Aspen Public Radio

Your Evening News - December 26th, 2014

Dec 26, 2014

Schwartz Takes a Bow as State Senator

State Senator Gail Schwartz is serving out her final days as a lawmaker. The former Snowmass Village resident is term-limited after eight years. Democrat Kerry Donovan of Vail will take Schwartz’s spot at the capitol when the legislature convenes on January 7th.

Your Morning News - December 26th, 2014

Dec 26, 2014

Heavy Traffic on I-70 Expected Today

For residents and visitors using Interstate 70 today, officials are asking travelers to prepare for even more traffic than usual. The Colorado Department of Transportation says the day after Christmas last year was especially busy, along with the Saturday after as well. Traffic counts in the Eisenhower tunnel between Glenwood Springs and Denver peaked at more than 26,000 vehicles heading westbound. The resort booking company Stay Aspen Snowmass says today begins the busiest stretch of the winter holiday in the Upper Valley.

Your Morning News - December 25th, 2014

Dec 25, 2014

Aspen Aims to Save Water

The City of Aspen is looking into how it can save water in the future. The Water Department this week released the latest draft of a water efficiency plan.

The plan is being updated as part of the City’s involvement in a Valley-wide collaboration with water providers in Snowmass Village, Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs. The collaborative effort is called the Roaring Fork Watershed Regional Plan.

In the City’s individual plan it looks at future water demands for treated water, should the town’s population grow. It also examines the impact of climate change on water resources. The report suggests focusing on outdoor water efficiency in the future.

The City has been working to reduce the amount of treated water it uses through setting water efficiency goals. The latest plan builds on the work already done. The City is taking public comment on the draft plan until February 27th.

Your Evening News - December 24th, 2014

Dec 24, 2014

Crystal Palace Revue says “Farewell” Tomorrow

A decades old tradition in Aspen is coming to an end. Tomorrow will see the last performances of the Crystal Palace Revue. The vast majority of those performing worked at the Crystal Palace dinner theater in downtown Aspen from the 1960s through the late 2000s. After the iconic business sold, performances have continued during the holiday season. Nina Gabianelli oversees the Crystal Palace Players and explains busy schedules and other commitments make it time to move on.

“We don’t want to just slap something together, and have people not have a positive memory of the crystal palace. We want to make sure that what you remember is what we did best.”

Like in years past, tomorrow evening’s programs will feature satire including politics and the environment and will be held at the Wheeler Opera House.

Your Morning News - December 24th, 2014

Dec 24, 2014

Smooth Travel in the Valley

Flights out of Aspen’s airport are going much more smoothly, according to the resort’s main booking company. Scores of flights were canceled Monday and Sunday, leaving many passengers stuck in Denver, Grand Junction, and elsewhere. Bill Tomcich is President of Stay Aspen Snowmass. He says many of those travelers are now in Aspen faster than they would have in recent years.

“What used to be a two or three day catch up to clear all of the standbys who were distressed because of their canceled flights, has now taken less than a day.”

That’s because airlines are fine tuning daily schedules much more precisely than before. Tomcich and others have fingers crossed for not too much snow on Friday and Saturday to allow for many more visitors to arrive.

Your Evening News - December 23rd, 2014

Dec 23, 2014

Bad Flu Hits the Valley

Health officials in the Roaring Fork Valley are warning people to be wary of the flu as a certain strain is being seen in the Valley and throughout the country. Also, flu season has arrived earlier and with a bigger punch than last year.

The strain of flu circulating is called “H3N2” and, for the most part, a flu shot doesn’t protect you from it. This year’s flu shot has defense against other strains. But, it is only slightly effective with H3N2.

Pitkin County Public Health Director Liz Stark says her office has seen a significant spike of cases in the last two weeks. But, so far, there have been no hospitalizations from flu.

“This particular strain of the flu is hitting the very young and the older population hardest this year. In other parts of the state and the country, the hospitalizations that have occurred, most of them are occurring in children less than six months of age or in people over age 65. So, at the first sign of those symptoms, it’s a good idea to go to your physician or health care clinic and get tested.”

She recommends washing hands vigilantly and staying home from work. Some anti-viral medicines like Tamiflu can minimize symptoms and decrease the duration of the flu.

Your Morning News - December 23rd, 2014

Dec 23, 2014

Pitkin County is Taking Proposals on Glassier Open Space

Pitkin County is asking for proposals with what to grow on a parcel of open space. The Open Space and Trails Department is considering people interested in leasing land for agricultural use at the Glassier Open Space. That’s near Emma in the Upper Roaring Fork Valley. Open Space and Trails Employees will be doing a site visit in January to show the land to potential farmers.

Your Evening News - December 22nd, 2014

Dec 22, 2014

Travel Trouble Due to the Weather

The heavy winter storm walloping Aspen is bringing headaches to airport travelers. The trouble started yesterday when just one flight landed at the airport out of 32 scheduled. Six outbound flights were able to depart.

Today, the vast majority of flights have been canceled. Although, American Airlines managed to successfully land one inbound flight from Los Angeles. It’s not just snow causing difficulties – the wind is also an issue.

United is sending busses from Denver – based on demand. The airline’s also offering vouchers for other ground transportation options. The rental car fleet is slim at airports throughout the state.

Avalanche Alert Up Through Tomorrow Afternoon

There’s an avalanche warning for the Aspen Zone of Colorado’s backcountry terrain. So far it’s scheduled to continue through Tuesday afternoon as heavy, wet snow with the latest system making it easier for avalanche to happen.  

Avalanche danger has risen dramatically in recent days with high winds also playing a role. In many locations there is a heavy, slabby layer of snow that could fracture, causing snow to slide downhill.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center says natural avalanches are likely today along with ones triggered by activity farther away. CAIC experts recommend against being in the backcountry through tomorrow afternoon. Travelers who do venture out should avoid being on or under steep slopes as well as gullies below treeline.

Your Morning News - December 22nd, 2014

Dec 22, 2014

“Let It Snow!”

The Roaring Fork Valley is getting a generous helping of white gold heading into a busy

holiday stretch. Wintry weather and new snow have arrived just in time for one of the busiest tourism times of the year. Snow starting this weekend is projected to continue and helped with the Aspen Skiing Company opening more terrain on Saturday at all four resorts.

Your Evening News - December 19th, 2014

Dec 19, 2014

Colorado’s Unemployment Picture

Colorado’s unemployment rate continues to drop. New figures by the Department of Labor and Employment show the rate dropped to 4.1% in November. The national unemployment rate is 5.8%.

The last time the Colorado unemployment rate was as low as 4.1% was in January of 2008. The largest job gains were in the trade, transportation and utilities, financial, mining, logging and information sectors. Month-over-month declines were felt in the leisure and hospitality industry, as well as construction.

Governor Hickenlooper lauded the news but said more work needs to be done. He says his office wants to come up with “creative and effective ideas that will help support those still looking for work.”

Over the year, the unemployment rate fell from 6.3% in November 2013 to 4.1% last month. Total employment year-over-year increased by 117,000 and the number of people unemployed decreased by about 60,000.

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