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Courtesy of Sylvia Johnson

Carbondale-based visual storyteller Sylvia Johnson spent part of the pandemic working as a contact tracer in Garfield County. Her conversations with people who had COVID-19 became a source of inspiration, which she has now turned into a storytelling project. “La Vacuna es Para Nosotros,” or “The Vaccine is for Us” highlights the voices of Spanish-speaking Garfield County residents to share their stories and encourage more people to get vaccinated. 



Riccardo Savi/Aspen Institute

As more people get vaccinated and temperatures warm up across the country, people have nostalgia for the before times — before the pandemic, that is. Recent data suggest that nearly two-thirds of Americans are intending to travel for vacations, and some are planning overdue family gatherings. Others still are getting back into specific summer habits, and looking forward to the many summer-long festivals the region has to offer.  

Courtesy of Carbondale Tourism

As things warm up across the Valley, Carbondale is looking to attract tourists and locals alike with two days of events and a new printed pocket guide to the area’s local food locations. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Last year saw vicious wildfires tear through Colorado. That included the three largest blazes in the state’s history and the Grizzly Creek Fire, which burned more than 30,000 acres near Glenwood Springs. This year, with much of the area in drought and summer right around the corner, experts say conditions in the Roaring Fork Valley are again ripe for wildfires.


Dan Bayer/Aspen Words

This week, a group of middle and high school students from the Roaring Fork Valley compete virtually in Aspen Words’s Youth Poetry Slam. The event is the culmination of Aspen Words’s Poetry Project programming in local schools, and marks the end of National Poetry Month.

Eleanor Bennett / Aspen Public Radio

Skyler Lomahaftewa is a Basalt resident and a member of the Uncompahgre band of the Ute tribe. In the winters, he gives snowboard lessons at Aspen Snowmass and in the summers, he does audio-visual work for events like Food & Wine and the Aspen Ideas Fest.


Every year around this time, Lomahaftewa goes back to the Northern Ute Reservation in Utah, where he grew up, to prepare for the annual bear dance. Now he’s trying to bring the spring tradition back to the Roaring Fork Valley. 



Courtesy of Aspen Valley Hospital

It’s no secret that the Roaring Fork Valley’s three counties are interconnected and frequented by seasonal visitors, and those factors show up in the latest COVID-19 vaccine data. In the four months since vaccine rollout began in the area, more than 40% of all doses administered in Pitkin County went to people who reside outside of the County – and health officials say that is by design.

Emily Acri and Kelly Maristoca

Every year Aspen Music Festival and School partners with the AmeriCorps program “ArtistYear” to bring a handful of recent higher-education graduates from across the country to the Roaring Fork Valley. The Aspen area is one of only four locations — with Philadelphia, Queens and the Carolina Sandhills — that are part of the national program.


The artist fellows who are assigned to the Valley spend the year teaching music and visual arts to students in the Roaring Fork School District. 


Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

The snow is melting, the days are getting longer, and skis are getting shelved in favor of hiking boots and mountain bikes. But in some parts of the Roaring Fork Valley, hikers and bikers will have to wait a little longer to venture out on certain trails.


Scott Brockmeier

Breckenridge-based photographer Scott Brockmeier has spent his career snapping images of ski racers, mountain search and rescue teams and ski patrollers. But there’s one subject that’s continued to capture his interest — and lens — over the years: avalanche rescue dogs. 

Courtesy Theatre Aspen
Courtesy Theatre Aspen


Years before Beth Malone found fame on Broadway for her work in the musical “Fun Home,” and a Tony Award nomination along the way, she called the Roaring Fork Valley home. Malone, a Colorado native, came to the Aspen area in 1992 to perform at the now-closed Crystal Palace. 

Scott Franz/Capitol Coverage

Colorado lawmakers have passed a bill requiring gun owners to call police within five days of noticing a firearm has been lost or stolen.

If they do not, they would face a $25 fine.


Many oil, gas and coal-dependent communities around the Mountain West are concerned about the Biden administration's aggressive stance on climate change. But a recent survey of hundreds of economists around the world suggests that reducing emissions now will save us financially in the long run. 

Colorado Avalanche Information Center

Not enough jurors showed up for a trial last week in a case that could have implications for avalanche safety in the Mountain West.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Pitkin County’s COVID-19 incidence rate is the highest in Colorado by a wide margin. As a result, businesses are operating under “orange” level restrictions – a more stringent set of rules than anywhere else in the state.

Scott Franz/Capitol Coverage

The 10-hour debates and lobbyist-filled hallways are signs things are returning to normal at the state Capitol. And that has some lawmakers reviving bills they shelved because of the pandemic.

