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March 3, 2013

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GAME CHANGERS

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n. A newly introduced element or factor that changes an existing situation or activity in a significant way

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H O P E

Hope Carlton enjoying life as fashionista By AMY HAMILTON

Amy.Hamilton@gjsentinel.com

T CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON/The Daily Sentinel

Hope Carlton tries out different design elements at a Grand Junction home she is decorating. Carlton is an extreme multitasker, working various fashion-related jobs in the Grand Valley. Carlton, who lived at the Playboy mansion for four months, was featured as Miss July in 1985.

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rand Valley Magazine Editor Krystyn Hartman was in a bind. She had hired a “highend” photographer to shoot the women’s rugby team at what was then Mesa State College. But weather blew in, making the shoot impossible. On a recommendation, Hartman contacted Carlton about the assignment. “I knew I wanted a certain look, so I

AGENT OF CHANGE thought, maybe we shoot them indoors and make them look as if they’ve been playing,” Hartman said. “(Carlton) said, ‘I’ll handle it.’ I was so completely blown away with the results. She knocked it out of the park.” Hartman said she soon after invited Carlton to lunch “because I wanted her on my team.” Hartman said Carlton agreed to work for her, but she had something to tell her. That’s when Carlton told Hartman

about her work with Playboy. “I sat back and laughed. That makes me want you to work for me even more,” Hartman remembered thinking. “She is an absolute dream to work with. She works well under pressure. Things happen and I can always call on Hope to do it without compromise.” Hiring a stylist is one thing, said Matthew Breman, president of Cranium 360. But finding someone who can make a subject feel comfortable to go

on camera is an entirely different matter. That’s what Breman finds working with Carlton. “Half of the job is to make them look decent,” he said. “But keeping them relaxed is really important. It makes a huge difference if you can get somebody laughing. She brings a levity to every project we work with her.” Breman’s company was hired to do advertising for an international company that sells industrial

insulation. Company officials thought they wanted a male spokesman. Without the company’s permission, Breman filmed Carlton as a spokeswoman touting the company’s product and showed it to them. “Now every video we do with them they say, ‘We want Hope,’” Breman said. “Would we have gotten the business with a male spokesman? Yes. But I think the outcome was better and the client was happier.”

ake a seat at Hope Carlton’s work station and you start to feel a bit glamorous even before the pampering begins. A cluster of white globe lights mix with the sunlight flooding in from generous windows. Sizing up a client, she pulls brushes and a palette of makeup off a nearby shelf, organized neatly. A smattering of rose to fuchsia-colored home accents set off the studio, friendly shades of pink that might elicit a giggle from the most earnest tomboy. Her new current music fav, Pandora’s Pink Martini station with French music undertones, streams in from the living room.

See HOPE, page 4A ➤


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The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 3, 2013

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EYES ON THE SKY Jackson Trappett captures local birds in perpetuity

Photos by DEAN HUMPHREY/The Daily Sentinel

Local bird photographer Jackson Trappett is always on the lookout for a rare bird in the area. The 31-year-old makes sure to carry his camera with him, since an unexpected bird may show up at any time. He said one of his earliest bird memories is of a trip driving around the perimeter of Mexico with his parents, Dave and Diane Trappett of Grand Junction. By DAVE BUCHANAN

U

Dave.Buchanan@gjsentinel.com

ntil Jackson Trappett showed up with his camera, birding in western Colorado mostly lacked the show of “show-and-tell.” A few local birders — Coen Dexter and Brenda Wright of Nucla, Dennis Garrison of Paonia and Steve Bouricius on Orchard Mesa come to mind — occasionally enliven their written reports with photos of unexpected birds spotted on their jaunts, but what is a mostly visual adventure consisted largely of words and not many pictures. This, of course, makes identifying and learning new birds difficult for a beginner and baffles experienced birders curious whether you actually saw an American Three-toed woodpecker or simply the similar-but-four-toed Hairy woodpecker.

At his home in Grand Junction, Jackson Trappett looks over some of the images of birds he has taken over the years. Like most birders, Trappett keeps a personal list of the birds he’s seen. To read his latest E-bird entry online, go to http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S12992963.

Photographer and avid birder Jackson Trappett often visits the banks of the Colorado River in search of birds he’s never seen before.

While there probably are many reasons for the lack of photos accompanying bird reports, the major hang-up is something with which all birders will agree: The degree of difficulty in juggling binoculars, guide books and camera and still obtaining a decent (meaning you actually can tell it’s a bird) photograph. Visual confirmation means a lot to birders adding to their personal lists, and it helps immensely that Trappett’s photos also add artistic enjoyment to the task of identifying birds large and small. Successful bird photographers possess a combination of patience, skill and determination. Plus a knowledge of birds and their behavior — not to mention a certain amount of luck. “Luck always plays a role,” said Jackson with a laugh. “I

AGENT OF CHANGE

almost always it stopped raincarry a camera ing, there were with me. It’s two short-eared How big of a change is it in the those times owls right there birding community to have photo when I don’t on our path. evidence of a sighting? that I see the “I needed “People want to know what to look them for my life rare bird.” for and have confidence that they see list, and I had no During a recent conversa- the same bird you saw.” camera.” tion, the 31-yearLike most old said he may leave the birders, Jackson has several camera in the car if it’s raining, personal bird lists. There is his “but that can hurt because year list, his life list, his Mesa you’re sure to see a bird not on County list, a Colorado list, and your list.” his photo list, among others. Like the time when he and “The photo list is my main landscape photographer pal one but it’s shorter than my life Randy Langstraat (they both do list,” Jackson said. IT work for the City of Grand He estimates he has around Junction) were out looking at 290 birds on his life list (those rock art and a pair of shortbirds seen anytime, anywhere) eared owls appeared. and around 270 in his photo list. “That was a pretty strenuous “There still are a number of hike and it was raining when birds I still haven’t got a photo we started and I didn’t feel like of,” he said. “Yeah, like shortcarrying that big camera with eared owls.” me,” he said. “And then, when He tracks his various lists

on E-bird, an Internet-based project of Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology that collates and organizes individual observations and viewing results and shares that information with birders and scientists worldwide. You can check here to read his latest e-bird entry: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/ checklist?subID=S12992963. Jackson said he got his start birding when he was 15, long before he became interested in photographing them. “When I was growing up we didn’t do any serious birding although my parents always had a feeder out,” he recalled. “When I was 15 we had a Scarlet Tanager come to my parents’ yard and I looked it up in a bird book to identify it.” Local birders Ron Lambeth

See TRAPPETT, page 3A ➤


The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 3, 2013

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DEAN HUMPHREY/The Daily Sentinel

After taking some images of waterfowl, Jackson Trappett examines the results. Using a digital camera with its instant feedback has proven a boon to Trappett, who sometimes has to be careful with a camera that can take up to seven images a second, leaving him with several hundred exposures to look through.

TRAPPETT: Adds value, fun, excitement to birding experience ➤ Continued from page 2A and Coen Dexter rushed over to verify the ID and other birders soon followed. “That got me interested,� he said. His parents, Dave and Diane Trappett of Grand Junction, are active birders and often volunteer their time with the Grand Valley Audubon Society. Jackson said one of the family’s earliest birding trips was a driving trip around the perimeter of Mexico when he still was young. “We saw a lot of birds, and I’m sure my life list more than doubled,� he said. “But at the time I wasn’t really into keeping lists and I didn’t take any photographs, so now I can’t remember many of the birds.� Dave Trappett pointed to that trip as the family’s catalyst into serious birding. “Ron Lambeth loaned us a book on the birds of Mexico and we had one pair of binoculars among us,� Dave Trappett remembered. “We saw some pretty interesting birds and as part of Jackson’s school work he made drawings of the different birds on the trip.� Jackson’s first camera was in the days before digital made everything easy. “His wife Sara wanted to get him a camera so we went together and bought it,� recalled Dave Trappett. “He started going out with us with the idea he wanted to photograph every bird but he quickly found out that camera wouldn’t do the job.� Jackson said he learned a great deal about photography by taking classes with Grand Junction photographer Steve Traudt. “That was in the days of film cameras and I would take so long to expose an entire roll that by the time I got it developed, I would have forgotten where I was or what the bird

was,� he said, laughing. “I had the camera but no money to buy the film.� He said his wife Sara mostly is a backyard birder and able to identify the common birds around town, while their 4-year-old son Ken might be a birder someday but currently seems more interested in earthquakes. While at then-Mesa State College, Jackson finished a degree in computer sciences, which helped land him his current position with the city’s GIS department. “When digital cameras finally came out and I could afford one, I got completely hooked because I realized I could take all these photographs of birds and not worry about buying film,� he said. He also learned to carry his binoculars with him. “Before I started birding I didn’t really realize how many ducks we have along the river,� he said. “I’d go out with my parents and they’d say, ‘Look at all the buffleheads and goldeneyes,� and I’d say, ‘What buffleheads and goldeneyes?’� Without binoculars, he tried spotting birds through the camera lens, but quickly realized why other birders were carrying binoculars. “Friends would say, ‘Look at that bird,’ and I’d be looking through the lens and say, ‘What bird?’ “I keep my binoculars with me all the time now.� Four years ago, he bought himself his current camera, a Canon 7D with a 300-mm lens, to which he attaches a 1.4-extender, giving him the equivalent of a 420-mm lens for exquisite long-range close-ups. “But I have to be careful,� he said. “The camera shoots at seven frames per second, and sometimes I’ll get carried away. Some days I’ll take 500 to 600 exposures and then I have to go through all of them when I get

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home.� He and his parents often chase down reports of interesting or unusual birds, taking photos to examine later. “He’s done that quite a bit with us,� said Dave Trappett. “We like him to come with us and document things, it sure makes it easier.� Many other birders also are pleased to see his photos. Recently a local discussion about what tentatively had been identified as a Yellowbellied Sapsucker, unusual for western Colorado, was solved after Ron Lambeth sent Trappett’s photographs of the bird to sapsucker expert and photographer Steve Mlodinow of Everett, Wash. “Steve declared the immature Grand Valley bird a classic Yellow-bellied Sapsucker,� Lambeth said. “Jackson’s photographs showed the bird better than our powerful spotting scopes had done.� Larry Arnold, another Grand Valley birder, added, “Jackson’s photos have convinced the pros on the Front Range that it’s a YBSA,� using the American Ornithologists’ Union shorthand for the sapsucker. “But without Jackson’s pho-

tos, the conversations would not have happened,� Arnold wrote in an email. “This is an important record for western Colorado.� Plus, Arnold exuberantly added, “Jackson is definitely adding value, fun and excitement to our local birding experience!� Jackson shrugs off most of the compliments, not because he isn’t appreciative but because he feels he always can do better. “I want to make an artistically good photo and then come back and put it on the list-serve so people can go out and find the bird I just saw,� he said. “People want to know what to look for and have confidence that they see the same bird you saw.� Plus, he’s found people respond better to a photo. “You get a bigger response to a photo than a written description,� he said. “Sometimes it’s difficult to get correct ID, so a good photograph is necessary.� You can share some of that excitement on Trappett’s Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/ photos/58672470@N03/ and on his life list blog website: www. myoshu.net/lifelist/wordpress/.

“When digital cameras finally came out and I could afford one, I got completely hooked because I realized I could take all these photographs of birds and not worry about buying film.� JACKSON TRAPPETT Bird photographer

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The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 3, 2013

CARLTON: Next stage in her career is morphing into a businesswoman and an entrepreneur ➤ Continued from page 1A For a photo op, she strokes some purple eyeshadow over a reporter’s eyelids, but Carlton is quick to add that this impromptu session is unique. “I usually spend 20 minutes just on the eyes,� she explains. At 47, Carlton knows how to put anyone’s best face forward. She’s put in the time being either in front of or behind a camera since age 3. Starting as a toddler, Carlton modeled extensively, appeared in more than a dozen movies and television shows, performed voiceovers and has been featured in countless commercials. One of her defining moments came at age 19, on her birthday actually, when Carlton was being photographed on the set of Playboy, later to be featured as Miss July in 1985. Carlton lived at the Playboy mansion for four months, but “I was not a trouble-making girl,� she said recently from her comfy, denim-covered sofa in her living room. “Even though I was young, I really wanted it as an opportunity to grow. Playboy is very classy, but back then it was more controversial.� Carlton’s modeling career started to soar when she was 17, as she worked her way up to the top model position for an agency in the Tampa Bay area. It was there that she was discovered by Playboy. Life for Carlton has, so far, been a series of adaptations. She currently juggles several jobs in the Grand Valley. Carlton runs her own makeup artistry business, Perfect Touch. She works as the style editor for Grand Valley Magazine, coordinating photo shoots for its style section. She teaches yoga and freelances for production projects at Cranium 360. She also works as a design consul-

tant in interior design. Carlton, with her ex-husband Robert Levin, founded Sorrel River Ranch on Highway 128 near Moab, Utah. Carlton said she was involved in every aspect of design on the ranch and developing the equestrian program. Though she and her ex-husband cofounded and ran the business for nearly 15 years, she received none of the benefits of the ranch’s multimillion-dollar sale in 2008. The two have a teenage daughter. Partly as a way to cope with the fallout from her divorce, Carlton delved into her spirituality. She most closely aligns with being Buddhist. At age 42, she had the insides of her wrists tattooed with the symbols of strength and love. “I would see them when I held my head in my hands and cried,� she said, mimicking the movement. In 2006, Carlton moved to Grand Junction to be near girlfriends and to have a support group. When she first came to town, she sold face cream. “You do what you have to do to survive,� she said. “I had to reinvent myself.� These days, a lot of business comes from word-of-mouth advertising. “People know who I am and know how hard I work,� she said. “I have a joke that I graduated with a degree in common sense.� Carlton sees this next stage of her life as moving away “from the stigma of a Playmate and pretty face to a business woman and an entrepreneur.� “It’s important to be looked at not only as a woman, but a smart woman — capable and independent. That is more important to me now than just being physically attractive. That certainly changes as you get older,� she said.

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Photos by CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON/ The Daily Sentinel

Hope Carlton, above, shows off one of the homes she is decorating. Below, Carlton works in her home makeup studio. Carlton’s life includes a mixture of jobs in the Grand Valley. Carlton teaches yoga, runs her own makeup artistry business and works as the style editor for Grand Valley Magazine.

              

                                         

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ATOP THE MOUNTAIN 6A

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The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 3, 2013

Photos by DEAN HUMPHREY/The Daily Sentinel

Tim Fry, president of Mountain Racing Products, 580 N. Westgate Drive, is shown at his factory behind the mountain bike forks the company makes. Mountain Racing Products has five brands: Power Grips, White Brothers, MRP, Kreitler and Tamer. The products include forks, suspension lines, chain guides, chain guards and drive trains.

Tim Fry making local impact in mountain-biking industry

T

By ALLEN GEMAEHLICH

Allen.Gemaehlich@gjsentinel.com

im Fry had enough. The avid cyclist and mountain biker had enough of fighting over litigation and wanted to pursue his passion. Fry spent a year and a half traveling, looking for different opportunities — more specifically, sales. “My wife’s family gave me the confidence to do it,” he said. “For me, coming from my background, this sounded crazy.” “Part of it was being naive.” The Mansfield, Ohio, native moved west to Grand Junction and became the owner of Mountain Racing Products. That was nearly 13 years ago. “Early on I made some mistakes,” Fry said. “I’ve learned from those mistakes. I try to surround myself with people better than I am. My job here is to run a company better every day. “I know enough to be dangerous.” Since then, Fry, 42, has expanded the bicycle parts manufacturer and is drawing attention to the Grand Valley around the biking world. “We talked about things in the community we can do to embrace our outdoor industry,” Grand Junction Economic Partnership Executive Director Kelly Flenniken said. “A couple things came out. Outdoor businesses are loyal to the community they are born in. They tend to look to expand instead of relocate.

Tim Fry is shown outside his business, Mountain Racing Products, at 580 N. Westgate Drive, in Grand Junction. He bought the firm 13 years ago.

Tim Fry searches the Internet for pictures of bike makers that use one of his high-tech components.

“He is a creative, outsidethe-box thinker. He provides a fresh perspective and is able to give good insight (to the GJEP committee). He understands economic development.” MRP has grown substantially under Fry’s leadership. “I see a lot of things happening in the market,” Fry said. “Product innovation is the reason for our growth. We’re out to develop innovative products.” Forty-six percent of MRP’s sales are outside the U.S., Fry said. Twenty percent goes to bike manufacturers. Two of the biggest bicycle companies in the world — Gi-

ant and Trek — are big customers of MRP. When Fry purchased Mountain Racing Products in 2000, it was known as Bicycle Parts Specific. At the time, Bicycle Parts Specific manufactured two products, one of which MRP continues to produce. The other was discontinued. Since then, MRP has added more products. “I knew at the time our products wouldn’t take us where we need to be,” Fry said. “We had plans to develop new products.” MRP has five brands: Power Grips, White Brothers, MRP, Kreitler and Tamer. The products include forks, suspen-

sion lines, chain guides, chain guards and drive trains. “There are a lot of little companies in the bike industry,” Fry said. “In 2001, we bought Kreitler and White Brothers. That was not the original plan, but the (economic) environment presented us those opportunities. “When we bought in, we were downhill specific. Now, we are in cross country and all mountain bike riding.” MRP made the first fork for mountain bikes with 29-inch wheels, the fastest-growing product line last year, Fry said.

See FRY, page 7A ➤

AGENT OF CHANGE Tim Fry had the job many law enthusiasts covet — corporate litigation. After six years, it was enough for him. “You have to enjoy fighting or believing in what you are fighting about,” Fry said. “I really didn’t enjoy it.” His wife’s family, who had a food processing manufacturing company, encouraged him to change. “They said, ‘Whatever you want to do, go do it,’” Fry said. “I wanted to build something. As a lawyer, you are tearing things down. “My father-in-law has definitely been a mentor of mine.”


The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 3, 2013

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DEAN HUMPHREY/The Daily Sentinel

Tim Fry is shown overlooking one of the big rooms in his plant in Grand Junction. Mountain Racing Products targets a vast group of riders, including downhill gravity, cross-country and endurance riders.

FRY: Put together research group for biking

“Working with Tim has been fantastic. I’ve learned a lot about business. He’s really on top. He’s involved heavily in every aspect.� RYAN CRANSTON Ruby Canyon Cycles owner, former Mountain Racing Products employee



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“I need a lot of good input to invest money to try and build a new component.� MRP’s target customers include a vast group of riders, including downhill gravity riders and cross-country and endurance riders. “Riders are changing the industry,� Fry said. “A lot more people doing things once seen as crazy are normal now.�

someone on the phone about it, but here I am with direct interaction. (That) is valuable, I think.� Fry said Cranston has been more helpful since running a bike shop. “His input is even better now because he is involved with customers every day,� Fry said. “I’m always looking for idea from the outside.

