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Montrose Daily Press

FRIDAY June 24, 2011

www.montrosepress.com

Racing past

Cancer

JOEL BLOCKER / DAILY PRESS

MMH – A Progressive Hospital The recent notoriety of Montrose Memorial Hospital (MMH) has made me reflect on its progress since I moved to town 40 years ago. Thomas J. It has changed dramatically from Chamberlain a small rural hosPHD, MD pital to a firstNotebook class regional medical center with a focus on current technology. Back in 1968, a new hospital administrator by the name of Steve Scott came to town and made a commitment to improve MMH. He was a true visionary and able to motivate people to think outside the box and be progressive. Under his leadership, the physical plant, medical equipment and quality of care were dramatically improved. He aggressively recruited physicians, particularly specialists. He established a policy that required all staff physicians to obtain 50 hours of continuing medical education every year. No other hospital in the state had this requirement and this policy is still in effect today. MMH was the first hospital in the state to have an accredited continuing education program. The annual Montrose fall clinics, held every September, is the longest running regional continuing education program in Colorado. As services were expanded, several major additions to the hospital were required. In 1978, MMH helped the Delta hospital set up its first coronary care unit by monitoring their patients with a dedicated phone line to our remote computerized cardiac monitoring equipment. This was a unique system and the only one in the state at the time. In 1979, MMH purchased the first Western Slope eye laser for the treatment of retinal diseases. In 1981, MMH was the first Western Slope hospital to have a full-body CT scanner. That was also the year when the Obstetrics Department SEE MMH, PAGE 3

Anselmo "Elmer" Peralta rides his bicycle down Frontage Road earlier this month. Peralta was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, also known as plasma cell myeloma, a cancer of plasma cells, in 1987. Peralta had two stem cell transplants during that time.

San Juan Cancer Center Celebrates Five Years BY ELAINE HALE JONES DAILY PRESS WRITER

The slogan rang out across the Uncompahgre Valley. "Today, the hospital needs you. Tomorrow, you may need the hospital." The words were etched in the minds of area residents over 60 years ago as they gathered together for a common goal: to raise the $480,000 (including equipment, furnishings and landscaping) needed to build the new Montrose Memorial Hospital (MMH). In 1980, the community again showed its generosity when it responded to a Rotary program aimed at raising money for a mammography unit to be used for early detection of breast cancer. More than $45,000 was raised in 48 hours. The same spirit of rallying together for a common cause intensified about 10 years ago when residents were asked to participate in a community-wide health care survey conducted by Montrose Memorial Hospital. Respondents overwhelmingly expressed two needs, Mary Snyder, MMH chief operating officer, said. "One was the fact that local residents were tired of driving to Grand Junction for cancer treatment. The second was the need for a cardiologist." Longtime Montrose resident, Karen DeJulio, recognized the need for localized cancer care long before the survey. In April and May of 1993, Karen drove her mother, Iris King, from Montrose to Grand Junction and back, five TIM FRATES / DAILY PRESS

San Juan Cancer Center at the corner of Park Avenue and South 5th Street, Montrose.

days a week, for eight weeks, for radiation treatments. Iris was receiving treatment for bladder cancer. "My mother, at the time, was 84 years old and weighed 80 pounds," DeJulio said. The drive to St. Mary's Hospital took an hour and a half, each way, for a treatment that took around 10 minutes. "It was exhausting for her, not so much from the actual treatment, but the driving time. We (my dad and I) made a bed for her in the back seat, but the last two days of her treatment, I remember my mom saying she was getting so tired she couldn't hardly handle it anymore," DeJulio said. In response to the community survey, the hospital set about recruiting a full-time oncologist. "This moved us into a partnership with St. Mary's Hospital and the University of Colorado Cancer Center," Snyder said. Raising funds to build a cancer center in Montrose required a huge commitment from the community and assistance from the San Juan Healthcare Foundation. A statuesized "foot" was the barometer used to record the percentage of contributions needed to reach the goal.

"It took 18 months to raise one million dollars," Snyder stated. "I had people who would literally bring me a handful of pennies (as a donation)," Francie Smiles, resource coordinator for the San Juan Cancer Center, recalled. "We had others, like the Olathe Sweet Corn Festival, that stepped up with a $25,000 donation." The San Juan Cancer Center opened its doors on April 3, 2006, on the corner of South Fifth Street and Park Avenue. The lower level houses radiation oncology while the upper level is dedicated to medical oncology (where chemotherapy is administered). In addition to offering a full range of services for the cancer patient and his/her family, there is ready access to specialists, clinical trials and protocols typically found only in larger metropolitan areas. "It's very unusual for a community this size to have a state-of-the-art facility like this," Snyder said. "It's truly a gift to the community." Another benefit of having the cancer center located in Montrose is the recruitment factor for other medical professionals. SEE THE SMALL TOWN TOUCH, PAGE 3


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OUTLOOK HEALTH & COMMUNITY

FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2011

MONTROSE DAILY PRESS

Molding future leaders

Two programs continue traditions of training community leaders

COURTESY PHOTOS

(Above, left) 4-H and FFA member Ernie Bacus washes his market lamb during the Montrose County Fair last summer. This year's fair is July 22-31. (Above) Local FFA students learn how to dock a lamb's tail during a workshop earlier this year.

4-H is a national whole time," he said. ‘Life skills and community are the program that works Not only has Grett In a primarily rural, agri- to empower young saved money for colfundamentals of our program.’ cultural community, two lo- people to reach their lege through his cal organizations — 4-H and full potential. It has livestock sales at fair Trent Hollister FFA — are giving area been doing so in time, he said the proCSU area 4-H and youth extension development youth the training and edu- Montrose County for gram has given him cation needed to be success- more than 80 years, opportunities to do agent for the Tri River area. ful leaders in the industry. Hollister said, and in things that other ▲ There are more than 275 2010, Colorado celeyouth organizations The number of projects don't provide. youths, as well as about 75 brated the program's cenunder these categories are adult volunteers, who par- tennial. The same can be said for "We are building future almost endless. ticipate in the 4-H program FFA, said Brett Saunders, community leaders and Youths learn about meat Montrose High FFA advisor. in Montrose County. quality assurance in the members," Hollister said. "Life skills and communi"We are not just training livestock program. They farm boys and girls anyThere are three main ty are the fundamentals of our program," said Trent project areas where a stu- can learn about soil when more. We look at the diHollister, CSU area 4-H and dent can be involved: live- growing produce and sci- verse world of agriculture, youth extension develop- stock, general/natural re- ence when they build a from the field to the table," ment agent for the Tri River sources and family con- rocket. There are even he said. projects that help one be a sumer science. area. The area's FFA, or Future skilled money manager or Farmers of America, has understand small engines. been in place since 1915 in These projects all require Montrose County. In 1929, bookkeeping to help partic- the leadership component ipants understand record was added. But in the 1980s, keeping and money man- the program was "updated" agement. at the national level to adAnd throughout one's ex- just to the changing agriperience in 4-H, there are cultural industry, Saunopportunities for leader- ders said. ship roles, both at the club There are three rings to and national levels. From the FFA education: class, these experiences, stu- leadership and hands-on. dents learn to run success- Each student is required to ful meetings and plan agen- take certain FFA classes das. while in high school. They Cole Grett, now 17, has must volunteer and run been in the 4-H program different programs as part since he was old enough to of the leadership aspect. participate at 9. And students must have a "It's definitely a learning hands-on project, whether COURTESY PHOTO experience and the first it be raising animals or Montrose High FFA students work on a welding project in the FFA couple years aren't easy, crops, or working at such shop during the school year. but I've been learning the places as the Bureau of BY KATI O'HARE DAILY PRESS WRITER

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Land Management office in natural resources. Currently, about 75 students are enrolled in the Montrose High FFA program; there also is a successful FFA program at Olathe High School. Nationwide, there are about a half million members. In Montrose County, FFA students are known for their high achievement in such areas as livestock judging, agricultural mechanics and soils, Saunders said. "FFA has done an excellent job of providing leadership training for these students," he said. "No matter what field they go into, it's a great value for them."

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OUTLOOK HEALTH & COMMUNITY

MONTROSE DAILY PRESS

FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2011

3

CANCER CENTER:

The small town touch FROM PAGE 1

Marva Victor, RN, Director of Oncology at the San Juan Cancer Center is one example. "The San Juan Cancer Center stood out to me because of its local focus," said the former Casper, Wyo. resident and breast cancer survivor. Victor is in charge of the "upstairs" medical oncology part of the cancer center, and although she misses the "instant gratification" of working one on one with patients, she described her current job as one of problem solver and facilitator. "We constantly have questions from the public (regarding our services)," Victor said. Victor's counterpart, business manager Tony Colaizzi, oversees the lower level of the center, which houses radiation oncology. "I've learned so much in the two years I've been here," Colaizzi said. "Interaction with

the patients has taught me how to be a stronger person." Both Victor and Colaizzi agree that their jobs are made easier by a caring and compassionate staff and volunteers. "Our staff is as good as gold," Colaizzi stated. Rarely does a medical care facility have its own "face" in the community. Francie Smiles' passion and dedication for cancer patients can be seen in her role as fundraiser and public relations director for the San Juan Cancer Center. "I could talk and talk about the center," she said. As a breast cancer survivor, Smiles understands the struggles and needs in the community. She has worked tirelessly as president of Bosom Buddies, the local breast cancer support group, which holds a walk/run each October to raise money to help local families fighting breast cancer. Last

year's event brought in more than $62,000. Smiles is currently coordinating a fundraiser for the cancer center titled, "Sock It To Cancer," where community members Francie Smiles presents the ‘Sock-it’ to Cancer campaign. can purchase an array of colorful bike socks. moments and keeping a Gunnison. The fundraiser sup- positive attitude. "Last winter, we had a ports Caring Friends, "We've had 'wig day' at patient from Sargents which helps out-of- the center where every- (the small community town patients, for exam- one on staff wore wigs," located on the west side ple, obtain overnight Smiles said. With the of Monarch Pass)," lodging, meals, gas and completion of treat- Smiles said. other necessities. ment, a patient receives When asked what "We're trying to raise a certificate and well services might be ex$50,000 for Caring wishes from the staff. panded over the next Friends," she said. Last summer, the cen- five years, Victor and In addition to oversee- ter also hosted a sur- Colaizzi noted the posing fundraising efforts, vivor's picnic on the sibility of Smiles performs what back lawn. many view as the lost On April 3, the San art of human interac- Juan Cancer Center at tion. Montrose Memorial "Francie visits our pa- Hospital celebrated its tients in the hospital fifth anniversary. To and also attends funer- date, the center has proals of those who have vided services to people passed on," Victor not- from a seven county ed. "Our staff really ap- area of southwestern preciates her efforts. It Colorado, includhelps with the morale ing Montrose, and provides closure Delta, Ouray, for many of us." San Miguel, Cancer care is also Hinsdale, about celebrating life's Saguache and

JOEL BLOCKER / DAILY PRESS

expanded hours, the addition of two more chairs (for chemotherapy patients) or another medical oncologist. "My dream is to do more screening clinics," Victor said. "It really is a miracle that we have this type of facility here in Montrose."

San Juan Cancer Center Stats • One million dollars was raised in 18 months to build the San Juan Cancer Center. DAILY PRESS FILE PHOTO

• Ground was broken on June 15, 2005, and the first patients were seen the following April. • During its first five years of operation, the San Juan Cancer Center has provided more than 20,358 chemotherapy and infusion treatments as well as 32,603 radiation treatments.

(Right) Efrain Garcia welds a joint section to the steel frame of the San Juan Cancer Center in September of 2005.

• The nursing staff at SJCC has more than 225 years of clinical experience.

MMH: First-class regional medical center FROM PAGE 1

opened up its new Birthing Center. Our physicians were pioneers on the Western Slope in performing the new procedures of intra-ocular lens implants and laparascopic surgery. Our Respiratory Care Department had the first registered and certified respiratory therapists. Our Cardiology Department introduced Cardiac Rehabilitation Classes and has now expanded to include diagnostic and interventional cardiac catheterizations. Our world-class San Juan Cancer Center offers sub-specialty oncology referrals and research protocols available locally. Our CEO, David Hample, has continued this commitment to progress and, with the support of the board of directors, has acquired the da Vinci Robotic Surgery System, a new 1.5 Tesla MRI and a new 64 slice CT scanner. Recently the Radiology Department was upgraded to all digi-

tal technology. Besides attracting the best physicians, up-to-date technology results in faster and more accurate medical diagnosis, which translates into better quality patient care. Because of the increasing complexity of health care delivery and the difficulty in hiring qualified hospital administrators, MMH signed a contract in 1989 with Quorum Health Resources (QHR) for management assistance. We are still one of the 135 QHR Hospitals today. MMH has been fortunate to attract excellent physicians, nurses and support staff. Patient satisfaction and quality of care scores are excellent and keep improving. Last week, Hample was at QHR headquarters in Nashville to receive the Leadership In Quality Initiatives Award for the best quality scores among medium sized QHR hospitals. We are truly blessed to have Montrose Memorial Hospital as our healthcare system.

