|Friday, Feb 28, 2003 content presented by Telluride Today .com||About The Watch|
Balance for Men and Women Is the Theme of Women's Week
By Martinique Davis
During the week of March 3-8, communities all across the world will celebrate International Women’s Week – and here in Telluride, community members will have the chance to join in the celebration with a weeklong schedule of events and a theme of "balance".
“We want to stress that the week is not just for women, so by choosing ‘Balance’ as our theme we’re trying to encourage diversity. It’s a time for open discussion and community celebration,” says one of the event’s organizers, local artist Anna Ura.
Ura, along with the event’s main organizer Melanie Montoya and a host of other volunteers, will be spearheading a week’s worth of free community events – including meditation and yoga classes, a writing workshop, film screenings, an art exhibit, and more. All events are geared for both men and women.
“We really want to encourage anyone to come. We invite dialogue and discussion, so we can begin to tackle some issues and have open lines of communication. Any input at all is valuable – we want to encourage interaction,” Ura says.
She explains that the idea for the theme “Balance” arose from examination of our own community, where women seem to have a good balance with the opposite sex in many areas.
Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, local poet and writer who will be leading a writing workshop during the week, explains: “Telluride is an excellent place for women to find balance – in politics, sports, the arts… it seems that women are equal on nearly every level. But it seems to be more difficult for women to find internal balance, and to be able to embrace all the parts of themselves.”
This week’s International Women’s Week Celebration here in Telluride will be the first time the community will celebrate International Women’s Week in such an organized and structured fashion, thanks mostly to the hard work of Montoya and her crew of dedicated volunteers.
Wahtola Trommer says of Telluride’s International Women’s Week Celebration: “It’s not just a local event, or even a national event – it’s something that is celebrated internationally, which is such an amazing thing to be a part of. It links Telluride with what is happening around the world.”
The week kicks off on Monday, with a meditation session with Nancy Anderson at 8 p.m. at Deva Yoga. Tuesday’s events lineup include a Women’s Self Defense class with local karate black belt Andrea Pfefer at noon at the Telluride Karate Studio.
The opening reception for the art exhibition “Balance” also takes place on Tuesday evening, at 6:30 p.m. at the Old Library.
Ura, along with volunteer Brittany Miller, have been hard at work for nearly the past two months to bring together a wide array of artists of different mediums to submit work relating to balance.
“I can’t wait to see everyone’s work… it will be like Christmas!” says Ura. “A lot of people have created work specifically for the show, while others are showing pieces they’ve made previously – “Balance” is a broad theme, open to interpretation.”
Ura adds that, with help from local artist Craig Wasserman, the art exhibit will also showcase an ongoing “Community Project,” where anyone (artist or not) can create their own prayer flag which will be strung together with other flags and hung above the art at the exhibit.
On Wednesday, Rebecca Pugh will be leading a yoga class at noon at the Ah Haa School, to be followed by Wahtola Trommer and other local writer Ellen Marie Metric’s writing workshop, “Women in Words: writing your way toward balance.”
“The idea is to play with words, and use words to make a little more sense of our lives,” says Wahtola Trommer.
The writing workshop will be at 6 p.m. at the Ah Haa School.
On Thursday, “Miss or Myth,” a documentary film about a beauty pageant in Santa Cruz, Calif., and “Shroud of Silence,” a film about the lives of women in Afghanistan, will be shown at Rebekkah Hall starting at 7 p.m.
Local craftswomen Brande Thorpe and Sarina Pepper will be leading a beading and beaded Dreamcatcher-making workshop on Saturday, starting at 12:30 p.m. at the Old Library.
Peppar says the workshop will focus on working together in pairs, “because when your learning how to bead, it’s more fun to be with a friend to compare and contrast.”
The Grand Finale Celebration will take place later Saturday night, with live music, belly dancing, art, readings, DJs, full bar, food, “and good, good times.”
The Grand Finale will be at the Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club Headquarters at the base of Lift 7, and will begin at 6 p.m.
Telski Puts on the Ritz and Celebrates Thirty Years of Skiing
March 1 to 9
By Martinique Davis
What previously was a quiet village has sprouted into a bustling resort town, what used to be a rough country hillside has budded into a renowned ski area, and what once was a dream has become a reality.
The Telluride Ski Area is celebrating thirty years of skiing, riding, and “everything under the sun” during its 30th Birthday Blowout Bash, starting this Saturday and continuing throughout the week with concerts, contests, parties, prizes, and more.
“We have a whole slew of events, with something different every day,” says Telluride Ski and Golf Company’s Sponsorship and Special Events Manager Maureen Pelisson. “We’re really looking at this as a community event, so we want to encourage people to come out and have fun, share their stories and memories from the last thirty years, and join in the celebration.”
The festivities fire up this Saturday when local favorites the Rico Blues Project band will take to the Gorrono Stage to warm up the week-long birthday bash. Later that evening, the String Cheese Incident’s special release documentary Waiting for the Snow to Fall (part of which was filmed in Telluride) will bless the Sheridan Opera House screen, with a wide assortment of giveaways for lucky Cheese-heads. There will be no charge for the showing, which will start at 11 p.m.
The Telluride Conference Center will be the next hot spot for the birthday celebration, as the Smil’in Assassins – a jam band featuring members from the North Mississippi Allstars, Widespread Panic, and Bloodkin – rock the house on Sunday and Monday nights.
A splash of New Orleans style will grace the mountain on Fat Tuesday, March 4, when a litter of stuffed red crawfish will hide in the Ski Area’s nooks and crannies for the Mardi Gras in the Mountains celebration. Guests who find the creepy critters will then have a chance to win a number of prizes, including a pair of Volkl skis. Dress up in your most outrageous Mardi Gras outfit and you could win a K2 Luna snowboard, $100 cash, and more.
The Wailers will be in concert later that evening at the Telluride Conference Center to finish out Fat Tuesday in style.
A slice of the past will be offered on Thursday, March 6, as guests will have the opportunity to ski with some of skiing’s legends, including former Olympians Cindy Nelson, Billy Kidd, and Moose Barrows, as well as some of our own local legends Ron Allred and Johnnie Stevens. “Ski with the Legends” is free and open to the public, but space is limited – meet at the base of Lift 4 at 9 a.m. An informal fireside chat at Gorrono will follow later in the afternoon.