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One of them is named Loop after the Lunch Loop trails. MRP is in the process of making another fork called Ribbon — named after the Ribbon trail. “We’re involved in a lot of niche markets,� Fry said. “The 29(-inch wheel) is a great example. We were the first to make a suspension fork for it. That helped the market grow for that bike. “There was a lot of opportunity for growth getting the suspension mainstream.� MRP had led the way in producing the 1x10 and 2x10 drive trains and has a patent on a bash guard to protect the chain. The Kreitler rollers manufactured at MRP have become a popular tool for the U.S. Cycling team, Fry said. “Kreitler is the Rolls-Royce of rollers,� he said. “Rollers improve balance, proficiency and efficiency. We’re even seeing more mountain bikers use the rollers.� Fry has put together a research and development group to brainstorm new ideas to improve the mountain biking and road cycling experience. This select group meets twice a month to discuss ideas and test possible products. “It’s more life experience,� Fry said. “We try to answer, ‘Does our product meet our target customer?’� Ruby Canyon Cycles owner Ryan Cranston, a former employee at MRP, is a part of that group. “Working with Tim has been fantastic,� Cranston said. “I’ve learned a lot about business. He’s really on top. He’s involved heavily in every aspect. He’s very involved in the product development. He understands it and wants to be a part of it. “Because he understands all the stuff just like we do, he can easily see any problems that we do.� Working with MRP has helped Cranston run his business. “I think it helps a lot because I am able to have direct interaction with a large, enthusiastic consumer group in the bike shop,� Cranston said. “At MRP, we are a little bit removed from that because there is no direct interaction. We may talk to

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➤ Continued from page 6A

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The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 3, 2013




March 3, 2013

PORTRAIT

GAME CHANGERS

B

n. A newly introduced element or factor that changes an existing situation or activity in a significant way

THE MILHOLLAND WAY

Cedaredge football coach Brandon Milholland gives respect, gets it, in leading Bruins to title WILLIAM WOODY/Special to The Daily Sentinel

Cedaredge High School head football coach Brandon Milholland, shown during a preseason practice last August, took over a program in 2010 that hadn’t had a winning season since 2002. Part of his challenge was changing players’ attitudes and expectations and last fall, his third year, he said his team reached the point where it expected to win. The Bruins parlayed that into the CHSAA Class 1A state championship, the school’s first football title. By TIM HARTY

AGENT OF CHANGE

he game film he watched three years ago told an ugly truth: The attitude of the Cedaredge High School football players stunk. But Brandon Milholland, after seven years as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Central High School, wanted to be a head football coach. And what he saw on film, he believed, he could change. Oh, yeah, things changed.

In offering advice for effecting change, Brandon Milholland turns to his experience as the head football coach at Cedaredge High School. While success came relatively quickly for the Bruins, who won the Class 1A state title in Milholland’s third season, he said it required taking steps each year in order to break through. “When I was given the opportunity to become the head football coach at Cedaredge High School, I was excited, to say the least. Yet, looking back on it, I didn’t know exactly what a head coaching position would entail. “The first year, and after viewing film from the previous year, I knew that we had to learn respect. The players were to give respect to their coaches, their teammates, their opponents, and most importantly themselves. Through respect and hard work we developed a love for the game. Athletes began seeing that they could do well at the game. “The second year as their coach, we started to believe that we could win. “This past season, we were tired of being close to being good. We put in the extra work and believed that this would pay off for us on game day. Our relationships with each other, as well as the relationships between coaches and myself, grew. After a few wins, we expected to win.”

T

Tim.Harty@gjsentinel.com

When Milholland in 2010 became the Bruins’ fourth coach in six years, players immediately learned new ways of doing things, starting with basic conduct. Players who dared to walk during football practice learned to run from one drill to the next. Players who carried their helmets learned to wear it at all times, so they’re always ready. Players who cussed had to do 20 pushups. Milholland didn’t demand it, but he asked his players to sit in the front of their classrooms, and many obliged. Milholland made it clear at the outset that wearing a Cedaredge football uniform comes with expectations: Commit to working harder than you ever thought you could, do things the right way, respect yourself and respect others. “Respect, I couldn’t demand it, but I was going to show it to them and expect it as well,” Milholland said. Try to find a more respected man in Cedaredge right now than Milholland. Odds of finding Bigfoot in your bathtub are better. That’s because in three years Milholland has guided the Bruins to a height never before attained by a Cedaredge

Photos by CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON/The Daily Sentinel

Cedaredge head coach Brandon Milholland fires up his troops from the sideline Nov. 24 during the Bruins’ 18-16 victory over Buena Vista in the Class 1A title game. Milholland had previous title-game experience as a player, quarterbacking Central High School to a Class 4A runner-up finish in 1997. football team. The Bruins, with an 18-16 victory over previously unbeaten Buena Vista at Buena Vista on Nov. 24, reign as the 2012 Colorado High School Activities Association Class 1A state football champion. “A state championship for Cedaredge football was like a mythical creature,” Milholland said.

Now, that gold-ball trophy in the glass case that greets all who pass through the main entrance of the high school represents the standard of excellence all Cedaredge football players will strive for. “If you’re not trying to be the best, what are you out there for?” Milholland said.

See MILHOLLAND, page 3B ➤

AGENT OF CHANGE For a game-changer in his life and as a coach, Brandon Milholland lists his dad, Mike Milholland, as the best coach he ever had. “I was blessed to have him. He didn’t just put in the time, which was every day practicing something, whether it was football, basketball or baseball, but he studied the game. “When we watched baseball, we didn’t just watch the score, or see how hard the pitcher threw. We watched

mechanics. We saw how the shortstop had his feet when fielding a ground ball. How was the bat gripped, tilted, etc., when hitting? “These details of the game or games are what I think made him the greatest coach that I had. Don’t get me wrong, he was a great motivator as well. In fact, he has continued to help me with the psychology of the game even today. “I am very grateful.”


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The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 3, 2013

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The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 3, 2013

3B

PORTRAIT

“He’s there to push you, but at the same time he’s not just a coach. He’s there for you. He cares about the players. He cares about the people he’s working with. It’s truly special to play for him and be around him.” DANTE MARKLEY Cedaredge senior quarterback and safety

Photos by CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON/The Daily Sentinel

Brandon Milholland receives congratulations after guiding Cedaredge High School to the Class 1A state football championship last fall. In addition to being the head football coach for three seasons, Milholland last summer became the school’s athletic director and assistant principal. He taught English during his previous two years at the high school.

MILHOLLAND: Dedicated to Cedaredge community, football ➤ Continued from page 1B People who know Milholland aren’t surprised by the turnaround of a program that until this season had not had a winning season since 2002. Now 32 years old, he was displaying maturity, character and leadership when he was half that age, and he can thank his height, in part, for the early emergence. Milholland was used to hearing people say he was too small to be a quarterback. That, of course, made him work harder. As a senior at Central, the 5-foot-8 signal caller passed for more than 3,000 yards as the Warriors reached the Class 4A state final and finished runnerup. Milholland was a good thrower, a good runner, and he had a mind for football, as Central’s coach, Vern McGee, attested. “Brandon would come in the office and would have a play he designed and would ask us to look at it and see if it would work,” McGee said. “I knew he was going to be a coach one day.” But Milholland had to make another stop first. No taller than his high school height when he went to Mesa State College, Milholland defied the odds and beat out quarterbacks who may have looked the part better, but they didn’t play better. Milholland started his final two years as a Maverick. “I always compared him a lot to Doug Flutie,” said Joe Ramunno, Milholland’s coach at Mesa. “He had such great skills. ... He was a good leader and a guy who worked extremely hard. ... He has great passion and great energy for the game.” Now it shines through in his coaching. In establishing his way of doing things, Milholland also kept the game of football fun, and he meant it when he said he would show players respect.

“He’s not a screamer. He’s not a clipboard thrower,” firstyear Cedaredge High principal Kevin Gardner said. “He relates with kids, and it’s easy to buy in.” Bruins senior quarterback and safety Dante Markley echoes that and more. “He’s there to push you, but at the same time he’s not just a coach,” Markley said. “He’s there for you. He cares about the players. He cares about the people he’s working with. It’s truly special to play for him and be around him.” Markley knows first-hand the lengths Milholland will go for one of his players. Markley wasn’t always a quarterback on offense. He was a running back during his junior season when Milholland started Markley’s conversion to quarterback. Then, last summer, Milholland spent about an hour after weight training every day playing catch, running routes, teaching Markley the finer points of throwing a football. Milholland would do that for any player, Markley said. And Milholland plans to be more accessible for years to come. After two-plus years of commuting from Grand Junction every day, Milholland and his wife, Sara, decided to buy a home in the Cedaredge area. Three weeks after the Bruins won their state title, Brandon, Sara, and their 9-year-old daughter, Kimberley, moved into their new home in Austin, several miles down the road from Cedaredge. “My wife and I made a decision: This is where we’re going to live, where our daughter is going to go to school,” he said. “There’s so many things that make it a neat place to be, a nice place to work.” And maybe a place to win more championships. Milholland said the first state title is a reflection of the players, their athletic talent, the kind of people they are and

their willingness to commit to the program. Cedaredge residents knew several years ago this year’s group of seniors was talented and perhaps capable of something special, but that didn’t come with a state-title guarantee. The athletic director who hired Milholland, Randy Brown, who this school year moved to Cedaredge’s middle school to become the principal, said the group reached its potential because Milholland got it to maximize that talent. That started in Milholland’s first year, which yielded a 3-7 record. Year 2 brought a 4-6 mark. Year 3 brought a 12-1 record and town-uniting success and re-established Bruin pride. Bruins senior fullback/ linebacker Carter Wasser said as a middle-schooler he and his classmates looked up to the high school kids, but the football team was viewed as “kind of a joke.” It had managed more than two wins just once, and 11 wins total, in the six years before Milholland arrived. Football wasn’t revered in the community, Wasser said, adding it usually was referred to with a ho-hum, “It’s just Cedaredge football.” Poor play wasn’t the only problem, according to assistant coach John Kuemmerlin, who was with the team three years before Milholland took over. He said bad behavior was common, evident in ways such as personal-foul penalties, and evident on that game film Milholland watched. “We used to have a bad reputation ... and honestly, it was well-deserved,” Kuemmerlin said. Wasser was familiar with what Kuemmerlin mentioned, and he was glad Milholland changed it. “It’s really cool to see,” Wasser said. “It’s just a huge cultural change from how Cedaredge football was before.”

Brown witnessed the transformation, and he thinks the football program has turned a corner under Milholland. “If you would have driven through our community toward the playoff run, we had the elementary school at the pep assemblies,” Brown said. “We had the middle school at the pep assemblies. ... Those little school boys that were playing football, they were certainly watching what was going on on the big field. It wasn’t just a high school thing, it was a community thing. I’ve got three boys in my home that looked up to every single thing that those guys did, and they truly want to be there. “So, I think the expectation that Coach has set kind of resides through the whole community. I’ve seen it really help our school. ... I’m not at the high school anymore, but ... when I walk up there, I can see everybody walking down the hallway with their chest a little puffed out and their chin a little higher.” Brown said the football team’s success can make a difference in all athletic programs at Cedaredge, setting a tone. And it can blossom further under the guidance of Brown’s successor as the athletic director: Milholland. After teaching English in his first two years at Cedaredge, Milholland became an assistant principal this year and the athletic director. On the day he was interviewed for this story, Milholland was unavailable for about an hour. First, he had to deal with a discipline issue with a student. Then, he spent the next class period as a grief counselor to a student whose mother had died several weeks earlier. The latter speaks to the kindheartedness, willingness to listen and receptiveness to people that C.J. Cannell, a teacher and coach at Cedaredge High, listed

first among the things that stand out about Milholland. “He connects with people very quickly,” Cannell said. Wasser said the football players appreciated that about Milholland, too. “You can talk to him about pretty much anything,” Wasser said. “He actually listens.” Gardner has seen everything

that others praise in Milholland and adds his new right hand in the administration always is looking to do his job better. “He can win a gold ball on Saturday and come in on Monday and say, ‘I’m just not doing what I need to be doing as an assistant principal,’ ” Gardner said. “He cares about that stuff.”


4B

BOWL REVERSAL Ace forced to switch throwing hands, but rolls with the changes The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 3, 2013

PORTRAIT

By CHARLES ASHBY

F

Charles.Ashby@gjsentinel.com

or most people, it’s all in the wrist, but for Grand Junction resident Cory Bennett, it took both wrists. At least, that’s when the 48-year-old is in the bowling alley.

Photos by DEAN HUMPHREY/The Daily Sentinel

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Grand Junction resident Cory Bennett has bowled six perfect games in his life, but faced a tough decision after developing carpal tunnel-like symptoms in his bowling hand: Quit bowling or switch hands.

When the longtime resident started to get carpal tunnel-like symptoms in his right wrist a few years ago, he naturally became concerned. After all, he did have a relatively high average and has even bowled six perfect 300 games in his career, helping his four-man team win several statewide tournaments in the meantime. Trying just about everything, Bennett tried the next best thing: Switch from being a right-handed bowler to his left hand. “One day he just switched, and he still maintained a high

AGENT OF CHANGE Cory Bennett, 48, assistant manager at La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries, has been bowling since age 10, but it was the couple of years he worked in a bowling alley as a teen that helped his game: “I worked in the bowling alley for two years and got all the free bowling that I wanted,� he said. “That’s pretty much how I learned my game, playing by myself. I went nuts.� average,� said one of his teammates, Grand Valley resident Scott Else, who’s bowled with

Cory Bennett is a co-owner and manager at the La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries of Grand Junction on North Avenue. Bennett for more than a decade. “I’ve never seen anything like it.� Bennett, who is assistant manager at La-Z-Boy Furniture

Galleries of Grand Junction, 865 North Ave., has been bowling since he was 10 years old.

See BENNETT, page 5B ➤

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The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 3, 2013

5B

PORTRAIT

BENNETT: Throws nearly as well with his left hand as his right ➤ Continued from page 4B

Cory Bennett gets five from a teammate during a recent bowling outing. Bennett can throw almost as well with his left arm as his right arm.

just put a stinger into my wrist. “Us guys who bowl, we like to put a lot of revs and power on the ball so it has lots of rotation,� he added. “So we tend to overdo it, and go over our limit sometimes.� To his own surprise, Bennett found that he could throw almost as well with his left arm as his right, and continued doing that for a couple of leagues. Switching to a lighter, 14-pound ball at the same time helped, too. The first year, Bennett bowled in two leagues with his left arm. The second year, he bowled one league with the left, and the other with his right, and now is fully back to using his right hand. He’s fine now, but should those symptoms reoccur, Bennett said he knows just what to do. “They make the balls so aggressive the way they drill them, and you can position how you want the ball to react,� he said. “My averages are higher or equal to what they’ve ever been now than when I was younger.�

In his late 40s, however, he began to have problems with his right wrist and couldn’t spin the ball as well as he used to. He went to several doctors, who all told him to stay out of bowling alleys. Not happening. Instead, Bennett picked up the ball left-handed and began to practice. “I just wanted to keep bowling, so I started using my left hand and just did that for a while,� he said quite matter-offactly. At the time, Bennett was used to using a 16-pound ball with a fingertip grip, one of the harder and heavier balls to use. Like any professional bowler, he grips the ball sideways, not underhand like a rookie. That puts a lot of torque on the wrist, and, over time, it became too much for Bennett to handle. “Something happened where it was just too painful,� he said. “I’d get to the bottom of my swing, and go to lift the ball and put the revs on it, and it would



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FODDER FOR THE BLOTTER

6B

PORTRAIT

The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 3, 2013

Photos by CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON/The Daily Sentinel

Kobi Parker does more than just manage the records at the Palisade Police Department. She also assists officers with relevant information and works as a clerk for Palisade’s municipal court. One of her strongest attributes, however, is the fun she adds to the small-town police department.

Kobi Parker provides personality to Palisade Police Department By PAUL SHOCKLEY

AGENT OF CHANGE

Paul.Shockley@gjsentinel.com

“IT WAS A COLD BUT BEAUTIFUL DAY IN PALISADE.”

Kobi Parker on tackling big recent changes inside the Palisade Police Department: “Change is inevitable. For me, it’s about taking a deep breath, being positive and doing what I can to keep things positive.”

— PALISADE POLICE BLOTTER, JAN. 1, 2013

“A FEMALE REPORTED THAT A MALE FRIEND WAS SUICIDAL. THE MALE WAS WATCHING FOOTBALL AND SAID THAT HE WAS NOT SUICIDAL.”

—PALISADE POLICE BLOTTER, JAN. 2, 2013 ■

Kobi Parker enjoys putting offbeat, oddball happenings into the Palisade police blotter, such as the wife who reported her husband was missing. An officer later found the man at church. Kobi Parker’s work space reflects her personality: Quirkiness fit for small-town police life. Parker, a records manager who fills other roles for the Palisade Police Department, keeps an empty kids-sized, Happy Meal french fry container from McDonald’s on her shelf next to an assortment of collectible characters from the “Super Mario” video game series. A self-described “Nintendo

freak,” Parker, 40, likes things that are little. Like Palisade. “You to have a personality if you work in a small town because the community is kind of in your face, for lack of a better way of putting it,” Parker said. “People want you to remember who they are.” To the Palisade Police Department, Parker is a little bit of everything. Aside from managing the department’s records, every morning she checks

national and state computer databases for information patrol officers might need before their morning shifts. When she’s not registering sex offenders, you might find her working as clerk for Palisade’s municipal court. “We’re certainly not the busiest agency in the Grand Valley, but when you throw everything at once at a person they have to learn a lot,” said Interim Palisade Police Chief Mike Nordine. “She performs

a little bit of everything and is one heck of an asset for this organization.” Toward the end of the work week, she sits down to type out her favorite part of the job: The colorful Palisade police blotter. “I have to be a little more open-minded because we don’t have that much to write about around here,” she said. “There are days when I just absolutely have nothing to write.” Parker makes a point to highlight Palisade’s rich and generous stew of offbeat, oddball happenings. “I get tired of all the negative,” she said. “And sometimes human nature is just funny.” ■

“A wife reported her husband missing. Officer found the husband at church.” — Palisade police blotter, Dec. 15, 2012 “Officer responded to 208 W. 8th St. on a 911 hang-up. Investigation revealed two girls were trying to call home from a pay phone and didn’t know how to use one.” — Palisade police blotter, Jan. 11, 2013 ■

See PARKER, page 7B ➤


The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 3, 2013

7B

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“I want people to be able to have a smile. My goal in life is to make everyone happy on a daily basis. I can’t ask more of myself than that.� KOBI PARKER Records manager who fills other roles for the Palisade Police Department

PARKER: Feedback from the community has been positive about her small-town blotter ➤ Continued from page 6B On a given day, Parker finds herself in the role of animal control receptionist or public information officer. Officers in January was sent out to handle a report of a baby goat which strayed and turned up on someone’s back porch. “I had one gentlemen call and ask if the Packing Shed was going to be open for Memorial Day,â€? Parker said with her trademark, booming giggle. “Why would I know that?â€? Parker’s blotter is packed with similar small-town flavor. “I want people to be able to have a smile,â€? she said. “My goal in life is to make everyone happy on a daily basis. I can’t ask more of myself than that.â€? So far, feedback from the community has been positive about her blotter, she said. “My officers are really good about getting me the information, and a lot of the time I just write exactly what they write,â€? she said. “There are times I have to walk a fine line because 50 people may think it’s funny, but if one person finds it disrespectful, we’re in trouble.â€? â–

“There was investigation of a suspicious vehicle parked at the Palisade Superstop. Subjects in vehicle were broken down and sleeping in vehicle until Ace Hardware opened to get some bolts.� — Palisade police blotter, Jan. 19, 2013. “It was a quiet day. Everybody must have been enjoying the slightly warmer weather.� — Palisade police blotter, Jan. 20, 2013.

CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON/The Daily Sentinel

â–

Parker said she has no ambition to be a police officer. “What they do is hard,� she said. “There may not be a whole lot of crime here, but they risk their life every day.

Kobi Parker enjoys her work at the Palisade Police Department, but says she has no ambition to be an officer. She loves the town and plans to retire in Palisade. I respect that and I’m here to support them.� She took the job in January 2012. Prior to that, Parker

and her husband of 13 years, Patrick, worked as instructors for a concealed carry firearms class. She worked in retail,

including Hollywood Video and Hastings on North Avenue. She met her husband 17 years ago in Grand Junction at

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a trap shooting event. They still live in the city but have pondered moving to the town she’s come to love.

“I’ve already told them (police) they’re stuck with me,� she said. “I’m retiring from here.�

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March 3, 2013

PORTRAIT

GAME CHANGERS

C

n. A newly introduced element or factor that changes an existing situation or activity in a significant way

ON THE RIGHT TRACK

GRETEL DAUGHERTY/The Daily Sentinel

Fruita Monument High School senior Kelley Schweissing has found a way to connect two of his favorite things, snowmobiling and rescue. Schweissing, who is considering majoring in environmental science or political science in college, said there are few ways to incorporate snowmobiles into a career, but he wants to keep riding the rest of his life. Schweissing volunteers with the Mesa County Search and Rescue snowmobile team, the “Snowskippers.”

Kelley Schweissing lives life on the edge with help from his snowmobile By EMILY SHOCKLEY

AGENT OF CHANGE

elley Schweissing’s training to become a member of Mesa County Search and Rescue Control’s snowmobile team began 14 years ago atop Grand Mesa. That’s when the then-4-year-old Schweissing enjoyed his first snowmobile ride. Visits to the family cabin on the mesa, only reachable by snowmobile in winter, fueled his passion to keep riding. He gradually learned more riding techniques, got his own snowmobile in the family caravan of 10 snowmobiles and built his own collection of gear.

The biggest change coming up for Schweissing is picking a college. He has applied to 10 schools, which he admits was probably a few too many. Acceptance letters have rolled in from inside the state (University of Denver), out of state (Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa) and even out of country (Franklin College Switzerland in Sorengo, Switzerland). Leaving town doesn’t worry Schweissing. After all, he plans to return to Colorado after getting a degree. It’s the start of something new that gives him jitters. “I’m more intimidated about classes and a heavier workload and maintaining the hard work I’ve done so far,” he said. Schweissing said he wouldn’t mind going all the way to Europe for school, but he would rather end up in the Midwest at Grinnell College in Iowa or Macalaster College in Minnesota or on the Front Range at Colorado College.

K

Emily.Shockley@gjsentinel.com

At 18, the Fruita Monument High School senior joined the county winter snowmobile rescue team, called the Snowskippers, and became the youngest of its approximately 40 members. His first few months on the team have been relatively uneventful, with the exception of the team getting called up for one rescue mission in January. Schweissing was glad the woman lost on the mesa was

found alive during the mission, but he was a little disappointed he missed the rescue. He was at a movie theater and had his phone turned off when the call came through to respond to the rescue effort. After he turned his phone back on and got the message, he immediately readied his gear in case the team needed more respondents, but the mission ended early.

COURTESY PHOTO

See SCHWEISSING, page 6C ➤ Kelley Schweissing rides his snowmobile recently in Wyoming. Schweissing is the youngest “Snowskipper.”


2C

DJ

The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 3, 2013

PORTRAIT

By MELINDA MAWDSLEY

J

Melinda.Mawdsley@gjsentinel.com

DEAN HUMPHREY/The Daily Sentinel

Jeremy Velasquez, known musically as DJ Daytona, is all smiles at the turntable at Infinity Night Club in Grand Junction. Velasquez has lived in Grand Junction for nine years and has earned high praise from other local music minds. Improved technology and his Electronic Dance Music productions have allowed him to get paid and ramp up his product.

eremy Velasquez isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t trying to become famous. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just trying to be himself. It just so happened that on the way to being himself, the young disc jockey and electronic dance music producer became, arguably, the most talented musician/composer in the Grand Valley. Proclaiming his composition talent and musical ear isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the sort of thing Velasquez, whose musical name is Daytona, would ever do. But others will. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s probably, in my opinion, the one who will make it big,â&#x20AC;? local DJ Ryan Stringfellow said. Local musician David Goe, in his Dec. 14, 2012, Out & About column, wrote: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Very quietly, Daytona has built up a reputation as one of the best producer/DJs in Grand Junction. He also may be the most talented musician performing in the city right now.â&#x20AC;?

See VELASQUEZ, page 3C â&#x17E;¤

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DAYTONA The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 3, 2013

3C

PORTRAIT

Local DJ Jeremy Velasquez making a name for himself in Grand Valley music scene

Photos by DEAN HUMPHREY/The Daily Sentinel

Jeremy Velasquez, known in Grand Junction music circles as DJ Daytona, performs recently at Infinity Night Club. Velasquez started out slow, acquiring his first turntables from New York City. The growth of the Internet and social media, however, have helped Velasquez get noticed by people outside of Grand Junction. Hear some of Daytona’s tracks through his SoundCloud account at soundcloud.com/d-velasquez.

VELASQUEZ: Daytona’s production ability has made him a game changer in world of EDM ➤ Continued from page 2C To either compliment, Velasquez, who has lived in Grand Junction for nine years, simply responded, “Wow,” In reality, however, he earned the praise through hard work — he’s been a DJ for more than 10 years and a serious producer for nearly that long — by refining his skills, keeping a pulse on what’s new and changing the perception that musicians can’t make a name for themselves in Grand Junction. “There’s always been an ‘it’ factor with J,” said longtime girlfriend Kristina Juarez. “He’s good at finding what’s new and cool.” Although Velasquez, 30, grew up in a musical family of vocalists and instrumentalists, he was instead drawn to electronic music, using his grandmother’s old record player as a makeshift turntable by transforming a mouse pad into a slippad to scratch records. Scratching on a turntable is a DJ technique to produce sounds by moving the vinyl. He was 15 or 16 at the time. A couple years later, Velasquez and some friends drove to Santa Fe for a rave. It was his first. He just stared at the DJ. “I was really interested in how he was making the sounds,” Velasquez said. “I’ve always known I wanted to be a DJ sort of, but to actually go to a party and see it, I was like, ‘I’m going to do that.” “He became infatuated with DJing,” Juarez said, chiming in. He bought his first turntables from New York City. They weren’t good, but they were cheap, Velasquez remembered. He lugged crates of records around to house parties or other small shows. When he

Jeremy Velasquez is an artist no matter what he’s doing, he says, but especially at the turntable. got spare money, he drove to Denver-area record stores to sift through new music. It was the late 1990s and early 2000s at the time, the Internet hadn’t taken off, so there were no YouTube training videos, blogs, Facebook, SoundCloud or other social media sites to upload and hear music on. Although Velasquez never went to college and didn’t technically graduate from high school — he got his GED — he taught himself how to DJ, then how to produce music because he realized music production was where his creativity could shine. “I think when you are a DJ, you want to share music with people because you like music, but you always have a thought that, ‘I could make this. I have the ear.’ There’s just a point where you really try.” Velasquez said. “It’s hard, but I’ve learned a lot, sticking to it.” He eventually acquired new equipment and learned more as technology progressed. Velasquez’ current gear — a laptop computer and mini-controllers — fits into a suitcase. “It’s incredible,” he said of

the EDM transition within the past decade. An improvement in technology and his ability to get paid for his EDM productions or his DJ shows has enabled Velasquez to ramp up his product as Daytona. “His shows are very high energy,” Juarez said. “You can dance his whole set: Really heavy bass, really melodic. It’s one thing people notice about the tracks he produces. I think it’s what people are looking for right now.” Daytona knows he’s doing something right because one of his most recent productions, “Dark Child,” was the top track for nearly all of December 2012 on DubStep.net, one of the largest national sites for dubstep music downloads and streams. The 4-minute, 44-second track starts with piano, giving way to orchestral strings, ethereal, choppy vocals and a melodic synthesizer for nearly 90 seconds before a heavy bass line takes over for the duration of the track. You can hear several of Daytona’s tracks through his SoundCloud account at soundcloud.com/d-velasquez or through his Facebook wall at facebook.com/D4YTON4. “It’s one thing to drop your DIY recordings on SoundCloud for a couple dozen people to stream,” Goe wrote on Dec. 14, while Dayton’s track was No. 1. “It’s another thing entirely to have the hottest track on dubstep.net, a national EDM depository. ... ‘Dark Child’ hits right up there with the big boys.” Daytona’s production ability has made him a game changer in the world of EDM locally because he has found a way to promote himself on talent “without being cheesy,” String-

AGENT OF CHANGE

T

DJ Daytona works the turntable at Infinity Night Club in Grand Junction. Daytona first started scratching on a turntable when he was 15 or 16. fellow said. Juarez calls Daytona a “New Age Mozart” because he composes on the computer. “I think (production) is pretty difficult, especially if you are on the forefront and being creative with it,” Goe said. “Think about somebody like Mozart composing an entire piece. He has that in his head. That’s kind of what a (Daytona) is doing. You have to think about

all these different sounds and put them together in a way that makes sense musically.” At heart, Daytona considers himself an artist whether he’s DJing, producing, painting, dancing, whatever. He doesn’t plan on living in Grand Junction forever, but he’s happy to make music while he’s here. “I’m not trying to be somebody,” he said. “I’m just having fun and being me.”

he Internet had nothing to do with Jeremy Velasquez’ interest in becoming a DJ and music producer, but it certainly has changed everything about the electronic music genre that he loves so much. When Velasquez, known professionally as Daytona, first started DJing in the late 1990s, the Internet was still in its infancy in terms of how it was used to search for new music, communicate, or watch training videos online. When Daytona started producing electronic dance music a couple years after that, sites and blogs where producers upload music and search for new tunes were non-existent. The rise of the Internet within the past decade, particularly within the past five years or so, has changed the EDM game “completely,” he said. “As soon as the Internet got going, mp3s got shared more and more and became digital and more accessible,” Daytona added. “Now, it’s all Internet. Blog sites, websites, and, of course, there are a few distributor companies that cater to electronic music enthusiasts. I think the Internet is the greatest invention that has ever been, as far as learning. If it wasn’t for the Internet, I’d still be in the Dark Ages with audio. I don’t think I’d know anything. Obviously, I don’t use it to make music. I use the programs I have unless I need a sound (and) for the most part, (certain sounds) are from the Internet. Then, you upload the song and watch the views and comments roll in. It’s fabulous. You can’t really do it without the Internet anymore. It changed every game, really.”


4C

The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 3, 2013

PORTRAIT

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The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 3, 2013

“If you want someone dependable, he’s it. He’s a great addition. I truly wish we had more younger people like him because there’s a great need for future members on the team.” CHUCK PERKINS Eighty-year-old member of the Snowskippers

COURTESY PHOTO

Kelley Schweissing, seen here riding his snowmobile in Wyoming, expects he’ll settle in Colorado, largely because of his family’s property on Grand Mesa.

SCHWEISSING: Must be excellent snowmobiler ➤ Continued from page 1C Schweissing’s uncle, fellow SARC team member and the teen’s inspiration for joining the squad, Andy Kelley, said his nephew doesn’t want to miss two rescues in a row. “He always carries his gear in the back of his car at school now ever since he missed that first one,” Kelley said. Kelley said Snowskippers volunteers have to be expert snowmobilers. He has enjoyed watching his nephew hone his craft in trainings and earn that expert status with the team. “I’m very proud,” he said. Eighty-year-old Chuck Perkins, the oldest member of the Snowskippers, has known Schweissing, a Grand Junction native, since he was a tot. Perkins said Schweissing learns quickly, listens and “isn’t a smart-aleck kid.” “If you want someone de-

pendable, he’s it. He’s a great addition. I truly wish we had more younger people like him because there’s a great need for future members on the team,” Perkins said. Schweissing takes the compliments in stride and is quick to note he isn’t old enough to effect much change on the team. He said he’s still learning from the group and enjoys perfecting turns and making trails on rides with the group and learning about new gear in trainings. That gear includes backpacks that expand in an avalanche to help people float closer to the surface before the snow settles and a tracker that emits a beacon to help find people stuck in an avalanche. He has learned cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid as part of team training and he enjoys learning about aid techniques from emergency medical professionals who are

on the team, although he’s not interested in following in their footsteps. “I have a suture kit in my snowmobile but if I had to use it I might throw up,” he admitted. Schweissing is considering majoring in environmental science or political science in college. He said there are few ways to incorporate snowmobiles into a career, but he wants to keep riding the rest of his life. That likely entails settling in Colorado after college. Where he’ll attend college is still to be determined; he has applied to 10 schools that range from as close as Colorado Springs to as far away as Switzerland. “My plan is, no matter what, to come back here. I love Colorado. My family has a 500-acre cabin on Grand Mesa. That’s a big magnet to keep me here,” he said.

Fruita Monument High School senior Kelley Schweissing is a regular volunteer with the Mesa County Search and Rescue snowmobile team, the “Snowskippers.” Schweissing, who is the youngest member of the team, is pictured at left with 80-year-old Chuck Perkins, the oldest volunteer with the team. Schweissing once missed a rescue because he was at a movie theater and had his phone turned off when the call came through to respond to the rescue effort. After he turned his phone back on and got the message, he immediately readied his gear in case the team needed more respondents, but the mission ended early.



Photos by GRETEL DAUGHERTY The Daily Sentinel


The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 3, 2013

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n. A newly introduced element or factor that changes an existing situation or activity in a significant way

LOOKOUT LADY

Rifle bird migration expert Kim Potter finds her way to dream job By DENNIS WEBB

Dennis.Webb@gjsentinel.com

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woman who helped determine the unlikely winter certain destination of a o took ls Colorado bird a th to pa an improbable . her current job er is o Today, Kim P tt onal ati a White River N chnician te Forest wildlife a e who has becom imed bird a nationally accl to her researcher due orthern n work involving the t black swifts. Bu yee in lo 58-year-old emp e’s Rifle ic the Forest Serv ent her t sp Ranger Distric g, doing iin 1980s in Vail sk drywall carpentry and g a in work and runn ness. usi snowplowing b “Before Following that, ted to an I was too old I w urse co do the obstacle rmy) so I joined the (A Reserves.” already There, she was me eco old enough to b y,” and nn known as “Gra e stint rv during her rese ical ed she received m to work d training that le rgan o in Denver at an lping he transplant lab, and match patients donors.

Photos by DEAN HUMPHREY/The Daily Sentinel

White River National Forest wildlife technician Kim Potter has become a nationally acclaimed bird researcher for her work with northern black swifts. Potter tried hiring on with the Forest Service in Rifle, but getting such jobs isn’t easy, so she began by volunteering, and then worked in seasonal and term employment capacities before finally being employed full-time in 2007. Kim Potter keeps a detailed log of the different birds she sees at the office outside of Rifle. Among Potter’s successes was discovering black swifts at Rifle Falls. “I said, ‘My God, they’re nesting here in Rifle and I never even knew it,’” said Potter, who quickly figured out the birds’ nesting place because they like to live near falls, and sometimes damp caves.

It was while living there that she again began pursuing an interest in birds that dated back to her childhood, and that this year has earned her and two Western Slope colleagues widespread attention. Potter, Jason Beason of Paonia and Carolyn Gunn of Dolores joined two others in authoring a scientific paper outlining their discovery that the northern black swift winters in Brazil. The discovery has drawn coverage from publications as diverse as Audubon Magazine and the Los Angeles Times. The reaction to their findings was “way bigger than I ever thought it would be,” Potter said. But then she added, “It was one of the last birds that people didn’t know where it went for its wintertime home. It was one of the last big mysteries out there. I mean (researchers)

really didn’t have a clue where it went.” Lucky for Potter, and for black swifts, Colorado has proven to be a place still prime for discovery, at least in the birding world, and Potter brings a unique set of skills to that work. “I have to say that Kim is one of the most competent and observant and capable field biologists that I’ve ever met,” said Gunn, who has a wildlife biology degree but works as a veterinarian for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

COOKING AND SEWING? NO THANKS Potter began acquiring the necessary skills for such work, and showing an aptitude and love for it, at an early age. She grew up in Wisconsin, where her dad was a dairy farmer. She became involved in

4-H, where she was expected to do more than just show cows. She didn’t want to sew or cook, and instead became involved in projects involving wildflowers and birds. Potter fondly remembers her dad taking her out on a Sunday “after the Packers game” to work on her bird project. “It was really nice being in the woods — not as many bugs,” she said. While unsure what she wanted to do when she grew up, Potter enjoyed science and being outside from an early age. She remembers getting up with her dad before dawn and crawling around outside in the hay as the cows fed. “You could look up and see the stars. You could talk to the cows; it was warm and snuggly in there,” she said.

See POTTER, page 3D ➤

AGENT OF CHANGE

H

ow are things changing in terms of the treatment of people such as you and your same-sex

partner? “After 22 years (together) we’re thinking maybe in another five we’ll actually be able to get married. Things are evolving to a better level I think ... as far as laws and dealing with family and all the political values and legal values that go with it — the legal rights. “We were never really very political. We’ve just always kind of been who we were. Both of us were in the military, so there was always that. (Acknowledging homosexuality) was really taboo in the military, for sure.”


2D

The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 3, 2013

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The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 3, 2013

PORTRAIT

“She is a field-going machine. If the snow wasn’t out there you wouldn’t find her. She’s just a great biologist. She makes it happen. People respect her when she says something.”

3D

GLENN ADAMS Rifle District Ranger

POTTER: Has a natural curiosity that has served her well in unraveling black swift mysteries ➤ Continued from page 1D Potter ended up getting a biology degree in the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, but finding work was another matter. She had visited Vail while on a western road trip after graduating and ended up returning there after not finding a job in biology in Wisconsin. Later, while in the Army Reserves, her medical training involved phlebotomy and blood banking, which subsequently has served her well because she does a lot of work involving drawing blood from birds, she said. Potter met her partner in the Reserves and they moved to Denver. Potter, who studied some ornithology in college, “got really hooked on birds” after meeting other birders in Denver. She learned to band birds and went to places such as Mexico and Alaska to see them and work with them. After about three years, she moved back to the Western Slope, where she appreciated the fact that not only was the pace of life a lot slower, but a lot less was known about birds. It was easier, for example, to rack up the first sighting of a bird in a given county. “It was like being an explorer or pioneer,” she said. “Lots of times you could be the first one to find this or that or the other thing. There was a lot of gratification and adventure.” Potter’s love of the outdoors served her well as she met Western Slope birders such as the late Rich Levad, a retired Mesa County teacher who got her involved in field work for the first Colorado Breeding Bird Atlas. This was Potter’s first paying birding job, and it involved what she called “block-busting” — visiting blocks of land that each consisted of a sixth of a 1:24,000-scale topographic map to survey for birds. The work took her to remote parts of western Colorado, which suited Potter’s adventurous nature. Potter tried hiring on with the Forest Service in Rifle, but getting such jobs isn’t easy, so she began by volunteering, and then worked in seasonal and term employment capacities before finally being employed full-time in 2007. Birds such as the black swift, flammulated owl and purple martin are designated as sensitive by the Forest Service, meaning the agency is trying to work to keep from being designated as threatened or endangered. Yet Potter said there wasn’t a lot of knowledge within the agency about some of these birds — especially black swifts. “I thought it was really important and I was a field biologist. I could go find these things out, I could figure out where they were,” she said. Working with Levad, “we started going after these birds no one knew anything about,” she said. Among Potter’s successes was discovering black swifts at Rifle Falls. But she credits her dad for that finding, as he was visiting her once and noticed the birds flying at Fravert Reservoir, near Potter’s office. “I said, ‘My God, they’re nesting here in Rifle and I never even knew it,’” said Potter, who quickly figured out the birds’ nesting place because they like to live near falls, and sometimes damp caves. Looking for the swifts means getting to hang out around a lot of waterfalls. “Just finding them in the first place is fun,” Potter said. A lot of Potter’s recent black swift work has involved teaming up with Gunn and Beason, who is with the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory nonprofit group. It’s volunteer work for Gunn, and often involves personal time for Potter and Beason as well, with grant funding sometimes helping out.

