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Valley Gardening: Hollyhocks only bloom every two years; idiots, perennially

Posted: Saturday, Sep 24th, 2016
Let's see…what should I say first? What's kind of important?
Well, the candidate forum is next Tuesday, October 4th at Society Hall. The forum starts at 7 p.m. and the doors will open at 6. As this country changes so much it seems futile to even vote. It's quite depressing…for any number of reasons…no matter who you want
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Movin' On with Nellie: We are family!

Posted: Saturday, Sep 24th, 2016
Yesterday, I downloaded from iTunes that famous song: We are family! I had heard Nile Rodgers group sing it on the Stephen Colbert show the other night. I thought, "That's the perfect message for the universe and the collective unconscious, as Jung talked about."
For years, "What the world needs now is . . . love," and lilting voices
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After the Fact: Push toys for big boys

Posted: Saturday, Sep 24th, 2016
It reminded me of one of those kiddy push-toys, the one where little colored balls pop up inside a plastic "bubble" as the wheels go ‘round. It serves no purpose other than to entertain the "pushee" and maybe helps a bit with balance. The man in the thrift store was just as delighted with his "toy," a little bin on
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Being Beautiful: Beautiful music

Posted: Friday, Sep 23rd, 2016
I was that shy, awkward little boy in elementary school who lived for turning ordinary pinecones into colorful turkeys with just the help of Elmer's glue, construction paper, and glitter. My math skills and knowledge of history and physics still suffer today as much as back then, but boy, oh, boy, did I love carrying my big brother John's hand-me-down
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Letter to the editor: A message to Brandon Marshall

Posted: Friday, Sep 23rd, 2016
Our names are Ron and Carol Martinez and our son Sgt. Glen E. Martinez U.S.M.C. gave the Ultimate Sacrifice at age 31, on May 02, 2008 while serving his country in Iraq. There are many men and women who have served their country fighting wars and many who have died protecting your rights to say and to do what you
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Letter to the editor: MV Historical Society shares thanks

Posted: Friday, Sep 23rd, 2016
The Monte Vista Historical Society has a new metal roof thanks to the generosity of the following: San Luis Valley Federal Bank, Rio Grande Savings and Loan, City of Monte Vista, Lauri McClung, Vickie Olson, Dan Keeton, Bill and Tami Fassett, Ray and Colette Skeff.
The Society is most grateful to have this big project completed before winter. And a
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Letter to the editor: Thank you from SLV N.E.E.D.

Posted: Friday, Sep 23rd, 2016
The San Luis Valley Naloxone Education Empowerment Distribution (SLV N.E.E.D.) project has come to an end on September the 15th. It has been an amazing past year at the San Luis Valley Area Health Education Center (SLVAHEC), with 560 individuals being trained on the administration of Nasal Narcan (427 community members and 133 police officers and sheriff's deputies) and equipped
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Native Writes: 'Wasting’ my morning

Posted: Thursday, Sep 22nd, 2016
I had numerous things to do and planned to be organized about it.
That is, until I got my hands on a book about the San Luis Valley printed in Salida and released Dec. 1, 1891, featuring public buildings, summer resorts, residences, business blocks, "manufactories" and citizens.
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Amarah's Corner: Why ‘kids like me’ hold their feelings in

Posted: Thursday, Sep 22nd, 2016
I remember the last time I got to hug mommy. I can't hardly talk about it because it makes me cry. Her warmth is what I remember most. And, holding in feelings. I hate it when I hold in feelings but I feel like I should because I feel like I'll be a big stupid idiot if I cry. Then
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Geiger's Culture Counter: The game changer

Posted: Wednesday, Sep 21st, 2016
I'm here because of "Bioshock." The game came out in the summer of 2007, one year after I moved to Colorado. Designed by Ken Levine, the 1960s themed first-person shooter takes place in the underwater dystopia of Rapture. The positive press assured me that I was going to play the best title of the generation. From the antagonist Andrew Ryan's
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Alamosa Trees: Autumn color and dead trees

