SOLUTION? … It’s not good policy to criticize things without giving some recommendation for a fix. So, try this on for size – let’s run a bill that reduces law enforcement duplication, saves the state valuable tax dollars and increases local control. Plus, is a funded (not unfunded) state mandate … Sound too good to be true? Maybe not. What if we left state highway patrolling of traffic to local law enforcement – particularly county sheriff departments? We’d reduce our state patrol numbers (saving a bunch of money) and limit them to a smaller force to patrol freeways, federal highways and counties unwilling to take on a state highway traffic role … But to pay for the task, the money from the sheriff-enforced traffic stops would go half to the state and half to the county of origin … Local deputies can appreciate local hazards, so the bill would allow counties to recommend speed limit changes to the state more in line with local usage and safety, rather than by-the-book speed limits regardless of special conditions … I’ve talked with Sheriff Bill Masters in the past, and he (I think) has expressed the wish that his officers could have primary law enforcement authority within county boundaries, and not have duplication on state highways with state patrol officers. As a locally elected Green official, I like the idea of devolving government authority down to the local and regional level (where people actually live) … Of course, not all counties (or sheriffs) might like this idea. So, we should make the law permissive, allowing counties that want to do this the choice, and those that don’t the continued service of a shrunken state police force … Now we just need to find a populist legislator (working for the people) willing to carry a bill like this.
TROUT TOURNAMENT … My friend and neighbor Jerry Pike and the Norwood Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9398 is hosting a first annual Trout Fishing Tournament up at Ridgway Reservoir this weekend, Saturday, June 11, beginning at 9 a.m. Colorado’s DOW has contributed a tagged fish. Should someone land the tagged trophy fish, the prize is $10,000. In addition, adults can vie for $1000, $500 and $250 awards for the largest non-tagged fish landed. And the kids’ prizes are $100, $50 and $25. Ticket prices run $35 for adults and $10 for kids (ten and under) – available at Sam’s Service and the Norwood Hardware on Wright’s Mesa, at the Mountain Village Police Dept. and at the Ridgway Reservoir – the day of the event … It’s all a benefit for three great VFW projects. One, building trails on donated land to provide wheelchair accessible hunting sites for disabled veterans. Two, supporting Norwood Christian Ranch, who offer veteran chaplains and their families free two-week retreats. And three, aiding the Norwood College/Vocational Scholarship Fund. Three worthy projects. Big prizes. Supporting our sons and daughters in the nation’s armed forces … For more info and (important) tournament rules, call Jerry at 327-0234 or 970/417-9237.
LIBRARY SALE … Mark your calendars. Get great books for a great price in the Wilkinson Public Library parking garage June 10-11 (Fri-Sat) 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., June 12 (Sun) noon-5 p.m., Jun 18 (Sat) 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Jun 19 (Sun) noon – 5 p.m. … For more info, call Nancy Landau of the Friends of the Library at 369-4355 (and if you’re not a FOL member, you should be – support lifelong learning).
DOLORES RIVERFEST … Invited down to the 8th annual local event to emcee, it was a pleasure to share good music, good food, and warm (if smoky) weather with lots of wonderful fellow Coloradoans. This wasn’t so much a tourist draw, as a local chance to celebrate the Dolores River, to learn about lots of great groups doing good work in the watershed, and to have a good time. The Greater Dolores Action folks put it on. Lots of great activities for kids. Raffles and giveaways for adults. Raft rides. A water parade. And some rocking music … Paonia based singer/songwriter ace Russ Chapman kicked things off with a lively round of original songs. Elizabeth Rose got the ear juices flowing with her great vocals and piano. Exciting Afrobeat Miniion brought out the crowd’s inner dancers. As did Albuquerque-based The Tijerina Band. Even Dolores’s own Lindell’s did a turn … But it was the headliner finale that overshadowed everything before it – the Flobots. Brer Rabbit & Jonny 5 were in dazzling shape (they played Red Rocks the next day). Their band was tight, in synch and hot. Bass. Violin. Drums. They’d come two years before, and the kids of the Dolores remembered. They sang along, crowded the stage, waving hands, conveying bodies overhead in front, as the Flobots danced and gyrated, hip-hopped and told their slam poet stories to a wild, Dionysian beat of voice & drum, string and strung … Hell, it was the best show I’d ever seen from backstage. I bought all three of their CDs.
THE TALKING GOURD
Blue Fleece Pullover
Too hot pouring concrete
I yank it off,
toss over a rock,
Next morning picking it up
a mouse runs out!
Chewed its way in
under the right armpit
with another hole six inches away.
Probably had to pee
during the night.
From Skid Marks and Snow Geese
(Larkspur Press, Kentucky, 2011)