HCN issues. We don’t condone theft, but we understand the temptation. Thanks for coming by!

In other news, our partnership with the Solutions Journalism Network, with whom we’re working to improve news in rural communities, continues to bear fruit. In 2016, the six-part series “Small Towns, Big Change” won first place in the Society of Professional Journalists’ Top of the Rockies awards for education, health and environmental enterprise reporting in our circulation category.

The series also won first place in Public Service Journalism. HCN will continue working with the Solutions Journalism Network in 2017 and 2018, and we’re excited to see what else comes of it.

Lastly, a few corrections. In “The Tree Ring” (HCN, 3/20/17), we incorrectly stated how much money maple wood sellers make. They typically receive a few hundred dollars per load, not per block. In the same issue, the essay “Arctic Owling” stated that snowy owls are the only diurnal species of owl. In fact, several owl species hunt during the day. And in our April 3 issue cover story “Firestorm” we misstated the official name of San José State University and the title of Neil Lareau, who is a postdoctoral student, not a Ph.D. student. We regret the errors.