Creative Commons/Flickr/woodleywonderworks

School starts next week for students across the valley. The Roaring Fork School District operates schools in Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke to superintendent Diana Sirko about how this year will be different than past years.

Diana Sirko is superintendent of schools for the Roaring Fork School District. This fall, the district may go to the voters for help in funding new school buildings and teacher housing. The school board will make a decision next week on whether to hold an election.

Marci Krivonen

Construction is more than halfway done on what’s expected to be one of the most energy efficient buildings in the world. Rocky Mountain Institute’s Innovation Center in Basalt will house offices and a large conference and community room.

Retirement community project in Basalt cancelled

Jul 24, 2015
Aspen Valley Foundation

A failed effort to develop a retirement community in Basalt is disappointing but not surprising to officials involved. 

Tom Griffiths, with the now defunct Aspen Valley Foundation, knew 19 months ago seeing the project through was a long shot. The foundation had lost its CEO and Griffiths began meeting with local governments, hospitals and banks. He wanted someone to take over the $105 million project.

A tour through High Valley Farms marijuana greenhouse

Jul 6, 2015

The marijuana industry in Colorado got some attention at the Aspen Ideas Festival last week. Festival participants toured a grow operation near Basalt and heard from experts about the somewhat bumpy rollout of recreational pot. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

There’s a few rules before you take a tour of High Valley Farms near Basalt.

Facebook/Jerry Young

The man who died after he fell out of his kayak on the Fryingpan River, was a part-time ski instructor for the Aspen Skiing Company. As Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports, Jerry Young was 63 years old.

It’s unclear where Young fell from his blue inflatable kayak but, he and a friend began their float at Seven Castles, just outside of downtown Basalt. Britt Queer and his girlfriend were on a restaurant patio along the Fryingpan when they saw the empty kayak and Young’s body.

Grand Junction kayaker dies on Fryingpan River

Jun 21, 2015
Creative Commons/Flickr/Carolyn Cuskey

Rescuers were unsuccessful Sunday (6/21) in reviving a man who fell out of a kayak on the fast-flowing Fryingpan River. 

The man and a friend began floating the river at Seven Castles, about five miles from downtown Basalt. The friend called 911 around 3:30 in the afternoon after the two became separated. Officials with the Basalt Fire Department say witnesses at a riverside restaurant in Basalt saw the unoccupied boat and the man’s body. A group of bystanders downstream pulled him from the river and worked to resuscitate him. The efforts continued when emergency crews arrived, but the man was pronounced dead on-scene. An official with Basalt Fire says flows on the Fryingpan were extremely high. The man was from Grand Junction.

Flood danger rises along Frying Pan River

Jun 18, 2015
Creative Commons/Flickr/Carolyn Cuskey

Water releases from Ruedi Reservoir are increasing flood danger along the Frying Pan River into Basalt. Law enforcement is warning homeowners and anglers who fish the popular river. 

Areas of greatest concern in Basalt include homes along River Cove, Swinging Bridge Lane, River Oaks Lane, and in the Roaring Fork Mobile Home Park. Police are also concerned about the area near 7-Eleven and the Basalt Avenue pedestrian bridge that’s a popular play spot for kids.

Facebook/Pitkin Co. Open Space and Trails

Heavy rain Tuesday night boosted the Roaring Fork River in Aspen to flood stage. Minor flooding is possible in low-lying areas. 

Flows in the Aspen stretch of the Roaring Fork were nearly four times the typical amount Wednesday morning. Pitkin County Sheriff Joe Disalvo says people with homes in a floodplain should be prepared to sandbag and self-rescue if waters get too high.


Basalt’s police chief is on a mission to make sure his department is meeting the community’s needs. Town Council heard about the beginning phases of that effort earlier this week. Chief Greg Knott is taking input from community members on how Basalt police can improve.

