Monday, April 23, 2018

Breckenridge Ski Resort closes 2017-18 season

#Breckenridge #Colorado
Summit Daily

Summit Daily Link


Breckenridge Ski Resort packed it up for the winter Sunday, closing out yet another ski and snowboard season with the always wacky, often inebriated, guaranteed-to-get-you-wet Breck Plunge.
For many, the last day of skiing is comparable to a last day of school. Happy in many ways, but bittersweet at the same time.
People were thoroughly enjoying themselves Sunday, getting one last chance to hit the slopes with a big party to boot. But there's also a tinge of blues, knowing these will be the last runs until the next go-round.
"Sadly so," said Ward Malek, who took home top honors at the plunge before agreeing there's really no better way to end a season. The 36-year-old ski instructor added that he'll be back next year and every year after that "until the day I die."
For the plunge, the resort put up a pond at the base of Peak 8. All the roughly 75 participants needed to do was sign up, pay the fee, dress the part and possess the necessary courage to attempt to skim the frigid water.
The best tip offered: the faster one goes, the more likely he or she is to reach the end. Regardless, taking the plunge remained a very high possibility, and while many did find reason to celebrate at the end, more failed than succeeded — depending, of course, on how one defines success.
Skimming the pond wasn't the only way to score points and win prizes because the resort also honored the participants with periphery awards, like best dressed and best plunge.
Dressed in a panda suit, Brian DeGryse had to hold his head on when he hit the jump coming into the pool. Like so many others, he didn't make it to the end, but soaked, he was a hit with the crowd and won best costume for his efforts.
Malek himself came as "Fast Eddie," a throwback of sorts, clad in flag-inspired attire, including a pair of shorts made to look like the Stars and Stripes and a tank top with whom else but Chuck Norris, firing two Uzis, no less.
Throughout the beginning of the 2017-18 season, as the state snowpack remained below normal, almost everyone was wanting. April was a gift, however, with more than 5 feet of snow falling on the resort during the last three weeks.
That was far from everyone's mind Sunday as clear skies helped temperatures shoot into the low-50s, and swimsuits were all too common, not just among the competitors, but in the crowd as well.
"What better way to close out than the Breck Plunge?" Zak Sos, a resort spokesman, asked rhetorically. "You have people and their zany costumes having a lot fun with live music. It's just a great party scene."
Attention has already turned to this summer, with Epic Discovery at Breckenridge Ski Resort expected to open June 8. Epic Passes are also now on sale for the 2018-19 ski season, Sos mentioned, as he encouraged people to act now to lock in the lowest price.
In Summit County, Keystone Ski Resort closed out its season two weeks ago while Copper Mountain Resort held its end-of-season festivities last weekend. Now, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, which expects to close in June — along with nearby Loveland Ski Area, which goes until May — are the only two left running.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Media group from Kyrgyzstan film documentary in Summit County

