Stuff by Will Grandbois

  • Sections: News Published

    Former coal miner looks to reconnect with others

    Guys found their way into the Mid-Continent coal mines west of Redstone in lots of ways. Some took the good pay and headed underground straight out of local high schools. Some became coal miners after serving in Vietnam. For others, coal mining ran in the family for generations and they continued the tradition. Rob Mulford came to the job in a different way. He and his wife were living in Philadelphia in the late 1970s, when he saw a “60 Minutes” segment on TV about coal mining in western Colorado. He had a desk job designing electric controls at the time but wanted to get out of the rat race. “So I asked my wife if she wanted to move to Colorado, and she said ‘yea, yea, yea,’” Mulford told The Sopris Sun. “That was my dream … to live in the mountains and get out of the rat race.” The wife’s go-head was good enough for him, so after contacting the Colorado Coal Mine Association for a list of mines, he settled on Mid-Continent. “They paid the best.” read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Art writ large: Pencil Garden pops up

    More than three months in the making, the Pencil Garden has popped up in downtown Basalt, with the official unveiling during the Wyly Art Center’s “Pencil Us In” gala on Aug. 8. “Basalt’s arts and cultural assets are vital to our downtown’s redevelopment,” said Mike Scanlon, Basalt town manager. “The presence of community art, like The Wyly Art Center’s Pencil Garden, will increase attention and foot traffic downtown by attracting visitors and increasing the length of time and money they spend in Basalt.” Artists, designers, creators and dreamers of all ages and abilities were asked to interpret what the pencil – the humblest of all art supplies and integral to many art forms – means to them. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    City Market submits “introductory application” for new store

    Nearly a decade and a half after plans first emerged for development of a 24-acre parcel of land on Carbondale’s western edge, the town government has received paperwork meant to start a development review process for a new grocery store and associated businesses on a portion of what once was known as the Crystal River Market Place site. Last week, according to Town Manager Jay Harrington, the town’s planning department accepted “an introductory application” from King Soopers (locally known as City Market under the corporate banner of the Kroger grocery store chain). The land in question is located to the north and west of the intersection of Highway 133 and Main Street, and does not include the existing 7-Eleven store at that corner, or the real estate office next to it. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Shindig returns with even more firepower

    After the smashing success of last summer’s inaugural Shindig, the Mt. Sopris Historical Society fund-raiser returns with an even finer tuned program, including Telluride Bluegrass Festival MC Pastor Mustard, the pre-announced Hattie Thompson award recipient (Mary Lilly), a roving actress playing Thompson, historical exhibits, a Charlotte Graham book signing and more. Because the historic Thompson House is closed for the time being due to nearby construction, the whole shebang has been shifted to River Valley Ranch barn, where Shindiggers will have the run of the spread, both inside the barn and out on the patio and grounds. There’ll also be plenty of pit barbecue. It all takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 9. Tickets are $75 at the door, the Pour House and mtsoprishistoricalsociety.org. For details, call 781-632-3326. Friends of Mary Lilly will want to head to RVR to see her accept the Hattie Thompson award. Lilly, who is 99 years old but still attends weekly peace vigils at the town hall flagpole, first discovered Carbondale and the Crystal River Valley when she visited with her husband John in the 1950s. She and her son Charles moved to a small ranch between Carbondale and Redstone in the early 1970s and she quickly became involved in several civic, religious and political organizations, including the League of Women Voters. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Folklorico students perform at dance gala in Chicago

    “I was psyched” were the words that dancer Lindsay Vega used to describe her reaction when she found out that she would be performing in Chicago. Vega is part of the advanced/performing group of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Folklorico, an after-school program under the direction of Francisco Nevarez-Burgeño, which teaches students traditional Mexican dance. The program has been in the Roaring Fork Valley for several years and has served hundreds of students. Towards the end of last month, 15 students ages 12 to 17 (and five chaperones) loaded their dance costumes into suitcases and boarded an airplane for Chicago, where the dancers explored the city and performed at the National Museum of Mexican Art. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Red Hill group investigating “violent” vandalism incidents

