The more things change, the more things stay the same

It is no doubt an exciting time to be here. There are a lot of things that need attention. The last time I was editing a newspaper, Bill Clinton was president and there were local issues over mining, the ski area and the schools. Now…
There is the Red Lady molybdenum mine fight… again.
There’s an annexation before the Crested Butte town council… again.
Every week it seems there are major changes on the ski hill coupled with a volatile national economy that will have a big impact on tourism… again.
The Community School, bursting at the seams, is affecting families in Crested Butte… again.
Throw in a bit of craziness like horizontal zoning, something called the 1041, and squabbles over an ice rink just for fun, and it’s simply another fine day in Crested Butte.
And so, given circumstances I don’t quite understand, I find myself sitting in the editor’s chair at the local newspaper… again. It’s been ten years since I last edited a newspaper. I’m just sitting back and letting the universe work.
My first week in the new position will find me… on vacation. It is school break and the family had plans for a trip to Southern California. Not a bad way to start to a new job but don’t tell the owners.
Aleesha Towns is stepping down here to step up and work for a charitable foundation in Alaska. It was snowing there last week and the high last Thursday was 27 degrees. Despite moving to a place that starts snowing before it does in Crested Butte, Aleesha is a smart woman and she ran a tight ship at the Crested Butte News. Given her experience and knowledge and grasp of the issues, she has agreed to stay at the helm of page 2 during the rest of this election cycle. She has done the big research and will be guiding the voters about the issues on the November ballot. Thanks for doing that and thanks for the thoughtful, soft touch as editor.
I look forward to re-engaging in the politics of the valley. And that means hearing from the people who live, visit or otherwise have a stake in this valley. Agree or disagree, that’s part of the deal. And Lord knows, a lot of my friends will find themselves disagreeing with some of my positions. But that’s one of the things I’ve always loved about this town. It is the disagreement and depth of solid arguments that add texture to this place. I don’t want to live in a place full of Stepford Wives walking in lockstep on all the issues. Life’s journey is supposed to be interesting.
While I am not immune to the trap, there’s really no reason to get red-in-the-face angry when arguing an issue. This is a place that doesn’t take itself too seriously but is serious enough to stand up and fight with intelligence for what it believes. And after the fights, there should be enough sense of community for people on both sides to be able to sit down together and buy each other a drink. This isn’t always the easiest place to live but those that are here all love it. So let’s remember to honor and respect that community. I look forward to this new journey and I look forward to someone buying me a drink.

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