Mountain Town News | AspenTimes.com

Mountain Town News

Compiled by Allen Best
Aspen Times Weekly

The first solar collector on a commercial building in Frisco is now operational. The array cost $80,000 to install, but with tax credits and grants it cost the property owner only $35,000. The owner, Rob Phillippe, estimates the array will pay for itself in eight to nine years. However, he told the Summit Daily News he was greatly annoyed by a county review process that he said was too troublesome. “They’ve got to make a smoother process.” The exact source of his aggravation was not explained.

Two men will be given warnings, but no citations, for snowmobiling last winter in the Eagles Nest Wilderness Area. The Summit Daily News reports that one reason for the restraint by federal law officials is that the two had been following a third man, who ended up dying of hypothermia in an area called Elliot Ridge, located above Green Mountain Reservoir. Wilderness protectors say that snowmobilers often ride onto Elliot Ridge, despite the ban.

A five-year-old female wolf, the alpha of the pack that loped in the Banff and Canmore area, was killed in traffic on the Trans-Canada Highway. Although the highway has wildlife overpasses, with fencing along the highway to prevent wildlife from crossing, the fence had a hole in it.

Parks Canada says 38 wolves have been killed on the roads and railways in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks since 1998, and another 12 have been killed just outside the boundaries of Banff.

The killing of this wolf was more personal than most, because it had been friendly to people, or at least curious. For that reason, the wolf was well-photographed and also well-known. Its photograph was pasted on the side of a public bus in Banff.

The wolf, named Delinda, was described by one longtime wolf-watcher as “very extraordinary, very focused and very gentle and supportive,” reports the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

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In the 1990s Vail lost the headquarters for the ski company, which is now based in suburban Boulder. It also lost all of its newspapers bearing the name Vail, which are now based farther down the Eagle Valley.

Now, it may lose its hospital, or at least many functions of that hospital, which is called the Vail Valley Medical Center. Hospital officials are studying several scenarios, including the potential for building a major medical campus downvalley at Avon or Wolcott.

The Vail Daily says the current hospital has 58 beds and 175,000 square feet. A new hospital could have 125 beds. Some services, such as physical therapy, might stay in Vail, but others, such as obstetrics, would move downvalley, where the broader population of the Eagle Valley is located.

Squaw Valley hosted the Winter Olympics in 1960, and some people in the Truckee-Lake Tahoe-Reno area would like another shot at it ” perhaps in 2018. It depends upon what happens in the summer of 2016.

Chicago and Rio de Janeiro look like the frontrunners for the 2016 Summer Olympics. But if Chicago should win, then Lake Tahoe figures it has no hope for the 2018 bid.

Jon Killoran, the chief executive for Reno/Tahoe 2018, told the Sierra Sun that one consideration is getting enough people to the venues. The closest major metropolitan area is the San Francisco Bay Area. That area is linked by I-80, but Olympic organizers would also plan to utilize the rail connection.

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