Stoning as the punishment for the “crime” of adultery, reinstatement of this Taliban-era punishment for Afghanistan.
The last 12 years have been a time of significant achievements here, hard-fought by Afghan activists. Millions of girls have gone to school, women have joined the police and the army and the civil service. Twenty-eight percent of the members of Afghanistan’s Parliament are women, and a 2009 law made violence against women a crime.
But signs are everywhere that a rollback of women’s rights has begun in anticipation of next year’s deadline for the withdrawal of international combat forces. Opponents of women’s rights are already taking advantage of growing international fatigue with Afghanistan.
In Immigration Battle, Advocates for Overhaul Single Out Republicans—We need to get rid of this loser…J.R.
PUEBLO, Colo. — Representative Scott Tipton, Republican of Colorado, entered his town hall meeting and quickly began greeting the assembled crowd, including those who did not necessarily share his political views.
He shook the hands of a group of Hispanic teenagers sitting in the front row, welcoming them like old friends. The teenagers, who had been brought to the country illegally by their parents as young children, had come the day before to lobby Mr. Tipton to support a broad immigration overhaul.
“You were there yesterday!” he said to one of the teenagers, who were dressed in red and had already attended several other events in his district. “Well, thanks for taking the time. Did you have a good drive?” He turned to another member of the group. “I have not got you to smile once,” he said, offering a smile of his own, before moving to the front of the room to start his meeting.
Mr. Tipton has come to know the immigration advocates in his district — and their issue — well. As House Republicans have all but ruled out the possibility of passing any sweeping legislation before the end of the year, immigration advocates are operating with an increased sense of urgency. Their goal is to pressure lawmakers like Mr. Tipton to support an overhaul, creating a call for action from Republican House members that they hope Speaker John A. Boehner and his leadership team will find impossible to ignore.
But persuading Mr. Tipton, a two-term lawmaker who rode into office on the Tea Partywave in 2010, to support any broad immigration legislation will be a tough sell.
Well, a new ski season is happening and the San Juan snowpack is so typical. Early October snowfall, cold mean daily air temperatures that drive the faceting & weakening of the new snow and early season backcountry folks who are looking for happiness of the turning ski…
Too often many backcountry riders don’t have their guard up yet. Mostly thinking of the turn, suffering from ‘POWDER SHOCK‘. They’re not using their avalanche eyeballs yet.
Several people took rides this weekend with the new snow and high winds which are two very important variables that are often ignored/discounted or not yet morphed into thoughts or warnings because of powder shock and maybe the stampeding of the herd mentality.
We need to think before chasing the turn. It’s a new year and each year is a new experiment. Most folks put new batteries in their transceivers, check that their bindings aren’t set on FEMUR & stock up on ski swap woolies, but somehow don’t spend as much time considering the changing environmental variables or reining in ego and desire… Make your forecast for the day, but rely on your NOWCASTING skills for an ever-changing environment. Be there now…
chant the conservative Republican mantra….. J.R.
Mark Rawsthorne photo
A picket fence on top of the grassy knoll in Dealey Plaza was covered with notes and graffiti. The fence once separated a rail stockyard from Dealey Plaza and is often cited by conspiracy theorists as an alternative or additional location for a gunman who participated in the assassination of Kennedy as his motorcade passed.
DALLAS — When President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade left the airport here shortly before noon on Nov. 22, 1963, the man seated in the lead car was the county sheriff, Bill Decker, 65, a storied Texas lawman who led the hunt for Bonnie and Clyde. Fifty years later, the badge belongs to Lupe Valdez, 66, the daughter of Mexican migrant farmworkers. She is the only sheriff in America who is an openly gay Hispanic woman. Voters re-elected Sheriff Valdez, a Democrat, to a third term last year.
Dealey Plaza — where the darkest day in Dallas history unfolded 40 minutes after the motorcade began — looks eerily similar to what it was then, the sixth-floor corner window of the former Texas School Book Depository still cracked open slightly. But Dallas itself is almost as different as Bill Decker is from Lupe Valdez.
And the tension between past and present has unleashed a wave of citywide self-reflection a half-century later in a distinctly American place that is part Dallas Cowboys, part Texas excess and part urban melting pot, where the public school students come from homes where 70 languages are spoken. Painful, embarrassing memories of the angry anti-Washington culture that flourished here 50 years ago — and now seems a permanent part of the national mood — have resurfaced, confronting Dallasites daily.
