1977: City to flood golf course squirrels | AspenTimes.com

1977: City to flood golf course squirrels

In celebrating the 125th anniversary of The Aspen Times, we are printing a story or two from each year the newspaper has existed – 125 historical selections in 125 days. This series is in conjunction with the Aspen Historical Society. City to flood golf course squirrelsAfter a public hearing that was perhaps surprisingly polite, the Aspen City Council Monday approved a plan to try and eliminate ground squirrels at the city golf course by flooding the animals burrow.When the subject of rodenticide, or exterminating the Richardson’s Ground Squirrels, was raised at a council meeting two weeks ago, a group of angry citizens, displayed vehement opposition to the idea.They were told to save their comments for this week’s public hearing which they expressed a firm intention to do.The aspect of the rodent control program that aroused the citizen concern was sanitarian Tom Dunlop’s proposal to carry out exterminations using strychnine.He argues that the rodent population at the golf course has grown to an unnaturally large size because human activity has driven natural predators from the area.In the absence of predators, he says, a disease mechanism will inevitably sweep through the ground squirrel populations to control the numbers, and if the disease is plague or tularemia, Dunlop argues that there could be a significant health threat to humans.City Manager Mick Mahoney opened last night’s hearing with an alternative proposal: flooding the burrows to see if the animals could be destroyed without the use of a poison. (July 28)

The sound of gunfire interrupted Friday’s concert at the Aspen music tent. Bullets pierced the tent fabric and concert-goers dove for cover.When the confusion subsided, the body of a 49-year-old Chicago woman lay lifeless on the ground.The victim was Joan Matlaw, a Chicago attorney who had owned a home in Aspen since 1965 and was a patron of the music festival.Taken into custody were two brothers, ages 14 and 15, who had been shooting at tin cans with a .22 caliber rifle in the old horse ring adjacent to the Aspen Meadows tennis courts.Two volleys of gunfire were distinctly audible to those in attendance at the concert; the first one occured near the end of intermission, shortly after 7 pm, while the second came minutes later after the orchestra had begun playing Hummel’s Trumpet Concerto in E Major.The orchestra continued playing during the surreal sequence of events.Matlaw was hit in the right rear shoulder during the first volley of gunfire.An eyewitness said the victim had been walking along the path on the west side of the tent, toward the front.The witness said she turned away and did not see the bullets strike Matlaw, but heard her scream that she had been hit by a rock.Detective Dave Garms said later that the autopsy revealed the Matlaw died almost instantly of internal bleeding and shock. He said the bullet pierced a major artery, and perforated and lodged in a lung.The popping gun shots and Matlaw’s screams were clearly audible inside the music tent, although the audience tried to reject what it was hearing.After a few minutes of music, a second volley of gunfire was audible, and this time, people from outside dove into the tent for cover. Others inside slunk low in their seats, behind the wooden benches.Music school assistant Dean William Vickery said he and another faculty member braved the shooting and ran toward the horse ring, and that when they arrived, they found the boys picking up the tin cans for another round.He said they were oblivious to what had happened.Police said the shooting occurred from a distance of aobut 266 yards. They said the boys had no conception of the power of the rifle they were using.Police have asked that a charge of criminally negligent homicide, a first-degree misdemeanor, be filed. (Aug. 4)

Have you ever had Big Mac attack lately, but didn’t have time to go to Grand Junction or Denver to buy one?Now Bonanza Airlines offers MacDonald’s groupies the opportunity to order Big Macs and have them flown in from Grand Junction for lunch.Suzanne MacGill, Vice President of Marketing, explained that the airline is using this promotion gimmick to get customers used to Bonanza’s air freight service.”We are not trying to compete with local restaurants, ” she said, “at $1 a Big Mac we are not making any money, all we are doing is trying to cover our expenses.”MacGill said that a minimum order of 12 Big Macs must be placed with them. She explained that the airlines must have the orders placed by 4 pm the previous day, and prepaid.An employee for the airlines in Grand Junction will go to MacDonald’s just before the flight time to fill out the orders, and then rush them back to the airport, place the orders on the plane, and fly back to Aspen. (Sept. 8)

District Judge George Lohr found the evidence presented at a preliminary hearing here Friday sufficient to hold Theodore R Bundy, 30, on charges of escape, breaking and entry, misdemeanor and felony theft.Defense motions will be heard Sept. 8 and 9.Bundy jumped out a courtroom window June 7 during a recess in a preliminary hearing on a charge of first degree murder. He is accused in the slaying of Caryn Campbell, a vacationing Michigan nurse, at Snowmass resort near here two years ago.Bundy was recaptured six days later.Asst Dist Atty Barry Bryant called seven witnesses to testify on the charges. (Aug. 4)

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