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Avoid tangling with bears

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ASPEN, Colo. - City officials in Aspen are dispensing helpful hints to property owners who want to avoid tangling with bears. The best single tactic is to keep trash in bear-resistant containers, as required by law - although one not universally obeyed. Those who want to avoid bruins cruising for free food are advised by bear specialist Dan Glidden of the Aspen Police Department to spray small amounts of ammonia or bleach around trash containers or patio doors.

Another idea, he tells The Aspen Times, is to place boards with nails sticking out of them near doors or waste containers. Being pricked by nails will usually startle the bear and cause him or her to leave. Screws, however, can break off inside the bear, making them angry.


Canmore school gets composting

CANMORE, Alberta - After the first winter of operation, the Earth Tub Composter at Canmore Collegiate High School seems to be getting passing grades. The school's commercial foods teacher wanted to stop sending food wastes to the landfill, and that led to purchase of the Earth Tub Composter and placement in a bear-proof compound.

Students contribute their waste food to the composter, along with wood chips and sawdust from the school shop. The compost produced will be used at the school greenhouse and on landscaping projects while also saving on landfill costs, estimated at $106 per week, reports the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

A few miles away in Banff, there is a similar report of success with a recycling program. There, 17 per cent of residential waste is now being diverted. But counting diversion of biosolids retrieved after sewage treatment, the community crows about a 50 per cent diversion rate. Helping encourage higher recycling rates among commercial properties, fees have been implemented to promote recycling. As the waste that isn't recycled must be hauled to a landfill at Calgary an hour away, there is additional incentive.


Not worthy of the gene pool

DURANGO, Colo. -Letter-writer Philip D'Angelo said he's noticed, "young women who are too drunk or drugged to communicate without slurring, being approached for a 'pick-up' by young males."

Writing in the Durango Telegraph, he urges people who witness this to call the police.

"Durango is full of young men who have no compunctions against exploiting a woman's helplessness at a bar. A word to them: If you need to drug a woman or need her to be incoherent to get sex, you probably shouldn't be in the gene pool," he said.

Mud, floods and slides

VAIL, Colo. - The final weeks of April were unusually snowy across northern Colorado, leaving snow depths in upper elevations at around 220 per cent higher than average. That means plenty of skiing for those willing to earn their turns in the backcountry.