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Christin Kay

Contributor Christin Kay is passionate about the rich variety of arts, cultural experiences and stories in the Roaring Fork Valley. She has been a devotee of public radio her whole life. Christin is a veteran of Aspen Public Radio, serving as producer, reporter and interim news director.

Born in Denver, she attended Kansas State University as an undergraduate and Regis University for her masters degree in Education, Learning and Teaching. She was in the classroom for 14 years as an English teacher, working to show students that their voices mattered. A teaching opportunity at Aspen High School brought her to the Roaring Fork Valley for the first time in 2011. It was love at first sight, and she’s still in a bit of awe that she can call this place home.  

Kirsten Dobroth/Aspen Public Radio

Governor Polis, Treasurer Young Urge For Additional State Funding In Stimulus Package

Tuesday, August 4 - Governor Jared Polis and Colorado Treasurer Dave Young today sent a letter to the state's congessional delegation advocating for additional funding for Coloradans in the next stimulus package. Governor Polis and Treasurer Young stressed the importance of additional federal funding for essential services in the state as Colorado continues to mitigate the public health and economic effects of the pandemic. Areas highlighted by Governor Polis and Treasurer Young in need of financial assistance include food programs for children and families, support for child care and early childhood education, families experiencing homelessness because of the pandemic and assistance for ranchers and farmers.  The letter comes as leaders in Washington D.C. continue to debate what will be included in the next federal stimulus package.

Christin Kay

On a recent busy Saturday morning at Ruedi Reservoir in the Fryingpan River valley, Jaime McCullah sprayed a high-powered jet of hot water over every nook and cranny of a bright-green motorboat. 

McCullah is a supervisor for Rocky Mountain Recreation, which inspects boats at Ruedi for quagga and zebra mussels. She found mussel shells, smaller than a fingernail, on the craft she just decontaminated. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

LIFT-UP Food Pantry Continues Distribution Into August

LIFT-UP will continue to distribute food via mobile distribution using drive-thru sites in Carbondale, Glenwood, New Castle, Parachute, DeBeque and Rifle.  Some sites will be moving locations as schools begin to re-open.  The schedule will continue as one-day-a-week per community, with longer distribution times while rotating each week between mid-afternoon and early evening.

Alex Hager/Aspen Public Radio

Eagle County May Be Forced To Forfeit Public Health Variance

Friday, July 25 - Trends in the local spread of COVID-19 may threaten Eagle County’s ability to maintain its public health order variance from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Last week, the state health department notified the county that local disease rates were outside the levels allowed by the variance. 

Courtesy Sue Sharpe

Governor Jared Polis announced a statewide mask order on Thursday, directing Coloradans to wear a face covering while indoors.

The statewide mandatory mask order requires anyone over the age of 10 to wear a face covering over their noses and mouths when entering or moving within any public indoor space. It also mandates face coverings while using or waiting to use public transportation or taxis, car services and ride shares.

MARGARET WILSON RECKLING


Tony Vagneur’s work as a rancher wasn’t affected by the stay-at-home order. Vagneur calls himself a “freelance rancher,” raising cattle in Castle Creek and horses in Emma and working the Diamond W ranch, headquartered in Woody Creek. 

 

Vagneur said he kept riding his horse, and working in his hayfields. 

What changed, however, was how he interacted with his loved ones. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Eagle County Adds Demographic Data To COVID-19 Statistics

Friday, July 10 - Eagle County has added demographic data to its publicly viewable COVID-19 monitoring dashboard. New data includes the age, gender and ethnicity of confirmed cases. The county said it is including this information to "better inform the public of the impact of the disease in particular on the local workforce, Latino community, older adults, and youth and young adults."

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Jennifer Kelley

Roaring Fork Valley native Eleanor Bennett will take over the role of Morning Edition host at Aspen Public Radio starting in August. 

Bennett is a producer, radio journalist, and former Aspen Public Radio intern who graduated from Middlebury College in 2015. Prior to returning to the Roaring Fork Valley, Bennett covered issues of climate justice and women's empowerment for SiriusXM Radio in New York City. In 2019, she served as producer of Aspen Public Radio’s teen-focused podcast, Gen Z Tea. 

