Silverton locals lose discount on grave biz

SILVERTON One of the fringe benefits, sort of, of living in Silverton was that when you died, you were eligible for a free cemetery plot. No more. The Town Board has imposed a price of $250 for plots in the town's Hillside Cemetery even for locals, reports the Silverton Standard .

A town official explained that the cost remains much less than at other locations. Maybe that's because the money is earmarked for maintenance. With snow lying on the ground at Silverton about seven months a year, not much maintenance is necessary.

Fence may be built to keep humans out

CANMORE, Alberta By standards of Colorado, developers in the Bow River Valley of Alberta have to jump through all manner of hoops in order to reduce their impact to wildlife species, many of which are in decline anyway.

The extent of Canadian concerns is illustrated in a case reported by the Rocky Mountain Outlook . The newspaper reports that Michael Raine, of Golder Associates, has recommended that a development proposed for wildlife habitat be enclosed in a fence. "There are negative wildlife human interactions occurring currently, and the fencing will substantially reduce impacts of human use adjacent to the hamlet on surrounding wildlife habitat," Rain states in his report.

Kerry and spouse Ketchum up on rest

KETCHUM, Idaho Presidential candidate John Kerry and his wife, Theresa Heinz Kerry, were back in Ketchum, this time for some rest and relaxation. Both had vacation homes in the Ketchum area even before they married.

Last month, though, it was a business trip for Heinz Kerry. She spoke at a fund-raiser that raised $300,000, a record haul in Idaho politics. The previous week, Democrats in Jackson Hole set a state record for Wyoming by flipping $410,000 into the kitty. Also, singer Carole King, who lives near Ketchum, has been stumping the region for Kerry.

Heinz Kerry, as heiress to her late-husband's ketchup fortune, has given generously to local causes, notes the Idaho Mountain Express . She gave $750,000 to upgrade emergency services in the area, $325,000 to help Blaine County buy a popular cross-country ski lodge and has contributed to other medical and cultural projects.

Bears at Crested Butte getting more aggressive

CRESTED BUTTE Bruins are getting unruly in the Crested Butte area in what officials say is fast becoming one of the worst bear seasons on record.

A bear in the town of Mt. Crested Butte charged a police officer, who had been shooting at it with rubber bullets. Elsewhere, a shed door was torn off by a bear in search of garbage that was being stored.

While it's not unusual for bears to descend to residential areas, they're doing so early this year because their traditional food sources such as berries have been inadequate due to the cool summer, reports the Crested Butte News .

So far, nobody has been hurt in all this, but officials suggest it could be just a matter of time. Unlike in the old days, the bears don't seem to scamper off when they see people. Police are considering responding to complaints as a team due to this new aggressiveness.

Still, the situation does not seem to be as frayed as across the Elk Range at Aspen, where wildlife officers have suggested that people put bells on their doors to alert them when bears invite themselves in.

I do, I do, I do, I'm due, says oft-married couple

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. A couple from Nashville, Tenn., got married for the 81st time at the Hard Rock Cafe in South Lake Tahoe. Already in the Guinness Book of World Records, David and Lauren Blair are shooting for 100. Leaving Tahoe, they planned to get married again in Reno.

"The first time I saw her, it was love at first sight," David, 51, told the Tahoe Daly Tribune . "He loves honeymoons," said Lauren, 53.

They first married 20 years ago and have traveled to various places in the English-speaking world to get their nuptials renewed. They estimate they have spent $50,000 on wedding trips.

Bigfoot, Jackalope and single ski-town women

TRUCKEE, Calif. Every year there is another article or three in ski town newspapers about the imbalance of men to women. But hand it to the Sierra Sun for the best headline: "Bigfoot, Jackalope and single Truckee women."

If the Sun has its numbers right, there are 100 single women for every 183 men aged 20 through 34. That leads to the well-worn phrase, one certainly not unique to Truckee, that "you don't lose your girlfriend, you just lose your turn."

One bartenderwho is married says the competition among Truckee men for single women is like tigers fighting over meat.

Some women like the attention, primping themselves knowing there will be lookers, but others don't see the men who they'd like attention from. A single mother said the choices are mostly young party-hearty snowboarders or older second-home owners from the Bay Area. More mid-range, local guys with careers, would be nice, she said.

As for meeting single women? Against all odds, young guys still troop to the bars. Much better odds, noted one female, would be yoga classes.

What does dress code reveal about pop icon?

PARK CITY, Utah Britney Spears would seem to be the inspiration, in a negative way, for the dress code at Park City schools. "Extreme" clothing is banned, but the main target seems to be girls who emulate the twentysomething pop singer by being too revealing, reveals The Park Record . However, the dress code mailed to students and parents also specifically bans other distractions such as unusual hair colors or styles as well as such things as flashing lights on shoes.

What's the rationale on all of this hyper-control? School administrators seem to think they these things are distractions. Given that logic, it's a wonder girls and probably boys are not required to wear burkas. After all, what's more distracting than a pretty or handsome face?

Dopey Dozer maniac still seen as a martyr

GRANBY Marvin Heemeyer, the guy who dozed his way through Granby's main street before putting a bullet through his own head, was almost immediately glorified as a martyr by many who, devoid of facts, concluded he had been the victim of an unyielding government bureaucracy.

This phenomenon is dissected in an article in the Los Angles Times under the headline of "The Man, The Myth, The Bulldozer How the Struggling U.S. Patriot Movement Conjured a Western Hero' from One Man's Sad Tantrum."

The reporter, Martin J. Smith, found no evidence of any bureaucratic tyranny, and newspaper publisher Patrick Brower, who had been chased out of his office by Heemeyer's bulldozer, says Smith got the story right and the "patriots" have it wrong.

"Heemeyer was treated fairly by the town, even with deference," says Brower, writing in the Sky-Hi News . "He just didn't get his way."

Hybrids get thumbs-up from more in California

EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif. Hybrid gas-electric cars are being seen in an increasingly positive light in California, where 55 percent of residents who were recently polled reported that they believe air pollution is "somewhat" of a threat to their health, reports the Tahoe Daily Tribune . Two-thirds say they would consider buying or leasing hybrid vehicles.

Sierra Nevada forests are driest in 30 years

LAKE TAHOE, Calif. It's snap, crackle and pop time in the Sierra Nevada, where weather stations are reporting the driest conditions in 30 years.

The Tahoe Daily Tribune also notes that Lake Tahoe will probably drop down to its natural rim (it also has a dam) by the end of September, something it did not do last year until shortly before Thanksgiving. Like elsewhere in the West, it's the fifth or sixth year of drought for the Sierra Nevada. At least some experts are predicting another one.

compiled by Allen Best





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