COMMUNITY BRIEFS | Town of Uravan Celebrates Reunion With Public Picnic
by Watch Staff
Aug 28, 2013 | 2163 views | 0 0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print

URAVAN – Every year, people gather to celebrate the town that provided uranium and minerals for our nation’s defense arsenal. The Uranium History Celebration and Historic Picnic will be held on Saturday, Aug. 31, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., at the old Uravan Ball Park, on Hwy. 141 at Mile Marker 74, with historic displays, door prizes and food provided by Smokin’ Charlie’s BBQ will available for purchase. The event is free to attend and open to the public.

“It is an honor to celebrate the 101st year of Uravan’s contribution to the freedom of this country” said Ron Elmlinger of Cold War Patriots. “The Uranium History Celebration is a small way to thank those who sacrificed for a greater goal.”

The location is just 17 miles Northwest on Hwy 141 from Naturita. Anyone who has an association with Uravan, or the Uranium industry are encouraged to come. 

Starting in 1986, Uravan was subjected to environmental reclamation and little evidence remains of the mine, mill, or dozens of structures that made up the Uravan community. Although the physical structures are gone, the spirit of those who were raised and worked at Uravan remains strong.

Event organizers expect several hundred attendees (in recent years, attendance has been between 500 and 800 people).The venue is handicap accessible, with shade and seating provided under large tents. Door prizes will be given hourly and freshly cooked BBQ and sides will be available to purchase for $15 for adults and $5 for children. There is likely to be “Yellow Cake” to be served for dessert.  The celebration is co-hosted by the Rimrockers Historical Society and Cold War Patriots. 

Citizen Surveys Delivered to Random Sampling in Montrose County

MONTROSE – Over the past two weeks, a random sampling of citizens of Montrose County may have found a survey in their mailboxes from Corona Insights, a Colorado-based research firm.  After a few calls questioning the validity of the survey, Montrose County wants to assure constituents that this is, in fact, an official document.

The purpose of the survey is to help the county gain valuable information regarding the county services, facilities, strategic plan, communications and more.  

“We often encounter the ‘silent majority’ or those that may not be well-versed in the county’s operations,” said Organizational Development Manager Corrinne Shearer, who is heading up the survey effort. “This survey is intended to break through that barrier and gain a better understanding of what is important to the residents of Montrose County.”

Please make sure someone in the household who is at least 18 years of age (with the household’s most recent birthday) completes the survey (year of birth doesn’t matter); there is an option to participate online with an ID and PIN number.  Participation is very important, as the county needs a high number of surveys returned for statistically relevant results.  Anyone with questions for Montrose County regarding the survey can contact 970/252-5036.

‘Honor a Pet You Love’ Challenge Grant Kick-Starts Second Chance Capital Campaign

RIDGWAY – Second Chance Humane Society has received a matching challenge donation in the amount of $20,000 for phase two of the capital campaign for the construction of a new dog facility on its 52-acre Angel Ridge Ranch in Ridgway. “This matching challenge is a great opportunity for donors to double their investment and really make a difference in this campaign, which is about expanding our ability to save more animals’ lives and ensure that our organization can keep up with the needs of the region,” says Executive Director Kelly Goodin, of the “Honor a Pet You Loved Challenge.”

Phase one of the capital campaign raised funds to purchase Angel Ridge Ranch and convert it into an animal shelter in October 2011. Phase two will triple canine capacity, from 12 to 35 dogs, with a dog den offering a low-stress, home-like environment, as well as an onsite medical facility and expanded emergency/disaster relief capability. The entire project will cost about $535,000; SCHS hopes to break ground on the project by year’s end..  

“By doubling dog intake as well as increasing the adoption rate and offering accessible and affordable spay/neuter clinics, Second Chance will be dramatically improving upon its capacity to impact the regional pet overpopulation problem while promoting the human-animal bond,” Goodin said.

