Bush signs burned in the Vail Valley

AVON Partisanship is running high across the country this election season, and that includes the Eagle Valley. The Vail Daily reports that Bush-Cheney signs have been cut down and burned at several locations. No similar destruction of Kerry/Edwards signs has been reported.

One prominent Republican, a famously loose canon, likened the actions to the burning of crosses in the South and the perpetrators to Hitler's brown shirts. A Democratic candidate, although likewise criticizing the actions, thought that comparison inappropriate and vaguely insulting to the real victims in those previous cases. Bush, he said, should fear no personal violence as a result of the burnings.

Meanwhile, a landowner who had leased his space to Republicans for the signs has posted a $5,000 reward. "This is extremely uncivilized behavior," said Magnus Lindholm, who was developer of the new Home Depot and Wal-Mart complexes.

Granby women pose nude for charity

GRANBY It's getting to be quite the fad, locals getting naked for photographers.

The idea seems to have originated in England, where friends of a cancer victim decided to raise money for her care by creating a calendar by posing in the buff (with discretely placed objects, of course). A similar calendar is about four years old in the Vail Valley, although it has included some men. Then, last year, a photographer in Jackson Hole persuaded dozens of locals of both sexes to pose for him in what became a well-publicized gallery showing.

Now, in Granby, local women have gone nude for a $20 calendar. In addition to indulging latent exhibitionism, the women hope to raise $40,000 to help pay for the town's reconstruction after last June's bulldozer rampage. Among the shots are a couple of mother-daughter photos, one on a Honda motorcycle and the other on horseback, notes the Sky-Hi News .

Breck bar backdoors smoking band

BRECKENRIDGE Breckenridge earlier this year banned smoking in bars, restaurants and other public places. But the town allows smoking in tobacco stores.

With that in mind, Jeff Cox, owner of Cecilia's bar, plans to create a 530-square-foot tobacco business in a corner of the bar's dance floor. The shop would be accessible from both the bar and the outside, explains the Summit Daily News .

Although the business would be established under a different name and management than Cecili's, the Breckenridge Town Council is concerned that the two are too "connected." They fear the tobacco shop could be used merely as a smoking lounge.

Candidates train in the thin air

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. Distance runners have long favored higher elevations when training for races. Something similar seems to be occurring this year in the national election.

Dick Cheney, who grew up in Casper, Wyo., was reported to have retired to this part-time home in Jackson Hole while preparing for the first of his vice presidential debates.

John Kerry, meanwhile, was expected to return to Colorado, where he was born, to work on keeping his sentences short. He was expected to be this week in metropolitan Denver, where the elevation runs 5,000 to 6,000 feet.

Aspen columnist decries elitism

ASPEN A columnist in The Aspen Times , Michael Cleverly, who seems to have several decades of residency in the town, has some prickly things to say about what he charges is "creeping elitism in a Dorian Gray town."

The town's celebrated cultural events are becoming steadily and disturbingly elitist, he charges. Community programs can have good intention, he says, but the trend is unrelenting.

"Every year Aspen's population seems to get a little grayer it also seems to be getting more exclusive, more elitist," he writes.

"Years ago, when I started reading my old buddy Mary Hayes' column (in The Aspen Times ), it was a parody of big-city newspaper society pages. After a while, it became what it beheld. This is where you find the VIPS from Jazz Aspen and the members of the board. Now it seems like a gallery of botched face-lifts in some medical journal. Oscar Wilde would have loved it. Aspen's decaying soul is beginning to show. Dorian Gray's in there somewhere."

Students assigned community service

KETHCUM, Idaho The Blaine County School District is now requiring all students to participate in community service in a way that is aligned with each student's social studies curriculum.

The intent, a school administrator told the Idaho Mountain Express , is to broaden the perspectives of students, give them opportunities to encounter new people and encourage them to build an empathetic understanding of those around them.

"We want the students to see the importance and understand the importance of giving back to the community," said Mary Fervase, assistant superintendent. "Perhaps they will be more likely to do other service when they leave school and become citizens themselves."

The added requirement does not specify a number of service hours. Instead, teachers decide the appropriate amount of volunteer time for their students.

Beetle kill prompts tax proposal

WINTER PARK Residents in Winter Park are being asked to approve a small property tax increase to pay for removal of trees infested by bark beetles. Such cutting seems to be expensive. Recent removal of 965 trees cost nearly $1,000 a tree, reports the Winter Park Manifest .

Winter Park is part of a broader region where the beetles are in an epidemic stage. Although the beetles are naturally occurring and struck the area 20 years ago, the aging forests have also been weakened by several years of drought as well as continued aging.

If temperatures plunge below 40 degrees, the beetle population will return to inactive. However, winters have been warming steadily since the 1980s. Without such a winter, say etymologists, the beetles could continue to spread for 10 to 20 years.

In addition to the unsightly needles turning rust-colored as the trees die, the dead trees also temporarily present a fire hazard.

CB tries to be less bear-friendly

MT. CRESTED BUTTE Town officials in Mt. Crested Butte want to make local homes and businesses less inviting to bears. Officials from the town, which is located adjacent to the ski slopes, are reaching out to officials from their counterparts in Crested Butte and in broader Gunnison County to talk about a unified strategy.

Because of an early summer frost that destroyed berries and other natural components of their diets, the bruins were looking for people food. People in Mt. Crested Butte were reported to be generally good about not leaving their trash out overnight and avoiding other sorts of behavior that are akin to posting big yellow neon arches. However, Dumpsters and other trash receptacle are not of the bear-proof variety. With so many bears around, say wildlife biologists, somebody will eventually get hurt.

Trailer park plowed for development

CANMORE, Alberta Another trailer park in a resort area is about to bite the dust. Developers have been given authority in Canmore to replace the Restwell Trailer Park with a project called Spring Creek Mountain Village.

The new project will have 1,200 residential units, a quarter of them vacation homes and a sixth of them short-term units.

As for those living in the existing trailers, they'll have an opportunity to buy 1,200-square-foot homes at a rate of $200 per square foot ($157 US), which compares favorably with the $350 per square foot ($275 US) that seems to be the market rate.

After approving this project, the Canmore Council heard from one member who seemed to be feeling guilty about the redevelopment nudging out lower-income residents and wanted a study of what could be done to promote a trailer park elsewhere. The council considered such a study without much enthusiasm.

Glacier skiing in Alps draws protest

TYROL, Austria Climate change is pushing ski areas into hitherto pristine glaciers in the Alps, provoking protests from environmentalists. The disagreement, reports Nature magazine, has been sparked by a proposal to open the second largest glacier in the eastern Alps the Gepatsch glacier in Tyrol, Austria.

Environmentalists respond that ski areas produce harmful waste, grease, lubricant oils and salts. If the proposal for Gepatsch goes through, they say, the door will open for similar projects in other parts of the Alps.

-compiled by Allen Best





News Index Second Index Opinion Index Classifieds Index Contact Index