Kids continue drinking in the forest |

Kids continue drinking in the forest

Allen BestVail, CO Colorado

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. Alcohol-drinking at parties on senior sneak day is a tradition at Jackson Hole High School; so are attempts by local police to limit the alcohol consumption of minors and keep kids from driving drunk.Sheriff deputies for some years raided parties, and the kids fled into the forest, sometimes jumping into rivers. One year, explains the Jackson Hole News&Guide, the local rescue squad had to be called to comb the woods for kids who ran away on a particularly cold night.Deputies next tried a low-key approach. They asked under-age drinkers at the senior parties to pour out alcohol, but made no arrests. Then, they waited at the partys perimeters, in an attempt to ensure nobody drunk was driving.But after a student died in a crash in which alcohol was involved, community members asked for stronger law enforcement. Last year cops responded by arresting 51 students. But parents fought the charges and won because of Wyomings somewhat intricate liquor laws. The law requires the cops to ask the underage youth what they drank, and the law will only punish the ones who cooperate.Kids, essentially, now can drink with impunity, sheriffs office Capt. Jim Whalen said.What will happen this year? Were not all going to sit around and make smores, said one high school senior. Nice idea, said another of the effort to quash drinking, but its never going to happen.

KETCHUM, Idaho Pushed first by the wars in the Middle East and now fanned by a growing consensus about global warming, theres a buzz about alternative energy. Mountain towns are poking around in the closet at ideas largely shelved since the 1970s.Emblematic of this new push was a meeting in Ketchum, where about 50 people showed up to talk about energy in Idaho. We have the chance to be progressive, not reactive, said Deb Bohrer, president of the Snake River Alliance. A panelist, Ben Sinnamon, predicted that the energy situation will change dramatically in 20 years. Another panelist, Mike Heckler, a proponent of wind energy, said carbon pollution should be penalized. Right now theres no charge for carbon flatulence, he said.

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