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2011: Year in review

Jenney Coberly delivered some stunning photos and videos from the Breckenridge snow sculpting event.

January & February

SUMMIT COUNTY — At more than 150 stories and posts per month, Summit Voice stays pretty lively. It’s impossible for me to remember all the stories we’ve run, so between Christmas and New Years, we’ll look back and try to pick out some of the most interesting stories, including this first report, which astonished some people when it first appeared by suggesting that Summit County could be at risk of a terrorist attack.

Looking back at these stories also helps spur me to do followups on some of the most interesting ones.

County officials reached back to the arson attack on Vail Mountain more than a decade ago, claiming that similar “land use, development and expansion plans in Summit County have a potential to illicit demonstration actions.”

Summit County: BOCC looks at updated emergency plan

Summit County is at a moderate risk for a domestic terror attack local officials say in a draft version of an updated emergency operations plan that’s up for discussion at a county commissioner work session this week (Feb. 1, 9:30 a.m. at the County Courthouse in Breckenridge).

We Covered the role of social media in the Egyptian revolution in this story: Egyptians protest, the world watches and reported on a snowboarder who was able to “swim” for his life in a large avalanche on Vail Pass in this story: Colorado: Snowboarder ‘swims’ to survive Vail Pass slide.

And take another look at this visual feast from Jenney Coberly, covering the international snow sculpting contest in Breckenridge: Breckenridge: Fantastic colors and forms in snow. And there was more great video coverage of Breckenridge by Jenney in this post from the Ullr parade: Video: The wild and wacky Ullr Fest Parade in Breckenridge.

Out sustained coverage of two planned new water diversions from the West Slope to the Front Range started in the early stages of the process: Colorado: Mitigation plans for new water diversions due and continued to report on critical Colorado water issues: Colorado water demand to soar by up to 1 million acre-feet.

But we totally missed the boat on this spring weather update, as forecasters were calling for a dry spring: Weatherblog: Spring outlook on the dry side.

Summit Voice covered the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster extensively, and in January, we were still reporting on the aftermath: Oil spill: Dispersant lingered for months deep in Gulf.

In ongoing efforts to use multimedia as part of our online coverage, we presented audio coverage of Breckenridge Town Council meeting on Peak 6 in this story: Breckenridge Town Council gets Peak 6 update.

Summit Voice covers Colorado Wildlife issues as well or better than any other news outlet in the state:Colorado: Wildlife advocates focus on wolverines.

That coverage is reflected by in-depth enterprise stories like this: Wildlife agencies still mum on Peak 6 lynx impacts.

This story ended up being one of the most-viewed stories of the year, not because it was big breaking news at the time, but because web search engines continue to drive traffic to the article. Even now, a year later, it sometimes gets 20 to 30 views per day: Traces of Prozac found in fish near Montreal.

More January headlines:

February

Summit Voice is often the first to report on significant ski-related stories in Summit County, especially when it comes to sensitive or technical topics like avalanches, ski area expansions or backcountry access, like this story, which is related to the proposed Peak 6 expansion: Colorado: New backcountry access at Breckenridge.

One of our missions is to report on the overriding environmental issue of our era: Global warming. New science that’s critical to the survival of the planet is published nearly every day, and while many news outlets still cling to the old paradigm that there’s some sort of scientific debate on the subject, we’ve moved beyond that. And when was the last time you saw a global warming story in the Summit Daily, anyway? Global warming: Desert dust storms to get worse.

A few more global warming headlines from February:

The more general subject of biodiversity is also under-reported in the mainstream media, even as biologists raise the alarm about an unprecedented rate of species extinctions that threatens to leave our planet a poorer place: Search for missing amphibians highlights extinction crisis.


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