Looking back for May 8, 1958


Expect junior college site here by fall

— Ray Bennett and Art Bogue attended the recent meeting at Kremmling, where the junior college idea was discussed, and Bennett said chances looked good for a college in Northwest Colorado in a few years.

Bennett was optimistic after "a good meeting," and looks toward a favorable state department verdict by the fall of this year.

Bennett said Walden's superintendent of schools, Gene Voris, will write his doctor's thesis in the next 40 days, giving his recommendations for a junior college location in the five-county area of Northwest Colorado.

Regardless of Voris' recommendations, however, or of the state department's views, or of the joint college committee's decisions, it will be up to the voters in the five counties to decide whether they want a junior college.

Bennett said he did not think voters would approve a junior college until the early 1960s.

"That is about the time when high school graduates will far exceed the number now graduating. Many will not be accepted at one of the state colleges. About then, parents will become more concerned, and favorably, with the junior college idea," he said.

Bennett said the state department's overall plan is for the establishment of 10 junior colleges in Colorado. Only five tentative sites have been chosen to date.

The rivalry between Steamboat, Craig, Hayden and Rangely, all desirous of having the college in their respective towns, has prevented a decision on a site. The community college committee has been meeting now for 1 1/2 years, but the necessary two-thirds site-approving vote has not been made.

It is hoped that through the study by Voris, the community college committee can determine the site location by this fall. In the meantime, it is the job of the committee members in the five counties to continue to tell people about the purposes and plans for a junior college.

Free polio shots again available to county people

Polio immunization shots again will be given, in Steamboat at the Ladies' Lounge from 7 to 9 p.m. May 21 in an effort to protect preschool-age children and adults from the crippling disease.

Close to 40 percent of children ages 4 and younger have not been immunized, and 73 percent of adults ages 20 and older have failed to gain protection in Routt County.

Nationwide, an estimated 48 million people younger than 40 have failed to be immunized against polio.

The cost of shots to adults will be only 50 cents. All persons less than 20 years old are given shots free of charge.

Pilot Opinion: Mt. Harris is doomed

The once bustling coal-mining town of Mt. Harris soon will be a thing of the past. It is not the blow to the economy of Routt County that the prophets of gloom and doom would have you think. We regret that it would mean some men no longer have jobs there, but the closing of the mine was not too unexpected. Routt County can take the blow in stride because it has such a rich diversified economy.

To many it means just another mining camp is gone. To those who knew Mt. Harris when it was bustling and the Colorado & Utah and Victory American mines were going full blast, it brings tinges of longing for the good old days.

There are few company towns left anywhere. And mines that do not keep pace with mechanization and modern mining methods no longer can be run profitably. It will mean that many will be torn down and moved and will take considerable property off the tax rolls in the county. There are coal mines today where 60 tons per man employed are produced daily. Mines that bring out only eight or nine tons a day per man cannot justify their existence. There is plenty of coal still left at the Colorado & Utah property, and some day this coal will be mined.

Too many people are prone to parrot the saying that the high wages paid to miners have priced the product out of the market. We do not think that is the case. The wages of miners have not been excessive for the work and risks. But if miners got only the old pay of $3 or so a day, they still could not compete under the old time mining methods.

The coal people have spent little on research compared to other industries. But where cheap power is needed, more and more concerns are finding that coal produces the cheap power and some day power plants will be established at the sources of the cheap power. That will bring development to this area.

Mt. Harris was a model mining camp for many years. During the long time that Byron Harris was in active charge, it was one where friendliest relations existed between the workmen and the employer.

And in the good old days, the Mt. Harris baseball team was something to behold. A great bunch of ball players who had a lot of community spirit. But in this changing world, there is no use mourning about what is lost, and we can only hope to keep progressing and growing and looking forward, not backward.


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