KAJX

Alex Hager

Reporter

Alex Hager graduated from Elon University in North Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He'll join Aspen Public Radio from KDLG in Dillingham, Alaska.

“I am immensely excited to be joining the Aspen Public Radio team. I became a journalist because I love to meet interesting people, discover untold stories and tell them to folks who care. I can’t imagine a better place to do all three. I can’t wait to see what Colorado has in store and learn more about what matters to people in Aspen and beyond,” he said. 

Elizabeth Stewart-Severy

 

Skiing in Aspen will be getting started early, for the second year in a row. The Aspen Skiing company announced today that Aspen Mountain and Snowmass will open up this Saturday, five days ahead of the originally scheduled opening date.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

The road to the Maroon Bells closed for the winter on Friday morning. Before the route shut down for the season, a few intrepid visitors made their way up to the iconic spot to enjoy a frosty day on the lake.

“It’s literally like skating in a cathedral,” said Blake Greiner, who was passing a hockey puck with a friend. “It’s pretty wild. It’s a temple out here.”

via Pitkin County Board of Commissioners

 

The Pitkin County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the development of a new solar farm near Woody Creek on Wednesday evening. The decision came after an extensive special meeting that featured the presentation of studies of the project’s potential impacts to the area and a lengthy public comment period.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

 

Tuesday night, dozens of demonstrators gathered outside of Glenwood Springs High School to show their support for those protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA. The Obama-era program covers immigrants who were brought into the United States when their parents entered illegally.

Courtesy of Ampaire

 

The aviation industry makes up about 2% of global carbon emissions, and that number is set to grow. Wednesday night, the Aspen Institute is hosting a discussion about the future of the industry, including ways that sustainably-powered aircraft could change the flying experience.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Across the nation, changes are coming to the way cell signal reaches people’s phones. A new technology called “small cell” is being installed nationwide at the behest of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Before Aspen installs the new transmitters, the city is gathering public opinion about how it should do so.

Ryer Gardenswartz / Aspen Public Radio

Numbers from around the Roaring Fork Valley show slightly more than a third of registered voters cast a ballot on election day 2019, according to unofficial counts on Thursday afternoon.

All three counties also delivered among the lowest turnout rates in the state. Out of Colorado’s 64 counties, Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield all posted turnout percentages ranking in the bottom seven.

 

Courtesy of Colorado Parks and Wildlife

On Monday, the Garfield County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to oppose “any efforts to introduce or expand the population of wolves in Colorado.”

A wildlife advocacy group is collecting signatures to put wolf reintroduction on statewide ballots in 2020. Proponents of reintroduction say they would help restore a natural order that was lost when they were hunted to near extinction in the 1940s.

Ryer Gardenswartz / Aspen Public Radio

Voting ends at 7 p.m. tonight and there are a number of ways to cast your ballot in today's election.

It’s too late to mail ballots in, but they can still be deposited at any 24-hour ballot drop box until 7 p.m. 

Is isn’t even too late to register to vote. Voter Service and Polling Centers will be open today, where voters can go to register, get a ballot and cast votes in-person, right up until polls close at 7 p.m.

Courtesy of Trees, Water & People

 

Friday night the Rocky Mountain Institute is hosting a talk about the causes of migration out of Central America. Sebastian Africano is the executive director of Trees, Water & People, a Colorado-based organization that works to address those root causes.

Before giving the talk, he stopped by the Aspen Public Radio studios to talk about those issues, and ways to make change.

 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio


It’s a dark October night in Aspen, and there’s a chill in the air. That’s not unusual for late fall in the Rockies. But tonight, there’s even more reason to feel a shiver. We’re on a journey through decades of macabre mountain tales with a tour called “Aspen’s Dark Side.”

Courtesy Sunlight Mountain Resort

November has yet to arrive, but below-freezing temperatures have allowed resorts in the area to fire up their snow guns.

“We woke up to about two degrees below zero this morning and no wind associated with that, which is important too,” said Troy Hawk, marketing director at Sunlight Mountain Resort in Glenwood Springs. “When you make snow, you don’t want it to all blow off and into the trees.”

Courtesy Mountain Family Health

Earlier this month, a controversial immigration rule from the Trump administration was put on hold by federal judges in five different states. Although the new regulation has not yet been put into law, it is still having an impact in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Early Voting Starts

Oct 28, 2019
Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Election day is less than two weeks away, on Nov. 5, but Monday marks two important dates for voters in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Monday is the first day for early voting at Voter Polling and Service Centers, where people can go to vote in-person instead of submitting a ballot in a drop-off box. Voting at Voter Polling and Service Centers will last from Oct. 28 through Nov. 5.

