No wonder why the town of Delta hates Telluride. Soon it will be Durango, Silverton, and the entire Four Corners....As someone who has followed this case closely from Durango and up until this point sympathized greatly with the Town of Telluride on the Valley Floor issue, I am now completely in shock and unsympathetic. Way to act like the spoiled brat they all thought you were and now the rest of us in the region surely feel the same way. You got what you deserved with an attitude like that!
– Elizabeth Morris, Durango
‘Does Ugly American Ever Come to Mind?’
I would like to personally thank Rob Schultheis for setting Telluride apart from the rest of the world. Rob you should be embarrassed and ashamed for the garbage and diatribe you have put in newsprint. I have lived in this community for the past 17 years and have followed the growing pains of this community closely. I am outraged at your inability to control your emotions. The statements that you have made regarding the citizens of Delta are shameful, disrespectful and obnoxious. Delta did not ask for this trial. My two young children know more about respect and dignity than you do. Does ugly American ever come to mind, that is what you are showing our younger generations.
When things do not go your way blame an entire populace of people. If the jury decided in favor of the town of Telluride, I am sure the article would not have been written. When the verdict is handed down, accept the judgment and move on. Use a negative outcome in a positive manner, Rob if there was one sympathetic sole supporting our goal, we have lost them now. Why would anyone feel an ounce of sympathy for Telluride after reading your offensive article. The reason people look at Telluride in such a negative manner is that individuals like yourself think that they are better and have higher standards then the average person. The arrogance to think that we are better than anyone else is a joke; we have all come to this valley for different reasons but share the same bond. Next time you are sitting on the bench in front of the Steaming Bean at 10 a.m. sipping your chai tea, think of all the people that get up at 5a.m. and drive two hours from Delta to work in Telluride.
Rob, do all the citizens of Telluride a favor and sell your property (at half price), and donate the profit to the Valley Floor Fund. I would recommend that in your next article an apology to the good people of Delta be in order. One last thought: Take a stroll down Historic Main Street and stay, play and enjoy if they let you.
– Michael Osborne, Telluride
Schultheis ‘Not in Same League’ With Bona Fide Gonzo Journalists
I read with great interest your “Editorial Slant” in which you justified the value of Rob Schultheis work (“Schultheis – Mad Dog? Gonzo Journalist? Maybe Both?”) in the Feb. 23 issue of The Telluride Watch. As a part-time resident and year-round reader of The Watch, I have often wondered why Schultheis gets published in your paper at all.
Reflecting on a number of this winter’s Schultheis columns, I recall: one diatribe about the amateurish and unprofessional conduct of NFL referees (does Rob have particular grounding in the training, certification and monitoring of NFL officials?); offhand vitriol about the poorly and absurdly written plots of a cable TV show dealing with terrorist activity in the U.S. (can Rob give us the real scoop?); and, the recent hostile, paranoiac, incendiary assault on the citizenry of Delta in response to a wholly predictable valuation of the Valley Floor. Where’s the message? When does the talent surface? Am I missing something, or do we have a local “Emperors Suit of Clothes”?
I am familiar with The Village Voice, The (now defunct) Evergreen Review, and the writings of Terry Southern, Dr. Hunter Thompson and others. In my opinion, Rob Schultheis doesn’t fit in the same league with such A List underground journalists or publications. In order to do so, he would need a rational, thought-provoking, alternative point of view, he should offer some factoids or, at least, a moral to a story, and he should occasionally evince self-deprecating humor so we know that the writer’s not taking himself too seriously.
There is a classic parable about optimism that supports my question of your continuing support for Schultheis. A young boy wakes up on his birthday and is told by his parents that his gift awaits him outside. The boy goes outside and finds no gift. Thinking the gift might be in the backyard shed, he approaches it and opens the door. The boy is momentarily startled to discover that the shed is filled with dung floor-to ceiling. Nonetheless, he grabs a shovel and starts digging with zeal – a wide grin on his face. When questioned about his behavior, he confidently replies, “With all this dung, there’s got to be a pony somewhere inside.”
So, Editor, can you help us readers find the pony?
– Howard Savin
Delta Verdict a ‘Triumph of the Rights of the Individual’
There are those who may decry the recent Valley Floor jury decision as an injustice. I for one celebrate it as a triumph of the rights of the individual versus the selfish appetite of the mob, and as a welcome rejection of the broken political system in town, where traditional concepts of joint economic and political representation have been largely dissociated.
