Friday, June 25, 2010

Mountain Town News


Spooked bear smacks worker

VAIL, Colo.—Justin Young now has quite a story to tell. The 25-year-old was working on a construction job at a house in Vail when he went behind the house and saw a bear that he estimates weighed 400 pounds. Caught by surprise, the bear reacted defensively, hitting Young on the side of the head and on the side of the body. Young fell down, and was smacked again before he lost consciousness.

Young told the Vail Daily that co-workers might have suspected a tall tale to conceal a stumble down stairs had it not been for all the bear hair on him. He was left with an exceedingly black eye, some scratches on his arm that kind of look like the bear claw marks on aspen trees and assorted other bruises and scratches.

As for the bear, his days may be numbered. As per Colorado policy when a bear physically attacks a person, state wildlife officials set out with hounds to corner and kill the bear.

Barbecues must compost

FRISCO, Colo.—The Colorado Barbecue Challenge has been held in Frisco since 1993, but this year it will have something new. The town will require all vendors to do without plastic utensils, plastic bowls and plates, Styrofoam and plastic beer cups.

Those items and others can't be recycled in Summit County. Instead, vendors must offer knives, forks, plates and cups that can either be recycled or composted.

The Summit Daily News explained that the current requirements have been five years in the making. The municipal government in 2005 began tackling waste at smaller events sponsored by the town. Then, the town began offering reduced registration fees for events that voluntarily adopted waste-reduction strategies. This year, going green has become mandatory.

Economy shows signs of growth

JACKSON, Wyo.—Taking stock of local economic indicators, analyst Jonathan Schechter concluded that the economy in Jackson Hole during the last three months has more or less found its bottom, providing a platform for future growth.

The one glaring exception to that generality is construction. As well, sales tax revenues have declined to levels from about 2005 and continue to decline.

But real estate sales have been starting to move, both in Jackson Hole and the adjacent Teton Valley of Idaho. Classified ads suggest a slight hiring trend. Rental housing is being absorbed.

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Montanans remember 1910 fires

WHITEFISH, Mont.—In August, communities in Montana, Idaho and Washington will remember the great fires from a century ago, what is called the Big Blowup. It leveled forests, towns and homes, killing 85 people.

Writing in the Whitefish Pilot, the local fire-safe council noted that the destruction was not caused by a single-source blaze. Instead, thousands of melded fires resulted from dense forests and underbrush, dry conditions, violent weather and human carelessness.

The council was hosting a wildfire preparedness mixer called "Don't Burn the Fish." The wet spring produced an abundant crop of fine fuels that, when cured by heat, could become dangerous sources for wildlife ignition this summer.

For first time in decade, reservoir to spill water

GRANBY, Colo.—The drought of the early 21st century in Colorado seems to have ended. The year started off dry, but it was a wet, cool spring and the reservoirs have filled. At Granby Reservoir, located along the spine of the Continental Divide between Winter Park and Rocky Mountain National Park, water officials expected to spill water over the dam's spillway and into the incipient Colorado River. The last time the reservoir was full enough to require spilling extra water was in 2000, officials told the Sky Hi Daily News.

Museum looks at mid-1970s

ASPEN, Colo.—You just know that this exhibit has some jungle-like shag carpet as well as macramé plant holders—and a bong. The Wheeler/Stallard House Museum in Aspen now has an exhibit devoted to Aspen in the mid-1970s.

"Think crimes of fashion, public nudity and a freewheeling party town where anything went and everyone played on a softball team," The Aspen Times stated.

One part of the exhibit documents what the Times described as the "not-exactly-accredited Aspen State Teachers College," which offered classes in Advanced Hustling 401, Sub-Letting 104 and Drinking 205.

"It was irreverent," said curator Lisa Hancock. "That was a big part of what we wanted to talk about. There was such a sense of fun."

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