Huge American flag draws
AVON A flag as large as a doublewide
trailer is being hoisted at a new commercial district in Avon. But
not all neighbors are saluting the red, white and blue.
representing the 1,400 home owners in the adjoining Eagle-Vail
subdivision has formally protested, as have assorted other
individuals. They say the 20-by-38-foot flag that's more square
footage than the one-bedroom housing units in the nearby employee
housing complex is just too much.
One specific charge is
that the flag, which is being placed atop a 150-foot tower, uses
patriotism to further commercialism. It is, said one critic,
nothing more than a billboard, to draw customers from nearby
Interstate 70. The developer of the complex placed the flag in the
parking lot for a Wal-Mart Supercenter and The Home Depot. The flag
pole would have been built even higher, 200 feet, except that the
Federal Aviation Administration would have then required a light
The monster flag has
defenders, too. One Avon architect, a Vietnam War veteran, said he
saw a "kid in Vietnam who lost his legs for that flag." Others,
carrying tiny American flags, showed up at a recent meeting of the
Avon Town Council to support the giant flag. One spoke about the
excitement of the upcoming flag-dedicating ceremony, with hot dogs
and John Philips Sousa marches.
Because Avon has no
restrictions governing height of flagpoles, it cannot order that
the flag be down-sized. It could pass a resolution, but chose not
to at a recent meeting. The developer, who made his money in hotels
in Stockholm, Sweden, and as the owner of several commercial
freighters that plied international waters, said he would mull over
Telluride expands its direct
TELLURIDE Telluride is expanding its
network of direct flights next winter by about 10 percent,
including new daily flights of 50-passenger jets from Los
That gives Telluride
direct connections to six major cities outside Colorado as well as
shuttles from Denver. All flights go to Montrose, about 55 miles
A new 2 percent tax on
lodging and restaurants in Telluride and Mountain Village covers
approximately half of the annual cost of the program of direct
flights. The balance of the risk posed by guaranteeing revenues to
airlines is posted by Montrose, the Telluride Ski and Golf Co., and
Truck spills 40,000 pounds of
SUMMIT COUNTY A truck carrying food on
Interstate 70 rolled over dumping candy bars, pinto beans, beer and
40,000 pounds of eggs.
The Summit Daily News reported that the driver, who was
hauling the grub from Iowa to California, had lost his brakes. He
was ticketed for careless driving. It took crews 21 hours to clear
the highway griddle of the omelets, which were deposited in the
Crested Butte debates
CRESTED BUTTE Spray or spade? It's the
basic debate in Crested Butte involving dandelions spray them with
chemicals or dig them out with a shovel or some other
The town has been at
this juncture at least once before. After a profusion of dandelions
in 2000 turned the soccer and other fields yellow, town officials
elected to go inorganic. But when an applicator showed up wearing a
suit of white, many residents were appalled. That caused the town
staff to seek out an alternative organic weed killer, a derivative
of beet juiced known as Weed Killer 7-0-5.
But Town Manager Frank
Bell says beet juice isn't an option now. "It was expensive and it
doesn't work," he said. How about community dandelion dig days?
That is another idea, but not everybody digs it because digging is
only a temporary answer.
The Town Council,
reports the Crested Butte
positioned itself firmly on the fence, appointing Bell to figure
out the solution, preferably nonchemical, but chemical if that must
be the case.
Granby dozer may be sold
GRANBY No decision has been made about
what will be done with the bulldozer driven by Marvin Heemeyer when
he plowed into 13 buildings on June 4, but it probably won't end up
in a museum or erected in the town park.
The district attorney's
office in Grand County, where Granby is located, is trying to
obtain the bulldozer, and the Sky-Hi
talk of dismembering the machinery for its value in scrap
The bulldozer was manufactured by Komatsu, but is roughly the
equivalent of a D-9 Caterpillar.
Meanwhile, there continues to be a discussion about whether
Heemeyer got a bum deal justifying his wrath. Patrick Brower, the
editor of the Sky-Hi News , whose building was gutted by
Heemeyer, says absolutely not.
"Some people assume that government' somehow kicked a good' man
and overextended its power. From where I was sitting (at all but
one of the meetings in question), the opposite was true."
Aspen utilities actually
ASPEN Not much in Aspen is cheap, but
electricity and water are. Aspen's electrical rates are eighth
lowest among the 51 utilities in Colorado. Water is nearly as
The city government
provides both, and its electric rates have gone unchanged for 12
years, and its water rates for 17 years, reports The Aspen Times . City officials think it's time to
adjust the rates. They're looking at a two-tiered rate structure
for electricity that encourages big users, such as hotels, to
adjust their demands to avoid times of peak demand, when the city
has to pay for more expensive power produced at coal-fired power
Currently, 43 percent of the city's power comes from coal, while
57 percent comes from either wind or hydro.
Lead contamination hurts
PARK CITY, Utah In a way, Park City is
trying to sweep its mining history under the rug.
Oh, it's not that the
city is ashamed of its origins in silver mining, which continued
until shortly before the first ski area there opened in the 1960s.
But the lead that is a byproduct of the silver mining is found in
the soil in many areas. When ingested, as can happen when children
eat dirt, it can cause significant medical problems.
Now, if property owners
will cover their lots with fresh topsoil to a depth of about 6
inches and then revegetate it, the city will offer $450 to defray
the typical cost of $5,000 to $6,000. Altogether, the city has
budgeted $50,000 for the project, reports The Park Record . For those who refuse to cap their
lots, blood tests are mandatory, says the newspaper.
City officials hope that this program will help persuade the
Environmental Protect Agency to discontinue its 21-year oversight
of Park City's mining residue. "The EPA cloud that we have been
under has affected the whole town," said Sally Elliott, a resident
of a contaminated area. How this EPA oversight is a dark cloud for
Park City neither she nor the newspaper explained.
Pig fat being used for
HOT SULPHUR SPRINGS Grand County is
full of gravel roads. To quell the dust, each summer the county
road and bridge department applies magnesium chloride.
But this year, reports
the Sky-Hi News , road crews have applied a new road
stabilizer. The chemical was not identified, but road crews refer
to it unaffectionately as "pig fat," as it is partially made from
animal waste products. The question is whether the chemical causes
less damage to roadside vegetation than mag chloride, which is
Grand County is compiling a comprehensive report in conjunction
with several other counties in Colorado about use of magnesium
chloride as a dust queller. Another study is being done by the
state transportation department about its effects on trees adjacent
to highways, as many conifers are dying, although not just along
roads where mag chloride is used.
Free-heeler tackles Grand
JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. The firsts continue
on Grand Teton, that lovely but challenging peak. Recently, the
first commercial client skied the mountain. Now, a woman on
free-heel skis has telemarked down the peak.
"Basically, that's all I
use in the backcountry," said A.J. Cargill, of her free-heel skis.
"I prefer a lighter set-up. It wasn't scary, but it was intense and
compiled by Allen