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Gold (King) Star for Participation - Good News(letter). Weekly.

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Gold (King) Star for Participation

It’s been quite the year for politics. Wherever you may land on the broad political spectrum, you can’t deny that it’s been a heated year. The result? A more politically involved population. 

  +  Since the election, a national survey from Pew Research Center found that 52 percent of people are paying more attention to politics, with women reporting a larger boost in active political awareness than men, for instance. It’s worth a read.

  +  Take Friday’s visit from Hickenlooper, Gardner, Bennet and Tipton, which, despite being announced less than 24 hours in advance, saw good attendance both in person and online. Bennet specifically noted an increase in political participation from the general public, citing a phone call he had Friday morning with a 3-year-old Durangoan about healthcare. [What the kid had to say about the issue, we can only guess]

  +  “Having you engaged in this democracy at this moment is probably more important than it’s ever been,” Bennet said.

  +  And while the Gold King Mine Spill, the intended focus of the Hick-gard-nnet-ton visit, quickly became a footnote of the conversation, each party that spoke praised EPA chief Scott Pruitt for his commitment to re-evaluating rejected damage claims.

  +  From Mayor Dick White: "I believe it is extraordinary, if not totally unprecedented, to have the Governor of Colorado, both of our US Senators and our Congressional Representative in Durango, all at one time. I am incredibly grateful to have you all here." [If it took a mine spill to get them all down here, when's the next one?]

2028 Olympics

Early last week it was announced that the United States, specifically Los Angeles, will be hosting the 2028 Summer Olympics -- a great honor and responsibility.

  +  The Olympic Games are accruing a trend for leaving a void in its wake, with both infrastructure and economic impacts.

  +  On Monday, news sources announced that Paris will host the 2024 Games, followed by Los Angeles in 2028. And “The IOC will contribute $1.8 billion for planning and organizing the Games with the potential to exceed $2 billion because of existing sponsor agreements and potential new marketing deals.”

  +  “Los Angeles had originally sought to host the 2024 Games, but the U.S. Olympic Committee eventually chose Boston. However, Boston eventually backed out, forcing the USOC to back L.A. In the end, a deal struck between the IOC and the USOC resulted in Paris being awarded the 2024 Games, and Los Angeles winning 2028 hosting duties.

  +  Since LA has its Olympic chops in shape, given its previous experience as a host, it’s projected to profit and thrive as a host, something that could restore confidence in potential host countries while the International Olympic Committee starts eyeing out 2032 candidates.

Zero is the Un-Loneliest Number

There’s no respectful way to open this topic on a positive note, but it’s important and there is good news where ideas can drive progress. With that in mind, let's talk about depression and suicide.

  -  La Plata County has a notoriously high suicide rate, reportedly the highest in Colorado, which is placed in the top 10 for highest suicide by state. According to the Healthy People 2020 target, which is 10.2 suicides per 100,000 people, we’ve got some work to do. In Durango alone, we’ve seen 13 suicides this year for a population of roughly 18,500.

  +  “San Juan Basin Public Health has launched a new public health campaign called ‘Let’s Talk Colorado’ to address the stigma surrounding mental illness.”

  +  An ambition from Detroit, asks why having any suicides in the community should be ruled a success. Zero Suicide “is a joined-up strategy that challenges old ideas about the ‘inevitability’ of suicide, stigma, and the idea that if a reduction target is achieved, the deaths on the way to it are somehow acceptable.”

  -  Guess what has skyrocketed, alongside teen depression and suicide, since 2011. Screentime. Rather than going out with friends, teens increasingly are content staying at home “because their social life is lived on their phone. They don’t need to leave home to spend time with their friends.” And “recent research suggests that screen time, in particular social-media use, does indeed cause unhappiness.” Phone use is pervasive across all adolescent demographics.

  +  Why shouldn’t we treat emotional health the same as physical? We brush our teeth morning and night, so why wouldn’t we also floss our emotion? “The Case for Emotional Hygiene”.

  +  And to finish on a humorous note, JP Sears talks about embracing the weirdness that is you, something I feel is extremely valuable for mental and emotional health.

This week’s good news, brought to you by:

A good wine tasting starts with presentation. The psychology of the flourish, it seems, is an integral element for a memorable wine experience.

Somm or Non-Somm . . .

. . . either way, Wine & Rails is a wine-lover’s dream come true, no contest. Hosted by the D&SNGRR, take the awe-inspiring ride from the Durango Depot, through fresh mountain air and wilderness, to the Cascade Canyon wye. Along the way, you’ll sample wine from guest wineries 5680 (Paonia), Garrett Estates (Olathe/Montrose), Sutcliffe (Cortez), and our very own Four Leaves Winery (Durango).

Learn more about the craft behind wine-making and tasting from the mouths of experts, and try your hand at trivia (with prizes). Time to test how well you know your terroir! Then, right around noon, the historic steam engine will pull into Cascade where you’ll de-board for two hours of wine, live music, yard games and a bountiful Mediterranean luncheon to pair.

Then, it’s back aboard the locomotive and en route to Durango, a journey replete with desserts and coffee. There’s simply no better way for wine aficionados to spend a day with friends or loved ones -- no sommelier certificate required. Tickets are on sale now for September 3 and October 1, so make sure you don’t miss this memorable train ride.


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