Mountain News: Bilingualism an issue in U.S. resorts 

PARK CITY, Utah — There seems to be an inverse relationship between the wealth of resort valleys of the West and immigration of Spanish-speaking workers, most of them from Mexico

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War continues on pine beetles

WINTER PARK, Colo. — The snowpack entering May was at average in the Fraser Valley. As such, it’s not a scary year for fire in Winter Park-Granby area. Still, with so many trees dying from pine beetles, there are worries.

The Forest Service has spent $1 million each during the last two years in removing trees. Meanwhile, the town governments of Winter Park and Grand Lake, which both are located primarily amid forests of lodgepole pines, have also launched independent, tax-supported tree-thinning efforts.

Aesthetics is partly at issue. The pine needles turn rust coloured as the trees die, visually unappealing to most eyes. But the broader issue is of fire. For a time after the trees die, the risk of crown fires increases considerably. In addition to the resort towns themselves, perhaps hundreds of homes in outlying areas are dangerously nestled amid pine trees.

In all of this, the coverage of the Winter Park Manifest and sibling newspapers has varied somewhere between abject seriousness and self-parody. Publisher Patrick Brower has gleefully declared "war" on the pine beetle while issuing a supplement titled "Revenge of the Mountain Pine Beetle" that has the look of a marquee for a sci-fi horror movie.

Fines for setting out trash early

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. — Last year bears regularly visited trash cans in Steamboat Springs, and so the city council in January passed a law mandating that no trash be set out before 6 a.m. on the day of pickup nor left out after 8 p.m. The exception? Those who have wildlife-resistant trash containers.

Ads announcing the new law were run on radio stations and in a local newspaper, and free brochures were distributed. Then, the police department dispatched an officer to see who had violated the new law. Some 52 tickets were handed out, each with a $100 fine.

City officials denied the fines were levied to raise revenue. "I want people to do the right thing, to get the wildlife- and bear-proof containers," said Wendy DuBord, the deputy city manager.

Some people did see the law coming. The Steamboat Pilot notes 200 people ordered the wildlife-proof trash containers, which cost $180 to $200, depending on size.

Flooding possible

CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. — For the first time in a decade, Crested Butte will have sandbags at the ready, in case the creek that flows through the town gets a big head of water.

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