“’Ski with the Legends’ will be a good opportunity for anyone who wants to reminisce about the last 30 years to get together with the folks that really made it happen,” Pelisson says.
Gorrono will be the locale for a funky 70’s party on Saturday, March 8, as Boogie Machine, a 70s cover band, will rock the stage from 1-3 p.m. Dress up in your favorite 70s attire and have a chance at winning Volkl skis, Tubb Snowshoes, Camelbacks, and more.
Telluride Ski and Golf Company founders Johnnie Stevens, Ron Allred, and Bill “Senior” Mahoney will reminisce about the last 30 years at the Dine with the Legends dinner that evening at the Telluride Conference Center. Listening to their memories and stories, and watching their slides and films, guests will have the opportunity to grab a piece of Telluride’s history. The Telluride Historical Museum and the Colorado Ski Museum will also display authentic ski artifacts. The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with cocktails and hors ‘d oeuvres, followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m.
And last but definitely not least, the grand finale of Telluride’s week-long 30th Birthday Blowout Bash is a mid-mountain concert by blues guitarist Alex Maryol followed by G-Love and the Special Sauce – who’ll serve up a 30th birthday dessert with their mix of soul, blues, reggae, hip-hop, and a little country from 1-3 p.m. Sunday, March 9 across from Gorrono.
The Sunday concert is free, but a lift ticket is required for entry.
Tickets for the Smil’in Assassins and the Wailers can be purchased at Telluride Music or online at www.ticketmaster.com for $22.50, or at the door for $25.
Tickets for the “Dine with the Legends” are $50 and can be purchased through the Telluride Conference Center by calling 369-5120.
Marshal's Advisory Board Takes First, Wobbly Steps
In its first 15 minutes, the first meeting of the Citizens' Advisory Board to the Telluride Marshal's Department seemed more like an inquisition than discussion group.
After Chair Bob Beer finished reading a letter that listed unsubstantiated charges of misbehavior on the part of certain members of the marshal's department, ranging from allegations of theft to threats against citizens to selective patrolling of certain bars, Detective John Wontrobski's hand shot up.
His question: Was it the board's function to get people to "name names?" And wouldn't the affected party's "superior or chief" be the appropriate person "to deal with" problems and allegations concerning "particular officers?"
"If this isn't for that, what is it?" shot back task force member Michael Zivian, whose Ice House/Camel's Garden hotel complex at the base of the Telluride gondola station contains two bars, one at Wildflour, a popular après ski hangout, as well as the semi-private Ice House Bar.
"So you would rather your employees" take their grievances "to a public forum than take them to you?" Wontrobski fired back.
"It would be fine with me," Zivian said.
Jason Gordon, who owns Brown Bag, a take-out deli on main street, seemed to weigh in with Wontrobski. "It's a personal issue," he says. "People know who they are."
"You are dealing with people's perceptions," said Telluride Chief Marshal James Kolar, referring to the complaints like those aired in the aforementioned letter, adding his preference would be to "call a session with either myself or that person's superior" in dealing with complaints from the public.
Baked in Telluride owner Jerry Greene suggested the group first come up with "bylaws or a charter before delving into issues," ensuring enough ground rules so that "we don't spend days talking about the shape of the table."
Zivian was undeterred. "That's a letter from the public," he said, pointing to the letter in front of Beer on the table, "and the first thing the police officers asked was, 'Who wrote it?'
"It's really not hearsay – it's someone saying exactly what they think."
Zivian's efforts to the contrary, the group informally agreed to move from the specific to the general.
First up: Concern over the fact that Tipsy Taxi, with its mission of keeping intoxicated drivers from getting into their cars, has all but ceased to exist – and, more to the point, that bar employees feel stigmatized by the marshal's department for using it.
"The perception is out there," Beer told the group, that police response to a call for tipsy taxi from a bartender will be, "'Well, you over-served them.'" And worse: That there will be "over-enforcement," as retribution.
The unflappable Kolar responded: "We have never used a Tipsy Taxi voucher against anyone, never," he said, adding that Tipsy Taxi vouchers, when produced upon claiming a car towed the previous evening, are paid for by his department.
He has roughly $7-8,000 in Tipsy Taxi funds, Kolar added, going unused.
And that points to the larger problem: Bars have stopped offering Tipsy Taxi vouchers, partly out of fear of retribution, but possibly more due to the general unreliability of nighttime transportation companies that respond to calls for Tipsy Taxis.
"I've personally transported people" to their homes or rented accommodations, said Sergeant Terry Merriman, an eight-year veteran with the department – seven of those years, he pointed out, on the night shift – after calls to hotels and transit services go unresponded to for up to several hours.
Roma and Excelsior employee Brian Ahern suggested one reason why bus and limo drivers might not be quick to respond to a Tipsy Taxi request: "They don't want to drive drunk people who are going to puke in their car," he suggested.
Telluride Town Councilmember Dawn Ibis, who was asked to report to council the demise of Tipsy Taxi, said: "I've put three stars next to it."
Compounding the problem of policing drunks, Merriman continued: "We can't just let them loose. There's too much liability" at stake, with legal requirements the inebriated party be released "to a sober responsible person."
Marshals' protective custody detox holds jumped from 29 in 2000 to 41 in 2001, with 39 in 2002. According to a release Kolar distributed at the meeting: "The average blood alcohol level for those people taken into protective custody was .29 percent, nearly six times the legal limit to operate a motor vehicle."
Excessive enforcement sometimes takes to the road, Realtor George Harvey suggested, reporting some of his some second-home owner clients "have sold their homes or have them for sale" because they were "followed all the way home" by police, after a night on the town, "on the way back to Aldasoro or Mountain Village or wherever."
"Isn't that good for business, George?" Zivian teased Harvey.
"That's kind of twisted, Michael," Harvey retorted, "but I guess you're right. Thank you."
"Our jurisdiction stops at Society Turn," Kolar observed.
Ahern brought up another general concern about "the issue of selective enforcement," he said, with officers visiting certain establishments "too many times.
"It's almost like they're fun police," he said. "If it's a good bar and a good band," police seem to visit too regularly.
Certain types of liquor-license holders with "more of a nightclub/bar atmosphere," Kolar observed, probably do generate more enforcement. "If there's a live band and the place is jumping," a few visits might be appropriate over a three or four hour period. But then, that many visits "on a dead night seems excessive to me."
