Your Morning News - January 19th, 2015

Jan 19, 2015

First Aspen Council & Mayoral Candidates Announce

The first candidate for an open Aspen City Council seat has emerged.

Former Affordable Housing chief Tom McCabe has confirmed he plans to run for city council in May. McCabe retired as Director of the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority last October. McCabe says he would bring his expertise on how the city operates and likely focus on housing issues. He served one term on Aspen City Council in the early 2000s.

It is also likely Aspen's Mayoral race will have a challenger in the ballot. Former city councilman Torre told Aspen Public Radio this weekend that his intention is to run in the May election. He plans to formally announce his candidacy next month. It would be Torre's fifth attempt at the Mayor’s office.

Elise Thatcher

This winter, Garfield County is partnering with doctors to get people to test their homes for radon. The naturally occurring gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer, and nearly half of Garfield County homes have levels higher than what’s considered safe. 

Reema Khrais joined WUNC in 2013 to cover education in pre-kindergarten through high school. Previously, she won the prestigious Joan B. Kroc Fellowship. For the fellowship, she spent a year at NPR where she reported nationally, produced on Weekends on All Things Considered and edited on the digital desk. She also spent some time at New York Public Radio as an education reporter, covering the overhaul of vocational schools, the contentious closures of city schools and age-old high school rivalries.

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

The lodging review continues in Aspen and for the city council, this week, it was a mixed bag.

Meanwhile, the city employees reviewing those plans are looking for a new home of their own.

A proposed pot growing operation faces the NIMBY wrath in Silt.

Do we love the Maroon Bells too much and is that a problem?

Should Garfield County voters have the chance to vote for commissioners by district instead of at large?

Aspen and Glenwood Springs are going all mail balloting this spring

And what’s the lowdown on uphilling? That’s a conference coming on that topic.

Your Evening News - January 16th, 2015

Jan 16, 2015

Explore Booksellers Bought by Non-Profit Group

Aspen’s Explore Booksellers has a new owner. A corporation under the umbrella of the Public Interest Network purchased the historic building and book business for five million dollars. The sale closed earlier today.

The bookstore opened as usual on Friday, but with new owners. Previous owners Sam and Cheryl Wyly listed the property in June. Since then, efforts have formed around preserving the business – Aspen’s only bookstore.

The Public Interest Network stepped in and the sale was finalized Friday. Real estate broker Bob Ritchie represented the buyers.

“Right now they plan to operate it exactly how it’s been operated. They’ve rehired all of the same employees.”

Karen Setterfield is the real estate agent who worked with the sellers.

“I call it a win-win-win. It’s good for the buyer, the seller, it’s good for the community, it’s good for the bookstore and the property and it’s good for Pyramid Bistro, the tenant in the property.”

Ritchie says the new owners plan to bring to Explore interesting speakers and talks, and deepen ties with the Aspen Institute.

Your Morning News - January 16th, 2015

Jan 16, 2015

Glenwood Springs Reviews Expanded Meadows Development Plan

Last night Glenwood Springs Council took an early look at a proposed development at the Glenwood Meadows Shopping Center. It would add nearly two hundred housing units and commercial space to the bustling shopping complex.

Because the project is in the early phases, no action was required of council members last night. Mayor Leo McKinney said afterward the proposal was generally well received.

5pointfilm.org/Mending The Line

Carbondale’s Five Point Film Festival is in Aspen this weekend. The non profit will screen 9 short films at the Wheeler Opera House on Saturday. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke to one of the film’s main characters. Oregon-based Frank Moore is a WWII veteran and avid fly fisherman.

Your Evening News - January 15th, 2015

Jan 15, 2015

Glenwood Considering New Meadows Development

Tonight Glenwood Springs Council will take an early look at a proposed development at the Glenwood Meadows Shopping Center. It would add nearly two hundred housing units and commercial space to the bustling shopping complex.

The new development proposal includes 174 residential units and nearly 6,000 square feet of commercial space as well as amenities like a coffee lounge, business center, and gym.

Andrew McGregor oversees Community Development for the City of Glenwood Springs. He says City Council must keep in mind the area has been assessed for mudslides.

“We’re very in tune with the geologic environment out there, and of course very concerned with making sure that all construction is done taking that into full consideration.”

McGregor says the Meadows has structures in place to help prevent slides. The business and energy of the shopping center, which includes stores like Target and Lowe’s, is one reason McGregor thinks the development will be a good fit.

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition.

Aspen’s City Council decides to join the statewide switch to mail-in ballots, while City officials continue to review a handful of proposed hotels.

The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority tries to make sure commuters have enough parking.

And Gay Ski Week kicks off in the Upper Valley with a mission to fundraise.

Residents in a Rifle mobile home park report diesel in their water.

Basalt police continue the search for a robbery suspect.

Gina Von Hoof/matthewshepard.org

Gay Ski Week is well underway in Aspen. The annual event features skiing, parties, comedy and film but it’s not just about fun. There’s an underlying emphasis on advocating for LGBTQ causes.

The non-profit that runs Gay Ski Week, Aspen Out, raises money for groups like the Matthew Shepard Foundation. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen spoke with Robin Wood-Mason, Deputy Director of the Foundation and Kevin McManamon, President of Aspen Out.

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