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.

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.

Courtesy Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority

The legal status of Aspen's local housing authority is in question and its board of directors will discuss the problem tonight. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason reports.

A 2012 memo from a Denver attorney says the Aspen/Pitkin County Housing Authority has been stripped, over time, of its policy-making functions, so that its board doesn’t have the power it’s supposed to have under state laws. Instead, the city manager’s office controls the housing agency.

A judge moved today to have the court civilly commit an elderly man who killed a motorcyclist on Highway 82 last summer. Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely says it’s necessary for John Walls, who is 89 and lives in Carbondale.

Walls, appearing frail and using headphones to hear the proceedings in court today, had been charged with misdemeanor counts of careless driving causing death and reckless endangerment for the Aug. 23 accident just west of Basalt. He killed Patrick Dunn after his car hit the motorcycle head-on.

http://krabloonik.com/

The former owner of Krabloonik dog sledding kennel was sentenced today to 30 months of probation, with a condition that he cannot own a dog or have any interest in a business that has them.

The teenager whose arrest involved a controversial take down by police was sentenced today to a year of supervised probation.

The charges of underage possession of marijuana and resisting arrest, which the boy pleaded guilty to last month, will be dismissed if the Aspen High School junior stays clean and out of trouble for a year.

Several conditions were attached to the sentencing, including routine testing for alcohol and marijuana, writing a letter of apology to the police officer who arrested him, attending school and possibly counseling.

Carolyn Sackariason

Construction in and around Mill Street may have let up a bit but there is still plenty of work that will continue in the coming weeks. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason talked with Jack Wheeler, the city’s capital asset manager, and has the details.

Elise Thatcher

Ballots will be dropped in the mail today for the Aspen municipal election. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason has the details.

Around 6,100 ballots will be mailed to registered voters. City Clerk Linda Manning hopes to get back less than a third of those--about 2,500. If you haven’t received a ballot by Friday, contact her office in City Hall, or just come in person.

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

Glenwood Springs has two new council members.

It looks like the Thompson Divide will be safe from oil and gas drilling. But, what about other areas and how do residents there feel about that sort of activity in their backyards?

There’s movement and millions of dollars in play in getting a base village built at the base of Snowmass ski area.

Meanwhile, a new executive director has been hired at the Wheeler Opera House.

And, an Aspen City Council candidate is being scrutinized for something he did 10 years ago.

Joining me this week are Curtis Wackerle, editor of the Aspen Daily News, Jill Bethard, editor of the Snowmass Sun, Randy Essex, editor of the Glenwood Post Independent and Michael Miracle, editor of Aspen Sojourner magazine.

The Aspen Police Department is experiencing a significant exodus of patrol officers this spring. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason has the story.

Doug Phelps is president of the board of directors for an organization that recently purchased Explore Booksellers. Public Interest Network saved the venerable bookstore from closing when it bought the Main Street property for $4.6 million. He spoke with Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason.

More about Explore Booksellers: http://www.explorebooksellers.com/

https://twitter.com/bertmyrin

Questions have been raised about the integrity of an Aspen City Council candidate. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason has the story.

An affidavit signed by Bert Myrin acknowledges he manipulated a message from a powerful local business group deliberately misrepresenting the organization’s position on a visitor’s center proposal in 2004.

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