Fraser no longer a doggone heaven?
FRASER – It may be the 21st century, but Fraser still feels like a town of the 1960s or 1970s. Some streets in this town located five miles from the Winter Park ski area remain unpaved, and dogs still have a reputation for roaming free.But that reputation is now being examined in the wake of the shooting of a 50-pound boxer named Angel. Two Jehovah’s Witnesses had been walking door-to-door when the dog, baring its teeth, charged them.Responding to their call for help, the police chief found something similar: a growling and barking dog, its ears laid back, running hard at him. He shot it with his handgun just before it reached him, saying he was “scared.”The Winter Park Manifest reported some outrage. Neighbors described the 12-year-old dog, which was pregnant, as “a real sweetheart.” Said one long-time local, “This is Fraser. This is where dogs run all the time.”But a different perspective was offered at a community meeting. One resident reported having been bitten three times by dogs. Another resident complained about the amount of dog-doo in local playgrounds. And at least one parent, who has two small children, said the lovable Angel described by its owners as “our little baby girl” had, in fact, chased him.While the town board announced a “paradigm shift,” it took no formal action. The news was reported under the headline: “No longer a dog heaven?”Whistler looks at plans for Paralympics arenaWHISTLER, B.C. – Guided by Eldon Beck, the well-known landscape designer who has been called on in many ski towns of the West for advice, Whistler is forging ahead with a major new complex in anticipation of the 2010 Winter Olympics.The town has been in an economic funk, so spare change has been hard to come by. This will cost up to $40 million (Cdn.), half of that paid for by the provincial government. The concept at hand is for an enclosed arena to be used for the Paralympics ice games, with seating for 2,750, but able to host up to 5,000 for such things as music events.The arena is to be surrounded by five buildings, with those additional buildings having altogether 73,000 square feet.Whistler’s Pique reports that Beck met with the council there, and said he believes “the life” of the space is more important than the architecture. The municipality is now at work trying to put together a business plan for the project. Goals are to make it “affordable, economical, and sustainable.” Those words, said Beck, are vital.Tensions rise in wake of May 1 assembliesGYPSUM – Tensions have been rising at Eagle Valley High School, and the Vail Daily reports they erupted into a sort of taunting that provoked three suspensions on Cinco de Mayo. Some Caucasian students were apparently upset by the national and local assemblies on the previous Monday of those wanting increased rights for illegal immigrants. They were also cranky about seeing the American flag at half-mast (in commemoration of National Law Enforcement Day, as it turns out) and possibly because of seeing Mexican flags last year. One Latino student told the newspaper, “There’s more of an edge.” She and another said they’ve heard remarks in the halls they have not heard before.Aspen’s retail boat continues to rise ASPEN – Retail sales in Aspen continued to rise during March, the 19th straight month for such increases. At the current rate, Aspen is projected to finish the year with $488 million in sales. But adjusted for inflation, the increases through March are less impressive, just 2 percent ahead of last year, reports The Aspen Times.Biodiesel getting look in another mtn. valleyEAGLE VALLEY – Rising prices of fossil fuels and mounting concerns about air pollution are driving more government agencies to experiment with biological alternatives. Among the latest is Eagle County.The Vail Daily reports that sheriff’s deputies already have eight Chevrolet Tahoe SUVs that run on primarily ethanol, although there is some debate whether ethanol is a net gain for the environment.Meanwhile, the county’s landfill operations will give biodiesel a trial run. In most colder locations, a 20 percent mixture of vegetable oil to fossil-fuel diesel is used. In Breckenridge, fleets use a 10 percent mixture. Telluride uses it at 100 percent, but keeps the vehicles in heated barns. Promoting the cause of home-grown pantryBASALT – During the last several years, many in the environmental movement have been arguing the case for grow-your-own food and, somewhat similarly, the need for cities and towns to establish preserves nearby that will remain in agriculture production.A variation on this theme is a workshop held in the Roaring Fork Valley recently for those wanting to know about how to build or maintain a greenhouse. Leading the workshop, reports The Aspen Times, was Jerome Osentowski, who has established what the newspaper describes as an “Eden of fruit trees, herbs, vegetables and exotic plants” adjacent to his home on Basalt Mountain.But Osentowski says homeowners need not become as elaborate in their green-thumb ambitions as he is. Just a simple affair will do. “What we need to be doing is attaching greenhouses on the south sides of houses as a matter of course,” he said. He built his greenhouse for a 22- by 60-foot greenhouse for $7,000, although he was able to create another, smaller greenhouse with materials retrieved from the local landfill.Aspen summer flights max of last 10 yearsASPEN – Aspen expects this summer’s flight schedule to be the fullest since 1997. Delta Air Lines had previously announced new flights between Aspen and Salt Lake City that employ regional jets. Because of demand, the flight schedule has been increased to two a day for much of the summer. Altogether, Aspen expects to have 6,653 seats available per week through July and August, a 19 percent increase from last year, reports The Aspen Times.Telluride developer and philanthropist passes onTELLURIDE – Bill Carstens, who led the way in subdividing the many mesas above Telluride and the San Miguel River Canyon into 35-acre ranchettes, has died. A lawyer by training, he got into real estate law and then real estate itself while in San Diego. A pilot, he happened upon Telluride in the mid-1980s and was immediately enthused. Returning home from that first flight, he told his family: “I bought a ranch in Telluride.” He later told friends: “I just couldn’t get over the feeling that Julie Andrews was just about to come over the ridge with all the von Trapps in full song.”In fact, he named his first project the Sound of Music Ranch, and it sold quickly. Then, he became a philanthropist, giving his wealth to programs designed to help children in the Telluride community and, in recent years, to the Murphy School District in Phoenix. While the largest landholder in San Miguel County, he encouraged others to embrace what he called the 3 Percent Solution. He called upon first-time buyers of mesa property to earmark 1 percent of the purchase price to their favorite regional charity. He then contributed another 2 percent for organizations of his choice. That plan yielded $1 million to local and regional groups.He died at the age of 76. He had been diagnosed with leukemia about 8 months ago,Bark beetle money gets OK in the U.S. SenateWASHINGTON D.C. – A bill in the U.S. Senate has been amended to provide $30 million for management of bark beetle and to reduce wildfire risk in the West. The amendment, sponsored by Sen. Ken Salazar of Colorado, said the Durango area is facing the same emergency this year as it did in 2002, when streamflows were at their lowest in some places in 500 years. An even larger appropriation is proposed in a bill introduced by another Colorado senator, Wayne Allard.Biomass boiler plan gets spark at TahoeSOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Plans to heat South Lake Tahoe High School by burning waste products from forests around Lake Tahoe are moving forward. Organizers have received a crucial $243,500 grant from the U.S. Forest Service that is projected to pay for half the cost of the biomass boiler. Planners say the boiler could be in place for the 2007-08 school year.Still, the biomass boiler is not a done-deal. “We’ve got the fuel. We’ve got the technology. It’s what’s in between, that’s the problem,” said Rex Norman of the U.S. Forest Service. He told the Tahoe Daily News that a supplier must be found to deliver the forest waste in bulk. “It’s the access to the material and a reliable supply chain,” he said. A storage place of the wood chips is also needed.The school’s current boiler uses natural gas to produce steam. However, after nearly 40 years, it is becoming obsolete. Planners estimate the biomass system would pay for itself in fuel-cost savings in eight years.In addition to a middleman, the biomass plan also needs permits from various government agencies.Altogether, the Forest Service has granted more than $4 million to business and other agencies for biomass projects. It is believed that the South Lake Tahoe facility could serve as a demonstration for other such projects, including several in California.
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