The 15th Annual Vail International Dance Festival continues this weekend with the Ensemble Soloists from La Scala Ballet performing tonight, August 8. On Saturday evening, August 9, get ready for a star-studded performance by Sport Dance’s favorite world champions and features award-winning renditions of the tango, waltz, jive, swing, country and cha cha. Both performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Ford Amphitheater. This year’s dance festival wraps up on Sunday, August 10, with a performance by Lizt Alfonso DANCE CUBA! which gets underway at 1:30 p.m. at the Ford Amphitheater. Elegance and artistic rigor characterizes the unique style of this vibrant, all-female ensemble. It a family matinee and all ages are welcome. The festival is presented by the Vail Valley Foundation and tickets are available at the Vilar Center Box Office, by phone at (970) 845-8497 or (888) 920-2787 or log on to the Vilar Center website for easy on-line ticketing and to choose your own seats at vvf.org/dance.cfm The 16th Annual Beaver Creek Arts Festival returns this weekend, August 9 and 10, with over 150 artists from almost every state in the union. Show times are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and admission is free. Over $15 million worth of fine art will be on display. This festival offers the opportunity to meet and discuss the artwork with the creators themselves. For more information, call (970) 845-9090 or (954) 472-3755 or http://www.ARTFESTIVAL.com. You’re invited to the Town of Avon’s 25th Anniversary Celebration this Saturday, August 8, at Nottingham Park from 5 to 8 p.m. There will be free barbecue (until it runs out), a Coors beer tent provided by the Avon Business Association and Humane Society and a free concert featuring the Harry Baxter Band. The Avon Business Association has been formed and its mission statement is to create an independent and unified voice in protecting the interests of the Avon Business Community. They will endeavor to provide a line of communication and accountability between the town and the community with a goal to preserve and enhance the economic vitality of the Avon Business Community. If you would like to join this new group, they will be having a meeting next Thursday, August 14, at the Christie Lodge beginning at 8:30 a.m. The annual Eagle Valley Community Fund Auction and Rummage Sale is set for next Saturday and Sunday, August 16 and 17 and again on August 23 and 24. The second weekend everything goes to half price. For more information call 926-0577, 827-9426 or 476-5701. The 2nd Annual Arts and Flowers, a Gala Evening and Auction Benefit to raise funds for the operation and maintenance of Betty Ford Alpine Gardens will be held on Saturday, August 16 at the Larkspur Restaurant at Gold Peak. Last year’s event raised more than $50,000 for the gardens which showcase the unique nature of alpine plants and the importance of protecting the mountain environments in which they grow. The evening begins with a silent auction and appetizers at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner and live auction at 8 p.m. Tickets are $175 per person, $1200 for a table of eight or corporate sponsor tables are available between $2,500 and $5,000. For invitation or donation information, contact the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens at 476-0103. Donations are needed to provide over 1,200 underprivileged students with a backpack full of school supplies. Students who qualify for the Federal Lunch Assistance Program will be eligible for this assistance. Volunteers are also needed to stuff and distribute the backpacks from August 16-20. Cash and check donations are being accepted through August 13 at all Eagle County FirstBank locations and make checks payable to “Backpacks for Kids.” For additional information, please contact Kimberly at 949-5100 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Summer can be a difficult time for Colorado’s blood supply. There will be a Eagle County Blood Drive held on Saturday, August 23, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to help meet the needs of Colorado. It will be sponsored by the Vail Valley Medical Center and will take place at the Shaw Regional Cancer Center in Edwards. To schedule an appointment or for more information, please call 569-7466. The monthly legal advice clinic, hosted by the Northwest Colorado Legal Services Project, will be held next Thursday, August 14, at the United Methodist Church in Eagle starting at 6:30 p.m. It’s designed for low income people with civil problems and is an opportunity to talk to an attorney free of charge for 15 minutes. This is supported by the United Way of the Eagle River Valley. For more information, please call 1-800-521-6968. The Holy Cross Ranger District will be treating noxious weeds in the Meadow Mountain area including cutting, pulling, biological and herbicide treatment of up to 300 acres of musk thistle, plumeless thistle, Canada thistle, Russian knapweed, yellow toadflax and houndstongue infestations. This will occur through September. Persons planning to use this area are advised to avoid direct contact with plants that have been sprayed until they have dried. For more information, call Steve at 328-6388. The Eagle River Branch of the