The RRF is currently seeking two local food vendors who can provide healthy, delicious and environmentally friendly grab-and-go meals to festivalgoers. The food vendor tent will be located near the stage and in very close proximity to the beverage tent – a high-traffic area. Food vendors must be able to provide food to serve 450-plus people and provide compostable or recyclable food service products, beverage containers and utensils. Booths must be staffed and serving food from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.
The food vendor booth fee is $250 for commercial vendors (a very reasonable “donation” based on past year’s food sales that also saves the River Festival from monitoring food vendor activity). Vendors must have their booths set up by 10:30 a.m., and be responsible for their own booth equipment, such as tent, tables, chairs, signs, ice, trash cans, etc. The festival will provide tents and tables at various locations at the event for patrons to sit. Vendors must be prepared for inclement weather, as the festival will take place rain or shine.
For more information and to fill out an application, visit www.ridgwayriverfestival.org and click on Food Vendors. Applications must be received by May 1, 2011.
Community members are also invited to support the RRF by attending the upcoming Casino Night event on Friday, April 29, in Ouray, 6-11 p.m., complete with real casino tables and dealers. Stay tuned for more information!
American Cancer Society Relay for Life Events Begin in April
MONTROSE – Register for the Montrose American Cancer Society Relay for Life, by visiting montroserelay.org or attending the next team meeting, April 20, 6:30 at Montrose Memorial Hospital.
Former and current cancer patients, those who have lost a loved one to cancer, families, businesses, faith-based and civic organizations, and anyone wanting to make a difference in the fight against cancer are invited to take part in Relay For Life, Friday, June 10, at the Montrose High School track.
April events leading up to the June 10 relay include a Relay fundraising support booth at the April 15-16 Living and Leisure Expo at Friendship Hall and an April 16 Yard Sale at NuVista Credit Union (2711 Commercial Way). For more information or to donate items, call Renee at 497-5362. On April 29, Team City Market hosts the “Dance to Make a Difference” at Friendship Hall, with games, a karaoke contest, concessions, a silent auction and dancing with The Ghost River Band and DJ Wanna Dance. Cans for a Cure collects aluminum cans at Katy’s Corner (70 S. Grand Ave.), during business hours or at the dance, and turn your recycling into Relay donations. For more info, contact Tammie at 314-6114;
Luminaria honoring loved ones touched by cancer surrounding the track during the Relay event can be arranged at Montrose Surgical Associates (611 E. Star Court, 249-4321), offering matching $5 donations per purchase.
“Relay For Life draws attention to the progress being made in the fight against cancer,” said Sue Held, Montrose volunteer Relay event chair. “Many participants are our family, friends, and neighbors who have faced cancer themselves. Their involvement helps brings hope that, together, we can eliminate cancer as a major health problem.”
The American Cancer Society is the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing about $3.4 billion annually and to date helping more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more, call 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.
Telluride Summer College Returns
Classes in Sustainability and Environmental Science
TELLURIDE – Learn important skills and earn college credits in Telluride this summer at the University Centers of the San Miguel this summer.
UCSM is partnering with Mesa State College and local organizations to offer four classes for up to seven college credits for a second summer of education in sustainable living and environmental science.
Options include the Permaculture Design Certificate, Native Plants, and Ecopsychology offered for undergraduate credit; Outdoor Education (offered for in-service graduate credit for teachers) and workshops on Beekeeping and Cob Building: Oven Construction.
New this year: The El Salvador Service Learning Trip, August 8-19, offered in partnership with Colorado Northwestern Community College and the Permaculture Institute of El Salvador for an educational experience that combines pre-trip classes with international travel, cross-cultural relationships, and sustainable community development (deposit required May 1).
Classes start June 13; registration is open now; classes will reach capacity so please register early, with discounts available before June 1. Scholarships and work-study options are available. For information, contact Robyn Wilson or Liz Cichella at 970-369-5255, or visit http://www.ucsanmiguel.org/" \t "_blank" www.ucsanmiguel.org for a full schedule and additional information.
