Pitkin County

Grassroots TV

A marijuana grow facility near Basalt will continue to operate. The Pitkin County Commissioners Wednesday (9/24) did not cancel a pair of licenses for High Valley Farms.

Moose are moving closer to Aspen

Sep 18, 2015
Facebook/Pitkin County Open Space and Trails

Pitkin County’s Open Space and Trails Department is planning to put up signs about moose on some of its properties after several reports of sightings. 

It’s the first time in recent memory moose have been spotted at places like the North Star Nature Preserve, along the Hunter Creek trail and near the Roaring Fork River in the midvalley.

Education materials on how to behave around moose are prolific in areas like the Maroon Bells. Now, Assistant Director of Pitkin County Open Space Gary Tennenbaum says his department will add them to their properties.

High Valley Farms

One week ahead of a decision on whether to renew a license for a marijuana grow operation, the Pitkin County commissioners visited High Valley Farms.

New state law will boost commissioners' salaries

Sep 15, 2015
pitkincounty.com

A new Colorado law gives elected officials across the state a pay hike. On Tuesday (9/15) the Pitkin County Commissioners discussed Senate Bill 288 and how it may impact their paychecks. 

The legislation was crafted as a way to tackle low pay for state executive officers, such as Colorado’s Secretary of State. With an annual salary of just over $68,000, that position’s pay ranks low nationally.

Creative Commons/Flickr/Brian Turner

The field of candidates to fill a vacant judge post that serves the Roaring Fork Valley, has been narrowed down. 

EcoFlight

The Pitkin County Commissioners are unhappy with what they’ve seen so far in a BLM plan for existing oil and gas leases on the Thompson Divide. They’re crafting a letter to the agency. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Pitkin County gets an early look at the BLM’s preliminary draft Environmental Impact Statement because it’s a cooperating agency. A public version will be released in November. It’ll decide what to do with more than two dozen undeveloped oil and gas leases in the Thompson Divide, southwest of Carbondale. Pitkin County wants the leases canceled.

Short-staffed Aspen 911 call center looks to Vail

Aug 12, 2015
Creative Commons/Flickr/ICMA Photos

Pitkin County is looking to share 911 dispatchers with the Town of Vail to deal with a shortage of workers. 

Pitkin County Undersheriff Ron Ryan told county commissioners Wednesday the dispatch center is in “crisis mode.” 911 call centers typically experience difficulty in hiring, but for Aspen it’s especially tough because of its small staff. Just eight people are fully trained. That's about half of a full staff.

Could a Gold King Mine spill happen in Aspen?

Aug 11, 2015
Bruce Gordon/Ecoflight

There are differing opinions about whether a Gold King mine disaster could happen in Aspen’s backyard. The spill, accidentally triggered by an Environmental Protection Agency team, let loose 3 million gallons of contaminated water into the Animas River in southwest Colorado. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen explored whether such a catastrophe could happen here.

The spill turned the Animas bright orange and halted river access in an area known for rafting.

When it comes to health, communities in the Midvalley struggle with binge drinking and, just slightly, with obesity. Public health officials are sharing results of a survey with local governments. Jordana Sabella is the Public Health Planner for Pitkin and Western Eagle Counties. She spoke with Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen.

Jordana Sabella is Public Health Planner for Pitkin and Western Eagle Counties. 

A significant chunk of workers in Aspen have high blood pressure.That’s according to data from health fairs last fall, coordinated by the five biggest employers in the Upper Roaring Fork Valley. They’re part of the Valley Health Alliance, a new nonprofit aimed at improving health in the Upper Valley.

County commissioner fights "land transfer movement"

Jul 28, 2015
Facebook/Rachel Richards

In June the Pitkin County Commissioners sent a resolution to Colorado’s congressional delegation, decrying a national effort to transfer federal lands to state ownership. Advocates say it would improve access, environmental health and productivity on land managed by the Forest Service and BLM. Commissioner Rachel Richards told Marci Krivonen the effort would spell trouble for Pitkin County.

Rachel Richards is a Pitkin County Commissioner. She spoke with Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen. In future weeks, we’ll air the other side of the argument.

Elise Thatcher

To replace the aging Grand Avenue Bridge in Glenwood Springs, the Colorado Department of Transportation needs more money. On Thursday (7/16) CDOT will request funding from the Elected Officials Transportation Committee. 

Marci Krivonen

The Castle Creek valley just outside of Aspen is becoming increasingly popular to recreationists like hikers and cyclists. Pitkin County and the White River National Forest are taking comments from the public on how to best manage the area. 

Medicaid visits up at area hospital emergency rooms

Jul 13, 2015
Creative Commons/Flickr/Zdenko Zivkovic

The number of low-income Medicaid patients accessing care in area emergency rooms is on the rise. The increase - seen at Aspen Valley and Valley View Hospitals - follows a national trend in states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

In 2014 the amount of business Aspen Valley Hospital did for Medicaid patients was triple the number in 2013. Hospital officials attribute the rise to Colorado expanding its Medicaid program.

Mountain Edition - July 9th, 2015

Jul 10, 2015

Good afternoon, it’s Mountain Edition. 

A Snowmass Town councilman faces a felony charge after allegedly trashing a jail cell.

Aspenites will probably vote on a proposed affordable lodge.

A judge considers whether the Aspen Skiing Company is at fault for a mudslide that damaged a home.

We take a look at diversity in the Roaring Fork Valley arts community.

We also get a tour of an innovative marijuana grow facility in the Valley.

Many Pitkin County residents living in poverty

Jul 8, 2015
Creative Commons/Flickr/Paul Downey

The Great Recession may be in the rearview mirror, but it left poverty in its wake. Pitkin County’s Health and Human Services Department reports more people living in poverty. Director of the Department Nan Sundeen says a quarter of residents earn slightly more than federal poverty wages. So, many single adults are making just $23,000 a year. She spoke with Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen.

Nan Sundeen is director of Pitkin County Health and Human Services. Next week, we’ll examine access to health care for the poor.

Marci Krivonen

Pitkin County is fighting a national effort to transfer federal public lands to states. The county plans to send a resolution to congressional representatives in Washington DC. 

One group advocating for state control of federal public lands is the American Lands Council. It argues state control would improve access, environmental health and productivity on land managed by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.

Marci Krivonen

A Midvalley marijuana grow facility is walking a fine line with Pitkin County. After much discussion, the county commissioners agreed Tuesday to give High Valley Farms more time to tackle its odor problem.

Neighbors and business owners in Holland Hills say their quality of life and property values are sliding because of the smell. The 25,000 square foot greenhouse facility grows plants for the retail pot shop Silverpeak in Aspen.

Kent Schuler lives in Holland Hills. He says he’s had it with what he calls a “stench.”

Marci Krivonen

Pitkin County elected leaders are sending a letter to Colorado’s congressional delegation, urging them to support an effort that would preserve the Thompson Divide. One county staffer calls it “the most promising proposal to date.”

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

A couple that lives in a penthouse in downtown Aspen now has to share the building’s entrance with their neighbors. As a result, their property value decreased $1.3 million, a judge has ruled.

There’s more debate around the live debate that Aspen Public Radio broadcast with city council candidates Bert Myrin and Mick Ireland.

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