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Week in Review

VAIL’S MIXED EMOTIONS about MARIJUANA

This week Colorado became the first state to open retail marijuana shops and Vail residents and visitors expressed mixed emotions about the use of marijuana in the town.

No shops are set to open in Vail in the near future, but Colorado residents over the age of 21 are now able to legally purchase up to an ounce of marijuana at a shop on the Front Range, and bring it anywhere in the valley, including the town of Vail. Colorado visitors are allowed to carry up to ¼ of an ounce. The law allows for private consumption. Hotels and many lease agreements don’t permit it, and smoking weed is not allowed in public or on national lands.



Visitors expressed different opinions on the subject, as some desire a more lenient law for smokers in public areas, and some adamantly against it. In addition to the differing viewpoints, many residents and visitors of Vail are confused about what is exactly allowed and what is still against the law. Many visitors are curious as to what direction the industry will go. Colorado pot smokers are also encouraged to educate themselves on the different types of weed out there, as things have changes over the last few decades.



EPIC RACE ENDS

Scott and Nick Annis of Loveland won the Vail Resorts’ Epic Race, a challenge to ski or snowboard at all 26 resorts on the company’s Epic Pass.

The father-son duo are now lifetime ski pass holders at Vail.



On their first day of the challenge, the Annises visited Eldora resort in the afternoon after Nick attended school and Scott worked that morning. They remained in the middle of the pack during the first part of the race.

Once Nick finished his finals on December 10, the duo got serious. The next day, the Annises completed their U.S. leg at Afton Alps in Minnesota and then flew non-stop to Frankfurt, Germany. After that, they hit Zurich, Switzerland and drove to Austria.

In Brides-les-Bains, France, on the final opening day of the 26 mountains, a chaotic scene played out. Racers waited for the email on the mountain so that they were in position to quickly solve the clues and find the stickers described . Racers described it as hectic. The Annises avoided the chaos, and decided to wait in town and have a leisurely breakfast while they waited for the email.

Once racers received the email, the Annises read it carefully and knew to include specific stickers in their photos at the clues’ locations, a detail other competitors had overlooked. The extra detail was in the second paragraph of the email and was completely new to the process.

The Annises insisted that their decision to carry all of Scott’s ski gear also contributed to them winning the race. Scott credited his son, Nick with the victory. Nineteen-year-old Nick has a lot of years to enjoy that lifetime pass.

GLEnwood inmates get unexpected Christmas gift

On Christmas Eve, a Glenwood Springs judge let 28-year-old inmate Joseph P. Moffatt out of jail on what is known as a “personal recognizance” (or PR) bond rather than making him pay the original bond of $20,100 over six counts of failing to appear for court cases.

Chief Justice James Boyd admitted to having a concern about Moffatt’s failure to appear in an earlier case, but authorized the PR bond anyway after Deputy Public Defender Elise Myer and Deputy District Attorney Tony Hershey agreed that a plea bargain in the case appears to be close.

Another inmate, 44-year-old Brant Rivera, didn’t get the same treatment but managed to get his bond reduced from $10,000 to $6,000 in either cash or surety involving a bail bondsman. Rivera is also headed for a plea bargain and a community-based sentence.

Under a PR bond, the defendant gets out of jail without paying cash, but if the defendant fails to make a court appearance or in other ways violates the conditions of his or her release, they often are tossed back in jail.

Judge Boyd was the only judge on the bench on Christmas Eve day and had short dockets in the morning and afternoon.

RE-1 KIDS GETTING NEW TECH

New Chromebook computers will be in Roaring Fork District RE-1 schools in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt by Feb. 1st. Students will learn via the latest web-based technology and a total of 1,400 computers will be delivered.

The $430,000 pilot program was initiated this fall using funds from the district’s 2011 voter-approved mill levy override, which provides $4.8 million in funding for RE-1 schools annually, according to a district news release.

Other Colorado school districts have implemented similar programs, including Denver’s Cherry Creek schools, which purchased 18,000 Chromebooks this school year.

The school district was successful in convincing local voters to approve the mill levy override following three straight years of cuts in state education funding.

ALTERNATIVE ENERGY USES FOR CARBONDALE

Carbondale town trustees are looking at the idea of an energy tax or utility fee assessed against local consumers. The effort is just getting started and details of the proposed new tax are far from worked out.

Trustees have been in talks with representatives of the Community Office of Resource Efficiency (CORE) and the Clean Energy Economy for the Region (CLEER) about how the tax might work and how it might provide a permanent funding source for the town’s efforts to reduce Carbondale’s carbon footprint.

Town officials have been talking about the need for a permanent source of funding for its energy programs for a couple of years, and the current effort is the latest version of that search.

Another potential idea for creating a permanent funding source is to place a fee on utility bills sent out to Carbondale customers.

VONN CONTINUES TO FIGHT KNEE INJURY

No date had been set for Lindsey Vonn to return to the World Cup. After hurting her surgically repaired right knee at a downhill race in France the week before, Vonn returned to Vail last week.

Vonn’s plan was to cut back on her race schedule and only complete in a couple races before the Olympics. She hopes to defend her Olympic downhill title on Feb. 12 and then three days later race in the women’s Super-G. She has indicated that she may race Cortina on Jan. 16, but that due to her injury, it’s too early to tell.


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