Around the Valley news briefs |

Around the Valley news briefs

EDWARDS ” A grand opening ceremony will be held at the new skatepark in Edwards at 4 p.m., Friday.

The skatepark is next to the soccer fields at Berry Creek, near the Miller Ranch neighborhood and Freedom Park.

There will be skating demonstrations, food, prizes and music at the ceremony.

DWEST VAIL ” Crews are removing trees killed or infested by pine beetles on about 30 acres of land above Donovan Park.

This is the first phase of Vail’s Forest Health Project in which more dead and infested trees will be removed from parts of the forest within the town.

The work above Donovan Park will take five to six weeks and the town has hired a local tree cutting firm, a logging company and an organization.

Crews will cut and pile about 1,000 trees on what’s known as the park’s “upper bench.” Many of the trees will be hauled away, but some will be burned in a controlled fire late this fall or early spring.

The work will cost about $144,000.

The pine beetle is native to Colorado’s pine forest with outbreaks of the bugs occurring every 20 years to 30 years. The current outbreak has spread from Mexico to Canada, said Phil Bowden, a fire official with U.S. Forest Service.

Beetles attack older trees, such as those surrounding Vail, and once a beetle infests a tree, the tree cannot be saved, Bowden said.

“Since the lodgepoles are older and more susceptible, the population of pine beetles has increased,” said Bowden. “The rates beetles spread are nearly impossible to predict, making it difficult to prevent an outbreak.

“There currently are more than 75,000 trees infested in the Lionshead to Dowd Junction area alone, and during the next five years the area surrounding Vail could continue to loose hundreds of thousands of trees from infestation,” he said.

There is little that can be done to landscape areas as the trees begin to die, Bowden said.

“We can’t prevent trees from dying so visually there’s little we can do,” said Bowden. “It’s much more important to focus our work on removing those trees that are a wildfire danger.”

VAIL ” Drivers in West Vail can expect traffic delays on South Frontage Road from the West Vail Roundabout to the Conoco gas station during a sewer line installation by the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District.

Construction will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and traffic will be restricted to local access and buses only. Signs and flaggers will be at the site, and drivers will be asked to use North Frontage Road and Interstate 70 as alternate routes.

The Conoco gas station will remain open during construction.

For more information, call Marty Golembiewski of the water district at 476-7480 or town Construction Inspector George Chalberg, 477-3507.

VAIL ” You don’t have to be able to pronounce his name to host this year’s Rotary Youth Exchange student.

Przemek Kulaczkowski, a 17-year old from Torun, Poland, is here in Eagle County attending Battle Mountain High School, and Vail-Eagle Valley Rotary Club is looking for families to help host him throughout the year.

Local families host exchange students like Kulaczokowski for three-month periods. Host families need not be Rotarians and do not necessarily have to have children ” or children the same age as the exchange student. A monthly allowance of $200 helps offset the costs involved.

Kulaczkowski’s school interests are information technology (he won third prize in his city’s computer competition), physical education and history.

In his free time he likes to skateboard, cycle, play computer games and meet with friends. He also loves skiing and has visited the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Austria.

Those interested in hosting can contact Larry Agneberg at 476-2482 ext. 16.

VAIL ” The town’s Commission on Special Events is currently accepting funding requests for 2006.

Applications are available at (click on “Doing Business,” then “Special Events”). They also are available at Town Hall (75 South Frontage Road) or by calling 376-2394.

The amount of funding each event receives is based on its potential to increase business, encourage visitors to come back to Vail, get media coverage and increase activity in town during the off-season.

Events that received funding from the in 2005 include the American Ski Classic, The Session, TEVA Mountain Games, King of the Mountain Volleyball, Vail Arts Festival, Vail Film Festival, Oktoberfest, Taste of Vail and the Lionshead Easter Egg Hunt, among others.

Applications are due by 5 p.m., Oct. 14 and should be submitted to: Town of Vail/Commission on Special Events, 75 S. Frontage Road, Vail, CO 81658. Applicants may be asked to present their proposals to the commission on Nov. 11.

Vail, Colorado

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