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Mountain News: Assessing who gets to live in the U.S.

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MOUNTAIN VILLAGE, Colo. — Occupants of a 222-unit housing complex in Mountain Village, the slopeside town next to the Telluride ski area, now must show proof of legitimate U.S. residency before their leases can be renewed this year.

Federal funding was used to build the workforce housing, and a Colorado law passed in 2006 said those 18 or older should provide proof that they are lawfully present in the U.S. prior to receipt of certain public benefits. The law, however, has not been enforced.

An organizer who works closely with the immigrant community in Telluride told the

Telluride Daily Planet that many people in the complex are "shaken up." One woman, a housekeeping supervisor at a local hotel, interviewed by the Daily Planet, said she is a U.S. citizen, as are her two children, but her husband has no proof of legal residence. That puts all of the family without a place to live come June, when the lease expires.

In Steamboat Springs, about 30 refugees from West Africa appear to be unaffected by the executive order issued by President Donald Trump to halt immigration into the country from seven majority-Muslim countries. The refugees are mostly from Senegal, and arrived in the Steamboat area early in the last decade after fleeing persecution and racial unrest in their native land.

Doggy-doo at issue

TELLURIDE, Colo. — Doggy-doo was the centre of discussion at a recent meeting. One town councillor observed that there are more dogs than people in Telluride.

"Dog issues were already an endless problem and a longtime, long-discussed community issue," said Karen Guglielmone, the town environmental and engineering manager, who added: "I'm at a loss and I'm tired of talking about it, but we needed to talk about it."

The fundamental problem is that people aren't cleaning up after their dogs. Dogs are not required to be on leash in all areas, and there's a sentiment that the leash-required area should be expanded, reported the Telluride Daily Planet.

But the council members aren't ready to go there just yet. Telluride, perhaps the most liberal of our ski towns, is, in its own way, deeply libertarian.

Is natural gas pipeline safe?

JASPER, Alta. — Kinder Morgan, the international gas-transmission company, recently secured permission to construct the TransMountain pipeline from Edmonton to Vancouver. A portion of the pipeline is to parallel an existing pipeline that crosses Jasper National Park.

The Jasper Fitzhugh said Trans Mountain recently held a public information meeting in Jasper to address local concerns. One concern should not be about a bursting pipeline, said Lisa Clement, a representative of the company. Age of pipelines is not a problem. She said that if properly cared for, pipes can essentially last forever.

"That worry is very common, and the answer to that is with the proper integrity and proper maintenance, a pipeline can have an infinite life."

Since 1962, she said, Kinder Morgan has reported 82 spills to Canada's National Energy Board related to its TransMountain pipeline. Abo ut 70 per cent of those spills have occurred at pump stations or terminals. The rest have occurred along the pipeline's route, but none in Jasper. Trans Mountain must satisfy 157 conditions, including 49 environmental requirements.

Aspen character fought to maintain Aspen character

ASPEN, Colo. — Aspen resident Su Lum recently died at the age of 80 after a lifetime of smoking. She was a longtime ad saleswoman at The Aspen Times. She found her way to Aspen in 1964 and beginning in the late 1980s, she also wrote columns for the newspaper. They were funny, acerbic, and brash, lacking only the profanity of her conversation in more private settings.

Andy Stone, also a longtimer at the Aspen Times, described her as a "small, salty woman with an indomitable spirit." Another former coworker, Janet Urquhart, said "her bullshit meter had a hair-trigger."

She was, said the Times, a relentless and unapologetic voice for preserving Aspen's character. She wouldn't hesitate to march into the newsroom to ask an editor why a story was written in a particular way or why an issue wasn't being pursued.

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