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Mountain News: No rent or mortgages for forest-dwellers



BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. — People for decades have lived in tents and make-shift dwellings in the forests around Breckenridge, Frisco and other towns of Summit County. But this spring, one of the forest-dwellers was murdered, and police accused another forest-dweller of the crime.

The death put the spotlight on this largely invisible population. Law enforcement officials tell the Summit Daily News that perhaps hundreds of people live in forested settings, some of them through winter months, emerging during the day to jobs or to libraries, to tap Internet connections.

More evidence: one man's trash is another's treasure

OURAY, Colo. — One person's history is another guy's trash. That seems to be the case in the San Juan Mountains, where the rotting remains of an old railroad depot between Ouray and Silverton were recently bulldozed.

The crushed wood crushed railroad historians. But Don Paulson told The Telluride Watch that he had refrained from the impulse to restore the depot to make it a Disneyland-type attraction.

"Rustic decay is part of what makes historic sites interesting," said the railroad enthusiast.

Silver-spoons aplenty at Food and Wine Classic

ASPEN, Colo. — Aspen hosted the Food & Wine Classic last weekend, the first of a stream of festivals leading up to the Fourth of July.

After a few years of softness, the festival is reporting strong numbers from those who can pony up the cost of $1,185 for a festival pass — presumably, with money left over for silver spoons. All 5,000 passes were sold by April, and Aspen hotels were booked in advance to 97 per cent capacity, with lingering rooms commanding $700 a night, officials told the Aspen Daily News.

New this year, said The Denver Post, was a five kilometre race hosted by celebrity chef Bobby Flay, hands-on classes in knife skills, and a performance by Elvis Costello & the Blue Beguilers.

Next up: the Aspen Environmental Forum, followed by the Aspen Ideas Forum, a relatively new event that has been getting national attention from the likes of large publications and broadcast outlets like the New York Times and National Public Radio.

Wolf keeps distance, but that may change

JASPER, Alberta — Eventually, somebody's going to get hurt, say officials in Jasper National Park.

That assessment was uttered after a wolf chased a dog that had been running ahead of a woman jogging on a trail in the park. She heard a shriek, saw the dog tearing back to her, a large, gray wolf in hot pursuit.

"He really wanted to eat my dog," the woman told Jasper's Fitzhugh newspaper.

The dog at her side, the woman emptied her can of bear spray, to no effect, then picked up a large stick. Thrusting the stick at the wolf, she backed down the trail several hundred metres to a road, where she was rescued by a passing motorist. The wolf stalked them the whole way.

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