2nd homeowners look for
GRANBY Can second-home
owners find ways to connect with their part-time community that
they cannot find "back home." In other words, can they get a
greater dose of that hard-to-define "sense of community" that
everybody is always talking about?
The Denver Post turns up evidence that this is the
case. In fact, Gerry Engle, who has developed high-end Cordillera
and is now trying to develop middle-brow Granby Ranch, calls it an
"invisible amenity." This desire to be part of a community, he
says, is as powerful as the demand for golf courses, ski runs and
Experts, however, seemed evenly divided. Kenneth M. Johnson, a
demographer and sociology professor at Loyola University, in
Chicago, said the sense of community can emerge in a place where
people spent part of the year just as naturally as in "the
neighborhood where you stand on the sidelines at soccer games."
But Lewis Feldstein, co-author of Better Together: Restoring the American
Community , is not
sure of the strength and durability of those bonds. "A sense of
community isn't an on-off switch, but a continuum, based on
connection and trust and reciprocity. It grows gradually over time,
as you observe first-hand how people behave toward you and others
What the article reflects is a growing realization that, as baby
boomers retire, many more will want to buy second homes in the
mountains. While the second-home phenomenon is certainly nothing
new to most ski towns, the pace is expected to pick up
Ex-ski racer lands on
BASALT Former ski racer
Josef Odermatt has shown up on the most-wanted list in Eagle County
after failing to make required court appearances.
Friends in Aspen
described Odermatt as a charismatic, personal guy with incredible
skiing talent who began getting into trouble in 1995. Keith Ikeda,
police chief of Basalt, said Odermatt's record is typical of
someone who tried to control a relationship to the point of
becoming violent, and let substance abuse get the best of
What it all adds up to,
says The Aspen Times , is a former ski racing champion
whose life swerved radically off course.
Odermatt, 52, had broken his back when he was 16, and when he
recovered he joined the pro circuit in the United States. That was
in the 1970s. Although he was known to party as hard as he skied,
his troubles did not begin until the mid-1990s, when he was accused
of driving under the influence and possession of marijuana. A few
years later there was an indecent exposure charge, and then a
domestic disturbance, and then more and more arrests. There is some
speculation he returned to Switzerland.
Water may limit Winter Park
WINTER PARK Two years
ago, during the worst drought in several centuries, there were some
doubts whether toilets at the Winter Park ski area would have
enough water for flushing.
That proved not to be
the case, but Winter Park continues to be in a water pickle. Denver
and other Front Range municipalities, which already take 65 percent
of the water in the Fraser River Valley, want to take 83 percent.
Meanwhile, the second-home boom is just starting to hit. Will there
be enough for all?
Probably not, which is
why the Winter Park Town Council is now looking at whether it needs
to prioritize the development it allows. One of the decisions,
Mayor Nick Teverbaugh told the Winter
Park Manifest, is to either let everyone who wants to
develop come in on a first-come, first-serve basis, or to "set
value judgments that are in the best public interests."
While one council member says the town may need to learn to say
no, another approach is that developers will want to buy water taps
as soon as they get development authorized.
Water available for growth
EAGLE VALLEY The
boom-boom can continue for another 20 years, say water officials in
the Vail Valley, a strip of about 25 miles of development located
"For the growth we've
projected the water rights have already been dedicated or
cash-in-lieu has been paid to acquire additional water rights,"
said Becky Bultemeier, finance manager of the Eagle River Water and
And what a lot of growth
that will be, says a new report broken down by the Vail Daily . The newspaper says that Vail itself,
which was considered to be nigh on to build-out, now expects to
increase in size by 11 percent during the next six years.
Down-valley, in the Avon, Edwards and Cordillera areas, water use
could grow by about 40 percent, based on existing zoning and other
One key assumption is that less water per capita will be used in
the future. Water use has been dropping rapidly in the last several
years. Water use four summers ago was 223 gallons a day for what is
called a single-family equivalent. This year, an uncommonly cool
year, it dropped to 207 gallons.
Veggie dinners held in
BRECKENRIDGE Every month
about 30 vegetarians gather under the banner of the Summit
Vegetarian Club to nosh on dishes like spicy tofu triangles,
pumpkin soup and oatmeal power cookies.