In the early 1960s, a small but vocal subset of the Dallas power structure turned the political climate toxic, inciting a right-wing hysteria that led to attacks on visiting public figures. In the years and months before Kennedy was assassinated, Lyndon B. Johnson; his wife, Lady Bird; and Adlai E. Stevenson, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, were jostled and spat upon in Dallas by angry mobs. In sermons, rallies, newspapers and radio broadcasts, the city’s richest oil baron, a Republican congressman, a Baptist pastor and others, including the local John Birch Society, filled Dallas with an angry McCarthyesque paranoia.
The immediate reaction of many in Dallas to the news that Kennedy had been shot was not only shock but also a sickening sense of recognition. Moments after hearing about the shooting, the wife of the Methodist bishop told Tom J. Simmons, an editor at The Dallas Morning News, “You might have known it would be Dallas.”
For months, a city that had long been proud of its image of wealth and success has been exploring this ugly past, a past it once sought to play down and even ignore. A letter co-signed by Mr. Rawlings inviting the public to a recent symposium bluntly asked, “Were we somehow to blame?” The Dallas Morning News — whose publisher in the 1960s, Ted Dealey, used to refer to the N.A.A.C.P. as the National Association for the Agitation of the Colored People — has not spared Mr. Dealey from its 50th-anniversary coverage. Last month, it called Mr. Dealey’s face-to-face ridiculing of Kennedy, which came in 1961 at a White House luncheon, a “rude display.”
In a short film by Errol Morris, Josiah “Tink” Thompson, who has been investigating the Kennedy assassination for nearly 50 years, looks to the photographic evidence.
A brief résumé. Josiah “Tink” Thompson, the subject of this Op-Doc, graduated from Yale in 1957, became a demolitions expert and frogman for the Navy, and then returned to Yale to get his Ph.D. on the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard.
The Kennedy assassination changed Tink’s life. In 1967, he was an assistant professor of philosophy at Haverford, when he published “Six Seconds in Dallas.” Short, simple and quietly convincing, it is still one of the best books written about the assassination.
Ten years later, Tink left academia and became a private detective in Northern California. Now he has returned to what has haunted him for 50 years: Frame #313 of the Zapruder film, and our inability to come up with a definitive account of what happened in Dallas.
Is there a lesson to be learned? Yes, to never give up trying to uncover the truth. Despite all the difficulties, what happened in Dallas happened in one way rather than another. It may have been hopelessly obscured, but it was not obliterated. Tink still believes in answers, and in this instance, an answer. He is completing a sequel to “Six Seconds” called “Last Second in Dallas.” Like its predecessor, this book is clearly reasoned and convincing. Of course, there will be people who will be unmoved by his or any other account. This is a dogfight with too many dogs in the fight. Most people have already staked out their commitment.
I am fascinated by Tink — see also my earlier short film on him, “The Umbrella Man” — because he is obsessed with the photographic evidence. Not that you can read the truth of what happened off a photographic plate, but that photography can lead you to the truth.
Director Bio: Errol Morris is a writer and filmmaker whose new feature documentary, “The Unknown Known,” is soon to be released. His film “The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons From the Life of Robert S. McNamara,” won the Academy Award for best documentary feature of 2003. He is the author of “Believing is Seeing: Observations on the Mysteries of Photography” (a book of essays, many of which appeared here) and “A Wilderness of Error: The Trials of Jeffrey MacDonald.” His previous Op-Docs are “The Umbrella Man,” “El Wingador” and “11 Excellent Reasons Not to Vote?”
Charles Ergen, co-founder of DISH Network.
Net worth: $12.5 billion
His Ouray County Colorado ranch received $117,826 in crop and livestock disaster payments from 2002 to 2008.
Billionaires Received Millions From Taxpayer Farm Subsidies: Analysis
Los Angeles saw a dramatic boom in growth after the construction of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913. The system delivers water from the Owens River in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains to the city.
Today the beauty of Los Angeles is dramatically symbolic of the ancient prophecy: The desert shall “blossom like a rose.”
This blossoming was made possible by the birth of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, opened 100 years ago this month. The opening of the aqueduct might as well have been the birth of the modern West and the image of the city as a “Garden of Eden.”
