Ace Kvale presenting at Sherbino Theater in support of George Gardner Scholarship Fund, Wednesday, January 18th

Solved By Walking:
To walk, to be free of artificial constructs, to feel earth, sky, the forces of life through our feet, sun on our skin or maybe rain, it’s all one.

Ace Kvale


Ace has been wandering the globe, camera in hand, for over 30 years. From getting his ass kicked on the world’s highest peaks to helping on medical missions in the world’s newest country – South Sudan. His images have appeared everywhere from National Geographic to the National Enquirer. Ace will share his passion for travel, for adventure, for life! The ups, the downs, and most recently his obsession with the most remote canyons of the Colorado Plateau. A sixty day journey searching for ancient routes in the canyon country.

In September of 2016 Ace set out with his dog and two friends. They endured heat, storms, and the never-ending search for water in a trackless wilderness of canyons. They set out to live in the rhythm, in the cycles of the moon, following routes of the ancients.

Please join us January 18th at the Sherbino Theater in Ridgway, CO as Ace shares his adventure through images, film and captivating stories.

January 18th

Sherbino Theater
604 Clinton St Ridgway
Doors Open 6PM, Show Start 6:30PM

$10 door donation goes to the
George Gardner Scholarship Fund


Earth Sets a Temperature Record for the Third Straight Year


Ice in the Arctic Ocean’s Chukchi Sea region. “What’s going on in the Arctic is really very impressive; this year was ridiculously off the chart,” said Gavin A. Schmidt, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

Credit Esther Horvath

Marking another milestone for a changing planet, scientists reported on Wednesday that the Earth reached its highest temperature on record in 2016 — trouncing a record set only a year earlier, which beat one set in 2014. It is the first time in the modern era of global warming data that temperatures have blown past the previous record three years in a row.

The findings come two days before the inauguration of an American president who has called global warming a Chinese plot and vowed to roll back his predecessor’s efforts to cut emissions of heat-trapping gases.

The data show that politicians cannot wish the problem away. The Earth is heating up, a point long beyond serious scientific dispute, but one becoming more evident as the records keep falling. Temperatures are heading toward levels that many experts believe will pose a profound threat to both the natural world and to human civilization.

In 2015 and 2016, the planetary warming was intensified by the weather pattern known as El Niño, in which the Pacific Ocean released a huge burst of energy and water vapor into the atmosphere. But the bigger factor in setting the records was the long-term trend of rising temperature, which scientists say is being driven by increasing levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

“A single warm year is something of a curiosity,” said Deke Arndt, chief of global climate monitoring for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “It’s really the trend, and the fact that we’re punching at the ceiling every year now, that is the real indicator that we’re undergoing big changes.”

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Review: ‘Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire,’ Portrait of an Artist in Chaos


The brilliant poet, novelist, musician and singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen, who died in November at 82, became a superstar as a senior. He brought his earnest voice and moody guitar into the 1960s counterculture when he was in his early 30s, and he made a substantial impact musically well into the 1970s. In that time, he was a cult artist on a very large scale, so to speak. But after the explosive popularity of his oft-covered 1984 song, “Hallelujah,” and a management swindle that obliged him to become a road dog to restore his income, he became an arena-filling legend and, to his hard-core fans, a prophet.

“Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire” is an account of a particularly fraught period in the first phase of his stardom. Directed by the British documentarian Tony Palmer, it follows Mr. Cohen and his small band — two guitarists; a bass and fiddle player; Bob Johnston, the Nashville record producer and musical near-anarchist; and the backup singers Donna Washburn and Jennifer Warnes — on a spring 1972 tour of Europe that ended in Israel. It’s a time Mr. Cohen later described as “confused and directionless.”