U.S. Forest Service

 

On Wednesday, the Pitkin County Board of Commissioners approved construction of a new lift on Aspen Highlands. 

 

The new lift will serve the Golden Horn ski run, which is mainly used for ski race training. The Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club (AVSC) is funding the lift’s construction, operation, and snowmaking in the area it will serve.

 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

In just a few weeks, black bears around the Roaring Fork Valley will settle down for a season of hibernation. But until then, they are on the hunt for food that will help them last through the winter. That hunt draws them out of the forests and hillsides and into town, where unsecured garbage serves as a tempting source of calorie-rich sustenance. 

As those bears wander into human-dominated areas, police are often called into action to make sure all parties remain unharmed, both two-legged and four.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Pitkin County Open Space and Trails is crafting a new management plan for the North Star Nature Preserve, but first, they’re seeking public input to help shape what that plan looks like. The county has released a survey with questions about where, when and how people are using the protected land.

MichaelKuhn_pics / FLICKR/CREATIVE COMMONS

With 2020 coming up, the U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting across the country to ensure they have a full staff in time for the nationwide count. 

Nationwide, the bureau is looking to hire 500,000 people. The Grand Junction office is in charge of hiring in the Roaring Fork Valley region.

Roaring Fork Fire Rescue

Two fires cropped up in the valley on Monday morning amid dry conditions. A series of five small spot fires burned along the highway in Garfield County and a building caught fire just outside of Basalt.

Officials were first alerted to spot fires on the side of I-70 near Newcastle around 7:30 a.m. Colorado River Fire Rescue responded and had the fires extinguished by 8:15 a.m. Crews found a piece of tire cord at each of the fire sites, leading them to conclude that the fires had been started by a blown out tire, hot from friction.

 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

 

 

Colorado Mountain College joined 165 other colleges and universities across the country in signing a letter of support for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. 

DACA applies to people who were brought in to the United States as children or babies when their parents entered illegally. The program gives them protection from deportation and the ability to work and study in the U.S. legally.

 

Middle Mamm Fire

Thursday’s snowfall brought a welcome pause to two fires burning in the area. After a long stretch of dry, windy conditions, officials say the snow and low temperatures helped to slow the Middle Mamm and Granite Lake Fires.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

For the 22nd year in a row, the John Denver Celebration is getting underway. Fans from all around the world converge on Aspen for a week of music, remembrance and friendship.

Five days of concerts and events kicked off with a meet and greet in the John Denver Sanctuary on Wednesday morning. A group of six women at the meet and greet have attended every annual celebration, and have found fellowship over the past two decades.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

A new mode of transportation is joining the ranks of popular outdoor activities in the valley, but not without a touch of controversy.

Electric mountain bikes, often referred to as e-bikes, have accrued legions of fans who extoll their ability to get more people on more trails.

Molly Dove / Aspen Public Radio

Updated 2:27 p.m. Tuesday

According to the Pitkin County Sheriff, the gas leak in Snowmass base village has been stopped. It is safe to return to the base village and surrounding area. 

RMRHoldings.com


Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

It can be hard to find parking in Aspen, much less cheap parking. But some people looking for an inexpensive place to leave their car for the day found a way around feeding the meters in town. Just a few minutes down the road, people found cheaper parking at Aspen-Pitkin County airport.

But now, the airport is bumping up rates to discourage people from using the parking lot for the day.


Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Autumn is officially here. The nights are getting colder, the days are getting shorter, and aspen trees on hillsides around the valley are starting to turn from green to gold. 

It's exactly those changes — less sunlight and chillier temperatures that are causing the leaves to change. 


Aspen Public Radio

 

Former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper is back on the campaign trail. After dropping out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, he is now one of a host of Democrats who hope to win the primary and then challenge Republican Cory Gardner for his U.S. Senate seat.

Hickenlooper stopped by Aspen Public Radio on Tuesday afternoon to talk with reporter Alex Hager about climate change, income inequality and more.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Around the world, young people are taking to the streets and demanding action on climate change. On Monday, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg spoke at the United Nations. Even in the Roaring Fork Valley, where many governments and decision-makers have made the climate a priority, young people are saying not enough is being done on a global scale. 

Courtesy of Rae Lampe

Aspen students have a variety of demonstrations planned Friday to call attention to climate change and urge action to change its course. 

In the morning, students from Aspen public schools and Aspen Country Day School will take part in a global school walkout. In the afternoon, however, the demonstrations will take a turn for the artistic.   

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