November 30, 2015 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

THE CURB – Here I am performing my weekly task to create a greener planet, add to the beauty of Texas and commune with nature — taking out the garbage. Across the street performing the same task must be our new neighbor, Elmo Hammod from Syracuse. I go over to welcome him to Running Rats Acres. “Greetings, Elmo Hammod from Syracuse.”

He smiles and extends his hand. “Actually, I am Al-Mohammed from Syria. We are refugees from the war. Thanks for letting us live here.”

“You speak good English for a foreigner. Learn it in grade school?”

“I’ve spent much time in your country. I was born in Damascus, raised in Pampa and received my doctorate from Rice in bio-generic molecular engineering and a post-doctorate from MIT in atomic isotope transmissions as they relate to auto-physical neutrons. I’m a U.S. citizen, but Governor Greg Abbott believes that I’m a security risk, and threatened to cut off all state funding to my workplace, UTMB.”
“So what are you doing now?”

“I got a gig with Uber.”

“Sounds a waste of your talents.”

“Not bad. I get to see a lot of the city and meet many nice people. But the two black SUVs that follow mc everywhere are bad for business.”

His family’s arrival spruced up the next meeting of the Running Rats Acres Homeowners Association. Milton Mudflap brought it up. “I don’t want no commie Arab in my neighborhood. He’ll be building pyramids in his front yard like they do in Turkey.” Jimbo Jackknife pointed out that the pyramids were actually in Iraq, but did note that Mudflap’s own front yard exceeded the deed restrictions of no more than four cars on blocks at any one time. Debbie Sue Bonnie Bootstrap was next. “We’re getting swarms of them Muzzlems in here, and not one of them will do yard work. What’s the point of having migraine if they can’t rake leaves? I say send them back to Lesbian or Algebra.” She got a standing ovation.

The next week I ran into Al at the supermarket. “Hope you like it here. Don’t mind the smell. It’s only when the wind blows over the hog rendering plant.”

“We are doing fine,” he says.” My son, Rocky, is captain of the soccer team, and daughter, JoAnn Luci, is class president and perhaps valedictorian. And they still have time to work the overnight shift at the hog rendering plant. Oh, let me ask you. Is it normal for the Texas State Guard to set up camp in one’s front yard?”

“Al, Governor Abbott said he would do everything in his power to prohibit any more Syrians from coming to Texas. Unfortunately for him, his power has nothing to do with migration, immigration, salutations or vacations. In Texas we call this ‘grandstanding’ or ‘pandering.’ But it works. To be fair, the Texas State Guard followed Abbott’s orders and kept tabs on Operation Jade Helm 15. As a result of the guard’s vigilance, the military did not seize a single Texas city of any size, if you don’t count San Antonio.”

“I am worried that we are not welcome here, because your Texas senator, Ted Cruz, wants to bar all Syrians from immigrating who are not Christians.”

“Ted Cruz knows all about immigration, since he kept dual citizenship with Canada until last year when he was found out. But I agree totally – only Christians allowed in. So long Albert Einstein, Irving Berlin and, retroactively, Elizabeth Taylor.”

“Don’t forget Barack Obama.” Al says. “A Pew Research Center survey found that 17 percent of Americans, including one third of conservative Republicans, think Obama is a Muslim, and one third think he was born outside the U.S. That’s double jeopardy. It is good to live in a country with so many intelligent and well-educated people. No wonder more Americans voted in the 2014 ‘American Idol’ finals, 132 million, than voted in the 2014 Presidential election, 122 million. Well, I’d better go now. The curfew, you know. ”

A few days later I drop by Al’s house to hand him a letter that had been mistakenly delivered to my house. It’s from the Dept. of Homeland – Terrorists Div. A stranger comes to the door. “Allah be praised. It’s the infidel from across the street. I am Ali’s visiting cousin, Akmed, also known as Mohammed, Jose and LeRoy, depending which passport check. Pardon my attire. I am just fitting for a new vest. Pockets holds 10, uh, hotdogs. Yes, that’s it, hotdogs in a bun. Ali not here, checking in with the Border Patrol, ICE and FBI. Weekly. He also needs a new battery for his ankle bracelet. Oh, let me show you a selfie I made recently in front of a sports stadium in Paris. Uh, selling hotdogs.”

