Ready to Be an Intern in Sen. Udall's Office?
by Watch Staff
Sep 01, 2011 | 970 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
GRAND JUNCTION – Senator Mark Udall's West Slope regional office in Grand Junction is accepting internship applications from undergraduate students and recent graduates for the fall semester. The internship program offers students the opportunity for public service, and to learn hands-on about constituent services and the legislative process.

Interns will assist state staff as they help constituents resolve issues with federal agencies such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, meet with local partners, represent the senator at community outreach events, and draft writing projects such as letters of support for grant applications and congressional inquiries to federal agencies.

The deadline for applications is September 9; finalists will be notified of a decision by September 20. Interested students can apply at Internships are available on either a full-time or part-time basis. This is an unpaid position, although college credit may be arranged through Colorado Mesa University or other schools.

If you have questions, please contact Udall’s Western Slope Regional Director Jerry Otero or Constituent Services Advocate Susan Holappa at 970-245-9553.



BLM Hosts Effective Facilitation Skills Workshop Sept. 15 

MONTROSE – An Effective Facilitation Skills workshop will be held on Thursday, September 15, at the Bureau of Land Management facilities in Montrose, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.  Participants will learn the elements of effective meetings, how to set agendas so that goals are met, and how to prevent, identify and intervene with problems during meetings. 

The facilitation of “virtual” meetings conducted using digital media will be covered. Skills taught will be applicable to governmental, business or nonprofit/volunteer organization settings, whether conducting either open (collaborating or public) forums and meetings.

Facilitator Illene Roggensack has facilitated numerous strategic planning sessions, focus groups, public and private meetings for many entities throughout western Colorado, and works with a broad variety of organizations in fundraising, grant writing, marketing and promotions, and board and organizational development.

To register and for further information, contact Third Sector Innovations at 970-241-1139

or Designed for those who conduct meetings and facilitate group discussion, pre-registration is required and the cost is $


Thursday, Sept. 8 Is Pneumonia Vaccination Day at Montrose County Health and Human Services

MONTROSE – Montrose County Health and Human Services will hold a Pneumonia Vaccination Day next Thursday, September 8 a.m-4 p.m.

No appointment is necessary. Vaccine cost is $14.50. Medicare, Medicaid, Rocky Mountain Health Plans, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, CHP+, cash and check are all accepted. The pneumococcal vaccine is most highly recommended for anyone who is 65 years of age or older; 64 and older if living in nursing home or other long-term care facility; 19-64 years of age if asthmatic or cigarette smoker; 2 years or older with a chronic illness. 

Members of the public can also schedule an appointment or stop in to 1845 S. Townsend Avenue without an appointment on walk-in days which are Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Call 970/252-5000 for information (970/864-7319 for west end residents and 970/864-7319 about vaccine availability.

Woods Lake Native Trout Project Scheduled

MONTROSE – The first phase of a native Colorado cutthroat trout restoration project at Woods Lake will take place Sept. 6-12, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has announced.
The Woods Lake State Wildlife area will be closed during those days, and the public is asked to avoid recreating nearby in the surrounding Grand Mesa-Uncompahgre-Gunnison National Forest during those days. Woods Lake is located in southeast San Miguel County, just off U.S. Forest Service Road 618.
“This is an outstanding area for the native cutthroat,” said Dan Kowalski, aquatic biologist in the Montrose area. “There are only a few spots in western Colorado suitable for restoration. This will help give the cutthroat a long-term foothold in southwest Colorado.”
Woods Lake was chosen as a location because the area is isolated and the waters are pristine. The barrier of the dam at the small reservoir will prevent non-native fish from swimming into the lake and tributaries.
The lake and surrounding small tributaries will be treated with an organic chemical that will kill non-native fish. The chemical, Rotenone, is derived from the root of a tropical plant and is used throughout the world for fish management projects. Rotenone is fast-acting, only affects aquatic species, leaves no residue and quickly degrades in the environment. The lake is expected to be completely free of the chemical and suitable for fish less than a week after the treatment. Native fish will be re-stocked once it is confirmed that all non-natives have been removed, probably this fall. Fish should reach catchable size, 10-12 inches, by the summer of 2013.
Until Sept. 6, the area is open for fishing. Licensed anglers can keep all the brook and brown trout they catch; bag limits have been temporarily lifted for these species. Fish must be taken by hook with flies, lures or bait. Netting is not allowed.
 Planned for several years, the Woods Lake project is part of a cooperative effort by Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the U.S. Forest Service to restore native cutthroat trout to waters on the West Slope. Due to habitat loss, water quality impacts and the introduction of non-native fish over many years, the Colorado River cutthroat has been eliminated from most rivers and streams in western Colorado. The fish, which has been petitioned for listing as an endangered species, can now be found in only a small percentage of its historic range in Colorado and in the Rocky Mountain West.
To learn more about efforts by Colorado Parks and Wildlife to restore native trout, visit 


