Princesses, vampires and mummies. Fairies, Darth Vader and Octomom. Bears, cats and even a tiny mushroom or two. But
only one critter pulled off the costume of the year this Halloween.
Jenny and Jeremy O'Connor thought the parade of trick-or-treaters had fizzled out
at their home in Bayfield on Saturday. But at about 10 p.m., they heard one last pair, er, make that set, of feet hit
their porch. Looking through their window, they found one lagging "child" from the neighborhood stopping by for a
goodie looking just like a deer. Wait, it was a deer that walked right onto their porch to take a nibble or
two, not of a Snickers bar or Gummi bears, but of the decorations themselves.
That is the trick-or-treater they'll be telling stories about for Halloweens to come.
Marveling at the warm November birthdays they're celebrating are Holly Landgren, Taylor
Moore, David Turner, Etoile Hening, Doug
Pierce, Ann Briscoe, Tori Brunvand, Gavin Hamlin, Helena Simmons, Doug Bishop, Mary Shafer, Tara Safran, Samantha Harris, McKenzie Hoffman, Dane
Englund, Jack Englund, Paul Pixler, Constance Isley, Donna Dort, Brianna Tomberlin, Warren Holland, Ernie
Schaaf, Karlaine Caudill, Earl Caudill and
And yes, I, too, am blowing out some candles this week. Greetings to one of my oldest friends Donna
DeNier Claus, who is 364 days older than I am.
When people think about Leadership La Plata and see the roster of alumni, they think about how they have contributed
to our community in a myriad of ways. But at the beginning of October, the Class of 2009-2010 ended up in jail.
Luckily, they were not incarcerated behind bars, but attending their first class of the year, Public Leadership:
Influence and Advocacy, and it happened to be held at the La Plata County Detention Center. Class members listened to
local leaders explaining how they achieve consensus without force in each of the three branches of government -
legislative, executive and judicial.
Michelle Rabouin, the chief organizing officer and general counsel of Sylvain Dubois Executive
Coaching, and Kerry Petranek, the chief executive officer of StoneAge, Inc., both graduates of last
year's class, organized the day.
Class organizers were especially grateful to La Plata County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Bill
Holmes, who cleared the visit, provided lunch for the class and made it possible for it to use and
tour the facilities. Sgt. Ken McLaughlin came in on his day off to escort the class
in and out of the center, serve as a panelist and guide the tour of the jail.
Janelle Doughty, the director of the Department of Justice and Regulatory Affairs of the Southern
Ute Tribe, served as the class moderator. Tami Graham, professional facilitator, Barbara
Scott-Rarick, a Southern Ute Tribal Council member, state Rep. Ellen Roberts, R-Durango, La
Plata County Commissioner Joelle Riddle and Jasper Welch, former
Durango mayor and former executive director of the Durango Chamber of Commerce, all served on the legislative panel.
Managers in the public sector, including Shawn Nau, La Plata County manager, José Balty
Quintana, Ignacio town manager and Bob Ledger, former city manager of Durango, shared with
the class the issues they face in management and dealing with diversity.
Of course, the judicial branch was of particular interest to class members based on where they were meeting. Judge
Martha Minot, of La Plata County Court, Todd Risberg, district attorney of the 6th
Judicial District, and McLaughlin talked about leadership in the arena of our societal arbiters of justice and the
principles of restorative justice.
The class had some interesting homework, researching how a proposed Human Rights Panel would best fit in the county.
Members took a hard look at how they might contribute to effective public leadership in La Plata County.
Class members include Jeanine Justice, Eric Eicher, Kevin Hall, Greg Weiss, Sarada Leavenworth, Charles Leslie, Michelina
Nyberg, Julie Frank, Kristen Carico, Steve Barkley, Marty Palecki, Sophie Parrott, Jessica Denison, Katie
Copeland-Brown, Jennifer Lopez, David Marvin, Jason Portz
and Meghan Maloney.
They have embarked on a nine-month journey to learn how the various sectors of the county work and to enhance their
own leadership skills.
In less than a month, we will be celebrating the one-year anniversary of the new Durango Public Library. On Oct. 28, a number of the major private donors to the facility were invited to view how their contributions were being
Guests enjoyed appetizers provided by Durangourmet, including the caterer's legendary shrimp stuffed with chipotle
cream cheese, wrapped in bacon and grilled.
The next time you're at the library, take a stroll up the stairs and gaze at the wall at the top of the landing. The
people and groups named there on 37 plaques donated $10,000 or more. (If they gave $25,000 or more and elected to
take advantage of a naming opportunity, there is also a plaque marking that space.)
Continue on up the stairs to the second floor, and to your left you'll see two cases of glassed-in book spines
bearing the names of those who gave from $1,000 to $9,999. (One of my favorites is Girl Scout Troop No. 331 from
Needham Elementary School, which donated money from 2002 to 2006.)
But to really check how many people gave from their hearts to our jewel on the Animas River, stop by the Reference
Desk, where you can see two books in "roughly alphabetical" order (as Library Director Sherry Taber
describes it) with all the donors. They demonstrate how everyone gave what they could to this important institution
in our community.
In the end, the campaign that had an original goal of raising $750,000 reached $1.1 million, which includes the funds
raised to purchase Melissa Zink's The Guardians. That success is because of the efforts of campaign
chairwomen Florence "Foxie" Mason and Patti Zink. A number of their committee
members, including Pam Miles, Debra Parmenter, Terry
Bacon, Sandra Mapel and Myriam Palmer were on hand to receive the
accolades of the donors.
Mayor Leigh Meigs thanked those involved in the library project, which include Library Advisory
Board Chairman Steve Redding, member emerita Beverly Darmour, former Chairman
Ed Angus, Margaret Cozine and Friends of the Durango Public Library President
Meigs said the private support of the library gives her a foundation to encourage public money to maintain and run
Taber shared some numbers that illustrate how beloved the new library already is. In the first nine months of 2009 in
the new facility, compared to the first nine months of 2008 in the original building, 74,000 more items have
circulated, reference librarians have researched and answered 10,759 more questions and 77 additional programs for
adults have served an additional 2,700 people. An additional 2,700 new patrons have gotten library cards, and
attendance is up by 7,500 people.
More than 150 programs for kids were added, serving 3,500 more children. There were 16,500 more computer sessions, and 1,500 more items were purchased. The library hosted 470 events, mostly for the outside community.
Several people said, and it deserves repetition here, that this would probably not have happened without Taber's
commitment, perseverance and energy.
This town owes her a big debt of gratitude for leading us in the creation of a place that will serve us for a century
Celebrating their early November anniversary in an unusually golden light are David and
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