Whitewater park work will close roads | VailDaily.com

Whitewater park work will close roads

Daily Staff Report
Colorado Division of Wildlife

AVON – During work on the whitewater park, a large crane will lift concrete structures into the river, closing southbound Avon Road south of Hurd Lane from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday. Drivers can use West Beaver Creek Boulevard to get to U.S. Highway 6. Drivers will still be able to get to Benchmark Road and Hurd Lane. Single lanes of Avon Road will be closed during the work, but the town says the road should not be completely closed again. During the work, a boat ramp, terraces beneath Bob the Bridge for spectator viewing and river features will installed. Wetlands also will be replanted. The park should open next spring. For more information, call Avon’s Engineering Department at 748-4100.People likely to see more bearsEAGLE COUNTY – From now until winter begins, bears will be looking for food to bulk up for hibernation, and people may see more of the animals around their homes. The Colorado Division of Wildlife says that means it’s especially important for homeowners to make sure they’re not attracting bears with garbage or other sources of food.

“Just because a bear is near your house doesn’t mean it is being aggressive,” said Tonya Sharp, a district wildlife manager. “Black bears are not aggressive animals – it’s probably looking for food. The closer we get to winter, bears will be searching for food up to 20 hours-a-day.”Awhile bears eat some meat, they are not predators in the same sense that mountain lions are. Bears might kill chickens, rabbits and other penned livestock, but generally do not stalk food the way a lion will. Up to 90 percent of a bear’s diet is vegetation. The 10 percent that is meat usually consists of insects and dead animals. “When a bear is eating it is generally not aware of anything else,” Sharp said. “If someone yells at a bear and it doesn’t move, it doesn’t mean it’s being aggressive.” Colorado’s black bears are currently in a transition period, moving from grasses, forbs, flowers and other summertime foods to berries and acorns. As bears become more active in their search for food, it increases the chance of encounters between people and bears. Biologists estimate that adult bears need to consume up to 20,000 calories per day in the fall to store enough fat to sustain them through hibernation. Even when acorns and berries are plentiful, bears will try to find the easiest source of food available. “If that food is in a backyard, that’s where they’ll go,” Sharp said. “Bears are looking for high-calorie food, and they can find that in things like dog food, bird seed and human food scraps.” Bears have a highly developed sense of smell. “Anyone with a refrigerator or freezer in their garage should remember to keep the garage door closed,” Sharp said.The longer a bear hangs around where people live, the more dangerous it is because it becomes habituated to humans, Sharp said. Wildlife officers will use rubber buckshot, pepper spray, and other techniques to persuade bears to leave an area. If those methods fail, wildlife managers will consider trapping and relocating bears, she said.

For more information on bears, visit the Web site: http://wildlife.state.co.us.Avon cop wins DUI enforcement awardAVON – Officer Steve Hodges will be recognized by Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Colorado Department of Transportation at 11 a.m. on Tuesday at the Heat Heroes Award Luncheon in the Budweiser Room at Invesco Field. “Officer Hodges is fully devoted to the prevention of alcohol-related crashes through zero-tolerance DUI enforcement,” Avon police Chief Brian Kozak said. “In the last 12-months he has arrested more than twice the amount of DUI offenders than any of the other 15 officers on the Avon Police Department.” Hodges also coordinates and reports all activity dealing with DUI enforcement for the Avon. He also maintains the breath testing instruments for the department, Kozak said. Officer Hodges is one of 37 officers statewide who will receive this award. He has worked for the town of Avon for 12 years, six years as a code enforcement officer and six years as a police officer.Rotary accepting exchange applicationsThe Vail Rotary Club and Edwards Rotary Club (Down-Valley Rotary) are now accepting applications for the Youth Exchange Program sponsored by Rotary International. Rotary Youth Exchange students spend a year living with host families and attending school in one of more than 160 countries where Rotary Clubs exist. Candidates should possess qualities such as leadership, flexibility and a willingness to try new things and act as cultural ambassadors in their host country. Although cultural exchange, not travel, is the main purpose of the program, students on these year-long exchanges usually have opportunities to travel with their host families and other Rotary Exchange Students on organized tours.

The program is open to qualified high schools students between the ages of 16 and 18 at the time of departure from the US who have not yet graduated from high school. The program is open to the children of Rotarians and non-Rotarians alike. The exchange will take place during the 2007-2008 school year. All applicants must complete a written application and an oral interview. Rotary is an international service organization made up of local clubs, which serve their communities, and promote world understanding through various foreign exchange programs with both students and business leaders. A preliminary application may be obtained from the Vail Daily website, or on the internet at HYPERLINK “http://www.rotary.org/newsroom/downloadcenter/pdfs/746ap_f.pdf” http://www.rotary.org/newsroom/downloadcenter/pdfs/746ap_f.pdf. A paper application may be requested by contacting Larry Agneberg at 476-2482, extension 16, HYPERLINK “mailto:agneberg@vail.net” agneberg@vail.net; or Linda Hill at 926-6700, extension 253; HYPERLINK “mailto:Linda@hillncompany.com” linda@hillncompany.com. The completed application should be returned by contacting Larry Agneberg no later than September 27.

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