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News briefs: Nov. 5, 2009
From Silverton Standard, the place where you can write!
Posted on November 05 2009, 11:02am by Mark Esper in Local News category
Standard editor a finalist in contest 
at Washington Post 
Silverton Standard & the Miner editor Mark Esper is a finalist in the Washington Post’s “Next Great American Pundit” contest, and a couple opinion pieces by him are being published in the Post.
“It’s kind of like the newspaper version of the television reality show ‘Survivor,’” Esper said.
There were nearly 5,000 entries in the Washington Post competition, and Esper was chosen as one of the 10 finalists based on an opinion piece he submitted about health care.
The ultimate winner of the contest will be offered a contract with the Post to write a weekly opinion column for 13 weeks.
Other finalists include a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, a former federal prosecutor and an accomplished author.
Washington Post readers will be voting Saturday on who will advance to the next round in the contest. This weekend, the 10 finalists will be trimmed to five, based on the online voting.
To check out the contest, go to http://views.washingtonpost.com/pundits/
Shaun White video features Silverton
Snowboarder Shaun White and his sponsor, the energy drink Red Bull, have unveiled promotional video of the top secret Project X they conducted last winter at Silverton Mountain.
A huge half pipe was built in Colorado Basin for the champion snowboarder to practice on in seclusion.
Video of the project, with spectacular footage of Silverton Mountain and Silverton itself, can be seen on the Internet at www.shaunwhite.com/projectX
Polar Express rolls out starting Nov. 20
The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad will begin service to the “North Pole” onboard The Polar Express beginning Nov. 20.  The magical story comes to life when the train departs the Durango depot for a one-hour, 15-minute round-trip journey to the “North Pole.”
 Once onboard the Polar Express, hot cocoa and treats are served and passengers read along with the holiday children’s classic book, “The Polar Express,” by Chris Van Allsburg.  
Santa and his helpers greet the train at the “North Pole,” and then board the train, where each child is given the gift of a sleigh bell. Chefs aboard each car lead the passengers in singing Christmas carols on the ride back to Durango.  
 The journey begins Friday, Nov. 20 and runs through Dec. 28. The train will take Santa back to the North Pole on Dec. 27. Exact dates and excursion times are available by calling 970-247-2733 or 888-TRAIN-07, or by visiting the railroad’s Web site at www.durangotrain.com.  
Ticket prices for children (ages 2-11) range from $18 - $49 and for adults from $28 - $59 depending on date and class of service. Children are encouraged to wear their pajamas for the ride.
Railroad begins winter runs to Cascade Canyon
The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad will begin winter service to Cascade Canyon beginning Wednesday, Nov. 25. The train travels 52 miles round-trip into the San Juan National Forest.
 The wilderness destination of Cascade Canyon Pavilion is the ideal setting for a fire-side lunch, photo opportunities, or a walk along the Animas River during the approximate 45-minute layover. 
The train will run on a Thursday -Sunday schedule until Dec. 16, when it will operate daily through Dec. 31. Beginning in January 2010, dates of operation will vary and are available on the Web site www.durangotrain.com or by calling the depot.
The train departs Durango at 10 a.m. and returns at 3 p.m. Tickets are $49 for Standard-Class adult tickets; $29 for Standard-Class children’s tickets (ages 4-11); $69 for Deluxe Class tickets (available in January for ages 12 and over); and $89 for Premium-Class tickets (available to ages 21 and over). All 2010 fares are subject to a 4 percent Historic Preservation Association fee.
 For reservations and more information, please visit www.durangotrain.com or call (888) 872-4607 or (970) 247-2733.          
Chamber meets Nov. 16
The Silverton Area Chamber of Commerce will not be meeting on Monday, Dec. 7; instead they will meet on Monday, Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Villa Dallavalle.
Silverton belly dancers to perform Nov. 13
It’s Middle Eastern Night at the San Juan Grill on Friday, Nov, 13, featuring Belly Dance performances by Silverton’s own Talula Dance Company. Dinner, featuring Middle Eastern cuisine, starts at 5 pm.  Performances at 6:30 & 7:45.
Sled-maker files appeal of town zoning ruling
Mountain Boy Sledworks plans to file an appeal of the Town of Silverton’s administrative decision which found the sled-maker could not operate downtown because it was a “manufacturer” and not an “arts and crafts” operation.
“The relief we are seeking is the ability to continue to use the craft shop at 1314 Greene Street,” Mountain Boy Sledworks owner Brice Hoskin wrote in his letter to Silverton Planning Director Adam Sickmiller notifying him of the appeal. 
“We would encourage the Board of Adjustment to use any and all means to make this possible,” Hoskin said.
The town’s Board of Adjustment, comprised of Fritz Klinke, Aaron Brill, Jim Lindaman, Terry Rhoades and Chris Tookey, hears variance requests and appeals of administrative decisions made by town officials.
Sickmiller said Wednesday he will schedule a Board of Adjustment meeting once the appeal is formally filed.
Thanksgiving dinner at American Legion
Silverton’s Thanksgiving Day community potluck dinner will be held at the American Legion Hall on Thanksgiving Day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The hall will be open earlier for those who want to bring food early and help with the setup. For information, call Tim Black, 759-3804
Meanwhile, the Legion’s halftrack will again roll in Durango’s Veterans Day Parade next Wednesday, Nov. 11.
half track, 11th of November
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