Aspen Public Radio

Your Morning News - January 21st, 2015

Jan 21, 2015

X Games Briefs Aspen on Plans

The ESPN Winter X Games will be up and running tonight. Organizers briefed Pitkin County officials yesterday on the final details.

The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority expects upwards of 38,000 rides starting this evening through Sunday. Where those people are dropped off and picked up at Buttermilk is one of the changes in place this year. Pitkin County Manager Jon Peacock.

“For past attendees of the X Games, the layout will be a little different, with construction and new bus circulation on the venue, how people will come to and leave the venue will look a little bit different, but I think it’ll be even more efficient than in years past.”

Events begin at 7pm this evening. Another change this year is concerts will be on site instead of in Aspen.

Your Evening News - January 20th, 2015

Jan 20, 2015

Mark Hunt to Take Aspen’s Questions at Public Forum

The man who controls the majority of buildings in downtown Aspen will speak publicly for the first time to the community on his future plans. Aspen Business Events is hosting a question-and-answer session with Mark Hunt. Along with investors, Hunt has amassed 15 buildings in the commercial core and has invested more than $100 million in real estate in the city. The event will take place on Thursday at 5pm at BB’s Kitchen. Two Hunt proposals for low-cost hotels go before the Aspen City Council on Monday.

Your Morning News - January 20th, 2015

Jan 20, 2015

Aspen Mayor to Talk Climate Change at National Conference

Aspen mayor Steve Skadron is heading to Washington at the end of the week to talk to other U.S. mayors about preparing for a changed climate.

Climate resiliency planning is one of Aspen City Council’s top ten goals. The City commissioned a study to examine what kinds of changes are in store for the resort town. The temperature is expected to increase and the number of frost-free days will rise.

Aspen has also worked to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions through the Canary Initiative. Mayor Steve Skadron says he plans to share Aspen’s progress.

“The work we’ve done to this point will be recognized as some of the most aggressive out there. That’s the message I want to put forth to my fellow mayors, that if a community like ours can address this, there’s opportunities for other communities, as well.”

The two-day meeting is called the Mayor’s Innovation Project and “integrating climate resilience into city decisions” is one of four main topics the mayors will discuss.

Your Evening News - January 19th, 2015

Jan 19, 2015

Aspen to Talk Child Care

The City of Aspen is gathering community leaders together to discuss early child care and its importance tomorrow. Organizers say affordable childcare supports the resort town’s economy.

Shirley Ritter with the City’s Kids First program says a quarter of the families who either work or live in Aspen are receiving some kind of child care assistance. Her office distributes financial aid to about 50 families. Other programs, through the school district and county, support more kids. She says the benefits keep workers in town.

“In this community we know that housing is really expensive, everybody’s well aware of that. But unless you have young children, you probably aren’t aware of how expensive child care is. It can be just as expensive as housing. Sometimes people pay more than what they pay in rent.”

Tuesday’s discussion includes a screening of the PBS documentary “The Raising of America.” And, officials from Aspen’s business community will talk about how they support their employees. The event is at noon at the Wheeler Opera House.

Your Morning News - January 19th, 2015

Jan 19, 2015

First Aspen Council & Mayoral Candidates Announce

The first candidate for an open Aspen City Council seat has emerged.

Former Affordable Housing chief Tom McCabe has confirmed he plans to run for city council in May. McCabe retired as Director of the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority last October. McCabe says he would bring his expertise on how the city operates and likely focus on housing issues. He served one term on Aspen City Council in the early 2000s.

It is also likely Aspen's Mayoral race will have a challenger in the ballot. Former city councilman Torre told Aspen Public Radio this weekend that his intention is to run in the May election. He plans to formally announce his candidacy next month. It would be Torre's fifth attempt at the Mayor’s office.

Your Evening News - January 16th, 2015

Jan 16, 2015

Explore Booksellers Bought by Non-Profit Group

Aspen’s Explore Booksellers has a new owner. A corporation under the umbrella of the Public Interest Network purchased the historic building and book business for five million dollars. The sale closed earlier today.

