Aspen plans to buy more
ASPEN About 1991, Aspen chose to
return to the practice of when it was a silver-mining town, tapping
local creeks and rivers for hydroelectric power. Now, the city gets
57 percent of its electricity from hydro or wind generation, with
the balance of 43 percent coming from conventional coal-fired power
Now, the city is getting
ready to push the percentage of "clean" energy to 80 percent, even
if the alternatives cost a smidgen more. Although it's not a done
deal, a report in The Aspen
Times suggests that electrical rates, now
unchanged for 12 years, will be increased to pay for the added
purchase from alternative sources. The city is one of the several
thousand municipalities in the United States that is also an
The city is also looking at encouraging conservation by charging
those residential customers who use the most power to pay the
highest incremental cost. Currently, all residential consumers pay
the same rate.
The underlying premise for all this is to reduce Aspen's part in
creating greenhouse gases. Emissions from coal-fired plants have
also been implicated in such unpleasantries as acid rain and has
been implicated in reduced snowfall.
Some say Summit County
smoking ban bad move
SUMMIT COUNTY The ban on smoking at
bars, restaurants and other enclosed public places went into effect
in June in most of Summit County. There are, reports the Summit Daily News , some unhappy campers out
"Tourists are just angry they have to go outside," said Scott
Jackson, owner of the Goat, a bar in Keystone. "But locals, who are
family to us, who used to spend their after-work hours with us to
have a cigarette and a Pabst, they are going home for a smoke and a
Pabst in front of their TVs."
Jackson wants an amendment to allow smoking after 10 p.m.
But one of the individuals who helped get voter approval for the
bans, both in the unincorporated county and individual towns, says
such a move would miss the point. "The biggest point of the ban in
the first place is to protect the health of workers, visitors and
residents. To allow smoking at any time goes against that."
Sustainable trophy home
constructed in Telluride
TELLURIDE At 2,500 square feet, the
new Cutler Bench house overlooking the San Miguel River about 10
miles west of Telluride isn't what most people would consider a
"trophy" house. Nice? Yes, but not sprawling big.
But it is quite a trophy
in another way, explains The Telluride
Watch . From
start to finish, the builder tried to use the least environmentally
impactful techniques and materials, a concept labeled
For starters, contractors Glen Harcourt and Stephen Jallad
erected two-kilowatt solar panels to give them the electricity they
needed to power their tools. For backup, they set up a generator to
be powered by biodiesel. However, the backup generator ran only 133
hours during the 13 months of construction.
Builders solicited wood guaranteed not culled from clear
cutting, and when possible they used wood recycled from other
sources, such as old bridges. All of this added 10 to 15 percent to
the project's cost. No mention of the buyer in the article.
Hiker dies of hypothermia
outside Jackson Hole
JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. It wasn't a grizzly
bear that killed him, although a grizzly did nibble on his body
after he was dead. Instead, it was probably his decision to
continue hiking through the night, off trail and still wet, that
caused the demise of 24-year-old David Anderson.
Hypothermia, noted the
Jackson Hole News &
telling the story, can cause a delirium that results in bad
Anderson and a friend had been hiking toward a fire lookout when
they became confused. After camping one night, they were retracing
their steps back to the lookout the second day when the missing man
got off trail again.
What motivated Anderson and his companion to leave the trail was
not clear to searchers who easily retraced Anderson's route because
of the impressions left by the soles of his Merrill boots. Perhaps
he thought he was taking a short-cut to the lookout. But instead he
wandered in another direction. Later, he crossed another clearly
marked trail, but did not stay on it, and instead ended up wading
through a creek, sometimes waist deep.
That's what ultimately did him in. Out for a second night, he
did not get into his sleeping bag and get warm as the temperature
dropped down to the 30s, but instead kept rambling, bloodied by a
tumble that fractured a vertebrae in his neck and caused other
injuries. Finally, he laid down in a meadow and died of
hypothermia. He was only an hour's walk from a highway.