Wayward doctor falls to death
VAIL, Colo. –James McGrogan was a 39-year-old emergency room physician near South Bend, Ind., who had set out for the Eiseman Hut. It’s in the 10th Mountain Division Association chain of huts.
The trail from Vail sidles past Bald Mountain and is well marked and well used. Somehow, he got off the trail. By simply going downhill, he would have returned to the trail – and to Vail. Instead, he kept going.
Several weeks after his disappearance, and after thousands of hours spent by searchers looking in the wrong places, his body was found. The Vail Daily says that he had crossed a ridge and into another drainage. There had slipped on ice and fallen to his death. From where he fell, he could see parts of Vail, perhaps a mile and a half away.
Eagle County coroner Kara Bettis concluded that the doctor died of multiple injuries, including those to his head.
Arguing over water
ASPEN, Colo. – If you want to get into an argument in Colorado, just go to one of the ski towns and suggest that Denver and other cities along the Front Range deserve all the water they take from the mountain headwaters.
In fact, water is almost entirely spoken for in Colorado, and some contend not nearly enough has been left in creeks and rivers for fish, kayakers and other purposes that have nothing to do with suburban lawns in Front Range cities. Now comes continued discussion of how another transmountain diversion project might look.
Writing a letter to the Aspen Daily News, Barb Coddington warned that Denver-area cities had better not talk about taking more water until they learn to use it more carefully.
“There are a whole lot of serious conservation actions that have not been taken, or even seriously talked about, for the Front Range,” she wrote.
Au contraire, responded Dave Merritt, a water engineer and a director of a key Western Slope water entity. “The Western Slope stands to learn a lot from the water conservation efforts on the Front Range,” he wrote, citing a passel of statistics that sort-of, maybe, backed up his contention.
Coddinton had the last word, in yet another letter warning of future climate refugees moving to Colorado from Texas, Arizona and eventually Mexico and other places. They really aren’t welcome in Colorado, she added.
Oprah invests again!
MOUNTAIN VILLAGE, Colo. – Oprah Winfrey has purchased about 60 acres of land in Mountain Village, the slope-side town adjacent to Telluride. The Telluride Watch reports a purchase price of $10.85 million and growing confidence in the return of a more robust real estate market.
Johnny Law distresses locals
TAOS, N.M. – A crackdown by federal law agents in the parking lot of the Taos Ski Valley distressed locals.
The Taos News explains that four law agents of the U.S. Forest Service took a drug-sniffing dog for a tour of the ski area’s parking lot while also stopping vehicles along State Road 150. The lawmen issued 13 violation notices, including five for possession of marijuana and one for illegal possession of prescription drugs, and also issued summonses for traffic violations.
“People felt threatened, bullied, and because of this intimidation, felt violated and that they had no choice but to comply,” wrote Neal King, mayor of the Taos Ski Valley, a municipality, in a March 4th letter to the Forest Service.
Town officials further tell the Taos New that while they don’t deny the right of the Forest Service to enforce laws on its property, which includes the ski area’s parking lot. But fi there’s a next time, they want a lighter touch. The agents seemed to have an imperious air to them.