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FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2011

OUTLOOK HEALTH & COMMUNITY

MONTROSE DAILY PRESS

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A dog's (and cat's) life Animal Shelter advancements aid pets, spur adoptions BY KATHARHYNN HEIDELBERG DAILY PRESS SENIOR WRITER

Fly the cat wants to go home. The long-haired black beauty stretches out his paws from between the bars of his cage, beckoning prospective pet owners to him. In the cages on either side, Jay the Siamese, and grayand-white Robin also put their best paw forward. So do beautiful, friendly dogs and puppies, who are outside in fresh-air kennels for a spell. But after a forever home, these strays and relinquishments are in one of the best places they can be: the Montrose Animal Shelter. The facility has come a long way in the past decade, and enjoyed an expansion in 2007 that pushed the square footage to about 5,000, enabling more services. Montrose Police Officer

Mike Duncan, animal services supervisor, credits the Montrose Animal Protection Association, "our biggest ally," for spearheading funding efforts. He also praised his higher-ups at the police department for supporting the shelter's mission, and the many volunteers and staffers who keep it running. "We've taken such big steps in the last 10 years," Duncan said. The shelter joined Western Colorado Animal Resources (WeCARe), a coalition of shelters and rescue societies. It's gone from having to euthanize animals that weren't adopted to enjoying "adoption-only" status for the past few years. (Feral cats and dogs that cannot be socialized often have to be euthanized, as do animals whose sickness KATHARHYNN HEIDELBERG / DAILY PRESS

(Left) A red-and-white kitten begs shelter supervisor Mike Duncan for a ride in the cattery. The cattery allows kittens and cats time out of their cages, and also give prospective adopters a chance to interact with the felines. (Below) Mike Duncan points to the vaccination card on a dog kennel at the facillity. Each cage or kennel contains an informational card to track the animals.

is untreatable.) There's now the Bill Pile Memorial Park, where volunteers walk dogs, and another park where potential adopters can "test drive" canines, by introducing them to other dogs in the family, under the watchful eye of shelter staff. And the shelter's proactive services include low-cost spay/neuter, vaccination and microchipping clinics, plus a policy that ensures shelter dogs and cats are sterilized before their new owners take them home. Other programs include trapping stray cats at area trailer parks, in advance of "kitten season," to prevent litters and find the cats homes. Facility size and design make a difference, explained Duncan. The shelter is designed to prevent the spread of disease: The adoption area for the general public is up front, separate from the areas where new arrivals are kept while they are assessed and vaccinated. Since that strategy was adopted, "we've gone from about a dozen parvo cases a year to one or two max," Duncan said. Parvo is a virus that causes death by dehydration. Dog adoption kennels used to be outside, and there was no quarantine or isolation policy. As part of the facility makeover, kennels were rebuilt in a way that allows wastes to run away from the animals, and to include "resting benches" so the dogs do not have to lie in it. Food is stored in airtight "silos" that dispense kibble into waiting buckets, and the shelter even makes use of empty

KATHARHYNN HEIDELBERG / DAILY PRESS

A spaniel-mix pup puts its best paw forward at the Montrose Animal Shelter April 27, as two other puppies check out their audience.

food bags. These wind up in Africa, where they are made into purses. And there's now separate holding areas for cats that are sick, cats not yet available for adoption, and cats ready for new homes. (The same applies to dogs.) Before that was possible, if one cat came down with a serious, untreatable disease, all cats housed in the same room had to be put down as a precaution. The shelter's "cattery" not only gives kittens and cats time outside their cages, but has also increased adoptions, Duncan said. "This has been really popular with people. It gives them a chance to see how kittens behave outside of a pen." The kittens in the cattery April 27 behaved by climbing Duncan's legs, and purring madly. Duncan's proud of the progress made, especially the adoption-only status. Under one of its grants, the shelter was required to become adoption-only in 10 years; it did it within two. "We were able to accomplish it right away," he said,

thanks to volunteers Beth Jones, who transports cats and dogs to no-kill facilities, and photographer Brian Cashion, who puts adoptable pets' pictures online. The transfer program has doubled the adoption rate, Duncan said, offering adult cats as an example. Before the program, grown felines had a 10 percent shot at finding a new home. Now they find a home "one way or another." The WeCARe coalition also helps spur adoptions. Participating organizations exchange pets between them, giving the animals a "new market." Transfers are only made to other adoption-only facilities. Participants also have an agreement to help out agencies that experience a natural disaster in their area. "Our network is just amazing now," said Duncan. "We all work together to try to home all of our pets. It just increases the chances tenfold over 10 years ago, when we all worked independently." And that's good news for area cats and dogs.


OUTLOOK HEALTH & COMMUNITY

MONTROSE DAILY PRESS

FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2011

5

Keeping student-athletes safe:

Doctor, trainers working with local school district in concussion management BY MATT LINDBERG DAILY PRESS WRITER

When a local high school football player suffered a head injury during a game a few years ago and came to Dr. Gayle Frazzetta, she had to make a decision as to whether he was okay to return to play. It wasn’t a decision Frazzetta took lightly. Knowing the boy might have suffered a serious injury, she was prompted to research concussion management. Concussions should not be taken lightly, the doctor said. “We tend to think they are not as important as they should be. They tend to be minimized by coaches, parents and the athletes themselves. We haven‘t recognized the long-term damaging impact of concussions,” Frazzetta said. Those long-term effects include depression, chronic disabilities and even death, she said. She also noted that it could hurt an individual with daily tasks, such as getting a job. But that’s not how concussions are depicted. Pop culture has shown athletes in films or television who suffer concussions as being OK after a coach has them count the number of fingers they are holding up or by asking them basic

questions. If they answer correctly, they go back into the game. That’s definitely not a good way to determine if a player is suitable for action after suffering a concussion, the doctor said. “Historically, concussion management has been a sideline decision, and it’s more complicated than that. There are new things available,” Frazzetta said. “A concussion is not a structural problem with the brain. It’s a functional problem with the brain, which is why if you got an MRI, it would be normal.” Frazzetta has been instrumental in bringing new developments to Montrose County School District, which started requiring middle and high school athletes to take a baseline screening and ImPACT tests in recent years. ImPACT, which was developed in the early 1990s by Drs. Mark Lovell and Joseph Maroon, is a 20 minute test taken on a computer. It measures an athlete’s verbal and visual memory, processing speed, reaction time and symptoms. Local students are required to take the test when they suffer a head injury, and the results are compared with their baseline screening, which is the same test athletes take

at the beginning of the school year. The baseline test and ImPACT results are compared to determine if an athlete can return to play. “They can’t fake the test,” Frazzetta said. In Motion Therapy Athletic Trainers Jasmin DesRosier and Dan Soderlind work MATT LINDBERG/DAILY PRESS with Olathe and Montrose high schools, re- Dan Soderlind, In Motion Therapy Athletic Trainer, runs through a balance test with April spectively, and said the Lakin to determine if she is suffering from a concussion. new measures the district is taking with turn process once suf“It’s policy,” Soder- ting good treatment, concussions is neces- fering a concussion, lind noted. Frazzetta said. sary. And though it’s like“At this point, it’s the which includes rest, “When you see what and a gradual increase ly ways to treat a con- best we have to offer,” could potentially hap- in regimen, before cussion will evolve she said. pen when a kid returns they are cleared to and improve, local athto play when they play. letes are currently getshouldn’t, it’s devastating,” DesRosier said. “It’s a good thing. It gives the kids, the parents and coaches proof of why we aren’t approving them to play.” Soderlind said he had 18 Montrose High athletes suffer a concussion in various sports, including football, soccer, basketball, swimming and wrestling. “It’s good to have this because communication is key. Everyone has to be on the same page,” Soderlind said. “The term concussion itself means mild traumatic brain injury. I think there is just a lack of understanding.” Both trainers said every athlete goes through a five day re-

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OUTLOOK HEALTH & COMMUNITY

FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2011

MONTROSE DAILY PRESS

Progressive policing: Community policing approach a 'win-win' BY KATHARHYNN HEIDELBERG DAILY PRESS SENIOR WRITER

Here’s a secret: Policing isn't all about chasing down criminals — it's also about helping citizens in a way that nips problems in the bud. The Montrose Police Department takes a proactive approach to that job, one that involves teamwork between the protectors and the protected — the community policing model, begun locally under former Police Chief Gary Mecham, and continued under Chief Tom Chinn. "We can't be everywhere at one time, and the general public are our eyes and ears as to what's going on out there," said Officer Shawn Bornschein in May, as he patrolled local neighborhoods. Community policing is a law enforcement technique that supplements traditional policing practices. The traditional techniques use arrest as the primary enforcement tool, and can lead to an "us vs. them" mentality, accord-

ing to the MPD's community policing curriculum. But community policing is different. "Basically, community policing is a partnership of police and the community, working together," said Montrose Police Cmdr. Gene Lillard. "You take care of a problem, reduce repeats, and going back to the same place time after time" on the same complaint. The philosophy has been especially effective in keeping down crime in housing complexes (see sidebar.) The Montrose Police Department uses the "SARA" model developed by the Colorado Regional Community Policing Institute: Scanning, Analysis, Response and Assessment. The method is effective in addressing everything from noise complaints to graffiti — even trash accumulation at a trailer park that was well on the way to creating a health hazard. Lillard did not name the mobile home community, but said two offi-

cers went there with city sanitation workers, and worked with residents to haul away trash by the truckload. "This community policing project helped clean up that neighborJOEL BLOCKER / DAILY PRESS hood. It was done in conjunction with the police Montrose Police Officer Robbie Satterly writes out a citation to a citizen who ran a red department, city, and light on the corner of East Main Street and Cascade Avenue in early 2008. citizens of the mobile home park," said Lil- said. method," Lillard said. policing," he said. lard. "You can call it a And calls related to And without commu"The main purpose is win-win." student-homeowner nity policing? to serve and protect the The community polic- conflict in the area "I think we'd proba- community from crime ing approach also cut dropped from 70 a year bly be at a loss if we and problems. … It's the complaint calls from the to five a year. didn't embrace and citizens who we serve. neighborhood surCommunity policing support community That's why we're here." rounding Montrose is also an effective tool High School, said Mon- for curtailing graffiti trose Police Sgt. Paul and other types of vanA few years back, Mon- the criminal element taking Eller. dalism. trose had a problem: Crime over that housing, and chasThe police worked The police departwas rife in some multi-family ing out the good tenants," with the school district ment implemented a housing units, and imperiling said Montrose Police Sgt. and homeowners to ad- three-year community their law-abiding residents, Paul Eller. dress trespass and nui- policing program to During the first year of testas well as tying up police sance issues caused by eradicate this public ing out the program, calls for time with repeat calls. students. At first, offi- nuisance, Eller exservice there dropped by 60 The solution: A crime-free cers were stationed in plained, and now there percent. By the second year, housing program, which the area for two hours is a city ordinance recalls had dropped by 80 pergoes hand-in-hand with every school day morn- quiring graffiti to be recent, enough, said Eller, "to community policing and got ing, at noon, and after moved. get the green light on the its start in 1992, in Arizona, school. Through community program." under Clinton-era legislation "Once we did the com- policing, officers partHe obtained formal traindesigned to reduce gang acmunity policing project nered with victims and ing, and the program was imtivity and other crimes in puband worked with every- other organizations, plement locally in 2006, with lic housing. one to solve the prob- such as church groups, 39 properties (382 units) lem, it reduced (patrol) to paint over the graffiti. participating. How it works: to once or twice a week "That's basically a "We had a 14-percent re• Law enforcement and for a half hour," Eller problem-solving

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Welcome to Our Backyard!

Plan a family reunion or an outdoor reception (rent our 20’ x 40’ enclosed/windows tent) or have a picnic, throw Frisbees, fly kites, jog or walk along our paths. Church groups, ministries and clubs are welcomed. Upcoming Events: Jul. 27 - Aug. 17 Family Bible Adventures 7-8 pm Aug. 6 Teen Capture the Flag Night 8-10 pm Sept. 21 Men’s Fraternity 6 am Sept. 25 ‘Walking On Water’ family movie 4 pm Sept. 28 ‘See You at the Pole’ event 7 am Fall, 2011 Building a Strong & Loving Family TBA Common Ground Montrose Inc., exists to bring kids, families, churches and the community together through common ground in Christ. Our mission is to provide a place where the whole person – spirit, mind and body – is developed in Christ. Common Ground is a component fund of the Montrose Community Foundation, a Colorado 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Donations accepted.

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property owners/managers partner up. The managers are taught how to select good tenants without violating fair housing standards. • Managers conduct criminal and financial background checks on prospective tenants. • The tenants sign a contract. • Landlords are notified if a tenant commits a crime, and can then begin eviction procedures, "So we don't have

duction in calls for service, a 12-percent reduction in reports, and a 28-percent increase in arrests," Eller said. The program reduced criminal activity at the properties between 40 and 80 percent in its first year. "It's a great example of community policing," Eller said. "It gets the community in touch with us, and we're working together. It's not us versus them. It builds a level of trust in the community."


MONTROSE DAILY PRESS

OUTLOOK HEALTH & COMMUNITY

FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2011

7

Black Canyon Boys & Girls Club Introducing . . . looks to expand as demand grows Homemaking BY JOEL BLOCKER DAILY PRESS WRITER

The community of Montrose has seen its share of growth, but for the last 11 years, the Black Canyon Boys & Girls Club has steadily seen its numbers increase so much that it soon will offer a full-day summer program for area youths. Justin Kiehl, executive director of the Black Canyon Boys & Girls Club, knew the demand was there. So, one of the first things he wanted to do with the club was expand its reach in the summer. "It's a pretty standard practice with boys and girls clubs that they're open the full day during the summer," Kiehl said. In previous years, the club's summer hours were till noon, but Kiehl said this summer the club will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. "So many parents are taking advantage of it (summer program) that maybe didn't do so in the past because they had to pick their kids up at noon," he said. "Parents are now in a position where they don't have to worry about picking up their kids until the end of the day." A summer club in Olathe is another goal of Kiehl's. But a much larger goal for the club is to someday build or buy a larger facility that it can call home. Over the years, the club has shifted to different locations, mostly in donated church space, never having a spot of its own.

with a

JOEL BLOCKER / DAILY PRESS

Caleb Christensen, far left, Black Canyon Boys & Girls Club junior staff member, hands out snacks to members earlier this year.

In 2008, the board of directors did a feasibility study with Diversified Non-Profit Services (DMS) group. The study had positive results, Kiehl said. DMS found community support for a larger facility, as well as enough youths who needed and could use such a place. But it also reported that the club should wait until at least 2010 to launch a capital campaign because, at the time, the economy was so bad that it wouldn't support such a venture. The study also found the club needs to get its image out better to the community. "I've bumped into so many people that didn't even know Montrose had a Boys and Girls Club," Kiehl said. More details regarding the facility are not being released until the board makes those

final decisions. "My hope is that by 2012 the club will be launching a capital campaign to build a multi-purpose facility to house our boys and girls club," Kiehl said. Meanwhile, the club continues to serve who it can — 50 kids daily in Montrose and 30 to 35 kids daily in Olathe. "The Boys and Girls Club is a needed organization that gives kids a positive place to go and keeps them out of trouble," said 18year-old member Caleb Christensen, who was recently awarded a full-ride, four-year college scholarship for his speech at the state Youth of the Year competition. Kiehl added, "The impact we can have on the community can't be fully seen until we can increase the number we serve."

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In 11 years of operation the Black Canyon Boys and Girls club has served: • 88,000 free snacks to club members • 14,500 free meals to summer club members • 4,015 Club Members

COURTESY PHOTO

Members of the Black Canyon Boys and Girls Club pose for a photo during the club’s summer program.

