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Ten Weirdest Colorado Monuments, Including a Comedian’s Arm and a Farmer’s Field

Most of us would rather be clocked in the head with a brick than look at another historical monument. Most of those memorials commemorate boring chapters in history or honor pioneer founders who made a pile, then raised a pile to themselves for a little posthumous backslapping. But far from the marble tombs and towers, an alternate history persists. Colorado boasts a quirky patchwork of monuments, memorials and points of historical interest that are actually interesting. Here are ten of our favorites:

10) Don Becker’s arm
Bug Theatre
3654 Navajo Street

Film Details

True Grit (1969)

Well-known standup comic Don Becker was an acerbic and articulate force in Denver. He battled debilitating mental illness, though, and on a summer night in 1986, he thrust his arms under a moving train down by the old 15th Street viaduct. One limb was saved, but many years of rehab and treatment didn’t protect Becker from his demons. He moved into poetry and playwriting, and died at the age of 53, in 2008. Bug Theatre program manager Joni Pierce helped look after Becker during his final years; somehow his prosthetic arm wound up in her custody after his death. Now encased in glass, it hangs at the rear of the Bug’s auditorium, a modest shrine to a talent dogged by tragedy.

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9) John Wayne’s hat
The Outlaw Restaurant
610 Main Street, Ouray

The original screen version of True Grit was filmed in and around the beautiful mountain town of Ouray on the Western Slope in 1969. During shooting, the Duke stayed in town, and one night ordered dinner over the phone from the Outlaw. “Who is this for?” asked the owner. “John Wayne,” he answered. “Yeah, RIGHT,” she replied, and hung up on him. Soon Wayne himself showed up and grabbed a seat at the bar. The Outlaw became his favorite hangout during filming, and when it was over, he gave the owner his hat in appreciation. It still sits in a place of honor over the bar.

8) Zebulon Pike’s picnic tables
U.S. 285 between Buena Vista and Poncha Springs
Mile marker 132

Poor Zebulon Pike: The famous explorer was a bit of a dunderhead. After failing to climb the peak that bears his name on November 27, 1806, he and his party of fifteen men floundered around the mountains, coming to rest on Christmas at this spot in the wilderness, miserable and cold, without blankets or shoes. They moved on, finally building a stockade near La Jara, where they were promptly arrested by the Spanish as spies and marched to Santa Fe. The depressing Christmas 1806 site is commemorated with a big wooden sign and a few seemingly indestructible picnic tables.

7) Ike’s fishing statue
Fraser fishing ponds
501 Zerex Street, Fraser

Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States, loved Denver and Colorado. His wife, Mamie, lived at 750 Lafayette Street before they were married, and when he was president, Ike spent time at Denver’s Brown Palace Hotel and the Byers Peak Ranch in Fraser whenever he could. He loved to fish; the Secret Service dammed ponds along St. Louis Creek and stocked them with trout so that Ike could angle to his heart’s content while in secure surroundings. He often made his Cabinet come with him, and there’s a memorable photo of then-VP Richard Nixon glumly peeling potatoes on a cabin porch there. (Ike managed to hook him in the neck as well.) The memorial statue is nine feet tall and the expression is a little grumpy, but this is probably the only statue in the world devoted to a U.S. president having fun.

6) “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod statue
Eugene Field House
715 South Franklin Street

Poet, humorist and journalist Eugene Field was a big deal at the turn of last century – a public library branch is named for him, and his house was preserved and moved from its original site at 315 West Colfax Avenue to its present home in Washington Park. Even though he only lived in Denver for two years, Field caused quite a stir while he was here. A day before the heralded visit of Oscar Wilde to Denver, Field dressed up like the famous wit and paraded from Union Station down 17th Street in a carriage, acting in an affected and offensive parody – and ruining Wilde’s arrival. The night before he left Denver for Chicago, Field held a benefit for himself in a theater, where he entertained the crowd by mocking every prominent person in town. The statue in front of the Eugene Field House commemorates one of the horrible, syrupy, sentimental verses Field could crank out like a vending machine. “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod,” a little bedtime fantasy in which the sleepy title characters sail through the stars in a wooden shoe, is insanely twee, but now we’re stuck with a statue commemorating it.