Merriman outlined for the crowd his definition of two kinds of law enforcement – reactive and proactive. "I consider reactive officers to be lazy," he said.
In bar/nightclub establishments, Zivian said: "I've been hearing for a long time" that enforcement "is too proactive." It's one thing, he suggested, to "walk in, look around, and walk out," but quite another to "walk into a bar and stand in the back of the bar and glower at customers."
Gordon agreed: "It's an issue of the clientele being comfortable in the bar," he said.
"Communication has broken down" between bars and the police, weighed in one bartender, who was recently cited for over-serving. "Some of the newer cops just walk through," she said, as opposed to "the older cops, who have better rapport" with staff and clientele.
"I don't normally cite people the first time I find an infraction," Merriman responded, but rather waits until they have "blown off" verbal and written warnings.
"My bar was not warned prior to my citation," the bartender responded – which, by the way, "was dropped," she reported.
Nonetheless, she said, it is sometimes unclear how drunk a customer might be. "Someone can drink five vodkas, and not look intoxicated," she observed, whereas another patron might be drunk after two beers.
Unfamiliarity with Telluride's altitude can be a factor, Kolar suggested, what with one drink here packing a wallop similar to three drinks at sea level.
"Reality is not so important as the perception," weighed in Zivian, who later asked this reporter to describe him as "eminence grise" rather than "pre-eminent developer."
"If nobody notices it, and nobody is complaining, it is not an end-of-the-world kind of thing.
"Perception is an end-of-the-world kind of thing," he said sagely. "And the perception has be changed on both sides."
The citizens advisory group will meet Tuesday, March 11, at 5 p.m. in Rebekah Hall.
Arrested Public Works Employees Suspended with Pay
Warrant Affidavit Details Dishonest Shop Practices
By Elizabeth Covington
Three employees of the Town of Telluride Public Works Department who were recently arrested were suspended from their town jobs with pay through Friday.
Further decision on their status as town employees were made by the end of this week, after press time.
"We are considering the full range of options," said interim Town Manager Steve Ferris, who with counsel from Town Attorney Sandy Stuller and Town Personnel Director Susan Orshan, will decide the employment fate of the three. Those three are Duane Dixon, chief mechanic, William Frownfelter, town engineer, and Thomas Gabarron, transit supervisor.
A fourth public works employee who turned himself in on Feb. 7, 29-year town employee Raymond Hughes, was dismissed from his job as street maintenance supervisor in February 2002.
Dixon, Frownfelter, Gabarron, and Hughes were arrested on charges of. embezzlement of public property, misdemeanor theft, misdemeanor official misconduct and evasion of sales tax, a felony offense
The investigation of the case, which began in October 2001, was turned over to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation because the Town Marshals Department had a conflict; Ann Hughes, a town marshal, is the wife of Raymond Hughes.
In support of its request for arrest warrants, which were signed by Montrose County Court Judge John Mitchel Feb. 7, the CBI filed a 63-page affidavit with the court. An affidavit in support of an arrest warrant is a sworn statement, which is prepared by law enforcement for the sole purpose of obtaining an arrest warrant from a judge.
That affidavit, which was submitted by CBI agent Jack Haynes, detailed a public works department where, at the time, dishonest activity was common and that was crippled by an abusive working environment.
Town equipment and shop space and tools were allegedly used on a regular basis for personal gain. Kenny's Tires in Nucla allegedly paid Hughes, Gabarron and Jack Fay personally about $5 - $10 for used tires taken off transit buses. A search of Hughes’s home in Telluride and his ranch in Montrose turned up an old drill press, a lawn sprinkler, that was inscribed "Parks" and a table grinder, each of which matched the description of items missing from the town shop. Likewise, during a search of Dixon's house in March CBI agents seized an assortment of tools, including sockets, wrenches, Crowfoot wrenches, a grinder, screwdrivers and a wire crimper, as well as an old parts washer that matched the description of one taken from the town shop. The Crowfoot wrenches matched an invoice in the amount of $258.57 for the same type of wrenches allegedly purchased from Snap-on-Tools on Telluride's account.
Agent Haynes also detailed claims made by a number of public works employees that Hughes used town equipment to regrade his driveway and town-purchased materials intended for the town’s Streetscapes project to repave his driveway sometime during the spring of 2001.
In addition, the town shop was used regularly by public works employees as a place to work on their private vehicles. Hughes allegedly had a farm tractor, a flatbed Ford truck, and a boat trailer that were repainted, refurbished and rebuilt in the shop by public works employees. He also had his wood splitter rebuilt in the shop.
Frownfelter also allegedly brought to the town shop a van that was refurbished by town employees.
That practice was put to a stop the fall of 2001 when after a visit to the shop from then town manager Peggy Curran, Frownfelter issued a memorandum forbidding public works employees from having their private vehicles in the shop during working hours.
The workplace culture, as described in the affidavit, was abusive, and employees who talked to law enforcement agents were apparently subject to retaliation.
Several employees alleged that Hughes used foul language and when directing his crew to a job would say, "I’ll get my niggers to do that," and would threaten to fire employees and replace them with "Mexicans." Hughes allegedly used derogatory nicknames for employees, such as "fat boy" for one employee and used those names over the public works radio.
When managers discovered that some employees had spoken with law enforcement, at least employee's job evaluation, and thus the opportunity for a pay raise, was delayed.
When the arrests were made, Hughes's attorney Susanne Ross characterized the charges as "pencil-gate," and of the allegations against Hughes and other public works employees said: "They were having to keep their old cars running and in working order so they could be on call. Raymond was the first one to come into town in the middle of the night, even on New Year's Eve to help the townspeople with a problem. It was a practice that was OK'd by town management. If they had free time and needed to change the oil in the car, they could work on something like that."
Dixon, Gabarron and Frownfelter posted bond and are scheduled to appear for an advisement hearing on March 4.
Hughes waived advisement and his case has been set over for a pre-trial conference.
Help of Green Building Task Force Shandoka IV Goes Green
no reason affordable or employee housing can’t be healthy housing,”
said Laura Duncan, San Miguel Regional Housing Authority Director,
of Shandoka IV, a 25-unit affordable housing complex that, unlike prior
Shandoka buildings, will be built with numerous green-building
techniques that will have less of an environmental impact and are
better for residents' health than conventional building techniques.