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8

OUTLOOK HEALTH & COMMUNITY

FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2011

MONTROSE DAILY PRESS

Montrose County School District RE1J Early Childhood Centers' locations: Montrose Early Childhood Center 18265 S. Hwy 550 Montrose, CO 81401 (970) 249-2548 Riverbottom Early Childhood Center 900 Colorado Avenue, #4A and #4B Montrose, CO 81401 (970) 249-5858 West Olathe Early Childhood Center 294 Hap Court Olathe, CO 81425 (970) 323-6449

Making a difference: Early Childhood Center having positive effect on students BY MATT LINDBERG DAILY PRESS WRITER

Educating young children is no easy task, but it's a challenge one local program happily accepted more than 20 years ago in a small trailer off Colorado Avenue. Fast forward to 2011, the Montrose County School District RE-1J Early Childhood Centers has expanded to three different locations (two in Montrose, one in Olathe) and has seen thousands of students' social skills flourish. "It's pretty amazing to see how our students transition from the fall to the spring," said center director Cathy Quade-Crane. "It's in-

credible to see how quickly they have learned." The goal of the center is to work with families and the community to acquire a foundation for lifelong learning. Now in its 23rd year, the center has three major units: the Colorado Preschool Program, Special Education Program and its Head Start Program. The Colorado Preschool Program (CPP) is a state funded preschool program that was established in 1988. The program's goal is to assist 3-to 4-year-old children who are identified as being potentially atrisk, before entering kindergarten. The Special Education Program offers services to preschool children with identified special needs. The Head Start Program, which is in its 20th year, provides preschool services to children of low-in-

come families with nutritional and psychological needs. Students must qualify under income eligibility be 3 by Sept. 15 of the current school year, and not age-eligible for kindergarten. The centers are required to have at least one teacher and one paraprofessional in each classroom, and there is no program division for students, as all students, regardless of which program they are enrolled in, are grouped together. The centers currently host nearly 300 students, whose schedules are packed. A typical day includes reviewing and learning literacy and mathematics curriculum, a structured motor skills program, and center time, in which students can create art, play with blocks and most importantly, interact with one another. The latter helps with children's development, the director said.

In these courtesy photos, children frolic in the snow (above); give free rein to their musical talents (left), and enjoy finger painting (right).

Summer is Blooming with Events!

July Montrose International Food & Music Festival ~ July 2 4th of July Parade ~ July 4 Montrose Music Festival & BBQ Competition ~ July 4 Fireworks ~ July 4 Night Vision ~ July 8 & 9 Black Canyon Quilt Show ~ July 8 - 10 Colorful Colorado Car Show ~ July 15 & 16 Grin & Barrett Black Canyon Butt-Kicker Charity Ride ~ July 16 Montrose County Fair & Rodeo ~ July 22-31

August Olathe Sweet Corn Festival ~ August 5 & 6 Montrose Rod & Gun Show ~ August 19 & 21 Harvest Festival ~ August 20 PAX Gala ~ August 27

September Chipeta Day ~ September 3 Uncompahgre Valley Muses Festival ~ September 3 18th Annual Antique & Collectibles Show ~ September 16-18 Montrose Indian Nations Pow Wow ~ September 23-25

Ongoing Events and Activities: Main In Motion ~ Every Thursday June 2- August 18 Montrose Farmer’s Market ~ Every Saturday May-Oct from 8:30am to 1pm Fun Runs ~ Every Tuesday at 6pm

For more information on any of these events go to

visitmontrose.com

Mission Statement: In partnership with our families and our communities, the children of the Montrose County School District RE-1J Early Childhood Centers will acquire a foundation for lifelong learning. Vision: • To promote lifelong learning for the children, families and staff. • To promote and maintain professionalism by encouraging staff to continue their education and licenses. • To explore methods to help students to become more successful. "We really focus on those social skills," Quade-Crane said. "We want all of our kids to be considered equals in the classroom, and it's been nice to see. Our kids are so cool and so accepting of one another." Watching the centers' development over the past 23 years has been special, and the goal is to continue expanding by acquiring various grants, Quade-Crane said. "I've been watching this place grow from the roots," she said.


OUTLOOK HEALTH & COMMUNITY

MONTROSE DAILY PRESS

FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2011

9

Nurse Midwife center reaches area's indigent women BY KATI O'HARE DAILY PRESS WRITER

About 20 years ago, the county's indigent women were without a medical home — besides the emergency room — to go for their health concerns, prenatal care or deliveries. But when this was recognized, the community stepped up and the Nurse Midwife Service was born out of Montrose Memorial Hospital. The Nurse Midwife Service, at 900 S. Fourth Street, does more than deliver babies. (Although it did deliver more than 130 local babies in 2010). The center provides women's health screenings, annual exams, education and consultations. After all, midwife means "with woman." "Our focus is healthy women," said Debra Chapman, clinic director, certified nurse midwife and family nurse practitioner. Center staff takes that focus very seriously, seeing women of all ages and nationalities, regardless of their ability to pay. A majority of its clients are uninsured, and about 75 percent speak only Spanish, making the clinic's bilingual staff an important resource. "Our goal is to provide good care

to women, regardless," Chapman said. There are six midwives employed through the hospital, three of whom are part-time. "It's more personal here," Chapman explained. Women get one-on-one attention and many feel more comfortable sharing their challenges with another women than with a family practitioner, who is usually male, she said. High risk patients, however, are recommended to physicians. Nurse midwives, slightly different from registered midwives, don't have to have a physician's license to practice. But they must have a master's degree in nursing, which is required by the state, and deliveries are done in the hospital or birthing center, not at home. The team of midwives has a good relationship with local physicians and others in obstetric and gynecology (OB/GYN). This allows them, and their clients, to get the proper care they need when they need it. The nurse midwives use all their resources to make sure that area women are well educated and get the necessary prenatal care, which

The Montrose Memorial Hospital Nurse Midwife Service's team includes: (back row from left) nurse midwives, Erin Newman, Shauna Jones, Debra Chapman and office assistant and LPN Norma Olivas; (front row from left) nurse midwives DeEdda Mclean, Ann Rivera, Kim Richards and Teresa FrickCrawford. Not pictured is Jocelyn Ramierz. COURTESY PHOTO

in turn has reduced infant deaths and premature births in the area. The local midwives also have a low C-section rate — 8.7 percent in 2010, compared to the national rate of about 30 percent. Nurse midwife Theresa FrickCrawford said she believes it is important to find out what the expecting mother wants, whether it be a natural birth or an epidural.

"Here, it's a thought-out option, not a given," she said. "I really enjoy the opportunity to talk to women, find out what they want, respect their choices and provide them the education so they understand that choice." For more information, contact the clinic at 252-2542.

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10

OUTLOOK HEALTH & COMMUNITY

FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2011

MONTROSE DAILY PRESS

JOEL BLOCKER / DAILY PRESS

Area youths pack the indoor swimming pool at the Montrose Recreation District's swimming pool earlier this month.

Eyeing expansion: Montrose Recreation District aims to grow in near future BY MATT LINDBERG DAILY PRESS SPORTS EDITOR

Bigger and better — that's what the Montrose Recreation District is investigating in the coming months. The district's current Aquatic Center is 23,000 square feet and

boasts a 17,000 square foot swimming pool, as well as several offices, classrooms and tennis courts. But the Aquatic Center, located at 25 Colorado Ave., is 25 years old and nearing the end of its shelf life.

At this point, it is becoming difficult to maintain because of all the repairs required, said Ken Sherbenou, district director. That's why the district recently put together a 24-person task force. The group will

explore whether a multi-purpose community recreation center should be built in the near future, similar to other Western Slope communities, such as Delta, Cortez and Fruita. The task force is

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made of people in the community, ranging from high-school age to senior citizens from all walks of life, including retired teachers, bankers, public officials and doctors. "The task force will be the driving influence in the study to evaluate the cost and benefit of a multi-purpose recreation center," Sherbenou said. "The recreation district has a lot of potential to continue improving the quality of life in Montrose, and we are thankful for the group of motivated citizens to steep the process." In addition to the drop-in opportunities at the Aquatic Center, the district offers 428 programs per year and serves 360 people per day. The district has seen the number of people it serves each year grow, but its facility is starting to show significant wear and tear, Sherbenou said. To address concerns about the pool and unmet needs, the district has put 25 percent of its budget ($478,125) for 2011 into capital reserves it plans to use to help cover expenses of potential construction. In terms of operational costs, Sherbenou said multi-purpose recreation centers recover a lot more fees to cover costs, which reduces the need for subsidy. The two most recent

centers built, in Fruita and Fraser Valley, are largely self-sustaining. In addition, 15 percent of construction costs were paid by alternative funding, such as grants and philanthropy, Sherbenou said. He also said the Montrose Recreation District hopes to achieve similar results should a proposal be put on the ballot by the Board of Directors and gain the needed community support. As for the specifics of paying for the total cost of a new center, it's still too early to tell. But Sherbenou said that's the reason for the task force and the feasibility study. Several public meetings will be held in the next six months and the district wants citizens to attend and give input. Once scheduled, meetings will be listed at www.montroserec.com. "The feasibility study will hopefully give us a plan that relies mostly upon funding mechanisms from existing resources," Sherbenou said. Ultimately, the recreation district just wants to benefit the community as much as possible. "We strive to be a central institution to promote a better quality of life in Montrose and be an engine for economic development. People move to communities because of the quality of life. Indoor recreation to compliment the natural outdoor opportunities could benefit the entire community."

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JOEL BLOCKER / DAILY PRESS

Joe Huiting, right, works with Ellis Mullen, 5, on his hitting skills during a Montrose Recreation tee-ball practice held at McNeil Field earlier this month.


OUTLOOK HEALTH & COMMUNITY

MONTROSE DAILY PRESS

FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2011

11

COURTESY PHOTOS

(Above) Narrow gauge met standard gauge at the railroad depot in Montrose. The Spanish-Mission style structure was built in 1914. (Below, Right) This four-story courthouse was dedicated on Dec. 7, 1923, after a year of work by architects, stone masons and contractors.

Historical

Montrose A community active in historical preservation BY ELAINE HALE JONES DAILY PRESS WRITER

The Colorado Historical Society's Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation is encouraging communities across the state to "Participate in Preservation." Over the past four decades, the community of Montrose has been an active participant in preserving its rich heritage, from the Ute tribes, to railroads, freighters, the development of water resources, diversified agricultural products and livestock. Currently there are more than a dozen places listed on the national register in and near Montrose (aside from the county). These properties include buildings, structures and archaeological sites. While numerous buildings in Montrose have received this designation, the Shavano Valley Rock Art Site represents recent efforts to preserve a site close to being desecrated, thus its "address restricted" status on the registry. Examples of Montrose locales, where preserving local history remains a top priority, include: J.V. Lathrop House When early-day Montrose residents rode by the city's newest and largest residence, built by J.V. and Emma Lathrop in 1902 at a cost of $10,000, they were no doubt envious of the couple's grand home. Lathrop

came to Montrose in 1890 and operated Lathrop Hardware until 1916. The Lathrop House featured 11 rooms and was designed with simple classic lines and interior and exterior pillars. Now a Main Street landmark, the Lathrop House joined the national register in 1988. Throughout its 109-year-old existence, the building has served as both a private residence and home to various businesses. Thomas B. Townsend House In 1980, the historic home located on South 5th Street in Montrose was listed on the National Register. The two-story brick residence was constructed in 1882 by Thomas B. Townsend, an Englishman who came to the area to pursue investments in mines near Silverton. Townsend was also a co-founder of the Montrose County Bank. The residence includes elements of the Queen Anne style such as an asymmetrical complex roof line, a projecting bay window and detailed wood trim. Montrose County Courthouse Change to benefit the community was the feeling Montrose residents shared when the new four-story courthouse was dedicated on Dec. 7, 1923, after a year of work by architects, stone masons and contrac-

JOEL BLOCKER / DAILY PRESS

In 1920, this Methodist Episcopal Church was completed at the corner of Park Avenue and South First Street.

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tors. The new structure, dedicated to the exservice men and taxpayers of Montrose County, was built entirely of native stone with a red tile roof and four immense JOEL BLOCKER / DAILY PRESS columns framThe Townsend House is located at South 5th Street. ing the entrance. Inside, the memorial hall sat on crude boards stretched across was finished with tile flooring and nail kegs. In 1886, the Methodist Tennessee marble on the sides. Episcopal Church was completed at the corner of North Second and CasUte Memorial Site cade Streets. By 1905, however, the The Ute Memorial Site joined the brick church was in dire need of reNational Register in 1970. Located pair and plans were started for a two miles south of Montrose, the new church located at its present losite includes approximately 13 cation on the corner of Park Avenue acres of Ute Chief Ouray's original and South First Street. The new ranch lands and is home to the state Methodist Church, which featured a historical society's Ute Indian Mu- spacious balcony, was completed in seum. The museum remains first 1920. and foremost the story of a people Denver & Rio Grande Depot who left an enduring legacy to all fuRailroads played a key role in the ture generations of Coloradans. To- growth of Montrose and provided day, the flags of three individual Ute an additional anchor to the downtribes--Southern, Ute Mountain and town area. During its heyday, the Northern--fly in unity over the mu- rail yard was home to both narrow seum, the only institution of its and standard gauge lines and was kind in the area devoted solely to the the nucleus of activity for the town. legacy of one tribe. In 1912, a new Spanish/Mission style depot was built by the D&RG Methodist Episcopal Church Railroad. After many years of servThe first Methodist church serv- ing as a railroad depot, the building ice in Montrose was held in a car- was donated to the city of Montrose. pentry shop across the street from In 1972, it was reopened as a museBuddecke & Diehl's Opera House. um by the Montrose County HistorThere were no pews; parishioners ical Society. Buildings • Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge (added 2004), 107 S. Cascade Ave. • Montrose Masonic Temple, Lodge No. 63 (added 2004), 500 block of East Main St. • Sherman and Ross Block (added 2003), 200 block of Main St. • Methodist Episcopal Church (added 1999), 19 S. Park Ave. • Montrose County Courthouse (added 1994), 320 S. 1st St. • Uncompahgre Valley Water Users Association (added 1991), 601 N. Park Ave. • Lathrop House (added 1988), 718 Main St. • Montrose Post Office (added 1986), 321 S. 1st St. • Denver & Rio Grande Depot (added 1982), now home to Montrose Historical Museum. • Montrose City Hall (added 1982), 433 S. 1st St. • Townsend House (added 1980), 222 S. 5th St. Archaeological sites • Shavano Valley Rock Art Site (added 2001)--address restricted. • Ute Memorial Site (added 1970), U.S. 550, Montrose. Structures • Gunnison Tunnel Project (added 1979), east of Montrose.

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12

FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2011

OUTLOOK HEALTH & COMMUNITY

MONTROSE DAILY PRESS

Hospital advances in technology for rural community BY KATI O'HARE DAILY PRESS WRITER

Although Montrose Memorial Hospital is nestled in a rural community on the Western Slope of Colorado, that hasn't hindered its high level of service. This 75-bed, not-for-profit regional medical center has some of the latest, state-of-the-art technology. Montrose Memorial Hospital (MMH) is the only hospital on the Western Slope to have the "Si" generation of the daVinci, said hospital spokeswoman Leann Tobin. This $1.7 million robotic device replicates the operative experience and control of open surgery by preserv-

Partnerships provide faster, safer services ing natural eye-hand-instrument control, said urologist Dr. Craig Peterson. "It takes what I do and makes me better," he said. The daVinci provides surgeons with natural dexterity and range of motion far greater than what they have with their human hands. And it allows them to view what they are doing by 10times magnification. This technology gives the patient a safer surgery, with smaller incisions, less blood loss and a faster recovery, Peterson said.