The movie was completed in 1974, subsequently revised (the current print contains an in-memory-of dedication to Mr. Cohen’s longtime lawyer, Marty Machat, who appears in the film and died in 1988), and only now is having a theatrical release. It follows the outline for road music documentaries that was later successfully sent up by “This Is Spinal Tap.” Mr. Cohen granted extraordinary access to Mr. Palmer and his crew. There’s footage of Mr. Cohen and his male band mates showering, even. During one backstage meet-and-greet, Mr. Cohen is baldly propositioned by a female fan, and he demurs with a combination of gentlemanly grace and camera-conscious awkwardness. He is polite and witty with interviewers. When one of them says of Mr. Johnston, “I didn’t know he was an organist,” Mr. Cohen replies, “He’s hardly aware of it himself.”

The artist’s lightheartedness, which might have been forced to begin with — while always a remarkable live performer, in the early part of his career, Mr. Cohen was also an often reluctant one — cannot hold. Technical problems plague the shows, as amplifiers unexpectedly feed back, demolishing the contemplative simplicity of the music. There’s a tense confrontation with some truculent, dissatisfied fans in Berlin. Mr. Cohen’s self-deprecating humor begins to take an edge. One night he strums his guitar and sings “Leonard Cohen/[strum]/is going to sing his songs/[strum]/of anguish and despair.” And on the last night of the tour, in Jerusalem, the artist crashes emotionally, and the question of whether he will rally provides some suspense.

Mr. Palmer captures all this with a keen eye. The movie is a worthy time capsule and a must for Cohen devotees. Its occasional meanderings into artiness, which take the form of interpolation of outside footage (war atrocities and home movies, mainly) are emblematic of the time it was made and mercifully brief.


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Leonard Cohen’s career was on the verge of complete disaster in late 1971. Songs of Love and Hate, his most recent record, peaked at #145 on the American charts – this despite containing future classics like “Famous Blue Raincoat” and “Joan of Arc.” CBS was ready to cut their losses and drop him from the label. A tour would give him the chance to regain some momentum, though Cohen hated performing live; he only reluctantly agreed to a one-month run in Europe because Songs of Love and Hate found a much bigger audience there than in the States. “He endlessly said that he didn’t want to tour,” says filmmaker Tony Palmer. “It had nothing do with him, he said. He was a poet, first and foremost.”

The rock documentary was still in its infancy, but Palmer had chronicled Cream’s farewell show at the Royal Albert Hall three years earlier. He was also a huge Cohen fan, and showed up to a meeting at the office of the musician’s manager, Marty Machat, clutching a copy of the Canadian icon’s poetry book The Energy of Slaves. He didn’t realize he had been summoned to create a tour documentary – what would become Bird on a Wire, a legendary lost film that would exist only in bootleg form until 2010, when it was painstakingly pieced together from raw footage. Nearly 40 years later, Palmer’s chronicle of what would become one of Cohen’s most legendary run of shows is finally getting an audience, starting with a run this month at New York’s Film Forum.

At the time, Machat was merely happy to meet one of his heroes and maybe get an autograph. “Marty didn’t want Leonard to know that CBS wanted to drop him,” says Palmer. “So he asked Leonard to leave the room, which I felt was bizarre. Then he asked if I would shoot a documentary about the European tour. He had a client about to be dropped from his label that didn’t want to tour, which is commercial suicide. This film was his last throw of the dice.”

Cohen was no more excited about the prospect of being trailed by a film crew throughout Europe than he was about touring in the first place, but Palmer quickly won him over. “I was holding the [poetry book] quite ostentatiously,” the director recalls, “when he said, ‘Oh, so you know I’m a poet?’ I said, ‘Yes, that’s actually how I first came across you before I saw you play the Isle of Wight [in 1970]. It was only later I realized you sang songs.’ That really broke the ice.” Before long, they were negotiating how a film might go. “He said to me, ‘I don’t want a film which portrays me as a writer of happy, little, sentimental love songs about Suzanne and Marianne,'” says Palmer. “‘My songs have quite a political, with a small p, edge. That’s what I want to be sure emerges in the film.'” The documentarian agreed, and Cohen asked if he had terms of his own. ” I said, ‘Yes, don’t ever, ever close the door on me. That would be intolerable,'” says Palmer. “He said, ‘Fine, I agree to that.’ That was that.”