“Do you live in town?”

“No, I am refugee, fleeing the bombs and bullets, the kidnappings and terrorism.”

“Baghdad? Damascus?”

“No, Chicago. Actually, I think I’ll move to Damascus. It’s safer.”

That week I read a news report: “The federal Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act has been stalled for eight years because the NRA and GOP lawmakers oppose it. So a legal loophole allowed more than 2,000 suspects on the FBI’s Terror Watchlist to legally purchase weapons from 2004 and 2014.” Right! The feds start prohibiting firearm sales to known terrorists, and pretty soon they’ll be prying my howitzer from my cold, dead bunker.

I ran into another neighbor, J.J. Beerbreath, at our school’s meeting of the PTA (Parents with Troubled Adolescents). “I hear you’re chummy with that Musler in the neighborhood. Do you know he prays five times a day? Even my preacher says that’s too much. And I hear he’s setting up a caliphate, or calcium, maybe it’s a California, in Running Rats Acres. That would mean wives must obey their husbands, and women can’t drive a car, and can’t buy anything without their husbands’ permission. I sent him twenty bucks.”


Ashby refugees at ashby2@comcast.net






November 23, 2015 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

I blame John Nance Garner for our problem. Yes, Cactus Jack from that incubator of national leaders, Uvalde, Texas, is making it harder and harder for Texans in Washington to succeed in climbing the power ladder. Congress is especially getting tired of Texans’ dominance, and I see their point.

According to an article I recently read, the latest near-victim, I suppose you could call him, is Rep. Kevin Brady, a long-time Republican from The Woodlands, who wanted to succeed Rep. Paul Ryan as chairman of the House of Representatives’ powerful Ways and Means Committee. Ryan, kicking and screaming, was promoted to the one job in the House even more powerful than chairman of that committee: Speaker of the House.

How powerful? Former Rep. Bill Archer of Houston once told me that he wouldn’t run for the U.S. Senate because, as ranking minority leader in the Ways and Means Committee, if the Republicans ever took control of the House, he would be committee chairman, a post he would rather have than Senator.

Why was Rep. Brady having trouble being elected chairman by the Republican Steering Committee in a closed-door vote? It’s called Texas fatigue, and it all started with Cactus Jack. Garner, a state legislator, was elected to Congress from the Uvalde district, which back then was rural and unimportant. Actually, it still is. Nevertheless, he served 30 years in the House, becoming Speaker. Then he was vice president and ran for President.

Incidentally, if you are wondering how Garner was nicknamed Cactus Jack, when he was elected to the Texas House in 1898, the legislature selected a state flower for Texas. Garner fervently supported the prickly pear cactus for the honor and thus earned the nickname “Cactus Jack.” If Garner had won the Presidency, the Rose Garden would be known as the Cactus Terrace.

In 1913, a young man from that other hotbed of leadership, Bonham, Texas, was elected to Congress. Sam Rayburn served 48 years in the House, 17 years as Speaker, a record not to be broken anytime soon. It is not well known, but before Rayburn became Speaker of the U.S. House, he had served as Speaker of the Texas House, where he first honed his leadership talents. In 1937 yet another hayseed arrived in Congress: Lyndon Johnson, from – again – yet another cauldron of leadership, Johnson City, Texas. LBJ had learned how to wheel and deal by watching his father, Texas State Rep. Sam Ealy Johnson, work the House: come up to a colleague, quietly grab his – the other pol’s – coat lapels and pull him real close while whispering the pitch. Worked in Austin, worked in Washington.

Those were the glory days, when Rayburn ran the House and Johnson ran the Senate. What Texas wanted, Texas got. Can you spell NASA, aka JSC? Not to mention dams, roads and military bases. Later came Jim Wright, from Fort Worth, who served in the House 34 years and became Speaker, but left under a cloud. Committee chairs usually were decided by seniority, and Texas’ long-term (always Democrats) reps landed most of them. Even now, seven chairmanships are held by Texans.