A MYSTERY SOLVED They and other black swift researchers used to spend a lot of time wondering where black swifts went once they left Colorado for the winter. There was some scanty information, such as about some birds stopping off in Costa Rica, and it

Photos by DEAN HUMPHREY/The Daily Sentinel

White River National Forest wildlife technician Kim Potter keeps the bird feeders full in Rifle. Potter said when the Forest Service hired her, “they had to rewrite the job description because nobody gets to be a field biologist.” Above, Potter is shown in her office with a bird net used to catch swifts. was commonly guessed that the species ended up in South America. Eventually, Beason, Potter and Gunn began pursuing a means for trying to solve the mystery. The birds are too light for strapping satellite transmitters on them. But the trio decided to use geolocators, which weigh less than 5 percent of the bird’s body weight. Gunn devised a way to use string to strap the thimble-size devices onto the birds like backpacks after capturing them. The geolocators have a light sensor to detect sunrise and sunset, and a clock. That provides enough information to be able to determine twice a day their location within about 100 miles — assuming you can catch the birds again to retrieve the devices and download the data. Fortunately, black swifts like to return to the same nest sites. The team attached geolocators to four birds in 2009. The next year, they caught two that returned to a cave in the Flat Tops mountains in Garfield County, and a third that came back to the Box Canyon area of Ouray. The researchers were surprised to learn the birds wintered in jungle lowlands rather than the mountainous terrain they favor here. But Potter said there should be a lot of insects for them to feed on there. As is so common in science, the discovery just led to more questions Potter and other researchers want to try to answer. Do the birds possibly roost on the wing, as the

common swift of Europe does when it’s not breeding? Do black swifts from elsewhere in western North America, which is the extent of their range, also go to the same place? Luckily, Potter said, the birds appear to winter in a remote area with little road access or threat from logging. “But they’ve had a couple years of really bad droughts down there and that’s going to hurt the birds,” she said. Potter likewise is worried about threats to the bird in North America, such as disappearing glaciers drying up waterfalls black swifts have called home in Montana.

the snow wasn’t out there you wouldn’t find her.” He added, “She’s just a great biologist. She makes it happen.

People respect her when she says something.” Undertakings like the black swift research can be taxing.

Working with the swifts at the Flat Tops cave involved earlymorning drives, hiking down to the caves regardless of the weather, banding young birds in the afternoon and catching adults with nests at dusk, then hiking up 2,000 feet in the dark to camp. Said Potter, “You’re tired and it’s hard but you’re usually pretty excited about what you did and that gets you home” — or at least to a tent. Gunn said of Potter, “She’s pretty rugged. Hiking around the rain and snow and all that kind of stuff doesn’t really faze her. She’s strong physically, she works out, she’s strong mentally. She knows how to take care of herself out in the woods.” Gunn said Potter has a natural curiosity that has served researchers well in trying to unravel some of the mysteries about the black swift. She also has keen observational skills— so much so that Gunn takes it as a point of personal pride that when the two once were looking for the Abert’s squirrel while in New Mexico, Gunn spotted some of the tuft-eared animals first. “She doesn’t miss anything,” Gunn said. Having discovered her own love of science and the outdoors at a young age, Potter works to introduce area kids to her passion through educational programs such as nighttime campfires where they call for owls and watch the International Space Station pass overhead. Gunn, who became a veterinarian as a second choice after being told her only career option would be to teach in high school if she studied wildlife biology, hopes that people such as she and Potter might help inspire girls to consider careers once considered off-limits to them. “Any women of Kim’s age and my age that kind of bucked tradition, hopefully we are sort of seen as groundbreakers and role models for young women coming up for professions that are normally dominated by men,” Gunn said.

‘A FIELD-GOING MACHINE’ Potter hopes to remain in her current job for the rest of her career. Part of the joy of it comes from that love of the outdoors Potter has known since her youth. “That’s the most fun part about it, is being out in the woods, I think, that time out there,” she said. She said when the Forest Service hired her, “they had to rewrite the job description because nobody gets to be a field biologist.” She said she’s chosen to work as a wildlife technician rather than a biologist so she’s not so tied down to office work. “I’ve been working really, really hard to stay in the field,” she said. “She is a field-going machine,” interjected Rifle District Ranger Glenn Adams as he walked by Potter’s desk during her interview for this story. “If

Kim Potter shows a geological data storage backpack which was strapped onto a black swift to record where they are around the world.


4D

The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 3, 2013

PORTRAIT

A is for Alfaro Spanish school founder provides forum for students hoping to bridge societal gap By DUFFY HAYES

J

AGENT OF CHANGE

Duffy.Hayes@gjsentinel.com

ust in case you havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t been paying attention, the demographics of the United States are undergoing a major change. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s true for Colorado in particular, as people with Latino heritage â&#x20AC;&#x201D; speaking predominantly Spanish â&#x20AC;&#x201D; gain as a percentage of the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s population. Like it or not, in the shadows or right before our eyes, a cultural shift is happening.

CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON/The Daily Sentinel

Alberto Alfaro, a Spanish teacher and co-founder of Spanish Now!, is shown recently in the classroom where he teaches in Grand Junction. Alfaro organized a trip with four students to travel to his hometown of Monterrey, Mexico, providing the students a real â&#x20AC;&#x153;immersionâ&#x20AC;? experience spent with Alfaroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s family.

In short, the societal game is changing big time, and that makes people who are bridging the gaps between cultures and languages true game-changers. Like Alberto Alfaro, the co-founder and a teacher at local language school Spanish Now!, a venture he began in Grand Junction with his wife, Megan, in 2009. Language by its nature is a bridge, and the people who sign up with Alfaro for either group or private Spanish language lessons clearly recognize that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to make connections through communication, whatever their initial reasons are for making a commitment to learn another language. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think the people that do

With Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quickly changing demographics, what do you think has changed with people, especially with your professional students? â&#x20AC;&#x153;They have realized that if they want to connect with people, then they have got to learn Spanish. I think thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the bottom line: people want to communicate with the Spanish-speakers who are here.â&#x20AC;?

it realize that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something important,â&#x20AC;? the 29-year-old Alfaro said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;First of all, I think they are curious â&#x20AC;&#x201D; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s often something they have always wanted to do, whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s for work, so they can reach more people. Or some people are curious about it because when they travel they want to be able to use it.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;And some people I think donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even really know why. They just know itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important. And when they start getting into it, they realize that there is a lot to language. Fortunately, some of them stick around, even though they didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know that it was going to be that big of a commitment,â&#x20AC;? he said.

Anyone who has tried to learn a language knows that only so much progress can be made in a classroom, no matter how great the teacher. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why Alfaro recently organized a trip with four of his Spanish Now! students to travel to his hometown of Monterrey, Mexico â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a real â&#x20AC;&#x153;immersionâ&#x20AC;? experience spent with Alfaroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s family. â&#x20AC;&#x153;(Students) wanted a different kind of trip where they werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t necessarily on vacation, but they were there living as people live. And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what we tried to do for them,â&#x20AC;? Alfaro said.

See ALFARO, page 5D â&#x17E;¤

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The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 3, 2013

5D

PORTRAIT

ALFARO: Embraces his culture â&#x17E;¤ Continued from page 4D â&#x20AC;&#x153;Really just hanging out with people that didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know any English and just getting to talk with those people,â&#x20AC;? Alfaro said. One of the students who went on the trip was Judy Williams, who called the experience â&#x20AC;&#x153;fantastic.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;While I went to Monterrey with the intent of improving my Spanish speaking skills, I returned with the most unexpected appreciation of the culture of the people in Monterrey,â&#x20AC;? Williams said in an email. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Albertoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s family felt like they were my family. We were welcomed, embraced, cared for and supported the entire time we were there.â&#x20AC;? Monterrey is really where Alfaroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s personal story begins. Well, Monterrey, and then Texas, where his family moved when he was a little boy. He learned English in the U.S. and eventually moved back to Monterrey, where he learned how to be a teacher of English as a Second Language, and then opened an English language school there. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the thing to do these days in Mexico, he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a private bilingual school or taking English classes on the side, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very trendy, especially in the big cities,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you speak (English), youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re very cool. Anyone who is younger studies it.â&#x20AC;? He met his wife Megan, who is from western Colorado, when she was on a mission trip in Mexico with a church group. She later taught at the school in Mexico with Alfaro, and in

2007 they moved to this area. Today they have four boys, and Alberto earned his U.S. citizenship last year. Though his family has settled here in the U.S., the subject of the growing violence in Mexico, and in Monterrey in particular, is never too far removed from his consciousness. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not the same as it used to be. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the sad part about it,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It just worked out that when we got here, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s when a lot of the violence started â&#x20AC;&#x201D; especially in the area where we lived. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pretty bad there,â&#x20AC;? Alfaro said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one of the things that you enjoy here (in the U.S.), that for the most part you enjoy a lot of freedom to do things and go places without being fearful.â&#x20AC;? While not overblown, the systemic violence â&#x20AC;&#x201D; largely fueled by drug cartels and their foot-soldier â&#x20AC;&#x153;narcosâ&#x20AC;? at war with each other â&#x20AC;&#x201D; doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make Mexico necessarily unsafe for travelers who exercise an abundance of caution. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Every time I have gone, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been OK. We havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really seen or heard anything except on the news,â&#x20AC;? Alfaro said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;While weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re there, when you talk with family members, they give you some hints to maybe do things you didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t use to do before â&#x20AC;&#x201D; like be home when itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dark â&#x20AC;&#x201D; when before it didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t matter.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Maybe if you are at a red light and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s night time, go ahead and run it â&#x20AC;&#x201D; donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just sit around,â&#x20AC;? Alfaro said, rather pragmatically. While there are concerns for travelers in Mexico, it would be a shame for Americans to

CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON/The Daily Sentinel

Alberto Alfaro teaches in his Spanish Now! classroom in Grand Junction. Alfaro uses teaching methods to enhance student learning. stop visiting the incredible historic cities and ruins that Mexico claims. Most people donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t realize they can visit the third-largest pyramid in the world (Teotihuacan), along with a host of pre-Columbian ruins, all across the sprawling country just beyond the U.S. southern border. Learning Spanish makes traveling to these amazing places that much richer of an experience, and Alfaro said travel is an impetus for many of his students signing up at Spanish Now!

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think people are kind of tired of the idea of getting catered to in English every time they go somewhere,â&#x20AC;? Alfaro said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t use Spanish in those places, then you just stick around the hotel zone, and places where they only speak to you in English.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think that when you have a little bit of Spanish background â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Â even if you are not fluent â&#x20AC;&#x201D; then you adventure into the real areas that are a little bit out of the way. You start eating at places that you wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have eaten at before,

and meeting people that you would not have met before,â&#x20AC;? he said. This type of perspective is indicative of Alfaroâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s teaching style, students say. Ordinary or stale activities are rarely, if ever, a part of his tailored lessons. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Alberto has a superb understanding of student learning styles and how to use teaching methods to enhance student learning,â&#x20AC;? Spanish Now! student Williams said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He is a master at creating a friendly, upbeat (yet appro-

priately challenging) learning environment. He uses a variety of methods to help with his classes such as visual aids, auditory aids, mimicry, pantomiming, real life examples, and many interactive activities among the students.â&#x20AC;? In other words, learning a new language can actually be fun, in addition to being an incredible challenge. Alfaro embodies that teaching theory â&#x20AC;&#x201D; all the while subtly guiding students across the new cultural landscape in which America now finds itself.

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TAKING HISTORY TO NEW HEIGHTS

6D

The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 3, 2013

PORTRAIT

Photos by CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON/The Daily Sentinel

Peter Booth, the new executive director of the Museum of Western Colorado, enjoys the view of the city from the museum’s tower. Booth, who is a south Texas native, replaces longtime executive director Mike Perry, who retired. Booth has a fresh vision for the museum, which could include partnerships to advance the museum’s goals.

Peter Booth has a plan for Museum of Western Colorado By GARY HARMON

AGENT OF CHANGE

eter Booth’s career path of everexpanding horizons drew him to the Museum of Western Colorado, where he says the future of the museum is taking shape. A south Texas native who worked in Salem, Ore., before taking over in January as the executive director of the Museum of Western Colorado, Booth found himself on the forefront of what he said is a new direction in the way museums view their role when one of his first official duties involved a function for the Western Investigations Team. The team, a collaboration of the museum and Colorado Mesa University that has captured headlines for putting forensic-quality meat on the bones of Alferd Packer’s story of how he became the Colorado Cannibal more than a century ago, among other mysteries, is blazing a trail for museums around the world, Booth said. “This inventive program actually goes out and discovers the natural history and heritage,” then goes on to display it in traditional museum fashion, Booth said. For Booth, previously the head of the Willamette Heritage Center at The Mill in Salem, Ore., the Western Investigations Team is more than just a sideshow.

In his last job, Peter Booth arrived in Salem, Ore., to find that there were organizations hard at work but not a lot of cooperation and “a lot of heritage was being ignored.” As he conducted his own analysis over months, it became clear that the key to telling the story of the Willamette Valley was one of bringing groups and organizations together. He wasn’t the person who drove the idea, Booth said, but one who watched as community people came to the realization that led to the Willamette Heritage Center at The Mill. “So I helped,” he said, working to draft a merged entity of the heritage center and the mill that could address the culture and historic preservation needs of the area. “It wasn’t an uphill fight,” he said. “It was something the community was ready for.”

P

Peter Booth’s love of museums started in his childhood on a trip to Dinosaur National Monument. Now, Booth will get the opportunity to take part in the professional side of museums.

Gary.Harmon@gjsentinel.com

No museum is an island, Booth said, noting that he is “extremely interested in partnerships” that will advance museum goals. Booth’s roots run close to the Grand Valley and its history as the one-time home of the Utes. “I did my master’s thesis on a New Deal topic,” he said, noting that Roosevelt’s Depression-era program “had a huge impact on native peoples,” as it ended the era of assimilation and began one of recognition. “No longer was the government trying to destroy tribal entities,” he said. “It started to recognize the existence and

legitimacy of tribal entities.” That history, he said, is interesting and “extremely pertinent to our current society.” Booth’s mix of museum and historical expertise could be just the thing for the Museum of Western Colorado. “I see Peter as a man with many fresh ideas and a great deal of energy.” said Ted Okey, a member of the museum board that hired him to replace longtime Executive Director Mike Perry, who retired. Booth, who has a Ph.D in history from Purdue for his study of the Tohono O’odham political culture between 1900

and 1937, is not only looking to the future of the museum. His arrival in Grand Junction signals a return to his museum roots, roots shared by many a museum lover, specifically dinosaurs. Love of museums was planted in Booth in his childhood on a trip to Dinosaur National Monument and later, the Denver Museum of Natural History. “For an impressionable young boy, that looked like a fun thing to be involved with,” Booth said. Now Dinosaur Journey, the paleontological museum in Fruita, is “a brand-new professional area for me,” Booth said. He’s already captivated by Fruitadens, a small dinosaur that roamed the earth about 150 million years ago.

See BOOTH, page 7D ➤


The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 3, 2013

7D

PORTRAIT

Photos by CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON/The Daily Sentinel

Peter Booth is enjoying the early stages of his job at the Museum of Western Colorado. Booth has a Ph.D in history from Purdue for his study of the Tohono Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;odham political culture between 1900 and 1937.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;I see Peter as a man with many fresh ideas and a great deal of energy ... very down to earth and folksy. But heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s extremely focused and knowledgeable.â&#x20AC;?

BOOTH: Will study new job before offering his stamp â&#x17E;¤ Continued from page 6D And Cross Orchards Living History Farm is a treasure that â&#x20AC;&#x153;tells the story of the true salt of the earth,â&#x20AC;? he said. How heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to make the most of the Museum of the West â&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x153;The sky is the limitâ&#x20AC;? for its possibilities â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Cross Orchards and Dinosaur Journey remains to be seen, Booth said. He plans to take a year or so studying before offering his individual stamp on the operations of the Museum of Western Colorado. That doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t surprise Okey. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Booth is very down to earth and folksy,â&#x20AC;? Okey said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But

heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s extremely focused and knowledgeable.â&#x20AC;? Patience, though, is in order, Okey said, remembering an early conversation with Booth in which Okey asked what Booth had in mind after a few weeks on the job. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re probably expecting to hear some great scheme, some grand idea,â&#x20AC;? Okey remembers Booth replying. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But this is a complex organization and I think I need to watch it.â&#x20AC;? In a year or so, Booth will likely come in with proposals for a new strategic plan, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m going to be eager to see what he comes up with,â&#x20AC;? Okey said.

TED OKEY Museum board member

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PORTRAIT

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March 10, 2013

PORTRAIT

GAME CHANGERS

A

n. A newly introduced element or factor that changes an existing situation or activity in a significant way

STAMPEDE LEADER COLORADO MESA UNIVERSITY’S

JONATHAN HINKLE MAKING MUSICAL MARK WITH MAVS By GARY HARMON

F

Gary.Harmon@gjsentinel.com

eel free to tap your toe as you read along ... you’ll see why soon enough. Inside a rehearsal hall lit up by sunlight bouncing off snow piled up outside, Jonathan Hinkle leads 32 Colorado Mesa University musicians through a ragtime classic, “Old Town.” Which means nothing, of course, until you append the lead-in, “There’ll be a hot time in the ...” Now the toe starts to twitch and the familiar tune buzzes between the ears. Just not outside them yet. Hinkle leads the group through the notes slowly, at maybe 2-4 time and it sort of sounds as though it might be a tune you’ve heard before. If you can’t keep up, Hinkle tells his students, don’t worry — you’ll speed up soon enough. Hinkle flips on a recording of HANS SNELL TheoFreshman clarinet dore player at CMU August Metz’ possibly biggest-ever hit, blasted out at something like 6-4 time, maybe 7, to give the idea of just how Hinkle wants audience eardrums to vibrate. The idea is speed and precision and this practice session with the pep band, now known as the Maverick Sound, is only the beginning of Hinkle’s effort to achieve both. Hinkle’s next task is to take musicians from the Sound, and more, to form a marching band, possibly the first in school history. To be sure, the Mavericks have had bands that played outside and it might be that somewhere back in school history there has been a Maverick marching band, Hinkle concedes, but now he’s in charge of forming the Maverick Stampede. Whatever the history, the band that will march on the artificial turf of nearby Stocker Stadium this fall will be “for sure the first marching band at CMU,” he said.

