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Avon invites locals to name town’s snowplows

“Plowy McPlowface” is a totally acceptable suggestion for the Name an Avon Snowplow campaign, but town officials want to keep it local and hope the names will reflect the community's enjoyment and pride in winter (and all the snowy seasons) in its unique mountain town. (Special to the Daily)

The town of Avon recently launched its Name an Avon Snowplow campaign asking locals to enter fun and meaningful names to be officially bestowed on the exterior of three of the town’s snowplows.

According to the project, “Plowy McPlowface” is a totally acceptable suggestion, but special consideration will be given to name suggestions with local flair.

To submit, complete a brief registration for the Engage Avon website and submit your name suggestions by March 19. Participants can submit multiple suggestions and “like” the names submitted by other users.

Suggestions will be reviewed by staff and council, and Mayor Sarah Smith-Hymes will announce a list of the top name suggestions at the Avon Town Council meeting on Tuesday, March 23.

Final voting will take place between March 24-31, and three winning names will be announced on Friday, April 2. Snowplow art will be installed in the fall.

In Avon, snowplows (and drivers) work hard clearing snowy roads to safely allow travel around the mountain community year-round. The Name an Avon Snowplow campaign is a tribute to those efforts.

Town officials want to keep it local and hope the names will reflect the community’s enjoyment and pride in winter (and all the snowy seasons) in its unique mountain town.

For more information about the Name an Avon Snowplow contest, contact Communications & Marketing Manager Elizabeth Wood at ewood@avon.org or 970-748-4087.

Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon set to reopen May 1

Hanging Lake will once again be taking visitors starting May 1.

That’s according to David Boyd, public affairs officer for the White River National Forest.

Boyd said the U.S. Forest Service is working with Glenwood Springs officials to reopen the 1.2-mile trail to visitors who have obtained permits through Visit Glenwood Springs.

The pristine, turquoise waters and the trail leading to it has been closed to the public since the Grizzly Creek Fire torched the area surrounding the lake and it’s trails in 2020

Boyd said the structures along the trail and area right around the lake were untouched by the fire.

“The main thing we worry about after a fire is debris flow and sedimentation,” Boyd said.

“Hanging Lake is this beautiful, clear water and so there could be impacts resulting from a big push of sediment, but we just don’t know because we haven’t seen it yet.”

Boyd said work will be ongoing throughout the summer to stabilize trails that came close to areas that were burned by last summer’s fire.

From there, the lake water will be closely monitored to see if there’s any impacts due to runoff.

“The hydrology is complicated and not very well understood,” Boyd said of Hanging Lake.

The Glenwood Springs City Council is expected to amend their Hanging Lake Shuttle Service contract with H20 Ventures to align with plans where no shuttle transportation would be provided.

Instead, people who have obtained a permit will be allowed to drive their own vehicle to the Hanging Lake parking lot.

“The Forest Service believes that it will be easier for people to evacuate in case of a sudden thunderstorm that could cause a life threatening debris or mudflow,” meeting documents state.

“The limits on people allowed will still be enforced by H2O Ventures and funding will still be collected for the Forest Service to help protect Hanging Lake into the future.”

H20 Ventures will operate a check-in service at the gate house. Visitors without tickets will be turned away and instructed to purchase tickets online or by phone before returning. Traffic will be controlled by a supervisor stationed in the parking lot.

The amendment to the contract will remain in effect until Nov. 30 if passed during Thursday night’s meeting. The condition of Hanging Lake and status of the public health emergency will then be evaluated.

The U.S. Forest Service will determine whether to extend the amendment or allow the city to operate under the original terms of its contract with H20 Ventures.



Denver environmental attorney to lead Bureau of Land Management

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — The Bureau of Land Management announced that an attorney who previously worked on agency issues for environmental groups will serve as the new deputy director.

The U.S. Department of the Interior said Nada Culver, who was appointed to the Denver position, will effectively run the agency for the short term, replacing former agency director William Perry Pendley, The Daily Sentinel reported Tuesday.