The bookstore opened as usual on Friday, but with new owners. Previous owners Sam and Cheryl Wyly listed the property in June. Since then, efforts have formed around preserving the business – Aspen’s only bookstore.

The Public Interest Network stepped in and the sale was finalized Friday. Real estate broker Bob Ritchie represented the buyers.

“Right now they plan to operate it exactly how it’s been operated. They’ve rehired all of the same employees.”

Karen Setterfield is the real estate agent who worked with the sellers.

“I call it a win-win-win. It’s good for the buyer, the seller, it’s good for the community, it’s good for the bookstore and the property and it’s good for Pyramid Bistro, the tenant in the property.”

Ritchie says the new owners plan to bring to Explore interesting speakers and talks, and deepen ties with the Aspen Institute.

Your Morning News - January 16th, 2015

Jan 16, 2015

Glenwood Springs Reviews Expanded Meadows Development Plan

Last night Glenwood Springs Council took an early look at a proposed development at the Glenwood Meadows Shopping Center. It would add nearly two hundred housing units and commercial space to the bustling shopping complex.

Because the project is in the early phases, no action was required of council members last night. Mayor Leo McKinney said afterward the proposal was generally well received.

Your Evening News - January 15th, 2015

Jan 15, 2015

Glenwood Considering New Meadows Development

Tonight Glenwood Springs Council will take an early look at a proposed development at the Glenwood Meadows Shopping Center. It would add nearly two hundred housing units and commercial space to the bustling shopping complex.

The new development proposal includes 174 residential units and nearly 6,000 square feet of commercial space as well as amenities like a coffee lounge, business center, and gym.

Andrew McGregor oversees Community Development for the City of Glenwood Springs. He says City Council must keep in mind the area has been assessed for mudslides.

“We’re very in tune with the geologic environment out there, and of course very concerned with making sure that all construction is done taking that into full consideration.”

McGregor says the Meadows has structures in place to help prevent slides. The business and energy of the shopping center, which includes stores like Target and Lowe’s, is one reason McGregor thinks the development will be a good fit.

Your Morning News - January 15th, 2015

Jan 15, 2015

Fishing Tournament Canceled

Unseasonably warm temperatures have canceled an ice fishing tournament near Rifle. The Rifle Chamber of Commerce announced yesterday the Mountain Air Mechanical Ice Fishing Tournament will not be held this weekend.

The tournament was to be held at Rifle Gap State Park. But, ice conditions weren’t conducive due to the weather. The Post Independent reports this is the third time in 17 years warm weather has canceled the competition.

El Capitan Climbers Successful

An Estes Park man and his partner have successfully completed a free climb of the Dawn Wall on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. The Denver Post reports Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson finished the 3,000 vertical foot ascent yesterday.

The effort took the men 19 days. Every night was spent in suspended tents on the granite rock face. The pair’s effort makes history as the first-ever free ascent of Dawn Wall.

Your Evening News - January 14th, 2015

Jan 14, 2015

Aspen May Have to Build More Government Office Space

The City of Aspen is trying to decide where to put its workers. There’s not enough existing space for them including the police department. Tomorrow, the City is holding the last in a series of open houses on the issue.

Workers are severely cramped, plus Aspen is losing lots of office space due to rental agreements. City employee Jack Wheeler is overseeing how to solve the problem. He says there isn’t enough office space for the City to rent in Aspen. So, building is the only viable option.

“We went through several different iterations, we presented them to Council, Council and the public pointed at two distinct options. Both options that we’re pursuing include police facility at 540 Main.”

That’s city property next to the Pitkin County Plaza Building.

The difference in the plans lies in whether to renovate and expand city hall or effectively create a new city hall near the Pitkin County library by renovating and expanding existing city buildings there.

Either wouldn’t be in place until sometime 2018. So, Wheeler is also juggling an interim plan.

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