Another piece of equipment that strengthens the hospital's services sits in its medical imaging department. "I think we are fortunate to have a 64 slice CT scanner," said Paula Krull, director of the department. The new CT scanner, much like the hospital's new MRI scanner, allows a doctor to see in more detail. And with a clearer picture, there is a higher level of information to evaluate what is going on, Krull said. The scanner is faster than

COURTESY PHOTOS

(Left) Dr. Craig Peterson, urologist with Montrose Memorial Hospital, sits in front of the hospital's Da Vinci Si. (Below) Doctors prep for surgery where they will use the da Vinci. Montrose Memorial Hospital also has a da Vinci.

traditional scanners, so less time is spent in confinement while the test is being ran. Because Montrose is rural, communication and relationships with other hospitals are important for the safety and recovery of patients. The medical imaging department has an advance PACS system that allows providers or other hospitals to see images. This would allow a Denver Children's Hospital specialist, for example, to view a Montrose child's CT scan to determine if the patient needs to be transfered. An on-call surgeon also can use the system to view images from his home. "I've been in the field for 30 years, this is amazing and so beneficial for patients," Krull said. Another partnership with the Swedish Medical Center in Denver is in the works, and it will provide MMH patients with 24-hour access to acute

care neurology physicians. "Through telemedicine, specialists will be immediately available for an audio and video consultation that will enhance the patient care, improve the timeliness of treatment, and hopefully, avoid the need for transport," said Joan Napolilli, the hospital's chief nursing officer. "Within five minutes we notify Swedish, we'll have an acute neurologist there." And when someone has had a stroke, it's that speed that counts, she said. Along with its advances in state-of-the-art technology, the hospital has a strong physician base. Ninety-five percent of its physicians are board certified. "We are very fortunate to have the large, diverse medical staff that we have at MMH," said Tobin. "If you compare us to hospitals of similar size in rural settings, you will see that we have a widely diverse and highly trained medical staff."

COURTESY PHOTO

(Above) Left to Right: CT technologists: Gina Ramsey, Angie Holman, Julie Hines

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OUTLOOK HEALTH & COMMUNITY

MONTROSE DAILY PRESS

FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2011

13

Controlling Main Street City swaps streets with state opening new opportunities system, U.S. Highway 50 brought travelers through Montrose's downtown to meet north-south bound traffic along U.S. Highway 550. Along with those travelers, the highway also brought heavy truck congestion and restricted use of the city's Main Street. But in June 2010 — during the summer kickoff to Montrose's sig-

nature Thursday downtown event, "Main in Motion" — the street was Although a major crossroads for dedicated back to the city, and the commerce for many years, Main city's northern major arterial, San Street — recently given back to the Juan bypass, became the new Highcity from the state — is once again way 50 route. poised to serve as a community foAlthough there were issues at cal point for events, festivals and first of confusing signs and demarkets. creased tourist pass-through trafSince the creation of the highway fic, city staff held on to their convictions that Main Street would be vibrant again. In the summer of 2010, residents and visitors enjoyed an expanded Main in Motion that included a three-block street closure — made possible by the swap. "It feels right ... I give it a big thumbs up," said resident Todd Fields during the kickoff event. Since then, more events have followed, utilizing Main Street to bring new life to downtown Montrose. During its eighth year, the Montrose Wine Festival also stepped out of its traditional setting. "Our board had a major decision," said board member Shelley Sale, "to decide if we are a wine festival that can grow with the community ..." The decision was made to expand and take it to Main Street. The festival, which added food this year to become Montrose Wine and Food Festival, expanded from two evenings to four days, two of which closed Main Street for food vendors, live music and good times. The festival also teamed up with several other coinciding events to utilize and draw even more pedestrians to the Main Street venue. The Farmer's Market took one area, while wine tasting took another. There was live music and fundraising booths. Since Main Street was no longer a state highway, the closure continued through JOEL BLOCKER / DAILY PRESS the night to allow for an early mornArea residents walk Main Street during the opening night of the 10th annual Main in ing bicycling start for the charity Motion earlier this month. This is the second year the city has allowed a street closure event, "Mission to Ride." and the first year the 12-week event will have street closures from Townsend to JuncThe swap of the San Juan bypass tion. Main in Motion will continue every Thursday evening until Aug. 18. for Main Street was in the works for BY KATI O'HARE DAILY PRESS WRITER

JOEL BLOCKER / DAILY PRESS

People gather in the streets during the Montrose Wine and Food Festival held May 14.

a number of years. It took many city staff hours to make it possible and was a special project to former city manager Mary Watt. "Our community has anticipated the realization of this opportunity for many years," she said when the city received an August 2009 approval from the Colorado Transportation Commission for the swap. "I am thrilled ... and anxious to move forward with the possibilities that it has created for downtown Montrose." She retired as manager shortly after the swap was final. Timeline of events for the swap of Main Street for San Juan Bypass • November 2000: San Juan Bypass completed by the City of Montrose. • November 2008: Colorado Department of Transportation and city enter into formal discussion on transferring highway designation. • November 2008 - July 2009: research conducted, records compiled and necessary materials gathered to present to the Colorado Transportation Commission for approval of the swap. • August 2009: Colorado Transportation Commission approves swap. • April 2010: City passes resolution to accept ownership of Main Street. • June 2010: City holds ribbon cutting for Main Street during the season's first Main in Motion.

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Family Support Programs • Colorado Works – job skills testing, Job Club, job search counseling • Employment First – job search counseling • Fatherhood Program (Empowering Dads) • Healthy Steps - nurse home visitation to provide mentoring, support, parenting education for young families • Community Support - Nurturing Parenting & Child in the Middle classes, Tot play groups, Toy Lending Library • Nurse Home Visitation - First time moms from pregnancy through age 2 of child • Teen Companion Program – School dropout prevention, pregnancy prevention 10-18 yr olds. • LEAP – Energy assistance October-April yearly Nutrition Assistance • MEDICAID/CHP+ - medical insurance (food & education) • WIC (Women, Infants, Children) – Pregnant, • Single Entry Point – in-home assessments to assist in services to prevent or delay nursing breastfeeding and birth to age 5 home entry • SNAP – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance • Child Care Assistance Program – supplements Program child care costs for working families if qualify • Breastfeeding support counselor • Home-based services and life skills Environmental Health Additional Services • Retail food license consultation & inspections • Veteran’s Service Officer • Food handler training classes • TB testing • Radon training and technical assistance • Chronic disease screening – Lipids, • Health hazards investigation & consultation Hemoglobin, HgA1c Immunizations • Infant, Child & Adult immunizations • Walk-in Immunization Clinic every Wednesday and Thursday • Foreign Travel Immunizations Family Planning/Women’s Health • Annual physical exam with Pap test • Free Pregnancy tests • Sexually Transmitted Disease testing and treatment (men & women) • Free and Low Cost Mammograms • Contraceptive methods provided • FREE Rapid HIV testing available All Services are private & confidential

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14

OUTLOOK HEALTH & COMMUNITY

FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2011

COURTESY/SUSAN RICE

Hasten Sutherland shares a story with his mom, Allie Sutherland, at the Naturita Library. The recently renovated library is a community centerpiece and was named best small library in America by the Library Journal.

Books and beyond Naturita library the tie that binds community BY KATHARHYNN HEIDELBERG DAILY PRESS SENIOR WRITER

When Susan Rice looks around her economically depressed town of 650, she doesn't see excuses. She sees opportunity — an opportunity for her library to foster a sense of community pride and development. And the Naturita Community Library must be doing something right: The facility won enough support from the town for a mill levy that helped it expand from 500 square feet to 4,400 in 2009. Thanks to the vision of Montrose Library District Director Paul Paladino, the new facility used the ecofriendly straw bale construction method, and geothermal heating that has trimmed utility bills to about $400 a month, despite the new building's size. The efforts culminated in Naturita Library in February being named "Best Small

Library in America" by the National Library Journal. "I like to think of it as the Pulitzer Prize of the library world," said Rice, the library coordinator, on April 20. "We are so honored they were able to see and feel the wonderful avocation (Montrose Library District Development Officer) Amy McBride wrote for us." The library also was named the Colorado Association of Libraries "Library Project of the Year" in 2010. But the library was serving Naturita long before it collected the accolades. Even in the old building, it offered beneficial programming, and its summer reading program's turnout "was part of the catalyst that helped our community buy into a mill levy," Rice said. After the mill levy passed in 2006, private funders, led by the Telluride Foundation, stepped forward.

"What we do here is, we're able to change, or help change, the culture in our community. By that I mean we do toddler and baby programs. We help these kids get ready for school," Rice said. The programs foster literacy and promote education through kid-friendly activities. The library also provides outreach to enable teachers in the West End School District to attend hour-long professional learning programs. "We go into the school and we do a program for those kids that stay from 2 to 3 (p.m.)." Rice explained. That allows the teachers to leave for their training. The library further conducts outreach at Nucla's Learning Center by bringing its baby and toddler program there once a week. On April 19, the school district approved bus transport so the Learning Center's preschool-

ers can attend the library's summer program. Attendance at Naturita Library's teen night picked up once the library secured funding for Wii gaming consoles — but never fear. The Wii, too, is used to promote literacy. "We only got games that were physical or educational," said Rice. "We have games that are about literature. It's also important to get these kids moving, especially in wintertime." Adult programs include a fiction and nonfiction book program, the latter of which receives books from Telluride's library, sparing Naturita the expense. "It takes other communities to help us be great," Rice said. Other opportunities for adults include career resources, and an upcoming series on healthy living topics, plus a community cinema night. And of course, there are computers — a nice resource anywhere, but essential in Naturita, where some families do not have their own. "It's amazing," said Paladino. "The staff there is so responsive to the community and community needs, particularly the children. The services they provide are so in tune with that community, it's fabulous." If the library can make a positive difference for someone, Rice is happy. She shared the story of a boy who had been getting into trouble, but began attending library programs. "We've seen such a change.

MONTROSE DAILY PRESS

The making of a library • Straw bale construction: Straw bales are used to infill walls in a standard post-andbeam construction, then plastered over. As a result, straw bale buildings have an insulation factor roughly twice that of frame-constructed buildings. Straw bales retain heat better than traditional buildings, and also stay cooler in the summer. The plaster overlay provides additional mass in the building, contributing to heat retention. "You end up with a building that doesn't heat up quickly, or cool down quickly, and a building that if you heat it or cool it, it tends to stay that temperature," said Montrose Library District Director Paul Paladino. "Therefore, you save considerably on utilities. It sounds ironic: The building is made out of basically straw and mud, but it's a very progressive building." • Geo-exchange heating and cooling (sometimes called "geothermal"): At a certain depth, the earth maintains a constant temperature between 50 and 55 degrees. By pumping fluid through pipes in the ground to that depth, the 50 to 55 degrees becomes the starting point from which a person heats or cools the building to the desired temperature. The result is an energy savings. Source: Paul Paladino He's well behaved. He has manners with us. He speaks nice to his father when he comes in, and he reads. He's also a mentor to our younger kids." The boy even introduced a library staffer to a friend as "my buddy from the library." The hope is that treating patrons with respect will teach them to respond in kind to others. "That's how we foster a sense of community. We are a community. We're so lucky to have this," Rice said. "This is a really small town, 650 people, and look what we have accomplished."

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OUTLOOK HEALTH & COMMUNITY

FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2011

MONTROSE DAILY PRESS

JOEL BLOCKER / DAILY PRESS

(Above) Veronica Ontiveros, a volunteer with Sharing Ministries, sorts food items into boxes for Montrose families. (Left) Harold Miller, left, a volunteer with Christ's Kitchen, hands a package of crackers to Damion MacKinnon, 10, while he goes through the food line earlier this month.

Faith-based organizations BY ELAINE HALE JONES DAILY PRESS WRITER

"Faith-based organizations are a huge component of people helping people in the Montrose area," said Melanie Hall, executive director of the Montrose Community Foundation, a charitable foundation that links residents with needs to groups that help answer those needs under one

"umbrella." The organizations help fill in the gaps of providing basic human needs where government programs, for example, fall short. Hall described Montrose as unique among similar-size communities because of its "great communication and partnering" between people from all walks of life, working toward the same goal. "The biggest challenge facing us now is doing more with less," Hall stated, referring to acrossthe-board cuts in resources and growing numbers of residents seeking help. "We have to get creative, brainstorm ideas and maximize our limited resources." Below are several examples of larger faithbased organizations in Montrose:

JOEL BLOCKER / DAILY PRESS

Molly Vigil, a volunteer with Sharing Ministries, places on a counter bags of food that will later be given to Montrose families.

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Sharing Ministries Food Bank-established 1996 A man on a mission. That's how many describe Frank Koenig, the founder of Sharing Ministries Food Bank, based in Montrose. The World War II veteran and ordained Baptist minister recalled that in February 1996, while walking along Main Street in Montrose with his wife, Mary, he suddenly felt inspired to establish a food bank to serve those in need. "It was all God's doing," he said. The couple started collecting whatever food they could find, including fresh fruits and vegetables being discarded by local grocery stores, and giving the items to those in need. This was the start of the Sharing Ministries Food Bank. Without "one red cent" to further pursue his dream, Koenig networked with leaders in the community, eventually coming into contact with a lawyer who helped him obtain non-profit status for the new organization. He approached railroad officials about leasing the vacant warehouse located on Rio Grande Avenue near the original railroad depot in Montrose. The call also went out for volunteers to help sort, stock and fill boxes of food. During its first month of operation, Sharing Ministries served 96 people. As demand grew, the non-profit, non-denominational organization expanded its service area to include Delta, Ouray, San Miguel, Gunnison and Saguache counties. In 2010, Sharing Ministries gave out a million pounds of food and fed an average of 4,000 people per month. The organization recently celebrated its 15th anniversary and continues to rely on support from the communities it serves. The immediate challenge is obtaining more warehouse space. Christ's Kitchen-established 2005 When Christ's Kitchen first opened its doors at the Mexican American Development Association (MADA) in September 2005, it did so without the benefit of a stove. Instead, two roasting ovens were used in the preparation of a hot bowl of soup and bread for those came to partake of the free lunch, no questions asked. Food was stored on location at MADA, but clean up for each lunch and the storage of cookery took place across town at the First Presbyterian Church. In the early stages of planning, organizers took a lesson from other non-profit groups that it would be easier to start small, hence the reasoning for their opening schedule of Monday and Friday lunches only. Their long term goal was to offer their services five days a week and become more than just a soup kitchen. Over six years later, that dream has come true. Christ's Kitchen now serves a free fourcourse lunch, every week, Monday through Friday. Like Sharing Ministries, the need within the community has grown by leaps and bounds. In March of this year, the food kitchen served more than 2,000 people, far beyond the 50-seat capacity at the MADA location. In May, the organization moved into expanded space with a full commercial kitchen in the Penn Center Mall on South Townsend Avenue. Christ's Kitchen was recently awarded a $15,000 Daniels Fund grant to support its move. Local businesses have become involved, providing building and kitchen materials for free or at cost. The organization is also working with local transit authorities to make sure people can easily get to the new location. Additional faith-based organizations in Montrose: • Habitat for Humanity of Montrose County - Provides a self-help program for qualified low-income families in need of affordable housing, 252-9303. • Haven House - Assisting families in need with temporary housing and services, 626-5677. • Life Choices Family Resource Center - Offers education regarding issues around pregnancy, parenting, relationships, 249-4302. • Passage Charter School - Public high school for pregnant and parenting teens, 249-8066. • Weekend Blessings - Provides weekend meals to those in need, 249-4024. • Celebrate Recovery - 12-step program dealing with life's hurts, habits and hang-ups, 596-7941. • Montrose Jail Ministries - Support for those in Montrose County Jail; their families; and support for transition back into the community, 240-4046. • Association of Montrose Churches - Provides emergency funds for rent and utilities.