There’s less water from the Roaring Fork River being diverted to the East Slope this spring and it’s increasing flood danger. Over the weekend, law enforcement in Aspen and Basalt monitored high flows. Wetter-than-normal conditions on the East Slope temporarily stopped diversions through the Twin Lakes tunnel. They’ll start up again later this month. Bill Linn is Assistant Police Chief in Aspen.

Elise Thatcher

CenturyLink is investigating who the perpetrator was that caused thousands of its Roaring Fork Valley customers to not have cellular, landline or internet service for more than 16 hours on Tuesday and Wednesday.  

Marci Krivonen

This month an art gallery in Aspen is filled with photos of mentors involved with the non profit Buddy Program. The “Men in Mentoring” installation is meant to get guys interested in becoming role models for a long wait-list of boys needing guidance. The need is particularly acute in the Mid-Valley. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen has more.

Ryan Larkin and his pal Jacob drill screws into the lemonade stand they’re making. The two are decades apart in age, but work together like old friends.

Sofas replace bananas at former Basalt grocery store

Apr 30, 2015
Marci Krivonen

Beds and couches have replaced groceries in a key downtown building in Basalt. The Habitat for Humanity Restore opened its doors last Wednesday in the old Clark’s Market space. 

The non profit furniture and donation center has received a positive response from the community, according to managers. The store opened fully stocked with donations from a high end lodge in Beaver Creek. A percentage of sales go to Habitat for Humanity’s home building fund.

The 18,000 square foot space sat empty for months before Habitat moved in. Jeff Sirbu is with the local affiliate.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

A mudslide near downtown Basalt has forced Colorado Parks and Wildlife to lower the water level at a popular fishing hole. 

The small slide happened on a hillside near a reservoir at the Lake Christine State Wildlife Area over the weekend of April 18th and 19th. The slide took out a few trees, but didn’t damage structures. Mud slid all the way to Two Rivers Road.

Marci Krivonen

Basalt Town Council Tuesday approved a “future roadmap to development” for downtown. The decision came after more than two hours of discussion and public comment.

The board voted 5-to-2 to support the resolution. Mayor Jacque Whitsitt and councilman Gary Tennenbaum voted against it.

Global Dental Relief

Many residents in the Roaring Fork Valley have spent time in Nepal or have friends or family in the Himalayan country. Redstone resident Sue McEvoy happened to be there during the earthquake and is still there now. She’s with the group Global Dental Relief, a Denver-based nonprofit which provides dental care for children.


Elected officials in Basalt heard results Tuesday from a study done on affordable housing. A Denver-based research group looked over wages, housing costs and job growth and delivered mostly negative findings. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Suzanne Wheeler-DelPiccolo is principal of Basalt Elementary School. She says finding affordable housing is a constant challenge for her staff of teachers.

"When you hire new people, as a principal, I’ve helped people look for apartments and find places to live because it’s that challenging," she says.

Basalt welcomes first Habitat for Humanity home

Mar 10, 2015
Marci Krivonen

Basalt broke ground on its first Habitat for Humanity home Tuesday. A family of six will move into the house that’s near downtown. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

Jacque Whitsitt: "I want to welcome everybody to our first-ever Habitat for Humanity home in the Town of Basalt!"

Basalt mayor Jacque Whitsitt spoke to a crowd at the future home site Tuesday. The Town sold the plot to Habitat for Humanity for ten dollars. A 1500 square foot home will be built here. Assaf Dory and his family will occupy the space.

Town of Basalt

An elected board that makes decisions on local transit considered a series of funding requests Thursday. The Elected Officials Transportation Committee approved 3 of 4 requests for projects from Glenwood Springs to Aspen.

The board is in charge of a fund that collects money from Pitkin County half-cent sales and use taxes. Much of the money funds the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority. Those behind last night’s proposals were hoping to get some of the remaining dollars.

A plan to develop a boutique hotel and condominiums in downtown Basalt is moving forward. The developer, Lowe Enterprises, plans to take public input on the plan next month.

Lowe Enterprises first announced the development in November. Now, some details are emerging. A conceptual plan includes a 60-room hotel and 52 condominiums. Some of those condos could be rented.