News

Is Fracking Getting Greener?

May 2, 2013

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has just revised its estimate of the amount of greenhouse gas that leaks everyday in oil and gas drilling fields.  The EPA says that as much as 20 percent less methane gas is leaking from drilling operations than it had previously thought.  The announcement comes as good news for the oil and gas industry and is an acknowledgement, says David Ludlam, of big strides in engineering.

Photo by Colorado River Water Conservation District

As the demand for water grows in the West, there may come a day when water rights at ski areas will be worth more than lift tickets or real estate. Forest Service officials want to make sure those rights aren’t sold--but a previous attempt was struck down in court late last year. A judge decided, among other things, the agency didn’t get enough public input. This week saw the first of three public meetings... it’s the only one in Colorado. Denver Post reporter Jason Blevins was there.

Carbondale Library Considers Its Options

May 1, 2013
Roger S. Adams

The Town of Carbondale is facing a pleasant dilemma.  Later this year the town’s library will move to a new building and must now decide what happens to the current library.  The dilemma for Town Council is deciding among three good proposals for what to do with the Gordon Cooper building on 4th street. 

Among the ideas is an academy for the performing arts; dance, music and theater. Peter Gilbert, founder of Carbondale’s Dance Initiative is behind the plan.

Snow Storms Good News for Anglers

May 1, 2013
http://www.fryingpananglers.com/Photos-2013/fly-fishing-photos-4-April-1Jason.html

Recent snow showers have boosted local snowpack levels much higher than at this time last year. Yesterday the snowpack in the Roaring Fork Watershed registered 107 percent of normal. It’s good news for anglers who dealt with warm and dry conditions last year.

The latest “Fishing Report” on the Frying Pan Anglers website reads, “...this last week has put us in the best position all year, with the best water in the entire state.”

Owner Warwick Mowbray wrote that entry. He says recent storms paint a good picture for the upcoming fishing season.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/79604620@N00/11350061

A bill requiring rural electric cooperatives to use more renewable energy sources is

on its way to the State House. Senate Bill 252 narrowly passed the senate earlier this month, over objections by rural republicans and some cooperatives.

 

The legislation would increase the amount of renewables, like wind and solar, coops must use from the current 10 percent standard to 25 percent. If it passed, these electric groups would have to meet that mark by 2020. Lee Boughey of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association says that's a difficult target.

Photo by Elise Thatcher

Most residents in the Roaring Fork Valley probably won’t be surprised to hear

there’s more snow in the mountains. Drought conditions are in the area again this year... but while the snow is helping... it’s cold temperatures that are making the biggest difference.

Wendy Ryan is with the Colorado Climate Center. She says the snowpack in the Roaring Fork Valley is at 87% of what’s normal.

"It’s way better than we had been just a few weeks ago, so April has brought us some really good moisture, mainly along the northern tier of the state."

Adventure Film Fest Promises to Take Viewers on a Ride

May 1, 2013
Logo from 5 Point Film website

Carbondale’s Five Point Film Festival kicks off Thursday. The adventure film event is in its sixth year, but Executive Director Sarah Wood says their mission remains the same.

"We’re continuing to grow, but we’re really centered around our five guiding principles and that’s what five-point stands for, and those are balance, commitment, purpose, humility and respect."

Immigration Fraud Strikes Communities Across Colorado

Apr 30, 2013

Immigration lawyers around Colorado are warning their clients of a special kind of fraud. Every time there’s a change in immigration law, or a potential change, notarios pop up. Notarios offer cheap services to those in the immigrant community, and make promises to get things like work permits and visas. In the end though, many immigrants end up scammed out of their money, sometimes deported or sent to jail. That’s what happened to Virginia Mancinas. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.
 

Residents in the town of Parachute, and other area communities, are angry and worried about a nearby hydrocarbon spill. That’s a word for a substance like light natural gas, that seeped out from a pipe valve earlier this year. Officials say there isn’t any more leaking out, and they feel like they’ve got a good handle on the clean up. But many at a public meeting on Monday, April 29th, were skeptical. Aspen Public Radio's Elise Thatcher reports:

More details are available on what happened during the April 20th deadly avalanche on Loveland Pass. It was the worst accident of its kind in more than a half a century. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center released their final report on Wednesday April 24th. In it are some painful details--like the lone survivor waiting four hours to be dug out, and the slide being powerful enough to wreck car. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher talks with CAIC Executive Director Ethan Greene.

