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Valley Gardening: How to treat the bugs — and other things that bug you

Posted: Friday, Jun 26th, 2015
Life is good in the neighborhood! And June is almost over--where did it go? Plants are finally starting to grow. And now here comes the cabbage loopers and the grass hoppers and the aphids--this is why I call gardening and farming legalized gambling. It's just kind of a stroke of luck if the fruits of your labor make it to
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Movin' On With Nellie: I remember Mama

Posted: Friday, Jun 26th, 2015
Mama went on from this earth five years ago this week. Like so many people before, she succumbed to lung cancer from years of smoking and drinking and searching for love. Our family's battle seems rooted in German beer and smokes, perhaps a predisposition in our genes with German and Native American heritages. I've seen the alcohol take root in
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Still Waters: Acts of kindness change the world

Posted: Friday, Jun 26th, 2015
As I pulled up on the shoulder behind emergency vehicles to photograph an accident on Highway 160, I saw a couple standing over a young man who was sitting on the edge of the road. His car, a bit crunched, was still in the lane where it had experienced a close encounter with a truck.
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It Seems to Me: Tackling the elephant

Posted: Friday, Jun 26th, 2015
In Centennial, James Michener tells about how an elephant escaped from a circus, creating havoc as it thundered through the streets of a small city. The elephant becomes the symbol of overwhelming challenges, and while the novel is a work of fiction, Michener often used historical facts as a foundation for his work. Before the Civil War, the phrase "seeing
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Letter to the editor: Independence Day

Posted: Friday, Jun 26th, 2015
Nearly 240 years ago, our founding fathers declared our national independence from Great Britain. This 4th of July, let's declare our independence from the meat industry.
More than 60 percent of U.S. agricultural subsidies pay for meat, dairy, and egg production. Fresh fruit and vegetable farmers receive less than one percent of the total. It's time to declare our independence
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Native Writes: Each flag has its own history  

Posted: Thursday, Jun 25th, 2015
The furor over flying the Confederate flag in Charleston brings to mind recent controversies over displaying the flag of Mexico on Cinco de Mayo and the Italian flag on Columbus Day.
Each of the flags is part of our history, as are the various incarnations of Old Glory.
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Letter to the editor: New courthouse? Yes. New taxes? No.

Posted: Thursday, Jun 25th, 2015
. So Alamosa County wants to build a new courthouse. As a practicing attorney who spends a lot of time in court, all I can say is: it's about time.
However, I am writing this letter to make it known that if building a new courthouse comes at the cost of new taxes, I'll suffer the old courthouse and
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Letter to the editor: Message from La Puente

Posted: Tuesday, Jun 23rd, 2015
Dear friends and supporters of La Puente,
After thoughtful consideration, La Puente Enterprises will be withdrawing our application to build a small aluminum can purchasing center on State Avenue. This decision was reached after much deliberation based on the input and concerns neighbors shared about the proposal.
We are extremely grateful for the individuals, businesses, clubs, and organizations from across
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Letter to the editor: Response to letter

Posted: Tuesday, Jun 23rd, 2015
In his letter to the editor, which appeared in the June 17 Valley Courier, Scott Kreps referred to "the gay lifestyle" and "coming to terms with the gender they were born with." I would like to take the opportunity to suggest we look at the latest scientific understanding of sex and gender. There are four components. First is "sex"
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Rabbitbrush Rambler: Fur trade and the North Branch

Posted: Tuesday, Jun 23rd, 2015
Summertime offers opportunities to get out the maps and learn about historic routes such as the North Branch of the Old Spanish Trail. In the San Luis Valley, it is on the east side of the San Luis Valley, then turns up Saguache Creek, and crosses Old Cochetopa Pass.
I want to highlight just one facet of the trail's
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Valley Gardening: Light a candle for Peyton

Posted: Friday, Jun 19th, 2015
We all can do some good this weekend--and it will be very easy--promise! All you have to do is light a candle. Light it at 8pm tonight (Saturday). And if you don't read this til Sunday morning, light the candle at 8pm Sunday evening or Monday evening. You can even light the candle at 8am each
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We all walk a little different

Posted: Friday, Jun 19th, 2015
Normally I don't respond to letters to the editor pertaining to my columns. I normally agree that once I have said my piece, others deserve to rebut as they feel without my interference.
But, I feel obligated to respond to the ongoing discussion about the gay valedictorian I started a few weeks ago.
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Letter: La Puente thanks community

Posted: Friday, Jun 19th, 2015
La Puente would like to thank all the members of the community who participated in discussion about the proposed aluminum purchasing center, Tierra Verde, this past Thursday evening. La Puente has been part of Alamosa's south neighborhood for almost 34 years, and we value our relationship with our neighbors.
The difficulties, joys, and frustrations of serving those struggling with
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Letter: Thoughts on the First Amendment and sexual orientation

