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Something worth touching

­elegraph­ the­­­­durango


March 26, 2020

Vol. XIX, No. 13 durangotelegraph.com











On the frontlines

Elk milk & yoga crisps

Small potatoes

MakerLab mobilizes to fabricate medical supplies locally p8

The Telegraph coloring contest’s wonderfully weird winner p9

These spuds may make the world go away – for a little while p10

e miss seeing you all out and about enjoying this community we love to call home.


Thanks to all the essential workers out there keeping our world turning. Thanks Durango for continuing to find ways to support your local small businesses and not-for-profit community during this time. We need each other now more than ever, and we’re grateful to live in such a caring community. Be well Durango as you shelter with your loved ones. When it’s safe to shake hands, give hugs, fist bump, crowd surf, dance, cheers and close the social distance, we can’t wait to celebrate with you.

970-828-2222 528A Main Ave., Durango durangolandandhomes.com

2 n March 26, 2020



4 La Vida Local

Mother of invention MakerLab mobilizes to help supply much-needed medical equipment

4 Thumbin’ It

by Missy Votel

5 Word on the Street


Ear to the ground: “What do we call babies being born now? Coronnials? Even lazier than Millennials – they just stay home all the time.” – Local text thread on the big takeaways from the current pandemic




6 Soapbox

Color me impressed

6 ReTooned

The awesomely weird winner of last week’s coloring contest ...

8 Local News 9 Coloring contest winner


10 Flash in the Pan

Small potatoes These spuds just might make the world go away – for a little while

11 Top Shelf

by Ari LeVaux

12 Activities Page


13 Ask Rachel

Local public stations switch it up to grapple with changing times

14 Free Will Astrology

Raised on radio by Chris Aaland

15 Classifieds


15 Haiku Movie Review

Bedazzle this

On the cover: Signs of life glide through the water at the Durango fish hatchery recently./ Photo by Stephen Eginoire

Just because you’re in lockdown, doesn’t mean your creativity has to be too ...


EDITORIALISTA: Missy Votel (missy@durangotelegraph.com) ADVERTISING AFICIONADO: Lainie Maxson (lainie@durangotelegraph.com) STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER: Stephen Eginoire


he Durango Telegraph publishes every Thursday, come hell, high water, beckoning singletrack or monster powder days. We are wholly owned and operated independently by the Durango Telegraph LLC and


VIRTUAL ADDRESS: www.durangotelegraph.com

STAR-STUDDED CAST: Lainie Maxson, Chris Aaland, Clint Reid, Stephen Eginoire, Jesse Anderson, Zach Hively and Shan Wells

PHONE: 970-259-0133 E-MAIL: telegraph@durangotelegraph.com

MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. Box 332 Durango, CO 81302


distributed in the finest and most discerning locations throughout the greater Durango area. We’re only human. If, by chance, we defame someone’s good name or that of their family, neighbor, best

friend or dog, we will accept full responsibility in a public flogging in the following week’s issue. Although “free but not easy,” we can be plied with schwag, booze and flattery.


Stop the presses Amid the frenzy of closures and cancellations of everyday life, the Telegraph has found it increasingly hard to weather the coronastorm. Despite the support of our many awesome advertisers, who have helped keep us afloat in these difficult times, we will be taking a hiatus next week (April 2), with plans to print again April 9. Although it was a hard decision to make, it is the right thing to do considering current “stay-athome” recommendations and the health risks to our sole delivery person (who is no spring chicken, but still looks pretty damn good for her age, if we don’t say). But fear not faithful readers. During our week off, we will continue to update our website, www. durangotelegraph.com, regularly – probably even more so now that we’re stuck at home with nothing to do but sit around in the same ratty sweats and yell at the kids. We would also like to make a shameless plug right now for web advertising, which is dirt cheap – and talk about a captive audience! For more information on web ads, contact our most amazing ad-itorialista, Lainie Maxson, at lainie@duranogtelegraph.com. For all other inquiries, email missy@duranogtelegraph.com. Rest assured – the Telegraph is not going away, and we’ll see you soon. In the meantime, keep those coloring page submissions coming!

Hit ‘like’ Looking for advice from other community members or wanting to know who’s still doing take-out in Durango? Let your fingers do the clicking. Last week “Stand Together Durango COVID19” launched on the FB-iverse to act as a community hub to disseminate information and support fellow community members. “This unprecedented COVID-19 crisis is taking its toll on many small businesses,” the page’s administrator Katherine Sumrall Griego wrote. “We want to help support local businesses in the Durango area by giving them all one place to promote their business and let people in Durango know how they can still buy from them.” Whether it is curbside dining, shopping online, an online class, buying a gift certificate for use later or just sharing helpful information, she adds, “We can all help right now.”