#Summit County #Colorado
Summit Daily

Summit Daily Link


Kyrgyzstan is a landlocked, mountainous country in Central Asia that is farther from sea than any other country on the planet. The former Soviet satellite has come far since it became an independent nation after the fall of the USSR in 1991, but it still struggles with some everyday issues — like waste management — that Americans take for granted. In an effort to learn better strategies for waste and recycling, Kyrgyzstan's state-run Elkanaly TV station sent a three-person media contingent to tour and make an informational documentary about waste-management facilities across the U.S., including the Summit County Resource Allocation Park landfill near Keystone and Arapahoe Basin Ski Area's waste management facility.
The Kyrgyz group included translator and news announcer Aina Isakova, reporter Salabat Erkitaeva and cameraman Kainar Ormonov. The group traveled from the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek to the U.S. for two weeks, touring waste management facilities in New York, Washington, D.C., Boulder and Denver before arriving in Summit on Wednesday. The group spent much of their last half of the tour in Colorado because of its similarity to Kyrgyzstan in terms of climate and terrain.
"There are a lot of mountains in Kyrgyzstan," said Isakova, who also manages Elkanaly's International Affairs department. "It's like Colorado, it's also a mountainous place with a dry climate, some water and much snow."
The tour started out at Arapahoe Basin and its waste diversion system in the morning, followed by a bus tour around the SCRAP site in the afternoon. Aaron Byrne, SCRAP's solid waste director, led the tour and showed the Kyrgyz cohort how waste management worked in Summit. Byrne said that he learned about the lack of facilities in Kyrgyzstan during a roundtable discussion with the group.
"They have a lot of obstacles and challenges in Kyrgyzstan," Byrne said. "One of them is the lack of infrastructure in their country. This is all new to them, and they're really trying to find new concepts and new ways to do better recycling in their country."
As her partners hopped on and off the bus to film segments next to heavy machinery working on piles of glass bottles, wood chips and compost around the facility, Isakova explained that Kyrgyzstan had nothing like SCRAP or diversion systems like those at A-Basin.
"We're making this film for our government because we have really big problems with garbage," Isakova said. "We don't have any recycling centers, any composting, just landfills and nothing more. We are deeply impressed by what we've seen here. We've never seen such kind of recycling centers or facilities, because we have no such abilities to recycle back home."
Isakova explained that the very concept of sorting garbage was impressive to her group.
"We have no special bins for recycling or composting. We just drop our trash into one bin, and the state sanitation department just picks up our garbage throws it into the landfill. And the trash is just lying there, poisoning nature and people's health."
Assistant county manager Thad Noll was on hand for the tour, representing the county and explaining how the government put these processes into place. He said that the Kyrgyzs group was hoping to emulate Summit's model for waste management back home.
"At this moment, they're interested in this process and want to start to build a new recycling center there," Noll said. "But the problem is that they seem to be standing in one place. They know that they can't keep the system they have, which is taking their waste and putting it in a big hole. It's such a big problem they don't even know how to start tackling it."
Noll added that Summit's model appealed to the group as it was on a much smaller, yet efficient, scale suitable for their environment and resources.
"The scale SCRAP operates at is more appropriate for what they want to do than the Denver model that's got a multi-million dollar operation and is far more complex. What they need is basic, entry-level of recycling management."
Isakova said that the group's tour had been a fruitful one, and hoped it would provide inspiration for her government to seriously tackle their waste problem.
"We are really impressed," Isakova said, "and we are going to show our film to our government and hope they will take it into consideration, that they will learn something. We also hope to have a chance to invite someone from the U.S. to come and to Kyrgyzstan and teach us how to build these facilities and show us the right way to recycle, because it's a really big problem we're dealing with."

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Dillon Amphitheatre million-dollar view now has the facility to match it

