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Your Morning News - December 17th, 2014

Aspen Still Debating Mark Hunt Plans Aspen planning officials could not come to an agreement last night about whether to recommend a possible new lodge. It's one of two similar lodges proposed by Chicago developer and Aspen transplant Mark Hunt. The meeting was already a continuation of a discussion earlier this month. Last night, Hunt and planner Mitch Haas presented the proposal again: a three story lodge with rooms under 200 square feet, to fill Aspen’s affordable lodging gap. Called Base 1 it would Include a rooftop terrace and basement amenities like a bowling alley open to all. It would be located across from City Market and Hunt explains why he sees that as a good spot. “We have our busiest retailer across the street. There’s a gym, there are offices, there are condominium buildings that actually operate like hotels. And yeah, there are residences there. But I think it’s a very eclectic part of Aspen.” Of about a dozen public comments, the vast majority were in favor of the proposal. But concerns about design and requested exceptions led commissioners to hang up the towel for the evening. Stan Gibbs is Commission Vice Chair, and feels the building does not fit the commercial guidelines for the lot. “There’s a lot of residential and affordable housing around there, and I think a big building has compatibility issues.” Hunt and Haas did not comment afterwards, but were visibly frustrated during the meeting. Commissioners will take up the issue again at the beginning of January. A city planner at the meeting last night said the proposal would still be on track to go before City Council later next month. That’s when Council will also consider a similar lodge by Hunt, called Base 2.
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This week on CrossCurrents, part 2 of The Great Book Series at the Aspen Institute. Senior moderators Pete Thigpen and Todd Breyfogle are guests.

Also Walter Isaacson, CEO and President of the Aspen Institute, on his new book, The Innovators.

About the Great Book Series from the Aspen Institute website:

Your Morning News - December 3rd, 2014

Dec 3, 2014

Health Care Sign Ups Are Go

Residents in the Roaring Fork Valley and around Colorado have had about two weeks to sign up for health insurance through the statewide online marketplace, called Connect for Health.

Your Evening News - December 2nd, 2014

Dec 2, 2014

Glassier Open Space Comment Deadline Approaches

The deadline is looming to comment on a management plan for a new open space parcel in the mid-valley. The Glassier open space near Emma will be used for recreation and agriculture.

Unlike most Pitkin County-managed open space parcels, the Glassier land will give agricultural producers a chance to grow crops. About half of the 282-acre land is irrigated and at one time, was used for ranching.

Your Morning News - December 2nd, 2014

Dec 2, 2014

Aspen Considers New Lodging Incentives

Aspen City Council has decided to once again move forward with trying to improve lodging in the resort. At a special meeting last night, elected officials decided to go with a much more mild version than previously.

Small lodges were one of the key themes of the night, with several people speaking in favor of making it easier for those establishments to freshen up their interiors or get a facelift. Marcia Goshorn made this public comment about the importance of making sure small lodges don’t disappear.

Screenshot from GrassRoots TV/aspenpitkin.com

Small lodges could have a brighter future in Aspen. City Council decided Monday night to pursue ways to help them do small renovations and generally spruce things up. That’s part of a scaled down version of a lodging ordinance that’s moving forward. 

A former National Book Award finalist and winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award, Jess Walter is the author of six novels, including The Beautiful Ruins and The Zero, one book of short stories and one nonfiction book. His work has been translated into 30 languages, and his essays, short fiction, criticism and journalism have been widely published, in Best American Short Stories, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Harper's, Esquire, McSweeney's, Byliner, Playboy, ESPN the Magazine, Details and many others. www.jesswalter.com.

Your Evening News - December 1st, 2014

Dec 1, 2014

Local Farmers Look for More Local Sales

There’s an effort to make it easier for local farmers to grow food and get it to buyers in the Roaring Fork Valley. A group working on that issue is trying to get farmers to be part of a Valley-wide registry.

The Roaring Fork Food Policy Council is nailing down what growers need the most, and they’re starting by putting together a directory. Gwen Garcelon is Director. She says so far the most common complaint from farmers is getting access to land which can be expensive.

  The Aspen-based Chris Klug Foundation is a small organization with a big impact. With two full-time staffers, the foundation reaches thousands of people every year through national events. Aspenite, Olympic bronze medalist, and liver transplant recipient, Chris Klug, is the founder of the foundation.

Klug shares the mission of foundation and how they raise awareness about organ donation. Executive Director, Beth Slater, also joins. 

Your Morning News - December 1st, 2014

Dec 1, 2014

Austrian Takes First at World Cup

Thirty-one year old Nicole Hosp of Austria defeated the world’s top female skiers to capture gold at the Ski World Cup competition on Aspen Mountain. ESPN reports it’s her first world cup victory since 2008.

None of the American alpine racers took the podium. Favorite Mikaela Shiffrin was in the lead after the first run, but landed in fifth overall. Resi Stiegler, another American skier, came in 11th place.

Screenshot from powder.com

There’s been a troubling problem with avalanche deaths in recent years... and now Powder Magazine and gear company  Black Diamond have joined forces to figure out what's going on. They’ve hired a freelance journalist to dig deep into what happened during certain accidents-- and what's being done to help backcountry travelers make better decisions when avoiding avalanches. APR's Elise Thatcher talks with writer David Page about the project, called "The Human Factor."

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