March 26, 2020 n



LaVidaLocal Brave new world It’s been a week of new experiences. I set up a home office for teleworking. I attended my first zoom meeting. I bought my first bottle of wine via local store app with curbside delivery, (which I promptly soaked down with a homemade solution of rubbing alcohol and water). And, I scheduled my first virtual game night/dinner party. (We’re playing Yahtzee, if you were wondering.) It’s a brave new effing world. I’m jumping in with both feet. Reg and I got out and snowshoed up La Plata. We spent the day making a Roo Doo Doo - a meditational path tromped into the snow. It included a huge Celtic spiral maze, and took ten minutes to transit. We were proud. On the way out, a skier’s car got stuck and could not be moved as the automatic transmission locked into park. As it happened, her truck- a big grey Tundra, blocked the entire egress into and out of the parking lot, effectively bottling up some 12 vehicles and their owners, most of whom wanted to leave for the day. Through dumb luck and a late start, our truck was parked ahead of the plug. We could have left, but it was important to wait and make sure the situation was resolved, for obvious reasons. Various solutions were tried, and it was clear that the only way to get the truck out was for us to drag it bodily forward over the slick icy road. So we moved our truck close in and got out the big yellow tow rope. Suddenly it was discovered that another fellow had a line on how to reset the computer that controlled the Tundra’s transmission. Damn. Really? The fellow was dark haired and tall. He toted a small toolbox that was obviously well kept, including a shining socket set and several important tools that one would need for, say, fixing an engine. He was in contact via cellphone with an uncle, who had the aforementioned digital solution. In short order, the appropriate magic steps were applied to reset the tiny

brain of the vehicle, which included turning it on and off in specific ways. I found myself thinking of how Brachiosaurs also had smallish grey matter facilities relative to their gigantic Jurassic-sized body mass. A satisfying clunk was heard. And lo, the beast woke and lurched eagerly forward, clearing the plug. We all cheered, and I danced the Hava Nagila, not because I am Jewish but because it’s a great song. This was a group project no one knew would be coming their way when we got up that morning and decided a short jaunt in the snowy woods was just the ticket. But we rose to it. Pulling, pushing, thinking, calling an uncle, and weirdly, maintaining a safe social distance through it all. And it was weird...meeting folk and not maintaining the social norms of greeting. Thinking “If I tell this person my name, then I have to shake hands.” Turns out, that in actuality, no, you don’t. And it’s still just as fun to meet a new person anyway. Huh. It’s a brave new world. Let’s sort it out, with happy hearts and the right set of properly maintained silvery tools. Hava nagila Let’s rejoice Hava nagila Let’s rejoice Hava nagila ve-nismea Let’s rejoice and be happy (repeat) Hava neranenah Let’s sing Hava neranenah Let’s sing Hava neranenah ve-nismea Let’s sing and be happy (repeat) Uru, uru aim! Awake, awake, my brothers! Uru aim be-lev samea Awake my brothers with a happy heart (repeat line four times) Uru aim, uru aim! Awake, my brothers, awake, my brothers! Be-lev samea With a happy heart!

Sign of the Downfall:


We told you so.

Local organizations and individuals stepping up to pitch in and help the COVID19 cause, from helping businesses and those out of work to manufacturing much-needed medical supplies

The potential for coronavirus quarantines and job losses to usher in a wave of domestic violence in Colorado and across the country

La Plata Electric Association announcing it is postponinh the planned April rate hike and allocating $90k in special funds to help the community in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis

COVID-19 officially rearing its head in La Plata County, with San Juan Basin Health declaring its first positive case last weekas well three new ones this week

The Senate reaching a deal on the record $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill, which will help out-of-work Americans make ends meet and hopefully avoid widespread economic catastrophe

Spring breakers and other “invincibles” not heeding the social-distancing warning and continuing to congregate on beaches, bars and, uh, other “b” places

4 n March 26, 2020

– Shan Wells


One year ago, I warned you that a mysterious sarcophagus carved from black granite was found in Alexandria, Egypt, and that the authorities had decided to open it despite the curse written in hieroglyphics on the tomb. But did you listen? Did you call Egypt and tell them not to ruin everything? Did you stop to think that mummies are pretty much wrapped in toilet paper and that this is all connected? No. You didn’t. And now, the sign of our downfall is useless. Thanks. Guess I’m unemployed, too.



With advisories to shelter-in-place, the Telegraph asked: “What do you miss most about normal life?”

“I miss my kids’ wonderful teachers and being able to sit down to a nice dinner at Olio, the Ore House and Eolus.”




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“Not having humans in my house all day.”


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dance and art with the wonderful people of this special community.”

“Being around my classmates.”

“Perusing Maria’s.”



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March 26, 2020 n 5


ReTooned/by Shan Wells

Time to seriously question LPEA To the editor, If you pay an electric bill to LPEA, you are a member/owner. LPEA recently announced a rate increase that affects us all. I decided to investigate how the money would be spent. Asking the Board for a copy of the 2020 budget, I was given a summary budget with expenses totaling almost $24 million. When I asked again for a detailed budget, the CEO stated that I was given the exact information the board received and approved. LPEA said the April rate increase would be used to “maintain and improve electricity infrastructure and to prepare for the future of the electric grid.” However, the budget for operations and maintenance (infrastructure) is slightly less than in the past. The “administrative/general, and other customer services” expenses, on the other hand, are almost $11 million; a 22 percent increase over 2018! Exactly, what are administrative and other customer services that cost more than the infrastructure? How can the board of LPEA approve a budget without knowing expense details? I have a really hard time believing the board approved a budget on what I was given. I recently served on a fellow electric co-op board in Colorado for 14 years. Our board held annual budget meetings. We completed a “cost of service study” to determine rates based on what it actually costs to deliver electricity to members. Our chief financial officer presented a detailed budget (24-30 pages) that allowed us to make prudent and accountable decisions. So, I’m asking: is this board negligent, or is this a blatant lack of transparency to members? As some information is open to the public, I found these facts, from LPEA’s required IRS form 990, their annual reports and minutes over the past year. • CEO salary: $300,000+/year

