Coal miners and their families filled the gym at the Paonia branch of the Delta Montrose Technical College on Saturday. Many of them were among the 300 people laid off by Oxbow’s Elk Creek Mine in Somerset last month. They were there to hear state Senator Gail Schwartz and others talk about how the state could help them deal with the job losses. Some ideas included rural economic development grants and financial aid for miners to go back to school. But many people left the meeting feeling just as lost as before.
They’ve been incredibly busy, but they don’t mind much. After all they ARE activists!
When asked about their first week in Paonia, Head Flamingo Franny stated, “We were a bit nervous when we saw all the snow in Paonia. But we learned how to create snowballs and an epic flamingo snowball fight (which lasted for hours) quickly ensued.”
I’m pleased to report that the birds are holding up quite well with the frigid temperatures and are quite enjoying their time here in beautiful Paonia, Colorado.