OUTLOOK HEALTH & COMMUNITY

MONTROSE DAILY PRESS

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18

OUTLOOK HEALTH & COMMUNITY

FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2011

MONTROSE DAILY PRESS

â–˛

Staying put: Mesa State College renovating downtown Montrose campus BY MATT LINDBERG DAILY PRESS WRITER

An empty classroom awaits Joey Montoya Boese when she opens the door of a room on the second level of Mesa State College's Montrose campus on a recent morning. Although it appears to be nothing special, it's a room that Montoya Boese, MSC Montrose campus director, says she is really excited about. This standard room will be turned into the college's science lab, which will give MSC's anatomy, physiology, geology, chemistry and biology students proper workspace that can be used during all campus hours, rather than having to travel to Montrose High at night for lab classes. "Our greatest need is a science lab, and this one will seat 24 students at a time," Montoya Boese says. "We're happy we're going to be able to provide this for our students." No, the college isn't relocating from the facility it shares with the Montrose Regional Library in downtown Montrose, as it recently inked a new 15-year lease extension on the property. But it is being completely remodeled, with the renovation scheduled to start as soon as the City of Montrose secures approval from the

Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, Montoya Boese says. In the past two years, the campus saw an increase from 220 to 330 students, with 170 students of the 330 considered full-time students, based on course load per semester. The campus hasn't reached its maximum capacity, but remodeling is about anticipating an increased student body and making sure the college can continue to offer great opportunities, the director says. "Our intent is to make sure that Montrose-based students don't see a difference sitting here at the Montrose campus, or our campus in Grand Junction," she says. "We definitely anticipate we will continue to grow, and we want to continue to meet the needs of our students, in terms of education." A new science lab is just the tip of the iceberg for renovation plans. The director says MSC officials originally estimated the project would cost around $1 million with $600,000 planned for physical construction and $400,000 slated for equipment upgrades in the nursing program. But the cost of the project has increased to about $900,000 for physical construction now that plans have been finalized. With an overall project

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COURTESY PHOTO

Kennilyn Wright, Mesa State Montrose's manager of diversity, talks with students during orientation last semester.

budget at about $1.3 million, physical construction will include tearing out hallway lockers, and improving lighting and acoustics in classrooms, in addition to the multi-purpose science lab. It also includes a new meeting room and a student computer lab on the first floor. Currently, students are unable to access the computer lab if a class is using it. The new, additional lab will make it so students have computer access regardless of classes in session. Montoya Boese says the $400,00 in the project capital campaign will be used to outfit and equip the campus' nursing lab. The lab will be designed to give students the feel of a hospital room, and come equipped with different learning devices, such as simulation man-

nequins and hospital beds. Funding for the upgrades have come from all over. The City of Montrose donated $470,000 in grants it received, which will go toward physical construction costs. Mesa State College will cover the remaining balance through fundraising and institutional dollars. At a meeting earlier this month, Montrose County donated $30,000 to go toward equipment acquisition for the nursing program. The college also has received funding from the San Juan Healthcare Foundation, and continues to raise funds to meet the $400,000 goal. The construction is to be done in phases and likely won't be completed until the summer of 2012, Montoya Boese says. Although it might take some time, it will

be beneficial to everyone once finished, students say. "I think it will make a more productive and comfortable learning environment for students," says Crystal McCurdy, a Mesa State Montrose campus student since 2010 who is pursuing a degree in psychology, with an emphasis in counseling. "And it's going to make things a lot more conducive for the nursing program." McCurdy, 30, also says she thinks Mesa State College is a great place to be. "It's been a very, convenient, friendly process," McCurdy says. "Everyone there is very helpful and is willing to work with you through the entire college process. They make you realize it is possible to get your degree."

Mesa State College becomes university this August Mesa State College's Montrose campus' renovations isn't the only big change for MSC. Gov. John Hickenlooper signed SB 265 on June 6, which gave Mesa State Col-

lege university status. As a result, the college will change its name to Colorado Mesa University. The name change is effective Aug. 10, said Joey Montoya Boese, MSC Montrose

campus director. She also said the college will keep the Maverick as its mascot, and its traditional maroon and white school colors.


OUTLOOK HEALTH & COMMUNITY

MONTROSE DAILY PRESS

FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2011

19

Sheriff's posse saves dollars, lives

COURTESY PHOTO

Montrose County Sheriff's Posse members practice positioning an injured person onto a backboard during a recent training session. BY KATHARHYNN HEIDELBERG DAILY PRESS SENIOR WRITER

At roughly 2,200 square miles, Montrose County covers a vast area, much of it remote and rugged. The Montrose County Sheriff's Office, the agency in charge of policing its unincorporated parts, sometimes needs a hand with search and rescue (SAR), crime scene control, cold-water rescue, wildland fires and extra security at events. Luckily for residents and visitors, though, 48 volunteers stand ready to go at a moment's notice. They're known as the Montrose County Sheriff's Posse, and they save the county thousands of dollars each year, while providing valuable, often life-saving, services. "They provide a service we wouldn't otherwise be able to provide without having to hire people to do it," said Sheriff Rick Dunlap. "We certainly don't have the staff and deputies on the road to where we could do (posse duties) and still maintain the job we have to do on calls for service." The posse receives no compensation for its duties. It can apply for reimbursement in some instances, such as when a search and rescue aids a person with a hunting or fishing license. The licenses come with a surcharge to help aid SAR efforts. Otherwise, the posse is largely dependent upon donations. "We do it because we love our community," said Paul Gottlieb, posse board member and past president. "I see a lot of us have taken out of the community different things, and I like to put back in. It's kind of a feeling of brotherhood. We care for our community, and we do things that would cost the community a lot of money." In 2010, the county would have shelled out more than $90,000, had it been required to pay for the services the posse provided, Dunlap said. Instead, that money remained in the coffers, thanks to the 26 volunteers on the East End posse and the 22 volunteers in the county's West End. Their duties are sometimes grim and can be dangerous. In 2009, the posse and sheriff's office launched several massive ground and canal searches for a missing Montrose man, Abade Martinez, who was ultimately found dead. In 2010, the posse aided in the search for missing radio DJ Rick Steele, who was found drowned in the South Canal a few weeks after his disappearance. But there are happy endings, too. Last November, the posse tracked and saved a missing hunter before hypothermia could kill him. A month before, the posse located four lost hunters who weren't prepared for the winter conditions they encountered. And in May, the posse located a man stranded in the snow on Highway 90. He was attempting to reach Moab, Utah, on a motorized scooter, but encountered heavy snow, Dunlap said. The man was OK, and declined assistance. "The citizens of the county can have peace of mind ... They (posse members) are always there, ready, willing and able to take on the task," Dunlap said. "They go out of their way to serve this county as a whole. I think it's a big plus. Our posse has enough personnel, that on just about any given incident, there's always enough to cover it."

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FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2011

OUTLOOK HEALTH & COMMUNITY ▲

MONTROSE DAILY PRESS


SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT

Montrose Daily Press

SUNDAY June 26, 2011

www.montrosepress.com

A revolutionary company Montrose company creates solar system that goes beyond the industry's standards BY KATI O'HARE DAILY PRESS WRITER

JOEL BLOCKER / DAILY PRESS

Scientist Jeff Eichhorn holds 48 solar cells (the black squares) mounted on copper plates to transmit the electricity and heat away from the cells at brightLeaf earlier this month. Each cell produces 8.5 watts of energy and is approximately 5 mm square (0.2 inches.)

A pretty good gig We have a pretty good gig going here. I know our real estate and construction industry have taken it in the shorts over the last couple of years but we should be darn Bruce thankful for all of the economic strengths we have going for us in Montrose: Diversified Business and Industry Base – We have a healthy mix of primary employers, agriculture, retail and tourism. Not many “mountain towns” have the level of primary jobs created by the likes of Gordon Composites, Best Signs, Western Skyways, Swiss-OMatic and Russell Stover’s, to name just a few. It’s what every community covets. These primary jobs generate a real turn of business through the jobs and services it creates by their

mere presence. We also have a dedicated, business friendly organizational with over 50 years of experience influencing those busiPanter nesses to come here; Montrose Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). It provides many services to existing and prospective businesses including; area overviews and custom tours, market and updated geographic data, labor market analysis, financial contacts, workforce development assistance, coordination of state and local incentive and financial programs, and communication/media contacts. Many of these primary jobs would never have landed on Montrose without its involvement. SEE MONTROSE, PAGE 3

BrightLeaf — an innovative company with even greater innovative employees — just might be the perfect example of Montrose's potential as a cutting-edge manufacturing hub. "I am proud of the quality of people who work here," said Doug Kiesewetter, brightLeaf founder and CEO. "To think there were these people of this caliber here under-employed." This Montrose-based company has been working for three years to develop a cutting-edge concentrating photovoltaics (CPV) system that uses less materials, is more efficient than conventional systems, and utilizes every bit of captured energy. And after years of hard work by local engineers and scientists, the new design of the brightLeaf CPV system was assembled just weeks ago. The company employes

JOEL BLOCKER / DAILY PRESS

Scientists Jeff Eichhorn, left, and Dr. Hing Chan attach wires to the cell receiver assembly at brightLeaf earlier this month. The wires convey the 8.5 watts of direct current electricity to a 200 watt inverter which converts the DC to AC (alternating current), the current thats used in homes.

about 25 people, but if the system takes off as expected, that could be in the hundreds in just a few years. Solar systems collect energy through the sun's rays, capture it in a cell and convert it from direct current to alternating current to be used as electricity. BrightLeaf's system does

JOEL BLOCKER / DAILY PRESS

just that, but its design is unique in several ways. Traditional parabolic collectors lose up to 40 percent of the energy before it is captured in the cell. BrightLeaf's nonparabolic "leaf" design has a similar path between the sun and the cell, thus collecting energy more efficiently. Unlike traditional systems that have flat panels permanently stationed, brightLeaf's design will track the sun. The company's engineers have worked long, tedious hours to create a product that will do this, as well as have many other capacities, such as communication interfaces. Kiesewetter's goal from the start has been to create a product that can be easily assembled by the consumer — meaning less materials, lighter materials and easierto-understand mechanics. The system's mount could be standardized — "something you can buy at Home Depot," he said. And instead of having a complicated programing system attached to that mount, the consumers can download an application onto their phone and through Bluetooth, and program and monitor their new system.

Steven Peacock, an employee with brightLeaf, lines up metal framing at brightLeaf earlier this month.

SEE BRIGHTLEAF, PAGE 3

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OUTLOOK INDUSTRY & COMMERCE

SUNDAY, JUNE 26, 2011

MONTROSE DAILY PRESS

KATI O'HARE / DAILY PRESS

(Above and Left) A city worker grabs a hanging basket to put it on the light poles downtown on Main Street. The DDA got the baskets from the city, but funded the flowers, in partnership with downtown businesses.

Moving in the right direction Voters approve an authority to revitalize downtown BY KATI O'HARE DAILY PRESS WRITER

MONTROSE — With downtown storefronts emptying by the block, the city and its citizens realized something needed to be done. Its downtown area needed revitalization beyond waiting for the economy to recover — it needed a funding mechanism.

Downtown voters elected in 2010 to create a Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and levy up to 5 mills against their property within the authority's boundaries. The hope was that an authority could reverse trends toward blight and further disintegration of downtown,

said Bob Brown, current chairman of the DDA. The move to such a creation didn't come from nowhere; it was recommended in two different assessments paid for by the city and conducted by outside firms. A DDA is a separate corporate body governed by state law. It has a board that is ap-

proved by city council with representation from the city and downtown property and business owners. Since its creation, the seven member board has met weekly to take care of business — its biggest task being the design of a "plan of development" for the authority. The DDA has partnered with the Colorado Center for Community Development at the University of Colorado Denver to develop a questionnaire, conduct the survey, collect data and community results. The consultants also will help with design and building plans with architectural drawing of alternatives the DDA can pursue. The end result will be a plan that will guide the future of the DDA. "There is this assumption: A vibrant downtown is a signal of a vibrant town," Brown said. But a DDA takes time to build funding, and therefore, time to revitalize an area. "The downfall to a DDA is they move slow," Brown said. "We have to get capital to do a bond. ... What it's really about is a capital improvement mechanism that's in place to raise and attract capital so revitalization projects can move forward." The DDA's primary funding is a mill levy. First year projected income for the DDA is around $122,000 in

tax revenues. While it continues to develop its plan, the DDA is helping where it can with its "meager income," Brown said. It supports retail enhancement projects and efforts in joint advertising for downtown businesses and events. Summer's Main in Motion event received $5,000 from the DDA; the city's May wine and food festival, $5,500, and the Farmer's Market got $5,000 to move its operations back to the downtown area. "A vibrant business community really needs events that call attention to downtown and bring the people," Brown said. "I really think we are moving in the right direction." Where does the money come from? The primary source of funding for the DDA is a mill levy, capped at five mills. • A Montrose commercial property with an actual value of $175,000 will pay about $254 annually, or about $21 a month, according to the city. • The DDA projects it will collect about $140,000 in its first year. • The DDA will explore other non-tax funding options, such as grants and tax-increment funding (tif). • These revenue sources combined can help repay capital construction bonds.