The project is due to break ground in April 2003 and will open its doors
the reason this project is so exciting is the fact that if we can make
green building work in a rental housing project, we can make it work in
the private sector,” said Lance McDonald, Telluride’s special
list of green building techniques include compact florescent
light bulbs, an efficient
boiler, a heat recovery system, Energy Star rated appliances, honeycomb
insulated blinds, formaldehyde free insulation, paints containing low
volatile organic compounds, stains that are low in toxics and
solvent-free, water-based glues, upgraded windows for reduced heat loss,
the use of strawboard panels in the office, ceiling fans, insulation of
hot water pipes, on-site recycling, and Trex-type, recycled plastic
material for decking.
though the list seems long, these green amendments meant a small four
percent increase more than construction costs as originally
proposed. McDonald was impressed by the small increase in
construction costs. “The whole process has been very positive,"
he said. "These are the kind of things we should have been doing
earlier and that we should use in other projects in town."
building techniques have been an important aspect of Shandoka IV from
the start. Early last year, before the initial step of requesting
contractors' qualifications, Town Councilmember, Hilary White suggested
at a town council meeting that experience in green building should be
one of the selection criteria.
is important that we start incorporating green building factors into our
building codes. What better way to start that off than with phase four
of Shandoka?” said White in a recent interview.
In March 2003 a group of volunteers came together to form the Green Building Task Force. After its formation, the task force, whose stated mission is "to create a healthier built environment within the Telluride region by educating and advocating sustainable building," was asked by council to form a green design review team for Shandoka IV.
of the team, which included Elizabeth Robbins of Town Planning, John
Fitzgerald of Town Building, Scott McHale a project manager at Cottle
Graybeal Yaw Architects, Kjersten Tomer-Spitzman an interior design
consultant, and Steven Jallad a lead designer for Steeprock Joinery,
brought their expertise to the table and made recommendations on
Shandoka IV's building design, construction materials, and amenities for
better building is not an insignificant step towards building a more
sustainable world. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s
Center for Sustainable Development, buildings burn up a significant
portion of the world's resources buildings; they consume 40 percent of
the world’s total energy, 25 percent of the world’s total wood
harvest, and 16 percent of the world’s total water. This is part of
the reason why environmental factors need to be considered in building
design and construction, and why reducing energy and water use were
important, Robbins explained.
making our recommendations we also suggested that, where possible,
materials should come from local and regional sources,” said Robbins.
The benefits of local sourcing are two-fold, she said. Environmental
costs associated with transportation of resources are reduced; at the
same time the local economy is stimulated.
building design is about our entire ecosystem" including
"humans and their health," Tomer-Spitzman added. "Indoor
air quality is on average four times worse than outdoor air quality,
partly due to the off-gassing of conventional materials.” Therefore,
while the environmental impacts of the materials used were a primary
concern for the team, consideration of human health impacts carried
to environmental impacts and human health, other factors played a role
in the Review Team's recommendations.
recommendations we made came about after investigating their feasibility
and the additional costs that would incur," said Robbins.
"Generally the materials we looked at had a payback period of ten
years or less.” A payback period is the amount of time required for a
return on an investment.
Council was extremely supportive and receptive to our
recommendations.” Robbins noted. So supportive, in fact that most of
the Review Team’s recommendations for Shandoka IV will be applied in
the new building.
of the team's recommendations address the need to reduce energy
consumption. For example, compact fluorescent light bulbs will be used
in all fixtures. They use 75 percent less energy and last ten times
longer. And while fluorescent light bulbs are slightly more expensive
than incandescent light bulbs, they have a payback period of two years.
A more efficient boiler system, which includes a heat recovery system,
will be installed so that energy consumption is reduced; in an effort to
use already heated wastewater, a heat recovery system coils hot
wastewater around incoming pipes to the boiler.
in the building will be Energy Star-rated, an Environmental Protection
Agency designation which means rated appliances are more efficient than
others. The Maytang Neptune washing machines used in the laundry room
are Energy Star-rated; they also conserve water by using 16 gallons of
water per cycle, as compared to the 45 gallons used by an average
changes will reduce energy loss. For example, the honeycomb insulated
blinds on the windows will increase the R-value, a measure of
insulation, by five points. Furthermore, all pipes carrying hot water
will be insulated.
also recommended that wind power be purchased for Shandoka, however,
that recommendation is still being considered.
beginning the process of estimating the energy savings of Shandoka IV,
as compared to Phases I to III. The money from those savings could then
be used to purchase wind power from the San Miguel Power Association,”
said Robbins. According to San Miguel Power for every dollar spent on
non-renewable electricity, 14 pounds of coal are burned which, when
combined with oxygen, produces 30 pounds of carbon dioxide, a major
quality will be improved by reducing the amount of materials that
off-gas noxious fumes. All insulation will be formaldehyde free. Paints
will contain extremely low volatile organic compounds. Stains will be
solvent free and have low toxicity, and where possible water-based glues
will be used.
The use of vinyl products will be limited in
the construction of Shandoka IV; vinyl, which is not biodegradable, is
manufactured using the known-human carcinogen, vinyl chloride.
According to the EPA, long-term exposure to vinyl chloride has resulted
in liver damage and increased liver cancer, particularly in workers in
flooring made of natural products including jute, linseed oil, and wood
flour, will be used in place of imitation linoleum flooring which made
of vinyl. Waste stacks, or the pipes that carry sewage wastes from
bathrooms, will be made of cast iron instead of PVC piping. In addition
to the environmental and health benefits of not using vinyl in the
manufacture of this piping, cast iron waste stacks have the advantage of
Taking into account other environmental factors, Forest Stewardship Certified lumber, which is culled from trees that are selectively logged, not clear-cut, will be used. Robbins noted that some materials, such as Forest Stewardship Certified lumber, were not any more expensive than their less environmentally friendly alternative.
green decisions are not always easy to make, especially when considering
local-versus-global consequences materials have. For example, council is
still deciding which two types of carpet will be used. Collins and
Aikman carpet has a high recycled content and virtually no off-gassing;
however this type of carpet uses 100 percent recycled-vinyl.
