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Ice climbers try risky heavenly climb

ALLEN BEST

SILVERTON – An ice-climbing route near Silverton is called Stairway to Heaven. It almost became something else recently when, during a heavy snow storm, an avalanche knocked a climber 200 feet down the gully.As a companion went for help, the climber lay huddled in a sleeping bag when a second, and then a third, avalanche roared down. He was evacuated to safety, reports the Silverton Standard, but even as rescuers wrapped up their work, another batch of climbers made their way to confront the challenge, and risk, of the ice and unstable snow.War resisters flocked to Canadian mountain townNELSON, B.C. – After the presidential election, thousands of Americans – including many from mountain towns – began muttering about moving to Canada, much like draft resisters had in the 1960s.

It turns out that Nelson, B.C, a mountain town halfway between Calgary and Vancouver, has the highest number of draft resisters.Now, those resisters have become a new center of controversy. Isaac Romano, a peace activist who moved to Nelson several years ago, befriended several of the resisters and decided they deserved recognition. “Among the right wing in the U.S., they are often stereotyped as cowards,” he told The New York Times. “It broke my heart to have to see this kind of ridicule to a population that has contributed so much” to Canada’s tolerance and creativity.Romano then announced his idea of building a large bronze monument in the form of a man and a woman greeted by a Canadian with outstretched arms. He expected only a local ripple, but instead, the news spread into the United States. The Veterans of Foreign Wars was outraged. A radio station in Spokane, Wash., located three hours away, called for a boycott. Some skiers cancelled trips.The Times reports that Nelson’s city government, fearing reduced tourism, has withdrawn support for funding such a monument. Meanwhile, Romano is planning a war resisters’ festival in the summer of 2006, to be called “Our Way Home Reunion.”

The resisters tell of a mixed bag in Nelson, a town of 9,000. The largest employer, a paper manufacturer, closed in the 1980s, and jobs are difficult. On the other hand, the community has more yoga instructors, organic bakers, and acupuncturists than some large cities. Whitewater is the closest ski area, but there are a number of heli sking and cat skiing operations in the vicinity.Co-housing makes the ‘hood more neighborlySTEAMBOAT SPRINGS – Co-housing, a popular housing trend in Europe that is slowly gaining a foothold in the United States, is now being tried for a second time in Steamboat Springs with a project of 12 single-family homes and 6 townhomes.In co-housing, explains The Steamboat Pilot, the spaces between homes in the project is an open area lined with walkways leading to one another’s homes. Garages and parking areas are on the perimeter, to encourage casual interaction among neighbors. Some amenities, such as workshops, are typically shared. Residents can collaboratively plan, design, and maintain the developments.

“We’re not just developing real estate. We’re creating communities and neighborhoods and places for people to live,” said Rob Dick, the project manager for the new Steamboat project, called River Place. Home prices range from $250,000 to $300,000. Sizes range from 1,200 to 1,725 square feet.Dick was behind another co-housing project, Butcherknife, along with Ellen Høj, the former director of the Routt County Planning Department.Mammoth group wants to block fluoridationMAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. – A citizens group called Citizens for Safe Drinking Water have begun a signature-gathering process that they hope will put the issue of fluoridation onto a public ballot. They want to end the practice of putting fluoride into the public drinking water. The manager of the local water district, Gary Sisso, told the Mammoth Times that he intends to continue plans to put fluoride into the drinking water.The same issue has been argued previously in Telluride, where opponents said that fluoride poses risks to human health, despite the benefit to the teeth of children.


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