APR Local News

Local news from the Roaring Folk Valley

Your Morning News - December 23rd, 2014

Dec 23, 2014

Pitkin County is Taking Proposals on Glassier Open Space

Pitkin County is asking for proposals with what to grow on a parcel of open space. The Open Space and Trails Department is considering people interested in leasing land for agricultural use at the Glassier Open Space. That’s near Emma in the Upper Roaring Fork Valley. Open Space and Trails Employees will be doing a site visit in January to show the land to potential farmers.

Your Evening News - December 22nd, 2014

Dec 22, 2014

Travel Trouble Due to the Weather

The heavy winter storm walloping Aspen is bringing headaches to airport travelers. The trouble started yesterday when just one flight landed at the airport out of 32 scheduled. Six outbound flights were able to depart.

Today, the vast majority of flights have been canceled. Although, American Airlines managed to successfully land one inbound flight from Los Angeles. It’s not just snow causing difficulties – the wind is also an issue.

United is sending busses from Denver – based on demand. The airline’s also offering vouchers for other ground transportation options. The rental car fleet is slim at airports throughout the state.

Avalanche Alert Up Through Tomorrow Afternoon

There’s an avalanche warning for the Aspen Zone of Colorado’s backcountry terrain. So far it’s scheduled to continue through Tuesday afternoon as heavy, wet snow with the latest system making it easier for avalanche to happen.  

Avalanche danger has risen dramatically in recent days with high winds also playing a role. In many locations there is a heavy, slabby layer of snow that could fracture, causing snow to slide downhill.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center says natural avalanches are likely today along with ones triggered by activity farther away. CAIC experts recommend against being in the backcountry through tomorrow afternoon. Travelers who do venture out should avoid being on or under steep slopes as well as gullies below treeline.

The Chris Klug Foundation sends a team to the Leadville 100 every year  - a grueling 100-mile test of stamina and strength either on foot or by bike. Ester Blom-Geiser is a board member of the foundation and was a member of the 2014 team. Blom-Geiser and Beth Slater, the foundation's Executive Director, talk about the  multitude of awareness and fundraising events, and outreach programs in schools nationwide. 

Learn more about the Chris Klug Foundation and organ donation at www.ChrisKlugFoundation.org. 

Your Morning News - December 22nd, 2014

Dec 22, 2014

“Let It Snow!”

The Roaring Fork Valley is getting a generous helping of white gold heading into a busy

holiday stretch. Wintry weather and new snow have arrived just in time for one of the busiest tourism times of the year. Snow starting this weekend is projected to continue and helped with the Aspen Skiing Company opening more terrain on Saturday at all four resorts.

Marci Krivonen

It’s that time of year when ski resorts crank up snowmaking machines to bolster Mother Nature’s delivery. Some resorts depend on man-made snow more than others and it’s possible  the practice may be used more in the future. For Connecting the Drops, Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Your Evening News - December 19th, 2014

Dec 19, 2014

Colorado’s Unemployment Picture

Colorado’s unemployment rate continues to drop. New figures by the Department of Labor and Employment show the rate dropped to 4.1% in November. The national unemployment rate is 5.8%.

The last time the Colorado unemployment rate was as low as 4.1% was in January of 2008. The largest job gains were in the trade, transportation and utilities, financial, mining, logging and information sectors. Month-over-month declines were felt in the leisure and hospitality industry, as well as construction.

Governor Hickenlooper lauded the news but said more work needs to be done. He says his office wants to come up with “creative and effective ideas that will help support those still looking for work.”

Over the year, the unemployment rate fell from 6.3% in November 2013 to 4.1% last month. Total employment year-over-year increased by 117,000 and the number of people unemployed decreased by about 60,000.

Welcome to Valley Roundup – a review of the top news stories in the valley in the past week.

This week, development can often seem like three-dimensional chess – we’ll get the latest on Mark Hunt’s lodging plans for Aspen.

A wider runway is on the horizon for the Aspen Pitkin County Airport. But, if citizens need to vote on it would it get approved?

Rifle remembers the life of Air Force Captain William DuBois as he is laid to rest.

Glenwood Springs will get a review of air quality near downtown.

Could an antique chair lift derail Aspen Mountain’s world cup racing plans?

How many weed shops are too many… one… six… sixteen?

And, I’ll have a conversation with a familiar name in the valley, and voice you hear often on this program, who is taking a leadership role in the Aspen Public Radio news room.

Joining me this week are Curtis Wackerle, Managing Editor of the Aspen Daily News and Randy Essex, Editor of the Glenwood Post Independent.

Marci Krivonen

A committee charged with brainstorming redevelopment ideas for downtown Basalt presented their findings on Thursday evening. The Downtown Area Advisory Committee met with Town Council, the Planning and Zoning committee and scores of interested citizens. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

The volunteer committee has been meeting regularly since October and pouring over ideas from the community and a map of downtown Basalt. Basalt is considering redeveloping several key parcels, including some riverfront acreage.

Your Morning News - December 19th, 2014

Dec 19, 2014

Basalt Reviews Downtown Redevelopment Ideas

A committee charged with brainstorming redevelopment ideas for downtown Basalt presented their findings last night. The Downtown Area Advisory Committee met with Town Council, the Planning and Zoning committee and scores of interested citizens.

The volunteer committee has been meeting regularly since October, pouring over ideas from the community and a map of downtown Basalt. Basalt is considering redeveloping several key parcels including some riverfront acreage.

The committee came up with concepts rather than concrete suggestions. Moderator Paul Anderson says the idea was to explore how the community would feel with a certain level of development.

“They took a very broad-brushed look at what Basalt could be and what could bring the most vitality as a result.”

Still, the committee did nail down some details including where it would like to see commercial and residential development. On the map, the committee members pinpointed nine areas including a multi-story development where the old Clark’s Market building is standing.

“That building, that would be a perfect place for a sub-grade parking structure, or some kind of a focused solution to parking that would centralized, and then on top of that could be a performing arts center, or some kind of civic experience and then surrounded by interesting restaurants, boutiques, breweries and coffee shops.”

The committee also prioritized connecting the town to the Roaring Fork and Frying Pan rivers, improving Lion’s Park and allowing density to drive revitalization.

Town Council member Bernie Grauer questioned a few proposed changes.

“There’s no Wiley annex and there’s no town hall. Where did it go? And, how do we pay for it? That’s a big question in my mind.”

On the committee’s map, green space and open plazas replace town hall and the Wiley Arts Center. Committee members reiterated the plan is just an idea and nothing’s set in stone.

The Town Council will use the committee’s recommendations when it considers development ideas for the parcels. It will likely serve as a guide for developers interested in pursuing projects downtown. One developer, Lowe Enterprises, is already brainstorming ideas like a boutique hotel for one of the parcels.

Your Evening News - December 18th, 2014

Dec 18, 2014

Nebraska & Oklahoma Sue Colorado Over Pot Legalization

The Attorney Generals of two neighboring states are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down Colorado’s legalization of recreational pot. Nebraska and Oklahoma have filed a lawsuit stating Colorado's Amendment 64 and implementation is unconstitutional under the U.S. Constitution. Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning says Federal law prohibits the production and sale of marijuana. At the same time, he says Nebraska taxpayers are paying for an increase in marijuana-related arrests.

“It’s frustrating to have a sister state reaping tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue and sending the problem side of it to us.”

In a statement, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said he’ll defend the state's legalization of marijuana. He says he believes the lawsuit is without merit and that the primary grievance stems from non-enforcement of federal laws regarding marijuana instead of the choices made by Colorado voters.