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Colorado: CDOT eyes fix for I-70 bridges in Silverthorne

New drainage system would prevent sand from reaching the Blue River

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Traction sand streaming off the I-70 bridge over the Blue River in Silverthorne has resulted in unsightly piles of sand and damaged vegetation along the banks of the Blue River.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Colorado Department of Transportation and Silverthorne hope to remediate a long-standing source of Blue River pollution this summer, when the highway department plans to redesign the drainage system on the I-70 bridges crossing the river.

The idea is to try and shunt at least some of the traction sand and the rest of the road gook in some kind of drainage pipe, starting in the middle of the bridges, and catch it in a basin on either end, said CDOT engineer Peter Kozinksi, who acknowledged that most of the sand has been running off the bridges for 40 years — and most of it ends up in the Blue River, a Gold Medal trout streamwhere  Silverthorne and partners have invested hundreds of thousand of dollars in restoration. Continue reading

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Morning photo: Buffalo Mountain

Gore Range giant

Sunrise pano over Buffalo Mountain.

Sunrise panoramo over Buffalo Mountain.

Morning photo is sponsored by Copper Condos. Click for more info.

Morning photo is sponsored by Copper Condos. Click for more info.

FRISCO — Peak One, with its classic alpine shape, may get most of the attention from photographers, but I have a soft spot for Buffalo Mountain, the big rounded hulk of a peak that towers over Silverthorne like a benign giant. I’m still not sure how this mountain got its name, but I think this post is going to spur me to do a little more research.

When he was younger, Dylan was convinced for many years that the big gash in the face of the mountain was from a volcanic eruption. I’m pretty sure that Buffalo doesn’t have a history of vulcanism, but it’s fun idea, even though I’ve convinced him that there were other geological processes at work. It is, in any case, an impressive summit, and the light often seems to work its magic with this landmark of the Gore Range.

If you like the images you see here, visit our online FineArt America gallery for more Summit County images, available as fine art prints and greeting cards.

Buffalo Mountain reflection during the early spring from the Pine Cove area.

Buffalo Mountain reflection during the early spring from the Pine Cove area.

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Summit County man faces charges after handgun threats

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Summit County resident Dale Montagne, 62, has been charged with felony menacing after threatening several men with a handgun and allegedly firing a shot.

Sheriff’s deputies arrest Dale Montagne after altercation over leased apartment

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — The Summit County Sheriff’s Office Thursday arrested a local man after he allegedly threatened four men with a handgun and fired a shot at the feet of one of the men after a disagreement over a rental lockoff unit.

According to a release from the sheriff’s office, Dale Montagne, 62, was booked into the Summit County Jail on charges of: Prohibited Use of Weapons, a Class 2 Misdemeanor; Reckless Endangerment, a Class 3 Misdemeanor; four counts of Menacing/Intimidation, a Class 5 Felony; and 1st Degree Burglary Assault/Menacing, a Class 3 Felony. Continue reading

Summit County Dems rally to mark start of early voting

Summit County Democrats look to boost turnout, early voting.

Big Summit turnout needed to win state races

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — With absentee ballots going out Monday, Summit County Democrats are starting their final run-up to the election Sunday afternoon rally at party headquarters in Silverthorne (Summit Place shopping center, next to the Smiling Moose Deli).

State Rep. Millie Hamner and Colorado Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio are both confirmed for the event, and several other local candidates may also speak at the rally.

“We’re hoping to use this as a kick-off for our get out the vote efforts,” said Matt Inzeo, communications director for the Colorado Democratic Party.

Summit County has long been a left-leaning stronghold, but state redistricting has made the county more important for candidates like Emily Tracy, facing conservative Republican Randy Baumgardner in a district that includes rural ranching communities.

In 2008, Obama won 67 percent of the vote in Summit County, even though more than a third of registered voters identify themselves as Independents. A big turnout could help those Democratic candidates farther down the ticket, said local activist Sandy Briggs.

“There’s no question Summit will go for Obama. It’s just a question if he can match that 67 percent he got last time,” Briggs said, adding that there’s a lot at stake for Summit County residents.

A Romney administration would favor more commercial development on the county’s cherished public lands, and could reverse the progress made on increasing production of renewable energy — another issue that’s important to high country residents.

Colorado: Lane closures and delays along I-70, as CDOT improves traffic signage, plans for new Twin Tunnels bore

New info signs going up; inspections and survey work at the Twin Tunnels

Eastbound I-70 travelers will some lane closures and delays between Silverthorne and Idaho Springs the next few weeks.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — It could be tough going on and off for eastbound travelers on I-70 between Silverthorne and Denver this week, as the Colorado Department of Transportation adds electronic traffic information signs and works on the eastbound bore of the Twin Tunnels, near Idaho Springs.

The inspection and survey work in the tunnel is in preparation for a major project next year that would add a third lane at the highway chokepoint. One lane of I-70 will remain closed through June 8. CDOT expects the lane closure to be lifted by 10 a.m. and drivers should anticipate delays approaching the tunnel, especially during daytime hours. Traffic stops may also take place during night hours. Continue reading

Summit County: Missing insects a sign of trouble for the gold medal fishing waters of the Blue River in Silverthorne

Electroshocking and counting trout in the Blue River in Silverthorne. Click on the image for more details and a video of the sampling.

Stocked fish sustain gold medal status through Silverthorne

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Even though it’s classified as a gold medal trout stream, the Blue River below Dillon Reservoir is not all it could be. State water quality experts and biologists will scrutinize the river the next few years after recent sampling showed that there aren’t nearly as many aquatic insects in the riverbed as needed to sustain a healthy aquatic ecosystem. The summary of the assessment is online here.

The findings didn’t surprise Jon Ewert, an aquatic biologist with Colorado Parks and Wildlife who has been sampling and studying the Blue (along with other streams in the region) for several years.

“We’ve known for years that there’s a lack of productivity in the Blue,” Ewert said, describing how repeated sampling of trout shows very slow growth rates and fish in poor body condition —  consistent with similar sampling results going back to the 1980s. Continue reading

Morning photo: November!

The onset of winter

Looking over Summit County from Tenderfoot Mountain on a sub-zero November morning.

SUMMIT COUNTY — I think of November as a quiet month, with long, chilly and dark days. Winter hasn’t really quite started yet, autumn is definitely over … going out and shooting pictures involves new challenges, namely the cold weather. I think I’ve been near frostbite several times on some of these sunrise expeditions. But just because there are no more golden aspen leaves, or rosy wildflowers doesn’t mean you can’t come up with a good image or three! Enjoy these November shots of Summit County and vote in the poll at the end to choose which image will be part of the 2012 Summit Voice calendar. And remember, all the photography you see on Summit Voice can be purchased as prints. We have a selection of photos for sale online at Imagekind, and another gallery at RedBubble. Continue reading

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