Carolyn Sackariason

News Director

Born and raised in the suburbs of Minneapolis, Carolyn Sackariason started her journalism career in 1995 as a reporter for a daily newspaper in Fairmont, Minnesota. After a short nine months of covering that small-town farming community, she jumped at the chance to move to the Roaring Fork Valley and become a reporter at the Aspen Daily News.

She eventually was promoted to editor and remained at the helm until she was tapped to be the publisher of the Snowmass Sun in 1999. Sackariason was there until 2001 when another opportunity presented itself. The owner of the Daily News and its former general manager asked her to come to Santa Monica, Calif., and start a daily newspaper there. She remains co-owner of the paper, which is now in its 13th year. She moved back to the valley in 2006 and worked briefly at The Aspen Times as a reporter and business editor. But independent journalism called her back to the Daily News, where she went through her second stint as editor in 2010.

This is her first foray in radio and took the job of news director of Aspen Public Radio in January 2015.

When she is not toiling away in the studio and on the beat, Sackariason spends her time on the mountains, hiking and skiing, and rafting the Colorado and Roaring Fork rivers in the summer, along with her daily morning golf rounds.

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

A couple that lives in a penthouse in downtown Aspen now has to share the building’s entrance with their neighbors. As a result, their property value decreased $1.3 million, a judge has ruled.

There’s more debate around the live debate that Aspen Public Radio broadcast with city council candidates Bert Myrin and Mick Ireland.

Elise Thatcher

Aspen Public Radio held a live debate last night between Aspen City Council candidates Bert Myrin and Mick Ireland, who are battling it out in the spring runoff election. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher has this overview of what went down, and a full recording of the debate.

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

Aspen High School principal Kim Martin resigned after only three years on the job.

More complaints are surfacing about the proliferation of pot shops in family friendly Glenwood Springs weed.

Meanwhile, a major commercial development proposal for one of the last big open space in the valley has been pulled by the developer.

And, with summer comes traffic. Residents in the West End neighborhood of Aspen say keep it on Main Street and not on theirs.

The City of Aspen is finding itself with an extra $2 million every year from what’s called the real estate transfer tax, or RETT. And Aspen residents will have an opportunity in the coming months to weigh in on how to spend it. Then next year they’ll be asked to vote to renew the revenue stream and where it should be spent. Right now it’s dedicated to the Wheeler Opera House. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason talked with City Manager Steve Barwick about the possibilities.

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

The City of Aspen municipal election made history this week, with voters stripping some power away from their elected officials. And, two candidates vying for an open council seat are headed to a runoff election in June.

A prominent downtown Aspen landlord is eyeing more properties and has two more under contract to buy.

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

UPDATE - 11:21pm

Unofficial final results - Steve Skadron will keep his seat as Mayor against his second challenge from Torre. Skadron takes the win by about 400 votes.  

Carolyn Sackariason

The City of Aspen is finding itself in the position of many employers in the valley who find it difficult to attract qualified employees. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason has the details.

The city manager’s office had to re-open the job posting for a parking director after the first round of 28 applicants didn’t produce the right candidate. One individual from outside of the area was offered the job but declined because of the cost of living and the lack of affordable housing.

aspenpitkin.com

Another development application has been submitted for a downtown building in Aspen. Already five projects have been turned into the city in advance of tomorrow’s election when a change in the charter amendment could affect projects getting approval. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason reports.    

Downtown landlord Mark Hunt is under contract to purchase the old Guido’s Swiss Inn, as well as the structure next to it, known as the Salmon building because of its color. Both are on the Cooper Avenue Mall.

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

The smells of legalization permeate up and down the valley, and the odor of marijuana has some people plugging their noses and complaining to city officials.

An investigation is brewing around a nonprofit in Glenwood and whether funds were misappropriated.

Meanwhile, there’s more debate on oil and gas drilling in the valley.

Carolyn Sackariason

There are four days left to vote in the Aspen municipal election where residents are deciding on a charter amendment, a mayor and two council members. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason reports.

As of Thursday evening, more than 1,300 Aspen residents had cast their ballots in this all-mail election. Judging from previous city elections, more than half have already voted. The average turnout is between 2,000 and 2,500 voters. Aspen City Clerk Linda Manning predicts turnout will be on the high end.

Carolyn Sackariason

The smells of legalization are emanating across an alley and into the homes of Aspen residents, prompting city officials to take action. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason has the details.

The marijuana dermal patch manufacturer Meachum and Company, which produces its product under the trade name, RX Green, was paid a visit by three Aspen city officials last week after neighbors complained of strong pot odors wafting up from its basement shop.

The City of Aspen’s local licensing authority will consider its first change of ownership application for a marijuana shop next month. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason reports.

A Denver man has applied to the city clerk’s office to potentially buy the Green Dragon on the Hyman Avenue Mall. The application says the buyer, Ryan Milligan, plans to invest $7.2 million dollars in the deal. It would be financed by a loan from Andrew Levine, also of Denver.

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

We saw the end of the 2014-15 ski season when Aspen Mountain closed last weekend but why was it a ghost town at the base?

The City of Aspen just bought more wind power so it can operate on 100 percent renewable energy.

Meanwhile, the switch for the largest solar array in the valley was flipped this week.

The town of Snowmass is investigating why high levels of fecal matter are testing positive in a stream near a high-profile hotel.

High Country News

The White River National Forest is about to get deluged with summer users. The Forest Service is contemplating a management plan, but it won’t be implemented this year. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason has more.

District Ranger Karen Schroyer says she needs more information from the public before making any decisions on how to curb the overuse in areas like Condundrum Hot Springs or the Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness area. She plans to get feedback from recreationalists in Denver this summer.

In anticipation of a ballot question getting passed this spring, developers are busy getting their land use applications on file in City Hall. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason reports.

Land use planners who represent Aspen property owners say Referendum 1 is spurring them to file development applications earlier than expected. If passed, the citizen ballot initiative would amend the City Charter to require a public vote on development projects with exceptions for height, size, parking, or affordable housing.

Tracy Olson/Flickr

The Aspen School District is looking to the Town of Snowmass Village to fill a budget shortfall. The district is proposing a sales tax, just like the one in place in the City of Aspen. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason reports.

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

Glenwood Springs officials are looking for ways to get people out of their cars in advance of the Grand Avenue Bridge being closed two years from now.

And, two new city council members were sworn into office Thursday night.

After a long and protracted criminal prosecution, the owner of Krabloonik dog sledding kennel was sentenced on his animal cruelty charge.

One of three construction projects at the busiest intersection in downtown Aspen is almost done with its first phase. But it won’t be entirely finished until the middle of next month. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason reports.

A group of children exits the Pitkin County Library. They may unfamiliar with the sounds on the street, but any pedestrian or motorist who’s been on Mill Street lately has no doubt heard all kinds of construction activity. From catering trucks and backhoes to jackhammers and massive drills, welcome to the sounds of spring in Aspen.

Karen Schroyer is the ranger for the Aspen and Sopris district in the White River National Forest. Her agency, along with the Bureau of Land Management, the National Elk Foundation, the Basalt and El Jebel fire departments and the Upper Colorado River Fire Agency, burned between 1,100 and 1,300 acres on Basalt Mountain last weekend. She wants the public to know the facts behind Sunday’s prescribed burn on Basalt Mountain. She spoke with Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason.

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