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Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Journalism


Just as new research shows that aspen forests are a fountain of biodiversity, Aspen’s namesake trees in the Roaring Fork River watershed are battling warming temperatures, drier conditions, climate disruption, and unchecked herds of deer and elk. Although local aspen forests are currently still healthy, they face serious challenges.

 

Nick Ketpura


On a busy day at the Aspen Art Museum, a line of people stand outside the ten-by-ten foot stainless steel cube that houses “Where The Lights In My Heart Go,” by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Kusama’s Infinity Rooms use mirrors and pinholes of light to create the illusion of an expansive, immersive space.

 

Officials say the Colorado town of Breckenridge has cancelled its New Year's Eve fireworks display over environmental considerations.

Summit Daily reports the decision was a continuation of the town's decision earlier this year to celebrate holidays in ways that have less environmental impact. 

The Art Base

Aspen Institute curator Lissa Ballinger will now also help choose exhibitions for the Art Base in Basalt.

Ballinger has worked in the art world for 20 years and spearheaded the Roaring Fork Valley’s celebration of the Bauhaus in 2019. 

Carbondale Arts

The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, or RFTA, has been nominated for a state arts award for its work on Carbondale’s Rio Grande ARTWay.

The Colorado Business Committee for the Arts selected RFTA as one of 12 nominees for this year’s Business for the Arts Award.

via City of Glenwood Springs

The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority is making some upgrades to its maintenance facility in Glenwood Springs, right across the street from the West Glenwood Park and Ride. The renovations will more than double the building’s capacity for repairs.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Last week, the Aspen Pitkin County airport unveiled a series of upgrades just in time to accommodate holiday travelers.

Airport administrators moved their offices across the street, making way for 109 new seats in the lounge and expanded floor space. In hopes of easing traffic congestion, the airport also added 100 new parking spaces and a cell phone waiting lot.

Scott Franz / Capital Coverage

The governor of Colorado issued a pardon for a Peruvian immigrant who has lived on and off in Colorado churches since 2016 to avoid deportation. Gov. Jared Polis pardoned Ingrid Encalada Latorre on Monday for a 2010 conviction for possessing falsified or stolen identification papers that placed her in deportation proceedings by federal authorities.

Molly Dove / Aspen Public Radio

Hanukkah began Sunday night, and to celebrate, people gathered in front of a large menorah in Willits. They stood together, wishing their friends, family and neighbors ‘happy Hannukah’ while singing blessings and songs. 

CREATIVE COMMONS/FLICKR/LLOYD MORGAN

For those struggling with grief or mental health issues like depression, the holiday season can be particularly difficult. Jill Davis is a peer specialist with Mind Springs Health, which offers counseling services on the Western Slope.  

Wikimedia

The high altitudes of the Roaring Fork Valley can complicate things when it comes to baking those holiday treats: cookies can spread and cakes can collapse into craters.  According to two experts from Colorado State University Extension, just a few small changes can help. 

Ryer Gardenswartz / Aspen Public Radio

 

Hispanic voters are heavily Democratic but Hispanic men are more likely to vote Republican than Hispanic women. This gender gap is roughly the same size as the one among white voters.

Wheeler Opera House


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

 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Holiday crowds are are descending on the valley by the thousands. Aspen Chamber lodging data from the end of November showed 70% rooms already booked for Christmas Day, with a peak of 79% booked on December 28th.

City of Glenwood Springs / Facebook

The 27th Street Bridge in Glenwood reopened last week, but the replacement project is taking longer than expected because of weather and missed deadlines from the construction company.

Road construction is expected to be completed in the next couple of months, with paint and landscaping scheduled for the summer.

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy / Aspen Journalism

Approaching Labor Day weekend of 1961, many Aspenites who had plans to go camping or enjoy outdoor concerts watched in trepidation as monsoon rains didn’t let up for two days. Then, that Friday night, the damp chill turned rain to snow — large, wet snowflakes fell overnight and for the next two days, thoroughly coating the green, late-summer landscape.

MYPUBLICLANDS /FLICKR

Colorado air-quality regulators have approved tougher statewide oil and gas regulations, ending a disparity between areas in western Colorado.

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

A non-releasable golden eagle from Frisco Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Del Norte, Colorado, has taken up residence at its new home at Hallam Lake. The eagle was found with a broken wing approximately 30 miles from Great Sand Dunes National Park in November 2018. 

letthemroar.com

Local band Let Them Roar performs two special winter solstice shows Friday and Saturday at Steve's Guitars in Carbondale.

They’ll play what they’re calling “a continuous soundscape,” immersed in complete darkness.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Across the nation, upgrades are coming to the way wireless signal reaches the phone in your pocket. Small cell technology, as it’s called, will lead to the installation of lots of new transmitters. Due to a combination of state and federal regulations, Aspen will not have much control over that process when the cells come to town.

Vaping360 via Creative Commons

Colorado has the highest rate of youth electronic cigarette use in the nation, and use among high schoolers in Pitkin County is among the highest in the state. Now, the county is considering measures to change that.

The Town of Carbondale will start working to reduce the use and sales of single-use plastics over the next ten years. 

The town’s Board of Trustees is working with consulting company LBA Associates. The company will conduct research and public outreach in collaboration with PR Studios to draft a plan by July 2020. 

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