“He brought a lot of fun to the rehearsals. He has a lot of fun and yet he is able to maintain a sense of responsibility. You can see how excited he is to be here.”

See HINKLE, page 2A ➤

GRETEL DAUGHERTY/The Daily Sentinel

Perched on the edge of the stands, Jonathan Hinkle conducts the Maverick Sound band during a basketball game at Brownson Arena. The boyish Hinkle, 33, who could easily be taken for one of his students, holds a doctorate degree and is the associate director of bands at Colorado Mesa University. Hinkle is the director of Maverick Sound and the Maverick Stampede. One of the biggest assets Hinkle adds to Colorado Mesa University is the fun mentality he brings to rehearsals.

B

uilding a tradition doesn’t come easily. Jonathan Hinkle, however, isn’t easily discouraged. He’ll field the Maverick Stampede, Colorado

AGENT OF CHANGE Mesa University’s first marching band, this fall. but he began a year ago with a band that played outdoors. In hopes of building familiarity with the band, he placed the band

on the corner of 12th Street and North Avenue opposite Stocker Stadium two hours before kickoff as part of an effort to fire up a tailgating tradition.

It was a slow start, Hinkle said, but one he hopes will catch on, for the sake of the school, the team and the band. “We need people to come hear us.”


2A

The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 10, 2013

PORTRAIT

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Jonathan Hinkle holds his own trumpet on the stage of the recital hall in Colorado Mesa Universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Moss Performing Arts Center. Although he plays trumpet himself, he is not the trumpet teacher; his job at the university is associate director of bands.

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Hinkle, 33, took on the job of marching band director, and the task of building a marching-band tradition at Colorado Mesa University, in 2012, moving to the high desert of western Colorado from Florida State University. The marching-band aspect of the move was natural. Hinkle became involved in his high school marching band â&#x20AC;&#x153;and it changed my life,â&#x20AC;? he said. Band took him to college and beyond. After graduation, he was for five years the band and orchestra director at high schools in Florida, earning national recognition for his marching bands, concert bands, jazz bands and string orchestras. He returned to Florida State for his masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree and directed the Seminole Swing Machine before earning his Ph.D. in music education. From there, Hinkle went west, across the Rockies, to Colorado Mesa University. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He brought a lot of fun to the rehearsals,â&#x20AC;? said Hans Snell, a freshman clarinet player from Fruita Monument High School. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He has a lot of fun and yet he is able to maintain a sense of responsibility. You can see how excited he is to be here.â&#x20AC;? It was the possibility of playing as a new marching band strides onto the field that drew Snell to Colorado Mesa University. (How does that go? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Seventysix trombones led the big paradeâ&#x20AC;? ... and you thought youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d get through a story about a guy

Jonathan Hinkle conducts the Maverick Sound band during a basketball game at Brownson Arena. Hinkle, who is the associate director of bands at Colorado Mesa University, is constructing the marching band just as the university is rebuilding its football program. Hinkle hopes gridiron success will bring interest to the band. trying to build a marching band from scratch in a far-flung part of the world without so much as a tip of the baton, and/or gratuitous reference, to Professor Harold Hill? Ye Gods!) Hinkle, however, has something that Harold Hill did not. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no accident that just as CMU is rebuilding its football program, Hinkle is constructing the marching band and heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hoping that gridiron victories will pump up interest in the marching band. To be sure, â&#x20AC;&#x153;It helps if the

football team is playing well,â&#x20AC;? Hinkle said. At the same time, a good band can contribute to that by firing up the crowd, and thus the home team, he said. Still, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really all about the crowd, Hinkle said. While he likes all kinds of music, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I feel very strongly about playing music that audience members will recognize,â&#x20AC;? he said. The Maverick Stampede will make its mark, he said, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not intended to appeal to

music majors only. All students are eligible to participate and there will be scholarships, but the key is entertainment and involvement. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll put on a show, lots of music and movement,â&#x20AC;? Hinkle said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;But itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not competitive.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Not competitive,â&#x20AC;? however, doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean not committed. Marching-band members will work hard to master the knack of marching and playing, Hinkle said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fun,â&#x20AC;? he said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;to be good.â&#x20AC;?

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Jonathan Hinkle directs the musicians in the Maverick Sound band through a series of songs that they will play at Colorado Mesa Universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s basketball games during practice in the new band room in the Moss Performing Arts Center.



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A LOT TO ADMIRE 4A

The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 10, 2013

PORTRAIT

LIVING LINK TO AVALONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S RICH HISTORY HOPES TO USHER IN NEW ERA

A

By DUFFY HAYES

Duffy.Hayes@gjsentinel.com

t 80 years old, Diann Admire proves that game-changing isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t exclusive to the younger set. As a board member of the Avalon Foundation â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the group at the center of a renewed effort to rehabilitate the iconic Avalon Theatre on Main Street downtown, to the tune of some $16 million potentially â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Admire is perhaps its most important link to the rich history of the theater. Her personal story is inextricably linked to the Avalon, and she is passionate today about cataloguing the theaterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s history for generations to come, working for hours creating scrapbooks and collecting documents from the Avalonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more than 90-year history. The new revitalization effort, called the Avalon Cornerstone Project, has an eye toward a modern future, but much of the campaign leans on the theaterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s history to convince people the pricey effort is worth their contribution. That makes Admire the foundationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s living link to that critical past, and a lynchpin of sorts to the effort to raise the full amount needed to make the Avalon a truly modern draw for great performances in the future.

Photos by DEAN HUMPHREY/The Daily Sentinel

Diann Admire stands outside the Avalon Theatre, a place where she has been involved since she was a child. Admireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s aunt, Elise Moeser, worked for Grand Junction legend William Moyer, who was a member of the original Grand Junction Theatre Company, the group that brought the Avalon to life in the 1920s.

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;When people were talking about a new performing arts center, and some said to just build a new one and tear down the Avalon â&#x20AC;&#x201D; I said theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have to roll over my body to do it,â&#x20AC;? Admire said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just been a part of Grand Junction for years and years and years,â&#x20AC;? she said. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also been a part of her personal history for nearly her entire life. Her aunt, Elise Moeser, worked for Grand Junction legend William Moyer, who was a member of the original Grand Junction Theatre Company, the group that brought the Avalon to life in the 1920s. Moeser also was an original stockholder in the Avalon. Admireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mother, who once climbed to the top of Independence Monument with John Otto, also performed in a Grand Junction High School production at the Avalon that featured Dalton Trumbo in the chorus. Admire herself performed on the Avalon stage in a dance recital when she was just 5 years old. She and her husband, Gene, had their first date at the Avalon, seeing â&#x20AC;&#x153;Northwest Passageâ&#x20AC;? starring Spencer Tracy and Robert Young.

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hat needs to change at the Avalon Theatre, and why is renovating the historic theater so important? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just the cornerstone of the downtown, and the crown jewel â&#x20AC;&#x201D; at least it can be again. It needs to be done.â&#x20AC;?

            

        

              

  

    



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The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 10, 2013

5A

PORTRAIT

ADMIRE: Has fond memories of date night on balcony with her husband at Avalon Theatre â&#x17E;¤ Continued from page 4A â&#x20AC;&#x153;We sat in the balcony. We had a dollar to go on a date,â&#x20AC;? Admire recalled of that first date with Gene. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was 25 cents for the balcony, and a Coke at the snack bar and french fries afterward ... and maybe popcorn if we were lucky.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;We always sat in the balcony, and we still do. We like it better than the main floor,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You can see better, and the sound is good, and the seats are better.â&#x20AC;? She and Gene will have been married for 63 years in May, and they still catch a flick at the Avalon every now and again. In the balcony, of course. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Avalon was just a part of growing up here â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Â a part of our lives,â&#x20AC;? she said. In the days when she was growing up, Admire said the two places kids spent most of their time in summer were the swimming pool and the Avalon. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Grand Junction has always been a place where we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t lack for entertainment,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For me, (the air-conditioned Avalon) was affordable. It was a place to meet friends, and it was a place to cool off.â&#x20AC;? She recalled many weekends watching movies at the Avalon â&#x20AC;&#x201D; some weeknights, too, as her father enjoyed Western pictures and often took her to the theater. He had to fetch her from the Avalon when â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Wizard of Ozâ&#x20AC;? premiered at the theater, and Admire stayed to watch it again. Today, she ticks off a litany of movie stars she and her friends followed back in the day: Shirley Temple, Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Nelson Eddy, Jeanette MacDonald, Gene Kelly. And as a volunteer documentarian of the Avalon, Admire knows the performance history of the place up and down. The fact that such famous people as Al Jolson, Ethel Barrymore, John Philip Sousa, Billy Sunday and Carl Sandburg all appeared at the Avalon makes the theaterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s preservation that much more of a priority, Admire said. She also recalled the historic Operation Foresight effort of the early 1960s, when Grand

Special to The Daily Sentinel

A 5-year-old Diann Admire models the outfit in which she will make her Avalon Theatre debut, in a dance recital in the spring of 1937.

Photos by DEAN HUMPHREY/The Daily Sentinel

Diann and Gene Admire sit in the balcony at the Avalon Theatre, where they still catch a flick every now and again. The Admires will have been married for 63 years in May. Admire, above, who is a volunteer documentarian of the Avalon, thumbs through books of references to the Avalon at the Museum of Western Colorado. Junction radically restructured its Main Street, on which the Avalon finds itself at the far east end. Then-City Manager Joe Lacy famously called the project â&#x20AC;&#x153;everybodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s baby.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the way I feel about the Avalon Theatre â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Â this is everybodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s baby, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve all got to pull together to get it done,â&#x20AC;? Admire said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Not one person, or one group. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s got to be done by everybody.â&#x20AC;? It will likely take â&#x20AC;&#x153;everybodyâ&#x20AC;? to make the full Avalon

Cornerstone plan a reality. The soup-to-nuts renovation â&#x20AC;&#x201D; where a modern glass addition and theater expansion includes much-needed stage and staging area improvements â&#x20AC;&#x201D; has a price tag of $16 million. An initial renovation phase of the plan â&#x20AC;&#x201D; funded by more than $3 million from the city of Grand Junction, $3 million from the Downtown Development Authority, and more than $1 million from the Avalon Foundation â&#x20AC;&#x201D; will begin later

this year. The foundationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s development director, Robin Brown, knows Admireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s story, and recently during a Career Day at a local school a student told her own story of making her dance recital debut at the Avalon Theatre, also at 5 years old. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was slapped in the face with the fact that, for generations, people have had the same memories of the Avalon,â&#x20AC;? Brown said about the coincidental stories.

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;As much as we keep talking about how good this will be for the economics of downtown, the truth is there are a lot of people in this community that just love the Avalon,â&#x20AC;? Brown said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Diann is one of them.â&#x20AC;? Another person who knows Admire from the Legends Sculpture Project, Priscilla Mangnall, called her â&#x20AC;&#x153;just a lovely, lively, get-the-job-done kind of woman, with a fervent passion for her hometown.â&#x20AC;? A longtime friend, Ken John-

son, said Admire is â&#x20AC;&#x153;dedicated to history, and not just letting the good works of those long departed fade from our public memory.â&#x20AC;? It takes about two minutes in conversation with Admire to detect that her passion for preservation is authentic and altruistic. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rare â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Â but instantly recognizable when Admire talks about restoring the Avalon to its prior glory. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s personal. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We need that light on the corner,â&#x20AC;? she urges.

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6A

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The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 10, 2013

At last, a home

Darin Carei passionate about improving pillars of life By RACHEL SAUER

O

Rachel.Sauer@gjsentinel.com

f basic human needs fulfilled — a big drink of water, a stomach full of food, a clean set of clothes — it could be argued that a roof overhead offers the most complex emotional fulfillment. For all the platitudes about home being an attitude rather than a place, there’s tremendous security in sturdy walls to keep out the rain. Home may be a state of mind, but it’s also a safe place to sleep, a haven at the end of the day, a necessity for a healthy, happy life. Darin Carei is passionate about home: making it lasting and energy-efficient, helping secure it for others, establishing it as a pillar in a selfsufficient life. Carei, 52, is president of EnergyWise Companies, which offers among its services consultation on energy-efficient building and design, energy audits, Energy Star rating, general contracting through Senergy Builders and, with the July merger with Atlasta Solar Center, solar sales and installation. During the workday, home is a place that efficiently keeps the cold out and the power bills low, that will stand for decades, that doesn’t stomp an enormous carbon footprint. “Take responsibility for your impact” — it’s painted on the wall inside the showroom at EnergyWise’s new location at 1111 S. Seventh St.

During Carei’s off hours, though, home is more about belief: that everybody should have one, that he’s been blessed with abilities and resources and it’s his responsibility to share them, that no goal is too lofty if it means more people have a safe, secure place to live. “Darin’s passion is self-sufficiency,” said longtime friend John Mok-Lamme. “He’s all about the hand up, not the hand out, seeing people move toward self-sufficiency.” His passion stems, in large part, from his faith in God, said his wife of 26 years, Tammera. But it also stems from walking through this world with a sense that people are connected and have a responsibility to look out for each other. And it stems from a commitment to the home he found in the Grand Valley. Originally from southern New Jersey, Carei met a girl when he was a student at

Rutgers University. She moved to Grand Junction and he followed, and when she returned to New Jersey he stayed here, enrolling in Mesa College to study economics. As part of his studies, he interned at the Energy Information Office, helping to publish the Solar Directory and organize the Solar Home Tour. That planted a seed that germinated for decades, because the road was winding on his way to energy-efficient building. First, it was his passion for cars, particularly British ones (yes, they are notorious for breaking down; yes, he’s heard all the jokes). He went to work for Metric Motors, which he eventually bought and renamed Metric Automotive Inc. He ran that business until 1994, when he sold it and it eventually became Rocky Mountain Subaru.

Photos by GRETEL DAUGHERTY/The Daily Sentinel

Darin Carei tilts up a solar thermal panel designed for heating water as he sets up for the Home Improvement Expo at Two Rivers Convention Center. See CAREI, page 7A ➤ Carei, 52, is the president of EnergyWise Companies, which merged with Atlasta Solar Center in July. Carei wants to improve everyone’s quality of life.

AGENT OF CHANGE

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Photos by CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON/The Daily Sentinel

Darin Carei shows off the Atlasta Solar Center at 1111 S. Seventh St. in Grand Junction. Carei, who spends plenty of time connecting with people, learned a sobering fact as a general contractor: Buildings consume more energy than transportation or industry — “I read that 70 percent of our energy is being consumed by buildings,” Carei said.

ohn Mok-Lamme, a longtime friend of Darin Carei, bumped into Carei several years ago at a gas station. As they chatted, Mok-Lamme mentioned a project he’d envisioned — one that eventually became Sojourner’s Christian Fellowship — and for which he was fund-raising. Carei said, “‘I’ll give you $2,000’ and then he drove off,” Mok-Lamme recalled. So, when Carei called several months later with an idea to partner with area churches in buying previously owned manufactured homes, fixing them up and making them available for families with low incomes, “I remember thinking it if was anybody else I wouldn’t take the meeting, but he gave me $2,000 so I had to,” Mok-Lamme joked. “But really, he’s an out-of-the-box guy and he’s always about seeing people move toward self-sufficiency.”


The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 10, 2013

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CAREI: Focused on perfecting energy efficiency as president of EnergyWise Companies

GRETEL DAUGHERTY/The Daily Sentinel

Darin Carei spends plenty of time advocating for products he believes improve homes. â&#x17E;¤ Continued from page 6A At that point, with a wife and two young kids, he returned to Mesa to finish his degree while also operating an art gallery and a specialty auto finance company. In 1997, he became a partner in Grace Homes Real Estate and Construction. As a general contractor, he built more than 1,500 homes and learned a sobering fact: buildings consume more energy than transportation or industry â&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x153;I read that 70 percent of our energy is being consumed by buildings,â&#x20AC;? Carei said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I started to think there has to be a better way. I got really interested in energy consumption and energy efficiency and the science of efficient building.â&#x20AC;? EnergyWise Companies was founded in 2008, and as its president, Carei oversees many avenues that lead to increased energy efficiency. As consultants, EnergyWise is certified to give Energy Star ratings to homes and buildings, using technology that includes infrared imaging. But even before that, Carei and the rest of the EnergyWise team consult on blueprints and at each step in the construction

process, with the ultimate goal of increasing energy efficiency and lowering costs for homeowners. It has taken some careful explaining, since a common perception is that energy-efficient building costs more. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But I think people appreciate an energy efficient home in the long run,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Energy efficiency is a cost that has the fastest return on your investment.â&#x20AC;? And ultimately, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s about having a good home, because everybody deserves one. He and Tammera bought their first one together on the corner of G Road and Seventh Street when he was 28 because â&#x20AC;&#x153;home ownership was a priority for us from the very beginning,â&#x20AC;? Tammera said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I do think home ownership is a stabilizing factor in our society,â&#x20AC;? he explained. On the road to home ownership is establishing a safe and secure home. In that vein, he served as board chair of Homeward Bound of the Grand Valley, a board member of Grand Valley Catholic Outreach and Housing Resources of Western Colorado and as a co-founder and board chair of Karis Inc. Karis was built on the experiences of the Faith Foundation, a Christian nonprofit group

that Carei founded and that fundraised for human services efforts in the Grand Valley. One such effort was an idea to buy previously owned modular homes, refurbish them and make them available to families with low incomes, which resulted in nine homes in Candlewood Park. Karis is the engine behind The House, a place for homeless teens where they not only have a safe place to stay, but get help accessing education and resources. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Before The House, they were taken to DYS and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not the place to be taken if you have serious decisions to make,â&#x20AC;? Carei said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was years of searching and fundraising to get this going, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s truly by Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s grace that it exists.â&#x20AC;? It is a home for teens that otherwise wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have one, and it underscores the importance of the security and joy that home can provide. Carei goes to his own home each night, the home he and Tammera were able to build, to daughter Summer, 14 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; son Bryan, 24, and daughter Jessica, 26, have their own homes now â&#x20AC;&#x201D; to a life of work and entrepreneurship, of big ideas. He goes home, and that means a lot.

CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON/The Daily Sentinel

Darin Carei is the president of EnergyWise Companies, which was founded in 2008. Carei oversees many avenues that lead to improved energy efficiency, but the ultimate goal is to lower costs for homeowners.

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The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 10, 2013




March 10, 2013

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GAME CHANGERS

B

n. A newly introduced element or factor that changes an existing situation or activity in a significant way

PEOPLE PERSON

Photos by DEAN HUMPHREY/The Daily Sentinel

Bob Sammons is a professional smoker and tours the country competing in cooking contests. Within the past five years, Sammons has taken classes, refined his skill and competed nationally as part of the Outstanding Order of the Pig Society, or OOPS. Sammons, 67, has many passions in life, including cooking, working as a psychiatrist at his private practice, and most of all, family.

BOB SAMMONS ENJOYS A LIFE INVOLVING OTHERS AGENT OF CHANGE

By MELINDA MAWDSLEY

L

Melinda.Mawdsley@gjsentinel.com

ooking for Bob Sammons? Try Fiesta Guadalajara, where he typically lunches multiple times a week at the same table in the southwest corner overlooking North Avenue. Not there? Try Mesa Behavioral Medicine Clinic, 1400 N. Seventh St. Sammons normally works 60 hours a week as one of the only, if not the only, psychiatrists in private practice locally. Still looking? Try his Grand Junction home, where he lives with his wife of 32 years, Louise. Knock loudly — otherwise they may not hear you over their 1-year-old grandson, who visits often and has the run of the house. Any luck?

