Pitkin County


Reliable internet service in parts of Pitkin County is a problem officials have heard about from their constituents, and an overall broadband plan is getting closer to reality. Aspen Public Radio’s Carolyn Sackariason reports.


The Pitkin County dispatch center is experiencing a staffing crisis following the exit of several employees this spring. Just seven full time workers are taking 911 calls. That’s less than half of full staffing. It’s a high turnover job across the country but Aspen has unique challenges. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke with Bruce Romero, the Emergency Dispatch Director for Pitkin County.

Bruce Romero directs the Pitkin County Regional Emergency Dispatch Center in Aspen. The center is taking applications for eight job openings until May 10th.

Marci Krivonen

The management of a nature preserve east of Aspen is getting an update, in part, to address overcrowding. The section of the Roaring Fork River that runs through the North Star Nature Preserve is busy in the summer and traffic piles up along Highway 82. Aspen resident Phil Dwyer has seen it first-hand.

"It’s amazing how much traffic is out here. It’s great that it’s popular. But, the parking has been long and lining the highway for quite a ways."

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

Pitkin County

The radio system used by public safety agencies in the Roaring Fork Valley is encountering problems and Pitkin County is considering a multi-million dollar fix. 

Law enforcement and fire agencies have complained of interference, signal distortion and the inability to communicate with regional and state agencies that use a different system. For example, Pitkin County’s snow plow drivers can’t communicate with the Colorado Department of Transportation. And, the bus system’s radios don’t communicate with the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office.

Creative Commons/Flickr/madeleinehearn

The Pitkin County Commissioners aired several concerns about a plan to make the Aspen Valley Hospital and Pitkin County Health and Human Services campus smoke and tobacco free. 

The policy would apply to outdoor areas around the sprawling campus off Castle Creek Road. Besides the hospital and county building, the ban would apply to Whitcomb Terrace, hospital employee housing and Senior Services. Right now, most areas allow smoking 15 feet from a door.

Marshall Hall-Interactive Outdoors, Inc.

The Castle Creek Valley is a well loved recreation corridor, and local and federal officials want to make sure it’s being managed properly. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher has an update on those efforts.

Marci Krivonen

It’s that time of year...when the weather’s freeze-thaw pattern causes deep caverns to form on city streets and state highways. Potholes are ubiquitous almost everywhere but in the high country, the weather’s more extreme so the roads are ripe for ripping open. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

It’s the morning rush hour on West Main Street in Aspen. Buses, cars and construction vehicles stream into town.

Reporter: "So this is the problem area?"

Creative Commons/Flickr/photosteve101

Residents frustrated with slow internet speeds in Old Snowmass showed up to a Pitkin County Commissioner’s meeting Wednesday. 

Katie Murch is co-director at the Aspen Camp of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Old Snowmass. Through an interpreter, she told commissioners slow internet makes the organization look unprofessional. An online service that video streams her signing barely works.

Intepreter Kyle Larson: "Because of the internet service it’s blurry, it freezes. A one minute conversation can take ten minutes because of the internet service and it looks bad."

Facebook/U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security

A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security confirmed special agents with the department were in the Mid-Valley this week. Federal vehicles were seen in the Willits and El Jebel areas.