5) Hunter S. Thompson shrine
Gunner’s View trail
Snowmass Mountain

The wild-living father of gonzo journalism killed himself at his Aspen home on February 20, 2005. One year later, a cabal of five calling themselves the Glorious Leaders of the Underground Movement (GLUM) created a shrine to Thompson somewhere off the trails at Snowmass. The clump of trees contains an American flag, photos, bullets, a mirror-encrusted stuffed lizard and booze. The stash is replenished yearly on the anniversary of his death, and pilgrims add their tributes as well.

4) Amelia’s unlikely landing place
County Road 6 South between North River Road and Colorado Highway 17

Famous aviatrix Amelia Earhart was flying east across the country in 1932 when dust storms obscuring eastern Colorado prompted her to turn back. She put her plane down in Lloyd Jones’s field outside Alamosa. Being neighborly, he put her up, guarded her plane, then helped her back on her way, signing the wing as a memento. A plaque memorializes the touchdown site.

3) Richard Pinhorn Memorial statue
Courtyard behind Kettle Arcade
1422 Larimer Street

Good ol’ Dick Pinhorn. An early Denver restaurateur, his Manhattan Restaurant at 1635 Larimer Street was a big hit with Colorado’s upper crust at the turn of the last century. Pinhorn was a great boss, as well; when he died, he left most of his money and his restaurant to his employees. Before that, though, he reportedly served Denver’s first onion rings — and they must have been pretty damn good, because his grateful customers raised this little cherubic monument to him.

Consumer complaints flood Colorado’s largest homebuilder

DENVER — Weak foundations and shoddy construction work are two of the big complaints from dozens of new homeowners throughout the Denver area.

Denver is one of the fastest growing home building markets in the country, but that growth is spreading contractors too thin and bringing down the quality of new homes, according to scores of new homeowners.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen with this house,” Bruce Marshall said. “I just don’t have any idea.”

Marshall has been in his new Oakwood home in Castle Rock since July. It’s a place he and his wife hoped to enjoy their retirement, but a pile of customer service emails shows it has been one headache after another since Marshall’s closing date.

“You go to customer service and you send [a stack of emails] over a period of four months and you get nothing,” Marshall said. “My carpet, which I paid a $3,000 premium for … the seams are all coming up.”

Marshall’s home is under warranty. He showed his kitchen cabinets under direct light, revealing defects to the $7,000 worth of new cabinetry.

Molding along the staircase and elsewhere in the home are not level. Pictures from homeowners across the Denver metro area show siding is one of the biggest issues for Oakwood Homes.

“I’ve watched siding falling off daily, and these homes are brand new,” Marshall said.

When the wind picks up, homeowners say it’s not uncommon to see siding falling to the ground.

Jeni Aymami had serious water problems after a blockage caused water to leak from her kitchen ceiling. The leak started shortly after she moved into her new home.

Oakwood has since fixed that issue, but Aymami is still waiting for her back patio.

“Our patio is sinking,” Aymami said. “When you step off the stairs, you can physically feel it going down and slopping down.”

Emails to the FOX31 Problem Solvers and multiple complaints on Oakwood’s Facebook Page show customer support issues that run the gamut.

The Better Business Bureau has also received more complaints, causing it to review Oakwood’s current A-minus rating.

The company, known for giving back to the community, has been in business for more than 25 years. Company representatives said just like other builders, it is experiencing tremendous growing pains.

“While the demand is great, there’s not a big enough labor pool to service the demand,” said David Bracht, president of Oakwood Homes’ Denver division.

Bracht said meeting customer demands is taking longer than expected. In response, Oakwood has doubled the size of its warranty department to meet the needs.

“We are not going to stop until everything is taken care of — period,” Bracht said.

Reports from across the country show a surge in unsatisfied homeowners. In response, the National Association of Home Builders said no new home is perfect and many consumers’ expectations are too high.

But homeowners who have been waiting months for repairs don’t agree.

“I’m stuck until I just keep kicking and screaming until they do something,” Aymami said.

Oakwood said it has responded to every complaint issued to the Better Business Bureau, and more complaints don’t necessarily mean a higher percent of complaints for the growing company.

