Around the Mountains | VailDaily.com

Around the Mountains

Daily Staff Report

BRECKENRIDGE ” Resident Carol Rockne has killed her petition drive to put a 2.5 percent lift tax on the Nov. 2 ballot.

In a letter to the Breckenridge Town Council this week, Rockne said her idea became too controversial and she did not want her idea to conflict with the town’s own initiative to enact a half-penny sales tax increase to bolster resort marketing efforts.

Rockne has long campaigned that the town impose a lift tax to help the town budget and finance amenities that improve the resort.

This summer, she took it in her own hands by pulling the paperwork to create a citizen’s ballot initiative.

Breckenridge Ski Resort chief Roger McCarthy opposed the tax and last week, elected officials added their displeasure.

Mayor Ernie Blake said the tax could be a good idea at some point, but not at this time when the ski resort is proving itself to be a good corporate citizen.

Rockne wrote that some potential petition signers were hesitant because they feared repercussions, but she was confident the measure would have passed with anonymous voting.

” Summit Daily News

DILLON ” Hundreds of people filled Dillon Amphitheatre Monday morning to remember the life of an officer and a gentleman.

A long line of fire trucks and police and sheriff’s cars from all over Colorado proceeded along Highway 9 from Breckenridge to Dillon to honor the life of Dillon Police Chief Gary Cline, who died July 12 at the age of 56.

Cline’s widow, Debbie “Pearl,” said she was the luckiest woman in the world to have shared 22 years with him.

“He took life by the horns and he accomplished his dreams, his goals,” she said. Among those was to become a police chief in a small town in the mountains. “He loved you,” she told those in attendance. “You made his life easier, his job easier.”

” Summit Daily News

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS “-The grasshoppers are gone for the summer, at least for most of Steamboat Springs. More importantly, it doesn’t look like they’ll be back in throngs next summer.

In June, several periods of cool, wet weather killed many of the insects while they were still young and vulnerable. There are isolated spots where infestations are still raging, but for much of the county, that weather was enough to make the insects bite the dust.

“Overall, I’m rather happy,” Routt County Extension Agent C.J. Mucklow said. “Agriculturally, it truly was a burden on ranching. Secondly, they’re a real nuisance for people.”

Fewer grasshoppers this year means fewer grasshopper eggs, and thus a lower chance for epidemic levels of grasshopper next summer, Mucklow said.

Grasshopper populations exploded in 2002, when dry and hot weather created an ideal environment for the insects. In 2003, the infestation was still widespread across the county.

” Steamboat Pilot and Today

ASPEN ” State highway officials are studying options for replacing the Maroon Creek bridge, including construction of a span that’s simply a new version of what currently exists.

Before design work begins, the Colorado Department of Transportation must figure out exactly what should replace the aging, two-lane structure that currently carries Highway 82 over the Maroon Creek gorge on the outskirts of Aspen.

Constructing the bridge envisioned in the plans for the Entrance to Aspen ” two lanes for general traffic, two dedicated bus lanes and a bike/pedestrian lane ” would require a re-evaluation of the environmental impact statement and record of decision, according to Ed Fink, CDOT regional transportation director for Region 3.

Replacing the bridge has remained a priority for city and county governments, given the existing bridge’s condition. The span was originally constructed as a railroad trestle in 1888 and was converted for automobile use in 1929. It’s the oldest state highway bridge in service in Colorado and has a bridge sufficiency rating of 24 out of a possible 100 points, according to CDOT.

” The Aspen Times