aspenart.org

The Red Brick Center for the Arts will be Aspen’s second vote center for this spring’s election.

All registered voters will receive mail in ballots, which can be mailed back or dropped off at City Hall. On election day, residents can also cast their ballot at the clerk’s office in City Hall or the Red Brick Center for the Arts. 

Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department

Rifle will soon be home to a new wildland firefighting training center. The Rifle - Garfield County Airport has been chosen to house what’s being called the Center of Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting. It’s planned to be a research location for testing out aerial firefighting techniques, and will be used by local, state, and federal entities.

aspenpitkin.com

Staffers at the city-owned Aspen Recreation Center are updating their business plan in an effort to save taxpayers money. As Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports, the facility is heavily subsidized.

Taxpayers pitch in to pay for community recreation centers around the country. Tim Anderson is Director for the Aspen Recreation Center that has a $4 million annual budget. He says the facility raises more than half of that. The rest is subsidized by city government.

Aspen Skiing Company

  The lower part of Aspen Mountain was closed for a big chunk of Thursday. Aspen Skiing Company did avalanche control work early that morning morning, causing several unusually large slides in the “dumps” on Ajax. So much snow came down, Ski Co. says it took until mid afternoon to clear off the run leading to Kleenex Corner, as well as the intersection of Spar and Copper. Skiers and boarders had to download on the gondola for most of the day. This is possibly the first time that kind of closure has happened in decades.

A bipartisan measure to reduce testing for students in Colorado's public schools is not proceeding as planned through the statehouse. Senate Bill 215 [.pdf] was scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Education Committee Thursday. No longer, it was pulled from the calendar before the hearing.

"We just need to make sure we get the policy right," said state Senator Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs), a sponsor of the measure along with Senator Andy Kerr (D-Lakewood).

The sponsors are unsure of when SB 215 will get a hearing. The bill would eliminate mandatory assessments in the 11 and 12th grade and reduce redundant tests in the earlier grades. It has been billed as the major school testing reform bill of the session.

Welcome to Mountain Edition.

Elected leaders in Aspen choose a brewery - slash - small business incubator to fill the city-owned Old Power House.

Unstable snow on local ski slopes prompts the Aspen Skiing Company to temporarily close terrain.

A professional cross country ski racer is home from the World Championships. Aspen’s Simi Hamilton looks back on his season.

There won’t be a sentence for a fatal highway 133 crash for another month.

We hear from the head of Colorado’s largest oil and gas organization about why she’s leaving her post.

U.S. Ski Team/Tom Kelly

Cross-country skier Simi Hamilton is satisfied with his season so far. The Aspen native placed 12th in the World Championships in Sweden last month. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen sat down with him.

Hamilton will finish his final race of the season this weekend. During his season, Hamilton put together a video of the U.S. Cross Country team that went viral on the internet. Nearly 59,000 people have viewed it on YouTube. 

As they prepare to write the annual budget, there's mixed news for Colorado lawmakers. The latest revenue forecast shows the economy will remain strong, but there is a lot of uncertainty going forward, especially when it comes to low oil prices and how it ripples through the state's economy.

"On net low oil prices are good for the national economy, but for areas where you have energy production, energy production states, on net it has been negative in the past," said nonpartisan Chief Legislative Economist Natalie Mullis. "Colorado is a third tier energy producing state and it does have a dampening effect on our economy."

Aspen Snowmass/Jeremy Swanson

The Aspen Skiing Company closed 30% of the terrain on three of its mountains Wednesday. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason reports.

There’s been at least four nights where temperatures did not allow for the snow to freeze, causing instability on the steep stuff. Company spokesman Jeff Hanle.

Elise Thatcher

The Aspen Community Church is celebrating its 125th anniversary. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher visited on Tuesday, and has this story.

Bryan Dunnewald is practicing on the organ, in the sanctuary of the community church.  He’ll be performing here tonight. “I think the most interesting thing about this church is that it’s what I would consider a small town or country church,” says Dunnewald. “But it has a really nice acoustic, which is rare."

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