You can see why members of Congress are getting tired of Texans in high places, but our numbers will grow. We currently have 34 representatives, second to California’s 53. After the 2020 Census, we shall pick up at least two more Congressional seats, maybe even three or four, depending if the other members let us count our illegal immigrants and convicts. This will also give Texas more votes in the Electoral College. I suspect George W. will win again.

Down the street, the White House tends to speak with a Texan twang: Dwight Eisenhower, LBJ, Bush and Bush. Between Ike’s first term and George W’s last year, there was a Texan living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue 26 of the 44 years. We have had only two native-born Texans in the White House, Ike and LBJ, but the current, and constant, Presidential campaigns may give us one more. Rick Perry is gone — his campaign was a total embarrassment, but we could have had an inside track for Son of NASA. However, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (Canada, Houston) is still in the fight, as is Sen. Rand Paul (Lake Jackson, Baylor). Carly Fiorina was born in Austin, her father was a law prof at UT. Donald Trump visited the U.S.-Mexican border one afternoon. Does that count?

Elsewhere in Washington, you will find a bunch of Texans in high places, like the Pentagon. John Steinbeck, in “Travels With Charley,” wrote: “Among other tendencies to be noted, Texas is a military nation. The armed forces of the United States are loaded with Texans and often dominated by Texans.”

(Not to get sidetracked, but speaking of fatigue, there was a Bush or a Clinton in the White House or cabinet for 32 years straight. And Texans have seen a Bush on one ballot or another at least, by my count, nine times. This includes the one we just put in office, Land Commissioner George P. Bush, who apparently is not actually in his office very often as he is campaigning for his daddy, Jeb!)

As we can see, Texans have long been a powerful influence in Washington, and others are getting weary of it. Gail Collins, a columnist for The New York Times, has a book out, “As Texas Goes — How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda.” The title is self-explanatory: we are the lead dog in the dog team or the tail that wags the dog. Either way, Texas is setting the pace for the rest of the nation. Collins is not real happy with the situation, but acknowledges it is a fact. She wrote: “Personally, I prefer to think that all Americans are in the same boat. And Texas has a lot to do with where we’re heading.” Others may be fatigued, but as for us, keep on rowing.


Ashby is electable at ashby2@comcast.net




November 16, 2015 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

THE TV – “…and, if elected, I shall balance the budget, make good things happen, cure cancer,… “ Gad, the presidential election is still almost a year away, and I’m already getting bored with it, which is not good for a patriotic American who — just like you — wants to put a President in office who will see things my way and do what I wish. Now I must endure countless TV ads, debates and stupid, impossible promises from people who bash Washington, the federal government and those who make the machinery work — and can hardly wait to join them. Can these candidates even spell hypocrisy?

But you and I can turn a healthy buck on this. As you know, every four years there is a lot of hand-wringing over how much money is raised and spent on the campaigns, and every candidate brags how his or her donations come from “the little people, grass roots Americans.” Yeah, if those grass roots are the Koch brothers’ putting green or George Soros’ polo field. Regardless of who gives, the amount increases. For the last presidential election in 2012 it was estimated, by someone with obviously too much time on his hands, that the Obama and Romney campaigns spent close to $1.12 billion — not counting the millions more spent by the parties and outside PACs, which have a secret accounting system.

But it’s getting worse. There have already been seven times more political ads for the 2016 presidential election than at this point in the 2012 election. When you toss in all federal races, not just the presidential campaigns, political TV ad spending will top $4.4 billion, up from $3.8 billion in 2012. Mere peanuts. Are you ready for this? The total number of dollars spent on the 2012 election exceeded the number of people on this planet. About $7 billion was spent by candidates, parties and outside groups on the 2012 election, according to a review of campaign finance reports by the Federal Election Commission. Seven billion dollars! This next time it will be even more. Some people are going to receive that money. Why not us?

Most of these funds go to TV ads. That means the local stations get the money, and feed it back into the local economy. Uh, no it doesn’t work that way. Here in Texas, for example, virtually all, if not all, local TV stations are owned by out-of-state (read: east coast and west coast) corporations. In Houston, for example, the major TV stations are owned by the Washington Post, Disney, TEGNA and Faux News (Rupert Murdoch). So much for the local angle. But millions more bucks are spent as the candidates’ tours, for hotel rooms, ballrooms, caterers, drivers, food tasters and bodyguards. So how can we grab our fair share of the loot? We can’t, unless we move to a so-called Battleground State, where the outcome of the election is in doubt. Texas is a red state, meaning the Republicans will win every election so, it is reasonably reasoned by both parties, that there is no point is spending a dime here. But they do come for money, and the Republicans hold all the cards — and cash. Behind our backs, Texas is known as “the GOP’s ATM.”