Bob and Louise Sammons met at East Carolina University in the late 1970s and were married in 1980. Bob Sammons considers meeting and marrying Louise the most obvious, but biggest, game changer in his life. “She is kind, loving, pretty, welleducated, hard-working and smart. She has made a wonderful wife, then

mother, then barbecue partner and now grandmother. She has been nurturing and supportive of everything I have wanted to do, has been the most powerfully reinforcing person in my life. And as hard as I try, I can never do more for her than she has done for me. There is nothing I do that is not enhanced by having her doing it with me.”

Bob Sammons applies rub to a couple of briskets to get them ready for the smoker. Sammons was a 2013 qualifier for the Chest To Chest National Brisket Championship Cook-Off and, on a smaller scale, is a regular participant in the local Colorado Pork and Hops Challenge at Lincoln Park, not to mention numerous other events. At this point, you may be out of luck if you haven’t found him. Bob and Louise are probably at a barbecue competition out of town. Sammons, 67, has spent most his life, in one way or another,

eating with people, working with people, helping people, loving people or cooking for people. He’s a people person, always involved in something, and although Sammons has met plenty who don’t like him

— he is a psychiatrist, and a self-proclaimed outspoken one at that — those closest to him say Sammons is among the most passionate and compassionate people around. “If he cares about anything,

he cares about it passionately,” Louise said, “He has a capacity for change and involvement greater than anybody I know.” Those closest to Sammons agree that, of all his life’s passions, family is first.

“He’s so passionate about his family,” said Lupita Ramirez, administrative assistant at Mesa Behavioral Medicine Clinic.

See SAMMONS, page 2B ➤


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SAMMONS: Normally spends 60 hours a week in his office, which is filled with memorabilia ➤ Continued from page 1B In fact, marital and relationship problems are among the most frequent reasons patients visit Sammons’ office, he said. The key to a successful, lasting marriage “is for each to try to do more for the partner than the partner can do for you,” Sammons said “The goal is to be the most powerfully reinforcing person in your spouse’s life.” “I love my wife after 32 years more than I ever thought possible.” When Sammons moved to Grand Junction with his family in 1988, shortly after his forensic psychiatry fellowship ended at the University of Virginia Medical Center, he wasted little time setting up his private practice in the area. The difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist, Sammons said, is a psychiatrist has gone through medical school and can prescribe medication. Although he often prescribes meds, Sammons doesn’t subscribe to the notion that medication alone will fix psychiatric problems, which is why patients — he currently sees an average of 650 people — like him or leave him. “A lot of people just want the medicine,” Sammons said. “That’s why a lot of people don’t like to come see me because I make them work. I’m going to ask you to do things to make you better.” Every case is different, but Sammons typically requires patients to talk, listen, share and be honest. In other words, he wants his patients to be people and have an open dialogue about whatever issues or concerns prompted them to seek help. “I enjoy working with people,” he said. Sammons is both a psychiatrist and a clinical psychologist. He received his psychology doctorate in 1984 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (Yes, he was at UNC with Michael Jordan. Numerous autographed photographs of Jordan and Coach Dean Smith hang throughout the building.) Sammons spent nearly 15

years at southern schools — he’s originally from Huntsville, Ala. — receiving various degrees and on-hands doctorate experience in the fields of psychology and psychiatry, including his final stint in Virginia in a forensic psychiatry fellowship, a specialized branch of psychiatry that, although rarely used in western Colorado, is important in the legal process. When he moved to Grand Junction in 1988, he quickly found himself as one of the only, if not the only, criminal forensic psychiatrists on the Western Slope. When called upon, Sammons typically testifies on behalf of the defense to a defendant’s sanity. Not-guilty by reason of insanity is an uncommon plea here, but Sammons has seen it several times in his 25 years in Grand Junction. Actually, he turns down far more cases than he accepts by a ratio of five to one, he said. “I’m very tough on people getting out of criminal activity by blaming it on some psychiatric defect,” he added. “There are times when patients have a psychotic illness that has caused them to act and do things they truly do not know are right from wrong. That’s pretty rare. I practice stringently to protect that group.” Lately, Sammons has worked more with Colorado Mesa University because a college student is at the age where psychological breaks often first occur. Given that Sammons normally spends 60 hours a week in his office, which is filled with books, photographs and all sorts of memorabilia — “It’s an antithesis of what most psychiatrists offices are. I’m a physician here to help, not some symbolic canvas for people to play out their pathology on” — it should come as no surprise that he has found solace both in his home and in his new hobby: competitive barbecuing. After all, he’s Southern and went to school in North Carolina. “The only thing he’s better at than barbecue is being a husband and granddaddy,” Louise said.

Photos by DEAN HUMPHREY/The Daily Sentinel Originally, Sammons joined competitive barbecue events in Alabama as a way to visit family in Alabama outside the holidays. When he didn’t win, however, it changed the game. “I’m way too competitive,” Sammons said. Within the past five years, Sammons has taken classes, refined his skill and competed nationally as part of the Outstanding Order of the Pig Society, or OOPS. He was a 2013 qualifier for the Chest To Chest National Brisket Championship CookOff and, on a smaller scale, is a regular participant in the local Colorado Pork and Hops Challenge at Lincoln Park, not to mention numerous other events. Sammons competes in chicken, ribs, pork and brisket. His family disagrees on what’s the best meat Sammons cooks, but Louise, his primary barbecue companion, said, “I think his pork butt is the best there ever was.” “It’s actually really cute,” daughter Merritt Martin said. “Dad will taste. Mom will taste and make the call.”

985992

Sammons nods his head. When competing and readying for judging, he readies two choices in each category and lets Louise pick what to present to the judges. The competitive barbecue circuit has given Sammons an outlet where he can still socialize away from work but focus on and refine a skill. He recently went to Chicago for a weekend of classes to learn even more about competitive barbecue. “The camaraderie, the competitive spirit is appealing,” Sammons said. “Honestly, in barbecue, you are going to know within 24 hours how you did. In psychiatry, with a patient, if they get better, you may never know.” Perhaps Merritt Martin summed her father’s interest in competitive barbecue up best. “The people in barbecue are just like him. They are people people.” In an effort to help people better understand competitive barbecue, Sammons even wrote a book called “A Spectator’s Guide to Competitive Barbecue.” He published it himself.

Bob Sammons is both a psychiatrist and a clinical psychologist with a private practice in Grand Junction. Sammons, who received his psychology doctorate in 1984 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was a Tar Heel with Michael Jordan, and has several photos of Jordan and Coach Dean Smith throughout the building.


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The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 10, 2013

Former newspaperman enjoying submarine life at Which Wich By AMY HAMILTON

AGENT OF CHANGE

ne giveaway that Robert Fowler loves what he does is the erratic red marks on his hands. Those smudges can be traced back to the same red Sharpies customers use on brown paper bags to cast their sandwich orders at his shop, Which Wich. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an occupational hazard,â&#x20AC;? he said sheepishly, looking down at his hands. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even notice it anymore. I used to get red Sharpie all over my pants.â&#x20AC;? Those Sharpie marks are just the beginning. Fowlerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s iPhone is decked in the colors of the storeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s trademark sunflower yellow and black. The Vans on his feet, are â&#x20AC;&#x201D; you guessed it â&#x20AC;&#x201D; black canvas ringed at the sole with a yellow stripe.

nyone can make a sandwich. But not everyone can maintain a positive presence, and finding happy workers is one of the main tenants of Robert Fowlerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s business. Fowler said he constantly is impressed by youths who buck the stereotype of being young and lazy, he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been a blessing to see some of these young people, the attitude they take toward work,â&#x20AC;? Fowler said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Young people are incredibly impressive. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re working hard not to have student debt. They are putting themselves through school.â&#x20AC;? Fowler also sees his role as a mentor. One of his employees, Kelsey Stanco, 20, said she likes working at the store because she also sees herself as a future business owner. Fowler has said heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s committed to helping her achieve her goal. Stanco also said she appreciates her bossâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s personality and his take on creating a friendly work environment. â&#x20AC;&#x153;One thing he says is think of it as your family is coming to visit,â&#x20AC;? Stanco said about how staff are asked to consider customers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You want to make sure they have nice clean things and be friendly. We try to get to know our customers.â&#x20AC;?

O

Amy.Hamilton@gjsentinel.com

Photos by DEAN HUMPHREY/The Daily Sentinel

Robert Fowler hands an order to a customer at his Which Wich sandwich shop in Grand Junction. Fowler worked for nearly two decades in newspapers before branching out as an entrepreneur and becoming the face of Grand Junctionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first Which Wich.

Robert Fowler finishes an order before handing it off to a customer at Which Wich. Fowler said he would like to add two new Which Wich stores in the Grand Junction area, possibly near Mesa Mall and in Clifton.

Robert Fowler stands outside his Which Wich sandwich shop. Sales volume at the store place it in the top 10 percent of all Which Wich stores, Fowler said. Wichâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s location on Patterson Road just west of 12th Street had seen the exodus of several sandwich shops. Others questioned why he would open a sandwich shop when Grand Junction appeared to already have a variety of them. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know enough to know whether it was or wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stupid,â&#x20AC;? he said about launching the store in the grip of an economic downturn. Yet every single time Fowler

works at Which Wich he gets a similar reaction. Invariably, some new customer walks in, looks around, orders a sandwich, and proclaims they will return. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They say, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;This place is awesome. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be back,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;? Fowler said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even gotten their food yet. They say, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I can tell itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to be good.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;? Starting the venture wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have been possible without his wife, Kari, who works for

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orders. Customers also are encouraged to take an empty sandwich bag along when climbing any of the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 14,000-foot mountains. Climbers who bring back photos get a free sandwich as a reward. Taking the plunge from receiving a steady paycheck to being your own boss has been a risky endeavor. Fowler said itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard to tell if heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s busier now or then. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You have to be a little crazy to walk away from security and stability and a paycheck,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The rewards can be there but thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s certainly no guarantee.â&#x20AC;?

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The Nickel. The couple have a blended family of three sons, two 17-year-olds and a 20-yearold. But Fowler didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t choose to open Which Wich by throwing a dart at a list of franchises. He spent the better part of two years seeking a store that would be a good fit both for him and for the Grand Junction market. The hunt often meant family vacations revolved around locations and dates

where franchise trade shows were happening, he said. He considered other franchise ventures, such as starting a maid service, but it didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t line up with his passion. He likes sandwiches, and he loved the Which Wich philosophy. Corporate calls it â&#x20AC;&#x153;vibeâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a friendly place to grab a sandwich. Employees banter as they make sandwiches, sometimes calling out customersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; orders in a sing-songy way. Employees usually appear happy and helpful. Fowler often posts an employee at the door of his business to greet hungry guests. That person also directs new customers how to place

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;I had to order these specially online,â&#x20AC;? he laughed. For most of his professional life so far, Fowler, 46, worked the 9-to-5 shift, a life dictated by the office routine. A newspaper advertising rep for nearly two decades, both at The Daily Sentinel and formerly for Cox Newspapers, Fowler always envisioned himself as an entrepreneur. He started a side business while a college student at Louisiana State University distributing shrimp to restaurants. Advertising was supposed to be a way to meet other business owners, possibly for a year or two. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Twenty years later ...,â&#x20AC;? he said. Fowler shirked the suit and tie in 2009 and has been the face of Grand Junctionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first Which Wich on the Western Slope ever since. Customers can often find him behind the counter, wiping down tables, talking to customers or emptying the garbage. His franchiseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sales volume places it in the top 10 percent of all Which Wich stores, he said. Soon he plans to add two new Which Wich stores in the Grand Junction area, possibly one near Mesa Mall and the other in Clifton. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s working with a business partner to open two more sandwich shops, characterized by minimalist decorations and plenty of stainless steel countertops, in the Salt Lake City area. Despite his success, Fowler attracted his share of skepticism when he opened a sandwich shop in a recession. That was especially because Which

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The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 10, 2013

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March 10, 2013

PORTRAIT

GAME CHANGERS

C

n. A newly introduced element or factor that changes an existing situation or activity in a significant way

SENDING A MESSAGE Photos by GRETEL DAUGHERTY/The Daily Sentinel

The Rev. Mike Burr smiles as he conducts Sunday services at Koinonia Church, 730 25 Road. Burr is the church’s pastor and a visionary in social justice and community building. Burr’s approach at Koinonia has been one of collaboration, he said. Burr’s church has a community garden, meditation classes, study groups, a preschool and is actively involved with the Grand Valley Interfaith Network.

Rev. Mike Burr blends religious, social sentiments By RACHEL SAUER

S

Rachel.Sauer@gjsentinel.com

o many things began making sense that day on campus, but to put them in perspective, head farther back, to the Sunday School room of a conservative Baptist church in Jerome, Idaho. Mike Burr’s mom had dropped him and his two older brothers off. It was 1952, and this was the sort of congregation that thought Billy Graham was a communist. There was a lot of fire and even more brimstone, The Rev. Mike Burr delivers the sermon to his visitors during Sunday services at Koinonia Church, 730 25 Road. Burr’s strong commitment to his church resulted in him being named the Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers’ Person of the Year in 2011. and “according to the preaching, it seemed like of merging spiritual belief with social “Just from really early time, as I conscience — the idea that faith and read the Biblical narrative of what Jethere were only going love require action. sus was about, He loved people and He to be about 35 people in “I think he weds his religious sentiwasn’t judgmental,” Burr said. “On ments with his social sentiments very the one hand, I was getting all this fire heaven,” Burr recalled. well,” said Sister Karen Bland, execuand brimstone stuff, but then I had But then in Sunday tive director of Grand Valley Catholic this very deep, internal sense that this Outreach who has worked with Burr is not what Jesus was about.” School, the message through the Grand Valley Interfaith That internal sense has guided him was that Jesus loves the through almost 40 years of ministry, Network. “He’s very passionate about justice and peace and he doesn’t just most recently at Koinonia, a Spirichildren. Even at age 5 talk about it with his congregation, tual Community, prompting him to he leads them in terms of getting and 6, Burr was touched advocate for social causes at home and abroad, to personally and with deeply by ideas of loving his congregation extend a hand to the involved.” See BURR, page 2C ➤ downtrodden and to set an example kindness and peace.

AGENT OF CHANGE

T

he Rev. Mike Burr began mountain climbing because he realized he was afraid of heights. The only way to conquer a fear, he said, is to face it, so he eventually trekked up some of America’s most iconic mountains — Mount Rainier three times, Mount Hood, and other imposing peaks. “You have a tendency to go where you look,” he said, “so you don’t look down.” One time on Mount Hood, and in the blink of an eye, he was swept almost 100 feet down the slope in an avalanche. He was buried, but not deep enough that he couldn’t stick his hand up through the surface for air and to alert his climbing companions. In that moment, the whole world came down to where his hands and his feet where — which way was up. The experience has become analogous to the work that has been his life’s passion: For people consistently knocked down by the vicissitudes of life, sometimes the only thing to do is keep an eye on which way is up and reach a hand to someone who can help pull you up and out of the crush.

The Rev. Mike Burr listens to a parishioner during a social hour before Sunday services at Koinonia Church. Burr was greatly influenced by liberation theology.


2C

The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 10, 2013

PORTRAIT

BURR: Believes his purpose in life is to leave world in better place than what he found it in The Rev. Mike Burr delivers the sermon to his visitors during Sunday services at Koinonia Church, 730 25 Road. Burr moved to Grand Junction in 2004 after living in Issaquah, Wash., for more than nine years. Burr plans to retire in June.

â&#x17E;¤ Continued from page 1C So, back to that day during his freshman year at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash. He was walking down the street and passed a group of students having some kind of gathering. He stopped to chat and they invited him inside, where they were painting signs for a civil rights protest march. It turned out they were members of a campus ministry, and Burr, now 66, found â&#x20AC;&#x153;a spot that worked for me in terms of my world view and my faith.â&#x20AC;? All along, the seeds had been growing. He was shaped by the brown earth and stark horizons of Jerome, where previous generations of his family had moved from Arkansas to work on a water project. His father, a World War II veteran, drank and left the family when Burr was 3, but thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s little bitterness because â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sure he had serious PTSD from the war,â&#x20AC;? Burr said. But that left his mother alone with three sons and a dollar-an-hour job clerking at the grocery store. Eventually, she met and married a man who owned a farm implements business, and it was through his stepfather that Burrâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s social conscience began growing. Jerome is a few miles from the Minidoka Japanese internment camp, and Burrâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stepfather did some work nearby so Burr sometimes accompanied him. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Seeing the fences and the guard posts,â&#x20AC;? Burr recalled, â&#x20AC;&#x153;seeing the tar paper barracks people were forced to live in, that really opened my eyes.â&#x20AC;? Before fourth grade â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and just before he would have had to have the meanest teacher dreaded by his mother and brothers â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the family moved to Auburn, Wash., after the farm implement business failed. Through junior high and high school, Burr continued his philosophical and spiritual questioning. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s when Martin Luther King Jr. really came upon the scene,â&#x20AC;? Burr said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;His message really resonated with me, which really set me apart from my family. My whole family is very conservative, so Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always been the black sheep.â&#x20AC;? His relationship with his

GRETEL DAUGHERTY/ The Daily Sentinel

stepfather was fraught, and he left home at 16, living with a youth pastor from his church while he finished high school. Then it was straight into college, in the early 1960s, when the world seemed aflame, when his spiritual questions seemed wider and more confusing and no closer to answers. Through his life, though, he would learn that often the questions just as important as the answers. After that day when he met members of the campus ministry, he threw himself into involvement. They marched and protested and were part of the underground network that got boys facing the draft into Canada. And that was something Burr himself faced in 1966. His Selective Service board wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t grant conscientious objector status, he said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and I was 1-A, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d run out of money for college, and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d already had friends go (to Vietnam) and come back basket cases. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So, when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re surrounded, attack. I looked at

all the military branches and signed up for the Air Force, and crossed my fingers I wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be drafted before I could join.â&#x20AC;? After three days of basic training, he crawled into a closet with a blanket and sat in the lotus position until superior officers found him. He was discharged. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I could have resisted the draft and gone to jail,â&#x20AC;? he said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;so Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m ambivalent about how that happened.â&#x20AC;? But at the same time, his beliefs were beginning to coalesce. Through study across world religions, through poring over scripture, through entrenchment in history-making events, he said he began to have a clearer view of the â&#x20AC;&#x153;compassionate nature of God,â&#x20AC;? he said. He wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sure about his place in an institutional church, but was inspired enough after graduating to attend the American Baptist Seminary of the West in San Francisco. It was across the street from Peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Park, a central spot for revolutionary

                                

     

ideas and talk of change, so his religious studies were balanced with the further development of his passion for social justice and practical charity. Burr was greatly influenced by liberation theology, which interprets Jesus Christâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s teachings in relation to the suffering of the poor and oppressed. He also was influenced by Gestalt psychology, which he studied for several years, initially to help with a lifelong stutter. From his studies came this: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I got the sense that all of creation is the word, the expression of God,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;To separate off one little piece, to separate out the Bible or the Koran, for example, and to separate it from the rest of creation is a mistake. All of creation has to be taken as a piece. I find as much holy writ in quantum physics as there is in the Bible.â&#x20AC;? At age 28, after graduating seminary, he began working in the counseling center at Seattle First Baptist Church and then for Fremont Baptist Church in

Seattle. The neighborhood was sketchy, to say the least, and he spent a lot of time working with teenagers in bad situations, people persecuted for their sexuality or hard luck cases who needed a break. The best religion, he learned, is often an extended hand, a kind word, a willingness to push for change. Because he had a wife and a daughter by this point, and though heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d loved his six years at Seattle churches, he couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get by with half-time pay, and the family moved to Moscow, Idaho, where he lived for 13 years as pastor of an American Baptist and Disciples of Christ church. When he and his wife divorced, the church ladies rallied, allowing him to bring his daughter, Ruth, to work. Several years later, he met a lovely woman named Barbara, now his wife, and they raised her two sons and Ruth together. Change came when Burrâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Moscow congregation got caught up in church politics

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and he knew it was time for new challenges. The family moved to Issaquah, Wash., and lived for more than nine years and then, in 2004, to Grand Junction, where Burr became pastor at Koinonia, a Spiritual Community. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d had experience living in conservative areas, he said, but he didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know what to expect coming to the Grand Valley. Would his passion for gay rights be a problem? His belief in fighting for, he said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;what Jesus called â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;the least of theseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;?? What he found, then, was this: a congregation of open-minded action takers and willing advocates for social justice, an ecumenical community of cooperation and a home. His approach at Koinonia has been one of collaboration, he said. Somebody had an idea for a community garden, so they worked together to make it happen. Someone else suggested a helping relationship with a town in El Salvador, so as a congregation they got to work. Meditation classes, study groups, a preschool, active involvement with the Grand Valley Interfaith Network â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Burr oversaw it but a community of believers made it happen. It was this commitment that led to him being named the Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Person of the Year in 2011. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mike is a very fine man as well as a humanist,â&#x20AC;? said Earle Mullen, former president of Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an advocate for the poor and the exploited at home and in other countries and he pushes for separation of church and state, which aligns with our groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wishes and goals. His congregation is progressively Christian and places a strong emphasis on social justice. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a progressive, open-minded man.â&#x20AC;? He plans to retire in June, but sees no end to need and, therefore, to the work he can do â&#x20AC;&#x201D; advocating for justice, preaching peace, listening, gently guiding, living his beliefs as an expression of love. â&#x20AC;&#x153;My purpose in life is to leave the world better than what I found it,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;To meet people and come away knowing that they and I are better for it.â&#x20AC;?