Alternatively they will use a PET (recycled pop-bottle) carpet,
which is lined with a recycled denim carpet pad that contains
formaldehyde and so has some off-gassing problems. While the PET carpet
cannot be recycled, Collins and Aikman carpet can be recycled at the end
of their life, an important point when one considers that four billion
pounds of carpets enter landfills each year according to the EPA.
hardiplank, a cement-like-siding, along with corrugated metal siding,
which contains recycled steel, will be used on the outside of the
building. Both of these materials are more durable and maintenance free.
team hopes that because green building techniques will be used in
Shandoka IV private builders, who often have more funding than
affordable housing projects, will be encouraged to use such techniques
in their own buildings.
hope this will set a national example for enabling affordable housing to
be more sustainable,” said Robbins.
Councilmember White hopes that in the near future when council addresses
the uniform building code used by Telluride "the efficient building
codes that the Green Building Task Force is working on will be
incorporated at that time.”
information about the task force or to become a volunteer phone 369-0322
By a 5-2 Vote, Council Publicly Denies Ferris a Spot as Finalist
Pagosa Finalist Seems Favored
By Elizabeth Covington
At the one-year and one-month point in a process fraught with chargers of subversion and double-crossing, the Telluride Town Council’s search for a new town manager came to some kind of partial resolution this week when council voted 5-2 on Monday not to add interim Town Manager Steve Ferris to the list of finalists for the position.
It was a rare public action in a process that has largely been conducted behind closed doors, in executive session, making it impossible to know all of the considerations that led to the vote.
Mayor John Steel and Councilmember Hilary White opposed the motion to appoint Ferris to the finalist list.
"He is out. He has been rejected," said Steel later this week when asked whether the issue would resurface, as it has several times over the past six months.
Though council reportedly reached the same decision on the matter of Ferris’s candidacy at least several times prior to Monday evening's vote, this week was the first time council voted on the issue in public. In the other instances, council, in reporting out of executive session, simply failed to nominate Ferris to the list of finalists.
Monday's vote followed on the heels of a Thursday morning executive session in which council met with Ferris to discuss his application and candidacy for the permanent position. That meeting was called last week by a unanimous vote of council following hours of public meetings in which several dozen members of the public gathered to express dismay that Ferris's tenure as a local was not given more weight in the selection process. The crowd also urged council to open the process and asked members of council to express publicly their concerns about Ferris's candidacy.
Though Ferris called the Thursday morning's executive session "amiable," when asked whether he was satisfied with the meeting, he replied: "It revealed the depth of people's predisposition on this issue. The decision" not to hire "was written on the wall six months ago. In that sense Thursday morning confirmed what I knew."
At Monday's meeting, council continued its recent pattern of infighting and hurling accusations at each other. It appears, moreover, that council's public arguments are conducted in a coded and veiled language, possibly the aftermath of so many recent meetings behind closed doors in executive sessions.
Steel raised concerns about the participation of Town Attorney Sandy Stuller in Thursday morning's executive session. He also disagreed with advice Stuller had given council with respect a decision made in a recent executive session, but did not specify what that advice was.
"I asked members of the executive session to invite Sandy Stuller and received unanimous support," said Councilmember Stu Fraser.
The discussion dissolved into an argument about who revealed what executive session detail that they should not have revealed, and who was more denigrating toward town staff. Steel accused Fraser of revealing the fact that Stuller was invited to Thursday's meeting. Fraser accused Steel of the same. Councilmember Mark Buchsieb stated, as he has repeated many times recently: "Five or six people work well together on this council, but whenever the mayor brings something up, it all goes backwards. Citizens need to be outraged." Councilmember Jenny Russell crossed her arms in disgust and rolled her eyes. Councilmember Dawn Ibis accused Steel of mistreating town staff.
And though Monday's vote was taken in public, the majority refrained from publicly making statements about Ferris's candidacy.
"I don't see that it serves a purpose to talk about the shortcomings of Steve," said Fraser in a later interview. "Steve has a future in town government."
Fraser added that he is looking for an individual who can come in and take charge of entire government projects.
"Council is policy driven, and it is the responsibility of the manager to implement and make sure the job gets done in timely fashion and efficiently," he said.
'MAJORITY DOES RULE'
Steel later expressed his disappointment with the vote.
"On the other hand, majority does rule," Steel said. "I am even more disappointed because I think it is a terrible mistake that is not driven by community needs. It is driven, in some cases, and at least in one case, town council is trying to sabotage the Valley Floor and government process. Several councilmembers have personal grudges or personal ambitions that require the elimination of Steve. A lot has to do with the working relationship Steve and I have and they are interfering with that."
Next week Steel, as well as Councilmembers Hilary White and Jenny Russell are traveling to Pagosa Springs to perhaps observe a meeting of that town's board and talk to community members about their Town Manager Jay Harrington, who is one of two finalists for Telluride's town manager position. The other finalist is Steve Pauken, a municipal government consultant and former town manager of Berthoud, Colorado.
Ferris's current contract expires March 25. However, council has the unilateral, one-time right to extend that contract for up to six months. Upon the final expiration of Ferris's contract, Ferris will receive six-months severance pay.
Though he is not sure what course he will pursue, Ferris expressed an interest in staying in Telluride; he owns a condominium in town. He would like to continue to work in government: "I enjoy public service," he said. However, he said he recognizes that opportunities for public service are limited in the region.
"Maybe I'll get my real estate license," he said, laughing.
Adequate Affordable Housing Is Key to Business Vitality, Report Concludes
By Seth Cagin
The best way to ensure the success of local businesses that cater to local residents is to provide an adequate supply of affordable housing, according a study conducted for the Town of Telluride. The town has enough land zoned for commercial and accommodations uses to meet future needs, the study also concluded, and the region will not need new accommodations until the year 2006.
The Commercial and Accommodations Land Use Study was completed by the Denver-based Economic and Planning Systems. The final report was issued this month.
Apart from continuing to work to build affordable housing, the study’s other major recommendations are that local governments should improve their collection of economic data and should monitor it closely.
The study did not give much consideration to the cost of commercial real estate and the relationship of high costs to business viability; nor did it study the impact of mitigation requirements on the development of commercial property, or look at how government regulations may inhibit commercial and accommodations development, even on property that is zoned for it, according to Dan Guimond, who oversaw it. Finally, the study did not attempt to ascertain whether there are locations in Telluride that could be suitable for future hotel development.
