Test flight a flop in Taos | VailDaily.com

Test flight a flop in Taos

Allen Best
Vail, CO Colorado

TAOS, N.M. ” City officials and members of the Pueblo tribe, owners of an 800,000-acre property at the city’s edge, appear to be no closer to agreement after a supposed demonstration airplane flight.

The test plane was supposed to fly about 2,000 feet over the pueblo, but because of potential conflicts with firefighting aircraft, flew at about 7,500 feet. As such, the demonstration proved nothing, Pueblo officials told The Taos News.

Taos city officials for 14 years have wanted to add another runway to the town-owned airport. For at least as long, the Taos Pueblo has resisted. Pueblo officials say airplanes already intrude above their 800,000-acre property, and more flights will worsen the situation. They fervently object to flights that that disrupt private, traditional ceremonies held at various sacred sites.

Because Taos Pueblo is one of 20 World Heritage Sites located in the United States, stringent rules apply to aircraft flying above it. In particular, aircraft are supposed to stay at least 2,000 feet or higher, although Pueblo representatives say that limit is routinely flouted.

KETCHUM, Idaho ” The Idaho Mountain Express reports that a standing-room-only crowd turned out for a presentation that would have done Einstein proud.

As it has for five years, the town is talking about adding hotels. Three of them are proposed, and the task was to give an idea of how the height and bulk of what is being proposed would change the town.

It doesn’t matter, said a real-estate agent, Pam Colesworth.

“We are withering as a tourist town. We need to infuse this town with tourists again … I ask you not to be afraid. Go forward and get it done.”

But a city councilwoman, Terry Trace, said the trick is to get visitors to stay in these future hotels. Despite being North America’s first destination ski resort, Ketchum and neighboring Sun Valley have flattened and now declined as ski resorts.

TRUCKEE, Calif. ” Some 226 homes have been burned around Lake Tahoe, and it’s time for the finger-pointing to begin, says Bryce E. Keller, chief of the Truckee Fire Protection District.

And in an essay published in the Sierra Sun, he points his finger: “I’m tired of hearing excuses as to why people can’t and don’t maintain defensible space on their properties.”

He says that creating defensible space around a home is no guarantee it will survive a wildfire, but it will dramatically increase the odds of doing so.

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