• Combined salary of top 10 employees: $2 million/year • 2019 Board expenses: $310,000+ I’ve heard $1 million+ has been spent on

attorneys/consultants to explore breaking our contract with our electricity provider, Tri-State, but with the lack of accountability, who knows what the real cost is? 4

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It’s election time. Mail-in ballots will be sent April 15. I am running in District 4 and would appreciate your vote to stop the spending. – Sue McWilliams, Durango

A few more haikus for yous (Editors note: The following are in response to reader John Egan’s request last week for fellow Tele-ers to submit haikus in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Jenn Stewart answered the call, and then some. We are not sure if this was meant as one long haiku – a sort of haiku sonnet, if you will – or several short ones. All we know is, when this is over, we want to go to Jenn’s house for happy hour.) Let’s start a new day: toast and eggs with NPR, coffee with cool swan, hoping for sunshine, instead a flurry of snow, happy hour soon! Who’s making dinner? Negronis and some Coltrane, soon it will be dark. Yum, ice cold sherry. I’ll fix dinner again dear, how lucky are we. Read a few stories, thank the stars I have you here, Hasta Manana. It would be better quarantined on Saturdays with the Velvet Rut – Jenn Stewart, Durango

Lowdown on Tri-State and LPEA To the editor, In mid-April you will receive an LPEA Board Director ballot in the mail with your LPEA bill. Please use it to vote for clean energy candidates Rachel Landis, Guinn Unger and newcomer Doug Fults. As an LPEA memberowner familiar with the new clean energy market, I am grateful for this Board’s thorough analysis and measured progress toward cheaper, cleaner electricity. The LPEA Board’s majority are directors who won their seats based on their commitment to this. Please help keep this great team together by voting the incumbents back in. There are multiple reasons why our provider TriState’s wholesale electricity is more expensive than open market power. Here are some primary ones: The average percentage of coal used by American utilities has dropped from roughly 50 percent to 27 percent, beginning around 2007 – that’s when cheaper natural gas became widespread. While utilities migrated first to gas, then to renewables as their price dropped, Tri-State’s electricity has remained around 55 percent coal-generated. Tri-State’s generation relies so heavily on coal that in 2019 it ranked third most carbon-emitting per unit of electricity, of the largest 100 domestic electricity producers (according to M J Bradley – Benchmarking Air Emissions.) Wind, natural gas and solar compete as the cheapest fuels in widespread use, within a penny of $.02/kWh even with battery storage included. Coal costs about twice as much (over $.04/kWh) guaranteeing us high wholesale rates from Tri-State. Multiple market studies have shown potential savings from replacing coal plants with solar and wind, and Tri-State member coops have requested cleaner power. Nonetheless Tri-State has steadfastly resisted shifting away from coal. Why, you ask? Tri-State owns considerable coal assets, and since no one buys coal or coal plants any more,

those assets are “stranded.” So Tri-State may as well burn as much coal as possible, right? Then last year, the Colorado Legislature wisely mandated that every utility selling in our state create a “Responsible Energy Plan,” with enforceable milestones toward 100 percent clean energy. That’s when Tri-State suddenly became a “green producer” –on paper, anyway – with bold talk about future large renewable projects. Tri-State will save money by building renewables, it’s true. But their savings won’t lower our rates. They’ll go to service Tri-State’s $3.5 billion debt, which continues to grow because Tri-State has been paying very little principal. Our Tri-State contract (until 2050!) allows unlimited wholesale rate increases, and even Tri-State forecasts their own rates to keep rising until then. No wonder LPEA is not the only Tri-State member co-op seeking alternatives. The solar arrays that Tri-State talks about building in La Plata County would provide some jobs, which is good. But if we remain with Tri-State, LPEA will keep sending around $70 million out of our local economy for high-priced electricity, which is a shame. We’d miss a prime opportunity to build our own solar, pay off the cost within 8-10 years at rates still cheaper than TriState’s, then receive near-free electricity for the remaining life of the panels (which last around 25 years). This would lower our rates even further, support our local economy and create well-paying careers. Plus, we’d be much more energy-independent and safer from cyber attack and natural disaster. More reliable, cheaper, cleaner energy through community ownership is what cities are rapidly moving to across America (see Sierra Club Ready for 100). I applaud the LPEA Board for doing their homework to find a path to cheaper prices and clean energy. Please re-elect incumbents Guinn Unger and Rachel Landis, and elect newcomer Doug Fults. – Kirby MacLaurin, Durango

While I know times are challenging and things seem uncertain, we will get through this together with strength and dignity. Durango is strong, and we will come out the other side of this a better and even stronger community by working together in this time of transition.


March 26, 2020 n 7


A fab lab Durango’s MakerLab mobilizes to create much-needed medical supplies by Missy Votel


here’s something about times of distress that call out to one’s creative soul. Writers write; singers sing; artists art; and makers make. But in the case of the inventive minds at Durango’s MakerLab, they may actually save a life or two (or hundreds.) This week, the MakerLab, situated at the Powerhouse Science Center, began mounting a herculean effort to fill the void in medical and personal protective equipment (also known as PPE’s for you students of current events.) “We saw the need with the math coming in on the probability of the health system being overwhelmed,” MakerLab co-founder and director Ryan Finnigan said.

Got kids? The Powerhouse Science Center may be closed temporarily, but that doesn’t mean young minds can’t keep exploring. The Powerhouse is currently working on activities, MakerLab kits and online content for kids. To find out more about their virtual offerings, go to powsci.org/makerlab or tune into their Facebook page for daily STEM activities.