There is no doubt the discerning citizenry of Telluride would enjoy possessing the Valley Floor, to do with as their elevated taste and judgment dictate. Unfortunately, the condemnation action was largely without civic purpose or merit beyond those of jealous aesthetics. Town did not “need” the property- it simply wanted it. Town could have made a case to condemn a small fraction of the land for legitimate purposes – town did not do so, and chose to go ahead with an emotional and unthinking approach. Town was engaged in a reasonable compromise with the legal owner of the property and chose to abandon it. These obvious facts clearly influenced the jury proceedings from the start. To confiscate land because one does not like the owner has been a consistent historical recipe for disaster, as any casual student of the 20th century can attest to.
The confiscation approach was not generally developed or supported by financial stakeholders in the town (formerly known as “property owners”), but largely by those with other agendas. And the risks they have been allowed to take by hijacking the peculiar political representation system in Telluride with others’ properties and financial interests are literally breathtaking.
It is also an interesting bit of irony that those who are now being asked to save the financial day are those who are generally not citizens of the town, and are openly categorized as outsiders and philistines by those who have developed the current radical strategy and caused this mess. Thanks to the sensible citizens of Delta for attempting to correct the irresponsible actions of the selfish mob in Telluride.
– Jim Crimmins, Specie Mesa
‘Even Small Animals Produce a Lot of Manure’
I was shocked last Monday, after listening to the KOTO news, at the reactions of people interviewed on Valley Floor fundraising. What is the point of throwing up your hands and expecting the money to come from others? We need to generate spirit on this in order to generate dollars. As much as I was depressed by those interviewed, I was truly excited by one single person who came into the gallery after the “verdict” was reached – and said, “Now I really need to buy a Valley Floor pendant” ($100, and 100 percent of the proceeds go to Valley Floor Preservation Partners). If we dare to think that every little bit doesn’t count, we won’t accomplish anything at all. I keep thinking of an old German saying: “Even small animals produce a lot of manure.”
Thanks to all of you who have donated and all who will: we will make history by preserving this endangered piece of land, one of the last unspoiled valley entryways in the West.
– Bärbel Hacke
Delta Jury Verdict Just Desserts
I cannot describe the anger and revulsion I felt upon reading Rob Schultheis's "commentary" following the verdict in the Valley Floor condemnation case. I have not responded sooner because I thought it so vile and beyond any civil discourse as to not be worthy of response. I am gratified by the fact that so many of your readers have contacted you to object to this tirade; a child’s tantrum. However, today I read your defense of your decision to publish the piece and finding it wholly unsatisfying, I now am compelled to write. Your defense acknowledges the crudeness of the piece and excuses it by calling "gonzo" journalism. But where I really disagree with your view is your suggestion that the attack "went after no individuals." Clothed in what you admit was vicious stereotyping, the article was a direct personal attack on the jury that rendered the verdict; six members of our community who, involuntarily, were called upon to settle this squabble which your community could not. Those called to this jury service are compelled by law to appear, and to be subjected to intense questioning by the court, the attorneys for the owner and, yes, even the attorneys for the town, to determine whether or not they could hear the evidence and make a fair and just decision. They gave almost two weeks of their lives to the matter and rendered their decision. That the town (both its government and its citizens) are disappointed may be understandable, but there can absolutely no excuse for the vitriol in Mr. Schultheis' attack on this jury. I take some solace in the fact that your publication is not in general circulation in this area (perhaps, we are just too backward to be able to understand your message). I doubt that the jurors have seen Mr. Schultheis' piece, unless he has sent them copies (something I suspect would not be beneath him). Your publication has defamed six honorable citizens of this county and your defense of your decision to publish the piece so that your community can "vent" is pathetic. Maybe you and Mr. Schultheis should take a step back and recognize that if your community had tried a little more civil debate and compromise, your giant problem of what to do with the Valley Floor would not have been handed to innocent bystanders.
– Jim Brown, a native resident of Delta, Colorado
Support St. Michaels Prom
On April 26, St Michaels School for Special Education will be hosting its high school prom. St. Michaels is a school for Navajo children and adults with special needs – many are severely disabled. The school is located about four hours away from Telluride on the Navajo Reservation in St. Michaels, Ariz. The theme that the students have chosen for this year's prom is "A Western Dream." This theme truly is a dream for them as they basically have no funding to put prom together this year. St. Michaels is a nonprofit school and whatever funding they receive must be used for day-to-day expenses and the running of the school. Prom does not fit into this category. Life is tough for the students at St. Michaels School. Many of them are sick and have daily struggles. Approximately half are in wheelchairs. Prom is a BIG deal to these students and they look forward to it all year. I told the school that I would do what I could for them by asking for your help. This is the fourh year that Telluride has participated. If it weren't for Telluride, there would be no prom!