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The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 10, 2013

3C

PORTRAIT

Photos by GRETEL DAUGHERTY/The Daily Sentinel

Dave Kimbroughâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s real estate team at Re/Max 4000, Inc., 120 West Park Drive, has been very successful. One of the keys is communication, Kimbrough says, as his real estate team runs together in good times and bad.

SERIOUS SELLER Dave Kimbrough having fun in sales, but will tell you, real estate is a real profession AGENT OF CHANGE

By CHARLES ASHBY

Charles.Ashby@gjsentinel.com

S

elling real estate isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a sideline job, a retirement gig or just some part-time thing. To Dave Kimbrough, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s serious business. The 42-year-old returned to the Grand Valley in the late 1990s â&#x20AC;&#x201D; he lived here when he was a kid until the 1980s oil shale bust â&#x20AC;&#x201D; to find a booming real estate market. Giving up a job as a successful pharmaceuticals salesman, Kimbrough naturally wanted to stay in sales. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I got into the business 10 years ago and I quickly realized itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a profession made up of people who donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really do it all that seriously,â&#x20AC;? Kimbrough said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So for me, I was 32 years old starting a new career. I had to treat it like a new profession. So, from Day One, we treated it like a business. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s taken off.â&#x20AC;? Over that time, Kimbrough has become well known in the local real estate business as one of the most successful, including managing to do business â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and, more importantly, stay in business â&#x20AC;&#x201D; during the recent recession and housing bust. To help him do that, the University of Alabama graduate hand-picked his team, which includes several family members. His sister, Jan KimbroughMiller, headlines his buyersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; group; his father, Glen Kimbrough, is a part-time worker who puts together his yard signs and fliers; and his wife, Nancy, handles the bookkeeping and takes care of their 8-year-old twins, Jake and Emma. The rest of the team includes Rowena Boroughs and Danny Kuta, who work with Kimbrough-Miller as buyerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s agents. The glue that keep them all together, of course, is staff assistant Toni Ratliff. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I do all the behind-the-scene stuff for them so that they are able to be out there sell-

David Kimbrough is more than just a real estate broker, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a real estate expert who keeps a close tab on the market in the Grand Valley. That way, he knows when to buy and when to sell and what advice to give clients, members of his staff say. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s works really well with the changing market,â&#x20AC;? said his long-time administrative assistant, Toni Ratliff. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He keeps his finger on the pulse and he knows whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s happening in the valley and whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s happening with people and subdivisions so he can give the best information possible to everyone.â&#x20AC;?

ing more properties and doing what they need to do for their buyers and sellers,â&#x20AC;? Ratliff said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have systems in place that allow us to keep the lines of communication open, the accessibility to (the team) open. The team rolls with the punches. They donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let anything get them down. They donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t let a down market get them down. They always listen to what the market is telling them.â&#x20AC;? Kimbrough said while it may seem to be an easy task to find co-workers who understand his approach to selling real estate, it really isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. Many donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t quite understand that real estate is a real profession, he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The hardest part of our team has been our growth just because we have to find like-minded individuals who see the way we do things is how to do it,â&#x20AC;? Kimbrough said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Virtually everything we do is different than a traditional real estate agent. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not like day and night, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s enough of a difference if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been indoctrinated in the business, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not going to be very open to it.â&#x20AC;? Kimbrough says his team does that, in part, by asking a specific and lengthy set of questions of buyers about what it is they are looking for. Doing so allows them to differentiate the serious buyers from the lookie-loos. It also allows the team to be far more successful in finding the right home for those buyers, making them more likely to refer the team to other serious

buyers. But Kimbrough doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stop there. He advertises on radio, television and newspapers, and even does a weekly call-in radio show on KNZZ 1100-AM radio. And he keeps it up in good economies and bad. Home sales in 2008, 2009 and 2010 werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t good, to be sure, Kimbrough said. But his people were still selling. Why? â&#x20AC;&#x153;When the times were easy, we slammed it because we treat it like a business,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But the money and the effort that we put into the business when times were good, when we could have just laid back and taken it easy, those things paid off. That momentum we had going into the (housing) fall kept us going through the fall.â&#x20AC;? Now, Kimbrough expects that the housing market has finally bottomed out, and prices are starting to rise, however slowly. He said the average selling price last year only increased by about 2 percent. While that may not sound so good, particularly to those people wanting to sell, it was significant. What Kimbroughâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s awaiting now is for those prices to rise, which will spur people who werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forced to sell because of the bad economy into the market. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So right now we really have a housing shortage, one, because thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no new construction thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s being built or any land thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s being developed, and, two, the people who are sitting out there, they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to sell,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Until prices come up, I think a lot of people wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sell. Demandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pretty good, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not off the charts, but I think weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll start seeing prices increase this year, maybe 5, 6 percent.â&#x20AC;? As a result, Kimbrough is expecting a good year. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You know, 2010 was a tough a year, 2011 was a much better year, and 2012 was almost a record year,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And 2013 will be a record, I just know it. Mark my words and come back and talk to me in January.â&#x20AC;?

                    

     

     

   

  

    

       

     

 

    

    

    

  

  

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Dave Kimbrough, second from left, listens as members of his real estate team talk about properties in their weekly meeting at the Re/Max 4000 office, 120 West Park Drive.




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The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 10, 2013

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The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 10, 2013

BUILDING A BETTER BREED OF MAVS Photos by GRETEL DAUGHERTY/The Daily Sentinel

Colorado Mesa University head strength and conditioning coach Dan Linsacum came to the school just before it became a university, and has been a big part of the Mavericks’ growing sports programs. Colorado Mesa didn’t always have a specialized full-time strength and conditioning coach, but Linsacum is proving the position is well worth the time and effort. Linsacum is responsible for the health of nearly 800 student-athletes.

Dan Linsacum’s strength is conditioning By NICK WALTER

AGENT OF CHANGE

n the constantly changing field of strength and conditioning, Daniel Linsacum brought even more change to Colorado Mesa University, staying ahead of the trends like a kayaker out-paddling a current. In the fall of 2009, Linsacum became Mesa’s first full-time strength and conditioning coach, bringing techniques he discovered on the Front Range, and even in Mexico, to the Western Slope. He was born in Montrose, graduated from Moffat County High School in Craig and Mesa State College, where in 2002 as an inside linebacker he helped lead the Mavericks to a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference championship. So the passion is not fabricated. “I’d like to say I bring a passion to this because I care about the school in general,” Linsacum said. “As far as strength and conditioning, I felt the Western Slope had fallen apart a little bit compared to other parts of the state, mostly the Front Range. I wanted to help impact that.” Linsacum arrived just before Mesa became a university, and before the school went from 17 varsity sports and about 400 athletes to the current 23 varsity sports and nearly 800 athletes, according to Linsacum’s numbers. Now, following a winter in which the men’s and women’s basketball teams were particularly successful, Linsacum is the axis of Mesa’s burgeoning sports programs.

aniel Linsacum looked at area sports competition levels over the past 20 years and saw a somewhat disturbing pattern for the Western Slope. High schools and colleges on the Western Slope were relatively dominant in the 1990s. Linsacum cited football coach Joe Ramunno’s four consecutive championships with Palisade High School. But not so much since. Linsacum said he’s seen how technology such as the Internet and online marketing has negatively affected the Western Slope’s farming culture and the associated hard labor. “So as this technology has come, we’ve gotten away from that,” Linsacum said. “Farm labor is what built strength for athletes here for many years.” So Linsacum has incorporated workouts that resemble hard labor. Instead of the structured workouts that typically involve simply squatting and bench press, Linsacum will begin building athletes’ muscle using lower weights. “Kids aren’t doing pushups and body-weight stuff at a younger age,” Linsacum said. Some of the exercises are similar to pilates. Others may involve rotating sets of pushups, pull-ups and squats. Some of Linsacum’s athletes said they will stretch in between sets. And the new regime has seemed to help CMU with its rising athletic success in some sports. “I’m lucky to be at the heart of the athletic program where the sweat and tears and blood and all that is put in to make the article, to be in the newspaper,” Linsacum said, “and to have these successful basketball teams. And I don’t think that takes place if we’re not conditioning and training them they way we are.”

I

Sports@gjsentinel.com

The advantages of having a specialized full-time strength and conditioning coach, instead of, say, an assistant football coach, is perhaps hard to quantify. “I think it’s almost immeasurable the advantage it gives you,” Mesa men’s basketball coach Jim Heaps said. “The strength, the power, the explosiveness, all those things, is just so important.” Linsacum has implemented the philosophy of the CrossFit workout program which, according to www.crossfit.com, is

used by many police academies, tactical operations teams, military special operating units, martial artists and others. Katrina Selsor, a senior on the women’s basketball team, has noticed a big difference in her workouts after transferring from Colorado State University-Pueblo. “They didn’t have a strength and conditioning coach,” Selsor said. “So it definitely helps to get faster, stronger.”

See LINSACUM, page 7C ➤

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The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 10, 2013

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Photos by GRETEL DAUGHERTY/The Daily Sentinel

Dan Linsacum points out a quote from Vince Lombardi painted on the wall of the Mavericks’ weight room at Saunders Fieldhouse. Words can be a strong motivator, as Linsacum expresses on a daily basis. Linsacum once opened up a personal training business called FITS, which stands for Functioning Intense Training System. “I like acronyms,” Linsacum said. “I think they’re powerful.”

LINSACUM: Athletes sing the praise of full-time strength and conditioning coach at CMU ➤ Continued from page 6C Although the principles of getting stronger, faster and more flexible and agile are the same across all sports, each coach meets with Linsacum to discuss a workout program that meets the coaches’ conditioning plans. For Ron Allen, Mesa’s first-year head swimming and diving coach, it is the first time in his coaching career he’s worked with a full-time strength coach. The Mavericks swimmers in the winter sent four divers and two swimmers to the Division II national championships in Birmingham, Ala. “(Linsacum) brings a lot of the CrossFit philosophy and I love that,” Allen said. In the Colorado Mesa University weight room one day last month, women’s soccer and track and field athletes took positions in rows and columns across, squatting, lifting and pushing. And listening to Linsacum. It’s the same with the football team. “He’ll walk around the room, screaming in your ears,” said CMU defensive lineman Ryan Sivetts. “It pumps you up a little bit.” “He’s an athlete’s coach,” CMU fullback and defensive tackle Zach Beach said. “When you’re lifting, he’ll get in the nitty gritty with you.” The path for Linsacum to his current position was a twisting one. In 2004, he moved to Denver and took a job in pharmaceutical sales. “I liked the idea of the salary and the new car,” Linsacum said. “But that didn’t make me happy.” So he left that job and became the manager of Matrix Fitness and Spa in downtown Denver. Linsacum said he and the owers “had a little spat ... and the club wasn’t doing all that well.” So he left that, too. “Some part of me felt like I failed different ventures because I didn’t stay long enough,” Linsacum said. “But the other aspect is I know I learned what I needed to learn and it was time to move on.” So he opened up a personal training business called FITS, which stands for Functioning Intense Training System. “I like acronyms,” Linsacum said. “I think they’re powerful.” Soon, however, Linsacum’s girlfriend at the time was moving to Playa del Carmen, Mexico, to be a consultant for a family that had opened a gym. In 2007, Linsacum went along to consult as well. They finished the job of helping get them gym established, then opened a gym that Linsacum said was a competitor of the gym they had just consulted. But Linsacum lived there just five months. Enough with Mexico. So he moved to Denver where he lived for a few months, then moved back to Grand Junction in 2008 and began his personal training business BEAST (Body Efficiency Agility Strength Training) and began working with athletes at Fruita Monument High School and Moffat County High School. The CMU strength and conditioning job opened up in 2009. Finally, Linsacum was ready to settle down. “From what I’ve heard from a lot of the older guys,” said Cody Daniels, a freshman safety for the football team, “they really hadn’t worked out this hard and they like it. They’re bigger, faster and stronger and ready to come out and win the RMAC.”

Dan Linsacum is building “Maverick Strength” at Colorado Mesa University. Many Colorado Mesa athletes are told previous Mavericks didn’t face as strong a workload before Linsacum.

Head strength and conditioning coach Dan Linsacum straightens out the leg of a member of the Colorado Mesa University golf team during a workout in the Mavs’ weight room.


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The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 10, 2013

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March 10, 2013

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GAME CHANGERS

D

n. A newly introduced element or factor that changes an existing situation or activity in a significant way

NEED FOR BEAD Neal Beidleman enjoys life as an Aspenite, engineer and inventor

I

By DENNIS WEBB

Dennis.Webb@gjsentinel.com

t’s not all that unusual to meet Aspen-area residents who have climbed Mount Everest. The town’s surrounding mountains both attract climbers and serve as a training grounds for them. But there’s only one Aspenite to have reached the top of the world who also is an engineer and inventor who owns or is named on about a dozen patents, is an accomplished skier and endurance athlete, and played a pivotal role in saving lives during the 1996 Everest disaster in which eight climbers still died. Although Neal Beidleman occupies rarefied air even among climbers, you’d never guess it in talking to the soft-spoken, easygoing 53-year-old.

“Humility, Neal’s got that in spades. He’s extremely humble, reticent to talk about himself,” said fellow Aspen-area resident Chris Davenport, a world-class extreme skier who teamed up with Beidleman when he returned in 2011 to summit Everest again under better circumstances. These days Beidleman is more interested in talking about the latest product he played a big role in inventing. The Ultralite Sports titanium road bike pedal was released just last year but already has won early acclaim in biking circles. Its titanium pedal system — which weighs just 112 grams for the pedals and cleats combined, the lightest on the market — won a “Gear of the Show” award from Outside magazine at last year’s Interbike trade show in Las Vegas. The pedal, based on a minimalist spindle design, also has been written up in several biking magazines. Beidleman’s partner on the pedal project is Bill Emerson, a Carbondale-area cycling enthusiast who came to him with the idea for a lighter bike pedal and asked for his help in refining it. “Now we’ve got this product out there and people really like it,” Beidleman said. Beidleman’s engineering efforts have focused on aerospace and outdoor recreation products. Black Diamond Equipment asked him to help design its AvaLung, a device that has saved people’s lives in avalanches. His feats in the engineering, athletic and climbing worlds don’t entirely surprise his Grand Junction parents, Larry and Evelyn, because he had shown aptitude in all those areas from a young age. Still, “We’re very proud of him,” Larry Beidleman said. “He’s just a super guy.”

Photos by CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON/The Daily Sentinel

Neal Beidleman sifts through some of his climbing ropes at his Aspen home. The mountains have been a big part of Beidleman’s life, whether through climbing them or creating products to improve outdoor recreation. Perhaps one of Beidleman’s biggest mountain moments came in 1996 when he was part of a life-saving rescue during a storm on Mount Everest.

AGENT OF CHANGE “My general philosophy on the world is think globally but act locally, because I’m not in a position to influence people, to really make a difference. If I can just do the right thing personally — I do what I can. I’m not much of a crusader, I guess. If people adopt (my ideas), great. Beidleman adds, grinning: “I

MOUNTAINS IN HIS BLOOD Neal Beidleman’s mountaineering roots date back to his father. Larry, 89, who’s from Maryland, fought in the Army in World War II, landing on Omaha Beach in France just weeks after D-Day. He later fought in Korea as well. He was stationed for a time during his Army career in Kitz-

would like to see people change their paradigm (regarding) bike pedals because I think this (Ultralite pedal he helped design) is a better one. I think they’d be very happy trying our pedal system and if they’re happy riding they’ll be better people — I think the world will be a better place.” buhel, Austria, where a lot of officers vacationed and he was put to work as a chief warrant officer running a ski lodge. He loved the mountains and skiing, and after retiring from the Army ran a lodge in Crested Butte. The family moved to Aspen when Neal was 5. There, Larry ended up using skills learned in the Army to survey for lifts at Snowmass as its resort planner. Neal Beidleman “grew up on skis,” Larry said. Beidleman also did summer mountain guiding for kids when he was as young as 18, through the Telluride Mountaineering School. Beidleman did some “horrendous” climbs while still young, his dad remembers. Larry said his son “knew what the rules were,” which included instructions from his dad to turn around from climbs at 2 p.m., even if just 20 feet from the summit.

Neal Beidleman stands with a bike in his “man cave” at his Aspen home. The Ultralite Sports titanium road bike

See BEIDLEMAN, page 8D ➤ pedal invented by Beidleman was released just last year but already has won early acclaim in biking circles.


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The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 10, 2013

3D

PORTRAIT

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4D

ROCK STAR TREATMENT The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 10, 2013

PORTRAIT

Tim Ray makes you feel at home as GM of Grand Junction Rockies Patti.Arnold@gjsentinel.com

By PATTI ARNOLD

AGENT OF CHANGE

im Ray doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know a stranger. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hey, there, young man!â&#x20AC;? is the greeting a fan will likely receive from the general manager of the Grand Junction Rockies when he comes into the offices at Suplizio Field looking to buy tickets. Ray sometimes doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t see much of the games, instead bouncing from section to section, greeting first-time fans, visiting with those who are at every game and making sure the concession stands are staying clean and running smoothly. After a win, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s handing out high-fives and fist-bumps as the players come off the field, then helps herd dozens of children who are lining up to run the bases with Corky, the team mascot. During the day heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s at the office making sure things are ready for that nightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s game and setting up appointments with would-be sponsors. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Three things when it comes to Tim,â&#x20AC;? said Jay Alves, the vice president for communications and public relations for the Colorado Rockies. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For me personally, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s his passion for people, his passion for minor league baseball and his passion for doing it the right way.

