Monthly Archives: April 2017




Hello, my name is Jim Miles and I’m seeking a position on the Gunnison City Council. I am a native of Gunnison and a long-time local business owner. I have served the Gunnison Volunteer Fire Department for 35 years as a Firefighter, Lieutenant, Assistant Chief, Fire Chief (12 years), and President of the Fireman’s Pension Board (12 years). During my time as Fire Chief, I was involved with the budget process of both the City of Gunnison Fire Department and the Gunnison County Fire Protection District, balancing the budget all 12 years. I was awarded the Robert R. Williams Firefighter of the Year award in 2001 and the Most Valuable Firefighter award in 2007 and 2013. I served as a Reserve Deputy (State Certified Peace Officer) for the Gunnison Sherriff’s Office for 18 years and an Emergency Medical Technician for the Gunnison Ambulance Service and Gunnison County Hospital for 10 years. My wife Becky and I served as Emergency Foster Parents for numerous children throughout the years.

My most gratifying personal accomplishments have been raising three wonderful and successful children with my late wife Becky. My children are Michele Gallowich, Melissa McLeod and Billy Miles and are all current members of the Gunnison community.


  • Ensure proactive fiscal responsibility with investments/properties currently owned by the City of Gunnison (water treatment plant, municipal buildings, “Lazy K” property, streets, parks, trails, and all underlying infrastructure.)


  • Promote healthy economic growth which will ensure that tax dollars remain in the City of Gunnison by encouraging local business growth.


  • Maintain an effective communication link with the citizens of Gunnison to improve services which affect our lifestyle and community values.

I truly believe that I can make a genuine difference with a common sense approach to the many issues facing our community. Due to my decades of commitment to public service, I believe I can give of my time and experience to benefit the residents and visitors of the City of Gunnison!


Watch for your ballot in the mail starting  April 17th, ballots must be received by May 9th


If you would like to contact me with any questions, comments or concerns, please call me on my personal cell phone at:

(970) 209-2886


GUNNISON, CO (March 28, 2017) – All in the Timing, written by David Ives and directed by Western students and faculty, will be presented by Peak Productions April 19th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd at 7:30 pm and April 23rd at 2 pm in the Western Studio Theater of Taylor Hall.

All in the Timing is a series of six one-act plays by David Ives that hilariously explore high concepts about time, language, and communication. Enter the mind of this comedy playwright genius where monkeys write Hamlet, Philip Glass tries to buy a loaf of bread, the universe resets itself until two would-be lovers get it right, Philadelphia (or is it New York?) isn’t quite what you thought it was, a universal language exists, and Trotsky’s place in history is, or maybe isn’t, set into stone. Peak Productions brings you this hilarious collection of plays, directed by both students and faculty.

Admission is $5 for Western students with ID and $7 for general admission. Tickets are available at Western’s Bookstore or a half-hour before the performance in the Studio Theater lobby. For advance ticket reservations or for more information contact Peak Productions at (970)-943-3013 or by emailing


Talking Social Justice and Translation in the Realm of Poetry

Student Writer / Bethany Eveleth

On Tuesday, April 11 in conjunction with Penguin Random House Publishing, Western’s Contemporary Writer Series and WordHorde hosted poets Todd Fredson and Sarah Vap. Fredson and Vap gave a craft talk that was open to all students, faculty, and staff at 11am. They both discussed their artistic process and led an activity to help the audience understand some of the things that they both attempt to address in their work. Following the craft talk, Fredson and Vap hosted an invitation-only talk for aspiring poets which gave students an opportunity to have further discussion about publishing, the writing process, and translation.

The same evening, at 7pm in the Savage Library, Fredson and Vap read selections from their work. Vap read from her most recent book, Viability.

“[Viability is] a woven hybrid project where I just stole a lot of language,” Vap said in discussion of the her National Poetry Series winning book. She examined and borrowed jargon used economically and juxtaposed that with themes of the body to explore the commodification of human life, particularly women and children, by capitalism. Her work in Viability relies on de-contextualization and repetition to create a series of hybrid prose poems that explore the difficult topics of slavery in the present, motherhood, and the dehumanization of humanity.

Fredson followed Vap’s reading by reading some of his translations of Josué Guébo, an Ivory Coast poet. Translated as serial lyrics, poems that move from page to page without titles, Fredson occasionally stopped to give the audience cultural context about his translations or explain phrases that he left in the original language: French.

“I left some things untranslated because their cultural importance was too great,” Fredson said. Fredson lived in what he classified as a “stereotypical African village” with no running water and no electricity when he was a volunteer for the Peace Corps. It was through translation that Fredson found a way to talk about his own experiences on the Ivory Coast. He discussed his struggles with cultural appropriation and navigating how to capture the unsayable.

