Of After-hour Airports, Black Op Job Stings, Marshal Morrow & Red Ladies
by Art Goodtimes
Apr 03, 2011 | 2804 views | 2 2 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
TALE OF TWO LETTERS … One from a do, and one from a don’t. One a plea from a homeowners association that would be most affected. And the other an opposite pleading from a fairly frequent traveler. They were in our BOCC packets last week (as in Board of County Commissioners, and not pronounced “balk”), even though the airport decision on extending curfew hours in the winter was out of our hands (pre-empted by the Fed, a pre-emption that took away local control -- which Republicans mostly support and Democrats agonize over, looking mostly for progressive big government to “make it right”) … Happily (though not in the tra-la-la-la sense) TRAA did agree at their last meet to come share with the County, and the people, why Telluride as an economically challenged community (at least for some) needs commercial night flights in the winter -- regardless if it means opening our night skies to general aviation … Let’s be frank. My personal bias has always been against an airport I didn’t want built. And yet, over the years, I’ve not been blind to the economic boom that resulted in the airport’s wake (unsustainable as that real estate-fueled economy may have been). So, in my role as county commissioner where public good trumps personal bias, I’m still in an information-gathering stage … An unscientific poll down Colorado Avenue the other afternoon yielded about a 50-50 split in opinions. I didn’t quiz visitors. Just constituents. Please share your view on this issue with me anytime you run into me … As Watch Publisher Seth Cagin has noted, this is one of two contentious issues du jour. And Telluride seems to have very strong Patrick Henrys on each side of the airport curfew issue. On Facebook it’s Jack Thompson with Telluride Airport No Night Flights and Greg Craig with I support a healthy Telluride Regional Airport, cyber-jockeying for the most friends … You should check both those sites out … A healthy public debate is a symptom of a healthy democracy in action. Messy. Sometimes over the top (I’d rather passionate than apathetic). Lawsuits even. But healthy, nonetheless … Still, whatever gets decided, let’s look beyond the issue to the long-term relationships we have in this community and not lose friends, or tempers, in coming to a decision.

RUMORS … rhymes with tumors, and they’ve always given me the willies, in print (and now digital eprint in any of a hundred fonts), given a journalist’s job as investigator and objective reporter. But humans love to gossip like monkeys like to groom. Plus, editors give you a tad more latitude on the op-ed pages … Which is to say, a little birdie whispered in my ear that the Fed has been recruiting black-op analysts among (unemployed) archies and anthros (OK, archaeologists and anthropologists) here in the Southwest … Answer a generic ad, and you get invited to an interview. Actually, three. Pass them all and they promise you a job with great pay after an all-expenses training (camp) where you learn that the job (if you want it) will be to accompany an armed squad into enemy territory, enter villages and quickly assess friend from foe, even to the point of “you pick & they shoot” … Or so the rumor went … There was a time I’d have said our side didn’t do that of thing, but now keeping Gitmo open, throwing whistleblowers into solitary, using mercenaries as well as the military to prosecute foreign wars, I’m not so sure this rumor’s untrustworthy.

END OF AN ERA?… Or was it just an error, hiring Everett Morrow as Telluride’s lone ranger marshal just as the Sixties were ending? Just as the Volkswagen hippies, ex-Nam misfits & trust-fund ne’er-do-wells came straggling into town looking for a white snow hideaway. A vegan commune. The Rainbow Gathering … Everett swaggered. Wore six-shooters. Dangled cigarettes at his lip. He shot dogs & rousted newcomers just for the redneck fun of it. But he made a mistake in breaking up a private Jewish service with guns drawn, as if busting moonshine, and got hisself promptly fired by the newly elected town council skiers’ slate that yanked the maverick reins of governance out of the mining hands of the past … But that era of new (old) Telluride’s fading fast. Just as Everett – his badge long gone -- laid down his spurs, and passed away in his sleep two weekends ago, leaving behind ten grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren and a first Garfield County canine partner for the police dogs he trained … Welder. Auctioneer. Veteran of the Korean War. He did his duty. Married his hometown sweetheart. Was tough as nails. Hardscrabble like the land … Sparks flew when his small-town Old West met the long-haired New West on Colorado Avenue back in the ‘70s. And maybe that’s how he’ll always be remembered. The legendary bad guy cop doing the car-stop Southern hospitality riff on good guy naifs dreaming Hollywood in the San Juans … May he rest in peace.


Lady in Red

I am cleaning out my closet.

You can imagine the mess.

A lot of black dresses.

You'd think I am, like Masha

in Chekhov's The Seagull,

"in mourning for my life."

I'm throwing everything out

(well actually I'm giving it all to charity).

From this day forward, I will only

wear red, from here on out.

I've saved what I have,

three red dresses,

and a couple of jackets.

One is more raspberry than red,

but oh what a color.

I have saved it

from the great purging.

I want to walked naked down the street,

reciting poetry.

But they put you in the loony bin for that.

Instead, I will wear my three red dresses,

in no particular order,

and never all at once, naked

underneath, and recite my poetry anyway.

-Valerie Haugen

Comments-icon Post a Comment
April 06, 2011
PP: not all "infrastructure" is created equally.

I believe there's a significant difference between infrastructure which is intimately fundamental to the existence of a society (i.e. water, medical, police, fire, etc.) that it's overwhelmingly supported by the community directly; or infrastructure which is self-sustaining.

The airport (TEX) appears to be neither.

If TEX shut down & a four star branded hotel were to be erected at the current site, I'd bet everything I own the sky would not fall & the lifts would keep running.

I wouldn't blame the SMC commissionaires one bit if they just didn't show up because they didn't FEEL like it OR as a statement ... since I believe the TRAA will do what they're going to do regardless of the BOCC has to say about it.
April 05, 2011
Thanks Art,

Just like a politician- I dont know If I FEEL like doing my job today-I dont know if i BELIEVE in infrastructure that has been paid for by the tax payers. I dont LIKE the taxpayers we've been attracting.

All the while Art will be enjoying full pay ,full benefits,dental ,health insurance, paid vacations, and pension funding. Yes Art you are a lot more like the people living up on the hill than the rest of us working folk.

Isnt it more important that we spend our tax dollars on Art's pension rather than keeping up our infrastructure ? Seems like our Mayor and council member enjoy wasting tax built infrastructures more than they enjoy keeping them up. Upkeep is part of the job- I dont care if you dont like it-do your job or let someone who wants to have your job. Most of us could use the money and would not mind doing the hard work.

The Airport is there ,our public transport should be up-kept, used to the max, lest we decide it should go to the potholes and prairie dogs as the politicians would like.