Breck, Vail Resorts squabble over parking

Spring season extended at Breckenridge Ski Area. PHOTO COURTESY VAIL RESORTS/JACK AFFLECK.

 Breckenridge Ski Area. PHOTO COURTESY VAIL RESORTS/JACK AFFLECK.

Lift-ticket tax proposal stirs up bad blood

Staff Report

FRISCO — The long-running love-hate soap opera between Breckenridge and Vail Resorts took a nasty turn this week, as town officials vowed to forge ahead with putting an admissions (lift-ticket) tax on the November ballot, while the resort company questioned the town’s legal authority to do so.

At issue, according to Breckenridge, is an urgent need to address parking and transit issues — something the town should have started addressing 15 years ago. Based on community input, town officials say, the best path forward is to build a parking structure on F-Lot and to boost transit options.

To do that, the town wants to establish a new revenue stream by taxing lift tickets and other for-profit attractions. But Breckenridge and Vail Resorts have apparently failed to find common ground. In a press release, Mayor John Warner said ongoing negotiations have failed, leaving the town no option but to pursue voter approval for a new tax in the fall. Continue reading

Summit County: Frey Gulch restoration begins

Construction of new dirt bike trails also under way

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The Forest Service and volunteer partners are simultaneously building new dirt bike trails and closing forest roads in the Tenderfoot Mountain area.

Staff Report

FRISCO — The U.S. Forest Service is implementing restoration plans associated with approval of the new off-road motorcycle trail system on Tenderfoot Mountain.

The trail system, long a local point of contention, was approved last year based on a compromise agreement among stakeholders. The Forest Service has already started building part of the trail, with new single-track visible just a few feet above, and running parallel to Straight Creek Road.

This summer, Tenderfoot Mountain Road (#66.2B) in Frey Gulch will be closed and rehabilitated in order to improve water quality and improved habitat for fish and wildlife. The restoration of Frey Gulch was included as a condition the trail system permit. Continue reading

Pilot killed as medical helicopter crashes near Frisco, Colorado

Flight crew suffers serious injuries

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Firefighters work to extinguish the flames after a Flight For Life helicopter crashed near Frisco, Colorado on July 3, 2015. Photo via Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — The pilot of a Flight For Life medical helicopter died in a fiery crash Friday afternoon at the St. Anthony Summit Medical Center near Frisco, Colorado.

Two other crew members, a paramedic and flight nurse, were seriously injured in the crash and were transported to hospitals in Denver,  officials said in a press conference.

The Summit County coroner identified the pilot as 64-year-old Patrick Mahany, a Flight for Life pilot since 1987. Mahany was  a Vietnam veteran and received a bronze star and a purple heart during his years of service. He was a loving father, grandfather and a very proud patriot.
The death is still under investigation and an autopsy has been scheduled. There is no further information available at this time.

Firefighters arrived on the scene in Summit County at about 1:45 p.m., finding the helicopter and two nearby vehicles engulfed in flames.

The helicopter crashed to the ground shortly after taking off. The accident will be investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Summit County fire safety efforts pay off

Improved ratings could lower insurance rates

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Firefighters responding to a June, 2011 wildfire in Keystone Gulch. @bberwyn photo.

Staff Report

FRISCO — Ongoing efforts to improve fire safety in Summit County have paid off, as local communities saw their fire-insurance ratings improve, according to the Lake Dillon Fire Protection District.

Firefighter training, fire-prevention efforts and community outreach and education all helped improve the scores from the Insurance Services Office, an industry data-collection group that assigns a public-protection classification from 1 to 10 for more than 48,000 communities nationwide.

The improvements in the ISO ratings, which officially take effect Sept. 1 and are recognized by most major insurance companies, potentially mean reductions in insurance rates for property owners. Continue reading

Summit Spring: Volunteers wanted for greenhouse work, tree-planting

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It’s time to get gardening in Summit County.

Get your green thumb on!

Staff Report

FRISCO — Springtime in Summit County means it’s time to start thinking about growing everything from backyard cabbage to new trees, and even with a late season snowstorm taking aim at the high country, there’s work to be done.

The High Country Conservation Center is looking for volunteers to help cover the greenhouse at Nancy’s community garden with new plastic. The work party is scheduled for Saturday, April 18 from 10 a.m. to  2 p.m. This job involves some lifting and holding, so please be prepared for some physical work. Continue reading

Summit County takes another step toward zero waste

Voter-approved funding to support collection of electronic devices, pharmaceuticals and hazardous household waste

Pile of Waste - Electronic Waste Documentation (China: 2007)

Electronic waste is piling up at an alarming rate. Photo courtesy Greenpeace.

Staff Report

FRISCO — Voter-approved funding will help Summit County start improving its recycling efforts to include free processing of electronics. To start the new service, the county will hold an inaugural collection event Jan. 31 for both electronics and pharmaceuticals.

“Keeping electronics and medications out of the landfill is a key strategy for local water quality protection,” County Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier said. “And because Summit voters rallied behind Ballot Measure 1A this past November, we’re now able to provide these collection services at no charge to our residents and property owners.” Continue reading

Copper Mountain set to build new Tucker Mountain lift

Copper wants to build the Tucker Mountain lift this summer.

Copper wants to build the Tucker Mountain lift this summer.

Forest Service taking comments on ski area proposals at Copper, Breckenridge

Staff Report

FRISCO — At long last, Copper Mountain Resort is set to move ahead with installation of a new lift on the north side of Tucker Mountain. The lift was originally approved in 2006, but according to the January 5 scoping notice from the U.S. Forest Service, the exact path of the lift has changed slightly.

The agency will take comments on the proposal through Jan. 30 via email at wrnf_scoping_comments@fs.fed.us. Continue reading

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