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MONTROSE DAILY PRESS

OUTLOOK INDUSTRY & COMMERCE

SUNDAY, JUNE 26, 2011

3

BRIGHTLEAF: Beyond the industry's standards FROM PAGE 1

"Every installation now is a custom installation. It's hard to figure out what's been done and why." Kiesewetter said. "We believe this is a significant breakthrough for the industry." Another one-of a kind component to the design is that instead of releasing the excess heat from the cell, it captures it for another

use — solar hot water. It is this solar innovation that has set brightLeaf's design apart from the rest and drawn attention and interest in the product from across the globe. "We have a strategic partnership with Healing Waters," Kiesewetter said. "Our

goal is by summer to use the heat to purify water. ... (poor areas) need low cost electricity, but more importantly, they need clean water." Healing Waters International empowers local ministry partners to bring safe water solutions to poor communities, according to its Website. Kiesewetter also is in conversations with the Piñon Ridge Uranium Mill proposed in the West End. There, brightLeaf could offset the enormous energy need with its green source, he said. BrightLeaf's first two clients, however, will be the City of Montrose and Colorado Mountain College, he said. The city is interested in solar at its wastewater treatment plant north of Montrose; Colorado Mountain College has 15 campuses which it would like to design a pilot program with brightLeaf's technology. It

JOEL BLOCKER / DAILY PRESS

Craig Hollabaugh, electrical engineer with brightLeaf in Montrose, works on a circuit board for the tracking device brightLeaf's new solar system. The system is designed to follow the sun, as well as have communication interfaces so that consumers can program and monitor the solar system from an application on their phone.

plans to not only use the systems, but incorporate it into its educational program. With all the factors, such as using less material and a standardized assembly, Kiesewetter said that brightLeaf's product is one that finally makes solar power economical just on its own. But he couldn't have done it

without the talent he found in Montrose, he said. "In the last three years, whenever I needed something it walked through those doors with even more skill set," Kiesewetter said. "I marvel at the depth of talent that keeps coming out of the woodwork."

JOEL BLOCKER / DAILY PRESS

Scientist Jeff Eichhorn holds a molded glass optic, which is attached to the front of the solar cell to protect it from dust and moisture at brightLeaf earlier this month. It also acts as a light pipe to collect off target light rays and redirect them onto the cell. The optic is 11mm. high (0.4 inches) and approx. 8 mm. square (0.3 inches).

Montrose: A healthy mix Recycling before recycling was cool FROM PAGE 1

Look at our agricultural industry – field corn, sweet corn, onions, pinto beans, hay, dairy, cattle, and sheep. This industry imports capital, creates primary jobs and spins off retail sales. It is a segment of our economy that is performing very well right now across the board. Since the 1800s, Montrose has served as a regional service center. We have only strengthened that recently with the addition of Oxbow and River Landing Shopping Centers. And tourism: The Black Canyon, Ouray, Telluride, Crested Butte and everywhere in between. We reap the benefits from sales taxes received from non-residents, as well as the jobs it creates. And listen to this, over 95% of the companies that have located here, the owner(s) came here first as a tourist. Infrastructure – we owe community leadership for much of this one. Montrose has a strong hospital/medical community. I can’t think of anyone who believes a good healthcare system isn’t a major influence on relocations. We have an incredible airport for the size of our town. We import a huge amount of capital from the “Fed” to improve and maintain this asset. We also get the benefit of “capturing” other dollars that flow from passengers and associated industries and employees. Montrose has relatively abundant water and land resources – lots of capacity to grow while keeping costs low. We also have an expanding higher education resource (Colorado Mesa University) and entertainment and art opportunities, a forward thinking recreational district, and a focus on downtown with the newly formed Downtown Development Authority, improvements courtesy the City of Montrose, and those brilliant people behind Main in Motion. Geography/Weather – Montrose is just naturally blessed with this one. If you love all of the fun there is to have in the mountains, rivers and high desert plus throw in about the best 4 season weather around – Montrose is in the center of it all. If you want to attract new households, demographic indicators look like this attribute is pretty important. Feel good about it - we have a lot going for us in Montrose.

BY KATI O'HARE DAILY PRESS WRITER

MONTROSE — One thousand football fields, 30 stories high — that's how much trash Americans throw away each day. But Montrose is doing its part to lessen what ends up in its landfill. "We were recycling before it was cool," said Matthews Alvarez, general manager of Recla Metals in Montrose. "Scrap metal guys are the original recyclers." The scrap metal yard opened in 1974 and is still located in the heart of the city. Its position along the Uncompahgre River is a reminder

that keeping nature beautiful takes work and effort. "The whole idea is to prevent stuff from being sent to the landfill ... preserving our natural resource," Alvarez said. Recla Metals takes anything metallic, and even a few things that aren't. Recla densifies appliances and automobiles so they can be shipped to auto shredders in Denver and Salt Lake City. Materials, such as iron, are cut down and shipped directly to steel mills to be used. The company recycles an average of about 1,000 tons a month, from aluminum cans from residents to large truck

loads of materials from commercial companies. Recla Metals is not the only entity doing its part to save landfill space. In March 2009, the city started its free recycling curbside pickup program for Montrose residents. The program started with 1,752 members and since, has grown to almost 3,000. "There was a little bit of education on both sides, but the program has been very successful," said Fernie Rendon, the city's sanitation and recycle superintendent. SEE RECYCLE, PAGE 5

JOEL BLOCKER / DAILY PRESS

Abel Velarde, right, and Pharon Hull, both employees with the City of Montrose Public Works Department, collect recyclable items off of Glen Vale Drive earlier this month.


4

SUNDAY, JUNE 26, 2011

OUTLOOK INDUSTRY & COMMERCE

MONTROSE DAILY PRESS

JOEL BLOCKER / DAILY PRESS

Luke Good hangs garlic bulbs to dry in a specially built shed at Straw Hat Farms off of Solar Road south of Montrose.

Organic, alternative crops BY ELAINE HALE JONES DAILY PRESS WRITER

Crop diversity has been one of the outstanding highlights of agriculture in the Uncompahgre Valley for over a century. From onions, alfalfa, sugar beets and potatoes to a

booming fruit industry, the rich soil lands of the valley have produced a variety of crops and opportunities for area farmers. That trend continues today, with many small acreage operators pursuing alternative agri-

cultural enterprises. The Coal Creek area, located northwest of Montrose, has traditionally produced some of the finest crops grown in the Uncompahgre Valley. Fields of alfalfa, grain, beans, onions and in recent

years, "Olathe Sweet" sweet corn have been raised here. A decade ago, a different kind of crop made its appearance alongside the fields of corn. The first cuttings of sod were harvested on a 40-acre plot belonging

to the Keep Family. In the past, the four-generation family operation had centered primarily around raising beans, onions and corn. But to keep profitable in a changing marketplace meant re-evaluating their goals and following the basic rules of supply and demand. And, most importantly, filling a niche. The Keeps grow a five-way blend of Kentucky Bluegrass which has both disease and drought resistant qualities. The finished product is similar to a roll of carpet, tight and finely groomed. Western Colorado's cool, crisp nights, warm days and ample irrigation water

produce some of the nation's finest lawns. Other recent examples of alternative agriculture in the Uncompahgre Valley include Straw Hat Farms, a Certified Organic farm specializing in growing fields of gourmet garlic. The farm also sells eggs (from 300 laying hens) at the Montrose Farmers Market. Dayspring Farm in Olathe is another example of "thinking outside the box" when it comes to agricultural diversity. In addition to on-farm sales of free-range beef, lamb, pork and poultry and eggs, the family-based operation is a member of the Lavender Association of Western Colorado. The farm produces a variety of lavender products including medicinal-quality essential oils, hydrosols of lavender and dried/fresh bundles. For those interested in pursuing alternative agricultural enterprises, Colorado State University Extension Service advises using the PPM approach. PPM stands for Production, Processing and Marketing. The business model analyzes the production of the product, the processing and the markets available for the product before you actually begin the enterprise. For more information, contact the local extension office at 249-3935.

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OUTLOOK INDUSTRY & COMMERCE

MONTROSE DAILY PRESS

SUNDAY, JUNE 26, 2011

Recycle: Trash, metals and green waste all within city limits

LAWNCARE DIRECTORY

JOEL BLOCKER / DAILY PRESS

Employees work at Recla Metals earlier this month.

Landscape Design & Build

FROM PAGE 3

It's been so successful that the city is considering a paid commercial pickup service. Surveys, to get a feel of business owners' interest, currently are being distributed. "The obstacle now is the economy, as we only have a two-man crew to take care of it (commercial accounts)," he said. Currently, the city is on a hiring freeze. But the recycling program is safely secured by the city's sanitation budget, which keeps it going and healthy, Rendon said. The biggest challenge the program deals with is the current market for recycled materials.

‘There was a little bit of education on both sides, but the program has been very successful.’ Fernie Rendon City sanitation and recycle superintendent.

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When the city's program first launched, it included pickup of all plastics, but market value of plastics #3-6 has resulted in the city dropping its pickup of those materials. It does accept plastics #1-2, which currently have a healthy market, along with cardboard and paper, he said. The program does not accept glass. For those who don't live in the city, there are two privately owned recycle centers, Montrose Recycle Center on 64.50 Road and Cornerstone, off the San Juan bypass. The city also has a green waste center on the corner of San Juan and Park Avenues. There, members of the community can drop off Christmas trees and green waste to be turned into a useful product, such as mulch.

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SUNDAY, JUNE 26, 2011

OUTLOOK INDUSTRY & COMMERCE

MONTROSE DAILY PRESS

Not a Hallucination DAILY PRESS FILE PHOTO

(Above) Successful rock climbing partners, from left, Ed Webster, 24, Colorado Springs, Bruce Lella, 25, Durango, Bryan Becker, 23, Colorado Springs, and Jimmy Newberry, 28, Cimarron; pose for a photo at the Black Canyon before they began their second attempt in 1980. COURTESY PHOTO

(Left) Climbers make their way up Comic Relief while climbing in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

SOME CLASSIC CANYON CLIMBS

Climbing in the Black Canyon for experts only JOEL BLOCKER DAILY PRESS WRITER

CIMARRON — One of the most feared climbing walls in Colorado sits just northeast of Montrose in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Hallucinogen Wall — an 1,800-foot ascent — is known for being a climb where one simple mistake could cost you your life. Cimarron resident Jimmy Newberry knows that all too well. In May 1980, he and three other climbers were the first to climb Hallucinogen Wall, climbing for eight days and spending seven nights on

the rock. "It got its name because everybody thought you were hallucinating if you could make it up that climb," Newberry said. Colorado Springs residents at the time, Bryan Becker and Ed Webster, and Durango residents Bruce Lella and Ken Trout, were the first to attempt the climb. But after spending a week fighting rain and hail, and then Trout leaving the climb to return to his college graduation, the party failed to make it to the top. That's when Newberry got his opportunity. "I was mainly a tag along who sup-

Get Connected to Montrose County news, events and updates! • Attend the Commissioner’s Board Meetings every other Monday at 9 a.m. at the County Administration Building • Listen to KUBC 580 AM the 4th Thursday of every month to listen to your County representatives • Register to receive County calendar and news updates at www.montrosecounty.net • “Like” us on Facebook and receive regular updates • Stop by our table at Main in Motion every Thursday night on Main Street

Maiden Voyage (III, 5.9) - located down Cruise Gully (N. Rim) Casually Off Route (II, 5.9) - located down SOB Gully (N. Rim) Russian Arete (IV, 5.9) - located down SOB Gully (N. Rim) Blackjack (III, 5.10-) - located down Chillumston Gully (S. Rim) Escape Artist (III, 5.10-) - located down SOB Gully (N. Rim) Comic Relief (III, 5.10) - located down SOB Gully (N. Rim) Journey Home (IV, 5.10 R) located down Cruise Gully, North Chasm Wall (N. Rim) Scenic Cruise (V, 5.10+) located down Cruise Gully, North Chasm Wall (N. Rim) Checkerboard Wall (III, 5.10+ R) located down Cruise Gully (N. Rim) The Southern Arete (V, 5.10+) located on the Painted Wall (N. Rim) Atlantis (V, 5.11) - located down PoYHD Gully (N. Rim) The Flakes (V, 5.10+ X) - located on South Chasm Wall (S. Rim) Astrodog (V, 5.11+) - located on South Chasm Wall (S. Rim) Tague Yer Time (V, 5.12) - located on S. Chasm Wall (S. Rim)

plied all the food," he said. Newberry's grandmother ran the general store in Cimarron at that time just down the road from the canyon. At the time, the climb was rated as a Grade VI, 5.10, A5 in aid climbing, meaning you would surely perish if you were to fall or have an accident on the rock. There were no goals or accomplishments that the climbers set out to get — it was all about a sense of thrill for the young men. As Newberry said, "We weren't doing this to make a name for ourselves, but were just looking for a wild adventure." After eight days of grueling climbing and spending seven snowy sleepless nights on the side of a rock face, the group made it to the top. "It got worrisome," Newberry said. "We got snowed on almost every day. We were running out of food and were starting to experience hypothermia. We wanted off that rock bad." Today, the Hallucinogen Wall is still an imposing climb for most climbers. According to Vic Zeilman, a climbing ranger with the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Hallucinogen Wall only sees about a half dozen climbing parties a year, while the last two years the park as a whole has averaged 1,200 climbers a season. "Hallucinogen is by far one of the hardest routes on the North Chasm Wall," Zeilman said. "It's considered

incredibly difficult and contrived; aid climbing through blank sections of rock. At the time of the first ascent many people doubted that there could be a route up that section of wall." Today, however, the route has changed somewhat since the days when Newberry and his gang of climbers took their shot in 1980. Zeilman said the climb rates at a Grade VI, 5.10, A3+. It is slightly safer due to a number of bolts that were placed since the first ascent, but it is by no means climbable for the beginning climber. There are climbs in the park, however, that aren't as difficult as Hallucinogen Wall. "I really like the Scenic Cruise," Zeilman said. "In my opinion it's one of the best long climbs in the country." The Scenic Cruise climb is also on the North Chasm View wall and is rated Grade V, 5.10+ It should be noted that the Black Canyon is not a place for beginning climbers. There are more than 140 climbs in the canyon; eight are rated at 5.8, and of those eight, only four have good information on them. There are several commercial guides that hold permits for the canyon and offer guided climbing. Visit www.nps.gov/blca/planyourvisit/outfitters.htm for more information.

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OUTLOOK INDUSTRY & COMMERCE

SUNDAY, JUNE 26, 2011

7

Economy takes flight with airport

JOEL BLOCKER / DAILY PRESS

Passengers arrive at the new terminal at Montrose Regional Airport earlier this month. The airport expansion of 11,000 square feet gives travelers all the more reason to spend their dollars in Montrose. BY KATHARHYNN HEIDELBERG DAILY PRESS SENIOR WRITER

When Montrose Regional Airport flies high, so does the local economy. The airport is a revenue-generating powerhouse, one that swelled Montrose coffers by more than $329 million, per the Colorado Department of Transportation's Division of Aeronautics 2007 report. (The report was released in 2008 and is the most current, as such reports are prepared only every three years.) Montrose Regional created 3,882 jobs and boasts an annual payroll of more than $103 million. And it's growing: Figuratively, in that enplanements in 2010 reached levels that hadn't been projected until 2013. Literally, in an airport expansion that's adding 11,000 square feet and gives travelers all the more reason to spend their dollars in Montrose. "We wanted to do this so we could create more efficiency in the terminal," said Aviation Director Lloyd Arnold, in early May as he walked through the expansion area, where construction crews were hard at work. "The airport is the largest economic generator in this entire region." Already, the airlines have relocated their counters to the expanded area. The area could also one day have check-in kiosks to speed along the process for the flying public. Behind the counters is a better baggage check system. Beyond that is the Transportation Security Administration's restricted area, where enhanced baggage screening equipment is housed. The expansion has also increased the holding/sterile area for departing passengers who have been screened. None of this is as mundane as it may sound: The quicker the luggage and check-in process, the less congestion. The less congestion, the fewer the flight delays. That benefits not just Montrose passengers, but the air system as a whole.