The evening concluded with time for audience members to ask further questions and get books signed. Fredson and Vap were receptive and showed genuine interest in their conversations with their audiences. Aided by the intimate settings that Western has to offer and a receptive community, aspiring poets and students were exposed to writers passionately pursuing social justice and hybrid form in the field of poetry.

Does summer break have you unsure what to do?

Then Gunnison just might be the answer for you.

Nicholas A. Fischer / Staff Writer

Snow from an epic storm delayed the start of the spring semester by two days, making the campus a winter wonderland for almost a full three months. As warm weather fights its slow return to the Gunnison Valley, the spring semester rapidly approaches its end. With snow storms possible through May, snow on graduation is tradition at Western, it leaves little time for Mountaineers to enjoy the valley before summer break.

While Mountaineers are finishing their last papers, projects, and presentations of the year, some are preparing for their summer plans, while other’s plans are still up in the air. A majority of students will return to their home towns, while others will set out on adventures across the world. However, a few students will stay in the valley and mountains and get to enjoy the wonders of the short Gunnison summer.

Three factors tend to keep students in Gunnison over the summer break: summer classes, internships, or work opportunities. However, the beauty of the wilderness around Gunnison provides a bounty of relaxation any student or professor needs after a long year.

Students staying as students over summer tend to have a need to take a class over summer to stay on track or are looking to get ahead of schedule. Several classes offered over the summer take students into the mountains to study flora of the land or the stars in the sky, while others allow them to have a hands-on exploration of the past.

Over the last 25 years Western has offered an archeology field school around W Mountain. The Mountaineer Site, located on top of W Mountain, a Folsom archeology site that has the earliest known structures in Colorado, has been the focus of the field school since its discovery by archeology professor, Dr. Mark Stiger and Western students. During the field school in June, anyone can come up on a free ride, being offered through Gunnison’s Parks Department, and tour the site.

Further up the valley near Gothic mountain, Western Students will be interning over summer at the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab. The area is a pristine wilderness area that has been under scientific studies for 89 years. Research done at the lab as led to over 1500 publications that have played important roles in expanding our understanding of long-term changes on ecosystems. The lab offers public programs over summer and host a 1/3 marathon on July 4th from Gothic to Crested Butte. The public can stay overnight at the lab, but space is limited.

Staying and studying in Gunnison over summer is not everyone’s ideal summer break, but Gunnison County does offer great employment opportunities for the college students in need of money. Over summer, events like the Cattlemen’s Day, the Wild Flower Festival, and various wine festivals and music events bring in tourist. In addition to abundant wilderness activities, businesses across the county are always looking for help. From inside jobs at restaurants and shops to outside jobs at Crested Butte Mountain Resort and Three Rivers Resorts, there are a variety of jobs that will put cash in a student’s pockets over the summer.

For students who decide to stay in Gunnison, whether it be to study, work, or just relax, the mountains and valleys do not fail to provide an abundance of activities to ensure it is enjoyable.

The trails around Gunnison and Crested Butte are heralded as some of the best mountain biking trails of Colorado. Those trails are just a small part of the extensive network of trails that allow anyone to hike, bike, or four wheel across a vast amount of Gunnison County. These trails take people to some of the most beautiful and remote views in state and are topped off as the wildflowers begin to bloom in June and by July. Crested Butte is known as the Wildflower Capital of Colorado because the meadows and fields are painted with the varying colors of flowers that highlight the lush, green foliage and are backdropped by mountain peaks.

Of course, camping under the stars is one of the unique treasures of Gunnison. Gunnison County is far enough away from big city lights that the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is an International Dark Sky Park, which is a designation for parks that have exceptional starry nights. However, one does not have to camp or travel outside of Gunnison to get a great view of the stars. The Gunnison Valley Observatory, located on the way to Hartmann’s Rocks, offers anyone a chance to see the stars and planets even more up close than the peaks around town.

While 100 days on the mountain is a common goal for winters in Gunnison, 100 days on the water becomes a goal for summer. The East, Slate, Taylor, and Gunnison rivers along with Blue Mesa and Taylor Reservoirs and the many streams creeks and alpine lakes provide plenty of fishing, swimming, boating, rafting, paddle boarding, and yes even surfing opportunities within an hour of Gunnison.

A summer in Gunnison is an experience every Mountaineer should have. While the town and surrounding country is amazing during the months of the normal school year, Gunnison becomes a special place from May to August that makes surviving the bitter colds of its winter, all the worthwhile.

