Briefs: What about an alpine coaster? |

Briefs: What about an alpine coaster?

Daily Staff Report
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL ” The U.S. Forest Service is seeking comments from the public on Vail Resorts’ proposal to build an “alpine coaster” on Vail Mountain.

The alpine coaster, similar to a roller coaster, would be near Adventure Ridge at Eagle’s Nest at the top of the gondola. Its track would be 3,100 feet long and descend 300 vertical feet.

Comments are due May 16.

They can be faxed to (970)945-3266 or mailed to: White River National Forest, Attn: Alpine Coaster Project, P.O. Box 948, Glenwood Springs, CO, 81620.

E-mail comments to:

To learn more about the alpine coaster proposal, call Roger Poirier of the Forest Service at 970-945-3212.

” Edward Stoner

EDWARDS ” The formation of a local chapter of HEARTBEAT, a support group for survivors of suicide, will be discussed at a workshop from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, at the Miller Ranch Community Center in Edwards

“The idea to organize a chapter in Eagle County ” after losing a brother-in-law to suicide ” was a well thought-out process with a strong sense that a chapter is needed here,” said Jill Baron said, a jail sergeant with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.

The local chapter is being cosponsored by the Eagle River Youth Coalition and Colorado West Mental Health. Monthly meetings ” which will be open to the public ” will begin in July and be held the first Tuesday of each month from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Miller Ranch Community Center in Edwards.

Founded in Colorado Springs in 1980, HEARTBEAT has 24 chapters in Colorado and 15 in other states.

For more information, call Jill Baron at 328-8500.

BEAVER CREEK ” Graduation for students of Colorado Mountain College’s Vail-Eagle Valley Campus in Edwards is from 10 a.m. until noon, Saturday, at the Vilar Center in Beaver Creek.

The class of 2007 includes students receiving associate degrees, occupational proficiency certificates and GED diplomas.

For more information, call the Vail-Eagle Valley Campus at 569-2900.

VAIL ” An insect known as the pine needle scale is the target of treatment Vail will do on spruce treets starting Monday.

The insect, discovered two years ago, gives trees a whitewished appearance and turns needles brown, Vail Landscape Architect Todd Oppenheimer said.

The insects digest nutritents from the needles. They hatch in June and either crawl or are blown to from tree to tree.

The town will treat 300 spruce trees from Lionshead to Ford Park with a non-insecticide, horticultural oil that may cause discoloration. Although the oil treatment is non-toxic, people and pets should obey signs and not enter treated areas.

Last year the town reated approximately 450 trees and Oppenheimer says the trees should survive the infestation but the damage will not disappear immediately.

Residents who have spruce trees on their property are encouraged to call a local arborist to assess possible infestation. Cost to treat trees is approximately $22 per tree and works best when applied between May and June.

For details on the treatment project, contact Oppenheimer at 479-2161.

EAGLE ” Contractors battling ground squirrels will be using some new technology on Eagle open space lands this week.

Eagle Open Space Coordinator Bill Heicher said pest control experts will be using a “Rodenator,” a device that injects a mix of oxygen and propane into squirrel holes. The gas is then ignited, which kills the ground squirrels and collapses their tunnels so that other squirrels can’t relocate in the area.

Heicher said the Rodenator could generate some notice from local residents.

“People might hear a muffled bang, a little louder than a nail gun,” he said.

Other squirrel-control methods include feeding the squirrels poisoned grain or pumping poisoned gas into the tunnels.

For more information, call the town of Eagle at 328-6354.

GYPSUM ” Beginning June 1, it’s going to be more expensive to build a house in Gypsum. The town has drafted ordinances and plans public hearings in May for proposed water and sewer tap fee increases.

The residential water tap fee is slated to increase from $2,500 to $6,000; and the residential sewer fee will increase from $2,500 to $7,000. Commercial rates will also jump based on business type and usage.

Town Manager Jeff Shroll said Gypsum’s water and sewer tap fees are, by a considerable margin, the lowest such charges in the local area. The new charges, however, will bump up Gypsum’s fee schedule into being one of the most expensive in the region.

Why increase fees? Growth is forcing Gypsum to firm up water rights and expand both water and sewer treatment capacity, the town says.

In addition to the tap fee increases, Gypsum plans to increase monthly residential sewer fees from $18 – $24 to $24 – $27. Monthly commercial rates would be increased from $33 to $37.

” Pam Boyd

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