"The intent is to be able to hold in people so we don't have to stop and hold up aircraft," said Arnold. In the past, passengers for one flight had to completely board their plane before passengers on the next flight could come in — and that sometimes snarled travel on down the line at other airports waiting for the delayed planes. "We were backing up the national air space system. If a plane is late leaving Montrose, it's going to get to its destination late," Arnold said. He said passenger polls show that airport amenities and efficiency are more important than such considerations as ticket prices. "Amenities and efficiency is always tops. I think that (expansion) is going to help facilitate that in this region. " The expansion will add another gate, bringing the number to four. Other perks include updated, digital arrival and departure screens, digital advertising boards and the "FlySmart" cell phone app, which gives travelers info about the community, locations of services such as hotels, and the layout of the airport. Keeping customers happy, after all, is what keeps the "economic generator" going. "They have a choice of airports. Expansion will increase enplanements, thereby impacting the local and regional economy," said Arnold. "We had a record year in 2010, with 96,535 enplanements. This terminal is processing 200,000 people per year, with enplanements and deplanements." A lot of those people spend money in Montrose and surrounding communities: renting cars, buying gas, food and lodging, and visiting local businesses and tourist destinations. "We've got a lot of changes in here," said Arnold. "They're all going to help the traveling public. It will be good for the community."

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OUTLOOK INDUSTRY & COMMERCE

SUNDAY, JUNE 26, 2011

MONTROSE DAILY PRESS

Public lands, public service Division of Wildlife, BLM offices stand ready to serve BY KATHARHYNN HEIDELBERG DAILY PRESS SENIOR WRITER

With an abundance of fishing, hunting, hiking and other opportunities, there's little doubt that Montrose is an outdoors enthusiast's mecca. And two agencies are here to help people enjoy it, through their efforts to manage the land's resources for the public's benefit. "The Division of Wildlife is the agency that looks after wildlife in the state," said spokesman Joe Lewandowski. "We facilitate wildlife recreation." Added Shannon Borders, spokeswoman for the Bureau of Land Management: "Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of public lands so that everyone today and in the fu-

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ture can use those lands." Both agencies are "on the ground" in Montrose. The DOW's area office here is one of 18 in the sate. The BLM's Uncompahgre Field Office is part of the public Lands Center, an interagency office that includes the Forest Service. That means your go-to source for information and advice about how to best enjoy public lands — as well as the workplace of dozens of locals — is just down the street. "You have one-stop shopping, if you will," said Borders. "You really can come in, and our front desk is staffed with full-time employees who can help you learn about recreation opportunities in this area." The BLM manages thousands of

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acres of multi-use land that includes developed campsites, undeveloped camping areas, hiking and biking trails, off-road activity, and cultural resources. "If it's outdoors, there's probably an opportunity for you to traverse it on foot, bike or horseback," Borders said. "We encourage you to come in and find out about the trails available for your interests." Practical land uses aren't overlooked: The agency also sells Christmas tree permits and woodcutting permits The Public Lands Center is here for residents and tourists alike. While some of its materials, such as maps, come with a fee, the information is free. The DOW — set to merge with State Parks next month — sells fishing and hunting licenses, manages fish hatcheries for stocking lakes and restoring native species, and monitors game and wildlife through research. The idea is to make sure people hunt and fish, while assuring wildlife remains healthy, prosperous and sustainable, Lewandowski said. "Hunting has always been big in Colorado. There's a lot of hunting in Montrose and Southwest Colorado. The DOW sets up systems where people can buy a license to hunt," he explained. "Also, though, we are able to monitor deer and elk through research, observation and computer monitoring."

There was a time in Colorado when deer, elk and bighorn sheep were nearly hunted out of existence. "Now we're fortunate to have probably as many deer and elk as we've ever had in Colorado," Lewandowski said. "We have great public lands, and that obviously helps sustain the resources." The DOW and BLM work with landowners in a variety of situations. District wildlife managers are in the field to do that, and the BLM's law enforcement rangers patrol public lands to help maintain the resource, but also to help people using the resource. The DOW is ready and able to help landowners deal with wildlife, and also pays "game damage," a reimbursement given in certain circumstances. "We reimburse those ag producers. Especially in an area like the Uncompahgre, a lot of that goes on. That's a major part of our work," said Lewandowski. As with the BLM, the DOW here offers info on the resources it manages, regulations, and more — all from a friendly staff, and volunteers. "We're an agency that's providing service to the public," Lewandowski said. "That's our job. In an area of Colorado that has great wildlife resources, lots of public lands and attracts tourists, we can help guide those people."

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OUTLOOK INDUSTRY & COMMERCE

MONTROSE DAILY PRESS

SUNDAY, JUNE 26, 2011

9

Crops, past and present

JOEL BLOCKER / DAILY PRESS

(Above) Alfredo Perez cultivates a field of corn on Sky Ute Sand and Gravel's land Tuesday afternoon. The benefit of field corn over sweet corn is that field corn can be harvested mechanically, reducing labor costs.

Crop diversity, water defines agricultural enterprise in Uncompahgre Valley BY ELAINE HALE JONES DAILY PRESS WRITER

"A hundred thousand acres of desolation." That's how The New York Times described western Colorado's Uncompahgre Valley over 100 years ago. Where irrigation water had been applied to the land from the nearby Uncompahgre River, results were impressive; fields of alfalfa, vegetable gardens and orchards provided a green oasis in an otherwise desert-like environment.Therewasamajor problem with diverting water from the river, however. There wasn't enough of the precious resource to go around and there wasn't enough to last through the entire growing season. It was a dilemma that forced local residents to find a solution and act quickly. Less than 20 miles east of Montrose, the waters of the Gunnison River roared through the depths of the Black Canyon Gorge, bypassing thousands of acres of fertile farmland surrounding Montrose, Olathe and Delta. The odds of tapping into this resource, however, were overwhelming. Two historic explorations of the canyon, undertaken in 1900 and 1901, disputed these myths and provided valuable data for future construction of a diversionary tunnel. The next major obstacle was funding for a project of this scope. In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Newlands Act, which set up the first federally-funded program to reclaim arid lands for agriculture. A local delegation of supporters presented their case, known as the "Gunnison Tunnel Project," to the newly-established Bureau of Reclamation. After several false starts, the Bureau took over the irrigation project. Construction of the six-mile-long tunnel was a true engineering marvel.

Over five million feet of rock had to be removed to dig the tunnel 11 feet wide and 13 feet high. Incredibly, there was only a 3-inch variance at the point where crews from the east and west portals met on July 6, 1909. At its full capacity, the tunnel released over 1,000 cubic feet of water per second to thirsty acres across the Uncompahgre Valley. The completion of this momentous project in the summer of 1909 marked the beginning of a new era in the development of the Uncompahgre Valley. The following year, 1910, saw irrigated acreage and the number of farms nearly double in Montrose County. Alfalfa: Alfalfa hay has been grown in the Uncompahgre Valley since the mid 1880s, just shortly after the founding of Montrose in 1882. Some of the first hay harvested was wild meadow grass that was cut and hauled to supply the early mining camps of the nearby San Juan Mountains. Large cattle companies of the day also depended on locally grown alfalfa hay to feed their herds during the winter months, creating a mutually beneficial business. Alfalfa, a deep-rooted perennial, proved to be a good drought resister and grew exceptionally well in both the lower and higher elevations of the Uncompahgre Valley. Hay fields also provided good ground cover, reducing the risk of soil erosion from wind and water and added vital nutrients to the soil. Aside from the economic benefits of raising alfalfa, the summer time ritual of harvesting and “putting up� hay helped define the rural culture of the early part of the 20th century. The process was very labor intensive; on an average 40-acre farm of the day, one-third of the production of crops went to feed the (work) horses. For

COURTESY PHOTOS

(Above) Without water development at the turn of the 20th century, most of the Uncompahgre Valley would have remained a semi-arid desert, dependent on snow melt from the nearby mountains and too little rainfall.

well over a century, hay production has helped sustain a way of life, benefiting the livestock (Below) The fruit industry was big business in the Uncompahproducer as well as gre Valley in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Spring Creek Mesa providing an annu- was the site of the famous Ashenfelter Orchard, which covered al cash crop for over 350 acres and produced a wide variety of fruit, including area farmers and a large vineyard and strawberry garden. ranchers. Fruit, onions, bees and sugar beets: The fruit industry boomed in the Montrose area during the late 1880s and early 1900s. Spring Creek Mesa was the site of the famous Ashenfelter Orchard, which covered 360 acres of fruit trees, a large east of Montrose, was one area that vineyard and strawberry garden. Ap- produced exceptionally high quality ples (Jonathans, Rome Beauties, potatoes, which were shipped to eastGrimes Golden) and peaches (Elber- ern markets such as Kansas City. Antas) proved to be the most profitable other early-day market for potatoes fruit grown in the area although cher- was again to supply mining camps in ries, plums, pears and apricots also the nearby San Juan Mountains. Afthrived. California and New York ter suffering through staggering price were the major markets for apples declines during the 1930s, local potato grown here. farmers saw renewed successes after In addition to orchards, small-scale 1940 when the value of their crops infarming produced sizeable harvests creased once again to $1,689,752 in during this time. At the Western Slope 1943. Crop diversification has also led Fair (forerunner of Montrose County to the successful cultivation of Fair) held in Montrose in 1904, an onions, Pinto beans, field corn (grown Olathe farmer exhibited 117 varieties for cattle feed in winter) and a variety of vegetables grown on his acreage. of grains, including wheat, oats and Another farmer sold nearly $5,000 barley. worth of onions grown on 4-1/2 acres "Olathe Sweet": One crop, in parof ground. ticular, has developed over the past Over 5,000 colonies of bees made two decades, putting the town of their home in the valley during the Olathe on the map. That crop is the faearly part of the century. Honey pro- mous "Olathe Sweet" sweet corn. duced here won first place at the St. The seed for this delicacy originated Louis Fair in 1904. The sugar beet in- in the late 1960s at the University of dustry was also introduced the same Illinois and was researched and peryear. Growers found a high percent- fected by Dave Galinat, owner and opage of saccharine in the beets,an aver- erator of Mesa Maize, a seed production company in Olathe. The variety age of 16-19 percent. Potatoes: Early-day farmers were of corn, now marketed under the skeptical about growing potatoes "on "Olathe Sweet" label, was developed this side of the divide," but they soon by Olathe farmer, John Harold, in the discovered their fears were unfound- early 1990s. When the first crop of the ed. Not only did raising potatoes be- sweet corn was introduced to the pubcome a major industry in the Uncom- lic in 1990, it was an immediate sucpahgre Valley, the crops gained the cess with local consumers. reputation as some of the finest During its first year of production, grown anywhere in the country. 80 percent of the harvested crop was Crop diversification techniques shipped to California, but by its secprompted experimentation in alter- ond season in 1991, local demand for nating alfalfa with other crops. Pota- the vegetable was outweighing suptoes proved to be alfalfa's perfect rota- plies. tional partner, thriving in soils plantIn 2009, approximately 1,300 acres of ed several seasons after a hay crop. "Olathe Sweet" were harvested in the Bostwick Park, located about 10 miles Uncompahgre Valley. Number of farms in Montrose County 1910: 1,138 1920: 1,368 Land in farms (acres) 1910: 151,375 1920: 218,255 In 1925, the total area farmed under the Gunnison Tunnel Project was 61,637 acres; the average size of farms within the undertaking was 43.8 acres. Agricultural production was valued at over $3,000,000. Among the principal crops were potatoes.

Number of farms in Montrose County 2007: 1,045 Average size: 307 acres Top crop items (acres) Forage (land used for hay): 38,467 Corn for grain: 10,255 Dry edible beans: 4,208 Corn for silage: 3,363 Vegetables harvested for sale: 3,117


10

OUTLOOK INDUSTRY & COMMERCE

SUNDAY, JUNE 26, 2011

MONTROSE DAILY PRESS

Hydropower Locals use already developed resources to create more resources BY KATI O'HARE DAILY PRESS WRITER

The water is there, as is the fall in elevation, so why not use it? That was the thinking of the local power cooperative and water users association when they decided to move forward with a hydropower project on the South Canal. For more than 100 years, the South Canal has carried water diverted from the Gunnison River through the Gunnison Tunnel for use by the Uncompahgre Valley, both for irrigation and municipal use. "It's using the resource that's already there," said Ed Suppes, water master for the Uncompahgre Valley Water Users Association (UVWUA). Five sites along the South Canal have potential for hydroelectric generation be-

cause of elevation drop and water flows. Delta-Montrose Electric Association has partnered with the UVWUA to develop two of these sites. Based on historic flows in the canal, the two sites could generate a capacity of about six megawatts (MW) of energy — about 25 to 30 million kilowatt-hours annually. That amount of energy could power 3,000 average homes served by DMEA, according to the cooperative. Electricity, however, only will be generated during the irrigation season, usually from late March through October. And irrigation water still will be the first priority in operating the canal, DMEA project manager Jim Heneghan said. "Water will be directed from the canal, fed through

a pipeline, called a penstock, where it builds pressure. The pressurized water is fed to the turbine. The turbine turns the generator to produce electricity and depressurized water is returned to the canal," he said. Suppes said that, "it's designed to be used strictly when irrigating, so it won't affect flows." Though the concept is fairly simple, the process to approve such a project is not — one of the main reasons many such projects don't get off the ground. But DMEA and UVWUA are pushing forward and hope to have the facility constructed by 2013. "The process of permitting generation facilities at these two sites is under way and will take some time," Heneghan said.

We All Have a

The parties have to negotiate a "lease of power privilege." This lease has a maximum length of 40 years and establishes the cost of leasing the water from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. It also will set the guidelines for ensuring irrigation water is not impeded and how the facilities are maintained. Environmental impacts of the project must be assessed per the National Environmental Policy Act. This requires meetings, surveys of the property and public and agency responses to the project. Heneghan said he hopes to have its approval no later than this fall. "After all that is done, in an effort to shorten timing, we sent out a request for proposal," he said. Design/build firms who submitted proposals are

currently being reviewed and DMEA expects to select a contractor by the end of June or early July. Costs are somewhat still an unknown because of the different approvals pending. But Heneghan expects the project could cost between $20 and $25 million. "The biggest thing that the DMEA board of directors considered is that if we can develop within our district, that money stays here in the community," he said. "But more significantly, longterm, this is a renewable, nonpolluting resource that uses another resource. We are taking on something that is already a resource in this community. All those things help sustain that infrastructure, and long term, that is significant."