#Dillon #Colorado
Summit Daily

Summit Daily Link


With it's facelift set to be completed by early summer, the Dillon Amphitheatre will be ready to house bigger bands and greater crowds. They've announced an initial lineup — the biggest name on that list being Colorado jam band The String Cheese Incident on July 17 and 18. The announcement was one that excited and ignited the Summit County music scene and will likely put the Dillon Amphitheatre on the map as one of the best outdoor music venues in the state.
With views of the Tenmile and Gore ranges as its backdrop, the Dillon Amphitheatre was already a summertime favorite for locals, but with the recent improvements, the venue should be able to house bigger and better acts. The multi-million dollar upgrade began in the fall of 2017 and features a larger dance floor, new restrooms and a larger capacity with a couple hundred more seats for concertgoers.
"We didn't have the infrastructure we needed. We had no official green room, no loading or unloading space. When the NRO (National Repertory Orchestra) played we had to set their equipment cases behind the stage in the dirt. So, we tore it down, pushed it back closer to the reservoir, created bathrooms and green rooms for the bands," said Kerstin Anderson, director of marketing and communications for the town of Dillon.
The Amphitheatre's grass seating stayed the same — though the grade was softened — and is still in a bowl shape, curving around the stage. It's more ADA accessible, and there are now concession stands and a festival plaza at the top.
“ We are really looking to establish the Dillon Amphitheatre as one of the best outdoor facilities in the nation.”Kerstin AndersonTown of Dillon director of marketing and communications
"The festival plaza will have food trucks, local street vendors from the Summit County area. We envision a mixture of folks milling about and we will stage all of our food there," said Dillon's event manager, Matt Miano.
With these additions the venue is estimated to house an extra couple hundred visitors — roughly 3,650 people in total. Both Anderson and Miano said the updates should increase the enjoyment at the Amphitheatre, but that they still need to figure the new venue out.
"It will still be adjacent to the lake and the apartments. And it's still a really cool and intimate venue. It's not our goal to make it bigger, but to increase the flow of the facility," Miano said.
That flow is what attracted the Incident to Dillon.
"We reached out (to The String Cheese Incident) and included the plans of the new venue and the views, and they were just blown away by it," Anderson stated.
Bands don't know the Amphitheatre as a bucket-list venue — yet. The Dillon Amphitheatre could become the next Red Rocks-like space, but only time will tell as Dillon continues to understand the logistics of its new venue. Once they have a better understanding of its flow and capacity, it's likely more acts will be announced in the future.
"You got to trust us, we have good stuff in the works. There are many bands we are trying to nail down," Miano said.
Judging by how quickly The String Cheese Incident sold out, it seems locals are just fine with the lineup thus far.
"String Cheese opening up the new venue is huge. People are really excited about that," said Gary Koenig, owner of Affordable Music. "It sold out as quick as we could hand out tickets."
Tickets to The String Cheese Incident at Dillon Amphitheatre were initially sold online. And because of how rapidly the virtual tickets were sold, the town decided to sell roughly 250 more tickets for each night on Friday, March 16, at 11 a.m.
"There was a line of 100-plus people when we started selling at 11, and 10 (minutes) after noon they were all sold out," said Koenig. "There were just enough to satisfy everyone in line."
The tickets were gobbled up in an hour, showing the excitement for Summit County's local music scene.
"Having String Cheese shows what our venue can do," Anderson said.
The announcement of String Cheese is huge for the local scene, and a major introduction to what lies ahead for the burgeoning venue. The more bands the Amphitheatre brings, the more conversations will be sparked from one band to another.
For now, the town stresses that there will still be free shows and community events throughout the summer.
"If people think all the shows will be paid, that is not the case. We will still have free Friday and Saturday concerts and community programs, like movies on the water," Anderson said.
Holiday concerts are also in the works, such as a nighttime concert for the Fourth of July, featuring the U.S. Air Force Academy Band, which has played the venue before. Dillon is also excited to host a collaboration with the Colorado Symphony and the Wicked Divas.
This program features Elphaba and Glinda from the Broadway production "Wicked" and will showcase the depth of their high-flying talents. In addition to favorites from "Wicked," the program also includes highlights from "Gypsy," "Ragtime," "Titanic" and selections of "Carmen." Christopher Dragon will conduct this collaboration and Alli Mauzey and Nicole Parker will be vocalists. Unlike most shows at the Amphitheatre, this one on Sunday, July 29, will kick off at 6 p.m.
From String Cheese to Broadway show tunes, the Amphitheatre's lineup showcases the breadth of entertainment offerings. Keep an eye out for lineup additions by visiting TownOfDillon.com and looking under events. Renovations should be complete no later than the middle of June, giving the venue and its staff enough time to have a grasp of the changes.
"We are just thrilled to have a million-dollar facility to match our million-dollar views," said Anderson. "We are really looking to establish the Dillon Amphitheatre as one of the best outdoor facilities in the nation."

Friday, April 20, 2018

Colorado and three states accuse Arizona of manipulating Colorado River supply and demand

