Water

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition.

Parents of students in the Roaring Fork School District may notice a few things are different this year.

Law enforcement officers are aiming to cut down on DUI’s… but there are limits on what they can do.

Colorado says it’s posted next year’s health insurance rates so people can find out whether they’ll be charged more… but it’s near impossible actually find those rates.

Water experts and decision makers are trying to figure out how to fairly divvy up Colorado River water if drought becomes a factor in the future.

And, now that recreational marijuana shops are open in Pitkin County, elected leaders are going over concerns, like accidental overdoses.

That’s all coming up on Mountain Edition... right now.

Colorado River Water Conservation District

Colorado candidates running for state and federal office are in Snowmass Village this week, talking about water.  Seven candidates spoke on Wednesday including Representative Scott Tipton and his challenger, Abel Tapia. Senator Mark Udall also made an appearance, as did his opponent, Congressman Cory Gardner. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen was there and filed this report.

Colorado Trout Unlimited

The Thompson Creek watershed that flows through the contested Thompson Divide area, received a special designation this week. On Tuesday, the state’s Water Quality Control Commission approved an “Outstanding Waters” designation for several branches of Thompson Creek, near Carbondale.

To win approval the stream has to meet several high quality standards and, the designation prohibits certain pollutants from being discharged into the water. Aaron Kindle is with Colorado Trout Unlimited, which fought for the designation. He says it protects fish.

gailschwartz.org

Snowmass Village democrat Gail Schwartz wrapped up her career as a state senator this week. The lawmaker is term-limited after spending eight years under the gold dome in Denver. Her impact on issues like education, healthcare and water have been felt around the state, including here in the Roaring Fork Valley. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

On the last day of the 2014 legislative session, Schwartz’s colleagues saluted her service, including Senate Majority Leader Rollie Heath.

Colorado River Water Conservation District

The public is weighing in how to solve the problem of less water in the future. People offered suggestions for Governor Hickenlooper’s Colorado Water Plan at a town hall meeting in Aspen Thursday. A growing population and climate change are straining the resource in Colorado, and an enormous water gap is projected, between how much water Colorado has and how much it needs. The Water Plan will use information collected by nine basin roundtables organized around various watersheds. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke with Jim Pokrandt.

Aspen Journalism might be young, only into its 4th year, but the non-profit organization has already established itself in the valley's media family. What sets Aspen Journalism apart from the daily newspapers, news channels and public radio stations is the dedication of time and resources into the stories produced. Founder and Director, Brent Gardner-Smith explains why the organization puts such an emphasis on in-depth reporting and the key topics the organization focuses on. Board President, Tim McFlynn, also contributes. 

Visit the Aspen Journalism website to learn more:

www.AspenJournalism.org

www.usbr.gov

The City of Aspen is working toward powering its utility with 100-percent renewable energy. A good chunk of that energy will come from a new hydropower facility in Ridgway, Colorado. If all goes according to plan, the City will start getting power from the facility on February 20th. Aspen’s one of two entities purchasing power from the plant. Mike Berry is with the Tri-County Water Conservancy District, the organization running the plant. He spoke with Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen.

The Aspen Global Change Institute (AGCI) embraces The Aspen Idea, the Paepcke's vision of bringing the world's great thinkers in the arts and sciences to Aspen, a neutral location, where they can escape their daily routines while communing with nature. In this setting, new conversations and ideas emerge, providing important new tools for the advancement of science. 

John Katzenberger, co-founder and director of AGCI, explains why this idea works and how it is implemented in the workshops AGCI hosts throughout the year with the world's top scientists. James Arnott, AGCI Program Director, and Elise Osenga, Research Associate for AGCI, also contribute. 

To learn more about the Aspen Global Change Institute, visit their website

With just eight days until the Olympics start in Sochi...the Aspen community sends off four local athletes who will compete.

Health care prices in the Valley have been rising for years. Now, a handful of local employers are trying to improve worker’s health--and bring down costs.

Basalt’s setting a path for its future...in a non-traditional way. It’s using a method called “crowd-sourcing” to gather input on urban planning.

A new group in Aspen wants to make it easier for young people to stay in Aspen. City council approved the Next Generation Advisory Commission this week.

And, as Colorado’s population grows, the state’s water supply can’t keep up. A Basalt organization is involved in a statewide water plan.

Terrain parks are ubiquitous at ski resorts around the country. Now, there’s an effort to make them safer.

Finally, Aspen’s Torin Yater-Wallace is heading to the Olympics. The freeskier is recovering from injuries...but, says he’s ready to compete.

Google Image/suehess.com

As the state prepares a statewide water plan, a local non profit wants to make sure our rivers and streams in the Valley are protected. Basalt-based Roaring Fork Conservancy is pinpointing environmental values, so, as the state searches for more water to fill growing needs, local waterways stay full. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports.

In his State of the State address earlier this month Governor Hickenlooper touched on water.

"Now, if words were water, the state would never run dry," he said.

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