Elise Thatcher

Reporter

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

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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