#Colorado
AP Photo

Summit Daily Link


Tension over the drought-stressed Colorado River escalated into a public feud when four U.S. states accused Arizona's largest water provider of manipulating supply and demand, potentially threatening millions of people in the United States and Mexico who rely on the river.
The four states — Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming — plus Denver's water utility said the Central Arizona Project was trying to avoid a reduction in its share of the Colorado River while others are voluntarily cutting back to avoid a crisis amid a prolonged drought.
"It's one water user taking advantage of a situation for their own benefit, to the detriment of a river that supplies nearly 40 million people," said Jim Lochhead, manager of Denver Water, which gets about half its supply from the Colorado River.
The Central Arizona Project denied the allegations and said it's been conserving. The utility uses canals, pipelines and aqueducts to carry water 336 miles (540 kilometers) from the Colorado River to about 5 million people in central and southern Arizona.
The Colorado River is the lifeblood of the southwestern U.S. and northwestern Mexico, but it's under increasing strain because demand is rising while the river is shrinking. Researchers blame an 18-year drought and climate change for the decline.
The outlook is getting worse. Last winter was exceptionally dry across most of the central and southern Rocky Mountains, so there will be below-average melting snow to feed the river.
The dispute over the Central Arizona Project revolves around how much water flows from the upper part of the Colorado River system to the lower. The upper part, called the Upper Basin, includes the four states challenging the Arizona utility. The Lower Basin includes Arizona, California and Nevada.
Each basin is entitled to about half the river's water under rules laid out in a collection of interstate agreements, court rulings and international treaties. To make sure the Lower Basin states get their share, the Upper Basin states send water from the massive Lake Powell reservoir to the even bigger Lake Mead reservoir downstream. In 2007, the Upper Basin states agreed to send Lake Mead additional water if conditions were right to keep that reservoir from dropping too low.
The Upper Basin states now claim the Central Arizona Project is manipulating its share in a way that keeps Lake Mead low enough that the Upper Basin is required to send extra water, but high enough to avoid mandatory cutbacks in Lower Basin consumption.
Ted Cooke, general manager of the Central Arizona Project, called that level the "sweet spot." In remarks posted on the project's website, he indicated the utility wants to keep Lake Mead there for as long as possible.
That prompted the four Upper Basin states to send Arizona an unusually blunt letter Friday. They accused the Central Arizona Project of ignoring the river's dire condition and endangering water supplies for millions of people. They warned they wouldn't voluntarily conserve water if the Arizona utility was going to take it.
In an interview, the Colorado representative who signed the letter, James Eklund, said the Arizona utility has made "gaming the system" a policy goal.
"That's just not conducive to collaboration," he said.
Lochhead sent his own letter to Arizona officials on Monday, saying Denver Water would stop contributing to a fund that promotes Colorado River conservation unless the Central Arizona Project stopped manipulating the river.
In a tweet last week, Cooke denied the utility was manipulating the river and described its practices as wise management.
He declined comment this week through a spokeswoman. The utility released a written statement saying it was surprised and disappointed by the Upper Basin states' letter and wanted to "clarify apparent misunderstandings."
What happens next wasn't immediately clear. Eklund said the topic could come up at meetings this month among the Colorado River states and federal officials.
The states have a long history of cooperating on ways to conserve the waterway, Eklund said, and the Upper Basin states want that to continue.
He said they can't afford to wait, because another dry winter could trigger mandatory cutbacks for water users under the rules governing the river.
"We're really hoping that we get good precipitation, but that is not something we can control," Eklund said. "What we can control is how we deal with each other."

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Summit County real estate sales slow down in March

#Summit County #Colorado
Michael Yearout Photography

Summit Daily Link


After tracking mostly on pace through the first two months of the year, Summit County's real estate sales hit a downturn in March, leading to a noticeable dip in the county's first-quarter figures, according to Slifer Smith & Frampton.
The High Country real estate giant tracks a wide variety of statistics associated with the local real estate market, and Summit saw a roughly 12 percent decline in both its number of real estate transactions and their combined value for the first three months of 2018 compared to the first quarter of 2017, according to the company's most recent market report.
The most expensive sale of the month, a luxury home at 584 Water Dance Drive in Frisco, went for $2.3 million. It's a four-bedroom, five-bathroom 4,400-square-foot house in Frisco's prestigious Water Dance neighborhood. A single-family home in the Ski Home subdivision of Breckenridge, along with a couple condos and a vacant lot, also in Breckenridge, rounded out the five priciest sales of the month, according to the Summit County Assessor's Office.
And March did outperform the two months leading up to it, January and February, but the month remained 32 percent behind the number of sales and 40 percent below their combined value compared to the record-setting March 2017.
For Slifer Smith & Frampton, the county's first-quarter decline can be blamed on a lackluster March, but moreover, the declines indicate a lack of available listings is starting to slow the pace of local real estate sales.
As proof, the company cites other statistics, like the falling number of days homes spend on the market, rising prices per square foot or a narrowing gap between asking and closing prices.
"Residential properties are still commanding higher prices and moving quickly," the company surmised, offering an assessment not unique among local real estate professionals.
According to another monthly report, this one prepared by Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties, Summit County's average sale price for a home was $636,000 in March, up from $572,450 in March 2017.
Additionally, Coldwell's monthly market snapshot noted that the average price per square foot has risen at the same time the average number of days a home spends on the market has fallen to just 12 days.
The numbers can vary depending on town, price points and even neighborhood, but the trends reflect that demand is exceeding supply.
In fact, with 521 active listings on April 10, the number remains at record lows, according to Land Title Guarantee Company of Summit County, which breaks down those listings into 345 for residential properties and 176 for vacant land.
Looking at where those properties are, 231 were in Breckenridge, 129 in Silverthorne, 87 in Keystone, 36 in Copper, 27 in Frisco and 11 in Dillon, according to Slifer Smith & Frampton.
The Summit County Assessor's Office also recently released March's sales of record with information on 139 local real estate transactions worth $86.4 million. Compare that to March 2017, when there were 176 sales for $122.8 million, and it shows just how far apart the same months in subsequent years were.
Going back even further, this March's sales were mostly in line with the same month in 2016, when there were 150 transactions worth $83.1 million. However, March 2016's stats were buoyed by a $9.25 million sale.
As far as the luxury housing market goes, defined as housing sales at or over $1 million, LIV Sotheby's International Reality, another local real estate broker, has also noticed a sharp decline in the number of transactions and a smaller reduction in their combined value this March.
However, that was coupled with a dramatic spike in the number of luxury houses coming on the market, with 42 new listings in March against 15 in February and 29 in March 2017.
MARCH BY THE NUMBERS
139: Total real estate sales
176: Total real estate sales (2017)
$86.4 million: Total value of sales
$122.8 million: Total value of sales (2017)
$2.3 million: Most expensive sale
$4.15 million: Most expensive sale (2017)
21: Sales at or above $1 million
39: Sales at or above $1 million (2017)
Source: Summit County Assessor's Office
Top 5 real estate sales of March
1. $2.3 million — 584 Water Dance Drive, Wooden Canoe at Water Dance subdivision, Frisco (single-family home)
2. $1.97 million — 134 Grandview Drive, Ski Home subdivision, Breckenridge (single-family home)
3. $1.8 million — Unit 2, 66 Cucumber Patch Placer Road, Cucumber Patch at Shock Hill, Breckenridge (condo)
4. $1.75 million (tie) — Unit 505, 42 Snowflake Drive, BlueSky, Breckenridge (condo)
5. $1.75 million (tie) — 256 Timber Trail Road, Timber Trail subdivision, Breckenridge (vacant land)
Source: Summit County Assessor's Office

