Week in Summit: Breck bogarts the bud biz, school district OKs calendar
A roundup of the week that was in Summit County.
Breckenridge residents who voted in Tuesday’s special election sent a clear message to the town council: We don’t want retail marijuana on Main Street.
The message-sending was necessary because the council just couldn’t decide what to do on the issue. The solution? Hold a nonbinding, advisory election on whether to change or uphold an ordinance banning retail dispensaries downtown. When the votes were counted, 925 residents said no to Main Street pot shops, 400 said yes.
Shortly after the results were presented at its regular Tuesday meeting, the council, filled with a newfound sense of purpose, sided with voters and decided 6-1 to uphold the ban. Councilwoman Elisabeth Lawrence cast the lone dissenting voice.
The special election didn’t require immediate action from the council, but officials didn’t want to keep voters waiting.
A CNN film crew was on hand to capture reactions from the council and the owners of the Breckenridge Cannabis Club, the town’s lone Main Street shop, which, come Feb. 2, will likely be forced to find a new storefront.
The icing on the pot-infused cake was applied by Jerry Dziedzic, a founding member of Breckenridge for Thoughtful Marijuana, a group that opposed pot on Main and solicited more pre-election money than anyone in order “to inform an electorate and help them decide on an issue.” Without irony, he stated, “It’s not about the win. It’s celebrating democracy in America.”
Democracy these days means, of course, infusing the process with plenty of green stuff, and not the kind you can smoke.
Frisco gets a Rootsy groove
Denver-based dispensary Native Roots opened its fifth location, this one at the site of the former A&W restaurant on Summit Boulevard in Frisco.
Owner Rhett Jordan wants his new alpine dispensary to become a sort of “Native Roots supercenter,” he said, for the Interstate 70 corridor. His hope is to build on the success of his wildly popular EagleVail location, which opened for business in early August.
‘Make My Day’ beating case
Two weeks after the defense attorneys for Charles Lee Sattler, the suspect in the April beating death of local chef Blake Bostic, requested the murder case be dismissed under a Colorado law known as “Make My Day,” a judge denied their motion.
Sattler, 42, appeared Monday, Dec. 8, before Summit County District Judge Karen Romeo.
Romeo denied the motion because she found no evidence that Bostic unlawfully entered Sattler’s room at the Snowshoe Motel in Frisco, where witnesses say a fight began that led to Bostic’s death.
The Colorado Cross Country Ski Association, which has Summit County members, recently received a $14,750 grant from the Colorado Tourism Office. The grant allowed the nonprofit association to nearly triple its total marketing budget to almost $27,000, said Cassidi Brickner, who does the group’s marketing.
Therese Dayton, co-owner of the Breckenridge and Frisco Nordic centers, said she was excited that the grant will allow the association to try new promotions and marketing strategies to attract customers from Summit and around the world.
It’s a date
Summit School District Board of Education unanimously approved the 2015-16 school calendar at its regular Tuesday meeting.
The upshot of the sometimes contentious process is that students will start school one week later in August next year.
The later start dates mean school won’t be canceled for the district’s roughly 3,300 students because of the USA Pro Challenge, the annual cycling race that recently announced it will include three Summit County stops, Aug. 19 through Aug. 21.
The last day of school in 2016 will be Friday, June 3; this year’s last day for students was Tuesday, June 2.
A majority of parents and district staff members who completed a survey about the calendar supported those changes.
Look who’s talking
Summit Middle School jumped into the world of competitive speech and debate by hosting its first-ever tournament yesterday.
Speech and debate team members practiced their performances and opening statements for weeks ahead of the event. A handful of teams competed in several categories, including public forum debate, humorous and dramatic monologue, and dialogue, poetry, prose and impromptu speaking.
In his second year as coach, Ben Brown, a sixth-grade English and language arts teacher, said the team has grown from last year’s roughly 30 participants to about 50 students now meeting twice a week after school to prepare for tournaments.
“It’s inspiring to me as a teacher to know how active students are in their learning and to see it outside the classroom,” he said.
The students’ energy level at tournaments is equal to that of athletes before a sporting event, he said. “They are amped.”
Tuesday was Colorado Gives Day, an opportunity for Coloradans to donate to a variety of causes represented by nonprofit organizations all over the state. Coloradans, of course, can give to nonprofits directly, or donate through the ColoradoGives.org website, on any day of the year. What makes Gives Day special is that for 24 hours, all credit card and processing fees are waived, meaning 100 percent of all donations that day go directly to the target organizations.
About 20 Summit County nonprofits participated in Colorado Gives Day this year.
A badder bug
Public health officials warned that a more severe flu season is likely this winter due to genetic changes in the strain of this year’s influenza and the resulting drop in protection from this season’s vaccine.
The H3N2 strain of influenza hasn’t changed enough genetically to be given a new name or cause a pandemic (like the H1N1 strain did in 2009), officials say, but it has changed enough that the antibodies produced by those who are vaccinated might not be able to fight off the new strain.
Despite that, Sara Lopez, a nurse with the Summit County Public Health Department, said everyone should get vaccinated.
“It still is effective on some level,” she said. “Anytime that you get the flu vaccine you will still get crossover protection.”
Even if the vaccine doesn’t prevent a person from contracting influenza, it will still make his or her symptoms less severe, she said. Plus, the more people immunized in a population means the less the virus can move through that population.
Dew Tour hits Breckenridge
Despite an off-season knee surgery, Sochi gold medalist Maddie Bowman showed she’s still the one to beat in the halfpipe, locking up her second consecutive women’s Dew Tour halfpipe title at Breckenridge Ski Resort on Friday. U.S. gold medalist Jamie Anderson took home the win in women’s snowboard slopestyle.
The men’s freeski slopestyle final starts today at 11 a.m., followed by the snowboard slopestyle final at 2.
Also, go online to read about how the Dew Tour judges make sense of the tricks they see as skiers and riders pull off ever-more complicated routines.
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