Uncompahgre Medical Center Receives New Funding

NORWOOD – The Uncompahgre Medical Center is pleased to announce the receipt of a three-year grant totaling $450,000 from the Colorado Health Foundation. Funds will be used to support UMC’s subsidized dental program, assuring that financial limitations are not a barrier to receiving oral health care. UMC expanded its capacity in 2010 with the help of the Colorado Health Foundation. Expanded capacity and outside funding assures greater access for our community. UMC appreciates the Foundation’s generosity and commitment to improving the health and health care of Coloradans.

Ouray County Continues to Rally to Save the Wright Opera House

OURAY COUNTY – The community continues to provide important support for the Wright Opera House as the project moves from purchase phase to operating phase.

Fund raisers during the summer provided the needed $5000 for initial components of a sound system, with a big finale provided by Kelvin Kent.  The audience for his program about his adventures in the Himalayans put the fund over the top.

“Much appreciation goes to Kelvin for organizing that event and to the North Fork Flyers for their jazz concert, the Movie Club, and other individual donors who made this effort successful.  Owning the basic components of an in-house sound system will save us considerable sums for events.  It  will also help the other organizations who use the Opera House for their fund raising events gain a higher margin of profit,” said Dee Williams, chair of the Friends of the Wright Opera House. 

Dick and Marcia Allison donated their valuable piano to be used in the Opera House, a much needed addition.  The Ouray County Performing Arts Guild facilitated that gift as well as the transfer of the piano.  The Movie Club donated their large movie screen, their popcorn machine, and cash to be used toward the sound system.  Planning is underway to design a program to provide regular docent tours of the Opera House beginning next summer.

Now that the Ouray Planning Commission has approved the initial plans for renovation and potential expansion of the Opera House, the FWOH board of directors is moving to the next phases.  Changes are underway to optimize the support the community is providing.  

Rennie Ross is part-time temporarybuilding manager, with considerable experience in event coordination and tourism marketing provides the board with substantial support.  In addition to handling details associated with programming, she manages bookings for events and meetings and the rental details of the two apartments and storage units in the building. The FWOH now has an on-site office.

Two new boardmembers have been added to assist with the expansion of board responsibilities beyond the initial campaign to purchase the building. They are Alyssa Preston, who teaches theater for Weehawken Creative Arts and is on the board of Ouray County Players, will initiate a broader menu of theater and musical events, and Mick Graff, who will provide support for the major grant writing needed as the board prepares to seek funding for the renovation, preservation, and expansion of the building.  He is also on the board of the Trail Group, a trustee of the Church of the San Juans, and a Forest Service host at the Ouray Visitors’ Center.

An energy efficiency study has been done which will be used in design of the renovation.  The conversion to natural gas will be completed before November.  The Colorado Historic Fund has expressed an interest in assisting with the restoration of the unique façade, the original windows and some repair to damaged bricks.   A grant application is being prepared to seek that support.  Experts consulted about the façade have reported that the Wright Opera House is likely one of the largest and most important examples of the Mesker Ironworks in the country.

Planning is underway for the 2012 schedule of events in the Opera House.  “We have considerable feedback from the community that they would like more theater programming.  Some of the most popular concerts will hopefully be returned as well as the traditional Weehawken Dance Company’s amazing programs and some of the Ouray County Performing Arts Guild concerts.  We want to add a series of singer/songwriter concerts and hopefully a jazz series, as well as performances by local artists.  We welcome suggestions from the community. The intent is for this facility to enhance the lifestyle of residents and the experience of our visitors,” Williams added.

The Boettcher Foundation has awarded a $20,000 grant to FWOH, which provides a welcome start for additional fundraising which will begin soon.  In addition to the fund for the sound system, an ongoing fund has received donations toward the elevator.  “We were so intense in asking for funds for the purchase and the community was so amazing in the response, that we thought everyone deserved a break!  But we will need some ongoing annual gifts to sustain the operation and the programming.  And we will begin to build the amounts needed for matches for grants for the next phase of renovation.  Most of the project does not yet have prices assembled, but we do know the elevator will be $50,000.  The considerable interest in that improvement has generated some early funding so that when it is possible to install it, we will be ready,” Williams explained.

 Donations can be made to The Friends of the Wright Opera House, P. O. Box 17, Ouray, CO 81427.  The substantial tax benefits are explained at where there is a calendar of events and other information about the project.
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