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Your Morning News - February 13th, 2015

Feb 13, 2015

Less Snow Means Less Green for Businesses

Aspen saw its second driest January in nearly a hundred years. February so far has also been dry and warm. For businesses who make a lot of money on snow, it’s been a tough go of it.

 

“I’ve been in the snow removal business for 28 years, and really never seen this long a dry spell before,” says Will Vannice.

 

He owns Daly Properties in Basalt. He and his workers usually remove snow and ice for commercial properties, and business is down about 350 percent. Vannice says the company will probably make it through OK, as long as he keeps spending to a minimum. But it’s harder on the workers.

 

“We have 6 salaried positions here and they just cut 30% of their salary out until the first of April,” he says.

 

Further up valley, Glenn Loper is owner of Groundskeepers of Aspen. The company also does snow removal and landscaping.

 

“At this point we’re on an “on call” business for our employees, about fifteen or eighteen of them that are in limbo right now.”

 

Loper also has about a handful of salaried employees and they’re staying busy down in Carbondale. That’s because Groundskeepers is now operating Planted Earth nursery there. Like Will Vannice, Loper has to make sure he keeps an eye on spending this spring to make it through OK. And they’re both waiting out February before switching over to spring landscaping.  

“I was kind of excited the other day when I saw that the weather pattern had shifted and we’re possibly gonna get more snow now,” Loper says.

 

Aspenweather.net is forecasting snow for this Sunday and Monday. Corey Gates, co-founder of the hyper-local forecasting website, says the rest of the month looks stormy.

He guesses that 28 inches of snow will fall by the end of the month.

Welcome to Mountain Edition.

Warm temperatures are boosting river levels and disappointing skiers. We’ll tell you what’s ahead in the forecast.

Low oil and gas prices are good for consumers but tough on companies drilling in Western Colorado.

Despite an oil and gas slowdown, a new analysis shows hundreds of spills are still being reported.

Aspen residents are gathering signatures to get a measure on the ballot that would require voter-approval of some development projects.

By the look of things outside one might think it’s April. Above-average temperatures and a dearth of snowfall have made this January one for the record books. Aspen Weather.Net’s Cory Gates explains what’s happening and what the future forecast is showing. He spoke with Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason.

Your Evening News - December 23rd, 2014

Dec 23, 2014

Bad Flu Hits the Valley

Health officials in the Roaring Fork Valley are warning people to be wary of the flu as a certain strain is being seen in the Valley and throughout the country. Also, flu season has arrived earlier and with a bigger punch than last year.

The strain of flu circulating is called “H3N2” and, for the most part, a flu shot doesn’t protect you from it. This year’s flu shot has defense against other strains. But, it is only slightly effective with H3N2.

Pitkin County Public Health Director Liz Stark says her office has seen a significant spike of cases in the last two weeks. But, so far, there have been no hospitalizations from flu.

“This particular strain of the flu is hitting the very young and the older population hardest this year. In other parts of the state and the country, the hospitalizations that have occurred, most of them are occurring in children less than six months of age or in people over age 65. So, at the first sign of those symptoms, it’s a good idea to go to your physician or health care clinic and get tested.”

She recommends washing hands vigilantly and staying home from work. Some anti-viral medicines like Tamiflu can minimize symptoms and decrease the duration of the flu.

Valley Roundup - December 12th, 2014

Dec 12, 2014

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

This week the White River National Forest released an oil and gas plan. But, does that settle the matter on drilling in the Thompson Divide?

The City of Aspen continues to refine a new lodging incentives ordinance. At the same time, the council is asking the city management to give them better information.

The State of Colorado is not messing around when it comes to regulations and medical pot shops.

Could Aspen’s Little Annie’s return from the grave… again?

Mountain Edition - November 13th, 2014

Nov 13, 2014

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition. Wintry weather descends on the Roaring Fork Valley this week closing Independence Pass and prompting locals to break out their cold weather gear. Two Roaring Fork Valley residents are renamed to the U.S. Ski Team. Aspen holds its annual Veterans Day service. The Forest Service highlights crowds over-loving backcountry spots, big employers move forward with a plan to make their workers healthier, and politicians in Denver put their ducks in a row after a surprising election.

Aspen and other parts of the Upper Valley are still digging out from last week’s historic snowstorm and there’s more powder in the forecast.

And all that snowpack is good news for farmers and ranchers in the Roaring Fork Valley.

The Aspen community continues to grapple with the recent loss of a beloved newspaper editor. We take a look at how hard it can be to prevent suicide.

On a lighter note, soon it’ll be much easier to speed through security at Aspen’s airport, a Catholic monk in Old Snowmass is featured in a new movie and the Olympic Games have kicked off in Sochi… we’ll talk with an Aspen athlete who’s settling in and getting ready to compete. We’ll also hear the latest on security concerns at the games in Russia.

Valley Roundup - January 31st, 2014

Jan 31, 2014

Good afternoon and welcome to Valley Roundup, a review of the week’s top news stories in Aspen and beyond.

We are joined today by the Aspen Times’ Andy Stone and Aspen Daily News’ Curtis Wackerle. This  Week, Garfield County officials said they are asking the state not to impose new air pollution standards on oil and gas drilling rigs in the county.

Aspen’s most famous downtown, Ukrainian, penthouse-owners have been told the city will no longer jump every time they complain about noise from bars and restaurants.

Now that marijuana is legal, the conversation about pot has shifted.  One new topic is; how potheads should behave in public.

And on the Download with Rob St. Mary – Big snow goes viral.  Also, break out the goldfish.  It might be Superbowl 48 in some quarters, to others its Weed Bowl 1.  Even Jello Biafra weighs in.

Its all on this week’s Valley Roundup.

Woo and Hoo!

Jan 31, 2014
Roger Adams

Longtime locals are saying this is the most snow to fall from a single storm in decades.  It might not even be hyperbole to say it is shaping up to be an epic powder day.  All of this was predicted two weeks ago by meteorologist Cory Gates , owner of Aspenweather.net.  Gates focuses his forecasting skills on the hyper-local microclimates within the Roaring Fork Valley.  The really good news, says Gates, is that as February goes, so might go the rest of the winter; and February is looking good for snow.  He says we should all remember the number 140.  Gates spoke with APR's Roger Adams.

Winter Storm Closures

Jan 31, 2014
Roger Adams

As the snow continues to fall under this winter storm, the list of closures is starting to pile up:

* The Aspen School District has called a snow day for Friday. All schools in the district will be closed.

* The Roaring Fork Schools has called a snow day for Friday. All schools in the district will be closed.

* The Eagle County Schools has canceled all after school activities for today and there will be no school tomorrow.

* Ross Montessori Charter School in Carbondale is closed. 

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