Bigfoot sighted in Colorado

I-70 CORRIDOR – Two years ago tracks were found in the Eagle River that even a skeptical wildlife biologist with 30 years experience admitted would best be explained by an undocumented creature along the lines of Bigfoot or Sasquatch.

That sent The Denver Post searching for evidence. In its most recent story on the subject, that paper ventured to the Pacific Northwest and found that even previously skeptical scientists are more open to the idea of a big hairy thing out in the woods of North America.

And with that, reports are starting to come out of the woodwork in Summit County of evidence of Bigfoot, or at least Big Feet. Trevor Denny told the Summit Daily News (Jan. 13) that last June he found footprints that were “far larger than any footprints he’s ever seen.”

Two days later, the newspaper reported that two more people had come forth, saying they had seen what they believe were either Bigfoot or grizzly bear tracks in the Gore Range. Except for possibly the South San Juans, grizzly bears are thought to have disappeared from Colorado decades ago.

Senior charged with ski ticket fraud

BRECKENRIDGE – A 72-year-old man has been banned from Vail Resorts property and charged by police with unlawful use of a ski area facility after ski area employees said they saw him selling lift tickets illegally.

The man in question was described by the Summit Daily News (Jan. 16) as a colorful and well-known individual who skis 200 days each year. He outlived doctors’ predictions after open-heart surgery, rides his motorcycle and is involved with the Over the Hill Gang.

But police say he wasn’t too over the hill to scam lift tickets. He was accused of buying half-day tickets given to ski area employees and selling them on the street for $20 to $25. He turned over 226 half-day tickets to police.

The newspaper later explained that black-market peddling of lift tickets is common. Full-time Vail Resorts workers get 16 half-day tickets. Intrawest employees get between three and 14 full-day lift tickets, depending on tenure, and also can buy up to 10 lift tickets for $20 each.

But most housekeepers and such don’t ski, and they know who to sell their tickets to. Another scam is to buy lift tickets sold along the Front Range at significant discounts, then peddle them to destination skiers, who commonly pay significantly higher prices.

Escort service expects brisk business

PARK CITY, UTAH – An escort service, called Hometown Babes, has opened an office in Park City’s Main Street district, hoping to cash in on the resort’s convention business as well as the imbalance of male skiers to female skiers.

The owner, identified only as Victoria, expects a brisk business but not a frisky business. Her employees – typically models and students from nearby Salt Lake City – understand what they can and cannot do, she said. “I’m telling them they have to be legal,” she told The Park Record (Jan. 11).

The local Chamber of Commerce has eagerly greeted the new business. “Any service we can offer our destination visitors is an additional amenity,” said Shawn Stinson, chamber spokesman. “If it’s a service that’s requested enough, whether food or beverage oriented or companion oriented, it adds to the product mix.”

Telluride puts bite on dog parking

TELLURIDE – Telluride’s sizable dog population has caused the Town Council to pass a new law that limits puppy parking to eight hours within any 12-hour period. As well, the town has made private landowners, as well as occupants and dog owners, responsible for cleaning up property dirtied by dogs.

DJ suspended for playing Bee Gees

VAIL – After Maurice Gibbs of the Bee Gees died, disc jockey Dennis Mac chose four songs by the group to play on KTUN-FM, a radio station with a classic rock format.

But while still broadcasting, Mac got an on-the-air phone call from his boss, nicknamed “Safety Steve.” And by the end of the conversation, the DJ had been suspended from the station, without pay. The conversation, as reported in the Vail Daily (Jan. 16), went like this:

DJ: Hello, you’re on the air.

Boss: I’m here. Hey Dennis, Safety Steve here, your boss. I can’t believe you just played four Bee Gees songs. This is a classic rock station.

DJ: Well, you know, Maurice Gibb passed away, one of the Bee Gees –

Boss: Well I understand that, but in honor of him you get to go home and play four songs to yourself. You just trashed the format. I can’t even believe that. What’s gotten into you? You’ve taken over the radio station with disco. Maybe you want to change it or what?

DJ: No, I just, I thought since he died, I thought we’d play something other than classic rock.

