Mountain News 

Pairing butts, bikes and beds

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Both DiSalvo and Braudis acknowledge knowing several of the defendants, but say that in a smaller community, that's not unusual. And they deny close relationships.

The federal drug agents and local accomplices from nearby towns disagree. They point to a 65 th birthday party in April for one of the defendants, who had been arrested previously elsewhere in Colorado on a cocaine charge.

Both DiSalvo and Braudis admit that they had attended the party, held at the Hyatt Grand Aspen, but only briefly, 15 minutes in the case of DiSalvo. "I saw Wayne and we shook hands," he told Rick Carroll of The Aspen Times . "I knew he was going away for a long time, and we shook hands and I left." Braudis said much the same thing. They deny the "close ties" alleged by the DEA.

The Pitkin County commissioners have unanimously asked the DEA to cooperate with local law-enforcement agencies when conducting operations within Pitkin County.

The letter, according to The Aspen Times , asked the federal agency to put aside any political disagreements and "reconsider the directive you've given to your field agents and employees that places innocent people at risk."

Pitkin County's position, at least in part, stems from a 1975 incident in which federal drug agents were making a bust without informing the local cops. Neighbors saw a furtive man with a gun lurking and called local police. Local police, unaware of a drug bust underway, responded with their own guns, although the situation was resolved and confusion cleared up without further incident.


Sold-out food festival

ASPEN, Colo. - While doubts remain about the strength of the recovering economy, note that the Food & Wine Magazine Classic in Aspen this summer has had to turn away significant numbers of people willing to pay top dollar to taste wines and hear from top chefs talking about their craft. Few rooms were available last weekend, reports The Aspen Times.

"People are in disbelief, so I hope they realize that they can't wait until the last minute next year, as this could be signaling a slow return to the old days," said Bill Tomcich, president of Stay Aspen Snowmass. It was, he said, the first time since 2008 that guests were turned away.


Affordable housing prices rise

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. - Not all home values have been shrinking like a mound of snow on a hot summer day. Deed-restricted homes appreciated 2.5 per cent during the recession while single-family homes declined 21.6 per cent.

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