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Mountain News: This year’s Grump larger than ever



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'Less bad' is encouraging

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. - Could the economy be turning? Everyone keeps looking for daybreak. At least for those closer to metropolitan areas, the darkest of night has now passed.

In Breckenridge, town officials report July was "less bad" than previous months, with a decline of only 12 per cent compared to the same month in 2008. That compares with about 18 per cent for the year. More broadly across Summit County, the sales tax decline for the year was 14.6 per cent through July, reports the Summit Daily News .


Chickens starting to look good

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. - Add Steamboat Springs and Gypsum to the long list of municipalities who are considering allowing live chickens. The proposal - which has yet to be heard by review commissions - would allow as many as five hens, but no roosters at single-family homes.

Bob Keenan, a city planner, tells the Steamboat Pilot & Today that chickens have some negatives, including the clucking and fact that they attract predators. But, overall, he believes they have fewer impacts than dogs.

Not all readers were impressed. "Gimme a break," wrote one blogger at the newspaper's website. "A dozen eggs are like $3. Chickens stink and are annoying."

In Gypsum, located west of Vail, a chicken-owner was ordered to get rid of her cluckers. But the woman, Lydia House, told the Vail Daily that "having chickens is important for modern-day self-sustainability."

She tells the newspaper that the town has about 16 "underground" chicken-owners. "My kids adore the chickens and they learn that eggs don't come from rectangular Styrofoam containers," said one of the undergrounders. "And the eggs are fantastic. Light years and beyond better than the eggs you buy in a store."

Gypsum allowed chickens until the mid-1990s and Jeff Shroll said those residents wanting to allow livestock as a right are free to petition the town council. "We are a government for the people, by the people," he said.


Flash mob calls for climate pact

REVELSTOKE, B.C. - What is called a "flash mob" suddenly appeared in downtown Revelstoke recently at the noon hour, making noise and waving signs, such as: "Wake Up Leaders - Climate Action Now."

The mob marched down the city's main avenue to the municipal hall, then dispersed. It was, reported the Revelstoke News , among 2,300 groups internationally who held a public demonstration on short notice.