Tamarisk makes its way to Vail
Colo. - River runners of the West have long known about tamarisk, the shrub that was introduced as
an ornamental from Eurasia in the 1880s and now hogs the streambanks of the Colorado River and
other desert rivers and creeks.
Without natural predators, the species is spreading. This
year, tamarisk was found at Edwards, about 10 miles from Vail. Tamarisk also was noted near
Kremmling, on its way toward Winter Park and Summit County.
The Vail Daily
reports that both state and federal governments have
considered allocating money to control tamarisk, but control is not easy. Hand-cutting and
herbicide application can cost up to $5,000 per acre, while burning the stands only seems to cause
them to redouble their growth.
As well, there is now another issue, in that a bird that is imperiled has begun using the tamarisk
for nests, since the bushes it formerly used are now gone.
Park City denies Humvee display
Utah - The Park City Council had ruled that a General Motors Humvee cannot be prominently
displayed at a local shopping complex during the Sundance Film Festival.
A GM competitor, Volkswagen, co-sponsors the festival, and
the city believes that displaying a Humvee would ambush marketing and harm the city's
Owners of the plaza had been promised what they described
as a "significant amount of money" to display the Humvee, reports The
Park Record . They charged that the Sundance
Institute, which puts on the festival, has too much influence over the city. "We believe it is
inappropriate for the city to limit corporate sponsorship of activities on private property during
the Festival to a select list determined by Sundance," they said in a letter.
The city's response was summarized by Councilman Fred Jones, who said the city must regulate such
advertising or else there would be more in the future. "This is not about one Hummer in one
plaza," he said. "We just have to be extremely careful about commercialism."
Resort wages dispersed globally
COUNTY, Colo. - Walking through Keystone's Summit House is a little like riding the Disneyland
ride "It's a Small World," says the Summit Daily News
. And by various reports, many immigrants send between 50
and 80 percent of their paychecks home, either to support relatives or to buy real estate in
preparation for their own returns.
Steve Schwartz, general manager of the Summit House, said he happened to make a Western Union
money transfer on payday. Ahead of him in line were three of his dishwashers and four of his
busers. He estimated that of the $600 left to them after their housing is paid for, they send $500
Swartz said many of his employees are buying houses in their native countries or buying plots of
land with intentions to build. "It's the American dream," he said, "but it's happening in Mexico
with money they're earning here."
Isidro Jimenez, a waiter, sends $200 a month to his mother in Mexico. His 11 siblings scattered
across the United States also send $50 to $200 each month.
"Some of the families we work with send 60 to 80 percent of their pay home," says Christina
Carlston, director of the Family and Intercultural Resource Center. "It's not only the Hispanic
population, but a lot of the West Africans, too."
However, political and economic instability in their home countries is causing many immigrants to
plant roots in the United States instead of returning home. "The economic conditions in some of
the former Soviet republics sound like they're even worse than in a lot of the Latin American
countries," said Swartz.
Nordic skiing marketed to masses
SPRINGS, Colo. - So why do so many people want to walk across snow in snowshoes when they could be
That has perplexed people at Steamboat's Nordic Touring
Center, as well as elsewhere. But in Steamboat they're paying attention to a new ski, the Nordic
Cruiser, from Fischer. They're following the shorter and wider theme of alpine, telemark and
backcountry skis, which in turn provides more control. The new ski, reports The Steamboat Pilot , is as
much as 35 centimeters shorter than more traditional cross-country skis. As well, technology
employed in the waxless kick zone doesn't sacrifice as much speed and gliding ability as
old-school waxless skis.
Wal-Mart unwelcome in Granby
- Although certainly on the rise, the Winter Park-Granby-Grand Lake resort areas do not appear to
have the demographics to support a Wal-Mart.
Good, says Patrick Brower, publisher of the Sky-Hi News and Winter Park Manifest . All the
better to create the legal mechanisms, such as design guidelines that prohibit big-box buildings,
to keep this particular big box out.
Consumers do gain with Wal-Mart's lower prices, concedes Brower. And so would the town treasury.
But when Wal-Mart moves into a town, it typically displaces five local businesses within the first
year. Also, Wal-Mart employees are typically offered wages below those prevailing in an area.
Finally, he says, Wal-Mart would kill the existing downtown.
Or maybe not. The downtown area isn't particularly thriving as is - most people drive to Denver,
about 75 miles away, to shop at big-box stores, as one reader pointed out.
- compiled by Allen Best