Elise Thatcher

Roaring Fork Transit Authority

 

 More people are riding the bus in the Roaring Fork Valley than ten years ago. That’s according to new data gathered by the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, or RFTA. The agency conducted a ridership survey in March for the first time in a decade. To learn more, APR's Elise Thatcher talks with transportation expert Jim Charlier. His firm Charlier Associates is reviewing the survey results. One trend he sees is fewer people driving, because more are telecommuting. 

Good afternoon, and welcome to Mountain Edition.

You’ve probably noticed we’re in our summer pledge drive this week… so today we’re bringing you an update on the latest local news.

Like efforts to restrict drilling on the Thompson Divide… lots of business in the valley this summer... and what we know now about theories on who may have been involved in Nancy Pfister’s death.

Then we’ll hear some of our favorite stories over the last several months… One man says he’s the only Ute tribal member who lives in the Roaring Fork Valley.

And, we chat with a local rabbi considered one of the most inspiring in the country.

We’ll hear about one of the tough issues in the Roaring Fork Valley. Heroin overdoses have claimed several lives this year.

As for the pledge drive, thanks if you’ve already made a gift or renewed your membership. If not...it’s time.

Because nearly half of Aspen Public Radio’s funding comes from listeners like you. Please consider making a pledge, at whatever amount is comfortable.

Call us at 920- 9000 during regular business hours, or give anytime on the interwebs, that’s aspen public radio dot org.

We’ve got lots of good stories for you during this special pledge drive edition of Mountain Edition... starting now.

Elise Thatcher

 

Judge Gail Nichols, in Aspen, has released some of the details in why law enforcement originally arrested three people this spring in the death of Aspen native Nancy Pfister. One of the three, William "Trey" Styler, confessed last month to murdering her in February. But questions continue about why Styler's wife, and a long time local, were also held for months without bail on murder charges. 

Huffington Post/Associated Press

Supporters of oil and gas production will hold a discussion tonight in Aspen. The Pitkin County Republicans are hosting filmmakers who have challenged the premise and facts behind the anti-fracking film “Gasland.” One of the goals is to figure out whether or not fracking is a good idea.  

Welcome to Valley Roundup, a review of the top news stories of the week in the Roaring Fork Valley.

This week - Fracking. 

Aspen Public Radio and the Aspen Times toured a drilling and hydraulic fracturing rig in Parachute recently and this week our stories ran.  Joining us are Scott Condon reporter for the Aspen Times and our own Elise Thatcher.

On the November ballot this year voters will have a number of fracking issues to decide, among them whether local communities should have control over oil and gas exploration.

Our reporting looked at one fracking operation run by WPX Energy.  It is one of the big players in the industry.  We got an up close look at what is going on at drilling rig H & P 318.

Today we have a tour of a drilling and fracking site near the Roaring Fork Valley

We’ll hear exactly what goes on there and what it sounds like.

That site and many others in Colorado use infrastructure called injection wells and they’re causing earthquakes in Oklahoma.

Legal marijuana plants and edibles must be tested before they’re sold and just three labs are doing all the testing.

A new brewery in Glenwood Springs debuts a new kind of beer in the Valley – be prepared to pucker up.

And a local favorite tells all about his new book, about hosting the long running Telluride Bluegrass Festival.

That’s all coming up on Mountain Edition... right now.

Shemin Ge

Drilling for oil and gas brings up a lot of water. If operators don’t reuse it for something else, they often pump it back down into the ground. The water goes down in what are called  injection wells-- and new research shows they can definitely cause earthquakes, at least in Oklahoma. Geology Professor Shemin Ge is with the University of Colorado at Boulder. She worked on the study, and spoke with APR’s Elise Thatcher. Ge says it took different kinds of scientists working together to figure out what’s going on.

Roger Adams

The word “fracking” has come to mean drilling in general for oil and gas-- and a major concern for communities and environmentalists in Colorado and elsewhere.In reality the process of hydraulic fracturing is a specialized procedure used to create cracks in shale deposits thousands of feet underground which in turn releases trapped natural gas.  There are hundreds of fracked wells in Garfield County. Often you can see them from the highway.  Recently Aspen Public Radio got a tour of a fracking operation run by WPX Energy near Parachute.  Hear the story by APR's Elise Thatcher below.  See a slideshow of photographs of the rig by APR's Roger Adams HERE.

Elise Thatcher

The Wanderlust yoga festival wrapped up in Snowmass Village on Sunday, with everything from conventional classes to rafting and biking. There was a newer kind of yoga, too. APR's Elise Thatcher went to check out what’s being called suspension yoga. 

Sunday marks an anniversary of a local tragedy. A wildfire near Glenwood Springs 20 years ago, killed fourteen firefighters.

As the cycling world gears up from the Tour de France, the sport is still dusting itself off. We hear from Lance Armstrong who was found guilty of doping.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper was in Aspen this week, discussing two hot topics at the Aspen Ideas Festival - marijuana and fracking.

Another Ideas Fest speaker was Grover Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform.

A natural history documentary screens on PBS next year and this one is unlike any other nature film. We’ll tell you why.

Finally, we’ll take you to Snowmass Village where a giant yoga festival gets underway today.

That’s all coming up on Mountain Edition.

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