Pitkin County

Marci Krivonen

Even though there’s still snow on the ground, local planning is already happening around wildfires. Prompted by large and destructive fires in recent years, the City of Aspen, Pitkin County and the local fire protection district are working together to make neighborhoods safer. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

It’s lightly snowing in a neighborhood east of Aspen as firefighter Parker Lathrop makes his way up a winding, paved road.

Elise Thatcher

To sign up today, Monday March 31st:

To apply for Medicaid: http://coloradopeak.force.com/

To purchase insurance via the Colorado exchange, Connect for Health:www.connectforhealthco.com

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Residents in Pitkin County are mostly satisfied with how their tax dollars are being spent. Still, there are some concerns.

Models in Aspen are showing off the latest in outdoor fashion this week. Aspen International Fashion Week starts today.

Whiskey sales are surging for the first time in 30 years...and one local whiskey-maker is jumping into the action.

In a recent federal crackdown on Aspen businesses, restaurants were found to be the biggest violators of not paying workers enough in overtime.

The Paralympics are underway in Sochi and eight athletes who train in Aspen are competing. We highlight one skier who was born without a femur...and another who races in a mono-ski.

Pitkin County

Residents of Pitkin County have given a thumbs-up for county government and services. That’s according to a survey done by a private firm, which presented its findings to Pitkin County Commissioners on Tuesday, March 11th. The survey had residents fill out a questionnaire. It covered a wide variety of topics. And despite overall satisfaction, residents say there are some issues they are concerned about.

Pitkin County

 

Pitkin County wants to know what residents think about a variety of issues, such as rural internet access. Several hundred locals received surveys in the mail in recent weeks, the county will make results public tomorrow, Tuesday March 11th. To learn more, Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher spoke with County spokesman Pat Bingham. She started by asking  Bingham what the main goal of the survey is.

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It’s a mid-term election year and the race is already underway. Tuesday night, Democrats and Republicans in Aspen and around the state held their caucuses.  The local parties gathered to assess which candidates could win primary elections later this year. Aspen Public Radio's Elise Thatcher reports on the republican caucus.

More than 70 Pitkin County Republicans gathered at Aspen High School last night. Frieda Wallison is Chair of the local GOP and she says caucus turnout can vary widely depending on how important the elections are in the fall.

Creative Commons/Staff Sgt. Bernardo Fuller/U.S. Army

The Affordable Care Act is helping low income residents in the Roaring Fork Valley get health insurance. That’s according to officials who oversee programs for the poor. More people are signing up for Medicaid and others are purchasing insurance plans from the state exchange. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

In Pitkin County, the number of Medicaid patients jumped 20 percent since October. So, 90 more people are seeking care from doctors who will take them.

Phil Nyland/White River National Forest

Officials at the White River National Forest are anticipating significant cuts to their noxious weed management program. Funding to fight invasive species on the Forest has declined in recent years and it’s beginning to impact the land. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

The White River National Forest is expecting a 15 to 25 percent cut in the program that includes the management of rangeland and noxious weeds. Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams will get a final budget later this spring.

Martie Edwards

Five big employers in Aspen are joining forces to improve health care in the Valley. They’re part of a new group, the Valley Health Alliance, which enlists the help of doctors, hospitals, and other health-related professionals. The idea is to help bring down skyrocketing costs--while making sure employees get better care than before. To learn more, Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher spoke with Martie Edwards, Interim Executive Director of the Valley Health Alliance, and Pitkin County Manager Jon Peacock.

 

 

Pitkin County Open Space and Trails

Pitkin County is leading an effort to explore the development of new trails in the Upper Valley. At issue is whether new trails are needed for users like mountain bikers, hikers and equestrians. The effort is also meant to stop illegal trails from being built.

The County is focusing on a 125,000 acre swath of public land that covers areas from Woody Creek to Independence Pass, and acreage in between.

Gary Tennenbaum with Pitkin County Open Space and Trails said the Upper Roaring Fork Trails Plan will guide trail planning for the next 10 to 20 years.

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