Posted: Friday, Jun 19th, 2015
In reading "The case of the closet heterosexual," I don't imagine I will change Scott Kreps' mind and he is unlikely to change mine. But I think this exchange is valuable for broader public consideration - particularly on an issue that remains very much in the court of law and the court of public opinion.
One of Evan Young's achievements,
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Still Waters: The man in the pulpit

Posted: Friday, Jun 19th, 2015
The man in the pulpit responded to God's calling as a young adult. He had been raised in wild Wyoming with two older brothers and a big sister. Much of his youth was spent outdoors, trapping, hunting, hiking and fishing. He learned to work early and well.
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It Seems to Me: Seeking authenticity

Posted: Friday, Jun 19th, 2015
There is a scene in Marjorie Williams's children's novel The Velveteen Rabbit where two characters discuss what it means to be real and how to accomplish it. Like most great children's stories, there is more to the message.
The Velveteen Rabbit wants to be real and asks the Skin Horse for advice. After learning that "When a child loves you
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Movin' On with Nelllie: CCSP brings a breath of fresh air!

Posted: Friday, Jun 19th, 2015
This week I'm breathing better because of a dozen people hammering wood patches in place, pulling out staples and ripping out carpet. Since getting my allergy testing at Dr. Dennard Ellision's office last week, I'm particularly smiling for having to use my inhaler less and less because of this wonderful gift.
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Letter to the editor: Many help clean up El Rito cemetery

Posted: Friday, Jun 19th, 2015
On Saturday June 13th members of the Move Mountains youth group partnered with Silver Mountain Disposal and Costilla County leadership, CCCW and SLVEC to clean up a cemetery in El Rito. Two of the student leaders present, Alexandria Taylor and Carlitos Medina were astonished by all the trash people threw in the arroyo right next to the cemetery.
Shirley
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Piece of Mind: Support Society Hall

Posted: Thursday, Jun 18th, 2015
Between school band and choir concerts, church choir, the youth group band, and my sister's piano playing, I was exposed to an above average amount of music growing up. My oldest sister would even occasionally play a pitch game with me. She would sing a note and I would try to match it perfectly. My mom was insistent that I
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Native Writes: It’s time to celebrate fathers

Posted: Thursday, Jun 18th, 2015
Many people remember my dad, who was unashamedly a town character.
He was 27 years older than my mother and had been very unhappily married before. He had custody of his two sons and raised them with the help of his parents before I was born.
I was born three months after my paternal grandmother died and my grandfather
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Letter to the editor: Just swallow it

Posted: Thursday, Jun 18th, 2015
When I was a youngster many years ago, there was a near-universal belief in an over-the-counter remedy which was thought to cure anything from pink-eye to a bad attitude. But, no matter how the taste was camouflaged, it had one really nasty side effect: it almost always induced projectile puking in the patient. This cure-all was castor oil
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Alamosa Flowers: Blossoms are abundant this year

Posted: Wednesday, Jun 17th, 2015
Our garden is looking particularly nice this June. Mild spring temperatures and abundant (for us) moisture have made it a pleasure to work in the yard. Many Alamosans have commented on how beautiful the lilacs (Syringa vulgaris) are/were this year. All of my dark violet and white lilacs are done, but a clump of lavender colored ones are still going
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Letter to the editor: The case of the closet heterosexual

Posted: Wednesday, Jun 17th, 2015
I guess my letter of June 5 "The Case of the Gay Valedictorian" struck a nerve with Danny Ledonne even though I don't fully understand why.
I took the position of the school's administration that the valedictorian speech at the commencement exercises should not be used to promote or publish one's sexual preference. The school's attorney also agreed with the
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Letter to the editor: Veterans will benefit

Posted: Wednesday, Jun 17th, 2015
As a homeless veteran in the La Puente Home Veterans Program, I can see how the Tierra Verde Aluminum Can Purchasing Center could benefit me, other veterans in the program, and residents of Alamosa. We could all use a little extra cash.
I understand that Tierra Verde will be paying 35 cents per pound. Merely 10 pounds of cans
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Rabbitbrush Rambler: Birding for R and R and more

Posted: Tuesday, Jun 16th, 2015
Birding is a lot like fishing. Watching someone engaged in these activities, it's hard to tell whether the practitioner is immobilized in a state of suspended animation, is concentrating hard, or is experiencing an intense adrenalin rush.
Another thing that birders and fishermen have in common is the out-of-pocket costs of each. I don't know about fishing gear but equipment
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Letter to the editor: Controversial?

Posted: Tuesday, Jun 16th, 2015
Nowadays, discussions about projects, issues and people that are in the public arena seem to nearly always escalate from calm exchanges of questions and facts to more heated expressions of differing opinions and then to strongly stated positions of "I'm right, you're wrong." Is it at the latter point that we have a "controversy?" How and why do we so
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