The Denver-based Wags & Menace Foundation has already pledged to purchase equipment for the medical clinic as soon as the space becomes available.  Visit or call 970/626-2273 for info.

Hawke, Sanford Reappointed to BLM Southwest Resource Advisory Council

MONTROSE – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced the 2013 appointments to the Colorado citizen-based Southwest Resource Advisory Council, which advises the Bureau of Land Management on public land issues.

The Southwest RAC is comprised of 15 members representing a balance of public land resources and users. The BLM Colorado has three RACs, one assigned to each district.

Five members were appointed to advise the Southwest District (Uncompahgre, Gunnison and Tres Rios field offices) including:

Barbara Hawke of Montrose is a reappointed member representing a national or regionally recognized environmental organization. Hawke has worked on conservation issues in Colorado since 1999 with The Nature Conservancy, Black Canyon Regional Land Trust and The Wilderness Society. She currently serves on the City of Montrose Planning Commission, Southwest RAC, Uncompahgre Field Office SubRAC and San Miguel Gunnison Sage Grouse Working Group Steering Committee.

Eric Sanford of Ridgway is a reappointed member representing energy and mineral development interests. Sanford is employed by SG Interests I, Ltd. a natural gas exploration and production company, and is responsible for managing operations and land issues including permitting and regulatory compliance with the BLM.

Mary Monroe Brown of Durango, a new member representing developed outdoor recreation, off-highway vehicle users and commercial recreation activities, is the director of Trails 2000, a nonprofit that provides trail education, advocacy for connectivity and trail building and maintenance in the Four Corners area. She has performed various roles from serving on the trails group with the San Juan Mountains to chairing the U.S. Pro Cycling Challenge and participated in the Wermosa Wilderness planning process.

Jonathan Roeber of Paonia, a new member representing elected officials, is a Delta County Commissioner who served as the Colorado and National Cattlemen’s Federal Lands Chairman, the ad-hoc planning group for Delta County, the Colorado Resource Monitoring Initiative Stakeholders Group and board of director for the Partners Western Conservation Board. As a grazing permittee holder, he has a firm understanding of resource management on public lands.

Ernest Williams of Dove Creek is a new member representing elected officials. Williams is a Dolores County Commissioner.  In this capacity, he served as the Co-Vice Chair of the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Transportation Planning Regions, the U.S. Forest Service’s RAC for dispensing funds and the Legislative Group for the Lower Dolores River on the U.S. Forest Service Travel Management Plan for Bloggy Glade.

For more information about this RAC, contact Shannon Borders at 970-240-5399 or go to

Annual Partners Challenge Bike Ride Sept. 14

WESTERN SAN JUANS – Partners Mentoring hosts a two-tiered bike ride on Sept. 14.  

Ride 1 begins at the top of Cerro Summit, through national forests and river basin country over Owl Creek Pass, to end in Ridgway Town Park. Rated moderate to difficult, it’s fully supported with sag wagons, well-supplied rest stops and a bike mechanic.

Ride 2 is a family fun ride from Ridgway Town Park to Ridgway Reservoir and back. All riders will be given lunch at our post-ride picnic in Ridgway Town Park, with a performance by musician Bruce Hayes. Registration for riders is $100, a $50 donation, plus a minimum $50 in pledges. Families that ride together can share their pledges of $50 for each adult rider, plus a combined minimum of $50 in pledges. The top pledge earner will receive a free Trek Mountain Bike from Cascade Bicycles. Registration is due by Sept. 9.

Partners of Delta, Montrose and Ouray celebrates 26 years of service to youth this year. All donations and pledges are tax deductible and proceeds support the Partners mentoring program for children 6-17 years old in our communities. For more information or call the Partners office in Montrose at 970/249-1116.



RIDGWAY – For the second year in a row, bicyclists of all kinds will race against the clock as they tackle the Log Hill Mesa escarpment. 