UMC Clinic Receives Third Caring for Colorado Grant
NORWOOD – The Uncompahgre Medical Center in Norwood has receieved a $100,000 grant award from Caring For Colorado Foundation.The funds will be used to support UMC’s oral health program, which provides dental care on a sliding-fee basis for eligible patients. This award represents the third consecutive year of support for the dental program from Caring For Colorado. UMC Dental may be reached by calling 970/327-0527, or visit www.umclinic.org.
Caring for Colorado is a health grantmaking foundation working to increase health and health care access statewide, HYPERLINK "http://www.caringforcolorado.org" www.caringforcolorado.org.
UNCOMPAHGRE PLATEAU AREA BIG GAME MEETING
MONTROSE – The Colorado Division of Wildlife will hold a public meeting to explain big game license recommendations for the 2011 seasons for the area around the Uncompahgre Plateau in western Colorado, Tuesday, April 5, at 6:30 p.m., at the Redvale Community Center. Division staff will discuss deer, elk and bear license allocations for Game Management Units 60, 61, 62, 64, 65 and 70. Brad Banulis, terrestrial biologist for the Montrose area, and local district wildlife managers will discuss current population objectives, current status of deer, elk and bear populations, and license recommendations. Hunters are invited to ask questions and state concerns. For more information, contact the Division of Wildlife's Montrose office at 970/252-6000.
Rural County Law Enforcement Steps Up Seatbelt Enforcement
DENVER – In an effort to increase seat belt use and save lives on rural Colorado roadways, the Colorado State Patrol and 36 rural law enforcement agencies in 50 counties are mobilizing for a “Click It or Ticket” seatbelt enforcement period, March 31-April 6, combined with a seatbelt education campaign aimed at dispelling the myths and excuses people make for not buckling up.
“Many people think that they are safer driving in rural areas with less traffic, but it’s a fact that most fatalities in Colorado happen on rural roadways, and more than half of the people killed are not wearing seatbelts,” said Col. James Wolfinbarger, chief of the Colorado State Patrol. “We’re not trying to pick on rural drivers by writing citations—we just want to remind everyone of the importance of wearing seat belts to save lives.”
In 2009, 254 people were killed in crashes on rural roadways, representing 54 percent of the state’s total fatalities. More than half of those killed in rural areas were not wearing seatbelts, compared to 36 percent of urban fatalities.
One of the biggest reasons people give for not buckling up is that they aren’t traveling very far, but 85 percent of crashes occur within five miles of a person’s home.
“We hope this concentrated education and enforcement effort will be the catalyst for everyone to start a habit that will save their own life and those of their loved ones,” said Pamela Hutton, governor’s representative for highway safety at the Colorado Department of Transportation. “It takes just two seconds to buckle up, making the difference between life and death.”
Drivers of pickup trucks have the lowest overall seatbelt use, at just 73 percent, compared to 85 percent in cars. Nearly eight out of 10 people killed in pickup trucks in Colorado did not wear seatbelts. Pickup trucks are twice as likely to roll over in a crash, despite the perception that they are safer vehicles.
Colorado has a secondary enforcement law for adult drivers and front-seat passengers. Drivers can be ticketed for violating the seatbelt law if they are stopped for another traffic violation. “Click It or Ticket” enforcement focuses on speeding and aggressive drivers. Drivers stopped for a traffic violation who are not using seatbelts will be ticketed, at $65 per violation.
Be Bear Aware this Spring
GRAND JUNCTION – The Division of Wildlife reminds rural and suburban residents to now clean up sources of food that could attract black bears to residential neighborhoods. These large, intelligent omnivores will be looking for their first meal of new plant growth and fresh grass when they come out of hibernation. But once their digestive systems are up and running, bears become opportunistic feeders that will eagerly exploit any available nutrition, including wild and human-created food sources.
“During the summer, a bear's primary concern is finding food,” said Albert Romero, a District Wildlife Manager in De Beque. “It's a lot easier to get calories from a trash can than to forage for them bite-by-bite. The problem is that an easy meal provided by a careless person can cause a bear to lose its natural fear of humans.”