The department also said Culver’s new position is the first in the succession order. Culver will perform delegated duties of the director until someone is hired. Pendley also ran the agency as the deputy director since the agency’s director position has been vacant.

The position is subject to a Senate confirmation process following nomination by the president.

President Joe Biden has not yet nominated anyone to serve as director.

The Interior Department made the announcement on Monday, saying the department’s political team “proudly reflects the diversity of America” with more than half the team identifying as people of color and 80% as women.

The bureau oversees nearly a quarter-billion public acres in the U.S. West and much of the nation’s development of onshore oil and gas.

Culver said she could not comment on her new job, instead referring questions to the department.

She most recently served as vice president of public lands and senior policy counsel at the National Audubon Society. Previously, she served as senior counsel and senior director for policy and planning at the Wilderness Society, where she created a group that worked with people on participating in land use planning processes and management decisions.

Culver started her career working on environmental issues. She was a partner with the law firm Patton Boggs, now Squire Patton Boggs.

Satellites, airplanes and lasers are tracking Colorado avalanches

A 3-D oblique view of terrain near Aspen, CO from April 7, 2019, showing snow depths mapped by the Airborne Snow Observatory. The Maroon Bells are visible at top right, Highland Bowl and Aspen Highlands Ski Area at center-right, and the enormous avalanche in the 5 Fingers avalanche path clearly visible at center. (Jeff Deems, Airborne Snow Observatories, Inc.)

Avalanche forecasting has come a long way since the 1950s, when forecasters relied solely on weather to predict when and where snow might slide. But it still requires scientists skiing and digging into the snowpack. That’s changing as satellites, aircraft-mounted sensors and ground-based remote monitoring fast-track the evolution of snow science, giving experts comprehensive insight into the uncanny nature of avalanches.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center has been testing satellite imagery to detect avalanches. The technology is building a more accurate library of avalanche activity over a winter season, and year over year. And not just for the most trafficked zones, said Mike “Coop” Cooperstein, the center’s lead forecaster for the northern mountains.

“We have really good information along the highways, in the really popular recreation spots — Berthoud Pass, Loveland Pass, Red Mountain Pass. But it’s pretty close to the road,” Cooperstein said. “So we wanted to look into those deeper areas, a few miles from the trailhead, and see what’s happening, because we are forecasting for those areas.”

With 11 avalanche fatalities in Colorado this winter, and 32 nationwide, avalanche forecasters like those at CAIC need all the resources they can get to create accurate forecasts for backcountry regions. But methods of gathering good information are decades old. Emerging technologies may help, but it could be years before they are operational or affordable enough for avalanche forecast centers to use on a daily basis.

Relying on observations shared by travelers on roads and skintracks yields only a partial picture of avalanche activity, and doesn’t necessarily reflect the hazard spread across entire ranges. As a result, during any given avalanche cycle, forecasters may miss part of the avalanche activity because it wasn’t witnessed, and wouldn’t be able to warn their audience of backcountry goers. The other issue is not being able to verify whether their forecast was correct after the fact, making it difficult to identify patterns of inaccuracy and improve forecasts over time.

Read more from Bay Stephens, The Colorado Sun

Taste of Vail to return in fall 2021

Taste of Vail is scheduled to return in fall 2021. Originally slated for April, the signature culinary offering hopes to provide the event experience in a modified format to keep guests and staff safe. Tickets will, however, go on sale in April.

Taste of Vail descends on Vail Village, traditionally in April, providing a culinary experience that's colored the town for 30 years.
Zach Mahone

“Our board moved the date to allow for more careful planning that will help ensure the safety and well being of attendees, volunteers, and everyone involved in this outstanding event,” organizers wrote in an email and posted on its website. “We’re looking forward to coming together once again to support our Vail restaurants and the wine industry once we can ensure a safer environment for all in attendance. We will offer much of the same programming people have come to love: Seminars with world-class talent, wine tastings, hosted by vineyards nationally and internationally, hiking, biking, fly fishing and more.”