The tour kicked off March 18th, 1972 at National Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. Palmer was rolling from the get-go with a four-man crew that included a camera operator, a sound man and someone tasked with moving around the heavy equipment. He handled the lights himself. Cohen also had a relatively small traveling contingent that included Machat, a skeleton road crew and a band that included backup singers Jennifer Warnes and Donna Washburn, guitarist Ron Cornelius, bassist Peter Marshall and organist Bob Johnston, a CBS producer best known for his work with Bob Dylan. “I once went on tour with Led Zeppelin and they had a mountain of people helping them,” says Palmer. “But Leonard basically had two boys and a dog doing everything. Because he didn’t have a record contract, there were no record executives or publicists anywhere. We never saw a single soul except for Leonard, his band and the road crew.”

Cohen honored his word by granting Palmer complete access to the tour, onstage and off. Stunning footage was captured of the singer personally refunding belligerent fans with money from his own pocket when a show was marred by sound problems. Palmer also filmed Cohen trying to pick up a beautiful young fan backstage (“it’s hard to come onto a girl in front of a camera”), as well as the musician taking nude laps in a swimming pool, reading his poetry in a bathtub, berating aggressive security guards in the midst of a fan riot during a Tel Aviv gig and sobbing after the final show in Jerusalem. “Part of our unspoken trust was that I’d never ask him to do things,” says Palmer. “He wrote the film as he went along. When he’s crying at the end … the camera was no more than three feet away from him. He completely ignored [it]. I was amazed we got what we got.”

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Countdown to yesterday ~ Lito Tejada-Flores



Must be that ill wind blows nobody no good,
Must be what somebody wanted, so many wanted,
Must be too late now to change their minds,
Must be a plan B somewhere, another option . . .

No, there isn’t. Must be what we deserve.
So where’d we go wrong? What did we do? What
Didn’t we do? Didn’t help, bailed out the banks
Not the little guys who believed those banks.

Weren’t kind enough, generous enough, didn’t care,
Because we were okay, not really, but just enough,
Not our brothers’ keeper, or sisters’. Too busy to care.

And what did we learn? Nothing compared to what
We’re about to learn. No one gets a pass this time.
Must be what we needed to wake up. Can we?

What Thomas Merton and Muhammad Ali Had in Common ~ NYT Op/Ed


Thomas Merton (left) in 1951 and Muhammad Ali in 1970.


On an afternoon in 1958, near the shopping district at Walnut and Fourth Streets in Louisville, Ky., Thomas Merton was moving about inconspicuously gathering supplies for the Abbey at Gethsemani. The monastery, established in 1848 by the Order of Trappist Cistercians, is in Nelson County, south of Louisville near Bardstown. It is where Merton lived as a Trappist monk beginning in 1941.

Merton’s autobiography “The Seven Storey Mountain,” published in 1948, and other works on interfaith dialogue, peace and nonviolence had made him an international best-selling author. The Washington Post would later call him the most significant Catholic writer of the 20th century. In an address to Congress, Pope Francis described Merton as a thinker “who opened new horizons for souls and for the church” and “a man of dialogue, a promoter of peace between peoples and religions.”

That afternoon on Walnut Street Merton had a revelation that, according to his biographer, William H. Shannon, caused him to rethink the separateness of his life at the abbey. Merton experienced “the glorious destiny that simply comes from being a human person and from being united with, not separated from, the rest of the human race.” It was as if, Merton himself said, “I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts.” Merton would emerge from the confines of the abbey and become a significant figure in the 1960s social justice movement.

Twenty years later, in 1978, Walnut Street was renamed Muhammad Ali Boulevard, after my late husband. In 2008, the intersection at Fourth Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard was dedicated as “Thomas Merton Square.” It would have been difficult to predict in 1958 that the divergent paths of the two men would someday be merged in the permanent markers of the same city street. At the time of Merton’s revelation, 16-year-old Muhammad was across town delivering his own revelation to a series of opponents on his way to a gold medal and the World Heavyweight Championship.