The vast quantities of water the aqueduct moved made Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix and other cities across the region possible.
The project fulfilled the vision of William Mulholland, then L.A.’s chief water engineer. As he stood in front of 40,000 spectators on the day it opened, Mulholland gestured toward the water cascade charging down the hillside and declared, “There it is. Take it.”
But as with all things, the aqueduct also came at a price.
Birth Of The West
The $23 million Los Angeles Aqueduct project took 5,000 workers five years to complete. It also finished on time and under budget, something you might not hear a lot these days.
“The state of California would be different, arguably the world would be different, without the L.A. Aqueduct,” says Jon Christensen, the editor of Boom Magazine. Their latest issue looks at the 100-year anniversary of the aqueduct.
While the aqueduct brought water to Los Angeles, it also took it from somewhere else: Owens Valley. Christensen tells NPR’s Arun Rath that over the years there was a lot of anger and accusations that L.A. took water the water by force.
“People sold their agricultural lands and their water to the city of L.A.,” he says. “There’s lots of claims and evidence that some of that was done secretly, without identifying who the real buyers were … but there were also a lot of willing sellers.”
That anger manifested itself in the form of protests and even a bombing of the aqueduct. The 1974 film Chinatown, starring Jack Nicholson, helped perpetuate that myth that the “big city came and took what it wanted.” But the film took a few liberties with the true story of the city’s water.
“Almost nothing about [the film] is historically accurate,” Christensen says.
For most of us, the end of daylight saving time on Sunday, Nov. 3, (officially at 2 a.m.), means we get another hour of sleep, and an earlier sunrise.
Both are welcome.
But lately, the true raison d’etre of daylight saving time has been called into question: saving energy.
Benjamin Franklin (“early to bed, early to rise”) is created with coming up with the idea of daylight saving time. But Kaiser Wilhelm II, Emperor of Germany, during World War I was the first to act on Franklin’s idea, according to David Prerau, author of “Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time.”
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Not wanting to be outdone by the Germans, the British and Americans also adopted the practice to save energy during World War I, and later again in World War II. Since WW II, daylight saving has been optional among US states. In fact, Arizona, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Marianas, and the Virgin Islands don’t observe DST.
Prerau notes that US Department of Transportation studies have shown that daylight saving time also reduces accidents, saving about 25 lives a year, and reduces crime.
But does daylight saving time really save energy?
Studies show mixed results. For example, The Christian Science Monitor reports that in Indiana, daylight saving time caused a 1 percent jump in electricity, according to a 2010 study. The energy saved from reduced lighting in the summer months was canceled out by an increase in the use of heating and air conditioning, the researchers from Yale University and University of California Santa Barbara said.
Most advocates cite a 2008 report to Congress by the Department of Energy which showed that total electricity savings from the extended daylight saving period amounted to 1.3 terawatt-hours, or 0.03 percent of electricity consumption over the year. That’s a tiny number. But if electricity costs 10 cents per kilowatt, that means an estimated $130 million in savings each year. In 2011, the US consumed 3,856 billion kilowatthours (kWh), according to the US Energy Information Administration.
Since energy consumption is relative to outside temperatures, the benefits of daylight saving time are more pronounced in mild climates. The DOE study, for example, estimated that DST saves California about 1 percent of its energy bill daily.
France’s government has taken legal steps to protect the country’s independent booksellers from behemoths like Amazon. It already prohibits discounts of more than 5 percent on books. Now it’s considering a law that would not allow online retailers like Amazon to offer both a 5 percent discount and free shipping.
The Cry of the True Republican — Op/Ed — There is more than a passing similarity between Joseph McCarthy and Ted Cruz, between McCarthyism and the Tea Party movement.
Five generations of Tafts have served our nation as unwaveringly stalwart Republicans, from Alphonso Taft, who served as attorney general in the late 19th century, through William Howard Taft, who not only was the only person to be both president of the United States and chief justice of the United States but also served as the chief civil administrator of the Philippines and secretary of war, to my cousin, Robert Taft, a two-term governor of Ohio.