Organizers are adjusting traditional offerings to follow safety protocols and public health guidelines outlined by the pandemic. More information will be available in the coming months on Taste of Vail’s website and social media pages.

For more information, visit tasteofvail.com.

Pickled. kitchen + pantry shares slow, local food with Eagle diners

Eagle got a little spicier this winter when Michael Joersz opened his newest food venture, Pickled. kitchen + pantry. The grab and go pantry is stocked with boutique food items from around the world such as Italian pastas and sauces, procured cheeses from around the world, darling canned fish varieties, rare deli meats such as Bresaola, Speck and Mortadella and more than 100 more items. An entire deli case is dedicated to vintage American sodas and rare international finds.

For the grab and go, look for a staple menu of two soups, oven-roasted tomato puree and a chef’s inspiration, a half-dozen salads, nearly a dozen hot and cold sandwiches including a peppered pastrami and pork belly Rueben, Philly cheesesteak, Monte “Mountain” Christo, tuna salad, curried chicken salad, Italian, and sides such as the quick pickle, fingerling potato salad and spicy bean slaw. The menu always has vegan, non-dairy and gluten-free items.

Michael Joersz has previously operated eateries including the Wolcott Yacht Club and The Sonnenalp Club's restaurant.
Julie Bielenberg

The global gourmet market and eclectic menu reflects Joersz’s storied history in the Vail Valley. His name is probably familiar to locals from his work at Golden Eagle for over a decade, the Sonnenalp Club in Edwards, Two Guys Catering and the Wolcott Yacht Club, just to name a few of his edible ventures.

Most recently, Joersz found himself parked in front of Boone’s Wine and Spirits on Market street in Eagle with his food truck serving cheesesteaks, Chicago-style hot dogs, and a growing local favorite, a crispy chicken slider with some fun, extravagant garnishes. However, after the lease on the food truck was up, the cheer and uniqueness of what it brought to the street disappeared.

But then, something changed. The angel on his shoulder tapped a little too hard.

“Beverly Barnes and her spouse, Don, owned the building for many years. There was a space next to her liquor store that had been vacant for the better part of the decade. She had been approached by various businesses, but she was really looking for something that complimented her store,” said Joersz.

The "pantry" portion of Pickled. offers cute takes on European classics like tinned fish.
Julie Bielenberg

They mutually agreed that a gourmet deli with upscale menu options and grocery items would be a great fit, especially given Eagle’s growing hunger for modernized food items: some new-ish favorites also include Color Coffee Roasters and more recent addition, the Roaming Gourmet food truck at Bonfire Brewing.

But like opening any new business, Pickled. faced challenges.

“I have aspirations, or maybe delusions, of what this place might bring to this town. We opened December 4, 2020, the height of another COVID wave. We couldn’t have the shared plates and salumi I had been envisioning. Al fresco dinning in winter sans liquor license and heaters wasn’t an option. I had to focus on what people would want to eat at home,” Joersz said.

Joersz started under the radar, with zero marketing or advertising, just word of mouth, an open sign and a grassroots social media campaign orchestrated by Miles, his son.

He stocked his freezers with frozen soups such as asparagus truffle, butternut squash coconut puree, black bean tequila, and more, progressively changing weekly. He prepared frozen family meals to go such as spicy Polidori sausage and spinach lasagna, a rotisserie chicken pot pie and beef bourguignon. And, soon, he will be able provide chef’s favorites such as foie gras, duck confit, and demi glace and house-made chicken stock.

Pickled. kitchen + pantry hopes to incorporate produce from Knapp Ranch into its menu and add a pickling program this summer.
Julie Bielenberg

“Looking forward to summer, I hope to add an array of sauces and compound butters for grilling season. I like cooking up small batch recipes like hummus, pesto, tabbouleh, etc. that we are playing with right now.”

