A holiday thank you to our readers

We enjoy our annual open house gathering and plan an issue break.


High Country News staff convened in Paonia, Colorado, for our annual holiday party Dec. 6. Those of us at our editorial satellite office in Gunnison were thrilled to visit our old roost — and to see so many friends and subscribers! It’s been c-c-c-COLD in Gunnison, so Paonia felt downright balmy, despite recent snowfall. We  warmed up even more with drinks, snacks and great conversation, with folks from down the road and much farther away. The office was packed and warmly lit with Christmas lights and luminarias.

Hawker-in-chief Brian Calvert raffled off HCN water bottles, yearlong subscription vouchers and goat-imprinted socks. He also thanked our growing subscriber base for sticking with us through a volatile, crucial moment in American journalism — the subject of this issue. We’re grateful to all who read, support and write to us, and we enjoyed spending time with you at the party. And if you couldn’t make it, don’t worry; we saved you each a slice of pizza! We’re overnight shipping them straight to your mailboxes, so warm up your microwaves.

Publisher Paul Larmer attempts to wrap Editor-in-chief Brian Calvert’s extended remarks at the holiday party.
Luna Anna Archey/High Country News

The Saturday after the party, Associate Photo Editor Luna Anna Archey, editorial fellow Jessica Kutz and editorial intern Elena Saavedra Buckley went cross-country skiing on Grand Mesa with friends. Luna tested out her new second-hand skis, while Jessica and Elena made their sticky rentals whiz along as fast as they could. The trio warmed up with buttered rum from the recently reopened Grand Mesa Lodge — highly recommended if you’re in the area. The same weekend, they visited the Creamery Arts Center in nearby Hotchkiss for a fundraiser involving locally crafted ceramic bowls and many varieties of soup. Luna herself just finished making a few ceramic mugs — perfect, perhaps, for more buttered rum?

Associate Editor Paige Blankenbuehler’s piece “Cashing In On Standing Rock” (HCN, 4/16/18) was among the Institute for Nonprofit News’ “Best of Nonprofit News” this year. The feature detailed how funds raised by Veterans Stand for the #NoDAPL demonstrations in 2016 were squandered and misplaced. Congrats to Paige!

Recent visitors include Doug Best and Denise Akert, from Fairbanks, Alaska, who were delighted by the amount of winter sun Paonia gets. Doug, who lives in a cabin he built himself, recently upgraded his outhouse, replacing a porcelain seat he called “the Northern Circle” with a foam seat “to keep the cold off.” Doug shares his print subscription with Denise and her husband, and Denise, who is originally from Switzerland, purchased a gift sub for her brother, who still lives there. Thanks for your support!

We’re taking an issue break for the holidays, so you won’t see us in print until the New Year. Come January, we’ll have a new intern, new stories and an editorial Oregon meet-up in the works, so expect an exciting series of “Dear Friends”! We hope you have happy holidays and a restful New Year, and we’ll see you in 2019.

Elena Saavedra Buckley is an editorial fellow at High Country News. Email her at [email protected] or submit a letter to the editor. 

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