According to Oakwood Homes, much of what consumers can’t see makes homes more energy efficient and of better quality than ever before.

The Plantwise Blog

Colorado Potato Beetles Left With A Sour Taste As Clover Is Found To Be As Effective As Pestic > October 30, 2012 October 30, 2012 Charlotte Elston

Eggplant or aubergine (Solanum melongena) is a crop often attacked by the Colorado Potato Beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata), a major insect pest of plants from the Solanaceae family including potato, tomato and eggplant throughout North America, Europe and Asia. This insect pest is exceptionally destructive to crops and readily develops resistance to a wide variety of chemical insecticides, making research into alternative control methods vital. Now new research has revealed that the use of clover cover crops in agricultural fields of eggplants may provide an economically and ecologically viable method of Colorado Potato Beetle management that is as effective as chemical insecticides in regulating the beetle populations.

Numerous studies have shown that introducing habitat diversification into intensive agriculture systems can reduce the problems associated with insect pests by various mechanisms such as increased habitat and refuge for natural enemy populations and by reducing the colonisation of the crop by the insect pest. Cover crops such as clover are well utilised for their capacity to improve soil quality, but their potential use as a tool to help suppress insect pest populations is less well known.

Research lead by Dr Cerruti Hooks from the University of Maryland has investigated the impact of inter-planting eggplant with crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum) to establish what effect this has on Colorado Potato Beetle numbers and the populations of insect predators which prey on the beetle. It was observed that significantly fewer Colorado Potato Beetles (adults, larvae and eggs) were found on eggplants cropped with crimson clover than in eggplant plots with no crimson clover. Additionally, there was no apparent impact of insecticide treatment on Colorado Potato Beetle numbers on eggplant inter-planted with crimson clover in comparison to plots without clover, suggesting that a winter cover crop of clover can be used to manage Colorado Potato Beetle without the use of insecticide sprays. Furthermore, the study team found that the proportion of Colorado Potato Beetle insect predators was greater in the eggplant plots that were inter-cropped with clover.

Eggplants or Aubergines (Solanum melongena) (©Liz West, License CC-BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

It is thought that these results can be explained by the beetle’s method of detecting its plant hosts. The beetle relies heavily on visual cues and chemical detection to locate its host plants. It is thought that the chemical odours emitted from the crimson clover disguise the plant odours of the eggplants which the beetles are trying to detect, making it more difficult for the beetle to find its host plant. In addition, the clover provides a habitat and nectar source for beneficial insects such as pollinators and predatory insects including natural enemies of the Colorado Potato Beetle, which are then able to more effectively control pest population numbers. As a nitrogen fixing plant, crimson clover is also beneficial in converting atmospheric nitrogen into compounds that can be used by the eggplants, and since it is a winter cover crop it begins to die back in the spring, so does not compete with the growing eggplants.

This research has shown that crimson clover cover crops can reduce and slow the colonisation of eggplant by the Colorado Potato Beetle and increase the number of insect predators. The findings suggest it may be more cost effective, practical and ecologically sustainable to use crimson clover as a management technique to control Colorado Potato Beetles on eggplant than repeated insecticide applications.

Hooks, C., Hinds, J., Zobel, E., & Patton, T. (2012). Impact of crimson clover dying mulch on two eggplant insect herbivores Journal of Applied Entomology DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0418.2012.01729.x

Szendrei, Z., Kramer, M., & Weber, D. (2009). Habitat manipulation in potato affects Colorado potato beetle dispersal Journal of Applied Entomology, 133 (9-10), 711-719 DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0418.2009.01429.x

Pest Management Science

DNA‐based genotyping techniques for the detection of point mutations associated with insecticide resistance in Colorado potato beetle Leptinotarsa decemlineata

Department of Entomology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA

Department of Entomology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA

Department of Entomology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA

Department of Entomology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA

Department of Entomology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA

Department of Entomology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA

Department of Entomology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA

Department of Entomology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA

Department of Entomology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA

Department of Entomology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA

Based on a paper presented at the Conference ‘Insect Toxicology 2000’, organized by John E Casida and Gary B Quistad, and held at the University of California at Berkeley, USA, on 17–19 July 2000