The reasons for the
meat-free diet vary broadly, from environmental concerns to health
and compassion for animals, explains the Summit Daily News . Breckenridge resident Scott
Washkowiak said that a vegetarian diet meshes with his active
lifestyle. "The more serious I get about my athleticism
snowboarding, rock climbing, soccer the more I understand the fuel
my body needs to function," he said. "I'm all about getting my
energy as close to the sun as possible."
However, eating out for vegetarians is much more difficult, the
supper club members agree.
Controversial ski resort
INVERMERE, B.C. A major
new mountain resort called Jumbo Glacier proposed in the Purcell
Mountains has been given approval by the provincial government in
British Columbia. It now must receive approval from local
authorities in the Columbia River Valley.
Plans call for 6,300
beds, about a 10th the size of Whistler, but with skiable terrain
about one-third the size of Whistler. Vertical would be 5,570 feet
(nearly 1,700 meters), surpassing the 5,000 feet (1,530 meters) of
The proposed ski area is
relatively close to Intrawest's Panorama ski area but the closest
large city is Calgary, three to five hours away by car.
George Abbott, B.C.'s
minister of sustainable resource development, told the Toronto Globe and Mail that the final decision will rest with
the East Kootenay Regional District, which has authority over local
zoning. "Those who will benefit most directly and who most directly
understand the costs will have the final say here," he told the
Calgary Herald .
Jumbo Glacier has been bitterly opposed by a majority of vocal
locals. Opposition centers on the displacement of the 30 to 60
grizzly bears found in the area as well as threats to water
quality. An existing heli-skiing operation that would be partially
displaced has also vowed opposition.
Elementary school may go
CARBONDALE With 60
percent of elementary school students in Carbondale being native
Spanish speakers, Carbondale is Aspen's most concentrated suburb
for lower-income service workers. But with so many poorer students
at the school, affluent parents have chosen not to send their
children to the school. By one estimate, 300 such students have
been sent elsewhere.
It's not necessarily a
racial or an ethnic prejudice. Parents want to see their child
achieve the most. By going to school with lower-income students,
their scores tend to be lower. The poorer the student body, the
poorer the test scores. And Carbondale Elementary has very low test
So, how to turn the
situation around? The Aspen
that a new idea is to make Carbondale Elementary a dual-language
school. All Spanish-speaking students would have to learn English,
but all English-speaking students would also learn Spanish, with
the intent that by fifth grade all students would be fully
Alan Gottlieb, an educational consultant, explained that this
could be used to make the school a magnet school, as other schools
are magnets with their advanced placement programs.
The school district superintendent, Fred Wall, said the
dual-language idea is worth looking into, "but we have to make sure
such a program would be attractive enough to draw English-speaking
compiled by Allen
Reeve was a Vail regular
VAIL Actor Christopher Reeve, who died recently at the age of
52, was a regular Vail visitor both before and after being
paralyzed in 1995 as the result of a horse accident.
The Vail Daily reports Reeve skied at Vail with his
family, and his Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation received $1
million as the result of fund-raising activities during the
American Ski Classic, an annual ski-racing event held at Vail and
In a 2002 interview with the newspaper, Reeve took issue with
President George Bush's action that limited the scope of stem cell
"It we ban therapeutic cloning, we may lose our medical
pre-eminence," he said. Stem cells "can help millions of people.
It's the best available technology."
Eagle Valley leans toward democrat
EAGLE COUNTY Eagle County, with Vail and Beaver Creek at its
hub, is known as an outpost of Wall Street and a hotbed of rich
Republicans. An examination of election records by the Eagle Valley Enterprise suggests a more complex
In the 1970s, the county
did tilt strongly Republican, with both Gerald Ford and Ronald
Reagan trouncing Jimmy Carter in the local vote. The margins
started narrowing with the election of the elder George Bush in
1988, and then Bill Clinton won in both 1992 and 1996, although
third-party candidate Ross Perot who owned two homes at the time in
the Vail area came close to coming in first. In the last election,
the junior George Bush put the county back into the Republican
column, but not by much, with a 47-to-44 margin over Al
Why is Eagle County
trending toward blue after being such a hotbed of red? The
Enterprise did not say as much, but an educated
guess is that as the Republican Party has veered right in its
environmental and social politics, moderate Republicans have been
more inclined to cross the party line to vote for Democrats. Plus,
the rapidly exploding population tends to be less
In local offices,
Republicans retain a slight margin, but voters have elected several
Democrats, among them a black person and a man with a ponytail, as
county commissioners, indicating they're willing to look beyond