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Colorado bill would allow out-of-state property owners to vote in special district elections

#Colorado
Vail Daily

Vail Daily Link


A number of High Country property owners are taxed without representation. A bill in this year’s Colorado Legislature seeks to change that.
A pair of state officials, Rep. Larry Liston and Sen. Jack Tate, both Republicans, have sponsored HB18-1181. That bill passed the Colorado House of Representatives last week and is now before the state senate.
If passed and signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper, then the bill would allow people who live out of state, but own property in a special district, to vote in those district board elections.
If the bill passes, then districts will have the option of allowing out-of-state property owners to vote in district board elections. They can also decline that option.
The bill applies only to board elections. Other district issues, including tax increase proposals, would still be decided as they are now. Ballots would be mailed to out-of-state voters only by request.
Those methods can vary from district to district. The Vail Recreation District allows people who own property in the district, but live elsewhere in Colorado, to vote in board elections and on other issues.
One town in Colorado, Mountain Village, near Telluride, allows property owners to vote in town elections.
DISTRICTS ARE DIFFERENT
But there are far more special districts than towns in Colorado. In Eagle County alone, there are roughly 80 special taxing districts scattered throughout the county.
Metro districts can have limited work. Others, such as the ones in Eagle-Vail and Edwards, serve as the de facto local governments for those areas.
In Eagle-Vail, about 25 percent of all of the 1,447 homes in that neighborhood are owned by people who live outside the state.
Eagle-Vail Property Owners Association board member Stephen Daniels and Eagle-Vail Metropolitan District board member David Warner both went to Denver to testify in favor of the bill. Both went as private citizens. Neither board has taken an official position on the bill.
Daniels said he believes the bill could correct a basic matter of fairness in district elections.
Daniels said he and other supporters believe “it’s a good thing to have more people represented” in metro districts.
The current system, he said, “flies in the face of democratic values.”
In a separate phone conversation, Warner agreed.
“These people’s voices need to be heard,” Warner said, adding that out-of-state property owners pay the same tax rates as full-time residents and deserve a say in how those taxes are collected and spent.
That voice would have to come through the views of elected board members. Warner said if this bill passes, and he decides in 2020 to run for a term on the Eagle-Vail Metro District Board, then “I’ll have to address these people to get their votes, to prove to them I’m worthy of their votes.”
WHAT ARROWHEAD DID
Ken Marchetti is a partner in a firm that does a lot of work for metro and other special districts. Marchetti also went to Denver to testify in favor of the bill.
Marchetti noted that the Arrowhead Metropolitan District has written a letter of the support for the bill.
Arrowhead has relatively few permanent residents. The current board is keenly aware of people who own property there but have permanent residences elsewhere.
Marchetti recalled that a few years ago, the Arrowhead board wanted to buy a skier parking lot in the neighborhood but would have had to take on debt to do so.
All governments in Colorado can only take on debt if voters approve. Marchetti noted that the Arrowhead board essentially conducted two elections that year. The first, for full-time residents, was the official vote. But the board also conducted a straw-poll of all other property owners in the neighborhood.
Both of those elections resulted in a favorable vote.
Marchetti added that Arrowhead also can have a hard time finding board members. That won’t be addressed in the current bill.
The bill does allow out-of-state owners to be elected to a non-voting position on a metro district board.
Marchetti said he’d like to see that expanded to allow out-of-state owners to be elected to voting board positions.
“There’s a great pool of expertise and talent out there,” he said.
But the first step is passing the bill proposed in this session.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Colorado Journalism Week: The value of community journalism