The daily sandwich board included both the classics listed above and some vintage sandwiches that were new to many diners including the Louisville Hot Brown, The 312, a classic Chicago Italian hot beef with a twist, and Joersz’s version of a Monte Christo, which few people in the valley are serving.

Joersz has also brought a snippet of his favorites from along the road. There’s the mahi tacos with siracha aioli from the Yacht Club, his arugula and avocado from Balata, the Sonnenalp Club’s former restaurant, and the curried chicken salad from the Golden Eagle.

Chef Michael Joersz has also recycled favorite recipes from his past ventures on Pickled's menu, including mahi tacos from Wolcott Yacht Club.
Julie Bielenberg

And, it’s not just the food that came along on the journey.

“From the beginning this has been a team effort. A much wiser man than myself once told me, ‘You find the right people and build everything around them.’ I’ve been blessed to have some pretty special relationships with some extremely talented front- and back-of-the-house players over the years. Miraculously, my general manager, Dave Strazan, became available and it was an instant no-brainer. He and I both have a common vision for this concept,” Joersz said.

On top of local staffing, Pickled. works to use local ingredients as well. The Bratwurst is Colorado-based, and products like local hot sauces, lavender caramels from Steamboat Springs round out offerings. As spring and summer approaches, Pickled. hopes to work with Knapp Ranch on sourcing local produce.

Offering a balance between healthy and comfort food, Michael Joersz hopes that his new venture will enrich the Eagle community.
Julie Bielenberg

Families can find something for all ages at Pickled., too.

“The moms, they’re happy. We’ve got a fancy grilled cheese, ham and cheese, and already have a following for our grilled peanut butter sandwich with wild cherry jelly.”

And, to solve the pickle? How did Joersz come up with the name? He was watching “Jeopardy,” actually.

“We tried names with sheep, goat, cow and one night the category on the game show was pickled. It just made sense for a pickle to be next to a liquor store.”

And, yes, he hopes to add a pickling program this summer.

For more information, visit pickledkitchenpantry.com.

Honoring Eagle County’s pioneering women in Women’s History Month: Kids Corner for the week of 3/1/21

Editor’s note: The Vail Daily’s weekly kids section is chock full of activities and fun to keep the young and the young at heart entertained during the pandemic. If you have an idea for the section or would like to get involved, email Entertainment Editor Casey Russell at crussell@vaildaily.com.

Time Travel

Learn about Eagle County history each week.

This Aug. 18, 1911 photograph of the Ladies Group includes many of the women pioneers of Gypsum.
Courtesy ECHS/EVLD

Men settled Eagle County. Women civilized it. And organizations such as the Ladies Aid Society played a big role in making the Eagle Valley a welcoming community for pioneer families. Today, we take a look at the women who changed Eagle County in honor of Women’s History Month.

The Ladies Aid Society started with the Civil War. The women left at home while their fathers, husbands and sons fought in a terrible conflict wanted to do something other than worry. Recognizing that the soldiers lived in deplorable conditions that caused sickness and disease, the women helped by making and sending clean clothes, blankets and food.

After the war, the women, who had enjoyed working together, wanted to continue to make a difference in their communities. They also enjoyed the social opportunities of weekly meetings.

In Eagle County, Ladies Aid Societies formed in Red Cliff, Eagle, Basalt and Gypsum. The group in Gypsum, organized in 1897, was affiliated with the Methodist Church. They supported the church by raising money to pay the preacher’s salary, and also for such necessities as church pews, stained glass windows, and insurance.

The women earned money by cooking and serving community dinners, raffling off beautiful hand-made quilts, and taking in sewing projects for hire. The Ladies Aid Society was at the heart of most community gatherings.

The Gypsum Society made a tradition of sewing and filling Christmas stockings for the children of the community, then handing them out at a party. They hosted dinners on election days, so that ranchers traveling a long distance into town could have a warm meal. They financed public drinking fountains in town.

