Roaring Fork Valley

For decades the Aspen Valley Land Trust has kept open spaces in the Roaring Fork Valley from being developed. Now, the organization’s director is preparing to step down. Martha Cochran sat down with Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen. She says the work AVLT has done to permanently preserve land is not just critical for views and historic land uses, like ranching, it’s important for wildlife.

Martha Cochran is executive director of Aspen Valley Land Trust. She’s stepping down at the end of the year, but intends to stay in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Energetics Education is a young non-profit organization based in Carbondale that works to bring energy education programs into high schools. Established in 2014, the organization has one program - Solar Rollers - that gives solar car kits to high schoolers and hosts a competitive race for the school teams in the spring.   

Noah Davis is the executive director of Energetics Education and shares his personal history in energy and education, and what inspired him to start the organization.

Mike Simmons, Chairman of the Aspen Science Center board, and Jackie Francis, Executive Director of the Aspen Science Center, share their vision for the future of the center. The organization hopes to build a science museum where visitors (both locals and tourists) can explore, interact, and discover. 

Learn more about the Aspen Science Center and their summer programs at www.AspenScienceCenter.org

Carbondale center for veterans looks for a new home

Jun 15, 2015
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 www.AspenScienceCenter.org

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 www.AspenScienceCenter.org

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 www.mygreatteeth.org

Drought conditions persist despite rainfall

May 25, 2015
droughtmonitor.unl.edu

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 www.MyGreatTeeth.org

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 www.mygreatteeth.org

Facebook/Aspen Police Dept.

The Aspen Police Department is fully staffed again, after a handful of officers announced earlier this year they were leaving. Four officers are joining the department. Two graduated from the Colorado Law Enforcement Training Academy on Friday.

Two of the new officers are already residents of the Roaring Fork Valley - Adriano Minniti and Seth DelGrasso. Josh Uhernik is from out of state. Duxton Milam is from the Front Range. Two of the four bring previous law enforcement experience.

The Wilderness Land Trust grew from the small town of Aspen to the Western United States. In its 25-year history, the organization has turned thousands of acres of private inholdings into designated wilderness.  Executive Director Reid Haughey shares some of the organization's recent projects in California and their goals for the next 25 years. 

Learn more about The Wilderness Land Trust at www.wildernesslandtrust.org

The Wilderness Land Act was created 51 years ago in order to "establish a National Wilderness Preservation System for the permanent good for the whole people, and for other purposes"  (1964).  

Jean Hocker has an extensive history in land conservation. She's the Chairman of the board of The Wilderness Land Trust and discusses the organization's current project of cleaning up The Painter Mine on Idaho's Salmon River. Hocker also shares the organization's challenges and goals. 

Twenty-five years ago, Jon Mulford, a lawyer from Aspen, was driven to start The Wilderness Land Trust after the purchase of a large private inholding, which the buyer intended to develop. The organization buys inholdings and sells the purchased land to the U.S. Government to be protected as wilderness. Since its founding in 1992, the organization has expanded from the Roaring Fork Valley to seven states in the Western U.S. 

Mulford discusses the history and progression of the organization. 

Ruedi Water and Power Authority

An effort is underway to get people to conserve water across the Roaring Fork Valley. On Tuesday a public meeting will be held in El Jebel on the Regional Water Efficiency Plan.

For more than a year, major water suppliers in the Valley like the Cities of Aspen and Glenwood Springs, have been creating their own water efficiency plans. Those plans make up a larger effort. It lays out ways to use less water.

Meghan Hurley is the Mental Health Therapist at River Bridge Regional Center. She discuses her work with survivors of child abuse and how talk therapy can be the best method for healing. And Kerry Ach, the Community Outreach Coordinator, give details about Imagine 3, the organization's annual fundraiser on April 4th. 

Learn more about River Bridge at www.RiverBridgeRC.org, and Imagine 3 HERE

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