    The Red Hill Council, the non-profit group that manages trails and trail maintenance on Red Hill, is taking recent vandalism of trail work as a sign of protest. The problems are occurring mainly on the lower half-mile stretch of Blue Ribbon Trail, which starts at the trailhead off County Road 107. In a number of spots, the trail switches back, and trail users have been cutting the corners, causing erosion and “trail braiding” (spur trails caused by trail users veering off the regular path — sometimes only by 20 feet — for shorter, more direct routes). The Red Hill Council has been trying to cover up the “shortcut” trails by placing larger woody material, dead logs, rocks and pine needles. Volunteers, including work crews from Backbone Media, have spent several days revegetating areas of the fragile desert soil. The council, furthermore, installed small signs with the words “Trail closed. Restoration area. Please stay on trail.” In early July, however, the council discovered that someone removed the material. Volunteers then returned to re-do the work of revegetating the shortcuts. According to Davis Farrar, president of the council, the dismantling of trail work has occurred at least a half-dozen times in 2015. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Developer presents for-profit senior housing project

    A plan to build a 70-unit senior-citizens housing project on the north side of Carbondale was officially placed in the lap of the town’s board of trustees on Tuesday night, though a lengthy discussion of the topic focused mainly on how to get to the project, if it ever is built. No actual land-use application has been filed for the project, and scant details were mentioned during the discussion at the Tuesday meeting. The main spokespersons at the meeting about the project, proposed by a for-profit company called Sopris Lodge LLC, were Terry Claassen, one of three managers of the LLC, and local real estate agent Lynn Kirchner, who is the broker for the sellers and the buyers of the property where the senior housing complex would be built. Claassen acknowledged on Wednesday, in a telephone conversation with The Sopris Sun, that he had previously been part of a group that won approval for a separate senior housing project, on a site along the Roaring Fork River in Glenwood Springs adjacent to the 27th Street bridge. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    New Carbondale book is a real name dropper

    If you’ve never seen your name in print, or even if you have, check out “Memoirs of a River … Up the Crystal, Vol. 2,” by Charlotte Graham, which concentrates on Carbondale. A small sample from the index includes: Augie and Donna Natal, Charlie Moore, Terry McShane, Mark Luttrell, Anita Witt, Rebecca Young, Randy Vanderhurst, Karen Tafejian, Roy Rickus, Meredith Ogilby, Wick Moses, John Foulkrod, Rose Le Van and Annemarie Zanca, plus pioneers such as Jasper Ward, Myron Thompson and Eugene Grubb. Graham devotes pages to what she calls “characters” and gives mentions to dozens of residents who are living and those who have passed on. Her previous book, “Memoirs of a River … Up the Crystal Vol. 1” contained somewhat of an index that she herself put together. This time she hired professional indexer Deanna Butler, the granddaughter of the late David and Shirley Thompson of Redstone. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Drum circle founder ready to pass the baton

    Laurie Loeb has been called the “mother” of the annual Carbondale Mountain Fair, which returns to town this weekend for the 44th time, and for years she has been the “facilitator” for what most agree is the spiritual opening event of the Fair, the Friday afternoon drum circle in Sopris Park. At the age of 75, Loeb has decided it is time to do something different and let someone else lead the 400 or so drummers who each year join the circle. “My mom lived to almost 102, and my dad made it to 94,” she told The Sopris Sun this week. “So I may be around for a long time. But I don’t have to be in this position.” Loeb has served on the town’s board of trustees, she’s been a long-time teacher in different subjects and has lived in Carbondale since moving from Aspen in 1970. For the past 16 years (with one break) she has been the main organizer of the drum circle, which this year is to begin at 4 p.m. on Friday. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Temple Grandin giving two talks in Carbondale

    Best-selling author Temple Grandin, who in 2010 was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, will lead two separate public discussions on July 28 at the Third Street Center. Grandin, a professor at Colorado State University, is one of the nation’s top experts on humane livestock management. She is also a leading voice on improving the lives of people with autism spectrum disorders. She has developed important inventions and moved the thinking forward in both areas. Grandin’s presentation on her leading-edge work in the area of livestock management is set for 5 p.m. and will be followed by a question and answer session. At 6:30 p.m., she will switch subjects and give a talk and take questions on autism spectrum disorders. “We are thrilled to have Dr. Grandin, one of our state’s and the nation’s leading thinkers about improving the lives of people with autism,” said Sallie Bernard of the non-profit group Ascendigo, who helped organize the visit. read more →