As I write, a photograph of my grandfather, Senator Robert Alphonso Taft, looks across at me from the wall of my office. He led the Republican Party in the United States Senate in the 1940s and early 1950s, ran for the Republican nomination for president three times and was known as “Mr. Republican.” If he were alive today, I can assure you he wouldn’t even recognize the modern Republican Party, which has repeatedly brought the United States of America to the edge of a fiscal cliff — seemingly with every intention of pushing us off the edge.
Throughout my family’s more than 170-year legacy of public service, Republicans have represented the voice of fiscal conservatism. Republicans have been the adults in the room. Yet somehow the current generation of party activists has managed to do what no previous Republicans have been able to do — position the Democratic Party as the agents of fiscal responsibility.
Speaking through the night, Senator Ted Cruz, with heavy-lidded, sleep-deprived eyes, conveyed not the libertarian element in Republican philosophy that advocates for smaller government and less intrusion into the personal lives of citizens. but a new, virulent strain of empty nihilism: “blow it up if we can’t get what we want.”
This recent display of bomb-throwing obstructionism by Republicans in Congress evokes another painful, historically embarrassing chapter in the Republican Party — that of Senator Joseph McCarthy, chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, whose anti-Communist crusade was allowed by Republican elders to expand unchecked, unnecessarily and unfairly tarnishing the reputations of thousands of people with “Red Scare” accusations of Communist affiliation. Finally Senator McCarthy was brought up short during the questioning of the United States Army’s chief counsel, Joseph N. Welch, who at one point demanded the senator’s attention, then said: “Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness.” He later added: “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”
Watching the Republican Party use the full faith and credit of the United States to try to roll back Obamacare, watching its members threaten not to raise the debt limit — which Warren Buffett rightly called a “political weapon of mass destruction” — to repeal a tax on medical devices, I so wanted to ask a similar question: “Have you no sense of responsibility? At long last, have you left no sense of responsibility?”
There is more than a passing similarity between Joseph McCarthy and Ted Cruz, between McCarthyism and the Tea Party movement. The Republican Party survived McCarthyism because, ultimately, its excesses caused it to burn out. And eventually party elders in the mold of my grandfather were able to realign the party with its brand promise: The Republican Party is (or should be) the Stewardship Party. The Republican brand is (or should be) about responsible behavior. The Republican party is (or should be) at long last, about decency.
What a long way we have yet to go.
John G. Taft is the author of “Stewardship: Lessons Learned From the Lost Culture of Wall Street.”
The Night Before Shutdown)
by DOUG on OCTOBER 1, 2013
We received this piece of brilliant verse in our Inbox last night from Nathan Ament with the note: “I work for the National Park Service in Moab and wrote this on my lunch break today…” We hope you are out enjoying yourself, Nathan.
Twas the night before shutdown, and all through the Service,
The rangers and admin were all a bit nervous.
The ‘closed’ signs were ready and plans were well made,
And we wondered if we would continue to be paid.
While Congress debated we all scratched our heads,
Unsure whether we should feel joy or dread.
When out in the parking lot there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my cubicle to see what was the matter.
There on the asphalt, in a truck old and shabby,
All dusty and boozy…it was the ghost of Ed Abbey!
He threw open the truck door, and offered a beer,
And I knew then and there I had nothing to fear.
I said “Where we off to?”
He roared, “God’s country, son!”
No doubt in my mind, twas time for desert fun.
He revved the engine and slammed it in first,
And laughed and grinned and hollered and cursed.
Then he yelled out the window as he cracked a Bud Light,
“Happy shutdown to ALL, and to ALL a good night!!!”
NARA, Japan — Hundreds of Syrians are apparently killed by chemical weapons, and the attempt to protect others from that fate threatens to kill many more. A child perishes with her mother in a tornado in Oklahoma, the month after an 8-year-old is slain by a bomb in Boston. Runaway trains claim dozens of lives in otherwise placid Canada and Spain. At least 46 people are killed in a string of coordinated bombings aimed at an ice cream shop, bus station and famous restaurant in Baghdad. Does the torrent of suffering ever abate — and can one possibly find any point in suffering?
Wise men in every tradition tell us that suffering brings clarity, illumination; for the Buddha, suffering is the first rule of life, and insofar as some of it arises from our own wrongheadedness — our cherishing of self — we have the cure for it within. Thus in certain cases, suffering may be an effect, as well as a cause, of taking ourselves too seriously. I once met a Zen-trained painter in Japan, in his 90s, who told me that suffering is a privilege, it moves us toward thinking about essential things and shakes us out of shortsighted complacency; when he was a boy, he said, it was believed you should pay for suffering, it proves such a hidden blessing.
