Laborers making $20-an-hour in Steamboat |

Laborers making $20-an-hour in Steamboat

Allen BestVail, CO Colorado

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS Labor continues to be in higher demand in the Steamboat Springs area. This contrasts sharply with the story early in the century, but the labor pool has really shrunk in the last year, says Brian Bradbury, from the Steamboat springs Workforce Center.A landscaper reports paying helpers a rate of $12 to $18 an hour. General construction laborers are getting $20, reports the Steamboat Pilot & Today. Elsewhere, the newspaper reports that the median per capita income in the year 2005 was $53,000 in the Steamboat Springs area, compared to $28,000 nationally.

THE WEST USA Today reports a major influx of new residents in the semi-rural areas of the West are setting the stage for potentially costly and and deadly wildfires.The newspaper analyzed population figures to conclude that roughly 450,000 people have moved into these wildfire-endangered areas since 2000.This large-lot, low-density exurban development threatens to drive up insurance rates, says the newspaper, and is also partly responsible for the federal governments cost of battling forest fires, which reached nearly $2 billion last year.The newspaper also reports that the settlement pattern is prompting Western cities and counties to rethink how and where people should build their homes. It does not, however, offer evidence to support that conclusion.Tom Harbour, the head of firefighting for the U.S. Forest Service, argues that governments should shift the onus of responsibility. We need to be telling people with even more clarity that just because you built something here, were not going to die for it, he said.USA Today also notes an ironic, inverse relationship: the cost of containing fires has forced the government to raid the budgets of programs meant to clear fuels before a fire starts. Theres something wrong with that, says Kip Howlett, executive director of the National Association of State Forests. This is a boat thats taking on water, and were doing everything we can to increase the size of the hole.

SILVERTON Contractors removing shingles from the eaves of an old parsonage for the Congregational Church in Silverton found a surprise, a book called The Writings of Armenius.The book, published in 1853, was written by the founder of an anti-Calvinist school. Some early pastor had this book that was rather controversial, current pastor Cynthia Chertos told the Silverton Standard. I would just love to know who put it up there, and why?

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