The women also were a political force. In 1908, the Ladies Aid Society convinced voters to make Gypsum a “dry” (no alcohol) town, long before prohibition.

The Ladies Aid Societies were active in the county for at least 50 years, making this valley a better place to live.

Time Travel is researched and written by Kathy Heicher, president of the Eagle County Historical Society. Learn more about ECHS at eaglecountyhistoricalsociety.com.

Word of the Week

Special to the Daily

Learn new words in English and Spanish each week.

Women’s History Month / Mes de la Historia de la Mujer

Outside Scoop: It’s going to snow

Special to the Daily

Even with hints of spring in the air these days, March in the Vail Valley is historic for insane spring snowstorms that can unload more than two feet of snow on the slopes, and in your backyard, sometimes. How and why does this happen, and what do we have to look forward to?

In the town of Vail during March, snow typically falls for 13 days and typically leaves behind 10 inches of snow. Most seasons, the town will get 108 inches of snow in a year. However, the mountain slopes and peaks log much, much more snow depending on what direction they face. This plays a huge roll in upslope / downslope storms.

March gives way to daylight savings time (when we change our clocks and spring forward) which helps usher in warmer temperatures with more daylight hours. This impacts the snow. Typically, this makes for lighter, fluffier snow from warmer temperatures of the month. And, fluffier snow piles up faster than wet, dense snow. You know that if you have ever shoveled the driveway or sidewalk.

More sunshine means snow can turn to slush mighty fast. That is why March can seem even wetter than it actually is—it’s either snowing or sunny warmth melts it.

What is a bomb cyclone?

In March 2019, a bomb cyclone struck Denver, the State’s Capital. A bomb cyclone is a storm that forms very, very quickly and can be measured when the barometer drops a certain number of millibars within 24 hours. This can result in intense winds and precipitation. This storm created a widespread blizzard, with winds between 60 and 80 miles per hour and between one and three feet of snow fell across the county.

Coloring Page

This week’s coloring page is submitted by local illustrator Jasmine Valdez. Follow her on Instagram at @artgirl_studios.
Jasmine Valdez

Lindsey Vonn Foundation hosting free virtual camp March 6 for youth across the country

Retired U.S. ski racer Lindsey Vonn smiles at the finish area during a World Cup race in Austria on Jan. 24 following an impressive transition to the broadcast booth this year. On Saturday, March 6, Vonn will be helping hundreds of youth across the country with a free online camp from 3:30 to 5 p.m. (Marco Trovati, AP)

The Lindsey Vonn Foundation is helping youth nationwide get excited about staying healthy — from online safety to fitness — with a free Zoom event on Saturday, March 6. Designed for girls ages 11-14, #STRONGgoals is open to girls of all ages, as well as boys.

The virtual camp is March 6 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Sign up at www.lindseyvonnfoundation.org.

About the Event

“The Lindsey Vonn Foundation is proud to present our #STRONGgoals Virtual Camp hosted by Lindsey Vonn,” the organization’s website says. “The camp will help build healthy habits for this new year! The camp is free for those who register to join.”

Guests will include Olympic gold gymnast Laurie Hernandez, speaking about mental health; event sponsor Chase presenting an online security talk; and Vonn’s own personal trainer, Alex Bunt, leading a fitness exercise.

#STRONGgoals will teach girls life changing habits and goals to stay healthy and happy in 2021 and beyond. In conjunction with their very own LVF #STRONGgoals workbook, the program will focus on fitness, safety online and mindfulness.

  1. Fitness: Girls will join Lindsey Vonn in an exercise warm-up session led by professional fitness trainer Alex Bunt.
  2. Online safety: A custom curated social media and online safety talk will be presented to the girls by the tech-gurus at JP Morgan Chase; this talk seeks to educate and protect kids for life online.
  3. Mindfulness: Our final segment will open up to a discussion on mental healthy with Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez. Hernandez and Vonn will have a conversation to help guide girls in the importance of self-care and positive self-talk.
  4. The online camp will close with a Q&A with Vonn. Parents are welcome to sit in for the entire one-and-a-half hour camp or to join their daughter with Lindsey for the Q&A and closing remarks at 7 pm. A virtual workbook will be provided via email following registration so parents can follow along with their kids during the camp or review the materials with them afterward.