#Colorado
Summit Daily

Summit Daily Link


To anyone who follows the news, it would appear the industry itself is under attack. Whether claims of "fake news" leveled by the president or cuts to already lean newsrooms, newspapers and media organizations are now in the rare position of making headlines.
The most recent round of layoffs at The Denver Post led to that paper's editorial board publishing a rebuke of its hedge-fund ownership, which on April 8 became a page 1, above-the-fold story in The New York Times. The Post's editorial, which ran under the headline, "News matters; Colorado should demand the newspaper it deserves," was courageous and serves as a rallying cry for journalists around the country and in our own state who fear for the future of their profession. And more importantly fear for the future of our democracy if the newsroom cuts the industry has seen over the past quarter century — when 1 in every 4 positions disappeared — continue.
News organizations now find themselves thrust squarely in the middle of a public debate over the value of news and the role newspapers play in the communities they serve. It's a conversation that every newspaper needs to have with its readers, community leaders, its supporters and detractors; and the Colorado Press Association wants to be the catalyst behind that public dialogue.
That's why the CPA, in partnership with the Colorado Broadcasters Association and the Colorado Media Alliance, is sponsoring the first-ever Colorado Journalism Week from Monday to Sunday. The purpose is to celebrate and honor the hard work and ideals of Colorado's working press and to shed light on what is perhaps the most significant challenge our news organizations have ever faced.
The power of community newspapers, whether publications that are monthly, weekly, daily or online only, is often best demonstrated when journalists hold our public officials accountable and demand that government business be conducted openly and transparently. According to industry research, about 85 percent of what could be called "accountability journalism" is produced by newspapers.
In turn, news organizations must hold themselves accountable to standards of fairness, objectivity and accuracy to earn and retain the trust of readers. Especially in the era of "fake news," it's critically important for journalists to be above reproach.
In addition to fulfilling that watchdog role, newspapers also serve their communities when they publish stories that would go untold unless reporters pursued them — stories that shed light on compelling issues such as drug addiction, poverty and crime, stories that provide readers with information about how their taxes are being spent or how a bill in the state Legislature will affect their health care options.
And then there are those human-centered stories that reveal the fabric of our communities — stories about the independent business owner who is working hard to keep the doors of his store open as more and more customers are lured to shop online; the teenager born to an immigrant family who overcomes great odds to earn a full-ride college scholarship; the cancer survivor who sets out to climb every fourteener in Colorado.
This list of stories simply highlights the content journalists produce every day in communities across Colorado — communities lucky enough to still be served by a local newspaper. And the question I find myself asking, especially during a week that is dedicated to Colorado's working press, is this: If not for local journalists, who would be writing these stories?
It's a question that reinforces the value of community journalism. Newspapers exist to inform and educate citizens about what's occurring in their local communities, and on our best days, the stories we tell ignite change and spark public debate.
This week, we honor the people behind the bylines — the journalists who work tirelessly to uncover the truth and report on it because it's what they do and what they do matters — as well as the copy editors and photographers and videographers whose collective work is seen in every edition of our newspapers.
So when you read this column and find yourself feeling grateful for your community newspaper, send the publisher, the editor or your favorite reporter an email thanking them for what they do. More importantly, you can also show your support for journalism by reading the paper each day, paying for a subscription, taking out a classified ad and supporting the advertisers who recognize the newspaper as the best means for generating commerce in local communities.
News is not free, but it's worth every penny.
Lisa Schlichtman is editor of the Steamboat Pilot & Today and president of the Colorado Press Association board of directors.