Noise squabble nears feud in Crested Butte |

Noise squabble nears feud in Crested Butte

CRESTED BUTTE ” Call it a squabble verging on a feud. Neighbors of The Pub, a bar in Crested Butte, say there’s just too much racket. “I’m a partier, but I can’t sleep through this,” said Priscila Banks, who lives nearby. “And I can sleep through anything,” she added.

Owners of The Pub insist they have mostly complied with the rules, which mandate noise be kept to 60 decibels or less. That, they say, is in line with the noise threshold specified in other resort towns. A creek that tumbles through the town, immediately behind the bar, is louder, says bar co-owner Chris Werderitch.

Peter Giannini, described by the Crested Butte News as a community gadfly, said viability of the core business district is at issue. Anybody living there “should expect to be subjected to more noise. There are tradeoffs living in that area, and increased noise is one of them. To make it harder for tourists to have fun is a mistake, especially in this economy.”

Of course, there was a counter-argument to that: “Noise isn’t the only way to have fun,” said another neighbor, Cricket Farrington. “In fact, I’ll bet if you lowered the decibels, people inside wouldn’t even notice it.”

The town council, reports the Crested Butte News, doesn’t want to change any laws, but is leaning on the operators of The Pub to work out a solution with neighbors.

MT. CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. – Operators of the Crested Butte ski area are looking to create an adventure park at the base of the ski slopes.

Being talked about in the potential $1 million project are a 28-foot freestanding climbing wall with 360 degrees of climbing features and six belay stations. Also under consideration is what is described as a euro-bungee trampoline, where both kids and adults can jump on a trampoline while affixed to a large bungee cable.

Also in the works; an improved tubing hill, and ice skating rink of either natural or synthetic surface.

PAONIA ” Methane is a dastardly gas to coal miners. It can suffocate or, if combusted, is quite explosive, and has killed perhaps thousands of miners in Colorado alone.

At the West Elk, a mine near Paonia, located west of Aspen and Crested Butte, methane wasn’t a problem until about five years ago, when the coal near the surface was exhausted and stopes were dug farther underground. The new excavations unleashed the methane, requiring that ventilation shafts be drilled, to allow the gas to escape.

But that makes it a global problem. Methane is a greenhouse gas, far shorter lived in the atmosphere than the more common carbon dioxide, but with 23 times the heat-trapping properties. For that reason, many environmentalists believe that capturing methane from the West Elk and other coal mines is among the most important short-term actions in forestalling global warming.

The West Elk Mine alone emits an estimated 7 million cubic-feet of methane a year, and two other nearby mines emit just as much. This represents 1.3 percent of the greenhouse gas footprint of Colorado.

“It’s a major issue,” says Steve Wolcott, the chairman of Western Slope Environmental Resource Council’s Coal Committee. “It’s also a major opportunity, a pretty easy way to make a big impact on the state’s carbon footprint in one spot ” and potentially make money doing it.”

The way money could be made is by tapping the methane, which is a primary constituent of natural gas. The methane from the West Elk alone is enough to heat 39,000 houses.

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