It is that time of year when drumming up local news from week to week can be somewhat challenging. But thanks to the efforts of our hardworking correspondents throughout the county, we always seem to find pertinent local stories to keep readers interested, informed and entertained.

Our correspondents who regularly deliver local news that cannot be found in any other publication include, but are not limited to, Lynda James (commissioners and county news), Flip Boettcher (historical pieces, Guffey news), Marianne Mogan (Lake George, county news), Lori Bennett (Fairplay and county news), Marilyn Sturek (Platte Canyon, Bailey-area news).

We have also recently added junior correspondent Olivia Zuber, who has been focusing on Fairplay and Park County 4-H news.

Regular contributors on our opinion pages include, but are not limited to, Tim Peterson, Louise Peterson, Trice Hufnagel and Greg Trouth.

The correspondents who contribute regularly do so primarily because they enjoy journalism, appreciate and understand the importance of The Flume’s place in Park County history and have a genuine desire to keep our readers apprised of local news and events.

Please take time to let these talented writers know that their efforts are appreciated.

Opinion pages

The Flume is first and foremost a local news entity – a news source dedicated to providing information pertaining to Park County and its residents.

On the opinion pages, however, news and opinions related to national and statewide topics are not only accepted, but appreciated. Recently, there has certainly been no shortage of interesting national topics to discuss, and no shortage of opinions from our readers.

Submissions for our opinion pages are provided by local contributors, most of whom are subscribers and regular readers of The Flume. For that reason, even though the topics might not always be local in nature, the letters and opinions on these pages still provide a unique perspective and reveal a great deal about Park County and its residents.

That’s why, as editor, I believe the opinion pages are vital in providing a window to our collective soul and recording the pressing issues of our time. As one who reviews and edits submissions for the opinion pages, I am consistently impressed by the letters and opinions I receive each week from our readers, as well as the thoughtful and cordial way in which they are generally conveyed.

While the national dialogue regarding politics seemingly grows more contentious with each passing day, Park County residents have consistently maintained a thoughtful and passionate dialogue on these very pages that has remained respectful and decent without exception.

I’m proud of the fact that we can openly disagree, but still maintain civility and still have constructive discussions regarding potentially divisive topics each week via The Flume.

That’s the very essence of a Democracy, after all, a place where differing opinions can be expressed but a mutual respect can be maintained. It isn’t impossible to do, and our readers and contributors demonstrate that regularly.

Hats off to SAFE-285 Committee

Congratulations to everyone involved with the SAFE-285 Committee, as well as all of you who spoke up in opposition to the Colorado Department of Transportation’s plans for U.S. Highway 285.

Mark Linné did an exceptional job of recruiting citizens  and chairing the committee, and he was also a brilliant spokesperson at the Jan. 23 meeting with CDOT officials.

Linné was firm but respectful, and was extremely persuasive in his presentation at the meeting. Linné set the stage for citizens to make their cases, and they were no less impressive as they stated their positions one-by-one.

Amy Mitchell also demonstrated her value as a Park County Commissioner, boldly taking on CDOT for a cause that is technically not even within her district. Mitchell has moxie, and she’s using it for the advancement of our community just as an elected official should.

That’s the type of advocacy we deserve, expect and pay for with our tax dollars, and Mitchell is delivering.

Linné, Mitchell and all of the citizens who dedicated the time and effort to make their voices heard should be applauded for promopting CDOT to delay the $1.3 million project.

CDOT has not yet made a final decision as to whether the project will move forward, or what form it will take if it does. But the simple fact that they are “rethinking” it is a testament to the determination of many local residents who stood together to make a difference for us all.

Hats off to CDOT as well, for giving the project the careful consideration it deserves.

Some said “CDOT will do what CDOT wants to do,” and seemingly abandoned the cause. Shame on them for underestimating the collective resolve of  Bailey-area residents.

Happy Birthday to us

The Flume recently celebrated its 142nd Birthday as the official newspaper of record for Park County.

We’re pretty proud of that distinction, and are planning a special edition  focused on the history of The Flume to be published March 26.

Remarkably, The Flume’s mission statement has not changed since its inception in 1871. The original co-owners, John Bastian Bruner and E.M. Hawkins, wrote in the first edition of The Flume that  it was their desire “to lend a helping hand in the advancement of this district.”

They also asserted that: “Our tow-line will be out for Fairplay and Park County, and after them this entire section of the state. If we do not succeed in drawing them into more prominence before the public, it will not be for lack of effort ...”

They might be surprised to know, and would hopefully be pleased to learn, that those efforts continue today.

We look forward to sharing our history with readers and hope you will all make a special effort to celebrate with us by picking up a copy of the special edition March 26.

As I have said before, it is a distinct honor to serve Park County and our loyal readers,  and we sincerely appreciate your continued support of The Flume.

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