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Last World War I vet born in Rico

Allen Best
Vail, CO Colorado

RICO, Colo. ” The last known World War I veteran from the United States died on Feb. 22, and it turns out he was a native of Rico, a small mining town south of Telluride.

Howard Verne Ramsey was born in Rico in 1898, but moved with his family when he was 15 to Portland, Ore. The Rico Bugle says that Ramsey was in the Army’s transportation corps, owing to his ability to drive automobiles ” a rare skill which he put to use on the front lines in France.

CRESTED BUTTE ” Crested Butte has joined the Mayors’ Agreement on Climate Change. It has vowed to pursue compliance with the Kyoto Protocol, to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

But what does that mean in very practical terms of, for example, snow-melt systems? Despite gains in wind and other forms of alternative energy, most electricity today is produced by burning of coal, a major source of carbon dioxide.

Because of increasing demand for electricity, many observers expect burning of coal to actually increase.

Confronted with this situation, the town council continues to struggle toward consensus. A moratorium ” from which public sidewalks are exempt ” on new snowmelt systems has been extended through summer.

As reported by the Crested Butte News, the council seems to be of two schools of thought. One group favors no exemption to a total ban on private snowmelt systems.

“To me, if we embrace the Kyoto Protocol, our mission is to reduce (our carbon emissions) to a certain level,” said Skip Berkshire, a council member.

Another council member, Bill Coburn, favors exemptions, “There are sometimes good reasons to melt snow,” he said.

The middle ground seems to be a 100-percent offset program modeled on the policy adopted by Aspen and Pitkin County. There, homeowners can install snowmelt systems in driveways and outdoor swimming pools as well as other uses of outdoor electricity.

However, if they do so, they must offset this use by installing alternative energy systems, such as solar panel. Or, in absence of that, they can pay money that is then used to reduce use of coal-fired electricity elsewhere.

For example, offseting the electricity needed for a 536-square-foot snowmelt system on a patio and a 64-square-foot spa would require a 2.8 kilowatt solar system. The cost of that system, $25,000 could instead be paid as a mitigation fee, with the money devoted to an alternative energy system elsewhere, such as on a public building.


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