Mountain News: real estate agents mowing lawns 

VAIL, Colo. - Not surprisingly, the Vail and the Eagle Valley realty organization has shed 15 per cent of its member real estate agents since sales peaked in 2007 and 2008.

The Vail Daily reports the local realty organization has lost 15 per cent of its members, and is now down to 700 members. But last year, there were more agents than sales. This year, the real estate market remains on the ropes.

Echoing a report last year in Aspen, the newspaper says that some agents have reverted to work they did before being enticed by 15 per cent commissions on million dollar properties.

Consider Scott Marino, who was in the landscaping business until five years ago. Now, he's mowing lawns and shoveling snow once again - but willing to put either aside if the phone rings with somebody wanting a showing.

"When times are good, you save up, and when they aren't, you do what you have to," he told the newspaper.


Only LED lights by 2012

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. - What about those Christmas lights? Pretty nifty, no? Why not leave them up year round?

While some in ski towns want to do that, Breckenridge officials have decided to maintain a ban on the little white lights beyond the winter holiday season. "There is something special about it being more seasonal," Councilwoman Jennifer McAtamey explained.

The Summit Daily News reports that the council has ruled that decorative lights by May 2012 must be LED if they are to continue their day-and-night holiday twinkling.


Telluride ready to ban plastic bags

TELLURIDE, Colo. - Telluride in October may become the first Colorado community to ban the distribution of plastic bags for shopping.

The town council has been talking about this since May, when a film called Bag It was shown at Mountainfilm. The film excoriated the ubiquitous use of plastic, which has collected in the Pacific Ocean in a giant swirl that some say is the size of Texas.

But just what would be a prudent approach to weaning shoppers and retailers off plastic bags has not been clear to the councilors. They have started first down one path, then another as they've gotten pushback from some store owners. But the Telluride Watch says this latest proposal will become law in October if the current 5-2 majority prevails in a second vote.

The proposal would ban most types of plastic bags while imposing a 10-cent per bag fee on paper bags. Plastic would be permitted for some uses, such as meats, prescription drugs and newspapers.

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