August 2015 Around Town 2


Anonymous Donor Corrals Ernesto the Buffalo

“Ernesto,” the magnificent buffalo that has kept watch over Carbondale’s Main Street for the past year, has become a true local.  Voted “Best of Show” in the Carbondale Public Arts Commission’s 2014 Art aRound Town exhibition, Ernesto now has the job of welcoming everyone to town as he resides permanently on Highway 133.

The sculptures in the Carbondale Public Arts Commission’s annual exhibition are usually rotated out in June to make way for new exhibits (see photos of the new work in Good Times on page 10). However, after learning that Ernesto would be leaving this June, a generous and anonymous community member/art aficionado offered to purchase the buffalo and donate the corten steel and locust wood sculpture to the Town of Carbondale.

The sculpture was created by Santa Fe artist Jamie Burnes, who says, “I am honored with the opportunity to share Ernesto with the Carbondale community and its many visitors. I believe that having public art in our neighborhoods is one of the greatest things that we as artists can do.”

Locals Lobby Congress to Stem Global Warming

In June, 35 Coloradans traveled Washington D.C. to lobby congress for “carbon fee and dividend” legislation. The delegation included six Roaring Forking Valley residents: Amelia Potvin, Ruth Brown, Chris Menges, Mona Newton, Peter Westcott, Lisa Tasker and Pitkin County Commissioner Steve Child. They joined more than 800 volunteers from all over the country who were working on behalf of the Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL).

On, CCL states that its goal is to pass revenue-neutral, carbon fee and dividend legislation to address climate change. CCL has developed the carbon fee and dividend policy proposal “to internalize the costs of burning carbon-based fuels” and says that “it’s the policy that climate scientists and economists alike say is the best first step to reduce the likelihood of catastrophic climate change from global warming.”

CCL trained and sent the citizen lobbyists to the capitol because they think that “politicians don’t create political will, they respond to it. We believe citizens who are well-trained, organized by congressional district and with a good system of support can more than influence the political process.”

“Ernesto,” the magnificent buffalo that has kept watch over Carbondale’s Main Street for the past year, has become a true local.  Voted “Best of Show” in the Carbondale Public Arts Commission’s 2014 Art aRound Town exhibition, Ernesto now has the job of welcoming everyone to town as he resides permanently on Highway 133.

Carbondale Fleeces Competition at State Fiber Event

At the annual Sheep to Shawl competition in Estes Park, the Carbondale Flock – Jill Scher, Judy Craig, Peg Malloy, Kate Friesen, Hollis Kerler and Ruth Hollowell – walked away with all three first place prizes. Those prizes were the Grand Championship, the Judge’s Choice and the People’s Choice

In the Sheep to Shawl competition, a competitor must turn a raw sheep fleece into a finished shawl in five hours. To do that, they must card, spin and weave the wool. The basic rules require competitors to use undyed, local sheep fleece; they may add in as much as 10 percent of another local, undyed animal fiber. The fiber may be washed ahead of time, but no other preparation is allowed. Teams include five members and one alternate. Shawls are judged on all aspects of fiber preparation, spinning, design, weaving, public interaction and education.

No Name Breaks into Top 15 Weird Names List

The FW blog recently released an article ranking the weirdest town names in America and No Name, one of our local spots, made the list. No Name was joined by such notables as Boring, Oregon; Hell, Michigan; Dismal, Tennessee; Peculiar, Missouri; Boogertown, North Carolina and Looneville, Texas.

No Name, which tallied 123 residents in the 2010 Census, is located east of Glenwood Springs at exit 119 on Interstate 70. Local wags sometimes say that the area was named after the Native American chief “Noname” but that’s an explanation that probably only convinces tourists gullible enough to go on wildlife trips seeking the illusive jackalope. When Interstate 70 was being built, developers planned an exit in the area and marked the sign “No Name.” After the area was developed, the name stuck.

Colorado Trout Populations Rebounding

According to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife department, rainbow trout populations are rebounding after being devastated in the 1990s by whirling disease. The disease deforms the spines of young fish, causing them to swim in a swirling pattern. They die soon after being infected. Aquatic researchers say the disease was introduced to Colorado in 1986 when a private hatchery unknowingly bought in infected rainbow trout from Idaho. By the mid-1990s, whirling disease had spread throughout the state, and rainbow trout stopped reproducing naturally.

Anglers, diners and river enthusiasts will be glad to learn that a 15-year effort to crossbreed native trout with disease-resistant “Hofers” has yielded breeding success. The Hofers were named for the family that ran the hatchery in Germany where the first disease-resistant stocking fish were raised. Anglers are catching the new cross-bred rainbows in the Colorado, Rio Grande, Gunnison, Poudre and Arkansas rivers, among others.

Hot Socks Hopping Onto Feet Nationwide

Pamela Fletcher, a cottage entrepreneur who lives in Carbondale, is coming up with designs that are knocking the socks off of buyers on Etsy’s online arts and crafts site. Or perhaps – since many of Fletcher’s designs are socks adorned with patterns ranging from paisleys, stars and stripes and Day of Dead skulls to Colorado’s favorite herb – buyers would prefer to leave their socks on.
Fletcher started Arrowsmith Designs after spending more than 25 years in the outdoor industry, including stints with such notable firms as Ocean Pacific and Adidas. Arrowsmith Designs is purely local. All sewing is done by GarCo Sewing Works, a non-profit located in Rifle that helps single mothers to become self-sufficient through industrial sewing and career counseling. For more information and products, check out or email