The only time any of that money came back to Texas was in 2008 when Hillary and Barack were both seeking the Democratic nomination for President. The Texas campaign was tough and mystifying to outsiders. It’s hard for missionaries to grasp the difficulties of running a state-wide campaign here. We are expensive. Texas is separated into 20 media markets, the most of any state. Former Texas Land Commissioner Garry Mauro, who was state director for Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2008, told The New York Times, “It’s like running a national campaign. There are no similarities between Amarillo and Brownsville and Beaumont and Texarkana and El Paso and Austin and Houston and Dallas. These are very separate demographic groups with very diverse interests.” The primary election led to the Texas Two-Step with voting, caucuses, and late-night confusion. At least we didn’t hang anyone from Chad.

OK, our path is clear. If we can’t move to a contested state, we have to make Texas a Battleground State for both the primaries and the general election. This will bring big bucks here and we can be first in line. For example, we’ve got to keep Bernie Sanders in the race. Yes, he looks like the poster child for AARP. He wants to take our money and give it to illegal aliens. Sanders has this quirky idea of making all public colleges and universities free. (He’s obviously never met the players in a Big 12 football game.) Hillary will be forced to spend some of her campaign funds here just to keep from being humiliated. The Dems also had Jim Webb and Lincoln Chaffe, but they’re gone.

Over on the GOP side, keep those two-dozen nobodies thinking they have a chance in Texas, so they’ll spend some bucks here. We create Poll Texas and send out press releases showing Lindsey Graham and Bobby Jindal are tied for first, with Mike Huckabee right behind. We send Rick Santorum photos of a mob holding up “Santorum Is Not a Loser” signs. Chris Christi gets drowned in emails from the God Loves Fat People Club of Austin (members 2 million) begging him to campaign in Texas. Dr. Ben Carson gets a petition – we’ll furnish the signatures — from the staff at M.D. Anderson: “Come teach us how to cure cancer.” Here’s another angle: Rick Perry is no longer in the race, and any contributions you made to his presidential campaign are going to two high-priced lawyers in Houston. Sue to get some of it back. Finally, don’t print any bumper stickers for Trump in Spanish. OK, there you have it. Just remember, I get a 10 percent finder’s fee.


Ashby is running at ashby2@comcast.net


























November 9, 2015 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

By Lynn Ashby                                                9 Nov. 2015

THE FRONT YARD – Time to run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes it, to quote from “Twelve Angry Men.” My flagpole is actually an aluminum pipe sticking out of a tree, and, like most of you, I change flags according to the seasons and anniversaries. National holidays like the Fourth of July, Armistice Day and Black Friday get the U.S. flag. Texas state holidays such as Texas Independence Day, San Jacinto Day and LBJ’s birthday (no kidding — look it up) are celebrated by my running up the Lone Star Flag. I put out a scarlet and gold (not red and yellow) Marine Corps flag every November 10, the Marines’ birthday. To celebrate the Longhorns’ victorious football season I run up my orange and white UT banner – lately at half staff. And I can tear, burn, stomp on or toss in the street any of them to express my feelings.

Yes, once again our courts have decreed we have the right to make fools of ourselves. The latest incident came recently when the Texas State Court of Criminal Appeals, in a 35-page decision, ruled that a state law prohibiting anyone from messing with the U.S. or Texas flag is invalid. Why? Because it is “overbroad” and thus is in violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. So Terence Johnson, a resident of the East Texas community of Bedias, can breathe easier.

Johnson, who is black, said he became quite angry when a store clerk made some racial comments to his mother. The 20-year-old (at the time in 2012) saw a U.S. flag hanging outside a hardware store and threw the flag onto a highway. There the flag was run over and damaged. Johnson was arrested for destruction of a flag and spent four and a half weeks in the Houston County Jail (that’s in East Texas, not the Houston city jail).until released on bond. His case was dismissed, the state of Texas appealed, dismissed, appealed.

