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Aspen voters take a historic step, amending their city charter.

Voters also chose to keep their mayor and a city council member, but a runoff is likely to fill a second council seat.

A baseball field is named for the late Willard Clapper, a well-known Aspen community member.

Pitkin County is on the hunt for more 911 dispatchers.

And, Pitkin County has a plan for how to protect the popular North Star Preserve east of Aspen.

www.birchills.net

Reliable internet service in parts of Pitkin County is a problem officials have heard about from their constituents, and an overall broadband plan is getting closer to reality. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason reports.

Elise Thatcher

Two Aspen political allies will have to definitely battle it out for a City Council seat. Longtime political servant Mick Ireland and grassroots organizer Bert Myrin will face off in June for a four year city council seat. Neither got enough votes in the spring election to land the post outright.

Hamilton Pevec

Residents of the Roaring Fork Valley have been eager to help out with earthquake relief efforts in Nepal. One effort has raised more than $38,000. Some of that money is going toward a micro aid effort in the Himalayan country. Carbondale native Hamilton Pevec and his Nepali wife Devika live near the epicenter of quake, and are working with friends to deliver food and shelter to villages that were hit the hardest. Pevec's group has encountered a troubling trend, also highlighted by Nepali and international news reports. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher talks with Pevec.

Elise Thatcher

There’s no answer yet on whether Aspen will have a runoff election in June. Election officials have until this evening to figure out whether twenty-three ballots are valid. They’ve already confirmed that three qualify to be counted.

pitkincounty.com

The Pitkin County dispatch center is experiencing a staffing crisis following the exit of several employees this spring. Just seven full time workers are taking 911 calls. That’s less than half of full staffing. It’s a high turnover job across the country but Aspen has unique challenges. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke with Bruce Romero, the Emergency Dispatch Director for Pitkin County.

Bruce Romero directs the Pitkin County Regional Emergency Dispatch Center in Aspen. The center is taking applications for eight job openings until May 10th.

Marci Krivonen

The late Willard Clapper was honored in the Mid-Valley yesterday. A baseball field at Crown Mountain Park in El Jebel was named for the Aspen resident and longtime teacher who was deeply involved in local athletics. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Dozens of people gathered in the rain Wednesday to dedicate the field to Willard Clapper. The former teacher, volunteer firefighter and baseball coach died in October after battling lymphoma.

"Most of you know that I’m Willard’s daughter and I’m very proud (to be)," said Ashley Austin. 

Today on CrossCurrents, the Waldorf School on the Roaring Fork with Anne Menconi, Karin Andrade, and Diana Baetz.

http://www.waldorfschoolrf.com/

As a result of Colorado's booming oil production, energy companies are paying more in severance taxes – money they pay the state for taking minerals out of the ground. Half of it is supposed to go to back to local communities, both directly and through grants. But thanks to market forces – and political conditions in Denver – it's not always a stable source of funding.

Elise Thatcher

History was made last night when the majority of Aspenites changed the city’s home rule charter, stripping power away from elected officials. Referendum 1, also known as “Keep Aspen, Aspen” passed by a slim margin of 53% to 47%. The ballot count came in at 1297 to 1141 votes Tuesday night.

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