Aspen

Kaylan Robinson/Wanderlust

You may have noticed traffic jams and crowded streets in Aspen this summer. These are all anecdotes indicating the resort experienced a busy summer. But, the data proves it too. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

You may have experienced headaches on your drive into Aspen this summer...as eastbound traffic piled up on Highway 82. Turns out, the number of cars heading in and out of town in June, July and August was up three-and-a-half percent over last year.

Today on CrossCurrents, David Swersky and Jeff Edelson from Mountain Rescue-Aspen on the history of the organization and the new building opening this weekend.

About Mountain Rescue-Aspen:

Mountain Rescue-Aspen was incorporated in 1965 as a non-profit organization and is one of the oldest search and rescue teams in the state. We are accredited through the Rocky Mountain Region of the Mountain Rescue Association and work as a volunteer arm of the Pitkin County Sheriff’s office; providing search and rescue services for Pitkin County and mutual aid for other counties in Colorado.

Our dedicated 50-member team annually donates thousands upon thousands of person-hours serving Pitkin County’s community and visitors. These hours represent time away from families to attend meetings and trainings; educate the public with our annual community avalanche seminar; teach children what to do if they are lost through the national “Hug-A-Tree” program, and of course, engage in search and rescue missions.

Unlike other emergency response agencies such as Police or Ambulance, or even Volunteer Fire, there is no tax base or public budget for Mountain Rescue. We are 100% unpaid volunteers who raise the funding we need each year through the solicitation of public donations and applications for local and state grants.

Creative Commons/Flickr/Lloyd Morgan

A suicide prevention group is holding a training for the public on Monday on how to recognize if loved ones are exhibiting suicidal signs. The Aspen-based Hope Center has already trained 3000 people in the Roaring Fork Valley but, now they’re using a different method. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke to Michelle Muething, director of the Hope Center and Dr. Kelly Posner-Gerstenhaber, creator of the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale.

Marci Krivonen

A new survey from the Colorado Department of Public Health shows fewer high school students think using marijuana is risky. The data reflects perceptions before recreational pot sales started at stores around the state in January. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

The Healthy Kids Colorado Survey shows the percentage of students who thought using marijuana was moderately or very dangerous declined from 58 percent in 2011 to 54 percent last year.

Photo from Change.Org Petition

An installation at the soon to be open Aspen Art Museum is getting some negative attention via an on-line petition. The change.org petition started by Lisbeth Oden of Aspen calls for the museum to remove iPads that have been glued to the shells of three live tortoises featured in a roof top garden. The iPads project video footage of local ghost towns filmed by the turtles themselves. The idea is that forgotten stories of the once prosperous towns are retold from the tortoises’ perspectives. The petition calls the exhibit abuse and an unnecessary exploitation of the animals. By 6pm Tuesday over 200 people had signed the petition. The Aspen Art Museum is allowing some patrons in this week for previews. The facility opens to everyone with a 24-hour celebration Saturday. The tortoises are to be part of the opening along with performance art, music and even dream analysis.

Marci Krivonen

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper took time from his busy campaign schedule Friday to hop on an Aspen We-Cycle. The bike sharing system was being celebrated for its success. Just halfway through summer, the program’s already surpassed the total number of rides during its first season, last year. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Meredith Ogilby/Wilderness Workshop

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act and, in special series, we're focusing on one protected area in our backyard, the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness.

It took the work of three tireless women to expand protection in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness near Aspen. In 1964, just the high mountain peaks became wilderness. So, the women, called the “Maroon Belles,” worked to more than double the size of the preserved area. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen tells their story.

Marci Krivonen

The Aspen Art Museum is arguably one of the most anticipated new structures in town.  When it opens later this summer it will be with a days-long celebration of contemporary art, Aspen and of the building itself.  Some say it's the most important building in Aspen in a century, while others call it a monstrosity.  Designed by Pritzker Prize winner Shigeru Ban, the space will be public.  Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen took a tour.

Rob St. Mary

This summer the City of Aspen is partnering with the Aspen Historical Society to show off Aspen’s mining history. Silver mining on Smuggler Mountain was big business in the late 1800’s. Now, remnants of that legacy are easy to find and highlighted on a weekly public jeep tour. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen went along for the ride, bumps and all, and filed this report.

Jackson Emmer and Ross Kribbs stopped by the studios of Aspen Public Radio on Friday May 30 with guitar and fiddle in hand for an impromptu studio performance with their 'audience of one', Aspenbeat  host Andrea Young.

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