About a week and a half ago, Finnigan joined a Facebook group made up of an international consortium of makers focused on trying to solve some of the most pressing needs resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. The group, made up of a wide array of individuals, from nurses in Seattle to doctors in Italy, soon ballooned, from 150 members to more than 35,000. “We wanted to understand how fab labs and maker labs can assist,” he said. Before long, it became obvious where they could help the most: medical supplies. Using 3D printers, laser cutters and other high-tech devices, they could quickly produce prototypes and get supplies out to health-care professionals in their respective communities. And they could likely do it much quicker than national supply chains. Armed with that mission, Finnigan and other MakerLab rats mobilized, reaching out to the local medical community – Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango, San Juan Regional in Farmington and the Northern Navajo Medical Center in

Ryan Finnigan works in the MakerLab circa 2017. The lab and an army of more than 100 volunteers and health-care professionals are teaming up to supply the local medical community with much-needed facemasks and other safety gear./ Photo by Jennaye Derge Shiprock – to see what supplies were needed the most. Turns out the biggest asks were for face masks, face shields and head coverings (something known as “PAPRs” for extra credit.) He then sent out a call for local volunteers to help in the “making” effort. So far, he has a list of 75 – and it’s growing. “I don’t like the terminology, but it’s kind of like a war effort,” Finnigan said. The lab also began working with Dr. Jarrad Maiers, an ER doc from San Juan Regional who lives in Durango, to offer input and real-world advice on the designs. “He came by yesterday to review some early prototypes,” Finnigan said. The lab also delivered facemasks to two other ER doctors to test out this week. The lab is experimenting with masks made out of HEPA filter material as well as ways to sterilize and extend the life of existing masks. It has also begun working on designs for smaller, portable “bridge” ventilators. The lab has formed a medical review team made up of local professionals to help with the designs and end products.

A facemask prototype made of masonite and 2-liter pop bottles, “just in case more preferential materials run low.”/Courtesy photo

“The goal is to very quickly be able to deliver these to homes and get them into the hands of health care professionals,” he said. “It’s happening as we speak, and it’s a beautiful thing to see. We have the facilities, the equipment and the materials.” Much like the dizzying speed of the news cycle, Finnigan said he and his crew have been learning on the fly, including a crash course in medical lingo. N95, anyone? “Normally, I’m making potato guns and robotic couches,” he said of his former life, working with kids. “Now, I’m in the medical field. We’re developing systems as we go.” He’s also learned his most valuable asset is not his ability to use his hands and mind, but his ears and heart. “When we first started out, we thought, ‘We’re engineers, we can figure it out.’ We learned quickly and humbly that the most important thing to do is listen,” he said. Finnigan, who admits to not getting much sleep lately, said the effort has taken on a life of its own. Even as we spoke on Tuesday afternoon, the wheels – mental and mechanical – were churning away. He estimates there are between 100 and 150 people involved, in varying capacities. “I haven’t been able to stop, this has been so important as a community,” he said. “We have so much interest coming in. I feel really, hopefully, we can make a difference.” Yet, despite the urgency, the team could be in it for the long haul. “This isn’t a sprint; it could be a marathon,” he said. To help grease the wheels of ingenuity and keep the effort fueled, Finnigan is setting up a GoFundMe page for the MakerLab, where folks can donate to the cause. He said everything the lab learns will be open sourced, meaning shared around the world for anyone to use. And any supplies that can’t be used locally will go to use elsewhere. As a side benefit, Finnigan noted the production could create local jobs in a time when many have been laid off. “Working together is one of the most fundamental things we can do,” he said. “I think we sort of lost sight of that.” And who knows? All this brain power could result in other life-improving creature comforts for all of us down the road. “I ran out of toilet paper a month ago,” Finnigan said. “My brother and I are in the design phase of making a bidet of the future. For more on the Durango MakerLab, go to themakerlab.org. n

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8 n March 26, 2020


Congratulations to this week’s winner of the Telegraph coloring contest, Dan Groth, for his awesomely weird submission. While we hope to never need any of these products, it gave us hours, if not several minutes, of viewing “pleasure.” And for his efforts, Dan will receive the coveted and well-aged Dale’s Pale Ale from the Tele work fridge. Way to go, Dan!


March 26, 2020 n



Spuds in the time of COVID-19 by Ari LeVaux


he last night before the Spanish state of emergency went into effect, people gathered for a birthday in the only restaurant in the village where I was staying. The television was blasting scenes of coronavirus panic in Madrid, but nobody was paying attention to it, or the slow roll of the impending crisis. Aside from that wall-mounted television, Comidas Caseras de Carmen (Carmen’s Homemade Food), feels like an eatery from a different century. As soon as you take a seat, Carmen sets down a large flask of wine and a pitcher of water, and then asks what you want to drink. Her only other question is what kind of meat. Beyond your choice of meat, the menu is set. First comes a mound of lettuce topped with fresh raw veggies and drizzled with pomegranate dressing. Then, a steaming vat of soup and a stack of bowls. You ladle the soup and pass around the bowls. The soup changes daily. In my three visits I had cocido de hinojos, made with fennel and white bean; sopa de mariscos, a seafood soup thick with mussels, clams, squid and fish; and salmorejo, a cold, pureed gazpacho. After the soup comes a skillet of papas alins, potatoes cooked in sherry and olive oil. Decadently soft and impregnated with oil, they are so incredibly edible that the average diner waves the white flag before the skillet is half empty if they don’t pace themselves. Then come the meats. The rabbit tastes like chicken. The chicken is cooked in a Dijon turmeric sauce. The goat is in stew form and includes pieces of liver. My favorite was the lamb, salted and grilled. I washed down the melted fat with big gulps of wine from the bottomless flask. Finally comes dessert, usually natillas – a type of Spanish flan with a cookie on top – or avocado mousse, which tastes like vanilla custard with your eyes closed. Anyone who wants could have an espresso with dessert.

