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Mountain News: Snowboarding bad for Kerry’s image in Ohio

Compiled by Allen Best

COLUMBUS, Ohio — John Kerry is not getting the traction with the working class in Ohio that many people think he should. Instead, the state is edging toward George W. Bush. It is, says one campaign consultant who has worked in Ohio for 30 years, a matter of presenting the wrong image – things like snowboarding.

"I smell the same New England genius that I smelled in the Dukakis campaign in 1988," Gerald Austin of Cleveland told The New York Times. "Kerry wants to run as a man of the people, and where do they put him for photo opportunities? Snowboarding in Sun Valley, shooting skeet in the Ohio Valley, and windsurfing off that great working-class vacation paradise, Nantucket. Democrats – at least Ohio Democrats – play softball and touch football."

Halt war on non-natives!

TELLURIDE, Colo. — In Telluride and the San Miguel Valley, the invasion of exotic plant species is taken seriously. The front page of The Telluride Watch each week has an "invasive of the week" featuring such plants as leafy spurge and musk thistle.

Invasives were brought to North American from Eurasia and are now crowding out the natives. The problem, say some scientists, is even more menacing than that of global warming.

But one Telluride resident says too much already! Ilene Barth says a town employee informed her that neither the town nor the county was happy about the tansy, an invasive non-native plant, growing in her yard, and that the plant should be removed.

Well, said Barth, she is also non-native, and the peaches she favours are non-natives. This drive to "erase the movement of the last several centuries toward diversity" had gone entirely too far, she contends. The authorities were so agitated about the sinner plants that they were willing to take up herbicides!

Ecologists would generally say that Barth doesn’t understand what’s going on. Instead of creating greater diversity, the invasives are creating less diversity. Lacking the insects and diseases of Eurasia that control their spread, these invasives are choking out pre-existing vegetation in North America.

Films limited to 7 minutes

CANMORE, Alberta — Lots of ski and gateway towns have film festivals, but none quite like the one in Canmore. There, the Seven Minute Film Festival is in its fourth year and has gained international recognition.

This year’s festival in late September has entries from four nations, including Canada, reports the Rocky Mountain Outlook. Organizers expect more than 100 films, with everything from comedy, drama, horror and even animated puppetry porn.