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Pages of the Past: Unions, lawsuits and global warming

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From the archives of the Roaring Fork Valley Journal

Dec. 15, 1977

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In something of a surprise vote, miners at the Anschutz Thompson Creek mine west of Carbondale voted to become a non-union operation. The national United Mine Workers of America and local Redstone Workers Association had vied for the votes of 92 eligible hourly workers, but in the end an independent shop won out. The UMWA had stepped in for contract negotiations the previous year, but Anschutz miners had not walked out with their colleagues a week before the vote. In the end, some counted it as a half victory for the RWA, since their bigger competitor at least had not snagged the role.

In other news… Carbondale’s volunteer firefighters came out against the board’s proposal to hire a building manager, feeling the role would clash with the authority granted to the fire chief (Tim Trulove had just been voted in following an election that also made current chief Ron Leach a captain).

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Dec. 17, 1987

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Almost two years after an explosion at Rocky Mountain Natural Gas in Glenwood Springs killed 12, a wrongful death suit by survivors and families of victims was still pending. The Fire Department had found that the gauge on a 853 gallon propane truck was removed allowing gas to escape into the building. The suit contended that an employee had tampered with the gauge despite warnings to facilitate illegal transportation of the tank. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration had proposed $2,000 in damages against the company.

In other news… The Carbondale Centennial Committee was looking at ways to spend a $3,600 budget surplus on a sculpture on the corner of Eighth and Main.

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Dec. 18, 1997

Journal staffers Lynn Burton and John Stroud wrote a set of point/counterpoint columns on the topic of global warming. Burton filled the role of skeptic, urging critical thinking and citing 70s fears of a new ice age, the expensive and inconclusive computer models at the time and noting that the debate in general seemed agenda driven rather than science based. Stroud agreed on the last point, but shot back that by the time the change was categorically proven it might be too late. (He also used the “earth-is-round” theory as a comparison, so we might want to check in with him now for his opinion on flat earthers.)

In other news… A new ice rink opened at the Gus Darien are on Catherine Store Road.

Dec. 20, 2007

The Parks and Recreation Commission was drafting recreations for potential future use of the Carbondale Nature Park — already known as the town’s “unofficial dog park.” A $3 million plan for a series of ponds and gardens had taken back seat to the then-new Rec. Center and planned Gateway River Park, leaving the 33-acre parcel more or less unimproved. “Right now, The Parks and Rec Commission appears to be sympathetic with dog owners until we find a new use,” said Recreation Director Jeff Jackel. (The only noticeable change since then is the addition of an archery range at the south end of the property.)

In other news… Lead by Cathy Britt of Dancing Colours, a group of mostly local artists created ornaments to adorn a “Holiday Peace Tree” which was auctioned off for charity.

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