American Red Cross will be offering a number of different first aid and CPR courses at a variety of different times to accommodate the different schedules of all interested. An all day First Aid and CPR class will be held on Thursday, August 14. On Monday, August 18, a First Aid class will take place beginning at 2 p.m. and a CPR class at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, August 19. If you have any uestions, please call 328-3044. Due to unseasonably warm and dry weather patterns, the fire danger remains high in Eagle County. Therefore, Sheriff Joe Hoy has placed restric-tions on open burning and ban the use of open solid fuel fires except in constructed fire pits with a grate. Cooking on gas fueled stoves and grills is still allowed during these restrictions but charcoal fueled barbecues are only allowed on private property. Citizens are also urged to use caution when smoking and no use of explosive devises requiring fuses including fireworks or any pyrotechnic devises that leave the ground. People who obviously disregard the law and the fire conditions or are negligent in the maintenance of their fire will be held responsible for the costs of suppression efforts. For more information, call 328-8500. Evans Chaffee Con-struction Group is pleased to announce that the beneficiary of the 2nd Annual Kickball Classic and Pancake Break-fast will be CASA Court Appointed Special Advocates of the Continental Divide. CASA is a non-profit, chari-table organization serving neglected and abused child-ren who either do not have a place to call home or simply need someone to be their voice in the court system. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, August 23, at the Eagle-Vail Pavilion, starting at 7 a.m. Organi-zations throughout the Vail Valley are encouraged to register a team of eight or more players, become a sponsor of the event, or buy pancake breakfast or lunch tickets. Last year’s event raised close to $9,000 for Freedom Ranch, the Eagle County Women’s Shelter created to assist victims of domestic violence. For more information about CASA, the Kickball Classic, or to register a team please call Evans Chaffee at 845-0466. The Colorado State Patrol, in its continuing effort to reduce accidents on our highways has reintroduced accident prevention teams and they will be working in select locations. Weekly sobriety checkpoints were added to Colorado’s summer DUI Enforcement Cam-paign on Memorial Day. The checkpoints represent coun-ties that accounted for 82 percent of the alcohol-related traffic deaths in 2001 and nearly 40 percent of the deaths occurred between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The efforts of the local police agencies is being supported by a special grant from the Law Enforcement Assistance Fund which aid’s in suppressing drunk driving. And here’s a reminder that the average person who is arrested for a DUI will pay approximately $3,000 in fines, court costs and attorney fees. Everyone who walks, runs, hikes or bikes on local multi-use trails is asked to devote at least one day this summer to maintaining and improving the local trails. On Sunday, September 7, it will be the Lost Lake Trail. Lunch, tools and crew leaders will be provided and you are reminded to wear long pants, boots and bring gloves, water and rain gear. For more information, call Dawes at 476-1914. Please be aware of new water use rate structures established for drought management. The goal of the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District and the Upper Eagle Valley Regional Water Authority is to help customers develop a new way of looking at water use and one that embraces wise water use at all times rather than just trying to conserve water during the summer months. They also encourage the use of drought tolerant plants as an alternative to lawns and flowers which require larger amounts of water. If you have any further questions on this new rate structure and watering restrictions, please call them at 476-7480. We highly recommend Marie Claire Moritz’s book featuring the memories and recipes of her husband and Vail’s grand chef, Walter Anton Moritz. The book is jam packed with photos of many of the people who influenced her family and their business, especially in the early years of Vail. Marie Claire has begun work on a second book which is due to be published in 2004. The book is available at Gorsuch, Ltd., Verbatim Books, The Bookworm, Les Delices, Kitchen Collage, Slifer Design, Shaggy Ram and To Catch a Cook. It sells for $35 plus $5 for shipping and handling (Colorado residents, please add $1.50 sales tax). For more information, contact Moritz Publishing, Box 141, Vail, Colorado 81658 or call (970) 476-5464 or e-mail: email@example.com If you don’t think domestic violence is a real and present situation in our community, please read the following:- In 2001, 9,426 women were turned away from shelter services in Colorado because the shelters were full.- In 2001, The Resource Center Advocate Program of Eagle County helped more than 150 women and 30 children who were victims of domestic violence or sexual assault.For anyone with questions about domestic violence, or who feels they have been a victim of domestic violence, please call the crisis hot line at (970) 949-7086.