Ear to the ground

“I’m just happy that we don’t have to hear from little Miss You Betcha any more.”

–A local woman relieved that Sarah Palin has returned to Anchorage

Open season

Thanks to a helping hand from Mother Nature, Opening Day is looking more and more like a certainty in Durango. Wolf Creek flashed open 30 percent of its terrain last Saturday (more is apparently on the way); the lifts are currently running at Copper Mountain, Arapahoe Basin and Loveland; and Purgatory is on track to kick off the 2008-09 season with a Nov. 26 Benefit Day. Ski tickets are just $15 for the annual fund-raiser and this year benefit the local chapter of the American Red Cross.

For 16 seasons, Durango Mountain Resort has hosted Benefit Day on the day before the official opening and donated a grand total of more than $200,000 to worthy local causes. Each year a local, non-profit is selected to receive $10 of each $15 lift ticket sold, and this year’s beneficiary is the American Red Cross.

 “The funds raised by this event will stay in our community and allow us to respond to and prepare for any disaster in our area, from single family house fires to providing shelter to area residents during fires, flood or severe winter storms,”said Cindi Shank, executive director of the local chapter.

The Durango Winter Sports Foundation (DWSF) will manage the ticket sales and distribution for Benefit Day. As in years past the umbrella organization for local student winter sports athletes will receive $5 of each lift ticket sold.

Benefit Day tickets can be purchased from DWSF athletes, American Red Cross volunteers, DMR ticket offices and at Magpies and local supermarkets. Two Benefit Day events are also scheduled. The Lost Dog, 1150 Main Ave., will host a pre-season party from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Nov. 14, and Benefit Day tickets will be available. Tickets will also be for sale at Pint Night at Steamworks, 801 E. Second Ave., from 6-9 p.m. on Nov. 20. For more information, visitwww.durangomountainresort.com .

Tee time

Two former Telegraphers have gone on to fame and marginal fortune. This week Bryan Fryklund and Jen Reeder – former web designer and sales honch for Durango’s favorite weekly – released The Golf Fanatic’s Guide to Hawaii.

After leaving Main Avenue for the Aloha State, the pair co-authored a general guidebook to the Big Island before deciding to write a book for golfers. The Fanatic’s Guide features extensive coverage of the top 50 publicly accessible courses in Hawaii. The book rates each course on its difficulty, beauty, design intrigue, maintenance, “swank value,” and price. Naturally, there are also write-ups on each course’s 19th Hole (where the authors have been known to shoot their best scores). As an added bonus, the pair managed to squeeze a foreword out of the “Big Easy,” South African PGA legend Ernie Els.

Those longing for an island tee-time can find the book at Amazon.com, directly from www.hottubpublishing.com and at bookstores nearly everywhere.