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Cheney takes another hit - in Jackson Hole

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SECOND-HOME LAND — You could call it the war of second-home owners. Thomas Friedman, a second-home owner in Aspen, is calling for the head of Dick Cheney, a second-home owner in Jackson Hole.

Friedman, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times, has been taking aim at the U.S. energy policy that presumes an oil-based future. He argues that policy forces U.S. dependence on volatile foreign countries and denies the reality of climate change. He describes Cheney, the vice president, as the head-in-the-sand architect of that policy.

Previously, Friedman has called on President George W. Bush to can Cheney. In a column last week about the dangers posed by Iran, Friedman was at it again.

"If the Bush team continues to let Dick Cheney set its oil policy – one that will keep America dependent on crude oil – the post—cold war democracy movement that was unleashed by the fall of the Berlin Wall will be either aborted, diluted, or reversed," he wrote.

Feds likely to pay for airport

HAILEY, Idaho — The Federal Aviation Administration has tentatively approved $50 million for a new airport to service the Ketchum and Sun Valley resort area.

The existing airport, at Hailey, is considered too small to safely handle new and larger jets. A new airport with an 8,500-foot runway is being planned to the south, outside of the mountains, on federal Bureau of Land Management property.

Airport proponents say they can get another $31 million by selling the land used for the existing airport, much of it purchased with FAA money. As well, another $8 million in FAA grants are expected, with another $2.9 million in passenger facility charges tacked onto airline tickets. Another $5.5 million is projected from various other sources.

Second-home study slays myths

DURANGO, Colo. — A common perception in Durango is that second-home owners are arriving in droves, building mansions, causing britches-busting growth.

But the Durango Telegraph reports that a new study finds all three are myths. The reality is that only 29 per cent of local property is owned by people with non-local mailing addresses, far less than in other Colorado mountain communities.

The study, called "The Social and Economic Effects of Second Homes in Southwest Colorado," also finds that the double-nesters generally live in modest dwellings. "La Plata County has this idea about trophy homes," explained Laura Lewis, an economic planning director for the regional council of governments. "But what we saw in the study was that non-locals’ homes actually tend to be condos and are not high in value. The trophy homes you see tend to be primary residences."

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