Courtesy City of Glenwood Springs

UPDATED: Thursday, 10:30 a.m. - The water line is fixed in Glenwood Springs. Water reserves are being reestablished. Normal water use may resume at 5 p.m. today.

Christin Kay

LIFT-UP Releases July Food Distribution Plan

Friday, June 26- Next month, LIFT-UP Food Pantries will continue to distribute food throughout the Roaring Fork Valley via drive-through and walk-up format. LIFT-UP pantries are not open for food pick up or donations at this time. 

Voces Unidas De Las Montanas

Pueden encontrar la versión en español aqui  

Thirty-two-year-old New Castle resident Janeth Niebla said she cried tears of joy Thursday morning when she read that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Trump administration in upholding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

“Along with all of my friends who were just patiently waiting to see what decision we were going to get, I feel just really excited, really grateful, really blessed,” she said. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

 

 

 

Aspen resident Joan Leavenworth said she knows the pandemic has been hard on everyone, but for her, it’s come at the end of a particularly difficult year. In November, she was diagnosed with Stage III cancer. She went to Shaw Cancer Center in Edwards Monday through Friday each week until February 1.

Then, on Valentine’s Day, her husband passed away. “Things were piling up,” Leavenworth said. “I tend to be upbeat and positive, but it was dark and snowy and I was alone in this house.”

In March, she fell ill with COVID-19. Her doctor recommended she stay home because she could use her husband’s respirator, which was still in the house. “I went through it with my deceased husband's oxygen equipment,” Leavenworth said.

Aspen Historical Society


Glenwood Springs resident Dean Moffitt said thinking about his father reminds him of another time that the world was affected by an epidemic. 

 

In 1916, Horace Dean Moffitt lied about his age, and joined the Navy to fight in World War I. He was sent to Germany. 

 

During that time, the flu epidemic of 1918 started to claim lives in America and abroad. At least 50 million people would die as a result.

 

“Germans and Allies were dying, not only from bullets, but from the flu in those muddy trenches,” Moffitt said. 

Aspen Historical Society

Mike Monroney said social distancing became a challenge. After spending so much time alone at home, he felt depression and loneliness setting in.

He did leave his house to walk his dog around the Aspen Airport Business Center, where he lives. Many of his neighbors would walk their dogs at the same time. A small community emerged, with dog owners talking with each other while maintaining social distancing. 

Monroney said this contact with his neighbors gave him something to look forward to every day. 

Aspen Historical Society


Glenwood Springs resident Dana Wood said that she's found a silver lining during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

She started seeing someone right before the stay-at-home order was put into place. They took their relationship online, FaceTiming every day for about an hour. 

 

“I didn’t have a feeling of isolation,” Wood said. “It was the same feelings you would get if you were actually going on a date with someone. I got ready the same way — put on some makeup, nice clothes.” 

Olive And West Photography

In April, Skye Skinner took over as the Art Base's interim executive director. One of her first tasks was guiding the Basalt organization through their closure during the stay-at-home order.

Skinner worked to move art classes online, secure a payroll protection loan and provide over 600 art kits to local children. 

"I’m determined that the Art Base, which is small but mighty, will come through this crisis with strength and a view toward a bright future," she said. 

Aspen Historical Society

Lisa Hancock said having her two college-aged children at home during the pandemic has been "mostly wonderful."

Her son, a student at the University of New Hampshire, is finishing his senior year of college from their basement, something Hancock said saddened her.

"No graduation ceremonies for him, none of that excitement to be finishing up with his peers," she said. 

Hancock said she's grateful her family has stayed healthy, and she worries about the stress and desperation that others are feeling. 

"I just want to wish all of us the best as we wait this out and hope for a return to normal," she said. 

Kelly Murphy

Kelly Murphy and her fifth-grader Kian Sullivan have been negotiating virtual learning since the stay-at-home order shut down Colorado's schools on March 17. 

