Reflections upon passing of a good friend

Ed Quillen was brilliant, funny, and a nonconformist. He was a merry prankster. Some people called him a liberal, but they completely misunderstood him. “Mountain libertarian,” somebody said on The Denver Post website. That’s better. He distrusted the authoritarian nature of most institutions, but demagoguery of every tilt. If he ridiculed conservatives without mercy in recent years, it’s because their hypocrisies were such inviting targets.

The difficult equation of a biomass plant

But even with so many stars aligning, Eagle Valley Clean Energy’s biomass plant at Gypsum remains an uphill effort. It needs full financing and must secure contracts for fuel from the Forest Service and others. Bottom line: Biomass for production of electricity in Colorado is still a difficult endeavor. Developers need to sell heat as well as power, they need a long time horizon, and they still will probably need subsidies.

Dancing on the edge of winter

  by Allen Best Dancing out on the edge of winter some years ago, I returned to solid ground with a good story. Others have not been so lucky. My lark was near Colorado’s Beaver Creek ski area. A buddy and I had taken the lifts in late afternoon, then left the ski area through …

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Breakthrough time for I-70?

by Allen Best The following appeared in the April 1, 2012 issue of Mountain Town News. For a complementary copy, which includes the full story, please write to me at [email protected] For years, the incessant planning meetings for Colorado’s Interstate 70 seemed like the movie in which Bill Murray plays the role of a weatherman assigned …

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Inside MTN, March 16, 2012

This issue of Mountain Town News has stories about lynx in Colorado, wolverine in Banff National Park, the debate in Aspen about membership int he U.S. Chamber of Commerce, energy use in Jackson Hole and emissions of methane from coal mines in Colorado. Among many other stories. Write for a free trial issue.

Housing regs go under the microscope

Affordable Housing Goes under Microscope: Sharply reduced free-market real-estate prices have elected officials and affordable housing administrators in resort-based mountain valleys of the West focusing on what has worked—and what needs fixing.

Collaboration, but not all cards were dealt equally

For six years, Denver Water and leaders of water agencies from Winter Park and Breckenridge to Grand Junction have been meeting in private sessions to talk about where they could find common ground. by Allen Best Those negotiations have now yielded a broad agreement of many facets: Key Western Slope organizations remove their opposition to …

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The Ice Age created one river, and we’re creating another

The Colorado and other headwater rivers were formed roughly 10,000 years ago, when the glaciers of the last Ice Age melted. The riverbeds are broad, as necessary to carry large volumes of water. by Allen Best And sometimes they do. But those years have become ever more scarce in the last 75 years, the result …

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Defying gravity in Colorado

The easy gravity-flow water-delivery systems in Colorado have mostly been done. Now, new projects for Aurora and Colorado Springs illustrate a new era when water truly flows uphill to money in a nexus of water and energy. By Allen Best From the November 2010 issue of Colorado Biz Magazine If you ever tried to walk …

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A Desert of Plenty

Fast-food outlets are ubiquitous in cities, but even in rural areas of the West. Will we come to see healthy food as vital community infrastructure?