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This spring’s municipal election in Aspen could cost twice as much as previous ones. That’s in an effort to increase voter turnout. The majority of Aspen City Council earlier this year decided to hold an all mail-in ballot election. The theory is that more people will vote from the comfort of their homes, rather than going to a polling place.

aspenpitkin.com

Aspen City Council Monday again tackled the issue of using hydroelectricity to generate power in town. The elected officials voted to allow a permit to expire for the controversial Castle Creek Energy Center. But, micro-hydro projects will be explored. 

The City is considering micro-hydro on Maroon and Castle Creeks for three reasons: to generate power using renewable sources, maintain healthy stream flows and preserve City water rights.

aspensciencecenter.org

Aspen City Council is taking up what to do with Aspen’s former Art Museum. Council will be considering proposals in the coming weeks. There are five contenders vying for the city-owned building, also called the Old Power House. Council will be reviewing them in a series of work sessions beginning Monday and continuing through March 17th. Some meetings will include a public hearing. The City says its possible Council may decide not to go with any of the five.

Officials say radon has been detected in the Pitkin County Library in Aspen. A spokesperson said Thursday afternoon it was not found in public areas, but does affect a break room and office, as well as a storage room in the lower level of the building. Officials say staff do not spend much time there. The radon levels showed up in testing to get ready for the library expansion.

The Board of Education for the Roaring Fork School District met Wednesday night. Officials are tackling a contentious decision, about who should be superintendent next year. The issue is whether current superintendent Diana Sirko should continue on for a few more years before Assistant Superintendent Rob Stein can move into that position. 

Welcome to Mountain Edition.

A warrant is issued this week for a Carbondale man accused of killing his wife.

A long-time local and avid skier dies in an avalanche outside the Aspen Mountain ski area boundary.

And, a popular watering hole is closing in Aspen this spring.

Bus drivers in the Valley are voting to unionize. They’re concerned about wages.

Governor Hickenlooper’s oil and gas task force released its findings. They’re getting mixed reviews.

www.nbs.org

The annual Black Ski Summit wraps up on Saturday in Snowmass Village. The week-long event is celebrating its 42nd year.

The event has its roots in Snowmass Village. The National Brotherhood of Skiers started in the early 1970’s when African Americans on the ski slopes were a rarity and black ski clubs an exception.

White River National Forest

The White River National Forest has moved one step closer to approving several winter enhancements on public land at the Snowmass ski area.

The Aspen Skiing Company proposed the projects and the Forest Service began an environmental review in August. They include a replacement and realignment of the 35-year-old High Alpine chairlift, additional snowmaking on the Green Cabin run and trail and glade construction projects. The Skiing Company wants to provide gladed terrain for non-expert skiers.

Courtesy

  It’s getting into tax season, and this is the first time residents will have to pay a fine if they didn’t have health insurance in 2014. That’ll be true for 2015 taxes as well, if someone can’t prove they have health insurance this year. For those signing up for health coverage through the statewide online exchange, counties in the Roaring Fork Valley worked together to get as many people signed on as possible. 

Roaring Fork Transit Authority

Full time bus drivers for the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority are voting on whether to unionize. If approved, it would be the first time in more than a decade for drivers to be a part of a union. 

Ed Cortez was selected by other bus drivers to lead the union vote. He’s been a full time driver for two and a half years, and describes what it was like getting behind the wheel. 

“Well, initially I was very nervous, very intimidated. Slowly but surely I realized that I really loved driving.”

A big reason is getting to know riders from all backgrounds-- from regular folks to politicians.

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A conversation with Louisa Lim and Loren Jenkins on China.