The Log Hill Lungbuster Challenge is a fundraiser for the Ouray County Historical Society. The 15-mile time trial begins at noon on Sunday, Sept. 15 for elite cyclists.  All other cyclists can start when ready at one to two minute intervals. The race course starts at the Old Schoolhouse Emporium in Ridgway and ends at the Divide Ranch and Club on Log Hill. 

The entire course is run on asphalt, and the event is open to both road bicyclists and mountain bikers. Awards will be given in both divisions. Both types of cyclists will have plenty of opportunities to use their low gears on the seven percent grade of the Log Hill escarpment, as well as a four percent grade on top of the mesa. 

“The Lungbuster is one of the few bicycle events offered in Ouray County,” said Kevin Chismire, president of the OCHS and an avid biker. “The participants are not only benefiting themselves physically, but their registration fee also helps to support our local nonprofit organization, the OCHS.”

The $40 registration fee includes a custom pair of wicking bicycling socks for each participant, hydration and nourishment at the rest stop six miles into the course, and refreshments and entertainment at the Divide Ranch Clubhouse. The race packet will also include a miniature cow bell for the participant’s supporters to cheer them on. The awards ceremony will start when the majority of the entrants have completed the course, or at 2:30 p.m., whichever comes first.  Participants and their families are welcome to partake of the festivities.

Last year’s Lungbuster drew about 40 participants who enjoyed great weather for the event, said Chismire.   

The event is supported in part by the Colorado Boy and New Belgium breweries, which are donating beer.  True Grit Too, the new food and beverage catering concession at the Divide Ranch and Club, will offer a luncheon menu and distribute the beer.  

Participants can register at the website  or at the website (Search keyword “lungbuster” and follow the instructions for online registration.) Applications also are available at the Ouray County Historical Museum at 420 Sixth Avenue in Ouray. For more information and a map of the course, visit or call the museum at 970/325-4576. 

M2D Registration Fees to Increase Sept. 1, Volunteers Needed

TELLURIDE – A limited number of registrations remain for the 10th Annual Mountains to the Desert Bike Ride (M2D), and registration fees will increase on Sept. 1.

Scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 21, at the height of the high-country’s gold season, M2D is a fully supported and chip-timed road bike ride with two start location options and four distance options ranging from 70 to 133 miles. uth.

Volunteers are needed to support the event. To register, volunteer, donate or find out more about the Mountains to the Desert Bike Ride or the Just for Kids Foundation, visit or call 970/728-4454. 


MONTROSE – Go ahead, get fresh! Montrose is the place to be the first weekend of October, as four outstanding events come together for the first annual Montrose Fresh Fest: the PAX Celebration of Art and Culture, the Farmer’s Market Farm Fresh Breakfast, the Black Canyon Sprint Triathlon and the Montrose Oktoberfest.

“Fresh Fest is a new take on a harvest festival, one that is unique to Montrose,” said Yesenia Duncan, Chairperson of the Montrose Downtown Events and Promotions Committee.   “All of the events have elements that tie into the ‘fresh’ theme, whether it’s original local art, organically grown food, craft beer or an exhilarating race through town.”

The weekend kicks off with the Public Art eXperience (PAX) Celebration of Art and Culture on the evening of Friday, Oct. 4 in downtown Montrose. Event attendees will stroll downtown, admire new public art exhibits and stop into businesses to enjoy culinary delights, taste local wine and beer and get great discounts from merchants. Proceeds from ticket sales will support PAX’s efforts to purchase permanent public art for the City of Montrose.

Saturday is packed with excitement. Those participating in the Black Canyon Sprint Triathlon will get started with the race at 8:30 a.m., beginning with a 500 yard (10 laps) swim at the Montrose Aquatic Center, followed by a 24K (14.6 mile) bike course winding through the west side of town, and wrapping up with a 5K (3.1 mi) run, finishing back at the Aquatic Center.

