Mountain News 

Peeves revealed in skateboard proposal

MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif. - In September, a young man was skateboarding in Mammoth Lakes when he hit a pothole and tumbled. He died as a result of his injuries.

Should Mammoth Lakes regulate skateboarders? The village council ultimately decided to leave well enough alone, but the conversation reported by The Sheet suggests plenty of pent-up peeves.

"Just be aware that cars don't know what to do with you," said Mayor Jo Bacon.

Skip Harvey, a council member, surprised the young skateboarders in the audience when he told them that back in the day he had been a skater, too. In fact, he had run a skate shop.

"I can relate to the fun and sense of freedom you feel," he told a delegation of skaters who had testified in opposition to new rules. "Plus, it's a great physical workout, which is what we're all about up here. But you need to police yourselves and set examples for other riders. Don't just go blowing through stop signs."


A decline as great as the silver bust

KETCHUM, Idaho - Taking stock of the arched disagreement about air access to the Sun Valley and Ketchum area, the Idaho Mountain Express draws a stark comparison.

"The prospect of not having an adequate airport is the greatest threat to the area's economic viability since silver markets went bust... and put local mining operations out of business," says the newspaper in an editorial.

That silver bust occurred in the 1890s. Although mining continued for gold, lead and other minerals, for places like Aspen, whose mines produced almost exclusively silver, the bust was the start of a long, quiet period that lasted until the recreation economy picked up after World War II.

Ketchum was the seminal inspiration for most other resort towns of the West. Its initial access was by railroad. However, rails long ago were ripped up and the airport that serves the resort area falls far short in its ability to accommodate the sort of planes than serve Aspen, Vail and Steamboat, not to mention Park City, just 45 minutes from a major international airport.

The existing airport, located at Hailey, down-valley from Ketchum, needs to expand if it is to accommodate larger planes. The alternative was to build an entirely new airport, outside the mountains , which was the plan until the Federal Aviation Administration suspended environmental review, citing both ballooning costs and impacts to sage grouse.

The Express discerns three groups, each with simple answers - including the idea of expanding bus or van transportation to more distant airports at Twin Falls or Boise. But none, it says, are necessarily coming to grips with the grim situation.


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