Western’s English Honors Society Attends Louisville Conference

Sigma Tau Delta Conference

Marisa Cardin / Senior Staff Writer

From March 29th to April 1st, 2017, ten students from Sigma Tau Delta flew to Louisville, Kentucky, to attend the annual English Honors society conference. About a year ago, some of these same students had gone to the conference in Minneapolis, with only one of them presenting a collection of poetry. This year, all ten students were presenting something, and some of them were involved with more than one presentation. Five people presented a panel entitled “Women In Violence: Debunking Cultural Myths,” which explored the myth of women being unable to enact violent crimes in the same way that men are able to. Three students presented academic papers, two presented short stories, and three presented collections of poetry. The conference included keynote speakers, such as Jeff VanderMeer and Megan Mayhew Bergman, who students had the opportunity to speak with and even get copies of the writers novels signed. When students weren’t busy presenting their own work, they were welcomed to go around to different readings and panels, some of which included: “A Critical Lens Evaluation of Disney Princesses,” “Narrative in Gaming: Role-Playing and Beyond,” “Adolescents in Original Fiction,” and “The American Short Story as a Form.”

Overall, though the conference only lasted three short days, every student had a fantastic time going from panel to panel, and gained a new perspective on the art of English and Literature through discussing these ideas with members of other STD chapters. Wyatt Ewert, a junior at Western, said that his experience at the conference was “Fun, but exhausting. I found myself going to a bunch of different round tables and readings, leaving me busy for much of the day. However, each of the readings and round tables I went to were interesting, so I have no regrets. I just wish I could have slept more!”

Elizabeth Ramsey, junior, also enjoyed the conference because she doesn’t get to do a lot of traveling. “Being able to go someplace new and far away is always great, but the conference experience itself was a blast,” she said. “The readings and panels are interesting, and we get to interact with lots of like-minded people.” She also was pleased with her reading of her original fiction piece, “Magic for Beginners.

“I was nervous at first, like I always am for presentations, but when I actually got to my panel, the rest of the presenters were very friendly and welcoming, and the audience was polite and invested,” Ramsey said. “The whole atmosphere was relaxed, which made presenting a whole lot less stressful and a lot more fun.”

Ramsey has recently been elected as STD’s new Secretary for the following year. Zoe Henderson, who has been elected as Vice President, spoke of the connections the conference allowed the students to make with fellow English majors and minors from schools all across the conference.

“It was really interesting to learn about their educations and how they differ from and are similar to ours,” Henderson said. “It was also so amazing to be surrounded by so many like-minded individuals who we could talk to about English and our course content even though we had never met before. I made instant connections with some people because they were so similar to me.”

Overall, the students in attendance at the conference agreed that it inspired them to continue along the path of English. Bethany Eveleth, junior and new STD president, was especially inspired. “The conference definitely reignited a passion for the art for me,” she said. “I feel more accountable for myself now, rather than simply writing because it’s a requirement, it was a real wakeup call that in order to get anywhere in this field, I need to practice just like a basketball player or pianist. I know my passion lies in creative writing, and I have to bring that to all of my classes, even the critical ones.”

“I was really inspired by the poets that were succeeding in form. As a writer who is really intimidated by form, and really inexperienced, hearing really skilled villanelles and sonnets, etc. made me make a personal challenge for myself to explore form more and get outside of my comfort zone,” Eveleth finished.

Henderson agreed with this, going on to explain the importance of students attending academic conferences throughout their time at college: “Academic conferences are incredibly helpful toward furthering a student’s education. An academic conference allows students to meet with their peers from all over the world, be inspired, find solidarity, and become more educated in their fields.”

“After my experience at the conference,” said Ewert. “I am now more dedicated to my writing and will strive to create new short pieces in the hopes of not only improving my craft, but also forming a collection of works to put under my belt.”

Overall, the annual Sigma Tau Delta conference was extremely successful for all ten students who attended, especially considering the major rise in presentations over the course of just one year. Next year, the conference will be held in Cincinnati, Ohio, and will hopefully have just as many, if not more, students presenting their English work!



GUNNISON, CO (March 28, 2017) – All in the Timing, written by David Ives and directed by Western students and faculty, will be presented by Peak Productions April 19th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd at 7:30 pm and April 23rd at 2 pm in the Western Studio Theater of Taylor Hall.


All in the Timing is a series of six one-act plays by David Ives that hilariously explore high concepts about time, language, and communication. Enter the mind of this comedy playwright genius where monkeys write Hamlet, Philip Glass tries to buy a loaf of bread, the universe resets itself until two would-be lovers get it right, Philadelphia (or is it New York?) isn’t quite what you thought it was, a universal language exists, and Trotsky’s place in history is, or maybe isn’t, set into stone. Peak Productions brings you this hilarious collection of plays, directed by both students and faculty.


