Joy Overbeck
Journalist and Author

"Land Grab" from 5280 Denver Magazine, July 2006

One morning in 2005 Robert Thomasson spent about 45 minutes on his personal computer and paid the state $50 to file a claim on a half-mile-wide toll road route that starts at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center and then cuts a 15-mile swath up Speer Boulevard to downtown. His private thoroughfare will gobble up much of the lush golfing grounds of the Denver Country Club and its residential neighborhoods before laying waste to the Channel 9, Channel 7, and Channel 13 studios. After sweeping down Speer, the road will hang a right on Lincoln and grab Channel 4, take a bite out of the governor’s mansion, and plow through prime downtown real estate to Coors Field.

Thomasson, 55, is a retired teacher who figures he could charge quite a chunk of change to folks in a hurry to see a Rockies game. But he really has no intention of building a toll road. He filed his claim to dramatize how easy it is for anyone to use Colorado’s 1865 toll road law that allows a private developer to claim private property by way of eminent domain —- the process by which typically only the government can take private land for roads, utility easements, and the like.

Selected Worksplease contact me to see additional samples

When a hapless mountain hiker is lost or caught in a June snowstorm, or when a kayaker gets pinned against a river rock, the gutsy volunteers of Vail Mountain Rescue are first on the scene!
The incredible working dogs of the Vail Valley help kids read, cheer hospital patients, track down lost hikers, and find avalanche victims.
America's horses are being slaughtered for foreigners' dinner plates; an unlikely band of rescuers is trying to save them.
Exploring the mysterious bond of affection and communication between local equine athletes and their loving owners.
Revamping a used-and-abused 1980's party house proves an interesting challenge for a young Eagle-Vail family.
A vintage 1870's home in Breckenridge's Historic District gives up its surprising secrets.
Celebrated photographer John Fielder's latest book traces the stories of Colorado's heirloom ranches as well as his own transformation from an ardent foe of cattle ranching to ranchland preservationist.
A mountain architectural firm known for its enviro pedigree sometimes has to smash a few government rules to build green.
This outstanding Beaver Creek home showcases some of the most dazzling talents in modern art.
The three flags flying from Rudi and Jennifer Fronk’s mountain home – flags of America, Canada, and Colorado – say it all.
Sometimes trading tales with someone you've never met -- at the park, on a plane, in the cereal aisle -- leads to grand adventures... or at least sunnier days.
Does flirting with someone who’s not your mate damage your marriage, or enhance it?
Should Centennial State property owners be worried about government and private developers conspiring to steal their land? It's happening right here, right now.
Exploring the art and history of these Southwest gems is the ultimate road trip.
Once nearing extinction, these iconic beasts of the great Lonesome Dove cattle drives are making a Colorado comeback.
For the authentic dude ranch experience with deluxe ambiance, head to Smith Fork Ranch where cowgirls never have the blues.