Posts By: Ann Marie Swan

Film festival benefits Land Trust, GARNA

Two stunning films with local, Salida connections will be screened as part of the Wild & Scenic Film Festival 2014 on Thurs., April 10, 6:30 p.m., at the Salida Community Center. The event is a fundraiser and membership drive for the Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas and the Greater Arkansas River Nature Association, and includes 10 environmental and adventure films that showcase the earth’s beauty, challenges and work communities are doing.

Salida mayor to recognize national service

Jim Dickson said volunteers are “invaluable” in working to build the sustainability of local nonprofits. “I get a lot of good input from people disassociated with city government, people looking in from the outside,” Dickson said. “It’s a very good thing.”

Land Trust hosts Voices of Valley literary event

The Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas is hosting Voices of the Valley, an evening of poems and essays inspired by the natural landscape and water resources where we live and play today at 7 p.m. at The Book Haven in Salida. Colorado Central Magazine is a sponsor. Local author Andrea Jones will headline. Writers from Shavano Poets, the Chaffee Country Writers Exchange and middle-school literary contest winners will also read from their works. Free and open to the public.

Been, Ortman paint for Land Trust fundraiser

The Salida artists are partnering for a show benefiting the Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas on Sat., Dec. 14, 6 to 9 p.m., at the Palace Hotel. One hundred miniature paintings from every season will be offered for $100, with 30 percent of proceeds going to the Land Trust. Larger paintings can be purchased through a silent auction. “We’re bringing in potential collectors, seeing the valley through our vision,” Been said.

LTUA speaker considers economy of land health

Imagine for a moment Western states with natural systems sustaining abundant, diverse wildlife and highly functioning watersheds. Verdant, vigorous grasses carpet rangelands in just the right amount. Erosion is diminished and springs once dry now flow toward full, shimmering streams. As an added bonus, landowners make good money. Welcome to the New Ranch, where land is managed according to nature’s model of restoring health. It’s a place open to collaboration and new ideas on how to reverse ecosystem decline. And Courtney White has been involved from the early days. White will speak at the Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas fundraiser on Thurs., Dec. 5, at the Salida SteamPlant.

Local roller derby on track to evolve

It’s no surprise that the Chaffee County fairgrounds is ground-zero for rodeos, livestock shows and anything 4-H related. But you’ll also see beautiful, athletic women of the Ark Valley High Rollers, unfolding out of vehicles in booty shorts and fishnet stockings, walking past horse trailers and rubbernecking cowboys.

Defending news media after Newtown tragedy

The closest I’ve been to this kind of heartbreak was while working at the Rocky Mountain News at the time of the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton. Watching the pained faces of the people in Newtown, that time feels raw again.

Been at Palace Hotel backs land trust

Cascading Patterns

Up close, Salida painter Joshua Been’s alpine landscapes appear unrefined, chaotic and bold, a bumpy road of textures. But stand back and the shapes, values, edges and colors play their parts, coming together for a majestic moment in nature. Been will donate 30 percent of sales to the land trust at the nonprofit’s benefit party on Sat., Dec. 15, 6 to 9 p.m., at the Palace Hotel.

Peace sign response: free speech violation?

The manner in which the situation was handled raises compelling questions. Did the police officer overreact, taking action based on the symbol’s message? And were Bustos’ free speech rights violated because of this?

Safety, skills, big fun in youth paddling course


This course is serious fun while building a foundation of skills for river running, play-boating or slalom racing. Watching children of all shapes and sizes load into boats, this sport is a great equalizer. Smaller, less athletic kids held their own with big, coordinated children who participate in every seasonal sport available.