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Heard around the West

Brief by Betsy Marston

Humor – February 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

Shall We Dance?

Have cows been getting a bad rap? Do their bovine exteriors hide graceful interiors? Peoa, Utah, resident Randy Barton did not know, but he hoped that dressing cows for the ballet would at least draw an audience and help raise money for the town’s two parks.

“Clad in nothing but tutus,” the Cow Ballet drew crowds, and though they did not dance, says Barton in the Salt Lake Tribune, they did constitute “kind of an artistic vision.”

Black Tie Skiing?

Aspen Skiing Co. is hanging tough: It will not allow snowboarders to mix with downhill skiers on Aspen Mountain. The Aspen Times gave the decision a “pat on the back” in its “pat” or “kick in the pants” issue.

But in offering an explanation of Aspen’s 8.2 percent drop in skier numbers last winter, letter-writer Sterling Greenwood, in Roaring Fork Sunday, was anything but complimentary: “Maybe dress and grooming codes for employees aren’t sufficiently severe? The uniforms aren’t starched enough? Or service personnel, already demeaned by drug urine tests, don’t show enough of that grinning ‘Step’n Fetchit’ spirit so charming to tourists?” He warned that Aspen was fast “evolving into a Disneyland.”

If You Think Cell Phones Are Bad — How About An ATM At The Trailhead?

Backcountry banking is starting to replace the honor system in some national forests. On New Mexico’s Cibola National Forest, rangers rarely ticket people $50 when their cars don’t display a daily or annual pass, yet many hikers never drop $3 into a box to wander the east side of the Sandia Mountains, reports the Albuquerque Tribune. So forest officials are thinking about placing ATMs at an “informational pullout” to make billing and collecting easier. “We don’t like giving tickets,” explained Cibola Forest spokeswoman Karen Carter.

–Betsy Marston