10 n March 26, 2020

My last taste of Carmen’s homemade food was takeout that we ate on our terrace in the small hamlet of GuajarFaraguit, just down the valley from Carmen’s. She had packed my food in Tupperware, and my wine filled a plastic liter soda bottle. When I returned the next night to bring back the dishes, the restaurant seemed more festive than usual, and her sister was more dressed up than usual. Some motorcycles roared to a stop outside, and several guests ran out, returning with boxes. An octopus-like cake holder appeared, and within moments each arm held a cake.

The birthday girl posed with each guest in front of the ornate cake rack. All the while, on the screen behind them, the news blasted updates of the impending lockdown. As she kissed her mother, I hoped I wasn’t witnessing a kiss of death. The next time I drove by Carmen’s, it was shuttered. The villages are now silent, but this eerie silence is comforting. Spain does not want to go the way of Italy, and the citizens and authorities are taking it seriously. We’ve been stopped by the police while on a grocery run. People keep their distance on the near-empty sidewalks as if scared of being


mugged. One person at a time is allowed in each shop. I’ve had my money sprayed with bleach after paying. Many locals are waiting out the epidemic in their mountain huts, next to olive groves where there is always work to do. Luckily, nobody is stopping us from hiking in the mountains, and I’ve been busy in the kitchen trying to recreate Carmen’s culinary magic. I will leave you with the potato recipe for now. This summer, when it’s hot, I’ll drop the avocado mousse and salmorejo recipes. And when fennel is available, and nobody knows what to do with it, I’ll give you the recipe for cocido de hinojas. This is my version of the recipe and not the official one, or Carmen’s. I started making it my way because I hadn’t realized it’s usually made with sherry, which I couldn’t find in the valley. But like the rest of Spain, and the rest of the world, we adjust and improvise when we have to. You can find the official version of this dish online, but my family has fallen in love with mine. Papas Alins in the time of COVID-19 2 servings 1 pound potatoes, sliced about ½ inch thick 1 cup olive oil 4 whole cloves garlic 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced 1/2 sweet red pepper, sliced 1 teaspoon salt Optional extras: olives, carrot slices Heat the oil on low/medium, add the potatoes, and let them slowly poach at a gentle simmer. If they stick above the oil a bit it’s OK, because soon they will soften, shrink and sink. Unlike with fries, here we want the oil to impregnate the soft potatoes. But if you cook them long enough a crust will form that serves to hold in the flavored oils. It’s not authentic, but it’s a nice touch. After about 10 minutes add the peppers, garlic and any other veggies you might care to. Move things around so the new veggies are submerged, and keep simmering until the peppers shrink and the air smells like a fragrant mix of potatoes and peppers. Strain the oil and serve. n


Raised on radio by Chris Aaland


ocial distancing is driving many of us stir crazy, especially after last week’s big dump. Not only do we crave physical interaction with each other, but we’re also an active community. Getting out to enjoy a few turns in fresh powder with a few buddies is one of the reasons many choose to live in a place like this. For nonskiers like me (three knee surgeries in the ’80s and ’90s put a halt to downhill pursuits), the first few days of social isolation were spent doing yard chores, cutting up firewood and more. But last week’s snowfall put a big, white blanket over those activities. I’m stuck indoors. Working from home is a welcome relief for me. KSUT, the radio station where I’ve worked since the summer of 2013, is operating with a skeleton staff right now. Starting last week, we limited ourselves to a maximum of three people in the station at once: one Four Corners Public Radio DJ, one Tribal Radio DJ and one support staff to answer phone calls, collect mail and take care of administrative duties. Anyone who travelled recently was placed under quarantine; others, like me, chose self-imposed isolation for health concerns. During the past two weeks, I limited myself to coming in on weekends to handle membership chores, process checks and credit card payments, and record my Wednesday night “Tales of the New West” program. We’ve also worked to move many of my duties to the cloud, allowing me to take care of my chores from the safety of home. Radio is more important than ever right now. It provides upto-the-minute local, state, national and international news – which during a pandemic, could mean life or death. But it also provides welcome and needed entertainment. “You’re sick of your record collection, so listen to us,” KDUR Station Manager Bryant Liggett told me earlier this week. Trust me, Liggett’s musical knowledge is extraordinary. I’ve been on his Snowdown music trivia team for nearly a decade. He’s well versed in everything from punk, alternative and altcountry to classical, jazz and show tunes. Social distancing at KDUR, much like at KSUT, has drastically limited the number of on-air voices to a few. For the most part, Liggett and Program Director Jon Lynch are delivering the goods, alternating days Monday through Friday with weekends pre-recorded. They’re trying their best to replicate the musical flavor of individual radio shows previously hosted by 40 or 50 volunteer DJs. In many cases, the quarantined hosts are emailing playlists and audio tracks to Liggy and Lynch to download, engineer and assemble into a two-hour show. The only thing that changes is the voice in between sets. To his credit, Lynch epitomizes college radio. He’s wellheeled in all things indie and alternative but also knowledgeable in other genres. The host of “Audience of One” now has