Three DNA‐based genotyping techniques, bi‐directional PCR amplification of specific allele (bi‐PASA), single‐stranded conformational polymorphism (SSCP) and minisequencing, have been developed and compared for the detection of the S291G (insensitive acetylcholinesterase) and L1014F (insensitive sodium channel) mutations associated with azinphos‐methyl and permethrin resistance, respectively, in the Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata). Extraction of genomic DNA from individual neonates that were hatched from previously collected egg masses is the most efficient and reliable means to obtain suitable templates in terms of convenience, economy, speed and DNA quality. Bi‐PASA, employing two allele‐specific primers, appears to be the most efficient and rapid genotyping method for the simultaneous detection of both resistant/susceptible homozygous (SS, RR) and heterozygous (SR) alleles. Its resolution, however, is strongly dependent on the quality of template genomic DNA. SSCP also allows unambiguous genotyping, including the detection of heterozygous alleles, and is less dependent on template DNA quality, but requires a longer processing time. Minisequencing is amenable to a 96‐well microtiter plate format for the processing of a large number of samples and allows direct detection of resistant/susceptible homozygous alleles but is not as efficient as the PASA and SSCP in detecting heterozygous alleles. In considering the advantages and disadvantages of each technique, DNA‐based genotyping is best employed in combinations, with the bi‐PASA as the primary method and the SSCP and minisequencing as the secondary validating methods. These methods are rugged, rapid, cost‐effective and capable of resolving SS, RR and SR individuals. The availability of such DNA‐based genotyping techniques, using neonate genomic DNA as templates, will enable the precise monitoring of the resistant and susceptible allele frequencies, including those of heterozygote individuals, in field populations of L decemlineata.

Emerald Ash Borer Information Network

Publication and Resources

EAB Preparedness / Response Plans

The elements of an EAB Preparedness Plan is designed to help develop a framework for a community’s plan. These elements are offered as suggestions. Any plan should be specific to a community’s needs and circumstances, while being flexible and including realistic tasks, goals, timelines and budgets.

  • Purdue University Cost Calculator
    Use this calculator to:
    • Compare the annual and cumulative costs over a 25 year period for ANY management strategy that includes a mixture of tree removal, replacement, and insecticide treatment.
    • Compare size of the forest remaining over a 25 year period for ANY management strategy that includes a mixture of tree removal, replacement, and insecticide treatment.
    • Generate printed reports of projected costs of up to 3 management strategies at a time.
  • i-Tree – Tools for Assessing and Managing Community Forests
    i-Tree is a state-of-the-art, peer-reviewed software suite from the USDA Forest Service that provides urban forestry analysis and benefits assessment tools. The i-Tree Tools help communities of all sizes to strengthen their urban forest management and advocacy efforts by quantifying the structure of community trees and the environmental services that trees provide.
    • Show MO Trees
      Interactive tree benefit information for Missouri prov />
    • Village of Homewood
      Homewood, Il has replaced all trees removed with no less than 83 other species. Total savings is just over $1 million in doing the work in-house, and disposal of all wood debris (logs to saw mills, chips to nursery industry and delivered to res />
    • Missouri
      • Show MO Trees
        Interactive tree benefit information prov />
      • Frequently Asked Questions
    • Ontario – Canada
      The Emerald Ash Borer threatens to kill Oakville’s 177,300 ash trees. Check out what the Town of Oakville is doing to battle this destructive foreign insect.
      Video Part I | Video Part II
    • Oregon

      The Oregon Department of Agriculture, the Oregon Department of Forestry, the Cities of Portland and Corvallis, Oregon State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture led an effort among 45 agencies and developed a readiness and response plan that includes:

        A statew >The plan is now available to the public and local governments at

    • Pennsylvania (2013)
    • South Dakota (2009)
    • Wisconsin (2014)
      • Dane County EAB Management Plan (2009)
      • City of Superior EAB Management Plan (2014)

    EAB Timelines

    Watch the spread of EAB in North America in our new timelines. Get a general sense of how EAB spread by state or take a more in depth look with our interactive map showing infestations by county.

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