Elise Thatcher

Reporter

Elise Thatcher is a reporter with Aspen Public Radio since 2013. 

Ways To Connect

If you get a DUI, your blood sample isn’t going to the state lab any more... that’s because the Colorado health department wasn’t handling them properly. We’ll get an update on what that means for drug and alcohol cases.

Indian Tribes across the west are strengthening their sovereignty by getting involved in natural resource development on or near reservations. The tribes in Colorado are involved in two hydro projects.

And fires may be burning differently-- because of changing weather, trees, and other factors. That means changes are in store for how firefighters take on wildfires.

Carbondale writer Jon Waterman has a new book out--after detailing the winding journey of the Colorado River, he’s put together what he calls a handbook for a life intertwined with the outdoors.

And, We’ll get a preview of three exhibitions opening in Basalt this weekend... they’re all by women artists.


Whitehouse.gov

Last month, when President Barack Obama rolled out a national climate change initiative, a number of decision makers in the Roaring Fork Valley were listening closely.  The President’s plans to cap carbon emissions and boost energy efficiency are in line with much of what has been routine here for years.  Lucy Emerson-Bell is with CORE, the Community Office for Resource Efficiency.

Speedtest.net

Residents along the Roaring Fork Valley are being asked to share the details of their internet access at home. It’s part of an effort to speed up connections across Northwest Colorado. Phylis Mattice is Pitkin County Assistant Manager.

“The survey is asking people who their internet provider is, how much do they pay for it. We just don’t want it to be available to people, we want it to be affordable to people.

Silk/Reunite the River Facebook album

Artist Kurt Wenner is known for brain-defying creations. He makes drawings on pavement that feel 3D, often from the perspective of looking down into a scene struggle or chaos. Wenner recently took on a topic central to the Western United States: the Colorado River. He recreated the river's winding path... across the marble floor of Chicago’s Union Station. It’s part of an environmental campaign by an almond and soymilk manufacturer.  Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher talks with Kurt Wenner, from his home in Washington State….

Garmin International

More commercial truckers are navigating Independence Pass... even though they’re not supposed to. That’s according to the Colorado State Patrol. This summer, officers are doing more to bring those numbers down. And the effort comes as a worldwide GPS company is also trying to get the attention of more drivers.

When traveling east of Aspen on Highway 82, there are several signs warning drivers, saying:

“No trucks over thirty five feet in length can drive up and over Independence Pass.”

Mountain Edition - June 27th, 2013

Jun 27, 2013

In a matter of days, it’ll be illegal to give family or friends a gun... without having them getting a  background check. Today we’ll hear about confusion over details of the new transfer law.

That and other new Colorado laws have frustrated local enforcement officials--enough that they’ve filed a federal civil rights lawsuit. We’ll talk with a Roaring Fork Valley sheriff about why he signed on with that effort.

Our science reporter delves into the tricky question of how air quality is monitored... even when pollution is coming from hundreds of miles away.

A major group of wildfires continues to burn in southwestern Colorado. That’s as Stage One fire restrictions kick into place for parts of the Roaring Fork Valley. We’ll find out why many in Pitkin County are at risk if a wildfire does break out nearby.

We’ll take a tour of one of the most energy efficient houses in the world. Amory Lovins is Chief Scientist for Rocky Mountain Institute. He takes us on a tour of his Old Snowmass home... spoiler alert, it has bananas, too.

Congressional Office of Diana DeGette

Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette is again trying to expand wilderness in the state. The Democrat, whose district largely includes Denver, hopes to preserve more than thirty places around Colorado including land in Eagle County. DeGette announced her proposal legislation Monday, June 24th.  She has introduced similar versions for more than a decade.

Mountain Edition - June 20th, 2013

Jun 20, 2013

The pipeline leak in Parachute several months ago has been repaired but the resulting spill is continuing to cause worries. On Sunday, levels of the chemical benzene went up. We ask officials why.

Our science reporter tells us about some heart irregularities that appear to be unique to high level snow skiers.

The Roaring Fork Valley has among the highest number of residents without health insurance in Colorado. As the rollout of Obamacare begins they may… or may not… get insured.

Some black bears seem to be choosing food from town again this year. We’ll talk with an expert about bear behavior and if coming to town is passed down to cubs.

All that and a conversation with painter Don Nice

Courtesy: Rebecca Schild

A world-class climbing area near Rifle may reopen today. The Rifle Mountain Park has been closed for five days because of the nearby Ward Gulch fire. Now, the town’s Parks and Recreation Department says people may be able to return... but it all depends on the weather. 

Rifle Mountain Park has some of the best rock climbing in the country, and climbers from all over the world test their skills there. Everyone was evacuated last Friday, when the Ward Gulch fire got perilously close.  Tom Whitmore is Parks Director for the Town of Rifle.

[Photo: Esther Godson]

For firefighters, each new blaze presents different challenges. Where to get water... the boundaries between private and public property.. access roads and other details can be crucial to getting control of a fire. To make that easier, the Forest Service and other agencies are building their own Google Earth program.

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