snowpack

Your Evening News - December 18th, 2014

Dec 18, 2014

Nebraska & Oklahoma Sue Colorado Over Pot Legalization

The Attorney Generals of two neighboring states are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down Colorado’s legalization of recreational pot. Nebraska and Oklahoma have filed a lawsuit stating Colorado's Amendment 64 and implementation is unconstitutional under the U.S. Constitution. Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning says Federal law prohibits the production and sale of marijuana. At the same time, he says Nebraska taxpayers are paying for an increase in marijuana-related arrests.

“It’s frustrating to have a sister state reaping tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue and sending the problem side of it to us.”

In a statement, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said he’ll defend the state's legalization of marijuana. He says he believes the lawsuit is without merit and that the primary grievance stems from non-enforcement of federal laws regarding marijuana instead of the choices made by Colorado voters.

Marci Krivonen

This winter’s mega snowpack in the mountains is melting and filling reservoirs and rivers around the state. For whitewater rafting companies the big flows are good for thrills. But, some stretches are river are too full to float. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

Longtime rafting guide Bob Morse is giving his safety spiel to a small group preparing to board a bright yellow raft. For some, it’s their first time rafting.

"I’m excited. Today’s my 34th birthday," says rafter Ellie Burnett.

Defense attorneys in the Nancy Pfister case are digging through lots of evidence.

Spring snow showers have boosted snowpack to above-average levels and forecasts are calling for high river flows this spring.

A Western Slope lawmaker is proposing Colorado get its own firefighting fleet of airplanes and helicopters.

And, wildfire is on the minds of local officials who are planning ahead after devastating fires in recent years, on the Front Range.

Suicide is getting attention in the Aspen community, after several deaths this winter.

And, we have some fun with what could be the Upper Valley’s first home inspired hybrid.

www.roaringfork.org

Spring runoff in the Roaring Fork Valley typically starts around this time, in early to mid-April. It peaks later in the spring. This year mountain snow is plentiful and once it melts, river flows are predicted to be higher than average. But, the timing of the melt is important. Aspen public Radio's Marci Krivonen spoke with Sarah Johnson, the Outreach Coordinator for the Roaring Fork Conservancy. She says the snowpack in the Roaring Fork watershed is well above average.

www.jpl.nasa.gov

Scientists in Colorado are working to improve runoff forecasting in the West so water managers can meet growing needs in the future. A growing population coupled with climate change means every drop will count. Scientists are mapping terrain and snow with lasers to provide a more accurate picture of the snowpack. It's called the NASA JPL Airborne Snow Observatory. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke with Jeff Deems, a research scientist with the University of Colorado, Boulder. He’s involved with the project.

A whopper of a snowstorm dumped more than a foot of white gold along the Roaring Fork Valley.

The Town of Basalt is facing angry residents who don’t want to be forced out of their homes.

South of Carbondale, citizen scientists are using backpacks to get more data on air pollution

And other residents there are grappling with more layoffs at the Elk Creek coal mine. It’s been all but closed up.

A New Castle native is hoping to overcome a big injury and make it to the Winter Olympics.

And we’ll hear from a seasoned athlete about what it’s like to compete in the Olympics and take home a medal.

It’s election time and we’re taking a look at issues on the November ballot and what they could mean for a voter’s tax bill. First, there’s a statewide income tax increase for public schools.

And, there’s a local proposal to build a rec center in the Mid-Valley. Supporters say will enhance the community, while critics say it would mean hundreds more in property taxes for homeowners.

Basalt residents are being asked to redevelop land along the Roaring Fork River. The plan forces out more than a hundred people from a trailer park.

Finally, we’ll hear the latest weather forecast for the coming winter… there’s good news, and bad news.

Elise Thatcher

The winter outlook is mixed. Although some are saying the wet fall could mean lots of snow in the coming months, a National Weather Service forecaster says there might also be some dry spells. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher talks with GJ National Weather Service forecaster Joe Ramey. He says this winter might be very familiar.

Sarah Johnson/Roaring Fork Conservancy

The beginning of this week has brought an unusual amount of moisture to the Roaring Fork Valley. Mountains were dusted with snow and rains lifted river levels to flows usually seen in the Spring. Sarah Johnson with the Roaring Fork Conservancy says flows on rivers like the Crystal are dramatically higher than they were this time last year. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen spoke with her on Monday.