Notes for the event:

  • The Lindsey Vonn Foundation created this program for girls ages 11-14 but girls and boys of any age are welcome to join.
  • This event requires some physical activity. Organizers want to make sure everyone is safe and healthy. If you are not able to do physical exercises, you can sit this portion out.
  • What to wear: Casual, exercise clothing recommended.


The Lindsey Vonn Foundation is also accepting applications for its scholarship program, helping children 10-18 years old financially in-need pursue their passions.

Enrichment scholarships, up to $5,000, are for STEM, after-school, art, dance and academic programs. The Sports Matter scholarships are for all sports scholarships and are available up to $15,000.

To apply, visit www.lindseyvonnfoundation.org. Applicants will need one letter of recommendation if asking for $5,000 or less, and two letters of recommendation if asking for more than $5,000. Applicants will also need to write an essay about why they need a scholarship and include their family’s household income to qualify.

Speaking of Pets: Keep these toxic household items away from your cats

We all know the dangers of antifreeze to our pets, but in terms of your cat, there are things you may have never thought of that will end up in a trip to the emergency vet.

Cats aren't just miniature dogs. While there are some similarities in toxic substances for each species, their different anatomy presents unique challenges for each.
Special to the Daily

Flea and Tick Medications

Because they’re inveterate groomers, cats are especially susceptible to flea and tick medicine poisoning. The biggest culprit is permethrin, found in many canine spot-on flea and tick preventatives.

Remember: a cat is not just a small dog. Never use a flea or tick product designed for dogs on your cat: unlike dogs, a cat’s liver lacks certain enzymes that can break down permethrin, so the chemical accumulates in its body and can lead to overdose.


Your cat isn’t as likely to get into your medicine cabinet as a child could, but even common over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen can be extremely toxic for cats. As with permethrin, a cat’s liver is unable to process ibuprofen, and it recycles and builds up in the body. Even a small dose—that one pill that fell on the floor—can cause severe liver and gastrointestinal damage.


That get-well bouquet may lighten your spirits, but it could also poison your cat. Many plants poisonous to cats appear in bouquets, like baby’s breath, ivy, chrysanthemum and primrose. In addition, many common houseplants plants themselves are toxic to cats. Dieffenbachia, Amaryllis, azalea, philodendron, Easter lily, begonia, and jade plant are just a few.

Onions, Garlic, and Chocolate

Certain vegetables—onions, garlic, scallions, leeks and chives in particular—are highly toxic to all cats. These members of the allium family can cause gastroenteritis and in more serious cases, red blood cell damage.

We all know chocolate is a problem for dogs. So too it can be a problem for cats: as little as 0.2 ounces of unsweetened baking chocolate is enough to cause toxicity in your cat.

Joan Merriam lives in Northern California with her golden retriever Joey and Maine coon cat Indy. She emphasizes that she’s not a veterinarian or animal behaviorist — just an animal lover who’s been writing about pets since 2012. You can reach her at joan@joanmerriam.com.

In bit on epic Colorado lightsaber battle, Jimmy Fallon shouts out Beaver Creek

In Thursday’s opening monologue of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” the host covered a variety of topics, including a fun video of two people in Colorado having a lit-up lightsaber battle at night in the snow.

“We’re all bored during the pandemic, but check out what this Colorado woman saw two guys doing in the snow last weekend,” Fallon prepped viewers before showing the video. “One of the guys was like, ’Join me and together we can rule Beaver Creek, Colorado.’”

The video was posted on Facebook with the caption: “Only in Colorado can I stand on my balcony and see two men fighting with lightsabers, in 30 degree weather while it’s snowing outside.”