Admission is $5 for Western students with ID and $7 for general admission. Tickets are available at Western’s Bookstore or a half-hour before the performance in the Studio Theater lobby. For advance ticket reservations or for more information contact Peak Productions at (970)-943-3013 or by emailing


Water Battle of Colorado

When it comes to the water battle in Colorado, the divide is much stronger between urban and rural than Democrat and Republican.  

We continually encourage urban areas to start conserving more and using less; we hope they make plans for water storage, then follow through on those plans. The last thing we want is for anyone to abandon those plans, stick a straw through the mountain and start siphoning our Western Slope treasure.

Be assured that Sen. Don Coram, Rep. Marc Catlin, both experts in the field, and I (Barbara McLachlan) are working together to make sure that doesn’t happen. Western Slope lawmakers know how important our natural resources are and we are committed to protecting our way of life.

The state’s Water Plan, a result of an ambitious two year consensus building process among stakeholders, also moves water policy in the right direction. Conservation goals have been created for cities, while greater leeway has been provided for agricultural producers. This is critical because of the way that conservation goals as a blunt instrument can divert water rights and access away from our crop producers and endanger the business of making our food.

A bill I am cosponsoring with Rep. Jeni Arndt, chair of the House Agriculture Committee, earned initial approval from the House this week. It is one of several bills designed to give the Water Plan a kick-start, providing a method to reuse and conserve water. It expands a pilot program in four basins–the South Platte, the Arkansas, the Rio Grande, and the Colorado–that permits farmers to fallow their property and lease the water rights to municipalities. The farmer wins by letting the land recover from years of the same crop, maintaining his or her water rights, and being reimbursed.

The municipality wins by obtaining a temporary water right to serve its citizens. Our ranchers and farmers are key to conservation efforts. They think long-term about water, they provide habitats for birds, and they know the land better than anyone. Providing them voluntary and flexible options to take off the pressure to overuse or lose is prudent policy.


Film Review: Logan

Action flick is dark and serves as an emotional farewell to Hugh Jackman’s X-Men tenure

Sam Thornley / Staff Writer

Logan promises a final ride for Hugh Jackman as Wolverine and delivers in this dark and violent neo-western. In addition to Jackman, the film also stars Dafne Keen in her first major film, Boyd Holbrook, Richard E. Grant, Stephen Merchant, and Patrick Stewart in his last appearance as Charles Xavier. Written and directed by James Mangold, the film was released on March 3, 2017 by Twentieth Century Fox.

Set in the year 2030 where mutants are all but extinct, Logan and Charles Xavier struggle to make a living while their bodies are decaying in their old age. When a young mutant girl named Laura enters their life, Logan reluctantly decides to become a hero one last time as he and Charles escort her in a journey that offers the promise of a hopeful future.

A major strength of Logan is its grounded setting in contrast to other superhero films. Besides the mutants and some cyborg henchmen, the film is largely free of science fiction and fantasy tropes aside from a few token elements to make it slightly futuristic. The story looks as if it could take place in the contemporary world, which makes it more engaging through the lack of fantasy elements.

Going with the grounded setting is the film’s dark mood and serious stakes. The violence is gory and not stylized, as ruthless mercenaries get chopped to pieces while they relentlessly chase the heroes, who are not in the best shape to defend themselves. Needless to say, the film is an edge of the seat affair that makes it clear lives are at stake, which makes it easy for the audience to stay engaged in the trio’s efforts.

The film is competently directed in the action department, as camera movements are steady and not too frenetic while giving the audience a clear view of what’s happening. The action is usually focused on hand to hand combat that ends with henchmen sliced up in a variety of bloody manners by mutant claws, while Logan’s age means his healing powers do not work well and force him to be careful. This causes the action to be low-key and full of tension, which offers a break from the over the top, explosion filled mayhem typically associated with blockbusters.

Not surprisingly, the film has quite a bit of emotion and heart wrenching moments for a story that concerns the end of an age. Both Logan and Charles are in quite the pitiful state when the audience meets them with equally broken bodies and minds, which makes their situation even more dire. There are also several scenes devoted to character development between the two and Laura, which offers some tender moments as their bond grows and they come to terms with their lives in a somber way.

While the film offers Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart delivering their best for their characters’ grand finale, the real star of the show is Dafne Keen as Laura. As a troubled mutant child with no social skills and most of her lines in Spanish, Keen gives an endearing performance that focuses mostly on body language over dialogue while commanding attention. Considering this is only her second acting credit, this makes her performance all the more powerful due to the amazing amount of restraint she exhibits by showing instead of telling the audience how her character feels and thinks.

