Durango named Telecommuting Heaven'

More and more lone eagles could be setting their sights on local nests. Forbes magazine recently named Durango one of the top 10 "Telecommuting Heavens" in the country.

The magazine released a "Best Places" feature in its Aug. 20 issue. Top destinations were chosen in six categories: Porch-Swing Communities (best family-friendly cities); Happy Hootersvilles (best small towns); IQ Campuses (emerging centers of biotech and infotech); Steroid Cities (fast-growing, business-friendly metro areas); Bohemian Bargains (lively inner cities); and Telecommuting Heavens (where to work in your underwear).

Rick Karlgaard authored the piece and of Durango he wrote, "Desk jockeys, ditch your computer and hike the rigorous San Juan Mountain trails. Natural hot springs await your tired feet. In the winter, slice through the slopes at one of the many nearby ski resorts. Or don't leave Durango at all. The downtown area has almost as many restaurants per capita as San Francisco, the restaurant capital of the western United States."

Bobby Lieb, executive director of both the La Plata Economic Development Action Partnership and Durango Chamber of Commerce, said that Durango was a logical selection. He noted that the local quality of life makes relocating attractive to professionals doing business on the internet. "We can't offer a large labor pool or any kind of large land deals, but we can attract telecommuters who are looking for that great quality of life," Lieb said. "It's a natural fit. And, by the same token, we're attracting a large number of virtual internet companies. As long as the source of these folks' income comes from outside the area, that's wealth creation. That's economic development."

Other towns and cities named as "Telecommuting Heavens" included: Albuquerque, Bend, Ore., Branson, Mo., Burlington, Vt., Hilton Head, S.C., Hot Springs, Ark., Moab, Utah, Sandpoint, Idaho, and Sedona, Ariz.

Local athlete takes home bronze

Durango athlete Elaine Youngs stood on the Olympic podium last Tuesday after hitting the decisive shot to take home the bronze medal, according to the Associated Press. Along with her teammate Holly McPeak, Youngs beat out Natalie Cook and Nicole Sanderson, of Australia, to take the medal in beach volleyball.

Later in the day, America took home the gold in beach volleyball when Kerri Walsh and Misty May, the top-ranked American beach volleyball pair, defeated Shelda Bede and Adriana Behar of Brazil.

The bronze medal was a sweet victory for Youngs, who finished in seventh place in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. However, Youngs paired with McPeak the following year and started training with a podium slot in Athens in mind.

"When we became partners, it was perfect timing for both of us," Youngs told the AP. "We're a really good match. Right now, I can't imagine playing with anybody else."

Green Power Initiative on ballot

Colorado will be the first state in the nation to vote on requiring major utilities to obtain a portion of their energy from renewable sources. Efforts of the group Coloradans for Clean Energy paid off last week when Colorado Secretary of State Donetta Davidson certified that the group had gathered well over the 67,829 signatures required to get the measure on ballots throughout the state.

If the initiative passes this November, utility suppliers who serve 40,000 customers or more would be required to provide at least 10 percent of power from renewable sources. These sources include solar, wind, geothermal, biomass-based power and small hydroelectric plants. The companies would have until 2015 to come into compliance. Currently, only about 2 percent of Colorado's power comes from renewable sources.

The Green Power Initiative was the result of three unsuccessful attempts to move a renewable energy bill through the State Legislature. Coloradans for Clean Energy was spearheaded by state Rep. Lola Spradley and Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo.

"I am strongly supporting this initiative as it is a reasonable approach to enhancing our energy security and choices," Udall said. "There are some who say that Colorado and the United States will never be able to break its reliance on traditional energy sources like oil and coal. I disagree."

On its way to the ballot, the initiative faced major opposition from Colorado's largest utility company, Xcel Energy.

FLC opens year with revived tradition

After a 10-year hiatus, Fort Lewis College has revived the tradition of Fall Convocation. This Thursday, Aug. 26, will be academic ceremony that welcomes new students to campus for the 2004-05 academic year.

"While graduation marks the end of a student's college career, Fall Convocation allows us to mark the beginning of their college careers," said Dean of General and Exploratory Studies Carol Smith.

The event will feature remarks by new Fort Lewis College President Brad Bartel, Student Body President Julie Levy and Faculty Senate President Tina Evans. There will also be an American Indian flute interlude by Aldean Ketchum and processional and recessional music provided by the Four Corners Brass Quartet. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Stephen Roderick will serve as master of ceremonies.

Counterfeiter tries to elude police

Things got heated for Durango Police last Saturday. Daniel Cathey, a 31-year-old resident of Hesperus, had been arrested after trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill at the Diamond Shamrock gas station on North Main. After making several bad choices, Cathey now faces more than a counterfeiting charge.

Cathey was at the Durango Police Department and en route to the La Plata County jail when he escaped from custody. Inside the department, he struggled with officers and managed to grab an officer's gun and take him hostage. Cathey held the gun to the officer's head and kept him hostage until he reached the exterior door of the building. The officer was released as soon as Cathey exited the building.

Cathey then ran across 10th Street with officers in pursuit and fired the weapon at them. Cutting through a yard, he exited onto E. Third Avenue and eventually entered a home at the 1100 block of E. Third. At that point, officers surrounded the home. When Cathey exited, he realized he was trapped and put the gun to his own head and a standoff ensued. Eventually, officers ended the standoff by shooting Cathey with at least one bean bag round. After being treated at Mercy Medical Center, Cathey was transported to La Plata County jail and charged with 1st degree kidnapping, holding hostages, assault in the first degree, disarming a police officer and other charges were pending.

compiled by Will Sands





News Index Second Index Opinion Index Classifieds Index Contact Index