Posted: Wednesday, Sep 21st, 2016
We had a wonderful 48-hour getaway last weekend to Lake City for the Uncorked Wine & Music Festival. North Clear Creek falls above Creede were cascading beautifully -- not just a mere trickle as I've seen sometimes in the fall. While some aspens were still summer green, others were ablaze in gold and orange. Fall is here! Sadly, there are
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Notes of Gratitude: My family, my sister

Posted: Wednesday, Sep 21st, 2016
Family is one of those nebulous words that in this day and age can mean anything from one's birth family to a group of close friends who knows you and loves you for who you are. In my case, my birth family started off with six other people---my father, mother, older brother, a younger brother, and two younger sisters. My
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Rabbitbrush Rambler: The daily grind

Posted: Tuesday, Sep 20th, 2016
My curiosity about grains has led me, almost inevitably, to learn a smidgen about milling.
For thousands of years a never-ending chore for women was crushing and grinding dried corn or other grains and nuts by hand with stone manos and metates. Little wonder if these laborers had aching knees from kneeling on the ground to produce meal or if
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Letter to the editor: Casias grateful for endorsements

Posted: Tuesday, Sep 20th, 2016
Here in Southern Colorado, we work hard for what we've got. Our communities are strong because our people are strong. We know our neighbors and we depend on one another to thrive. We don't let our political affiliations distance us from each other and when the going gets tough we band together and make it through. I have been
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Letter to the editor: Thanks for making East Side block party a success

Posted: Tuesday, Sep 20th, 2016
East side citizens gathered at Sunrise Park to meet and greet new families to our neighborhood, listen to wonderful blues, soul and Latino hits from Diamond Life featuring vocal artist Courtney Espinoza and Blues Tripper featuring local Blues artist deluxe Bob Phillips on lead guitar.
Under beautiful September skies, all were treated to food and punch and also had the
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Letter to the editor: Public land grazing has broad benefits

Posted: Tuesday, Sep 20th, 2016
Last month, the Courier published a letter by Jim Bagwell attacking the proposed expansion of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.
Mr. Bagwell's concern is that the expansion will cause a decrease in grazing allotments. I wish grazing permittees would acknowledge the fact that the federal government provides these permits on public land to private ranchers at a fraction
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Movin' On With Nelda: Gypsy Aunt Leona

Posted: Saturday, Sep 17th, 2016
There is an old gypsy / living in/ Aunt Leona / weathered mind.

She dresses in multi-colors,/ and patterns like visiting / gypsies of Alcala and Madrid.
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Valley Gardening: Kneel for planting; stand for the flag

Posted: Saturday, Sep 17th, 2016
My father passed away very suddenly, at the age of 64. He passed away 30 years ago on August 20. Years after he died, it was determined that his premature death was caused by his internment in a German Prison Camp during WWII. Many veterans, who suffered as my Dad did, also died prematurely. I have often written
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After the Fact: Sing, sing a song

Posted: Saturday, Sep 17th, 2016
When my great-grandson Jacob arrived at an age where he could tell me what he "wanted," whether that was something to eat, a cartoon he wanted to watch, a book we should read, or someplace he wanted to go, the answer was always "Whatever makes your heart sing." It might not have had as happy an outcome with a different
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Letter to the editor: A vote for Johnson/Weld is choice for liberty

Posted: Saturday, Sep 17th, 2016
Dear fellow Americans,
A few weeks ago I was so disgusted by the poor choices we were left with in the 2016 Presidential campaign, that I had decided I probably wouldn't vote. Then I learned about Gary Johnson/Bill Weld.
Now I could go on and on about why not to vote for Hillary or Trump, but they do
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Still Waters: Thumping the cat

Posted: Friday, Sep 16th, 2016
Some days you just feel like thumping the cat.
I've never owned a cat for two reasons: 1) my dogs; and 2) my allergies. I don't have anything against cats for the most part. I do prefer an animal whose claws are out all the time so I know what I'm dealing with, but other than that, cats are fine
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Being Beautiful: I am the product of their sacrifice

