Elise Thatcher

Reporter

Elise Thatcher joined Aspen Public Radio in 2013. Previously she worked as a freelancer, covering Southwestern Colorado, as well as with Colorado Public Radio, National Public Radio, KBOO Portland, and KWCW Whitman College. Elise is an award-winning journalist who relishes digging deep into complex issues, as well as covering day to day stories. When away from the microphone, she enjoys rock climbing, mountain biking, backcountry skiing, and other outdoor opportunities.

Ways to Connect

Elise Thatcher

The new owners for Krabloonik Fine Dining and Dogsledding are working out the details for their lease with the local government. The business is on Snowmass Village town property. Local animal advocates want to make sure there are specific requirements in the lease for treating the dogs well, like making sure they’re off tether more often. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher took a look at the issue and has this story.

Tracy Olson/Flickr

The City of Aspen is putting more financial safeguards in place. The move comes after an audit and Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Council wants a closer eye on money, and finances, handled by city staff. A review of what happened during a recent parking scam revealed a number of things. One was the Finance Department turned off a notification system that might have alerted everyone to the parking scam.  Another was City officials couldn’t find a copy of the former parking meter contract until this week. Employees found it after digging through a Truscott storage area.

aspensciencecenter.org

There should be a decision next week about who can move into Aspen's Old Power House. Aspen City Council heard comments from more than forty people at a meeting last night. Council is considering a handful of proposals. The Old Power House was formerly home to the Aspen Art Museum, essentially rent free. After a lengthy hearing last night, Council decided to select a new occupant next week.

Tonight the Roaring Fork School District hopes to nail down superintendent contracts for next year. The Board of Education has been working on the issue for three months. The plan is to keep current superintendent Diana Sirko for two more years, then Assistant Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer Rob Stein will become superintendent for the following three years. 

feministing.com

This is Spotlight Health on Aspen Public Radio.

This is the first episode in our series on critical health issues.

Today we’ll check in with the world of prosthetics and light therapy, and how medical technology is changing.

We’ll also examine why healthcare is so expensive in the United States, even though the quality of care isn’t always that great.

That’s this hour on Spotlight Health.

Guests: Krista Donaldson, CEO D-Rev & Elizabeth Bradley, Director of the Yale Global Health Initiative.

Aspen City Council decided last night [Monday] to hold off for a while on changing the town’s land use code. The ordinance was drafted in response to a ballot measure calling for more oversight of development approvals. Council had come up with their own land use changes to address the same community concerns about out-of-control development. The majority of public comments Monday were against council’s ordinance or raised questions about it.

Tracy Olson/Flickr

This afternoon Aspen City Council will review an audit of city finances, and take comments on who should take over the Old Power House building. The audit comes after a widespread parking scam. The review shows the parking scam cost the City more than $200,000-- much less than previously thought, because the audit assumes people who took advantage of free parking would have found a way to avoid parking in the first place, rather than paying the usual twenty eight dollars a day. 

ted.com

New medical technology is a growing part of improving health care across the globe. Krista Donaldson is part of an effort to make tools, like prosthetic knees, affordable and effective. Her San Francisco nonprofit, called D-Rev, is working to improve accessibility for people in places like India. 

A parking scam in Aspen was not as costly as expected. That’s according to a new audit of City finances.  A Denver-based auditor calculated less than $200,000 in city revenue were lost when people abused a parking meter glitch from 2012 to 2014. Previous estimates were upwards of a half million dollars. Overall the auditor says Aspen has good rules in place to make sure revenue is handled safely, with some exceptions.

 

Town of Snowmass Village

Planning commissioners for Snowmass Village are getting closer to making recommendations about Base Village. Developers are asking for changes to the project. Commissioners so far are generally in favor of the changes, which include adding a new Limelight Hotel. But they’re concerned about several issues, including what’s called the community purpose replacements. Those are public facilities in exchange for exceptions already granted, like bigger and taller new buildings.

https://twitter.com/bertmyrin

Over the weekend, another Aspen resident joined former Mayor Mick Ireland in announcing his candidacy for Aspen City Council. Bert Myrin said Sunday he's entering the race. Myrin  is one of the key organizers, with Ireland, of a ballot measure about development. It would amend Aspen’s city charter, requiring a public vote if a developer wants exceptions to the land use code-- for things like building height, and more. Right now City Council has a lot of flexibility for allowing exceptions.

Mountain Edition - March 5th, 2015

Mar 5, 2015

Good afternoon, welcome to Mountain Edition.

Bus drivers in the Roaring Fork Valley vote to unionize.

Aspen law enforcement is violating a no-idling ordinance.

A Carbondale man accused of murdering his wife appears in court.

An Aspen teenager pleads guilty to pot-related charges.

A major employer in Garfield County announces layoffs.

High profile fatalities in Garfield County highlight a problem with domestic violence.

A more detailed avalanche report is out, about the accident that killed a long time Aspen local.

Facebook/RFTA

There's few unions in the Roaring Fork Valley-- and now, there's another.Full-time bus drivers with the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority have voted to unionize. Ballots were counted in Denver on Wednesday by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. The final count didn’t begin until the mail arrived late at Colorado’s labor agency after 3pm. Heavy snow had delayed the delivery. Driver Ed Cortez was waiting breathlessly, with a representative of the Amalgamated Transit Union.

A former Garfield County employee is going before a judge this morning. Robin McMillan is charged with stealing from the Clerk and Recorder’s office. The District Attorney’s office says she stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from her work. McMillan faces a class three felony of theft of one hundred thousand dollars up to a million dollars. She’s also charged with a class five felony for embezzlement.

Roaring Fork Transit Authority

Full time bus drivers with the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority have voted to unionize. Ballots were counted in Denver today by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. The agency has confirmed the results. 65 drivers voted for unionization, with 22 against.

CAIC

There’s no expected release date for a review of an avalanche accident on New Year’s Day next to Aspen Mountain. The slide injured a ski guide with Aspen Mountain Powder Tours while he was making turns with clients. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center says its report on the accident isn’t like most, because the review was requested by a private company, rather than the CAIC trying to figure out what happened during a backcountry accident.  

  The push continues to create economic development in Aspen centered around hiking uphill on ski or snowboard gear, also known as uphilling. Mayor Steve Skadron has spearheaded the effort and met last weekend with ski manufacturers, members of the Italian consulate, race organizers, local gear and guide services, and others. It was part of the Aspen Uphill festival on Saturday.

http://www.eaglevalleytu.org/

When Eagle County Commissioners meet today, they're expected to make a marijuana cultivation facility in Missouri Heights official. The plan is for RFSC, LLC, to build a marijuana cultivation facility in the Pleasant Valley Ranch subdivision, about ten miles north of the El Jebel area. 

screen grab, Town of Snowmass Village

Snowmass Village Town Council is considering how detailed it should be in requiring changes at Krabloonik Fine Dining and Dogsledding. At a meeting Monday night, Council heard from the new owners and advocates about how to prevent animal cruelty charges from happening again. Those were leveled against the previous owner.

CAIC/Aspen Mountain Ski Patrol

There’s an avalanche watch for Aspen and surrounding areas, from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. The CAIC says new snow and winds from an ongoing winter storm make natural and human triggered snow slides likely on steep slopes with an angle of more than thirty degrees.

Pages