You know how our legal system works, and I say “our” because you and I were paying for all of this. It will only be a matter of time before we see all of this again: Texas trying to prosecute someone under a state law that prohibits anyone from damaging, defacing, mutilating or burning the U.S. or Texas flag. And court after court – literally from small-county DAs to the U.S. Supreme Court — saying the law is too broad. In 1989 the Texas Legislature even rewrote the law to make it more specific and thus pass scrutiny from the courts. Didn’t work.
No matter what the courts say, Texans have always been very protective of our flags, especially that of the Lone Star persuasion, and display it everywhere. It used to be that the Texas flag could only be shown in respect and honor. But somehow the law is no longer in force. Now we see the Lone Star flag used in beer ads, car dealerships and made into jogging shorts covering somebody’s sweaty behind.

Seeing our flag against a background of trees, green grass, and graffiti on the railroad overpass, it really is a beautiful sight. Actually, we have a very beautiful flag and was so declared by a vexillologists society in 2001 as the second prettiest state flag in the nation or Canada. (A vexillologist is one who studies flags.) New Mexico was first, but the judges had spent the previous night getting loaded at an Albuquerque casino, or at least that’s the story I’m putting out.

As I found out years ago, and wrote about, Texas has some unique laws dealing with its flag. For example, there is a much-ignored law that says all trains traveling in or through Texas have to display the Texas flag. We also have a law stating that, when displayed in Texas, the Lone Star flag will take precedence over all others. The only exception is when the U.S. flag is also on display. Contrary to popular myth, there is no law requiring that the Texas flag be displayed on a separate but equal pole alongside the Stars and Stripes. That’s often the way it is done, but put that story alongside the Easter Bunny, Sasquatch and you can keep your doctor.

We feel very protective of our state flag. There is a story that in 1908 Texans hanged a man for desecrating the Lone Star flag. Historians can find no record of such an instance although there is an old story that the Texas Legislature once passed a resolution congratulating someone for beating up a man who desecrated the Texas flag. Finally, a few items to know: The Texas flag is known as the “Lone Star Flag” which, in turn, gave Texas its nickname, “The Lone Star State,” not the other way around. Our pledge of allegiance is to the state flag first and then to the state. “Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God, one and indivisible.”

The Texas flag flies permanently above both doors of the Texas State Capitol, under the U.S. flag at the south door, but only the Texas flag flies at the north door. The law also requires that the state flag be flown at or near any International Port of Entry. Does that include the Sabine and Red Rivers.? And because of our usual legislative efficiency — it’s a long story — Texas had no legal flag from 1879 to1933. Not until 1993 did the Legislature specify that the red and blue colors are defined by the “Standard Color Reference of America.” That law also specifies that the finial, or top of the pole, should be a lone star or a spearhead. Is yours? Sometimes we see the Texas flag flown upside down. The red is on the bottom and the star’s top spike is upward. Remember that the next time you throw a flag on the highway.


Ashby gets flagged down at ashby2@comcast.net


November 2, 2015 by  
Filed under Blogs, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

By Lynn Ashby                                                                    2 Nov. 2015



To: All Texas Principles

From: State Board of Education

Subject: Slight Adjustments


As you may no, the State Board of Education, or SBOE, adopted new textbooks in 2010 to be used by our 5 million public school childs. We selected these books only after careful studies and advice from skolars, students who had been to at least some community college classes or were working on their GED, We also sollistated input from the general public by holding a town hall meeting. The town we chose was Terlingua, which, unfortunately, didn’t have a town hall, so we met from 3 to 4 a.m. at a 24-hour CVS in Marfa. Attendance was disappointingly small.

We thought everything waz done, and told the publisher, Typo & Smudge, Inc., to start printing. This fall semester the books were distributed. Only now have we run into problems. Some trouble-making teenager in Sugar Land went home to tell his mother that a textbook, “Things That Have Happened,” explained slavery in the South by noting that some slave owners treated their slaves with kindness, provided them food, lodging and clothes. The textbook mentions the “hope” that Christianisn provided to the blacks. Folk tales expressed “joy,” and community dances were great social events. But what ticked off that young man was that the slaves brought over from Africa were referred as “workers.” They were practically waiting at the docks for a chance to slap on chains for a one-way cruise to New York or Charleston.