Yet none of that begins to apply to a child gassed to death (or born with AIDS or hit by a “limited strike”). Philosophy cannot cure a toothache, and the person who starts going on about its long-term benefits may induce a headache, too. Anyone who’s been close to a loved one suffering from depression knows that the vicious cycle behind her condition means that, by definition, she can’t hear the logic or reassurances we extend to her; if she could, she wouldn’t be suffering from depression.
Occasionally, it’s true, I’ll meet someone — call him myself — who makes the same mistake again and again, heedless of what friends and sense tell him, unable even to listen to himself. Then he crashes his car, or suffers a heart attack, and suddenly calamity works on him like an alarm clock; by packing a punch that no gentler means can summon, suffering breaks him open and moves him to change his ways.
Occasionally, too, I’ll see that suffering can be in the eye of the beholder, our ignorant projection. The quadriplegic asks you not to extend sympathy to her; she’s happy, even if her form of pain is more visible than yours. The man on the street in Calcutta, India, or Port-au-Prince, Haiti, overturns all our simple notions about the relation of terrible conditions to cheerfulness and energy and asks whether we haven’t just brought our ideas of poverty with us.
But does that change all the many times when suffering leaves us with no seeming benefit at all, and only a resentment of those who tell us to look on the bright side and count our blessings and recall that time heals all wounds (when we know it doesn’t)? None of us expects life to be easy; Job merely wants an explanation for his constant unease. To live, as Nietzsche (and Roberta Flack) had it, is to suffer; to survive is to make sense of the suffering.
That’s why survival is never guaranteed.
OR put it as Kobayashi Issa, a haiku master in the 18th century, did: “This world of dew is a world of dew,” he wrote in a short poem. “And yet, and yet. …” Known for his words of constant affirmation, Issa had seen his mother die when he was 2, his first son die, his father contract typhoid fever, his next son and a beloved daughter die.
He knew that suffering was a fact of life, he might have been saying in his short verse; he knew that impermanence is our home and loss the law of the world. But how could he not wish, when his 1-year-old daughter contracted smallpox, and expired, that it be otherwise?
After his poem of reluctant grief, Issa saw another son die and his own body paralyzed. His wife died, giving birth to another child, and that child died, maybe because of a careless nurse. He married again and was separated within weeks. He married a third time and his house was destroyed by fire. Finally, his third wife bore him a healthy daughter — but Issa himself died, at 64, before he could see the little girl born.
My friend Richard, one of my closest pals in high school, upon receiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer three years ago, created a blog called “This world of dew.” I sent him some information about Issa — whose poems, till his death, express almost nothing but gratitude for the beauties of life — but Richard died quickly and in pain, barely able to walk the last time I saw him.
MY neighbors in Japan live in a culture that is based, at some invisible level, on the Buddhist precepts that Issa knew: that suffering is reality, even if unhappiness need not be our response to it. This makes for what comes across to us as uncomplaining hard work, stoicism and a constant sense of the ways difficulty binds us together — as Britain knew during the blitz, and other cultures at moments of stress, though doubly acute in a culture based on the idea of interdependence, whereby the suffering of one is the suffering of everyone.
“I’ll do my best!” and “I’ll stick it out!” and “It can’t be helped” are the phrases you hear every hour in Japan; when a tsunami claimed thousands of lives north of Tokyo two years ago, I heard much more lamentation and panic in California than among the people I know around Kyoto. My neighbors aren’t formal philosophers, but much in the texture of the lives they’re used to — the national worship of things falling away in autumn, the blaze of cherry blossoms followed by their very quick departure, the Issa-like poems on which they’re schooled — speaks for an old culture’s training in saying goodbye to things and putting delight and beauty within a frame. Death undoes us less, sometimes, than the hope that it will never come.
As a boy, I’d learned that it’s the Latin, and maybe a Greek, word for “suffering” that gives rise to our word “passion.” Etymologically, the opposite of “suffering” is, therefore, “apathy”; the Passion of the Christ, say, is a reminder, even a proof, that suffering is something that a few high souls embrace to try to lessen the pains of others. Passion with the plight of others makes for “compassion.”