thousands of listeners every other day. Starting this Wednesday, KSUT is employing a similar tactic. Jim Belcher will arrive early each day for NPR’s “Morning Edition,” which airs from 6-9 a.m. Near the end of his shift, he’ll disinfect the control board and studio, ensuring the daytime DJ a safe and sanitized workspace. His replacement – be it Stasia Lanier, Ken Brott, Rob Rawls or Ted Holteen – will assume controls for the Morning Blend (9 a.m. ‘til noon) and Afternoon Blend (2-4 p.m.). The midday news program, “Here & Now,” which is generated out of Boston, will be extended to two hours from noon ’til 2 p.m. There will be a few exceptions to allow Executive Director Tami Graham and the aforementioned Belcher to pick up the occasional half-day Music Blend. For the time being, you’ll only hear me from 7-9 p.m. each Wednesday night for “Tales of the New West.” Tribal Radio has gone to a weekly shift, with Station Manager Sheila Nanaeto, Program Director Mike Santistevan and Lorena Richards covering shifts and ensuring national programs are scheduled and loaded. “It’s tied to your community,” Liggett said of radio. “We’re delivering community information that could be important to you.” The collaborative energy of public radio is at full strength. KSUT and KDUR are currently exploring a local news segment to be broadcast on both stations, with a handful of generous donors stepping up to fund the effort. The show must go on in the radio world. But stations around the country have seen revenue streams dry up due to the pandemic. When one business shuts down, its employees lose income. When people lose income, they are forced to prioritize expenditures. KSUT’s spring membership drive, held two weeks ago, raised about 50 percent of its goal. KSJD, Dryland Community Radio in Montezuma County had a similar experience with its spring drive. KDUR’s was scheduled for the first week of April but got postponed. All three stations are seeing underwriting revenue shrink. The pandemic will run its course. When it does, we will rebuild the normalcy of our lives, perhaps with a new, more sustainable lifestyle. It’s tough to look for silver linings when people are dying and suffering. But to see Italian rivers and canals with cleaner water, Chinese skies with cleaner air and people thinking, “Hey, maybe I should plant a garden” gives pause for hope. We’re reading again. We’re doing puzzles. We’re picking up instruments that have gathered dust in our closets. We’re delivering groceries to our neighbors. We’re putting aside political and religious differences to embrace concepts of humanity and community – even if done without handshakes and hugs. Be well, Durango. Stay safe. We’ll see you on the other side.


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Email me at chrisa@gobrainstorm.net n


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Bedazzle Your Own Facemask This week’s activity: White is so clinical! Time to get out the glitter pen, puffy paint, stickers and whatever else you can find in the junk drawer to make this dreadfully boring mask something to wear with pride. (Note: This activity is for entertainment purposes only. Sorry, but we’re pretty sure a facemask made out of newspaper will do nothing to protect you from deadly viruses and will only leave black smudges on your face. But, really, you should already know that.) Send a picture of your creations to telegraph@durangotelegraph and maybe win a prize!

Help Durango Dude This week’s activity: Durango Dude needs help making his own at-home sanitizer. Please help him pick out the items from below that will kill the most pesky germs. Feel free to add anything we may have left out – the possibilities are endless. Just don’t mix ammonia and bleach; we’re pretty those will make a dirty bomb the likes of which you’ve never seen. (*Again: for entertainment purposes only. For reals. If people are taking this page seriously, then we have bigger problems than killer viruses.)





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AskRachel Interesting fact: We all need a break from the coronavirus. Let me be that break. Dear Rachel, I have serious issues. I’m doing the whole social-distancing thing. I keep 6 feet away from people at all times. When I leave the house, that is. I do this anyway, it’s not a coronavirus thing. But now for some reason, when I see people I know on my weekly grocery run, I hug them. It’s like a compulsion. I can’t help it. It goes against who I am as a person, and everything we’re supposed to be doing to flatten this curve. How can I stop? – Hugs-a-lot Dear Squeeze Tube, OK – coronavirus is on everybody’s mind right now, so we’ll address it here, and THEN allow for a break in our regularly scheduled programming. Dude and/or dudette, it ain’t that hard. Have you tried, you know, NOT hugging people? Just imagine them coated in hundreds of thousands of virus particles, and not only will you not hug them, you’ll never want to be intimate with another human being again. It’s pretty much how I’ve stayed celibate this long. – Back off, Rachel

Dear Rachel, I had to take my dog to the vet today, and they would not even let me in the building. I’ve seen curbside delivery for dry cleaning, but never for veterinary care. They didn’t care how nervous my dog might be, or how badly she

needed me there with her while they took the porcupine quills out of her snout. Look, I get that this stupid coronavirus has us all taking precautions. But why couldn’t they make an exception out of compassion for a sweet animal? – In the Dog House Dear Pariah, Did no one get the memo? We are NOT talking about coronavirus this week! So instead, let’s talk about overly entitled people who think they are the exception to the rules. I remember one day when it was my classmate’s birthday in the third grade. She made chocolate cupcakes. Someone in the room took two because she was “twice as big as all y’all” and “I’m the teacher, so there,” which meant that the kid in the last desk didn’t get a cupcake at all. That kid was not me, but I still have bad dreams about the look on his face. – Liberty and justice for all, Rachel Dear Rachel, I never thought I’d be willing to do such dire, nasty deeds for a goddamn egg. I don’t care if the store is out of bread or milk. I’ve forgotten all about wine and whiskey. It’s the eggs that I crave. But every time I hit up the grocery store, they are completely and utterly out. I mean, there are some of the bleached white ones in styrofoam, but I won’t eat those. I need me some free-range organic browns, or at least cage-free ones in a recyclable carton. Got any eggs to spare? I’ll do you whatever you like… – One Bad Egg