Wild foods are essential for bears – berries, insects, acorns, forbs, plants and carrion. But when people fail to store garbage, pet food or bird feeders properly, bears will find those sources, instead. Pet food, bird seed and greasy barbecue grills are common bear attractants; in commercial areas, unsecured restaurant dumpsters can quickly become targets.
Once a bear becomes habituated to human food and loses its fear of people, it presents a risk to public safety, and bears that become a risk to human safety often have to be euthanized.
Under the DOW's two-strike bear policy, a problem bear that can't be hazed from a conflict area may be tranquilized, given an ear tag and relocated. If a tagged bear gets into trouble a second time, wildlife managers must remove it from the population. The two-strike policy only applies to nuisance bears, but any bear that behaves aggressively or presents a threat to public safety is put down immediately. Avoid problems by putting out garbage cans only on the morning of pick-up. Do not put out garbage the night before. Keep garbage in a secure building or a bear-resistant trashcan or dumpster. Wash garbage cans regularly with ammonia to eliminate food odors. Rinse out all cans, bottles and jars so that they are free of food and odors before putting them out for recycling or pick-up. Seal smelly items in plastic bags and freeze them before placing them in the trash. Don't leave pet food or pet dishes outside, and feed pets indoors. Remove bird feeders and sweep up excess seed. If bears get into bird feeders, take the feeders down immediately and don't put them back up. Take hummingbird feeders inside at night. Clean outdoor grills after each use, as the smell of grease can attract bears. Pick ripe fruit from trees and off the ground. Close and lock doors and windows, especially on ground-level floors, when you are not at home. Bears have a keen sense of smell and may enter a home in search of an easy meal. Don't leave food in your car. Bears are strong enough to pry open car doors. Lock vehicles when not in use. Should a bear appear in a residential area, the Division encourages people to make the bear feel unwelcome by yelling, making noise and throwing objects. Bears will typically leave if confronted, but if attacked, fight back with anything at hand. As in previous years, volunteer Bear Aware teams will soon be spreading out in communities where bears are active, seeking to educate residents about living with bears. To find out more about becoming a Bear Aware volunteer, please see the Division's Living with Bears web page at: HYPERLINK "http://wildlife.state.co.us/WildlifeSpecies/LivingWithWildlife/Mammals/LivingWithBearsL1.htm" http://wildlife.state.co.us/WildlifeSpecies/LivingWithWildlife/Mammals/LivingWithBearsL1.htm. For more information about Division of Wildlife go to: http://wildlife.state.co.us.
GUNNISON SAGE-GROUSE FESTIVAL, SUMMIT
GUNNISON – The First Annual Gunnison Sage-grouse Festival is scheduled for Saturday, April 9, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and will include music, art, poetry, kid activities, booths, food, an egg hunt, and a 5K/10K Race sponsored by Gunnison Trails. The all-day Festival on is free and open to all; for more info, visit www.siskadee.org.
The Third Gunnison Sage-grouse Summit starts Monday, April 11, at 6 p.m. This year’s Summit theme is “Lifestyles and Livelihoods – Everyone Plays a Role,” and focuses on the interface between science and land use. The Summit will feature updates on the population status of the Gunnison Sage-grouse and current research to address primary conservation actions being implemented by the various agencies and working groups in the rangewide region of the Gunnison Sage-grouse. Further, we will have sessions on public land use conservation and sagebrush management and restoration. Keynote speakers include Dr. Tom Remington, Director of the Colorado Division of Wildlife who will discuss connections between research and management of the Gunnison Sage-grouse. Dr. Rick Knight, conservation biologist from Colorado State University is our other keynote speaker who will address public land use from a conservation biology perspective. In total 39 speakers will present a variety of perspectives on the status of population and habitat, research to improve our ability to manage both grouse and sagebrush ecosystems, historical perspectives, management successes and challenges, impacts of human activities and opportunities for humans and grouse to co-exist. The evening sessions will include opportunities for public interest groups to present their perspectives on Gunnison Sage-grouse and land use issues. Summit registration is $50 ($25 for students) and includes lunch, happy hour and dinner on Tuesday, April 12. The Summit begins Monday evening, continues all day on Tuesday and winds up Wednesday at noon. The Monday and Tuesday evening sessions are free and open to the public.