There are some problems in the film despite its impressive attributes. Namely, the dark and depressing mood can be a bit of a turn-off, as not a lot goes well for the heroes throughout and they have to go through quite a bit of pain and effort to accomplish anything. Additionally, the story makes the X-Men films feel pointless as the efforts of Wolverine and Charles were all for naught when all the mutants died off.

Finally, the third act feels somewhat out of place with the rest of the film. Namely, some more hard science-fiction elements are introduced that clash with the more realistic atmosphere it had set up. As a result, they can feel out of place and make the viewer feel as if they are watching an almost entirely different movie.

Nevertheless, Logan is a well-directed action flick that manages to compensate for these flaws. With a large amount of character development and a low-key setting commanded by powerhouse performances, the film provides a thoughtful and smaller scale type of adventure than the superhero blockbuster typically offers. Overall, the film ends Hugh Jackman’s acting tenure as Wolverine on a high note that will leave viewers satisfied knowing he chose an appropriate story to end it with.

Gunnison Trump Tax March set for Apr. 15

Citizens can add their voices to the call for the President to release his tax returns at the Gunnison Trump Tax Return March, Sat. Apr. 15, from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. The one-mile event through downtown Gunnison starts and ends at W. Virginia Ave. and N. Wisconsin St. Map and details are available under Local Marches at

            Although it’s being called a march, it’s actually a peaceful walk, according to Gunnison grassroots organizers.  They emphasized that the event is not a protest.

           “It’s an opportunity for people to unite and express a common view and add their voices to demand transparency and the release of the President’s tax returns,” said one. Participants are expected to keep on the sidewalks, not block sidewalks or businesses, and follow basic traffic and pedestrian laws like using crosswalks.

              According to national Tax March officials, “Everyone participating in this event will be required to abide by all applicable laws and lawful orders of authorities. This event will be nonviolent and will not involve any civil disobedience or other violation of law.”

           The local group does request that banners and other materials be appropriate for public display and avoid being questionable in taste.

           “The National Tax March isn’t an organization–it’s a movement. The White House said no one cares about the President’s tax returns. We are marching because the President must

be accountable to the American people. On Apr. 15, we will demand that Trump act in the public interest and release his returns,” according to a media release from the national group.


Western Students Pitch in for the “Biobonanza”

The annual Tri Beta event featured many aspects of the sciences

Roberta Marquette-Strain/Senior Staff Writer

When the school bell rang at 3:30 on Friday, March 31, students from Gunnison Elementary School ran into their cafeteria to see that it had been turned into a fun, interactive science fair.

The “Biobonanza” is an annual event, hosted by Western’s biological honors society Tri Beta, that aims to teach elementary schoolers about biology as well as spark their interest in the subject.

Senior biology student Sarah Keith organized this year’s event, drawing inspiration from her childhood experiences of visiting visitor’s centers at state parks and national parks, or touring her local college’s engineering program and being able to interact with the displays and materials.

Keith reached out to various students and clubs outside of the biology department to expand the students’ ideas of biological science. Aside from the biology program, seven other departments were represented at the “Biobonanza,” including geology, psychology, chemistry, and art. Each of the groups were in charge of creating their own interactive booth to teach the kids the basics of the subject while also having some fun.

Psychology students focused on the senses, using taste tests to talk about how taste buds work as well as perception tests to determine their dominant eye. Western’s chapter of Back Country Hunters and Anglers provided animal track molds and taught them how to make a turkey call using a small plastic cup and a straw. Biology students spoke to the kids about the basics of photosynthesis and why birds sing.

Marlo Frazier said that her second-grade son, Owen, is just starting to learn the basics of science, so he was very excited to come. “This is pretty cool for him, to see and learn all this,” Frazier said. “I think his favorite (activity) though was the turkey call,” she said with a laugh.


Another popular station featured local falconer Katherine Grand and her Red-tailed Hawk, Kit. Grand often found herself at the center of a crowd of students and parents, as she taught them about the bird and what being a falconer entails. She even showed the group how she calls to Kit to fly onto her arm.

Keith hopes that the diversity of the booths showed the students that there are plenty of different subjects in the field of science. “From birds to DNA to rocks, it can help them realize that even if they’re not interested in earth science, they can also find something cool or interesting about plants.”

The variety of booths allowed students to be introduced to the many different fields of sciences, from biology to chemistry to geology. When the time came for the students to head home, they left with new ideas and an appreciation for science.