Mountain News: Do gates deliver security or status? 

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Bruins figure out cause and effects

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. - Reports of bears trying to get into homes have grown again this year, and included was one rascally cub that figured out how to get into a home and started making a habit of it.

"He circled the house and over and over, banged on every window, and tried every door handle," Arlene Zopf told the Steamboat Pilot , recounting the third visit.

Libbie Miller, the local state wildlife biologist, advised the homeowners to discourage the bear by stationing a baited pepper barrel on the property. When the bear enters the barrel, it trips a trigger that gives it a blast of pepper spray in the face.

Many of the bear reports involved homes outfitted with exterior doors that use levers instead of knobs. Miller theorized that bears that stand on their hind feet and lean on the windows of doors sometimes brush the handles with their paws when they drop to all fours. Presto, the door opens - and the bears associate cause and effect.


Traditional issues in Vail-area debate

EDWARDS, Colo. - Gosh, was it only three years ago that Edwards, located about 10 miles down-valley from Vail, was a poster child of New West extravagances. Officially designated by the U.S. Census Bureau as a micropolitan, it had become the new locals' address of prestige, with new shops, schools and everything else.

Now comes a proposal from the Atira Group for 400 more housing units along with 260,000 square feet of commercial space on the former site of a gravel pit.

Reporting from a recent meeting with neighbors, the Vail Daily says that many perceive the project as a detriment to what they perceive as a lingering semi-rural lifestyle. "This is more like being in Denver's suburbs than being in the mountains," said Elizabeth Holland.

Rick Mueller, a developer, argues for economic development. "You're either growing or you're dying, and we're dying," he said. "People are moving out of the valley."

The commercial component of the development would cater to health and wellness, and Mueller said that would help diversify the local economy.


Ketchum-area gulps water above average

KETCHUM, Idaho - City councilors have been asked to increase the rates for water consumption. The existing rate structure already charges more per quantity of water for higher-volume users, but this proposed rate increase would further penalize large-volume users.

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