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Christin Kay / Aspen Public Radio

Old-Time Contra Dances Build New Sense Of Community

When you walk into a room full of people you don’t know, you may pull out your phone and avoid eye contact. If you’re at a contra dance, you might as well smile, because the odds are good that you’ll have do-see-doed with most of the room by the night’s end. Contra is a traditional community dance. It's social, done with both big groups and partners. Its modern followers in the Roaring Fork Valley see it as an antidote for an increasingly isolated world.

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The latest developments in the investigation into the bombings at the Boston Marathon and related news include:

Update at 7:36 p.m. ET. Suspect Unarmed When Arrested:

When police cornered Dzhokhar Tsarnev in a boat in Watertown, they said they traded fire with the Boston bombing suspect.

A suspect is in custody after five people were reportedly shot to death in Manchester, Ill., a town of 300 or so residents about 90 miles north of St. Louis, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Public health authorities in Taiwan have identified the first human case of a new type of bird flu seen outside China.

The development, while not unexpected, points to the potential spread of a new type of bird flu that has, according to the World Health Organization, sickened at least 108 people and been implicated in 22 deaths.

"The @AP Twitter account, which was suspended after being hacked, has been secured and is back up. Thank you for your patience."

That's the word Wednesday morning from The Associated Press.

We all deserve a break from the past week's news. This NASA video could be just the right thing.

"Clashes broke out between protesters and riot police near France's lower house of parliament late on Tuesday just hours after the country legalized gay marriage, with opponents of the law hurling projectiles at police, who responded with tear gas," France 24 reports.

Even al-Qaida gloats about what's possible under U.S. gun laws. In June 2011, a senior al-Qaida operative, Adam Gadahn, released a video message rallying people to take advantage of opportunities those laws provide.

"America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms," Gadahn says, explaining that "you can go down to a gun show at the local convention center" and buy a gun without a background check.

Then a faint smile crosses Gadahn's face. "So what are you waiting for?" he asks.

As Congress continues its debate over immigration reform, nearly a half-million young people who are in the U.S. illegally have already applied for deferred action.

The Obama administration started the policy, formally known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, last year for people who were brought into the U.S. illegally as children. Those who are approved gain the right to work or study and avoid deportation for two years.

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Apr 24, 2013

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ARTS & CULTURE

Welcome to the beginning of another week in the Roaring Fork Valley! This is Week in the Arts, a curated list of upcoming exhibitions and events.

Christin Kay / Aspen Public Radio

When you walk into a room full of people you don’t know, you may pull out your phone and avoid eye contact. If you’re at a contra dance, you might as well smile, because the odds are good that you’ll have do-see-doed with most of the room by the night’s end. Contra is a traditional community dance. It's social, done with both big groups and partners. Its modern followers in the Roaring Fork Valley see it as an antidote for an increasingly isolated world.

Snowmass resident Renee Linnell’s new memoir, "The Burn Zone," explores why a worldly, well-educated person would join a cult.

Environment

www.pitkincounty.com/1103/Glassier-Open-Space

Eagle County’s open space program is asking for continued support this election. The program is funded through 2025; ballot measure 1A asks voters to extend the property tax through 2040.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Pitkin County has committed to using science to protect wildlife and habitat on the 5,000 acres of open space property it owns, and last week, the Open Space and Trails Board recommended spending more than $200,000 studying area wildlife.

 

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Public Radio

Up high in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, there’s an abandoned metal snow fence — well, there used to be. A diverse group of volunteers joined a team of mules and horses to haul tons of rebar out of the backcountry last month. Pack strings are one of the few ways to get heavy work done in protected wilderness areas, but their future is uncertain.

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