Dozer Days back on the table in Granby
GRANBY – The 70-ton armed and armored Komatsu bulldozer that Marvin Heemeyer used to crush through 13 buildings in Granby last year is now unusable, having been recently taken apart.But an idea that sprang up almost immediately after the dozer ended its rampage mired in the basement of a Gamble’s store remains alive. That idea, called Dozer Days, is now getting a fresh hearing in the pages of the Sky-Hi News. The rough idea is to build a weekend festival around the event.Patrick Brower, publisher of the Sky-Hi News, has consistently discouraged the idea. He had the unfortunate experience of working in his office when the bulldozer began churning into the front of the building. Running out the backdoor, the frightened Brower then ran to the home of his wife and child, to check on their safety.But now, Brower has relented. “It’s an idea that just won’t go away,” he writes. “The time has come to give the idea a full airing.”Among those supporting a Granby Dozer Days Festival is Hanes Dawson Jr., a former publisher of the newspaper. He points out that Nederland, a small community between Granby and Boulder, has been making hay with a festival called Frozen Dead Guy Days. The festival was sparked by an experiment in cryogenics, in which a Norwegian immigrant is freezing the body of his dead grandfather in hopes that he can later be brought back to life.The three-day celebration in Nederland has parades of hearses and coffin races and other such frivolity centered on the theme of death. “With some clever thinking and planning, Dozer Days could do the same for Granby,” writes Dawson.The background for all this is a cartoon titled “Reinventing Granby” that appeared in Westword, a weekly newspaper in Denver. The cartoon by Kenny Bee, done the week after the rampage, noted that Heemeyer’s rampage “may just be the best thing that ever happened to Granby. In 90 minutes, he turned Colorado’s least interesting mountain town into what could be its #1 attraction.”Among Be’s ideas: a Rampage Museum, a Dozer Diner, Bumper Bulldozers and a Disgruntled Loner Hall of Fame.Biodiesel joins the parade in Park CityPARK CITY – The trend toward biodiesel has hit Park City. Beginning with the Fourth of July parade, the town’s Main Street trolley began using the B20 blend of diesel that uses 20 percent vegetation-based fuel.The trolley is being used as a trial run for what Park City Mayor Dana Williams hopes will be a broader conversion to biodiesel fuel. While some problems with biodiesel have been noted in winter at various resorts, Andre Shumatoff of the Utah Biodiesel Cooperative says technological advances have improved the reliability of the biodiesel blends to prevent gelling at cold temperatures.Housing prices soaring in not just the ski townsFARMINGTON, N.M. – “Prices: Up, up and away,” said the headline. “Locals are being priced out of the housing market,” read the subhead. Sounds like most every ski town you know, right?Wrong. The headline ran in the Daily Times in Farmington, N.M., which is more than an hour from any ski area or national park or monument. Instead of tourism or even second-home development, the town is fueled by energy exploration. The newspaper traced the troubles to low interest rates that make everybody want to buy a house or two or three plus purchasers who have migrated southward from the even pricier digs in Durango.Jackson Hole eateries now 92 percent smokelessJACKSON HOLE, Wyo. – Some 92 percent of the restaurants in Jackson Hole now ban smoking. The bans have been pushed along by a group called the Teton County Tobacco Prevention, which now hopes to persuade bar owners to similarly send the butts outside. Even segregated areas do not truly segregate the smoke, notes Dr. Frank Rivers, a specialist in asthma and allergies.Building booming in Silverton, relatively soSILVERTON – Everything is relative, including building booms. In the Eagle Valley, Jackson Hole or Canmore, construction of 11 homes would hardly be noticed. In Silverton, just now coming off its post-mining era slump, the 11 homes planned for construction this summer constitute a near boom. More building yet might have occurred if not for discovery of arsenic and lead in the soil of an old smelter site targeted for an affordable housing project. Tram to be removed at Jackson Hole ski areaJACKSON HOLE, Wyo. – Imagine Yellowstone without Old Faithful or San Francisco without the Golden Gate Bridge. Next image Jackson Hole without the tram that rises 4,139 feet from the valley floor into the Teton Range.The image isn’t coming easily in Jackson Hole. The tram, say die-had skiers, has been the source of their “happiness and sanity” for several decades, providing easy access to Corbett’s Couloir and other big-mountain runs that are household names among skiers in North America.But ski area officials say the tram must come down, and a new one cannot be erected unless others defray the $20 million replacement cost. “Spending $20 million on a tram that is not the most efficient carrier of skiers – its’ a no-brainer that we cannot do this alone” said Bob Graham, a stockholder in the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.The tram was built in the mid-1960s at a cost of $2.5 million.
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