One such bill aims to lower costs for those who buy insurance on the individual market because they cannot get it through an employer.

Courtesy of Yamilet Velazquez

Every year around this time high school seniors in the Roaring Fork School District present their final capstone projects to their teachers, classmates and community members. 


Basalt High School’s capstone coordinator, Nannette Weinhold says the projects are a chance for students to take control of their own learning and to pursue a topic they’re curious about. 

Pueden encontrar la versión en español aqui

Courtesy Aspen Film

Women filmmakers are getting attention at this year’s Aspen Film Shortsfest, which also happens to be the organization’s 30th annual short film festival. Nearly 3,000 films were submitted for this year’s Shortsfest—80 were chosen for this year’s virtual event, and 55 of those selections were directed or co-directed by women. That’s over two-thirds of this year’s featured Shortsfest films. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

When it comes to water in the West, a lot of it is visible. Snow stacks up high in the mountains then eventually melts and flows down into valleys. It’s easy to see how heavy rains and rushing rivers translate into an abundance of available water. But another important factor of water availability is much harder to see. 

Scott Franz/Capitol Coverage

Yesterday’s mass shooting was personal for many of Colorado’s elected officials, including Gov. Jared Polis, a longtime resident of the city. Polis said he has shopped at King Soopers on Table Mesa frequently.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Latinos in Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties have been especially hard hit by the pandemic. While they’ve made up a disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases over the past year, efforts are underway to make sure they have equitable access to vaccines.

Aspen Historical Society


Dr. Duane Vandenbusche was designated as Colorado’s State Historian this past Colorado Day, Aug. 1, 2020, a title that he will hold until Colorado Day this year. Vandenbusche is also the state’s longest serving professor; he started teaching at Western State University in Gunnison in 1962, and he has authored a handful of books that have become the go-to classroom texts for Western Slope history. This week, he will join Aspen Historical Society for a virtual event covering Aspen and the state’s colorful ski history.

Courtesy Matt Nuñez

Glenwood Springs resident Matt Nuñez snapped a photo of southwest Colorado’s Mount Sneffels, one of the state’s 58 peaks over 14,000 feet, with its lower slopes blanketed in fall colors on a road trip back in 2017. When the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles announced its Iconic Colorado contest this summer to redesign the state’s driver licenses, 400 photos, including Nunez’s shot of Sneffels, poured in from photographers around the state for consideration. This month, Nuñez received word from the state’s Department of Revenue and Gov. Jared Polis’s office that his photo of Mount Sneffels was picked to grace the front of the new IDs. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

There were a few days during the second week of Mar. 2020 when the coronavirus started to feel present and immediate in Aspen. Like it was no longer a distant problem. Like there was a pandemic knocking on the front door. 


A Senate committee vote Thursday brought Deb Haaland one step closer to becoming the nation's next Interior secretary. If she's confirmed she'll face myriad big decisions, including whether to move the Bureau of Land Management headquarters from Colorado back to Washington, D.C.

Scott Franz/Capitol Coverage

Colorado is making it easier for residents to see what their government is spending their tax dollars on, down to every last paperclip and coffee order in the governor’s office.

Late last year, the state quietly turbocharged its clunky and neglected online checkbook by migrating millions of lines of financial data to a new software system.

Colorado Avalanche Information Center

Avalanche conditions have been historically dangerous and deadly across Colorado this winter, prompting regional avalanche education and forecasting groups to rethink their social media strategy. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center, and its partner nonprofit Friends of CAIC, have been promoting the social media hashtag #LowAngleFTW, which encourages skiers, snowmobilers and others to share photos of themselves making conservative decisions away from avalanche-prone terrain while they’re recreating in the backcountry. (“FTW” refers to the acronym “for the win.”)

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

The votes have been counted for Aspen’s next Mayor and two city council members. The preliminary election results were announced on Tuesday night and will be officially certified on Friday, March 5.   

Aspen Public Radio’s Morning Edition host Eleanor Bennett caught up with Aspen Daily News reporter Alycin Bektesh who has been covering the election to learn more about what the preliminary results mean for the Aspen community.

Eleanor Bennett / Aspen Public Radio

If you find yourself wandering the streets of Aspen, Carbondale, or Glenwood Springs this month, you will be greeted by collages of oversized self-portraits pasted on Colorado Mountain College buildings.

Courtesy Photo / Glenwood Springs Citizens' Alliance

Since 2018, Glenwood Springs community members have banded together to fight against Rocky Mountain Industrials' expansion proposal at the Mid-Continent Quarry. They say protecting the city’s tourism economy is one of the main reasons for the years-long battle, and it wasn’t until the pandemic began that the community got a glimpse of what life could be like if the expansion were to be approved.