In these politically correct, or PC, days, the SBOE felt it had to do something, so we contacted the publishers who agreed to send us stickers to paste over those terms which might possibly offend the thin-skinned (of all skins). For example, it was suggested that we use stickers reading “Native Americans” rather than “savages, scalpers and kidnappers of small children.” We compromised on “Indians.”

A motion to use a sticker reading “Democrats” rather than “Godless commies” died for lack of a second. In our new biology book, “Don’t Ask,” the chapter on sex, “Abstinence makes the heart grow fonder,” all mention of where babies come from has been deleted. School districts with special locations for unwed student mothers will not be exempted as the SBOE feels by then it’s too late.

Getting back to slavery, the section on “The War of Northern Aggression” will be replaced by “The War for Southern Independence.” Causes of the war will no longer include “Yankees talked funny,” “they put beans in their chili” and “it would never have happened if they could have grown cotton in Boston Commons.” There was a motion to add a paragraph or at least a sentence on the Emancipation Proclamation and how it really didn’t change anything – it only freed workers in the Confederacy, good luck, Abe — but was good PR for Lincoln. Most board members felt 12th graders are too young understand such long words as the Emancipation Proclamation. The same for Appomattox.

Besides some sections not being PC, other critics have pointed out some “factual errors” in our new books on Texas. Sam Houston led the Texans at San Jacinto. San Houston did not lead the taxmen at Sam Jacinto. The city of Houston was not originally named Hughestown for Howard Hughes. Ben and Jerry’s does not have a flavor called Remember the a la Mode. Roe v. Wade was not a debate on how best to cross the Rio Grande. Our new book on the U.S., called “The Lesser 49,” needs some stickers. Herbert Hoover did not invent the vacuum cleaner. Thomas Edison did not invent electricity; that was Benjamin Franklin. Regis Philbin is not a hotel in Chicago. Some critics said this next question was a bit condescending. If the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans play nationally on Monday Night Football, who will be the winner? Answer: Any other channel.

Incedentally, none of these changes would be necessary if it weren’t for those nosey outsiders like parents, teachers with real teaching certificates and so-called “experts” in their fields. They accuse members of the SBOE of imposing their own right-wing political filosophies on authors of textbooks instead of imposing their own left-wing filosophies. Nonsense, as we told one another at the last Glenn Beck book-signing.

There has been some quibbling about our new science book, “As God Made It.” The chapter, “Global Warming and Other Myths,” needs a sticker reading, “some people say,” and not, “leftist professors and Nobel laurates.” Under the multi-choice question, “What causes pollution and what, if anything, should Texas do about it?” The choices were: “Nothing, because pollution is caused by trees.” “Nothing. Pollution means jobs, especially for the millions who moved here to find work and get away from the Smog Belt.” Finally: “Smog is a hoax, just like the BP Gulf oil spill.” You will receive a sticker giving another choice: “Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick will part the seas, smite the heathens and cleanse the air.”

In our new vocabulary workbooks, the explanation that a pediatrician is a baby doctor should have made it clear that the person is not actually a doctor who is a baby. Also, the second reference should have read “pediatrician” and not “pedophile.”
Our new math textbooks also need some stickers. One problem: If five workers pick cotton for five days, and they are paid $5 a day, how much would each worker get paid? The answer given, $50, is wrong on two counts. The total should be either $25 or $40, our accountants are working on that. Secondly, these particular workers were in the South and didn’t get paid anything.

The problem: If a train leaves Dallas for Houston at noon going 50 miles an hour and another train on the same track leaves Houston for Dallas going 60 miles an hour, where will they meet? The correct answer should be: Just south of Centerville and not: In eternity. Thank you fer making these minor changes, workers.


Ashby slaves at ashby2@comcast.net




























Telluride, my favorite ski town

November 2, 2015 by  
Filed under Blogs, Travel Blog

A representative from Telluride, CO was in Houston last week. He had a lot to say.