If you would like to help, checks can be made payable to: St. Michaels Association for Special Ed. Please write "Prom" in the memo notation space. Please send checks to: Flair Robinson, P.O. Box 1993, Telluride, CO 81435.
If you have any questions, you may contact me locally at (970) 728-3745 or Jovita Curtis at St. Michaels School at (928) 871-2822. Thank you for helping us make these young adult's "Western Dream" a special one. Your kindness is greatly appreciated!
– Flair Robinson
How wonderful to go up to the Telluride Historical Museum last Thursday evening and see it filled with people attending the opening of the Ah Haa exhibit, Telluride, A Sacred History, I can not think of a more fitting setting for this show which not only showcased and celebrated the talent and vision in our artist community but also the collaboration between two of the towns most respected and valued institutions, the Ah Haa School and the Telluride Historical Museum. Thank you to both organizations for creating the opportunity to work together.
– Diana Conovitz
Beaux Arts Was a Ball
On behalf of the board of directors of the Telluride Council for the Arts and Humanities, I would like to thank all who worked in making our 2007 Beaux Arts Cabaret fundraiser the most successful event to date for our organization.
Thank you to: Our Entertainer: Hazel Miller Band; Our Sponsors: American National Bank, Jim Jenkins and Sharon Caplan, Nevasca Realty, and Mountain Village Owner's Association; Our In-Kind Sponsors: SBG Productions, Sheridan Hotel and the Telluride Conference Center; and our many volunteers: Rube Felicelli, Peter Lundeen, Susan McCormick, Elaine Fischer, Josephine Fallenius, Fern Miller, Renee Marr, Brittany Miller, Carrie Landers, Dean Rolley, Sonchia Jilek, Elder Justin Clifton, Rose Leah Davis, Carol Lee, Dave and Alyssa Ramirez, Brandon Clapper, Fran Nelson, Yulita Niebielska, Erin Larson, Dan Hanley, Alison and TJ Mackey, Karen Moore, Susan Rahmann, Hudson Cress and Anni Tracy; and our many wonderful donors, who made the Silent Auction such a success: Alison Mackey (Stronghouse Artist), Aromatherapy Day Spa, Aubrey Hackman, Beauty Parlor, Best Fit Sports, Bliss Salon, Bob Saunders, Body and Soul of Ridgway, Bootdoctors, Brittany Miller, Stronghouse Artist, Brown Bag, Christy Sports, Chuck Kroger, Daniel Kanow (Stronghouse Artist), David Brown, Debbie Madaris, Personal Trainer, Deva Yoga Studio, Dolce Jewels, East meets West, Elaine Fischer (Stronghouse Artist), Elinoff & Co, Gallerie Framing, Hazel Miller, Helitrax, Hotel Columbia, Hotel Telluride, Jason Houck, John Hopkins, Judy Kohin, Julie McNair, Kathryn Vinson Tatum and Gallerie Framing, Kathy Green Design, Ken Donegan, La Cocina de Luz, La Marmotte, La Piazza Del Villaggio, Liz Lance, Lupe Eckenrode Massage Therapy, Marker, Mountain Lodge Telluride, Mountainfilm, New Sheridan Inn, Pacific Street Liquors, Pacific Street Liquors and Bob Scherner, Peak Performance Therapy, Picaya, Planet Bluegrass, Rico Hotel and Mountain Lodge, Ride with Roudy, Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer, Rube Felicelli, San Juan Rivers/Telluride Kayak School, Sheridan Opera House, Sorina's Head to Toe, Susan McCormick, Telluride Blues and Brews Festival, Telluride Bottleworks, Telluride Dance Academy, Telluride Historical Museum, Telluride Liquors, Telluride Magazine, Telluride Music Co., Telluride Outside, Telluride Society for Jazz, Telluride Sports, Telluride Trappings and Toggery, Telluride Truffle, Tiffany Sweet and Honig Winery, Tom Tatum, Victorian Inn, Wildwood Canyon Inn, Xtreme Media, LLC, Ah-Haa School for the Arts, 9545 Restaurant, TelSki and Allreds; and Denise Dugan Cupoli and the Daily Planet for innumerable support.
All the funds will go to help our Small Grants Program and the Stronghouse Studios Artists’ Cooperative at 283 South Fir Street. We are pleased to have such generous support from such a giving community.
– Renee Marr, Executive Director, Telluride Council for the Arts and Humanities