The Grand Junction Rockies really didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know what to expect from the fans last season, and the fans werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sure what to expect from Grand Junctionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first professional sports franchise. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think that any time you bring a new organization in, with bringing in a major league organization like the Rockies, that enhanced everybodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s view of what baseball is,â&#x20AC;? said Colorado Mesa University assistant baseball coach Sean McKinney. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the Grand Valley, where baseball has been so prominent with Mesa and JUCO and now a minor league team, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re more involved with baseball year-round. We used to have summers off, with just Legion and high schools. Now weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got the Rockies, so itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mesa and then JUCO and now the Rockies.â&#x20AC;? Tim Ray, the general manager of the GJ Rockies, said the natural tie-in with the Colorado Rockies helped make the first year an overwhelming success. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We came in and were still very respectful of the work thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been laid out by the JUCO Committee and Jamie (Hamilton) and Sam (Suplizio). Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not here to take away from that, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re here to enhance the baseball experience,â&#x20AC;? Ray said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Baseball is a tremendous amenity to any community, especially when you consider there are only 160 minor league baseball teams in the country and all of a sudden your community is part of that fraternity. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pretty special. We knew we were coming into a very special area rich in baseball tradition with the work that Jamie and Sam did all these years creating JUCO to what it is today. They have created Grand Junction, in my mind, as the baseball capital of the state. I say that because of the fever thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s here. My job is to go out and preach the Rockies gospel and explain to not only future partners as far as sponsorships and other groups, that this is your minor league baseball team. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one thing to start it up, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s another thing to take care of it.â&#x20AC;?

T

DEAN HUMPHREY/The Daily Sentinel

Grand Junction Rockies General Manager Tim Ray gets a laugh during the Rockies Caravan at the Ale House in Grand Junction. Ray was an important part of the Rockiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; inaugural season in Grand Junction, which culminated in the Pioneer League playoffs. â&#x20AC;&#x153;His passion for people is evident from the minute you meet him. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not out there to be the lone ranger, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s out to make things better and help bring professional baseball to Grand Junction. When you meet him, you know heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in it for the right reasons.â&#x20AC;? The many hats a minor league general manager wears makes him a carnival barker of sorts, exhorting fans of all ages to come one, come all to the ballgame, all the while looking for ways to pay the bills. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot of cost of doing business and doing it the

right way,â&#x20AC;? Ray said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What a lot of people donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t realize is Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball always have their hands open. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re an affiliate, a Minor League licensee, so there are fees we have to pay all the time, ticket assessments, you name it, plus we have responsibilities within our contract. We owe money to the city, to Minor League Baseball and so on. It gets very expensive.â&#x20AC;? Rayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest responsibil-

ity is securing game partnerships, those companies whose signs you see on the outfield fence at Suplizio. During the Rockies season, only those main sponsors are allowed signage. After the season, the contract with the city of Grand Junction stipulates that the vinyl signs during the minor league season come down to reveal the signs painted on the wall, which are sold by the Alpine Bank Junior College World Series to help

fund that tournament. Ray, 55, in a way fell into the world of minor league baseball. He graduated from Indiana State University in 1979 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; yes, the Larry Bird vs. Magic Johnson year, and he counts Bird among his good friends â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and went into the radio business as a sportscaster. He got a job in Sheridan, Wyo., doing a DJ shift in the morning, selling ads in the afternoon and calling high school and college games in the evenings.

See RAY, page 5D â&#x17E;¤

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The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 10, 2013

5D

PORTRAIT

RAY: Built a faceless baseball franchise from the ground up after moving to Grand Junction â&#x17E;¤ Continued from page 4D â&#x20AC;&#x153;When youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re young, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re really not gung-ho about going out and selling,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;All I wanted to do is be a sportscaster. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to sell, but youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got to earn your keep. I spent a lot of years in sales and advertising and marketing.â&#x20AC;? Part of his gig when he was working in Casper was to be the voice of the Casper Ghosts minor league club when the team moved from Butte, Mont., in 2001. After 25 years in radio, he retired in 2007 and became the athletic director for the Natrona County School District in Casper. He still called the home games, and when the current ownership group bought the Ghosts in 2010, Ray was offered the job of general manager. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s funny, sometimes you wonder why youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing what youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing when youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re doing it but had I not had that background in broadcasting, not had that background in administration, I would not have been a candidate for this job,â&#x20AC;? Ray said. Alves said Rayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s diverse background landed him the job. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We recognized that. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just that passion,â&#x20AC;? Alves said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He has the sales background, the baseball background, broadcasting. It was diverse and that was going to be huge in Grand Junction. He was the right guy

at the right time.â&#x20AC;? When he took over as GM in 2010, Ray was asked if he would be willing to relocate. The owners werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sure when it was going to happen, or where the club would end up, but they were sure they wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be in Casper much longer. It turned out that Grand Junction in 2012 was the destination and time, and Ray had to build the franchise from the ground up. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The whole idea was extending (the Colorado Rockies) brand to the Western Slope and vice-versa,â&#x20AC;? Ray said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Since we are the Rookie affiliate, these are junior Rockies, if you will. That just makes sense.â&#x20AC;? Ray moved to Grand Junction, with his wife, Karen, staying in Casper. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll retire this May as an elementary school music teacher and move to Grand Junction, but she spent last summer here. Rayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s task was to get to know people here and start selling a brand of baseball new to the Western Slope â&#x20AC;&#x201D; professional baseball. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was like the answer man on the street,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was asking people I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even know, whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the most respected car dealer in town, whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the big restaurant in town, things of that nature,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We wanted, obviously, to partner with the best drivers of the community.â&#x20AC;?

DEAN HUMPHREY/The Daily Sentinel

Tim Ray has been an active member of the community since moving to Grand Junction, and attends a variety of local events, including this one at the Rockies Caravan at the Ale House.

As Ray sold a faceless team to Grand Junction, he was hoping a new city would breathe new life into what had been a dismal club in Casper. He knew if the GJ Rockies werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t competitive, all the sponsors in the world wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t put fans in the stands. The club sold 2,000 season tickets the first year and drew more than 5,000 fans a handful of times. In all, more than 100,000 fans watched games this summer. Ray understands a baseball game is part sport, part social event, and minor league baseball has always latched onto that way of thinking. Between innings there are games for fans, whether itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a 5-year-old trying to toss a baseball into one of three cutouts to win a cap, shirt or a yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s supply of soft drinks, or guessing the fastest pitch for a Rockiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; pitcher and winning a prize. And hey, if your seat is picked and a Rockies player hits a home run into a donut in center field, you win big money. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Minor league games all over the country are great because they give you that experience,â&#x20AC;? said Sean McKinney, the CMU assistant baseball coach. McKinney grew up in Laramie, Wyo., and has known Ray for several years. His father, Kevin, is the senior associate athletic director for external affairs at the University of Wyoming, and for several years Ray was the radio voice of the Cowboys. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Guys that are prospects are trying to get to the major leagues, but in between innings they have games and contests that are fun and they give away prizes that are very important to the minor league game. Tim and his staff do a good job making that happen,â&#x20AC;? Sean McKinney said. This year, the Rockies will add a â&#x20AC;&#x153;where are they nowâ&#x20AC;? board at the stadium, updating fans on the 2012 GJ Rockies as they climb the organizational ladder. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be able to keep track of how David Dahl or Eddie Butler are doing in TriCity, Asheville or wherever last yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rookie Rockies are assigned. And Ray expects a celebration when the first Grand Junc-

CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON/The Daily Sentinel

Grand Junction Rockies General Manager Tim Ray greets an umpire before a Rockiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; game last season at Suplizio Field. Rayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s diverse background made him the perfect fit for the GM of a relocating franchise. tion Rockies gets the call to the big leagues. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We already have an extremely loyal fan base,â&#x20AC;? Ray said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People are very passionate about baseball here.

For years Grand Junction has embraced an event and now for the first time they get to embrace a team. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think Grand Junction fans are excited to see our

kids climb up the ladder and when that day happens, when we get our first alum in the big leagues, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to be a celebration for everybody. They had a hand in it.â&#x20AC;?

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6D

NO REIMER REASON Hotel-building brothers successfully buck trend by locating downtown The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 10, 2013

PORTRAIT

N

By EMILY SHOCKLEY

Emily.Shockley@gjsentinel.com

ew hotels didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t belong downtown. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what brothers Steve and Kevin Reimer were told when they moved to Grand Junction in 1994 and 1997, respectively. Stores and restaurants went on Main Street, they were told, and hotels went on Horizon Drive. Mixing up the order of things would surely lead to financial ruin. Three downtown hotels and 250 rooms later, the Reimers are proving they were right to thumb their noses at that advice. They opened what is now the Fairfield Inn in 2000, followed by the Hampton Inn in 2003 and the Springhill Suites by Marriott in 2011, all packed into the 200 block of Main Street. The block was â&#x20AC;&#x153;pretty unsightlyâ&#x20AC;? before the Reimers started construction, Kevin said. But there was something intriguing about downtown that enticed them to build there. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Our advantage is we looked at Grand Junction with fresh eyes,â&#x20AC;? Kevin, 52, said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a unique, eclectic blend of business down here. We were excited about downtown â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a lot more excited about downtown than Horizon Drive.â&#x20AC;?

Since the hotels moved in and covered up dirt patches that dotted the west end of Main Street, downtown has seen the remodeling of Two Rivers Convention Center a decade ago and a cosmetic redo and utility renovation during the 2010-2011 Downtown Uplift. Steve Thoms, owner of The Winery restaurant at 642 Main St., said he expects downtown to get even more attention and visitors after the planned remodel of the Avalon Theatre is complete. Thoms said having the hotels downtown helps steer visitors to his restaurant and others. The front desks at the hotels offer information about various downtown shops, eateries and events.

DEAN HUMPHREY/The Daily Sentinel

Kevin, left, and Steve Reimer walk in front of the latest hotel downtown, Springhill Suites by Marriott, which opened in 2011. The Reimer brothers are See REIMER, page 7D â&#x17E;¤ responsible for rejuvenating the 200 block of Main Street by starting hotel construction in the downtown area.

AGENT OF CHANGE Siblings donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always think alike. Brothers Steve and Kevin Reimer can agree that they like the finished product of the Downtown Uplift. But they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t

necessarily agree on what they thought that project should have looked like. Kevin said he â&#x20AC;&#x153;probably would have voted forâ&#x20AC;? the proposal that would

have closed off one Main Street block to vehicle traffic and created an allpedestrian segment of the downtown street. Older brother Steve, though, was

not a fan. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve increased play areas and sidewalks and it worked out pretty wellâ&#x20AC;? without closing part of the street, he

said. Kevin said business on Main Street was difficult during construction, but heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s happy with the result, even without

the pedestrian block. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The alternative of not doing something would have been horrible,â&#x20AC;? he said.

 

       

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The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 10, 2013

7D

PORTRAIT

REIMER: Brothers bringing more business to downtown area with a strong vision for hotels â&#x17E;¤ Continued from page 6D â&#x20AC;&#x153;The economic benefit to the downtown from the hotels is immense,â&#x20AC;? Thoms said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I wish there was one on this side of Main Street.â&#x20AC;? Hotel guests and their habit of checking in during the evening have inspired Grand Valley Books Owner Margie Wilson to keep her store open late. While some shops still lock up at 5 or 6 p.m., Wilson said she gets visitors strolling up one block to the store at 350 Main St. at 6 or 7 or later largely due to hotel patronage. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like the best thing since sliced bread,â&#x20AC;? she said of having the hotels downtown. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We get Europeans, people from Australia and New Zealand, all over.â&#x20AC;? Wilson called the Reimers and their hotels â&#x20AC;&#x153;the best business neighbors we could have.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re smart people who knew how to put in good hotels,â&#x20AC;? she said. The brothers had never owned a hotel when they came to Grand Junction. Kevin majored in hotel management at the University of Las Vegas, though, and had managed hotels for Hilton Hotels and InterContinental Hotels in Las Vegas, San Diego, San Francisco, and Maui, Hawaii. Plus they had learned something about operating a family business while working at their fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tire dealership while they were growing up. Their mother Judi, who operates Consign Design, a shop just west of Springhill Suites at 234 Main St., said the boys and their sister, Cheryl, â&#x20AC;&#x153;worked for everythingâ&#x20AC;? while they were growing up. Sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s proud of her sonsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; success and that they had to earn it. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They took a chance and they had a vision. I think some of that comes from their father,

Steve, left, and Kevin Reimer stand in the lobby of Springhill Suites by Marriott in downtown Grand Junction. The brothers had never owned a hotel before coming to Grand Junction, but have built a mini empire in the downtown area. Local businesses appreciate the hotels, too, because they have helped lengthen the time guests spend on Main Street. DEAN HUMPHREY The Daily Sentinel who took a chanceâ&#x20AC;? on a Goodyear Tire business, Judi said. Judi describes Steve, 55, as a bit reserved but labels her younger son â&#x20AC;&#x153;an extreme extrovert.â&#x20AC;? She said she feels lucky to work next door to all of her children (Cheryl supervises the bar at Springhill Suites, Marloâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, which is named after the family patriarch) and to have five out of her eight grandchildren in town. Steve isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t always in town.

He and his wife, Mary, live in Reno, Nev. and he commutes to Grand Junction for business. His daughter lives in Reno as well, and his son lives in New York. The Reimers are from Nevada originally, born and raised in Las Vegas. Steve said years of living in the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the United States left him pining for a smaller community. He found an opportunity to take over a

Goodyear Tire store in Grand Junction and made the move. Every time Kevin visited the town, he liked it more and more. Three years after his brother moved there and two years after their parents retired in Grand Junction, Kevin left his job as a real estate broker in Las Vegas to settle in the family-friendly town. His wife, Lisa, had baby number three on the way. They now have four children â&#x20AC;&#x201D; three at home and

one at Colorado State University. The brothers say their work in downtown is not complete. A fourth hotel is a possibility, they said, depending on demand and what happens with the size of conferences and meetings at nearby Two Rivers Convention Center. Both believe the Avalon expansion is a good idea and that the area could attract more tourists if Colorado National Monument

became a national park. No matter what happens, they agree downtown can always stand to keep evolving. But change wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to mean leaving downtownâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s history behind. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you could fast-forward 50 to 100 years, what would still be in Grand Junction? Mesa Mall will probably be torn down and rebuilt two or three times,â&#x20AC;? Steve said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The bones of whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s down here will be here.â&#x20AC;?

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8D

The Daily Sentinel t Sunday, March 10, 2013

PORTRAIT

BEIDLEMAN: Was part of life-saving rescue during storm while hiking Mount Everest in 1996 â&#x17E;¤ Continued from page 1D He remembers his sonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first climb of Pyramid Peak, a challenging 14,000-foot mountain near Aspen. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We had a little problem with his turnaround time. He didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t come down when he should have and I grounded him,â&#x20AC;? Larry said with a laugh. After graduating from Aspen High School as valedictorian, Beidleman ski raced at the University of Colorado even as he earned an engineering degree. He also coached skiing there, and it was during dryland training that he discovered a love for trail running. His fondness for endurance activities has served him well in training for big-mountain climbing. He once joined a friend in biking from Boulder to Longs Peak, running to the base of the technical Diamond climbing route, summiting and making it back to Boulder in 10 1/2 hours. Beidleman eventually competed in 100-mile trail races, twice taking second in the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run in Utah. Beidleman worked a few years in aerospace engineering for McDonnell Douglas in

CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON/The Daily Sentinel

Neal Beidleman stands at his Aspen home in front of a photo of Capital Peak he shot from an airplane. Beidleman went to Aspen High School. California before moving back to do the same work in Boulder. In 1994 he decided it was time to go back to Aspen and start an engineering consulting company, while also doing professional mountain guiding. His direction in life was itself guided in some respects by the death of his younger brother, Keith, 23, in an accident building a gondola. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t been lost on me, just kind of the fickle nature of life. It definitely affected how

I approach my own life, just knowing that whatever is going to happen is going to happen and you have to live every day to the fullest,â&#x20AC;? he said.

TO THE HIMALAYAS As a young man Beidleman acquired experience on 26,000foot peaks, with his first trip to the Himalayas involving an attempt to climb the notoriously difficult and dangerous K2. He was forced to leave before summiting due to job commitments.

One of Beidlemanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fellow K2 climbers was Scott Fischer, who later invited Beidleman to help him guide a 1995 Everest trip. As fate would have it, they didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get enough clients that year, and ended up on the mountain a year later, making a summit attempt during what proved to be a deadly 24-hour period. Back then, the competition for clients was fierce and there was a lot of pressure on guiding companies to get them to the top of Everest, Beidleman said. Companies even were sued for failure to deliver services when they insisted on turning around customers they felt shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t try to continue to the summit. In the 1996 disaster, climbers got backed up at chokepoints, designated turnaround times werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t followed, and teams were caught in a fierce storm. Beidlemanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good friend Fischer died, as did Rob Hall, the lead guide for another team. Beidleman ended up with 10 people from Fischerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s team and Hallâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, trying to find their tents in a blizzard on a 26,000-foot saddle called the South Col. Much criticism and secondguessing of guidesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; actions during the climb has occurred

in ensuing years, but Beidleman has been widely praised for his efforts to save climbers. He worked to persuade the group that it was too windy and dangerous to keep looking for their shelters, and later led some to safety. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I just yelled to everybody that we had to just sit down and kind of wait it out, and it got better,â&#x20AC;? he said. When the storm broke, some were able to make it to the tents and back down the mountain, although not everyone in the group of 11 survived. Beidleman said one of the subtle lessons of the disaster for him involved leadership. He was just an assistant guide and felt he had no authority over decisions until he realized Fischer wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t around. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You have to kind of know when to follow and when the time calls to ascend in leadership and be vocal in whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s happening,â&#x20AC;? he said. Beidleman said heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s never sought publicity and attention regarding his role on Everest, although it has sought him out. He believes heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one of the few survivors of the tragedy who didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t write a book, he said. While over years of reflection

he has come to take pride in how he acted in a bad situation, he doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t look at his actions as being heroic. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nice to be credited for that but in the end people still died. ... It just felt terrible that we had been in that position,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We were all part of what happened from beginning to end. I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think there were any individuals that were the sole cause of what happened. We were all culpable at some level.â&#x20AC;? Beidleman and his wife Amy have two children born after the 1996 tragedy. She had some reservations about him returning there to re-climb the peak. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But she knew it was important to me to go back and kind of why I was going back and she knows that mountains are very important to me,â&#x20AC;? he said. He went back to pay respects to people such as Fischer, whose body remains where he died, and to make peace with the mountain. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I just didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want what happened to us in â&#x20AC;&#x2122;96 to be the last word that Everest spoke to me. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s such a great place and mountain and the culture there.â&#x20AC;? 986302

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Portrait — Game Changers  

The Daily Sentinel

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