Thoughts From the Editor: Enjoying a Reprieve From Winter Madness

Creek Ice Fest Comes at Ideal Time


Rick Langenberg


Finally, a little reprieve from the invasion of political explosions and madness to strike the Teller High Country.


In the last month or two, our grand area has experienced a recall in Cripple Creek, the first-ever successful citizens referendum in recent years (in overturning a council ordinance) a bombardment of STR arguments  and continual headlines over changes at the school district.


Then, we have the state government breathing down our neck with a bevy of new regulations and changes. Last week, lobbyist Sol  Malick reported at a Cripple Creek council meeting that the statehouse now sports an astounding number of 33 new legislators. Scary, as hardly any of them probably know much about our area or our brand of unique problems. That’s not a good sign.


To say the least, it has not been an uneventful early winter.


Thankfully, The Cripple Creek ice Fest could not have arrived any sooner to bring us back to normality.  This still ranks as probably Cripple Creek’s most popular festival and one with  the least amount of controversy. From our early reports, this event is off to a stellar start.  If successful, maybe the city can revisit the idea of doing or co-sponsoring more events and festivals. Many miss the old days, when the gaming community carried the nickname, “Summer of Fun.”


Hopefully, we get back on the right foot and stay one step ahead of all this crazy politics and negative social media ramblings.



However, speaking of politics, here is some friendly advice to our elected leaders of our beloved bodies of government: Don’t get stupid by letting personalities and personal opinions rule the day. That view definitely comes into play for the Heritage Center, a facility that has always commanded much attention since it started  around 2007. Changes are expected with the success of a recent recall. Some are skeptical about the facility due to opinions regarding the original folks that started the project and even who helped build it.  There was talk then about too much money being thrown into the project.


At the time, this was part of an ambitious bid for heritage tourism. Oddly enough, and yes, nearly 20 years later, that vision could become a reality with all the new lodging projects and future housing and commercial developments. Last week, the city of Cripple Creek did a land swap for the Gibraltar development, which could become the opening door for the first of a spree of serious multi-use housing developments.


In any case, it’s not the time to get personal or political with the Heritage Center.


In  reality, tourists love the Heritage Center, especially ones who come here for the first time.  Just wish it could be used for  more events. I know family members and acquaintances were quite impressed with the facility.  That is  one place, along with the Shining Mountain Golf Club facility in Woodland Park, that has tremendous potential.


Then, we have WP school board meetings that too often turn into entertainment shows. They often need a referee. Again, best advice: leave your personal and political opinions, regarding books you don’t like or whatever, at the doorstep.   A while back, the New Yorker magazine did a great article regarding one of the top school districts in Tennessee that got destroyed due to politics. We don’t want that to happen here in Woodland Park.


One thing that is quite apparent whether you like the current school district, and their teachers, the current curriculum, programs, or not, they are kicking butt when it comes to sports and activities. There are definite signs of improvement. It’s hard to argue with success.


If you haven’t already, make sure you cast your vote in TMJ’s annual “Best Of” contest, as results will be tallied and released shortly for the proclaimed business winners, finalists,, and of course who are the premiere gossipers, personalities and trouble-makers. Talk about some competitive and brutal races. This is a great way to usher in the springs season. The clock is ticking for the final votes.


There is no shortage of questions to vote on for this acclaimed competition that honors the best of Cripple Creek and our entire Teller/Ute Pass high country region.  The Best Of issues will be printed on March 14 and March 21, and rank as some of the most popular of the year. Then, the following week, we have our annual Mt. Crackpot issue, in a tribute to the April Fools week. Plenty of fun times are in store at TMJ for the next month.


Speaking of sports, it was great to see Tiger Woods back in official links action last week at the Genesis Open in LA.


The old man showed he still has not lost any of his old form as he was driving past fellow competitors Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy, and that is no small feat. He just struggles to walk, and in his final years in professional golf is trying to rival the mystical antics of the late and great golfer Ben Hogan, who also suffered a near fatal car accident himself, and then came back to win several major championships. One more win would actually put Tiger in the highest win category ever, surpassing Sam Snead’s count of 82 victories.

Oddly enough, Tiger, who found his image trashed for a bit with all of his illicit affairs of years back, has now become the game’s White Night in the battle to save the PGA Tour from the menaces of Saudi-blood and evil corruption from the LIV rival tour, led by Aussie skum-head Greg Norman. This fight could almost be turned into a Star Wars movie.