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Pages of the Past: ‘C’dale student wants to spend spring break in a Russian Prison’

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From the archives of the Valley Journal and Sopris Sun

March 4, 1982

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Voting was open for sorority Zeta Epsilon’s woman of the year, with eight nominees. Valley native Betty deBeque was a Cub Scout den mother, president of the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce and had planned the memorial service for the 14 miners killed in the Midcontinent explosion the year before. Already a fixture as a special ed teacher at Carbondale Elementary School, Bonnie Fischer had earned an honorable mention in the previous year’s competition. Evangeline Hinman was an active member of the Catholic church and Rebekah Lodge and the organizer of the county-wide Retired Teachers Club. Betsey Schenk had launched the Kinderchoir, Cottage Concert Series and Crystal River Opera Association. In addition to her involvement with the church study club, garden club and extension club, Libby Smith supplied piano and singalongs for numerous local events. Sharlene Smith was the organizer and director of the Roaring Fork Ski Club and one of the chief organizers of Potato Day. And Madge Stewart was the chairman of the Near New and had coordinated the Retired Senior Volunteer Program’s latest quilt. 

In other news… A lack of a quorum for some important votes left the board of trustees scrambling to round up the only other member in town — dentist Eugene Covello, whose patient agreed to spare him for 20 minutes so municipal business could continue. 

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March 5, 1992

Roaring Fork High School graduate and Baylor University senior had made arrangements to cap off his honors thesis “The Development of Prison Ministries in the Soviet Union” with an actual visit to a Russian prison. According to exchange professor Leonid Stouptin, the access arrangement would have been unprecedented just a few years before. But it was part of a larger shift, including the aforementioned ministries — a surprise move by Mikhail Gorbachev on the 1000th anniversary of Christianity’s arrival in Russia. McBurney was well aware of the false front the Soviets had given Eleanor Roosevelt when she visited Russian prisons after World War II, but felt the times had changed enough to provide an authentic experience. The worst that could happen on his trip, in his estimation, was a coup.

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In other news… Westbound traffic was expected to begin on the newly-constructed stretch of Interstate 70 through Glenwood Canyon over the summer, with the entire thing slated to open by the end of 1993. 

March 25, 2002

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The Basalt Regional Library District was mulling the possibility of a second branch in the El Jebel area. Bonnie Williams, co-manager of the El Jebel trailer park, had made an impassioned plea for better access in the western part of the district. Board member James Brudige wanted to at least consider a municipally-owned parcel in Willits. The Basalt town council was open to the idea, provided the library district leave room for additional government facilities. (The district ultimately opted for its original plan of a single facility — which is still west of its geographic center, given that folks in Thomasville and Meredith also contribute to its tax base.)

In other news… Carbondale launched a Main Street beautification project, with new sidewalks, new landscaping and street lamps and a new hangout space on the corner of Fourth and Main. 

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March 22, 2012

Residential foreclosures had continued to rise since the beginning of the recession, with 11 in 2009, 40 in 2010 and 64 in 2011, with short sales following the same trend. Amore Realty’s Lynn Kirchner didn’t expect things to get better soon. “There’s still lots of people who are underwater on mortgages,” she said. “They come in asking, ‘Can we get help? Can we sell? Can you get us out of this house and out of this mess?’” Not coincidentally, area home prices hit an eight-year low, with anything under $400,000 going fast. 

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In other news… The Carbondale Community Food Co-op was the latest beneficiary of a “cash mob,” in which customers descended on a local business on a pre-planned date.

Tags: #Basalt Library #History #memories #The Valley Journal
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