MOTHER JONES AT THE CAPITAL … “There’s another war that needs to honor its dead. There’s another struggle needs memory. Mother Jones led women through a trench of snow down to the Capitol in Denver. She was mobilizing support for the strikers in Ludlow & the southern coalfields. “The miner’s angel,” she was always there … In Trinidad they arrested her. Can’t let this old woman cause trouble. When the women marched to protest her arrest General Chase fell off his horse. Damned women spooked his stallion. “Ride Down the Women!” he ordered to cover his embarrassment. So these brave & distinguished militia rode down on unarmed women on Main Street in Trinidad & saved Colorado from unions … So, here’s my idea: Statue of Mother Jones standing at the Capitol on one side & a statue of Louis Tikas on the other so we never forget what it took to get workers’ basic rights. And every May Day we can reaffirm the struggle to keep those rights & add a few” … Phil Woods, Denver.
MIXED MESSAGES … U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Cortez) had two aides in San Miguel County last week … Adam Eckman of the D.C. office made it over Lizard Head pass in a storm to meet for a quick dinner at Cocina de Luz and talk about natural resource issues – his specialty – and the San Juan Wilderness Bill … It was announced (and appeared in the Norwood paper) that Chris Quintana of the Cortez office would be at Norwood’s Log Cabin from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. last Thursday to meet with constituents. However, he turned out to be a no-show. The Log Cabin was locked at noon when I came into town to visit, and folks over at the Norwood Town Hall said Quintana never even came in and got the key to the Log Cabin … One aide braves a snow storm to meet with a county official, the other sets up a meeting and then doesn’t show. Confusing.
SPEAKING OF SCOTT … Did all of you get that self-congratulatory flyer in your mailbox from the 60 Plus Association telling you to call Scott Tipton and thank him for “improving and protecting Medicare”? According to the big format glossy, Scott’s vote in favor of the new federal budget plan 1) reduced Medicare waste, 2) protected current Medicare recipients, 3) targets more money for sick and poor seniors, and 4) will provide better choices for future generations. Sounds great … And 60 Plus Association characterizes itself on the flyer as ”a non-partisan national seniors advocacy group.” Clearly, a group to be trusted, right? Well, maybe not … According to SourceWatch – “Your guide to the names behind the news” – www.sourcewatch.org. – The 60 Plus Association is described as a front group for the pharmaceutical industry. The author, Bill Hogan, writes that 60 Plus, along with the Senior Coalition and the United Seniors Association claim to speak for millions of older Americans, but that their membership does not come from membership dues. In fact, adds Hogan, “virtually all of their largest contributions in recent years have come from the same source – the nation's pharmaceutical industry.” … This is the same group that targeted former U.S. Rep. John Salazar with a dozen inflammatory out-of-state mailings in the last election – all because Salazar championed a bill to let the government negotiate with pharmaceutical companies over drug prices for seniors – a provision of the Obama health care bill that Republicans fought successfully to kill … So, don’t be fooled. If you want to call Rep. Tipton at 719-587-5105, do so and suggest to his aides that he ought to be truly representing senior citizens in his district, not carrying water for the pharmaceutical companies
CLEAN ENERGY PARK … If you think that’s a term for an alternative energy development you’d want to have in your community, think again. This is the name a developer on the other side of the range gave to a development with a $5 billion Nuclear Power Plant as its centerpiece … Luckily, the Pueblo County Commissioners weren’t fooled (including my hero Commissioner John Sandoval) and they turned the proposed Planned Unit Development down on a unanimous vote. Thank you, John, and the other commissioners … Watch out for names. Clearly unscrupulous developers are trying to snooker folks by proposing bad projects with appealing names. Just like the 60 Plus Association above.
OOPS … I sent in a flurry of corrections to last week’s column – seems I’d learned more before our drop-dead date and so tried to correct some errors in my original words. But one item didn’t get fixed: only two of the Ouray County commissioners, not all of them, will miss this summer’s Colorado Counties, Inc.’s annual meeting in Vail. My apologies for any confusion.
THE TALKING GOURD
My Mother’s Things
In the very last of the death boxes:
umpteen beautiful crystal bottles filled with exotic perfumes from foreign lands, pounds of barbaric jewelry,
ancient bones and stones.
A jug full of bells. A jug full of bells... some of them tongueless, voiceless.
Poetry...even a book of poetry
the poet being an old, dead lover of my mother Wild Honey.
The belt she made at camp
when she was fourteen.
My second grade report card... my teacher notes my "enormous imagination"
and my "sense of humor." (It was nice of her to write that...
I can't think of anything worse
than me as a funny second-grader.)
I have my mother's old love letters. She also saved every word I ever wrote to her.
I have her silks
yards and yards of red silk and purple. I'm going to make my photograph in them...
I have her passport, her library card... her statue of Obi Wan Kenobi.
I have her eyes...her cheekbones... her blood... her ashes.
- Valerie Haugen