With record breaking tourism in Telluride and a 30 percent increase in available air seats over the last two years, the destination continues to be ranked among the best resorts in the world. Travelers planning trips to Telluride for the winter 2015-16 season will be greeted with added flights, updated lodging options, new restaurants and bars, ski camps, improved grooming and much more. “We celebrated a record season last winter, and with continuing improvements to access, guest services and amenities, we’re giving our guests the best possible experience, whether they are visiting for the first time or loyal repeat guests,” said Michael Martelon President and CEO of Telluride Tourism Board.

United, Colorado’s primary carrier, will continue to expand on its already-existing network to Telluride/Montrose with the addition of highly sought-after flights from New York – La Guardia (LGA). MTJ’s core hub service will continue with multiple daily, year-round flights from DEN, daily service from Houston and Chicago, along with weekend flights from Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Madeleine Hotel & Residences: Renovations of this iconic hotel are on track for completion by December 2015, including a grand new porte cochere and outdoor pool area, featuring a 24’x50′ pool, hot tubs, fire pits and breathtaking views of the towering mountain peaks. New additions include Dylan’s Candy Bar, M Club and M Studio, and updates to the Black Iron Kitchen and Bar are complete. The hotel has also opened a new Club Room with indoor/outdoor bar, pool table, and shuffleboard, and a new Salon. http://www.madelinetelluride.com/renovations.php

Peaks Resort and Spa: In July 2015, Telluride Ski & Golf (TSG) closed a deal with Peaks Capital Partners to take over the Peaks Resort and Spa. The Peaks Resort and Spa is a ski-in/ski-out, full service hotel located adjacent to the Telluride Ski & Golf Club. The hotel features 177 guest rooms, a 42,000 square foot, 32 treatment rooms spa, indoor and outdoor swimming pools with a waterslide and 9,100 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space. The spa itself is the largest in Colorado in terms of square footage and offers a variety of treatments as well as fitness and wellness programming.

Biomechanics Camp: Biomechanics Camp will teach people of all ages to ski efficiently and in a way that minimizes stress on the body. Dr. Kim Hewson, orthopedic surgeon, former Director of Sports Medicine at the University of Arizona, and a lead Telluride Ski School instructor, has refined a scientific-based biomechanics approach that will be taught at this camp. Camp dates are January 15th – 18th Making Friends with Moguls: This two-day camp will help skiers develop confidence in the bumps while skiing in a small group setting with like-minded and ability skiers. The camp will start out slowly
with proven exercises and progressions to help skiers reach their goals. Making Friends with Moguls Camp dates are January 20th – 21st and February 29th – March 1st Silver Skiers Program: For the 2015-16 season, the Telluride Ski and Snowboard School is offering a special program for skiers 50 years young and up. Two sessions consisting of four Thursdays each will match coaches from the senior ski school staff with smaller groups and will make skiing fun, relaxed and enjoyable for fellow seniors. The program is designed for novice through advanced/hard-core skiers and is meant to focus on the camaraderie formed through skiing with people of similar skill level and with similar interests. The Silver Skiers Program has sessions January 7th – January 28th and February 4th – March 3rd (*Please note there will be no session on February 18, President’s Week*)

New Grooming Equipment: The resort has added a new Snowcat PistenBully 600 to the fleet,. The fuel-efficient PB600’s wider track and tiller allows Mountain Operations to increase the number of acres that can be accessed in a shorter amount of time, helping the resort better prepare for opening and increase grooming times throughout the season.
Snowmaking Enhancements: To bring more snow to Hoot Brown Terrain Park, TSG is installing Tower Mounts that enable easy relocation of snow guns from other areas of the mountain. Additionally, a new variable frequency drive panel will be installed at Misty Pump House, making it easier for the snowmaking pros to adjust water flow to pumps. TSG is also working with the town of Mountain Village to replace an old water line that is the key supply line for snowmaking.
Sunshine Express (Lift 10): A new gear box has been implemented to improve overall reliability of lift performance and new pulleys have been installed.
Telluride is like no other place with all of this and much more, making it unique, authentic and inspiring. Come experience everything this destination has to offer and discover why Telluride is the most Colorado place on earth.
For further information, or to book a trip, visit www.visittelluride.com.