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Your Evening News - December 11th, 2014

Dec 11, 2014

Aspen Seeks Input on New Bike/Pedestrian Plan

The City of Aspen is updating its Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan and seeking public input. When the plan was conceived 20 years ago, several new trails were the result.

The original plan led to improvements like trail connections and new trails such as the East of Aspen trail and the Ute Avenue Trail. A lot has changed since the original master plan was drawn up, says City of Aspen Senior Project Manager Tyler Christoff. He says it’s time for a revision.

“We see based on citizen input, the need for more bicycle projects, and that combined with the time that’s elapsed since the last time that this has been looked at holistically, that led us to the conclusion that we should take a look and revamp the master plan.”

Already, citizens have made comments on a City website dedicated to the issue. Concerns are raised about things like a lack of signage and dangerous intersections. The City will also take comments at a public meeting at the Limelight on Monday afternoon.

Colorado High Court Turns Down SOS Appeal

The Colorado Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Secretary of State on Wednesday… and upheld a lower court decision overturning election rules that Scott Gessler put in place two years ago.  The rules relaxed disclosure requirements in political ads.  Colorado Ethics Watch sued to overturn those rules. Luis Toro is the group’s director.

All of the rules that we challenged from the Secretary of State’s office have been thrown off the books as contradicting Colorado Constitution or statutory law.”

Colorado Common Cause joined the lawsuit against Gessler’s disclosure rules.

RFSD Keeps Sirko & Stein Under New Contact Plan

The Roaring Fork School District will have the same Superintendent for the next few years. The Board of Education decided to extend the contract for Diana Sirko as well as current Assistant Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer Rob Stein. But there’s a twist. Once Sirko is done, Stein will take the reins as Superintendent for three years. Board President Daniel Biggs explains the reason for the unusual arrangement.

“We wanted to have this strong leadership team continue the great work that they’ve begun. We have so much ahead of us.”

Superintendent Diana Sirko echoed that description of keeping together an All-Star team.

“It was an atypical situation from the beginning, and I think the forward thinking of the board allows us to move forward and to assure Dr. Stein that he won’t be waiting forever in the wings, so to speak.”

Stein had been hired as Superintendent in 2012 but stepped down because of a family emergency. Sirko filled the position in Stein’s absence and has continued on following his return.

New Colorado VA Hospital Construction Halted

Construction has come to a halt on the new $600 million dollar plus Veterans Administration hospital in Aurora.  The contractor is walking away after a fight over the money needed to finish it. Kiewit-Turner is the company building the new hospital. But, now it says it is halting construction. On Tuesday, a federal appeal board ruled the VA didn’t live up to the contract for the project. That panel determined the VA's plan would cost more than $1 billion to construct, according to the Denver Post. That’s well over the $600 million the VA budgeted for the project. The board says the VA isn’t planning to request more money. Members of Colorado's congressional delegation say they hope they two sides can resolve the conflict.