Almost eight months after the Japanese tsunami, I accompanied the Dalai Lama to a fishing village, Ishinomaki, that had been laid waste by the natural disaster. Gravestones lay tilted at crazy angles when they had not collapsed altogether. What once, a year before, had been a thriving network of schools and homes was now just rubble. Three orphans barely out of kindergarten stood in their blue school uniforms to greet him, outside of a temple that had miraculously survived the catastrophe. Inside the wooden building, by its altar, were dozens of colored boxes containing the remains of those who had no surviving relatives to claim them, all lined up perfectly in a row, behind framed photographs, of young and old.
As the Dalai Lama got out of his car, he saw hundreds of citizens who had gathered on the street, behind ropes, to greet him. He went over and asked them how they were doing. Many collapsed into sobs. “Please change your hearts, be brave,” he said, while holding some and blessing others. “Please help everyone else and work hard; that is the best offering you can make to the dead.” When he turned round, however, I saw him brush away a tear himself.
Then he went into the temple and spoke to the crowds assembled on seats there. He couldn’t hope to give them anything other than his sympathy and presence, he said; as soon as he heard about the disaster, he knew he had to come here, if only to remind the people of Ishinomaki that they were not alone. He could understand a little of what they were feeling, he went on, because he, as a young man of 23 in his home in Lhasa had been told, one afternoon, to leave his homeland that evening, to try to prevent further fighting between Chinese troops and Tibetans around his palace.
He left his friends, his home, even one small dog, he said, and had never in 52 years been back. Two days after his departure, he heard that his friends were dead. He had tried to see loss as opportunity and to make many innovations in exile that would have been harder had he still been in old Tibet; for Buddhists like himself, he pointed out, inexplicable pains are the result of karma, sometimes incurred in previous lives, and for those who believe in God, everything is divinely ordained. And yet, his tear reminded me, we still live in Issa’s world of “And yet.”
The large Japanese audience listened silently and then turned, insofar as its members were able, to putting things back together again the next day. The only thing worse than assuming you could get the better of suffering, I began to think (though I’m no Buddhist), is imagining you could do nothing in its wake. And the tear I’d witnessed made me think that you could be strong enough to witness suffering, and yet human enough not to pretend to be master of it. Sometimes it’s those things we least understand that deserve our deepest trust. Isn’t that what love and wonder tell us, too?
Pico Iyer is the author, most recently, of “The Man Within My Head,” and a distinguished presidential fellow at Chapman University.
New York University’s campus in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, opened in 2010.
CLASSES are beginning at New York University’s new “portal” campus in Shanghai — the latest attempt by an American university to export its teaching and prestige abroad.
In April 2011, at a conference in Washington on “people-to-people exchange” between the United States and China, Hillary Rodham Clinton, then the secretary of state, praised N.Y.U.’s president, John Sexton, for his “vision to expand his university internationally while maintaining its reputation for excellence and academic freedom.”
But his meaning of “freedom” seems elastic. “I have no trouble distinguishing between rights of academic freedom and rights of political expression,” he told Bloomberg News later that year. “These are two different things.” This was a startling statement, coming from a scholar of constitutional law. And along with the controversy over a stand-alone campus that N.Y.U. opened in Abu Dhabi in 2010, it contributed to Mr. Sexton’s rising unpopularity back home: the arts and science faculty, N.Y.U.’s largest, voted “no confidence” in him in March. Both overseas campuses were financed primarily with foreign subsidies.
Protesters demonstrate against alleged NSA surveillance in Germany during a rally in Hannover, Germany, on Saturday.
Editorial by Jerry Roberts for the WATCH & Ouray Plaindealer
After spending three decades in Ouray County (another in San Juan County) I’ve seen many changes along with some drama, but generally the evolution of our part of the planet has been fairly tranquilo. In the mid-eighties a big step in preserving the visual corridors & mostly virgin skylines of the county came about with the writing of a master plan that happened, thanks to many, but in my mind Peter Decker & Lynn Kircher stand out in particular. Since then there have of course been new challenges along with changes and now Ouray County has come to a crossroad once again.
