Around the Mountains: Police wary of gangs in Park City |

Around the Mountains: Police wary of gangs in Park City

ALLEN BESTspecial to the daily

PARK CITY, Utah – If not a major problem, police in Park City and surrounding Summit County are keeping a close eye on 30 gang members living there as well as the 5,000 documented gang members in the nearby Salt Lake Valley, located about 30 miles away.”We do not have a major problem here yet,” said Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds. “We are trying to prevent any type of foothold they are attempting to establish here.”Gang members have been fingered in several robberies, but also cases of vandalism. About four-fifths of the gang members are Latinos, some of whom have been members of gangs or been influenced by gangs in California.”The entertainment venues attract gang members,” Andrew Burton, a gang expert, told The Park Record.He survived combat but not a job shoveling snowSTEAMBOAT SPRINGS – The supreme irony was immediately evident. Eric O’Hara had survived combat for 15 months in both Afghanistan and Iraq only to suffer a violent death a month later in what is an essentially service job in the bucolic setting near the Steamboat ski area. He fell to his death six floors from the roof of the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel while shoveling snow.He had released a safety clip to more easily move along a rope to which he was attached for protection. A piece of ice then broke, and he slid down the sloped roof and fell over the edge.The Steamboat Pilot & Today reports that hundreds of mourners attended a memorial service for O’Hara, including soldiers from Fort Bragg, N.C., home of the 82nd Airborne Division in which O’Hara had served.He led more than 80 combat missions, and was a gunner as well as a paratrooper. “The gunner is personally responsible for the safety of everyone in the vehicle and sits exposed on the top,” said Maj. Charles Claffey. “He would be right beside me through hell or high water. I am without a doubt here only because of his actions in Iraq.”Among the survivors is a step-sister, Heidi Montag, who grew up in Crested Butte but who is a central object of an MTV reality show and who was also recently on the cover of Maxim Magazine.Steamboat closing in On ’97 snowfall recordSTEAMBOAT SPRINGS – With a month left in ski season, Steamboat ski area had reported 436.5 inches of snowfall for the season. Only a foot more, reports the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s Tom Ross, and Steamboat will surpass its all-time record of almost 448 inches of snow at mid-mountain, which was recorded in April 1997.What has been remarkable about this winter, says Mike Lane, spokesman for the ski area operator, has been the consistency. There was measurable new snow on 26 days in January, and then 20 days in February. Included in those two months was a streak of 26 consecutive days of snowfall.That falls well short of the remarkable run of 40 consecutive days of measurable snow in late 1983, but this winter’s total snowfall has nonetheless been greater. Granby getting a little too upscale for someGRANBY – While not exactly upscale by the standards of most ski-based mountain towns, Granby has some aspirations. But none of this is at all comfortable to Mike Pierce, of nearby Grand Lake. Writing in the Sky-Hi Daily News, he harrumphs about the restrictiveness of covenants adopted by homeowners association. Parodying such restrictions, he envisions a message: “We are sorry but your car is over the maximum age of five years, and that god-awful yellow is not an approved color. Please leave.”Hard bodies expose, in the name of charityTELLURIDE – Fifteen years ago, a Telluride resident named Robert Presley, a costume designer, had difficulty paying for the medications to control the HIV he had contracted. In response, a fashion show was organized, with proceeds to go to the Western Colorado AIDS project, which provides services to HIV-positive people.The fashion show has continued, and from all published evidence, the in-the-flesh thing must be a wonderful thing to view: lots of hard bodies, plenty of them scantily clad, all displayed with a certain attitude.As one who has observed this in the flesh, The Telluride Watch publisher Seth Cagin finds the show marked by a certain defiance that would seem counterintuitive in much of the nation.”How pointedly ironic that an AIDS benefit has a strong current over overt sexuality! Some of the fittest and most physically attractive and uninhibited of our friends and neighbors jump in front of raucous crowd and show it all off,” he writes.”Here in Telluride, we don’t respond to a sexually transmitted plague by becoming chaste and fearful. Just the opposite: we respond with creativity, generosity and irrepressible sexuality and spirit.”Wood-pellet factory to soon open in KremmlingKREMMLING – The chips will soon start flying in Kremmling. Located equidistant between Winter Park, Steamboat Springs, Breckenridge and Vail, Kremmling is an old sawmill town that is soon to get a plant that converts the dying and dead lodgepole pine of surrounding forests into pellets that can be burned in home stoves. The plan, reports the Middle Park Times, is expected to operate continuously, with 18 to 20 people employed. By providing a market for the dead trees, the threat of catastrophic fire to homes is expected to diminish.

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