Those are all issues that were raised by former town officials over the last several years with respect to the long-term economic health of Telluride, but they will require other studies, Guimond said. Instead, this study focused on the desirability of maintaining businesses in Telluride that are not primarily oriented to tourism, but instead meet the retail needs of local residents.
“The study makes the assumption that we do currently have locally serving businesses,” said interim Town Manager Steve Ferris. “It concludes that we have an adequate supply of accommodations and correctly placed retail spaces. It suggests that we don’t have to rush out and change our zoning codes.”
The study specifically concludes that the
“greatest threat” to the current
balance between visitor-oriented and local-oriented retail businesses is
“the continued growth of second homes.”
of this market trend,” it reads, “the region is dependent on the
continued construction of deed-restricted housing to ensure that the
majority of local employees also live and shop in the community. The
employment forecasts support this conclusion. An estimated 529 to 582
units of deed restricted housing are required to ensure that 60 percent
of the forecast employment can be housed based on current household
average retail business in the region derives 34 percent of their
business from year-round residents, business is dependent on both local
shoppers and on tourists, the study found. As a result of hotel
development in both Telluride and Mountain Village, hotel occupancy
rates have dropped from an average annual rate of 39 percent in 1998 to
31 percent in 2001. “Therefore,” the study found, “additional
lodging demand is not expected until 2006. There is a forecast demand
for an additional 462 units in the region over the 2002 to 2020 time
Finally, there is adequate room at Lawson Hill to accommodate the region’s future need for industrial land.
“The communities in the Telluride region are generally making appropriate land use and development decisions to support its community sustainability goals,” the report concludes.
Miners Basketball Almost Pull Off First Win of Season
Next Weekend: Tournament in Cortez
By Elizabeth Heerwagen
In an exciting overtime showdown, the Telluride Miners pushed their skills to the limit Tuesday night against Dove Creek and almost came home with their first win of the season. That night the reconstituted team came as close as they have been to a victory in what has been a roller coaster of a season.
For a team with a defeated record, 0-18, the near win makes the point that numbers and records aren’t always the last word. This week the Miners played exciting, head-to-head basketball that enlivened both the team and their fans and proved that they have "come a long way, baby," rallying from the team that almost wasn't (after four players walked off the team in December) to a team (which a short two months later) has pulled together to play aggressive ball.
The Miners knew the away game would be a tough one. In their previous game against Dove Creek, which was less than a month ago, the Miners were blown away. However, this week the Miners did not let the past become the present.
They came out strong “playing really well on defense and offense” according to starting center Kevin Ludwig.
In the first period the Miners maintained a considerable lead over the Dove Creek team, which was visibly frazzled by the successful Miner offense and defense. The Miners scored 19 points in the first period and allowed Dove Creek a mere eight baskets. The first period exemplified the strong defensive abilities of the Miners; however, that game face crumbled and the team was unable to maintain the high level of defensive play throughout the rest of the game.
Slowly, Dove Creek got back into the game, creeping up on Telluride's lead. According to Ludwig, the Miners' “defense fell apart,” and with that they lost their impressive first period lead. However, the Miners did not drop their game altogether, and throughout the last half the two teams rallied back and forth until the final game buzzer sounded with a tied score of 55-55.
However, Telluride was behind even before the buzzer signaling the start of overtime rang. Three of their starting players had fouled out during the game. While leading scorer Kevin Ludwig remained on the court to duke it out for Telluride, Sheldon Hemphill, the other leading Telluride scorer, was benched due to foul trouble.
The Miners gave it their best, but went down in their five-minute overtime showdown. Nevertheless, it was a tight game and they lost by single-digits, only for the third time this season. Furthermore, the fact that the Miners had an early lead and pushed the game into overtime shows how far the team has come this season.
The Miners play this coming weekend in a tournament in Cortez.
Durango Film Festival Debuts Gages' Troubled
Also Debuting is Brainstorm Theatre, with High Definition Projection and THX Surround-Sound
Troubled Waters: The Dilemma of Dams, a documentary by local filmmakers George and Beth Gage, will be screened at the third annual Durango Film Festival, March 1-9. The film, which premiered at the 2002 Telluride Mountainfilm Festival, joins over 100 other independent films, narrative feature films, documentaries, animated films, shorts, experimental and new media works that will be featured at this year’s festival. The juried nine-day event also provides filmmaker discussions and VIP panels, as well as a variety of parties and receptions.
Events during the week-long festival include a new children's program, a new regional film program and a new venue, Brainstorm Industries, a 30-seat theatre with high definition projection and THX surround-sound.
Two special guests will appear at this year’s Durango Film Festival: Production designer and author Peter Wooley; and Native American Artist Darren Vigil Gray, who is the subject of a documentary film that will be presented at the festival.
Wooley will give the keynote address at the Diamond Circle Theatre on March 6. An entertaining speaker with stories of show business from the past 38 years, Wooley just published his first book, What! And Give Up Show Business? A View From the Hollywood Trenches. He will sign copies of his book following his talk, and perhaps share some insight into his second, still untitled, book that is currently in the works.
Gray, lauded as one of America’s up-and-coming artists, will exhibit his works at a reception at Estancia Art Gallery on March 2. Gray grew up on the Jicarilla Apache Reservation and was educated at Santa Fe’s Institute of American Indian Arts and the College of Santa Fe.
“As a modern Indian and a modern painter, my greatest challenge is to straddle the two worlds in which I exist, keeping one foot in the modern world without compromising the elements of the natural world that feeds and nurtures my spirit,” he explains. “Most of the time spent in my workplace tends to be a battleground of ideas and of finding new ways to bring life to a dead, two-dimensional surface. The paintings remain a mystery to me, even after they are complete.”
Darren Vigil Gray: Counterclockwise, the film about Gray, will be screened at this year’s festival.
Troubled Waters: The Dilemma of Dams, another featured documentary, is the latest film by Telluride-based George and Beth Gage, the husband-and-wife team that produced and directed the award winning Fire on the Mountain, a documentary about World War II’s ski-mounted Tenth Mountain Division.
Troubled Waters is meant to raise viewers’ consciousness about how tampering with Mother Nature leads to disaster. During the course of filming the Gages traveled the country from dam to dam, interviewing dam operators, fishermen, scientists and government officials, such as former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt. The Gages will attend the Durango Festival and are scheduled to participate in panel discussions.