Email Rachel at telegraph@durangotelegraph.com Dear Scrambled, Enough with the coronavirus. Enough! It’s taken my eggs from me too, and is that not enough? Now it has to steal my advice column too. Let’s end this once and for all. Wash your hands. Don’t leave the house. Throw electronic money at artists. And for god’s sake, stop licking each other in exchange for eggs. – Quarantined, Rachel


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FreeWillAstrology by Rob Brezsny ARIES (March 21-April 19): Your oracle comes from Aries poet Octavio Paz: “The path the ancestors cleared is overgrown, unused. The other path, smooth and broad, is crowded with travelers. It goes nowhere. There’s a third path: mine. Before me, no one. Behind me, no one. Alone, I find my way.” APRIL FOOL! Although the passage by Octavio Paz is mostly accurate for your destiny during the rest of 2020, it’s off-kilter in one way: It’s too ponderously serious and melodramatic. You should find a way to carry out its advice with meditative grace and effervescent calm.


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TAURUS (April 20-May 20): A century ago, fiery writer Maxim Gorky and hard-ass Taurus politician Vladimir Lenin were listening to a Beethoven sonata together. “I can’t listen to music too often,” Lenin told his companion. “It affects your nerves, makes you want to say stupid, nice things.” This is crucial advice for you to heed in the coming weeks, Taurus. You need to be as smart and tough as possible, so don’t you dare listen to music. APRIL FOOL! Lenin was half-mistaken, and I half-lied. The fact is, music makes you smarter and nicer, and those will be key assets for you to cultivate in the coming weeks. So yes, do listen to a lot of music. GEMINI (May 21-June 20): By the time he was 55 years old, Gemini author Thomas Hardy had written 18 novels and many poems. His stuff was good enough to win him two separate nominations for a Nobel Prize in literature. But during the last 32+ years of his life, he never wrote another novel. According to one theory, it was because he was discouraged by the negative reviews he got for his last novel. I suspect you may be at a similar juncture in your life, Gemini. Maybe it’s time to give up on a beloved activity that hasn’t garnered the level of success you’d hoped for. APRIL FOOL! The truth is, it is most definitely NOT time to lose hope and faith. Don’t be like Hardy. Rededicate yourself to your passionate quests. CANCER (June 21-July 22): Cancerian theologian John Wesley (1703-91) was a Christian who embodied the liberal values that Christ actually taught. He advocated for the abolition of slavery, prison reform, the ordination of women priests, and a vegetarian diet. He gave away a lot of his money and administered many charities. To accomplish his life’s work, he traveled 250,000 miles on horseback and preached 40,000 sermons. Let’s make him your role model for the coming weeks. Be inspired by his life as you vividly express your care and compassion. APRIL FOOL! I lied a little bit. Although most of what I just recommended

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is a good idea, the part about traveling long distances, either on horseback or by other means, is not. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): The neurotic but talented French novelist Marcel Proust observed, “Everything vital in the world comes from neurotics. They alone have founded religions and composed our masterpieces.” With that in mind, and in accordance with current astrological omens, I urge you to cultivate your own neurotic qualities in their extreme forms of expression during the coming weeks. You’re due for some major creative breakthroughs. APRIL FOOL! I was kidding. The fact is, you can generate creative breakthroughs in the coming weeks by being poised and composed – not extra neurotic. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Virgo author Leon Edel wrote a five-volume biography of renowned author Henry James. In the course of his research, he read 15,000 letters that were written by James. He came to have a profound familiarity with the great man. In accordance with current astrological omens, I recommend that you choose a worthy character about whom you will become equally knowledgeable. APRIL FOOL! I half-lied. It’s true that now is an excellent time to deepen your understanding of people you care about. But don’t get as obsessed as Edel! LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): About 2,000 years ago, a Roman woman named Sulpicia wrote six short love poems – a total of 40 lines – that are still being analyzed and discussed by literary scholars today. I bring her to your attention because I think that in the next four weeks you, too, could generate a small burst of beauty that will still be appreciated 2,000 years from now. APRIL FOOL! I lied about the “small” part. The burst of beauty you create in the immediate future could actually be quite large, as well as enduring. SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): French poet Louis Aragon (1897–1982) was an influential novelist and a pioneer of surrealistic poetry. Much of his writing had a lyrical quality, and many of his poems were set to music. He also had a belligerent streak. Before the publication of one of his books, he announced that he would thrash any writer who dared to review it in print. Success! There were no critical reviews at all. I recommend his approach to you in the coming weeks. Make it impossible for anyone to criticize you. APRIL FOOL! I lied. I would never suggest that you use violence to accomplish your aims. And besides that, the coming weeks will be a favorable time for you to solicit feedback of all varieties, even the critical kind.


SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22Dec. 21): I hesitate to be so blunt, but it’s my duty to report the facts. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you should have as many orgasms as possible in the next 15 days. You need to tap into the transformative psychological power that’s available through monumental eruptions of pleasure and releases of tension. (P.S. Spiritual orgasms will be just as effective as physical orgasms.) APRIL FOOL! What I just said is true, but I left out an important component of your assignment: Be loving and responsible as you pursue your joyous climaxes, never manipulative or exploitative or insensitive. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Ancient Greek orator Demosthenes was renowned for his skill at delivering powerful, charismatic speeches. While he was still learning his craft, he resorted to extreme measures to improve. For example, there was a time when he shaved just half of his head. It made him ashamed to go out in public, forcing him to spend all his time indoors practicing his speeches. Would you consider a similar strategy right now? APRIL FOOL! I was just messing with you. It’s true that the coming weeks will be a good time to minimize your socializing and devote yourself to hard work in behalf of a beloved dream. But shaving half your head isn’t the best way to accomplish that. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): The coming weeks will be a favorable time for you to tell as many lies as possible if doing so helps you get what you want. I hereby authorize you to engage in massive deceptions, misrepresentations and manipulative messages as you seek to impose your will on every flow of events. APRIL FOOL! I lied. In fact, everything I just said was the exact opposite of your actual horoscope, which is as follows: You have a sacred duty to tell more of the truth than you have ever been able to tell before. As you dig deeper to discover more and more of what’s essential for you to understand and express, dedicate your efforts to the goal of gliding along with the most beautiful and interesting flow you can find. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Fifteen minutes before the Big Bang occurred, where was the matter that now constitutes your body and my body? And if, as seems to be true, the Big Bang was the beginning of time, what time was it 15 minutes earlier? Questions like these are crucial for you to ponder in the next two weeks. APRIL FOOL! I lied. The questions I articulated should in fact be very low priority for you. In the immediate future, you’ll be wise to be as concrete and specific and pragmatic as you can possibly be. Focus on up-close personal questions that you can actually solve, not abstract, unsolvable riddles.


Deadline for Telegraph classified ads is Tuesday at noon. Ads are a bargain at 10 cents a character with a $5 minimum. Prepayment is required via cash, card or check. Ads can be submitted via: n www.duranogtelegraph.com nclassifieds@duranogtele graph.com HelpWanted Hiring Garden Crew Leader Long standing, woman owned garden maintenance company hiring positive Crew Leaders. Tasks: weeding, deadheading, raking, digging, mulching, etc while motivating others to do same. Clean driving record required. Looking for career oriented individuals. Bonuses given & opportunities for advancement. Wyld Iris Gardens 903-8315.

Lowest Prices on Storage! Inside/outside near Durango and Bayfield, RJ Mini Storage. 970-259-3494 Landscape/Fencing Construction Custom fencing, garden beds, trellis, pergolas, gates, decks and more. Repairs and maintenance on all outdoor structures. Outbuildings, reclaimed wood and metal siding. 970-799-4503 Harmony Organizing and Cleaning Services Home and office 970-403-6192

BodyWork Massage by Meg Bush, LMT 30, 60 & 90 min dwntwn Dgo 970-7590199 massageintervention.life Voted best massage in Durango 201819. Couples, cupping, local CBD. Reviews on FB + Yelp. 970-903-2984.

ForSale Immune Boost Products Elderberry tincture, osha, black aged garlic, frozen goji berries. Plants for sale. Local and organic. For price list email mtberrymedicine@gmail.com Landscapers Wanted Come join our team, working with Genesis Land and Water, servicing Durango since 2003. Fun and challenging custom residential installation projects. Specializing in hardscape and water feature installation. Also including all aspects of landscape installation and maintenance. Pay is dependent upon experience, some benefits available, full or part time. 970-259-5557 GenesisLandandWater.com

Wanted Cash for Vehicles, Copper, Alum, Etc. at RJ Metal Recycle. Also free appliance and other metal drop off. 970-259-3494. Anyone Have a Lap Pool I could swim in while the Rec Ctr is closed? Martha, 799-0285

Services RSE Handyman Services Home maintenance & repair, yard work, odd jobs, mechanical repairs 970903-0449 Tutor 13 years licensed experience. I will work with your child (K-12) in an engaging, creative way to achieve desired outcomes. Flexible rate: Sarah (505) 860-8250 Need a Medical Marijuana Card? Durango’s Family Health Care, a total family medical care office, is now offering medical marijuana cards to those that qualify. Walk-in OK, no appointment needed. $100 fee. We are at 29423 HWY 160. More info at Durangofhc.com

RealEstate Radon Services Free radon testing and consultation. Call Colorado Radon Abatement and Detection for details. 970- 946-1618.

ForRent Affordable Housing Homes for sale, less than $20K. Homes for rent, less than $800/mo. Mobile home sites, $285/mo + W/S. Clean, safe, family friendly community in Aztec, NM. Only 45 min from Durango. 505-334-7100 sunsetvillagemhc.com. We can help you move your home!

CommunityService Got facemask? the Durango Bag Project can make FREE facemasks out of sleeves from donated T-shrits. If you would like a facemask, please e-mail Sarah at columbine.sb @gmail.com

HaikuMovieReview ‘The Hotel New Hampshire’ This twisted, sad, sweet, funny, star-studded film is my most favorite – Lainie Maxson


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The Independent Weekly Line on Durango and Beyond

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The Independent Weekly Line on Durango and Beyond