For those seeking a more relaxing way to spend Saturday morning, the Montrose Farmer’s Market and Valley Food Partnership will present a farm to table breakfast near the Farmer’s Market Plaza at South 1st and Uncompahgre.  The Fresh Harvest breakfast will be prepared by Chef Janice Wheeler of Pine Cone Catering from all locally grown organic foods. “There will be a pastry station, an omelet bar, organic juice and even cider pressing,” said Abbie Brewer of the Montrose Farmer’s Market. “This is a chance for the community to come together around the breakfast table and support local producers, while enjoying a unique and delicious meal!”

Across the way at Centennial Plaza, Oktoberfest will begin at 1 p.m. This is the eighth year for Montrose Oktoberfest, presented by The Black Canyon Homebrewers’ Association. The event features live music, traditional Oktoberfest fare from local restaurants, artisan booths and beer tasting from craft breweries throughout the Western Slope and beyond. This year, the BCHA is expecting over 20 different breweries to participate. Proceeds from the event benefit All Points Transit.

The weekend will wind down with an Oktoberfest After Party at RnR Sports Bar, complete with music from Grand Junction’s Zolopht and the Destroyers, who will also be playing Oktoberfest earlier in the day.

“All of the events are strong on their own, but now they are coming together as a package that will bring out of town visitors to Montrose for the weekend,” said Duncan. “Hotels are offering discounts to entice overnight stays. We can’t wait to see what the results will be from this collaboration.”

Discounted tickets, weekend packages and lodging information are available online at

For more information contact Yesenia Duncan at 970/240-7914 or

All Points Transit Welcomes New Executive Director

MONTROSE – All Points Transit, the nonprofit agency that operates the local Dial-A-Ride and city bus services, has hired Sharon Fipps as its new executive director.

Fipps, who will join the All Points team in early September, brings a wealth of practical experience and transit expertise, along with a love for Colorado and plenty of family in the area.

“I’m very excited to return to Colorado and to come to the Montrose area,” Fipps said.  “All Points Transit is a wonderful gem of a mid-sized transit agency, and I feel fortunate to be selected to assist the Board and staff as they move into the next phase of development.”

Fipps holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and marketing from Metropolitan State University of Denver and for the past eight years has managed the Benton County Rural and Special Transportation service in Corvallis, Ore., providing specialized transportation services for seniors and persons with disabilities, and general public rural transit services in Benton, Linn and Lincoln counties, and serving as a founding member of a five-county transit alliance. The five transit agencies were awarded a $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to create cross-county transportation services for both commuters and tourists in Oregon. Prior to working in Benton County, Fipps wrote grants and raised funds for several nonprofits in Oregon, including the Salem Art Association, West Valley Community Hospital and Shangrila Corporation.

“With ten years of transit experience and 18 years of grant writing, reporting and program management, Sharon will help us take All Points Transit to the next level of serving local and regional needs,” All Points Transit Board Chair Rex Swanson said. “We are very excited to welcome her to Montrose.”

Division of Insurance Approves Final 2014 Health Insurance Rates

DENVER – The Colorado Division of Insurance has reviewed and approved 541 new health insurance plans from 18 carriers to offer coverage to consumers and small businesses starting January 1, 2014. These health plans, which by law must provide a set of essential benefits to consumers, offer individuals and small businesses a variety of choices for health insurance.

DOI began reviewing these health plans in May, to ensure the plans meet state and federal requirements for benefits, coverage and premiums, as outlined in the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act. For each carrier and health plan, DOI reviewed proposed rates, the justification for those rates, marketing materials, and each carrier’s network of doctors and other providers. DOI actuaries made sure that the new plans met the federally defined coverage levels: bronze (60 percent of costs paid by the plan), silver (70 percent), gold (80 percent) and platinum (90 percent).

“We’re pleased to see that as Colorado consumers and small businesses shop for insurance this fall, they will be able to choose from a great variety of health plans,” said Colorado Interim Insurance Commissioner Doug Dean.