In its third year, the Durango Film Festival keeps growing and improving. This year’s films will be screened in four theatres, including the new Brainstorm Theatre, a 30-seat venue with high definition projection and THX surround-sound, built especially for the festival. There will also be two Academy Award nominated documentaries at this year’s event, Spellbound and The Collector of Bedford Street. The Durango Film Festival has also created a new Regional Program, showcasing films that share the natural wonders of the region, the stories of local people and the creativity of area filmmakers. Admission to these films is free.
Along with a plethora of films, festival guest can attend panel discussions (Filmmakers’ Roundtable, Women in Documentary Film, Peter Wooley), parties (Kick-Off Party, Fat Tuesday Party, Film Festival Party, Meet the Filmmakers), a benefit concert, and encore screenings. All award winning films will be screened again on March 9.
For tickets, scheduling and more information, contact the festival offices at 970/259-2291 or visit their website at <www.durangofilmfestival.com>.
TSSC Competitors Medal at Snowmass Boardercross
Eleven snow riders from the Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club competed at last weekend's Boardercross in Snowmass.
Seven snowboarders – Cyrus Bennett, Hagan Kearney, Tucker and Forest Cason, Fern Miller and Molly and Dylan Cooney, and four skiers – Gus Kenworthy, Lane Smith, Hannah Smith and Luke Farny traveled to the competition with coaches Miguel Chavarria and Mike Farny, who is TSSC's program director.
"What an event!" Farny exclaimed, after the match. "We have snowboarding to thank for this new and refreshing event," added Farny, a World Cup alpine racer a few years back. "As a past Alpine racer, and now as dad of two young skiers, I was thrilled with what I saw," which was 88 competitors in three competition runs over a period of two hours.
"There was no need for timing or even a scoreboard," Farny says, because placement was tabulated as skiers crossed the finish line.
"The energy and excitement from the competitors was unreal," Farny continued. "The course reminded me of a mini-World Cup course," full of "camel jumps, rolls, fall-away turns, banked turns and turns with rolls in the middle.
"It was so fun watching the competitors compete."
The best race of the day was TSSC member Shane
Carrick's run in the open Snowboard Division, where the lead changed
three times during the run, "with Shane pulling out in front 10
meters from the finish to win his heat and advance to the finals!"
After the start jumps, the course snaked through
five high-speed technical turns and out to another double jump, ending
with rollers to the finish.
Lane Smith concurred: "Boardercross is a lot
harder than it looks,” he says.
The skiers were a last minute entry, with Kenworthy calling the night before to see if skiers could attend. After getting the go-ahead from Snowmass, three other Telluride Slopestyle specialists signed on, with the Smiths signing on late Friday afternoon. But the trip proved to be worth their efforts, with Hannah Smith bringing home two golds and brother Lane two silvers. Luke Farny broke his skis in training and had to rent skis at the last minute but was still able to win a bronze medal the first day. Gus Kenworthy was the surprise of the trip winning gold Saturday and a bronze (just behind Smith) Sunday.
In addition to competing, the Telluride skiers got to enjoy terrain parks left behind from Aspen’s X-games. "I saw things being performed that I never even thought possible," Farny said. "At the end of the weekend, as I was walking to the parking lot, I walked past a side walk with a handle-rail going down some stairs. I wondered, 'Where is the gang who can ride that hand rail?' – it was surrounded by concrete, but that doesn’t seem to stop these new hybrid winter sports enthusiasts.
"The thought of watching a traditional race now seems boring. Thanks, snowboarding, for bringing us this great new event and all this new terrain, stairs, rails boxes."
After Seeing a Complex Restoration Through, Betts Leaves Museum Board
Historical Museum Project Set a High
By Elizabeth Covington
Richard Betts attended his last meeting as a member of the board of the Telluride Historical Museum in January. Betts’s nine years of service saw the museum grow from a nearly defunct institution in a crumbling building to one that now occupies a newly restored masterpiece of a historic structure featuring new exhibits.
"We knew we had this extremely important thing on our hands," explained fellow board member Sheila Wald, who joined the museum board in 1994. "We knew we wanted to eventually open the building and make a museum out of it."
Although that mission has now been accomplished, back when Betts joined the board in 1994 it was not at all clear that it could be. The museum building’s crumbling walls were held together with steel girders and braces and were coming unglued from the foundation. In fact, the building was sliding downhill toward Telluride's main street. The museum board continued to meet in the building, but kept one ear cocked for moans and groans from the structure that might give a clue to its imminent demise.
In its search for a solution, the board considered buying the Silver Bell building (now owned by the Ah Haa School for the Arts) and moving the museum collection there. The board also considered building an annex attached the to the back of the existing museum building. When the neighbors loudly vetoed that option, the Town of Telluride made moves toward condemning the building, and the board closed its doors.
“Richard led a vanguard of people who said, ‘go
for the authentic restoration’,” recalled Andrea Benda, the museum's
current executive director and longtime observer of local nonprofits.
Following that lead, the board made a commitment to
restoring the existing building, a project which in 2001 was given
Stephen Hart Award for outstanding preservation from the Colorado
The decisive moment came in November 1995, when town voters, with the support of Telluride Town Council, approved a $1.2 million bond to restore the building. As part of the arrangement, the museum board transferred ownership of Telluride's grand dame to the Town of Telluride, which agreed to rent it back to the museum for a dollar a year.
But even with over a million dollars to work with,
there was not a clear shot to the finish line.
At many points, Betts explained, it would have
easier, quicker and less expensive to abandon the goal of a restoring
the building and instead to replicate it, stone by stone. A
replicated building would have looked exactly like the building the
board was trying so valiantly to restore. What would be the difference?
“It is not the same stone, not the same history,
and not the same ghosts,” said Betts.
The board was tested, again and again, and urged, particularly by construction consultants, to go with the quick and easy.
“The challenge from the beginning was to restore
rather than replicate. This is what the Europeans have done for
years,” said Betts. “People in the construction industry recommended
tearing it down and rebuilding. There would have been all sorts of cost
As if to prove those experts right, when the first
piece of heavy equipment was moved onto the property, the west wall
The museum walls, Betts explained, were originally
double walls, constructed of a rubble wall on the interior (which was
then covered with plaster) and an exterior veneer. The two walls were
tied together with braces.