Boss: You thought too much, I think that’s the problem.

A few screw-you’s, a phone slamming and the suspension followed, reports the newspaper.

T-ride cracks down on out-of-bounds

TELLURIDE – Ducking boundary ropes to poach powder can be expensive at Telluride, with the penalty being anywhere from 30 days to two years of lost skiing privileges.

The Telluride Watch says that at least 12 pass- and ticket-holders had their privileges revoked on New Year’s Day. Most had ducked the rope into an area of the mountain where ski patrollers were controlling avalanches with explosives.

Fight ends in attempted murder charge

SQUAW VALLEY, CALIF. – A 28-year-old man has been charged with attempted murder after a closing-time bar fight. Police accuse the man of knowingly dragging his opponent for a quarter-mile in the parking lot at the ski resort. By chance, a ski patroller happened by shortly after to give the injured man first aid. The second man was expected to be in the hospital a week, reports the Sierra Sun (Jan. 16).

Summit County bar bans smoking

SUMMIT COUNTY – Summit County Commissioner Gary Lindstrom, a reformed smoker, lit up a community discussion several weeks ago when he proposed a county-wide ban on smoking in bars, restaurants and other public places.

Since then, there have been almost daily letters to the editor in the Summit Daily News, most agreeing with him, but some arguing that banning smoking limits individual freedoms. Frisco seems to be splitting the difference.

The Town Council intends to ban smoking on town property, including parks. It also is passing a resolution that urges bars and restaurants to ban smoking. It does not, however, ban smoking on private property.

Mayor Bob Moscatelli had strongly opposed Lindstrom’s proposal, despite his personal objections to smoking. In banning smoking on public property, says the Summit Daily News (Jan. 10), Moscatelli said it would be better to be “at the head of the train, not the caboose.”

Several bars already ban smoking in Frisco, but the majority of sentiment seems to be that they don’t want to ban smoking unless all bars ban smoking, to give them an equal footing. Smokers tend to be drinkers as well.

Sixty restaurants in Summit County, including 25 in Breckenridge, ban smoking.

Hunters dislike birth control for elk

JACKSON HOLE, WYO. – Hunters who kill 3,000 of the 13,000 elk in Jackson Hole each year are wary of research into birth control for cow elk and bison. The research is being done in Colorado, where biologists see birth control as a possible alternative to hunting when elk are found in urban areas. However, birth control is among the possibilities in Grand Teton National Park, where hunter access is limited, reports the Jackson Hole News & Guide (Jan. 15).

Administration is expensive: The cost of a single dose of birth control is between $100 and $300 per elk. That cost could be reduced if biologists can develop a dart gun to deliver the drug. There also are ethical considerations. “If we’re playing God with elk, we’re impacting the natural selection process,” says Doug Brimeyer, wildlife biologist with Wyoming Game and Fish.

Jackson Hole hunters, however, think wolves are already keeping the elk populations in check.

Plans for huge luxury hotel unveiled in Vail

VAIL – Plans have been unfurled for a 140-room Four Seasons hotel at the main entrance to Vail. Although not the largest building – Vail Resorts has a 350-room Marriott elsewhere in the town – it is proposed to be tallest, at about 81 feet.

Reacting to the architectural rendering, planning commissioners and others described the building as “gutsy” and “huge,” reports the Vail Daily (Jan. 16). One commissioner likened it to a “cruise liner backed up against Frontage Road.”

MIT to study population and nitrogen

KETCHUM, IDAHO – A team of four researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has begun studying how population growth will affect nitrogen pollution in the Wood River drainage.

Nitrogen is of interest because, in the form of nitrate, it is the most common contaminant from agriculture and sewage treatment and is a human health hazard when ingested.

The study comes as part of a heightened interest in local water quality, reports the Idaho Mountain Express (Jan. 8). Blaine County commissioners are considering a plan that would give cities more control over development outside their boundaries that might affect their drinking water.

The results should allow local governments to determine whether to set stricter standards on sewage treatment plants and septic systems. It also will help govern agricultural practices, including relocating livestock and crops farther from surface water and changing application methods and quantities of fertilizer.





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