“Consumers will be able to make better decisions and be better prepared. While it is tempting to compare the costs for the new plans to current ones, it is important to remember that these are new plans with new benefits and new requirements, so it is not an ‘apples to apples’ comparison. We encourage every purchaser to shop around and consider what’s best for their particular needs.”

Monthly premiums for the approved 2014 plans vary widely. For example, a bronze plan could cost an individual about $150 - $250 per month, depending on where one lives in the state. Consumers looking for lower copays or deductibles could choose gold or platinum plans, which would have higher premiums. Plans for small businesses also show a similar variation in premiums.

These monthly costs do not reflect additional out-of-pocket expenses or deductibles, and may be offset by federal tax credits or other financial assistance for some individuals and businesses if they purchase coverage through Connect for Health Colorado, the state’s health insurance exchange.

The next step is for DOI to send the approved plans and rates to Connect for Health Colorado and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

For more information about the approved rates visit


It’s “Back to Weehawken” time in Ridgway, Ouray and Montrose and that means that it’s time to dance, tumble and head to the dojo this fall. The Weehawken youth programs run, in a 12-week session, Tuesday, Sept., 3, through December.   

Weehawken Dance offers classes for ages 2.5 and up in ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop and tumbling for dance in Ridgway on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, in Ouray on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and Fridays in Montrose.  Youth dance (ballet, tap and jazz) classes are taught by Miss Natasha and hip-hop is taught by Miss Kendra.  All dancers enrolled in the 12-week dance program will be performing in The Polar Express on December 13th and 14th at the Montrose Pavilion. Classes (running in a shorter session) are also brewing in Silverton on Saturdays or Sundays, but details are not yet ready for release.

Sensei Burkhard Feierabend returns this fall to teach the kyokushin kai-kan style of Karate, similar to the shotokan style of karate.  Sensei has over 44 years in karate, rank of Go-Dan. Weehawken’s karate program is offered on a monthly basis for all levels and ages. If enrolled, you may attend up to twice a week, by attending in both Ridgway and/or Ouray.  Weehawken is held on Mondays in Ouray and Thursdays in Ridgway.   Whether you are new to Karate or a seasoned student, the Sensei will work with your level.   Class is offered twice-weekly from 6:00 until 7:30 pm for all ages/levels, but if younger students prefer to leave after one hour of class, that is not a problem.  Payment is due first of the month, unless purchasing a discounted 3-month or 6-month pass via phone at 970/318-0150.

Weehawken is also offering tumbling and tumbling for dance classes in Ouray at Hypoxia Gym (the Old Biota Building).  Tumbling is offered on Wednesdays with Miss Kendra:  Tumbling/Hip Hop Combo for ages 5-8.   Tumbling is offered on Thursdays with Miss Mandi:  Tumbling for Dance (ages 8-11 and ages 12+).  Tumbling will run a full 12-week session.

There is also an Afterschool Art program (ages 5-7, 8-11 and 12+) as well as new and super-cool afterschool Sound and Music Production workshop using the latest high-tech Ableton Control system (ages 8-11 and 12+), starting in late October, and running for six weeks. 

Weehawken offers scholarships; applications must be received prior to the start of the class session (semester).   For information on scholarship or for scholarship applications, or call  970/318-0150.  More information on all Weehawken Creative Arts programs can be found at or on facebook at

Columbine Campground and Parallel Trail Dedication

MONTROSE –  The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests, Ouray Ranger District, will hold a “Community Celebration” to dedicate the newly constructed Columbine Campground and the Parallel Trail on the Uncompahgre Plateau. Scheduled for August 31 (Labor Day weekend), the public is invited to attend and join in the celebration of the new facilities and share in hot dogs and drinks provided by the Public Lands Partnership (PLP). The PLP has been an active partner in the development of these facilities and maintenance of adjacent facilities on the Plateau, as has Montrose County. Hotdogs and drinks will be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for 12 p.m.

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