Library criticized for
JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. The Teton County
Library has been drawing fire from a patron for having a
book, Marijuana Growers
Handbook . Library
patron Robert Gathercole argues the book is a misuse of public
"I do not understand
why, when so much of our county resources are devoted to dealing
with the problem of substance abuse, you have chosen to spend tax
dollars to purchase a how-to crime manual," he wrote in an op-ed
piece published in the Jackson Hole News
& Guide .
"Marijuana, for better or for worse, is an issue of current
interest in our community," responds the library director, Betsy
Bernfeld. The book, she said, meets the goal of offering "all
points of view concerning the problem and issues of our time."
If that's the case, responds Gathercole, why doesn't the library
have books on manufacture of illegal automatic weapons and
explosives as well as child pornography?
Rival ski areas feud over
BIG SKY, Mont. Add the possibility of
getting hit by shrapnel to the dangers of skiing, reports The Wall Street Journal .
The story was a dispute between two ski areas, Big Sky and the
recently opened Moonlight Basin Ranch, which are separated by a
knife-edge ridge. Big Sky has filed a lawsuit against Moonlight,
asking for judicial intervention to alter Moonlight's
avalanche-control program. Moonlight, like many ski areas, uses a
device called an Avalauncher to help trigger avalanches on ski
slopes. Although Moonlight alerts Big Sky to the impending bombs,
the work sometimes causes Big Sky to postpone its promised 9 a.m.
And as far as the business of dodging shrapnel, the Journal's story makes it somewhat clear that the
reporter's warning was mostly poetic license. At most, Big Sky was
concerned about opening late.
But just how reliable is the Avalauncher and other ski area
artillery? Big Sky's position is summarized in this statement from
general manager Taylor Middleton, "It's human beings operating
machines, and mistakes happen." Moonlight's position is summarized
by co-owner Lee Poole. Pointing to the top of Lone Cone Peak, he
asks: "Could we (inadvertently) launch a round over the top of
that? It's about as possible as getting hit by a meteor."
NEDERLAND, Colo. Colorado mountain
towns have their fair share of off-beat festivals.
Crested Butte has
Flauschink, which seems to be something of a bar crawl. Heeney,
located in Summit County, has a festival that pays homage to ticks.
And Fruita it's not a mountain town, but a lot of mountain bike
riders go there has Mike the Headless Chicken Days, a celebration
of the life of a chicken that survived for 18 months without a
Rivaling any of these
for strangeness, however, is the Frozen Dead Guy Days festival,
which is held in Nederland, west of Boulder. Although Eldora ski
area is nearby, Nederland is not really a ski town. There is only
one hotel. However, it abounds with eccentricity.
In 1989, one Bredo
Morst`F8l, a Norwegian, died of a heart attack. His grandson,
Trygve Bauge, decided to freeze "Grandpa" in a Tuff Shed in hopes
that someday he could be returned to life.
Town officials banned
such attempts, but "grandfathered in this attempt," notes the
Rocky Mountain News . Lately, they have made light of
it all with a late-winter festival that last year attracted 5,000
There's a Grandpa look-alike contest, Grandpa's crawl of the
bars, and Tuff Shed coffin races, in which teams carry makeshift
coffins and a rider around a frozen obstacle course.
As for Grandpa, his body remains in a hermetically sealed
aluminum container that is kept at a temperature of 90 below
Fire strikes Telluride's
TELLURIDE, Colo. The new owners of the
Telluride Ski and Golf Co. aren't exactly off to a wonderful start.
The Horning family's 7,300-square-foot Telluride home burned down
shortly after being extensively remodeled. Officials, reported
The Telluride Watch , found no evidence of arson. The
house is worth $7 million.
Kerry split on skis and
KETCHUM, Idaho A major rap against
John Kerry, the presumed Democratic Party's candidate for
president, is that he's indecisive. The
New York Times , accompanying Kerry on a vacation to
his second home at Sun Valley, indicated that indecisiveness was
evident as he was flying to Idaho.
Would it be skis or a snowboard? He wasn't sure.
Well, on the first day at least, it was snowboarding, although a
photograph later showed Kerry on skis. He also took along a
top-flight racing bicycle on his vacation.
The Times found Ketchum and the Wood River
Valley a haven for Democrats, despite another part-time Republican
resident, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Many stop signs in the valley have
"Bush 2004" spray-painted underneath.
Crested Butte experiences
CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. March is, by the
record book, the snowiest month at mountain towns in Colorado. But,
the first three weeks have been as balmy as an ocean
At Crested Butte, this
balminess has had several repercussions. First, a film crew showed
up to create a commercial that extols the ability of Lincoln
Mercury's new sport utility vehicle to handle snow.
"The film crew has been
challenged slightly by the fact that the substance that drew them
to this area has recently melted into dirty piles of mush,"
reported the Crested Butte
News . "They
will be hiring locals to truck snow into the set locations over the
course of the week."
Meanwhile, as the snow rapidly melted, it just as rapidly
revealed the sins of winter. "Copious amounts of dog poop are
emerging with the spring thaw, spreading a distinctive, unsavory
aroma," reported the paper. Do-gooders following behind the
dog-poopers have a bright idea, called PooFest 2004. They hope to
get volunteers to scour the streets. As for incentives, they dangle
prizes and perhaps a title: PooFest Champion.
Wouldn't that be something to hang on your wall?
Telluride tries to
TELLURIDE, Colo. The Telluride
Foundation has set out to help integrate Hispanics into the
Telluride community. "The foundation's mission is about the quality
of life in Telluride, and Hispanics are clearly a part of the
community," explained Paul Major, president of the
"We just want to lower
the barriers so Hispanics can be a part of the community," he told
The Telluride Watch . "If we don't think about it
intentionally, we will probably discover too late that there are a
lot of problems out here."
How the foundation intends to do this seems a little fuzzy but
involves identifying for the broader community how important
Hispanics are. This importance is most easily identified
economically. "These people are a huge economic engine," he said.
"Not only are they working critical jobs, but they affect the
economy. Why wouldn't we embrace them?"
Among the steps the foundation plans during the next year are a
focus on child care, a translating resource and youth-activity
Whistler suffers slow
WHISTLER, B.C. Last year it was Vail,
Aspen and other destination resorts of Colorado that had become
introspective, wondering what they had done wrong to offend
overnight vacationers. This year it's Whistler.
The fundamental cause of
the shift is easily explained. The U.S. dollar has weakened, making
U.S. vacations less expensive and Canadian vacations more
upon U.S. visitors is illustrated by the fact that the January
economy depends upon a holiday designated to honor a preacher from
the American South, i.e. Martin Luther King. With the destination
business in Whistler falling off by as much as 25 percent this
winter, tourism promoters are evaluating any number of things. For
example, are costs too high? Can events be better managed? Despite
the Martin Luther King holiday and other carefully staged events,
January remains a black hole in the winter economy.
In Colorado, it's the
same story. In Vail, longtime ski executive Andy Daly notes an
improved January for overnight, destination business. However, the
peaks of business volume during holidays and spring vacation
continue to get higher, but the valleys of business volume remain
compiled by Allen