Realtors, builders, designers and architects have said the current visual impact regulations have done a good job of protecting the views of our incredible landscape in the existing view quarters. They argue that the regs need only a few tweaks but should not be expanded to cover other roads. This makes one wonder why, if this works so well but only covers 40% of the county, (mostly in the northern portion of the county), we shouldn’t apply this same criteria to the rest of the county (the southern part of the county, the Alpine Zone)? The portion where we have hundreds of non conforming, patented mining claims? The part where, during the Public Hearing on the creation of a new South Alpine Zone to regulate residential construction on mining claims, the mining community’s attorney argued that the county has good regulations, that just need to be fairly enforced across the entire county. Why would we not want to protect the other 60% of Ouray County the same way?
I think the new Section 9 solves both problems. First it adds all the roads in the county that have the same characteristics as the roads in the present day Section 9. All uses by right are left in tact, preserving property rights and safeguarding against scurrilous, unbridled, speculative development. Second, it does the tweaking that makes it easier to understand, administer and is less onerous. It also incorporates numerous recommendations from the builder/designer community.
Who benefits from the new Section 9? The residents of Ouray County through protection for the county from inappropriate, unreasonable development and by preserving and protecting property value.
Who profits from not adopting the new Section 9 with its roads? Anyone who places unregulated development and personal financial gain ahead of protecting the views of our incredible landscape that makes real estate even more valuable.
I think the majority of citizens live in this unique and profoundly beautiful county because it is still Colorado, the way Colorado used to look. Clean, beautiful, not overbuilt with box stores, mega-developments or scarred with hideous tailings ponds like Leadville. This is why people live here, this why people visit and never forget Ouray County. It’s a special place.
Ouray County is again at the crossroads. This time, a way and quality of life are at stake. Let your voice be heard.
Here’s your opportunity to sign an online petition if you want to help keep Ouray County from being irreparably altered………
My Night With Leonard Cohen–Roz Warren is a mild-mannered librarian who almost never sleeps with famous people.
It was 1975. My pal Anne and I were waiting in line outside a Chicago club where Leonard Cohen would perform that night, when Mr. Cohen himself came around the corner, smiled at the two of us, then continued inside.
“Did you see that?” I said. “He noticed us!”
“We must be his type,” Anne said. “Or one of them, anyway.”
I was a nice Jewish girl from suburban Detroit. Anne was a minister’s daughter from Ohio. We were both juniors at the University of Chicago. My guitar-playing boyfriends had been courting me with “Sisters of Mercy” and “Famous Blue Raincoat” since high school, and I was eager to check out the real deal. Anne was a sometimes folksinger who often performed Mr. Cohen’s songs herself, her lovely soprano accompanied with somewhat haphazard guitar playing.
The club was packed and the show was terrific. Pulling into traffic afterward, we realized that Mr. Cohen was riding in the car ahead of us. It was a big old station wagon, and Mr. Cohen and the drummer were in the back seat, facing us.
Giddy, we waved at them and mouthed the words, “Great show!”
At the next light, Mr. Cohen rolled down the window and called, “Follow us!”
“Are we really going to do this?” Anne asked as I steered through the dark city streets, zipping around corners and trying not to run stop signs.
“Why not?” I asked. Sure, it was past midnight and we were bone tired. But what an adventure!
And meeting Mr. Cohen would certainly be something cool to tell my folk-singing boyfriends about.
At a downtown diner, we all crowded into a large corner booth, and the drummer told us we had caught the singer’s eye because Anne was the spitting image of the chick who inspired “So Long, Marianne.”
We were so young and innocent that it didn’t even occur to us that he might be feeding us a line.
Representatives from 10 rural Colorado counties met this week to draw up plans for a 51st state they call “North Colorado,” where they dream gun and oil laws will be more lax, Denver television station KCNC reported.
The secessionist movement grew out of its organizers’ frustration with state lawmakers passing restrictions on guns and the oil and gas industry, as well as raising renewable energy standards for rural co-ops, according to KCNC.
The counties would need the approval of voters, the Colorado General Assembly and U.S. Congress to secede and form “North Colorado,” according to the television station. Should the secession plan fail, county commissioners could propose a ballot initiative that would alter the state Senate so that each of Colorado’s 64 counties would have its own senator to represent its interests.
“We need to figure out (a) way to re-enfranchise the people who feel politically disenfranchised now and ignored,” Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway told KCNC.