Posted: Friday, Sep 16th, 2016
"I am my father's daughter. He has his mother's eyes. I am the product of her sacrifice. I am the accumulation of the dreams of generations and their stories live in me like holy water. I am my father's daughter. I have my grandma's eyes. I am the product of their sacrifice."
Jewel has a way of telling all
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Letter to the editor: To all taxpayers and concerned citizens of Conejos County

Posted: Friday, Sep 16th, 2016
I, as a taxpayer and concerned citizen of Conejos County need to let you the people of Conejos County know what is happening at the Conejos County Nursing Service in La Jara. Some of you who work for the agency know what is going on while others may not, but I will take you on a "WILD TOUR" to let
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Native Writes: What’s the matter with kids today?

Posted: Thursday, Sep 15th, 2016
When my sons were teenagers, I was spending an evening seething about their unwillingness to do anything around the house, and then the phone rang.
It was an old friend who has appeared in an Adams State College production of "Bye, Bye, Birdie."
He was also a psychology instructor at Adams before moving to Oklahoma. I won't mention his name,
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Amarah's Corner: Meet a Friend ‘that sticketh closer than a brother’

Posted: Thursday, Sep 15th, 2016
Hey kids like me, we haven't had a Bible Story in a while, so I thought we would talk about something that not many kids like me ever have -- a true, BFF (best friend forever). Kids like me go through so many things because of our parents' addiction we don't get to have our childhood, much less a friend.
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Letter to the editor: Thanks for supporting potato festival

Posted: Thursday, Sep 15th, 2016
The Colorado Potato Administrative Committee would like to thank all those that attended and helped with the 2016 San Luis Valley Potato Festival!
We would like to thank our generous sponsors for supporting the Potato Festival and making this event possible! Thank you to 1st SouthWest Bank, Alamosa State Bank, Aspen Produce, B&C Electric, Big R, Bucks ‘N
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Geiger's Culture Counter: No Moore comics

Posted: Wednesday, Sep 14th, 2016
Last Friday marked an end of an era in the comic book world. Legendary graphic novel writer Alan Moore announced his retirement. The 62-year-old award-winning British author has been writing comics for almost 40 years and his absence will surely create a vacuum.
The first graphic novel I ever read was Art Spiegelman's "Maus" while I was in either fifth
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Notes of Gratitude: The power of gratitude

Posted: Wednesday, Sep 14th, 2016
Last Sunday was the 15th Anniversary of September 11, 2001, although using the word anniversary might be a bit too celebratory for the occasion. Perhaps it's better to say "commemoration" or "remembrance" when talking about one of the worst events to take place in the United States in contemporary history. I guess it doesn't really matter because if we are
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Rabbitbrush Rambler: Breakfasts for champions

Posted: Tuesday, Sep 13th, 2016
Back when I was a child, Wheaties introduced the slogan "Breakfast of Champions" in the 1930s and began putting pictures of well-known athletes on the boxes for persuasion. Today children often choose the boxes of cereals they like eat because of the sugary taste for persuasion.
Wheaties boasted that it was made with whole grain wheat and fiber, as it
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Editorial: Successful election campaigns aren’t won on name alone

Posted: Tuesday, Sep 13th, 2016
"Sign, sign, everywhere a sign. . . blocking out the scenery, breaking my mind.",Five Man Electrical Band

That portion of lyrics from a 1970s hit pretty much describes the local elections this year in the San Luis Valley, and particularly in Alamosa County. We don't ever remember seeing so many signs and banners promoting political candidates as exists this
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Letter to the editor: Thanks to all who made Antonito’s Labor Day Fest successful

Posted: Tuesday, Sep 13th, 2016
Summer 2016 has come and gone with a long cold winter to look forward to! Well of course we have a lovely autumn season full of fall colors to enjoy.
Before all of that though, I would like to take a moment to share with you and everyone how well Antonito's Labor Day Festivities turned out.
Saturday kicked
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