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OUTLOOK INDUSTRY & COMMERCE

MONTROSE DAILY PRESS

SUNDAY, JUNE 26, 2011

11

JOEL BLOCKER / DAILY PRESS

(Above) Paul Minerich, plant manager at Russell Stover Candies, shows off a 10 pound block of chocolate while giving a tour of the factory. (Left) Maria Lucero works the chocolate coating station at Russell Stover Candies. (Below) An employee with Russell Stover Candies prepares to box bags of candy at the factory.

The 'sweet-cret' of success Russell Stover factory pumps up local economy BY KATHARHYNN HEIDELBERG DAILY PRESS SENIOR WRITER

MONTROSE — If success has a smell, it's got to be chocolate. Proof ? Look no further than the 300,000 squarefoot building off South Townsend Avenue, the Russell Stover Candy factory, which began production 37 years ago and, despite some temporary layoffs in 2008, today employs up to 370 people at a time. The factory sits on a large campus behind the Russell Stover retail store. "I never get tired of chocolate," says Paul Minerich, Russell Stover's plant manager, a man who buys his sugar by the silo, and his chocolate in 10-pound bricks. While there are several Russell Stover candy stores, Montrose's is one of only four factories. The local plant fills the smallest of runs — but makes the largest variety of candy. "Last year, we were extremely busy. We're anticipating being extremely busy again. We're happy for that," Minerich said, as he strolled through the labyrinthine production plant earlier this month. Minerich can't divulge all of the candy factory's secrets, but he can show enough to make your mouth water. First stop: a lower-level room with hulking sugar silos that contain the same stuff that's on your table — but 137,500 pounds of it, per silo. Upstairs are pallets of chocolate bricks, which are ground into Russell Stover's unique blend, and melted at temperatures between 115 and 120 degrees. This raw, "virgin" chocolate is piped into 20,000pound capacity vats downstairs, where it’s even hotter. One tank holds chocolate to be used in Russell Stover's regular candy; the other holds the chocolate used in its sugar-free variety. In the factory's "kitchen," workers make the centers for the candy varieties. The center material — butter, crème, and more — is a mass as it comes through the extruding machine, where it is shaped. Rows and rows of the shaped material then make their way down a conveyor belt for heat-treatment, and run through the coater, where piped chocolate covers the treat. From there, the candy goes into a cooling tunnel, where it sets up and emerges as a finished product. "It's all about the time it sits, and the temperature is critical," Minerich said. The candy then comes through another room, with a massive conveyor, where it is sorted, wrapped, and makes its way up yet another conveyor — think of a waterfall in reverse — and packaged. But it's not just candy that's made at the plant. Workers also make and assemble boxes and other packaging material, for shipments and for the company's retail stores. Never be fooled by the date on the calendar: At Russell Stover, they are already filling orders for the Christmas rush. "When we (people in general) think of Christmas, we think of Dec. 25," Minerich said. "We're way ahead of that." The candy factory has been a Montrose main-

stay for decades, notes Sandy Head, executive director of Montrose County Economic Development Corp. "They do pay good wages out there. They have benefits, they keep their employees for a long time," she said. "They also buy a lot of local product in the manufacturing of their candies. They've been a strong community supporter, especially for youth programs." For Minerich, the complex operation is in some ways simple. "We make a good product. That's why we're successful," he said. "I'm not a fortune teller, but we feel blessed people are still buying chocolate."

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OUTLOOK INDUSTRY & COMMERCE

SUNDAY, JUNE 26, 2011

MONTROSE DAILY PRESS

▲ COURTESY PHOTO / GORDON COMPOSITES

Among the most critical components of a modern bow are the limbs that store and release energy. At Gordon Composites, the creel for making bow limbs is one of the largest in the world with up to 3,000 ends pulled for a single sheet of composite material. When you consider that each end may be made up of 800 or more individual glass filaments, a bow limb could contain more than a million glass fibers.

Stable company continues to grow in community BY KATI O'HARE DAILY PRESS WRITER

A manufacturing icon and employment driver in the community since 1994, Gordon Composites is adding, once again, another component to improve its product and distribution. With the recent addition of the company's new president and general manager, Kevin Stay, comes NoVoc Solutions, Inc. "He (Stay) brings nearly 30 years of industry leadership experience and his knowledge will be a great help to our customers and our company as we continue to grow the business," said Mike Gordon, chairman of Gordon Holdings, Inc., the umbrella company to Gordon Composites. NoVoc Solutions was founded by Stay, and it incorporates a simple environmental friendly surface treatment on substrates to make them temporarily conductive, and therefore, able to be powder coated, according to its website. Teaming this technology with the patented technology of Gordon Composites is exciting, Stay

New manager brings new ideas, products

combines glass fibers with epoxies to create its product. And now, by adding the technology to powder coat those products, the company — and its products — are that much stronger, Stay said.

parking decks. said. Its secret to success is in its "I see the future being that much more," he said. "We have put processes — the way in which it things in place to enhance growth." Gordon Composites was founded in the 1950s in California and now calls Montrose its headquarters. In 2004, Gordon Holdings added Polystrand, which developed "the next generation" of fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites. That company recently expanded to the Front Range to make refrigerated truck liners. Gordon Composites specializes in developing the material science of pre-cured composites, and offers materials that out perform others in the industry. Over the years, it has developed and expanded its product line to include diverse applications from highperformance sail batten watercrafts to snowboards, archery COURTESY PHOTO bows and reinforcements for in- This glass fiber material, unique to Gordon Composites, is woven and epoxied in frastructures such as bridges and such a way that it creates a strong material used in many different ways.

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OUTLOOK INDUSTRY & COMMERCE

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JOEL BLOCKER / DAILY PRESS

Olathe farmer Skeeter Chamberlain, right, talks with farmer's market patrons during the first market of the season held May 14.

SUNDAY, JUNE 26, 2011

13

JOEL BLOCKER / DAILY PRESS

Jeff Downs, right, a sustainable farmer with Kinikin Foods, makes a sale at Farmers Market earlier this month.

The Montrose Farmers Market 30 years of local vendors

BY ELAINE HALE JONES DAILY PRESS WRITER

Supporting the local economy and eating healthier are two driving forces behind the 30 plus year success of the Montrose Farmers Market, one of the oldest on the Western Slope. Originally called the Uncompahgre Farmers Market, vendors featuring everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to locally-made arts

and crafts, set up booths every Saturday during the summer on the east side of the fairgrounds. The market remained at this location until 2003, when members packed up and moved downtown. It was hoped that the new location at Centennial Plaza would draw more customer traffic. The re-location also

JOEL BLOCKER / DAILY PRESS

Tracy Harrison, far left, talks with Bob and Roxi Lane, owners of Dayspring Farms, about some of their lavender products during a Farmers Market earlier this month.

tied in with the city's marketing plan emphasizing historic sites in the downtown area. Last year, the market moved once again. This time, vendors set up at the new Oxbow Crossing shopping center, south of Montrose, with hopes of being more visible to more people. In February of this year, members voted to return to downtown Montrose. As many agreed, the market has been and will continue to be an integral part of the downtown area, where customers can leisurely park and walk to South First Street and Uncompahgre near Centennial Plaza, listen to music and chat with vendors away from a busy thoroughfare. Despite all the moves and changes over the years, the heart of the farmers market remains true to its original mission--connecting the customer with the grower and providing a wide variety of fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs, (and now three local meat producers) to a loyal clientele. Founding market member and longtime participant, Pam Friend,

recalled that when her parents, George and Elizabeth DeVries started raising and selling produce from their farm in 1943, local customers were primarily looking for squash, potatoes, onions, green beans and wax beans. Now, said Pam, customers want a larger variety of produce including Roma tomatoes (which are popular in making sauces) and chili peppers. The DeVries family operation now includes a buffalo ranch and 20 acres of truck gardens. Some of the "top sellers" at their booth are Green River melons, Olathe Sweet sweet corn, Palisade peaches and homegrown tomatoes. "We used to get an older group of people who knew what it was to grow a garden," she said. "Now we get a lot of younger people in search of organic foods." The Montrose Farmers Market is open Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October. In addition to weekly entertainment, local non-profit groups such as Friends of the Library and Morningstar Therapy Dogs have taken advantage of the location to offer information and services to citizens of Montrose.

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OUTLOOK INDUSTRY & COMMERCE

SUNDAY, JUNE 26, 2011

Antiquing, specialty shops BY ELAINE HALE JONES DAILY PRESS WRITER

Antique shops are fast becoming "the places" to shop for unusual as well as historical pieces. When actress Daryl Hannah was looking for an antique medicine cabinet to complete her bathroom decor, she chose a local shop where John Wayne would have felt right at home surrounded by spurs, saddles and a poster of “War Wagon” hanging on the wall. Located south of Montrose on U.S. 550 near the Ute Indian Museum, the row of antique and specialty shops known as "The Boardwalk" offers a different twist to shopping on the Western Slope. Each of the shops is an example of “theme” marketing showcasing the diversity of talents and business ownership in the area. Long catering to collectors only, antique shops now attract the home decorator looking for items such as long wooden skis and snowshoes,

vintage fishing poles, tackle and creels, old photographs and kitchen wares to accent rooms throughout the house. Vintage metal advertising signs are another coveted item, especially if they show a little rust and age. Old license plates are also a big draw; popular with a variety of clientele, from people restoring cars from the 1940s, 50s and 60s to those looking for colorful additions to walls in basements, garages or outdoor sheds. Interior decorators are constantly searching for what they like to call "fun junk." Many like to invent their own unique displays like using ice tongs as paper towel holders and horseshoes to hold rolls of toilet paper. Local artists also discover new and exciting ideas for their artwork in bins of antique beads, for example. In addition to supplying ‘fun junk’ material for interior decorators and artists, many customers in the Uncompahgre Valley are also seeking farm-related

MONTROSE DAILY PRESS

JOEL BLOCKER / DAILY PRESS

Ken Walker, of Old Home Highlights, rearranges some antique candlesticks at his shop earlier this month. Old Home Highlights is located at 201 South Fifth Street.

antique items to hang up in their barns. Much of the stability for these types of businesses, including specialty shops located in downtown Montrose, has come from staying open year round and catering to repeat customers. Much of the cowboy and Indian memorabilia is traded back and forth with other dealers or regular customers seeking particular items. This diversity has allowed small business enterprises such as these to remain viable but it’s definitely the fun of meeting people and being able to “blend artistic talent and antiques” that keeps owners and customers alike coming back for more. In addition, the growing popularity of television shows, such as the History Channel's "American Pickers," has focused a new light on "recycling" items, truly making one man's junk another man's (valuable) treasure.


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Western Slope wonder Black Canyon attracting people from all over U.S. BY MATT LINDBERG DAILY PRESS WRITER

MATT LINDBERG/DAILY PRESS

Sid Spain points out a portion of the canyon to family members Denny and Robyn Spain at a lookout at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park's visitors center. The family, from Lakewood, Colo., was visiting Montrose as part of their summer vacation.

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As the Iowa-based Miller family exits Coffee Trader on a recent morning, 7-year-old Julian jumps off the entrance steps chanting “Black Canyon” repeatedly. The family is on its way back to Iowa after visiting family in Durango, and parents Brent and Kelly said they promised they would take their son, Julian, to see the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park on their way home after hearing about it. About a half hour later, they

reached the deck at Tomichi Point, the first stop at the south rim entrance of the park, and everyone — even Julian — became silent. Their jaws dropped. “Way cool!” an excited Julian told his parents staring at the canyon. After checking out the vistor’s center, it’s evident the family is happy they made the stop. “We kept hearing that we had to visit the Black Canyon, from just about everyone,” Brent said. “I’m glad we did. You don’t see anything like this in Iowa, or really

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DAILY PRESS FILE PHOTO

From left, Carole Witt and her husband, Gerry, tour the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park with their friends Arleen and Ed Gray of Santa Clara, Utah.

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OUTLOOK INDUSTRY & COMMERCE

SUNDAY, JUNE 26, 2011

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▲ anywhere. It’s incredible.” The Millers aren’t the first, and won’t be the last family to visit the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. The park welcomes nearly 225,000 visitors from all over the United States each year, said Park Ranger Paul Zaenger. He also said the park's visitors numbers have gone up and down in the past decade, but have seen growth in 2009 and 2010. The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument was officially designated America's 55th national park on Oct. 21, 2009. Located nearly midway between the Continental Divide and the desert of Colorado and Utah borders, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison ranges in elevation from 5,500 feet near Delta, to a little more than 9,000 feet at its highest point east of Montrose. The 48-mile long gorge features some of the oldest rocks on earth, dating back more than a billion years ago, Zaenger said. The park has been instrumental in bringing visitors to Montrose, said Jenni Sopsic, director of marketing and public relations for Montrose Association of Commerce and Tourism. "Absolutely, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is by far our biggest natural asset we have in the area," Sopsic said. "Those visitors stop in Montrose to shop, to eat and to fill their gas tanks, and hopefully stay one more night in Montrose." The park features two entrances: the more-developed south rim is located just 15 miles east of Montrose, while the north rim is 11 miles south of Crawford. One of the main attractions of the park is the scenic drive along the south rim. There also are two campgrounds and several miles of hiking and nature trails at the south rim. In addition, the Black Canyon also is known for rock climbing, fishing and rafting. Boat tours also are featured in the Black Canyon at nearby Curecanti National Recreation Area in the summer season. "If there's anything people want and we're in a position to provide it, that's what we're going to do," Zaenger said. "That's what we want to do." The park's ability to give people a break from the everyday stress in their lives could be a big reason people stop by, he added. "I think it can put people in perspective of time or space. In perspective of other living things, or maybe just a chance to stop and smell the roses," Zaenger said. "I think the outdoors are a great escape." Tourists echoed the park ranger's sentiment. "I think it's pretty darn neat something like this is here," said Gary Caldwell, of Austin, Texas. "We don't have nothing like the Black Canyon where I'm from. It's so peaceful here." Mary Smith-Phillips, of Miami, Fla., was visiting the park on a recent morning for the third consecutive year, and said it's a must-see attraction. "I have family on the Western Slope that I visit each year, and I make a point to come spend a few hours up here. It's so beautiful," Smith-Phillips said. "Black Canyon can't be put into words. You just have to see it with your own eyes to appreciate its beauty." Although it's no secret the U.S. is in a struggling economy, Zaenger said the park hopes to continue to attract visitors by promoting tourism by working with other local agencies, such as Ute Indian Museum, the Montrose County Historical Society and Montrose Association of Commerce and Tourism (ACT). "Societies keep things they value, and we think the American people will always treasure their national parks," Zaenger said. "The American people embrace their parks. And especially in tough times, it's the best bargain for the dollar they can find."

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Park Ranger Paul Zaenger (back left) and Language Interpreter Ross Valdez (front left) discuss with visitor Victor Streit, of Salina, Kan., some of the popular stops along the south rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

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