Mountain News: 

Who will get the rest of Mammoth?

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The Aspen Valley Medical Foundation is planning a conference in June to address substance abuse, depression, and suicide.

As for Thompson, his suicide provoked comment from across the world, as scores of writers revealed how his writing had strongly influenced them and motivated them to seek "truth" instead of merely operating a conveyor line of facts. As for the family members – he shot himself when his son, grandson, and daughter-in-law were nearby – they said they’re fine with his suicide and the manner in which he did it, if saddened by his absence. His widow said the same thing.

Half a mil no deterrent

JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. — Can you imagine people for whom $500,000 is no more than a nuisance? That is the story described in Jackson Hole, where a couple surreptitiously built a house to a size 3,000 square feet more than allowed by county law. As such, it’s now 13,000 square feet.

Although a judge fined the homeowners $500,000, he allowed the illegal expansion to remain intact. Teton County is now appealing that decision, and the Jackson Hole News & Guide says it should. "A fine even as large as a few hundred thousand dollars is meaningless to the superwealthy," said the newspaper. The only message such folks will understand is when ordered to remove the illegal expansion, added the paper.

Banff studies Whistler’s parking

BANFF, Alberta — After a visit to Whistler, officials in Banff are thinking harder about charging for parking. The key, said Mayor John Stutz, is that Banff would have to provide more public transportation as well as free parking in outlying areas.

The story from Whistler is of success. "Main Street used to be free to park, but people would park there all day, and it was so jammed with people trying to find parking it would cause traffic flow problems," Whistler’s Sandra Smith, a municipal employee, told the Rocky Mountain Outlook. Free parking, and lots of it, still exists, but in outlying areas. The town collects nearly $500,000 annually in parking revenue.

Similar to Whistler, Aspen 10 years ago adopted paid parking as a way of freeing up spaces, using the booty to finance improved bus service. Even bitter opponents now concede the idea was a good one, even if somewhat unpleasant.

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