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The Voter’s Speakeasy featuring unbiased reporting and insight into life at Vote Smart from our staff, interns, and volunteers.

September Common Ground E-Newsletter

2013 October 10

Springing a Leak

by Hannah Stewart

We've all noticed that the mornings have been a little darker, and inevitably a
little colder lately, especially here at the Ranch. The prospect of winter
arriving soon means that a lot of things need to get done here at the Great
Divide Ranch in preparation for the inches of snow that we get every year.
Sealing the windows, chopping wood, getting the boiler prepared, bringing in the
canoes...let's just say that our Maintenance Director, Steve, has a lot on his
plate. Of course, problems do arise, but we deal with them, and this brings to
mind the one rather major event we encountered at the very beginning of this

Here at Project Vote Smart we have a lot of experience of wading through crap,
but no politician could have prepared us for the real thing. Spring had not yet
sprung when the septic tank sprung its own leak and flooded part of our lodge.
Luckily, Adams' cabins are empty during the winter, and with the impressive and
diligent work of Steve and our interns, we managed to clean up and get our
cabins back on track before the lodge, and our septic tank, filled up for the

The staff and interns on ranch had to learn to rough it for a night with no
water, no showers, and no toilets, but we managed to survive! We even turned the
limitations into a fun experience, and the ranch staff and interns had a ...

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