“Over a period of time the mortar had disintegrated to dust,” Betts explained. “Moreover, the exterior stone crumbled when we tried to remove it. The board went back to the project engineers," a large firm out of Denver, "and asked them to completely re-evaluate the chosen engineering method."
In addition to demanding a new engineering plan after the renovation began, the board also ran into numerous other challenges.
“When we got into it we found a number of additional things that were not included in our original plan,” said Betts. “We found chimneys we did not know existed. We decided we wanted an assisted lift for our visitors, and we discovered other additional challenges. “As we got into it, we said to ourselves, ‘hey, what if’,” said Betts, “but we knew we had to go find the money.”
The museum applied for and received grants from the Colorado
State Historical Fund, the
Gates Family Foundation and the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.
The Department of Local Affairs stepped in to help
when the board, which had originally planned not to replace the shingled
roof (which was at the time covered in tin), decided that in order for
the restoration to be complete it should re-shingle the roof.
Holding the board together during the six years of construction, and the trials of continually pushed them over budget, was a tall order.
Jack Harrison, museum board president, gives Betts
credit for finding Klinke and Lew, the historic renovation contractors
who are based in Silverton.
Betts, members of the museum board, and employees of
Telluride Public Works Department went to Silverton to see the work that
Klinke and Lew were doing on the Silverton Town Hall, which they were
restoring in the wake of a devastating fire.
“In Silverton we saw a wonderful restoration
effort,” said Betts, and the museum board sought to emulate what was
The stone veneer on the Telluride museum, likely came
from the same quarry as on Silverton’s town hall. For the Silverton
restoration Klinke and Lew learned a specific technique pioneered in
Europe and Canada that was repeated in Telluride. And the museum also
tapped into Silverton’s restoration engineer, Dick Beardmore, a Fort
Collins professor who had done exemplary work in Leadville.
“Beardmore reminded us that the building had been
there for a hundred years and it still had its structural integrity,”
The museum board and town staff “worked as a
team,” he added. “We had our respective boards to answer to” and
to convince of the newly proposed reconstruction.
In addition to revising the engineering approach –
a mid-step detour that may have been the board's biggest challenge, the
board learned that water had seeped under the building and destroyed
However tortuous the path, restoring the building was
not without its rewards.
“We showed the community that we can restore these
buildings, and do it within a relatively short period of time,” Betts
said. In other words, the museum, as is consistent with its purpose, set
the bar for quality restoration projects in town.
It is no accident, for example, that Katrine Formby,
who is overseeing the restoration of the First National Bank Building
(the Nugget Building), has embraced many of the techniques developed by
“As we neared completion we realized what a jewel
we had and how the building was the number one artifact in our
collection,” Betts said.
Betts, having seen the museum building restored, says
that he is ready to move on to new challenges.
The institution will benefit from having new board
members, he said, “though it was important to have a core group for
Betts has joined the Telluride Foundation board and
its executive committee. He is also a founding member of the Telluride
With hindsight, how did the group hold it together
through all the trials of six-years of construction and no place to hang
“We had mutual direction,” said Betts. “Once we
agreed that restoration of the building was paramount” they moved
forward. “The community gave us that direction and support for that
The board also had to keep an eye on maintaining its
own interest in the project.
“We had a wonderful board that stayed the
course,” said Betts. “We understood where we were and where we were
Gala Dinner March 5 to Benefit Telluride Medical Center
Bringing together Telluride's best chefs, a top-flight wine list, an auction and entertainment, the Telluride Foundation has announced the first-ever Operation FEAST (Fund for Expanding and Supporting the Telluride Medical Center), the inaugural fundraiser for the newly reconfigured Telluride Medical Center Capital Fund to be held Wednesday, March 5.
"This event is a true testament to the strength of the Telluride community," said Terry Stephens, co-chairperson of the Telluride Medical Center Capital Fund. "It's important for us to be able to provide our patients, both guests and locals, with a sophisticated level of treatment, and Operation FEAST, which is hopefully the first of many fund-raising events for the Medical Center, will allow us to take giant steps in that direction."
Joining Stephens, a retired executive of Mars Candy, in chairing the event is another part-time Telluride resident, Mike Armstrong, chairman of Comcast.
Operation FEAST is committed to raising funds to facilitate the Telluride Medical Center's purchase of a state-of-the-art CAT scan unit. The Medical Center was managed by Montrose Memorial Hospital for the past 10 years, until Jan. 1 of this year, when it stepped out on its own, as an independent operator.
"Purchasing this unit is our number one priority," said Sharon Grundy, M.D., a Telluride Medical Center physician. "Having the CAT scan available locally will preclude the need to transport patients with serious injuries to the nearest hospital, which is over an hour away."
Grundy estimates that more than 1,000 CAT scans per year will be performed on critically injured patients, and that having the new machine readily accessible will provide prompt, accurate and potentially life-saving diagnoses.
Operation FEAST will feature a pairing of creative cuisine, hand-selected fine wines and live entertainment by the Jeff Solons Swing Band. The reception will start at 6 p.m., followed by a 7 p.m. dinner, a live auction at 9 p.m. and dancing at 9:30 p.m.
Exceptional and rare wines from Chateau Montelena, Kongsgaard and Chateau D'Yquem, among others, will complement four courses of delicacies prepared by Telluride's finest chefs. One of the featured chefs, Chad Scothorn, was invited to cook at the James Beard House last year, which is one of the culinary world's highest honors. Highly-acclaimed Telluride chefs Jim Ackard, Paul Atkinson, Maria Jones, Bill Blakeman and Mark Krassic will also be preparing selections to match the wines.
"The Telluride community is fortunate to have residents and second homeowners who care enough to invest their time, their energy and their resources in both the facilities and the future success of our medical center," said Paul Major, president and CEO of the Telluride Foundation, who is assisting with organizing the event.
Tickets are available at $500 per person, or $5000 for a table of ten. A special opportunity to participate on a Benefactor level is also available for $10,000 for a table of 10. More than 70 percent of the ticket price will go toward the purchase of the CT scan.
For more information, or to purchase tickets, please contact Betsy Lindsay at 970-728-4168 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or Meg Bona at the Telluride Foundation at 970-728-8717.
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