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for people who care about the West

A new face on staff and new pups in the office

We welcome Christie, Porter and Lefty to HCN.


Snap pea seedlings are pushing up through the cool soil here in Paonia, HCN’s headquarters, and Colorado’s weather continues to undulate from warm to cold and back again. Meanwhile, our major gifts officer Alyssa Pinkerton has been busy, setting up fundraisers and meet-and-greets between donors and HCN staffers for May in Fort Collins and Durango in Colorado and Albuquerque, New Mexico. If you’re in the area, look for those meet-ups, which are a great way to connect with your neighbors.

Visitors Travis Pugh and Alicia Olson, subscribers for the last three years, stopped by with their 2-and-1/2-month-old daughter Edith on a cloudy day in late April. The Denver-area family was headed to Utah to visit Canyonlands National Park and relatives near Salt Lake City. Future HCN reader (and who knows, future intern) Edith is already a master road-tripper: She slept all the way to Glenwood Springs despite the traffic. She did open her eyes to take a peep at the office while she was here, though. Happy trails, Edith, Alicia and Travis!

We’d like to give a warm welcome to Christie Cantrell, HCN’s new Customer Service Manager. Christie comes to us from a digital marketing service in Carbondale. Although new to the HCN staff, Christie is no stranger to HCN’s hometown, having lived here for the last nine years. Publisher Paul Larmer was one of the first people she met when she first moved to Paonia, and she’s been interested in working for HCN ever since. Christie says she appreciates HCN for its important coverage and in-depth reporting on Western issues, which she’s familiar with as a Westerner herself. “I could not be more excited to join the HCN team for an opportunity to put my organizational skills to work for such a terrific publication,” Christie says. Aside from expanding our subscription base and providing subscriber support, Christie is looking forward to warmer weather and spending time in the mountains fishing, hiking, photographing and enjoying bike rides in the North Fork Valley.

In other news, the HCN dog pack has expanded to include Lefty and Porter, the new pups of Editor-in-chief Brian Calvert and Assistant Editor Paige Blankenbuehler, respectively. Lefty comes to us via a local dog rescue service, and is part Australian shepherd and Catahoula cur. So far, he has shown great aptitude for being petted, patted and passed around. He’s also good at napping, and barks in his sleep. And Porter, Paige’s first pup, is an adopted 10-week-old coonhound from Meeker, Colorado. He’s a mellow fellow who follows whatever scent his nose points him toward. He’s excellent at “sit” and “stay” — better than most of us, in fact — and is just about the sweetest pup in town — besides HCN’s other pups, of course.

In “Change Comes to Short Creek” (HCN 5/1/17), we misidentified Kristyn Decker as the head of Holding Out HELP. Decker founded the Sound Choices Coalition. The executive director of Holding Out HELP is Tonia Tewell. We regret the error.