But by the 1960s, their voices in support of peace and justice began to merge. Both men had been shaken from their respective sanctuaries of literary and athletic attainment by the harsh realities of a nation deeply divided by war, race and social inequality. In 1968, during his last days, Merton set off for China and India to visit the Dalai Lama and other faith leaders concerned about the conditions of the world. By this time Muhammad was standing by the courage of his convictions in his refusal to go to Vietnam, a position ultimately vindicated in a unanimous decision of the Supreme Court.

It is the convergence of their message of faith that bears noting as we mark what would have been Muhammad’s 75th birthday on Jan. 17. Over time, Muhammad’s deep, evolving devotion to God, whom as a Muslim he called Allah, came to be rooted in his love of all people. Boxing had taken him around the world and it opened his eyes to the beauty in diversity. Akin to Merton’s revelation, Muhammad was fond of saying, “the key to a man’s soul is in his heart.”

Like Merton, whom he never met, Muhammad was naturally drawn to the power in all faiths and at his direction his memorial service included an imam and an Islamic scholar, two Baptist ministers, two Jewish rabbis, a Roman Catholic priest, a Native American tribal chief and faith leader, and a Buddhist monk. Muhammad famously said, “Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams — they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do — they all contain truths.”

As America stands divided once again in the aftermath of a polarizing election, we would do well to follow the example of Thomas Merton and Muhammad Ali in their approach to diversity, pluralism and faith. Regardless of our differences, we share a common humanity, something that will always bind us to each other. We must find ways to reconnect to each other by developing empathy and by giving back. In truth, America has always faced division in varying degrees. The test for America has always been how she manages her division, how she finds and clings to a common purpose, and how she spins the tapestry of her diversity.

Neither the monk nor the boxer relied on political leaders to set their course in matters of justice, equality and tolerance. Neither man was elected to high office, but their messages in print, in words and in deeds reverberated across the globe and in the highest chambers of power. Although one was a scholar and the other bore no papered credential, they each challenged convention or, as Pope Francis said of Merton, “the certitudes of the time.”

Muhammad was fond of the Buddhist expression, “The only constant in the universe is change.” He drew on those words to embrace each day and each person he met. Merton said, “we do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone — we find it with another. Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.”

Lonnie Ali is a philanthropist and chairwoman of “Ali in All of Us,” a campaign to inspire community service.

Kiitella Project: Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) Sustainability Working Group Awards


For their 10-year anniversary, the OIA Sustainability Working Group is honoring the companies who have been members since inception as well as their 5-year members. Kiitella is proud to create custom steel mountain trophies and plaques for the honorees.

Thank you and congratulations to: 10-year members: Bluesign, Black Diamond, Brooks, Cascade Designs, Columbia, MEC, Nau, New Balance, Patagonia, Petzl, REI, The North Face, Timberland, W.L. Gore, PMI, and Keen… and 5-year members: Burton, Deer Creek Fabrics, H.K. Non-Woven, Hohenstein, Indigenous Designs, LaSalle College and Nester.

The OIA Sustainability Working Group (OIA SWG) is a collaborative effort among more than 300 outdoor brands, retailers, suppliers and other stakeholder organizations working to identify and implement better business practices throughout our shared supply chains.



By Françoise Mouly

Last week, testifying at the confirmation hearing of Jeff Sessions, John Lewis, the Georgia congressman and civil-rights hero, whom the President-elect has dismissed as “all talk, talk, talk—no action or results,” said, “We’ve made progress, but we are not there yet. There are forces that want to take us back to another place. We don’t want to go back. We want to go forward.” The image of Martin Luther King, Jr., serves as a reminder, all the more urgently needed this year, that the march of progress can be made even in the face of forces pulling us back. In January of 2015, in the wake of protests over the police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, Barry Blitt’s “The Dream of Reconciliation” drew inspiration from photographs of the Selma-to-Montgomery March. “It struck me that King’s vision was both the empowerment of African-Americans, the insistence on civil rights, but also the reconciliation of people who seemed so hard to reconcile,” Blitt said. That sentiment was echoed again this year on the cover of the January 16, 2017, issue, in “After Dr. King,” by Kadir Nelson, who asked, “What would Dr. King think of the world today?”


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