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Gits’ profile of sushi chef was insightful, inspirational
Deciding that enough was enough, the summer after my freshman year at South High in Denver, I followed the sun to Southern California. There, I spent the next 46-or-so years lost amidst the climbers/skiers’ eatery hangouts and abundant sushi bars. Indeed, I have become, somewhat, a self-appointed expert in the enjoyment of sushi — that nori-wrapped, one-bite delight.
The Courier’s Feb. 1 UpSlope lead story, “Recipe for freedom” — with Mr. Win beaming from the front-page photo — was an uplifting read.
My wife and I have been enjoying Hla Win’s tasty specialties from the day he began crafting at the El Rancho Walmart — and yes, he does provide and display his appetizing sushi selections from a 5-foot counter-front.
When asked, he has always — “In five minutes, OK?” — provided any special request that his ample stock allows — many times persionally searching us out somewhere in the grocery aisles to hand-deliver the well-appointed, neatly wrapped orders.
Staff writer Vicky Gits not only captured the essence of Mr. Win’s commitment and buoyant personality, she also provided a well-written inspirational insight into this gentle sushi chef.
P.L. Wick

Missing mention in ‘E’ Games
I was thrilled with how the first Winter Festival turned out for our community, dressed with fresh snow. Everyone I spoke to had a great time and throughly enjoyed all the events, including performances from the aptly named Snowflake Circus. They are a local Aerial Fabric and Circus Arts performance troupe under the direction of Monnya Silver. It was the only part of your report on the event that was not mentioned.
The young ladies who performed on hoop, fabric, hand-stand canes and more also deserved a mention as part of the festival. They worked hard choreographing their own routines and set out with a smile and sparkle to entertain and awe many of the younger attendees during the day.
Tonje Williams

Ann Elk offers a perspective for local human residents
Hi, it’s me, Ann Elk. Several letters commenting about the state of my species in Evergreen have appeared in your paper in the last 100 years (or, in elk time, recently). The tone of some letters makes it appear that my family, the Mount Evans elk population, has trespassed on private property in Evergreen and needs to be straightened out on the finer points of the “balance of nature.”
In counterpoint, I’d like to pass along that we elk neighbors ask that you keep in mind how long we have been roaming these hills (10,000 years); we are kind of stuck in our ways as a result and are fairly content with human co-existence. Oh, did I mention that we were almost market-hunted to extinction in Colorado around 1910? Imagine how improbable that would sound to my ancestors, who numbered in the ballpark of 10 million in post-glacial America. Today, Colorado has the largest elk population of any state, roughly 300,000.
We have not asked for a human management plan. Au contraire, we would like to thank Evergreeners for the protection your residences provide during hunting season, as well as the limits they place on cougar mobility. And truth be told, we thought you planted and watered that eastern grass you call “lawns” and “fairways” for us! Thank you, one and all!
We do note that it sometimes appears we are more numerous than we really are, partially because we do stick together, and … well, we are large.
The dog thing: actually, the big non-elk thing. We know from experience that humans with big noises or any swift or noisy animal can be perilous. So we err on the side of caution: flight or, in the worst case, fight when such get near us. We notice that most of the time you folks do not act like predators, but we are cautious just in case, and as a result we mainly travel in numbers for safety. We appear mellow, but we don’t enjoy being approached.
Elk are a very social species, much like yourselves: Elk girls like to hang together, and separately so do elk guys. Some of us are so handsome even you can identify the most attractive. Kudos, for I’m afraid we elk aren’t able to make such distinctions about humans. Our elk girls all want to date the best-looking guy. Sound familiar?
One last thing: You see us all over the place because we learned long ago that if we stay in one place, the food disappears and doesn’t return quickly. Our whole, huge habitat area from the foot of Mount Evans to Mount Vernon Canyon stays about the same because we tread gently, treating it as a commons. Won’t you join us?
Hope for green things,
Ann Elk
P.S. I was assisted with some of the wording by ecologist John DuWaldt.
John DuWaldt