News » Mountain News

Mountain News: When should store doors be closed?



Page 4 of 5

Henninger is among several police chiefs from around the United States who appears in the latest television ad from Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

Electrical use declining

ASPEN, Colo. — To encourage people to use less electricity, Aspen adopted a tiered rate structure, charging incrementally higher rates for the users of greater volumes. As well, there have been programs to help commercial and residential customers reduce consumption.

The strategies seem to have worked. Electricity use has declined 3.3 per cent per year since 2008.

This presents a problem, as this means less revenue for utility operation, reports the Aspen Daily News. "But it's a good problem to have," said Mayor Mick Ireland.


DRIGGS, Idaho – In the last decade, Teton County has become a poster child for the bankruptcy of largely carte blanche land development. The result has been what is called zombie subdivisions, or approved projects sitting empty or mostly empty.

It's a beautiful valley, once called Pierre's Hole, separated from Jackson Hole, in Wyoming, by the Teton Range. Unlike Jackson, with its easy access to Yellowstone and Grand Teton, Driggs and other communities have struggled a great deal economically.

Early in the last decade, as the real estate frenzy mounted across the country, developers came calling, and many potato-and-barely farmers were only too ready to cash out and enjoy the good life. Some of this was overflow from Jackson Hole.

But that's when things got difficult. To the alarm of some people, big farms distant from the valley's few small towns — Driggs, Victor and the absolutely tiny Tetonia — were being subdivided with little thought to impacts of roads, wildlife, and other environmental and economic considerations. Battle lines blurred, but there was a battle of old versus new, and Democrats versus Republicans.

Then, in 2007, Democrats and pro-planning forces prevailed — just as the economy began tumbling. One impulse was to be even more libertine in land use, approving even more. But ultimately the voices for more restraint prevailed and the county has tried to undo some of the damage.

In this great community debate, elections have consistently been close, revealing a community divided.

Last November, with the economy still sluggish, the old guard prevailed and the outcome of that public vote is a 2-to-1 majority for Republicans in the county commission chambers.

The Teton Valley Citizen reports that the majority of commissioners have concluded that a compromise will be to replace one of the two county planners with a planner who somewhat better reflects the values of the older and mostly Republican residents.