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Summit Up


Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column reminding folks to be nice to each other. Every day, we learn this from a Field Agent who slugs out our paper (and a couple other publications) on the copy desk, a man who has become the leader of our newsroom for an entirely heroic reason: He’s about ready to get a kidney transplant.

He wouldn’t like us telling this story this way, which is why we waited until the day he was gone to write this salute. The man’s headed to Denver. With him go our thoughts and prayers.

We’ll wait to tell you the rest of the story in a way he might prefer. We’re working on it, and it’s an inspiring one about familial leaps of faith and positivity in the face of illness.

What may not appear in the story is what he does around the Summit Daily. Each day, he comes to work and reminds everyone what matters in life. Be nice to each other. Without exception. The reward for us is learning from him, even now, in our office. He’s out there, humbly appreciative of a congregation of well-wishers, stepping forward …

We give our best to his family and the medical team … and remind everyone to donate their organs.


Moving on … We opened up the New York Times recently to the food section (we’re trying to get better at cooking, and figured we should start by learning about food), and found the least-helpful article that ever could’ve appeared. A 3,500-word review (six pages online) of chain restaurants, including Outback Steakhouse and Chili’s.

Now, don’t get us wrong. We’ve visited both establishments. But on this occasion, it couldn’t have been any less helpful. Not only do we not care about the ingredients in their Southwestern egg rolls (really … really?) or how to pickle a jalapeno, we’re trying to cook a little, well, healthier.

Plus, we wondered inherently since we live in the newspaper world, what did the food critic do wrong to get this gig? In New York of all places, where chain restaurants seem like a sin compared with the cornerstore pizzerias, rows of bakeries and five-star exotic joints, the chain assignment should at least accompany some Rolaids. At least.

Maybe this is all just more proof the newspaper industry isn’t what it used to be. Well, you can always count on Summit Up …


Also, in our business, there are stories, and there are STORIES that we love to write because we know folks will read them and talk about them. They’re not exactly the most important, or the most impacting, they just have this certain panache, what the kids call “steez.”

Most often, these are the ones we throw on the Back Page. Beats fiction for sure.

This one comes from the Chicago Tribune, and made us jealous this reporter got to write this start: “As anti-prostitution groups try to thwart sex trade by going after customers, they said they have faced a big problem: Researchers have only the crudest grasp of why men buy sex.”

A lot there, huh? Busting prostitution, the confounding nature of male hormones, researchers. These lucky researchers found most “consumers” to be drunk, understanding of potential abuse in the prostitutes life, and to consider it to be not wrong, but an addiction nonetheless. Yet overall, they figured it to be nothing more than a business transaction, the Tribune reports.

“You go to the grocery,” said one man, “pick the brand you want and pay for it. It’s business.”

Uh, really? Before you spring to an angered state about the sexist nature of the comment, you should know this is exactly what the survey organizer was looking for. Anti-prostitution activist Melissa Farley is trying to document why men hire prostitutions (we hope she included a certain few politicians in her survey). Along the way though, she also discovered something truly shocking ” that men, maybe, just maybe, have a heart after all.

“They do have deeply mixed feelings when someone takes the time to really inquire,” she told the Tribune.

There you have it. We can’t make this stuff up.


Stephanie called us this week with a tidbit: She heard her first hummingbird of the season, and wanted the world to know just to lift everyone’s spirits. The long winter might finally be parting ways. Let green grass and flowers be next to join our allegiance for summer.


A big congrats goes out to Alexandra Guras of Breckenridge, who enrolled at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Mont., in hopes of a major in aviation. The Summit High graduate, the daughter of Greg and Amy Guras, was accepted based on her exceptional educational performance, the school said.


We have an Angel Alert! Angel Alert! going out from Sue Rodgers to whoever uses cloth bags to shop. Specifically, she sent us a thank you to Wal-Mart for supplying them, writing about a recent trip: “When I was there, the person in front of me and the person behind indulged. We can always use another cloth bag. Thank you Wally world for caring about our enviroment.” The bags only cost 99 cents. And all this good news from Sue made us realize how important a mission this is. We wonder … will our overflowing landfills be the next generation’s quandary to solve?


It’s Wednesday. Nuff said. E-mail us at

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