Photo by Dale Atkins/RECCO

This week is a tough one for many in Colorado’s backcountry community. Friends and family are getting used to the idea that five men died in an avalanche near Loveland Pass last weekend. Its the worst event of its kind in Colorado in a half a century.

Adam Schmidt is editor in Chief at Snowboard Colorado Magazine. He was good friends with one of the victims, Gypsum resident Joe Timlin. Schmidt got the call Saturday night that Joe was gone, killed in the avalanche.

“My first reaction was disbelief. Um. I was hoping it was a terrible joke.”

Aspen Skiing Company

Business leaders, including more than a hundred ski resorts, want Washington to do something about climate change. That’s the message signed by business heavyweights like Nike and Starbucks, as well as Aspen Skiing Company and smaller outfits like Monarch Mountain. And it comes after athletes delivered a letter to the White House with a similar theme.

 

 

"Climate change is the biggest economic opportunity, and it’s the right thing to do."

Marci Krivonen

Last month the Obama Administration laid out a plan to help plants and animals deal with the impacts of climate change. Already, polar bears are losing sea ice and waterfowl are flying south weeks later than decades before. The plan lays out strategies on how to help animals survive these changes.

In Aspen, a group of citizen scientists hope to do the same thing. They’re getting trained on how to recognize and record changes to the environment. The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies is behind the effort. The group hopes to make it easier to track changes.

Photo Courtesy of USA Pro Challenge

Colorado sporting events may see more security after the bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15th. One of the biggest events in Aspen this summer is the USA Pro Challenge. The road bike race in its third year. Now, state and local officials are looking closely at whether to beef up security.

Photo by Elise Thatcher

Part 3 of a 3 part series.

Pitkin County residents are making less money than ten years ago. That’s one of the findings in a recent economic sustainability report released by the Aspen Chamber Resort Association. One of the reasons could be that paychecks aren’t keeping up with inflation. Aspen Public Radio's Elise Thatcher reports.
 

Aspen’s Economic Challenges: Part #2 - Small Business

Apr 16, 2013
Photo by Marci Krivoen

Part 2 of a 3 part series.

It’s tough to open and run a business in Aspen these days. New business owners must navigate a web of regulations and fees. And, stores already in operation are battling a tough economy nationally, and within the resort itself. Retail sales are a good indicator of a resort’s economic health. And, while sales data show Aspen has largely recovered from the recession, the retail sector has seen no real sales growth for six years.  Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

Aspen’s Economic Challenges: Part #1 - Lodging

Apr 15, 2013
Roger Adams

Part 1 of a 3 part series.

Residents of Aspen often hear and say that they live in paradise; it is a town like no other.  And yet, the Aspen of this description is facing challenges in coming years. That’s the conclusion of a report issued last week by the Aspen Chamber Resort Association.    ACRA’s Economic Sustainability Report revisits issues considered by a similar study done ten years ago.

Photo from John Fayhee

“When in doubt, go higher.” That’s the motto of the Mountain Gazette, the Colorado-born magazine that’s documented the slings and arrows of mountain living here and across the West.

Usually at the heart of the publication are long tales by the colorful and often curmudgeonly editor John Fayhee. He helped the resurrect the Gazette thirteen years ago. That was in collaboration with well known Aspen figure. Well, Fayhee’s in serious doubt... and deep regret... about the future of the magazine--so he’s saying goodbye. Fayhee recently spoke with Aspen Public Radio's Elise Thatcher.

211 Crew in the Valley

Apr 11, 2013
Photo from the Institute for the Study of Violent Groups

The murder of Colorado’s head of corrections last month is being blamed on a member of the white supremacist prison gang known as the 211 Crew.  Police killed the suspect but a manhunt continues for another 211 member who remains at large and might be involved.  The gang was formed in the Denver County Jail in the 1990’s and since then some of it’s members have found their way to the Roaring Fork Valley. Aspen Public Radio's Roger Adams reports.

Media Must Watch its Step When Reporting on Suicide

Apr 9, 2013
Photo from NPR

This spring has been a tough one in Aspen due to a succession of suicides. News of the deaths was hard to miss. Reports were carried by media outlets, including Aspen Public Radio. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports:

Some mental health providers say there was too much coverage. 

"I gotta tell you, we had the busiest day yesterday in the entire three years almost that the Hope Center has been in business, says Michelle Meuthing.

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