Vail Valley news briefs |

Vail Valley news briefs

Daily Staff Report
Jim Cole

VAIL ” A grizzly bear sighting in 1975 in the Glacier National Park led Jim Cole to devote his life to the study of grizzly bears. Since then, he has logged over 18,000 backcountry hiking miles from Yellowstone to Alaska to observe and photograph the bears.

Cole, who lives in Bozeman, Mont., will show three decades of photographs and discuss his research at a free presentation at Donovan Pavilion on Thursday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. He also will play some of his songs.

There are about 1,000 grizzly bears in the continental U.S, living almost exclusively in and around the Rocky Mountains of western Montana and Wyoming.

A graduate of the University of Colorado, Cole has written two books, “Lives of Grizzlies-Montana and Wyoming” and “Lives of Grizzlies-Alaska.” His says his mission is to accurately portray the bears’ lives and dispel myths that they are dangerous man-eaters.

For more information contact the Vail Symposium at 476-0954 or

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

EAGLE-VAIL ” Battle Mountain High School senior Riley Pack was named a finalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program for 2006.

“To say the least, I was pleasantly surprised,” Pack said. “I was really honored to get accepted to Stanford, and now this? What a bonus.”

The program, created in 1955, accepts less than 1 percent of all high school seniors as finalists. Pack, along with Eagle Valley High School senior Zach Henry, is one of 15,000 finalists across the country who are now eligible for 8,200 of scholarships that will be awarded starting this month.

Despite being accepted to Stanford, Pack said he opted for the University of Colorado at Boulder because of its aerospace engineering program.

Pack is on Battle Mountain’s cross country and ski teams, plays in the school’s band and is a member of Future Business Leaders of America.

For more information on the National Merit Scholarship Program, call (847)866-5100 or visit

” Nicole Frey

EDWARDS ” John McConnell will present “The Value of Mentorship,” from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, at the Eagle County Health Services building in Edwards, behind the Edwards Post Office.

McConnell, a retired physicist and the founder of the Western Math and Science Center in Grand Junction, will speak about how he mentored Ryan Patterson from school science fairs to winning the Intel International Science Competition.

The event, hosted by the Gifted Education Team of Eagle County, in conjunction with the Vail Symposium, will also explain the Academic Mentor Bank, in which local students are matched with experts and professionals.

To RSVP, call Susan Mackin Dolan at 926-8056 or e-mail, or contact Anne Dunlevie at 926-0723 or at For more information, visit

” Nicole Frey

EDWARDS ” The Kimberly Linn McDonald Foundation joins the National Patient Safety Foundation, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Medically Induced Trauma Support Services, Consumers Advancing Patient Safety, the Joint Commission International Center for Patient Safety, and the Institute for Safe Medical Practices in recognizing National Patient Safety Awareness Week, which runs until Saturday.

Linda Kenney, the founder of Medically Induced Trauma Support Services, will speak Thursday at noon at community luncheon will at The Chaparral Restaurant at Cordillera Valley Club, 0101 Lariat, Edwards, CO.

Topics covered will include the patient’s role in medical safety and how various groups are working to improve medical care.

Reservations are required for the luncheon. Call 926-8908 or e-mail to

Dillon resident Flo Raitano has been chosen to lead the Interstate 70 Mountain Corridor Coalition, a group of mountain communities working on freeway congestion while the state is doing its own multi-year study.

“I told them, when they asked me why I was interested in the position, that I’m at a point in my life and career where I’m only interested in taking on a project that matters, that makes a difference. This, I’m convinced, is one of them,” Raitano said.

Raitano, a third-generation native Coloradan, came to Summit County in 1982 to practice veterinary medicine. From 1986 to 1993, she was the mayor of Dillon. She later became executive director of the Rural Development Council under Gov. Roy Romer. She was an advocate for bringing broadband to rural parts of the state.

As for I-70 , mountain communities from Idaho Springs to Silverthorne, Vail and beyond will all have to sink or swim together, but the metro communities of the Front Range also need to be part of the solution, she said.

“I don’t see it as an we-versus-they,” she said. “The Front Range stands to benefit as much as we do from a positive solution.”

Vail, Colorado

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