Briefs: Mobile Junction January 09, 2009

Mandy Leslie spends her lunch hour at West Lake watching the birds, even though she’s scared of them.

Woman feeds fear of bird-watching

• Mandy Leslie loves to watch birds, but that doesn’t mean she has to like them.
Leslie spent her lunch hour Thursday inside her car at West Lake, watching ducks and Canada geese fly around and fight with each other. She never got out of her car.
Leslie has been afraid of birds since she was a child, when her grandparents let their parakeets fly around their house. Actually, she said, she’s afraid of most animals that fly. But she loves to watch animals fly.
Leaving the country has not helped Leslie overcome her fear of birds. It made it worse. While vacationing in the Caribbean years ago, she was startled when a crow landed on her head and tried to rip a sequin hair clip from her head.
“A guy was cracking up behind me,” Leslie said. “It was not funny.”

United Way drive nears $1 million

• With a little more than one month left in its annual fundraising drive, United Way of Mesa County is approaching the $1 million mark.
In August, before the U.S. stock markets bottomed out and word of a recession captured the nation’s attention, local United Way officials set a goal of raising $1.4 million in this campaign, which would have been a record.
The $1.4 million goal set in August may not be reached, they said Thursday, but those same officials are optimistic the annual fundraising drive could raise $1.26 million, which would match last year’s total, said Development Director Amanda Crysler.
As of Thursday, United Way of Mesa County raised nearly $950,000 and likely will pass $1 million soon, Crysler said. There are numerous donations that have yet to be counted, she added.

10 gallons buys Powderhorn ticket

• Adults who put at least 10 gallons of gasoline in their vehicles this winter can get one free lift ticket to use at Powderhorn Resort.
Officials with Phillips 66 gas stations approached the ski area last summer about a gas-for-lift tickets promotion, Powderhorn spokeswoman Sarah Allen said.
Powderhorn is on Grand Mesa, about 45 minutes from Grand Junction.
The promotion started Jan. 2 and runs through the ski season at Powderhorn. Phillips 66 locations are the only gas stations participating in this promotion with Powderhorn, Allen said.
Allen said the gas stations have no plans to back out of the promotion because gas prices have dropped.

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