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News briefs: Nov. 24, 2009
From Silverton Standard, the place where you can write!
Posted on November 25 2009, 11:16am by Mark Esper in Local News category
 
Landry gives talks on our ‘Martian Winter’
Chris Landry, director of Silverton’s Center for Snow and Avalanche Studies traveled to the Front Range last week to talk about the “Martian Winter.”
But he wasn’t talking about extra-terrestrial weather patterns. He was talking about the severe dust storms last winter that painted the snowpack of the San Juans red and signalled a continuance of the pattern of earlier snowmelt in recent years.
He addressed the U.S. Forest Service’s Western Watersheds and Climate Change Workshop in Boulder Nov. 18, and the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association Water Committee in Colorado Springs on Nov. 19.  
Members of both groups had heard Landry present his report on the CSAS’s Colorado Dust-on-Snow program and the “Martian Winter” of 2008/2009 at the Colorado Water Congress in Steamboat Springs last August and requested that he come to tell the dust story to their groups this fall.  
Landry reports that Boulder had more snow on the ground than Silverton, thanks to the major up-slope storm the Front Range recently experienced, and considerably heavier traffic.
 
 
Thanksgiving dinner at American Legion
On Thanksgiving Day the St. Patrick’s Altar Society will host a traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings at the American Legion Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
Contributions of desserts or side dishes will be gladly accepted. Everyone is invited. For more information please contact Patty Dailey at the Brown Bear Cafe at 387-5630.
 
Two fined for illegal
outfitting on fed land
Two Silverton residents were ordered to pay thousands of dollars in fines after pleading guilty to operating a commercial outfitting operation on federal land without a permit.
Larry Crouch, 67, pleaded guilty in federal court to two counts of outfitting by guiding horseback riders without a special use permit on federal land. 
In an order signed by U.S. Magistrate Judge David West on Nov. 10, Crouch was fined $10,000 and given a 30-day suspended jail sentence. 
Clara E. Glaze, 34, pleaded guilty to one count of outfitting by guiding horseback riders without a special use permit on federal land. She was fined $3,000 and given a 15-day suspended jail sentence.
The two were cited for the violations on Sept. 26.
 
Town is still digging
into trash proposals
Town officials are continuing to review proposals for operating the transfer station and providing trash pickup service in Silverton.
Town Clerk Brian Carlson said Monday that the town had originally found the proposal submitted by Bruin Waste Management, of Naturita, to be uncompetitive, but later clarification made it more feasible.
“As a result, the committee initially recommended proceeding with negotiations with Silverton Trash,” Carlson wrote in a memo to the Town Council. He said he has notified Bruin Waste Management of the mistake “and they are eager to continue with discussions.”
The town’s contract with Silverton Trash expires at the end of the year.
Business licenses at 
risk over utility bills
Businesses in Silverton that fall too far behind on their utility bills could face losing their business licenses, if the Town Council has its way.
The trustees agreed Monday night to ask the town’s attorney to see if an ordinance to that effect would actually work.
Town officials said such an ordinance could be drafted and take effect by February. But they noted the state has its own rules on utilities that could undermine any town ordinance.
“Obviously we would like to get people to pay their utility bills in a timely manner,” said Mayor Terry Kerwin.
 
Town won’t dispose of seasonal trash discount
The Town Council voted Monday to extend the 3-month discount for trash service offered to seasonal businesses.
Businesses not open in the winter are charged for one EQR (residential rate) for up to three months, provided they are not open.
“The trash fund is healthy,” said Trustee Pat Swonger, with a fund balance exceeding $100,000.
The council unanimously approved of the discount, but Town Planner Adam Sickmiller commented that “it’s an odd policy to incentivize businesses to be closed in the winter.”
 
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