Roaring Fork Valley

Creative Commons/Flickr/North Charleston

A veterans center that opened in Carbondale’s Third Street Center a year ago is already looking for a new home. Though some vets have been helped with things like housing and employment, more vets may use it if it was in Glenwood Springs. That’s according to Michael Conniff. He’s with the Western Slope Veterans Coalition and spoke with Marci Krivonen.

Michael Conniff is with the Western Slope Veterans Association, an organization that’s looking for a new home in Glenwood for it’s veterans center. They hope to announce a new space in July. 

Mike Simmons is the Chairman of the Aspen Science Center Board. He explains why hands-on experiments are the best way to educate and inspire people who are interested in science and learning about the world around them. Joining Simmons is Jackie Francis, the center's Executive Director. This week, we discuss the center's multitude of summer events for all ages and interests. 

Learn more about the Aspen Science Center's summer programs and events at

Creative Commons/Flickr/US Army Africa

Local veterans in need are utilizing an emergency fund that's new this spring. The Western Slope Veterans Coalition is behind the assistance meant for vets in the Roaring Fork and Eagle valleys. Colonial Dick Merritt is part of the coalition. He says it helps with things like utilities, food, mental health counseling, transportation, employment and housing.

"There are many veterans coming out of military service and housing’s real tight. They have jobs but no place to live, so we’re helping them on a temporary basis to get settled."

 In 1990, the Aspen Science Center was created as a horticultural project at the Aspen Community School. First known as The Verena Project, the idea soon blossomed into a larger, science-focused non-profit organization. George Stranahan is a co-founder and board member of the center, and shares the history and evolution of the organization. 

Learn more about the Aspen Science Center at

Improving access to dental healthcare for communities between Aspen and Parachute is no small feat. So it's safe to say that the Aspen to Parachute Dental Health Alliance has plenty of work ahead of them. Among with their strategies and goals are some challenges. Cristina Gair, Executive Director of the Dental Alliance, and Kelly Keeffe, the Regional Oral Health Consultant for the Dental Alliance, discuss the challenges and future of the organization. 

Learn more about the Dental Alliance and their programs at

Even with all of the recent rain and snow in Western Colorado, the region continues to be in a drought. Some areas have “severe drought” conditions, including the southwest section of Pitkin County. Wildfire season typically gets underway in May and June. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke with Doug Paul from the Upper Colorado River Fire Management Unit about the wildfire outlook.

Doug Paul is with the Upper Colorado River Fire Management Unit, which manages fire on federal lands. 

Creative Commons/Medical, Surgical Operative Photography

The V.A. medical center in Grand Junction that cares for patients in the Roaring Fork Valley, is stopping certain surgeries. The move comes after an abnormal number of “unwanted surgical complications.”

Executive Director of the Aspen to Parachute Dental Health Alliance (APDHA), Cristina Gair, and Regional Oral Health Consultant, Kelly Keeffe, discuss the Smiles for Seniors program. The organization works with local dental hygienists to bring affordable preventative oral exams to senior centers in the Roaring Fork Valley. Gair and Keeffe also discuss the socioeconomics of tooth decay rates, and how the valley parallels the national trends. 

There's no denying that dental health care is expensive - it's often overshadowed by other health care needs and expenses. Carrie Godes, board member of the Aspen to Parachute Dental Health Alliance, explains why so many people overlook oral care and how the Dental Alliance is working to bring affordable care options to the Roaring Fork Valley. 

Learn more about the Aspen to Parachute Dental Health Alliance at

Although the Aspen to Parachute Dental Health Alliance is young, they have a handful of successful projects that are helping to bring education, prevention and access to oral healthcare from Aspen to Parachute. Carrie Godes is a member of the Dental Alliance board of directors and works for Garfield County Public Health. She shares the organization's history and programs. 

Learn more about the Aspen to Parachute Dental Health Alliance at