Vote Now… And Then Vote Again

Rick Langenberg

Voting fever has struck the Teller High Country and Ute Pass region.

With municipal elections set in Woodland Park and Green Mountain Falls, and then the grand party caucuses, assemblies and primaries, residents will get an ample choice to cast tallies this spring and summer.

And then, we have the general election in November, which we won’t touch at this point.

But the voting fun actually has already headed into high gear with the 35th anniversary of TMJ’s Best Of showdown, when locals have the choice to declare their top favorites for casinos, restaurants, night hangouts, entertainment hubs, retail stores, non-profits, coffee shopes, and a wide range of businesses and even cannabis outlets. Then, there is the always the fun contest for best personalities, rumor mongers (no you can’t pick any members of TMJ), bartenders and public servants, along with championship-level burgers, fish specialties, steaks and more that abound in our fine area.

This is a contest that began right around the time, when gaming kicked off, as a way to promote Cripple Creek gambling. At the time, you weren’t anybody, unless you fared well in TMJ’s Best Of shoot-out.  But over the years, the contest has spread to encompass the entire county and region.  Our competition has secured a more folks feel from other Best Of contests, while definitely providing some healthy and fun competition.

Moreover, it is a good way to kick off our election season, which will get hot and heavy quite soon. No, we are not going to be held responsible for feuds in the park over candidates.

So, make sure to log onto and vote today, and then again tomorrow and the following day. One tally is permitted per day.

Voting continues through most of February.  Results will be announced in mid-March and the winners and losers can then celebrate in style.

This contest really serves as the kick-off for election furor. Yes, 2024 will become the year of elections, culminating with grand event, the general presidential election in November.

Woodland Park and Green Mountain Falls have their municipal elections on April 2. And both towns are boasting a record level of candidates, which is a definite good sign for community involvement. This week, we take a look at the slate in Green Mountain Falls, and the following week, we will look at Woodland Park; which according to the most recent report, is sporting some 11 candidates.

If you are not interested in these particular elections,  no problem. You have the party caucuses and county assemblies, the primaries and much more. Many of these tallies that will play a big role in determining the fate of congressional leaders.

However, the fun voting charade is swinging into full action nw.

So, vote today for your favorite business or drink handler or government official. Your votes could go a long way in giving them the recognition they deserve.


We are glad to hear that the controversy over stolen newspapers got resolved in Ouray, Colorado, with the Ouray County Plaindealer winning a huge fight over reporting the news.  Print journalism is a tough enough business without worrying about critics of a particular article or situation snagging all the papers as a way of hiding the truth.  Kudos to the Ouray County Plaindealer and the Montrose Daily Press for hanging tough and resolving this situation in a prompt manner.

We have had people threatening to do that to us on occasion.

This case brings attention to the difficulty certain mountain and resort communities are experiencing these days in the law enforcement arena.

Oddly enough, that episode almost evoked images of the movie, The Milagro Beanfield War, directed by Robert Redford, and based on a novel written by the late John Nichols, who was known for his John Steinbeck style of writing that focused on the plight of New Mexico workers, families and genuine characters. He became one of the most beloved New Mexico authors.

In The Milagro Beanfield War story, dealing with a fight pitting a big developer and corrupt politicians against farmers and common folks in New Mexico, all the local newspapers, were confiscated so no one would attend a highly important water meeting.  Sound familiar.

The real case in Ouray definitely sounds juicier. Maybe, Mr. Redford should be contacted again for a movie rerun in the mountains.


And while we are dealing with Kudos

Congratulation to former Colorado Rockies’ first baseman Todd Helton for his selection into the acclaimed Baseball Hall of Fame for the induction class of 2024.

For years, Todd was the guiding face of the Rockies and remained a class act for fans and players alike.

But like many Rocky greats, he had to overcome prejudice against Colorado for its high-altitude status and view that Coors Field is too hitter friendly.

Helton had some great years with the Rocks, including a close attempt at nearly hitting a .400 batting average one year. And then there was the magical year of 2007, when the Rockies experienced one of the best hot streaks ever recorded in the last month of the season, winning something like 25 out of their last 27 games, and making it to the World Series.

Unfortunately, the Rockies did almost too good in the playoffs, winning every post-season game in sight by hefty margins.  But then they had to wait something like two weeks to play the Series against the Boston Red Sox. They were definitely rusty in the World Series and got swept.

It was a sad ending for the NL champs, but it was still a rewarding year. I remember going to the last game of the season, when the Rocks had zilch chance of getting into the playoffs.  But then, one-by-one, all pieces of the puzzle for a possible playoff chance fell into place.

I will never forget the look on Todd Helton’s face, when he grabbed the throw from shortstop to secure the last season victory and to give the Rocks another playoff game, just to get in the playoffs as a NL Wildcard team. Of course, they prevailed and won every playoff series game until they collided with the Red Sox. They were doomed when that series began.  In fact, the first pitch hurled by the Rockies pitcher Jeff Francis in the opener sailed over the walls of Fenway Park.

Still, it was a playoff stint that became some of Todd Helton’s favorite memories as a member of the Colorado Rockies.

Vote at