Murphy asked Sullivan how he liked online learning. "It's not that fun," Sullivan said. He said it was easier to learn at school and he misses seeing friends.

"Have you been able to see of them during this quarantine?" asked Murphy.

"Yeah, over Google Hangouts for school and stuff, but we don’t, like, talk there," he said. 

Alex Hagar / Aspen Public Radio

An English-language version of this story can be found here.

Las protestas en contra el racismo y la brutalidad policial aumentaron a cientos de personas en Aspen el fin de semana pasado. Se planean más manifestaciones para el sábado y el domingo por la mañana en el parque Wagner.

Katherine McMillan

Katherine McMillan said she's never experienced anything like the COVID-19 pandemic. She wrote the following poem “to get out some of the feelings that were turning around inside me.”

 

"Wondering" 

Wondering if the grocery store worker sneezing in aisle 3 was infected

Wondering why the kid stocking the shelves isn’t wearing a mask or gloves and keeps getting in my space

Wondering if I should eat breakfast as soon as I get home from senior early-bird shopping hour

Or wipe down all the groceries with disinfectant first

Wondering if washing the thin wool gloves I wore to the store and my face muff with other clothes

Will infect everything because it was only a cold wash

Courtesy Anna Scott

Last fall, Anna Scott’s 13-year-old daughter was so ill, she had to take a flight-for-life to Children’s Hospital in Denver. She was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Scott said her family was still learning how to manage the disease when the pandemic hit. 

Over the winter, her daughter only attended school two or three days a week, because of her health.

Scott said her daughter’s transition to virtual learning when schools closed in the spring was somewhat easier because of her experience doing so much work from home already. It helped that, during the stay-at-home order, other children were doing it too. 

Amanda Martinez

Carbondale Middle School teacher Amanda Martinez’s class of sixth-graders contributed letters about how COVID-19 changed their lives. “I am writing to you to help you understand what life is like now that we are all staying inside to help slow the spread of COVID-19,” each letter begins.

Martinez said the idea came when talking with all the sixth-grade teachers in Roaring Fork School District about how to use the pandemic as a teaching tool. She decided to teach about primary sources by having her students create a primary source about the pandemic. 

 

“We’re all primary sources now through a monumental time in history right now,” she said. 

 

Martinez said some of her students were nervous to share what was going on in their lives during the stay-at-home order. 

 

“It was a grueling process for some students but a therapeutic one,” she said. 

Aspen Public Radio founder and former station manager Sy Coleman died Monday from a heart attack in Cusco, Peru where he lived most of the year.  He was 77. 

Coleman moved to Aspen in 1980. A year later, he brought the Roaring Fork Valley its first non-commercial radio, using a chain of mountain-top translators to broadcast NPR programming from the University of Wyoming station KUWR. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

PitCo Says State Public Health Order Changes Won't Go Into Affect Here Until Later

Thursday, June 18 - Changes to Colorado’s statewide public health order to go into effect today, but any of those changes will not go into effect in Pitkin County until the local public health order is amended, according to a release from the county. Pitkin County could choose to be more restrictive or less restrictive with its next set of rules, as allowed by a variance. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Pueden encontrar la versión en español aqui  

Protests against racism and police brutality swelled to hundreds of people in Aspen last weekend. More demonstrations are planned for Saturday and Sunday morning at Wagner Park. 

Roaring Fork Valley residents Jenelle Figgins and Sajari Simmons co-founded the new advocacy group Roaring Fork Show Up and have organized the protests. 

Tammy Terwelp / Aspen Public Radio

Pitkin County Food Stamp Requests Up Substantially

Thursday, June 11 - Requests for food assistance in Pitkin County went up dramatically during the pandemic. Applications for the food stamps, officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, were up 638% during the month of April.

Christin Kay / Aspen Public Radio

Glenwood Springs Extends Public Face Covering Rules, Announces Reopenings of Parks and Playgrounds

Friday, June 5 - The Glenwood Springs City Council today voted to extend its public facemask ordinance. The public health order will remain in effect until state and/or CDC guidelines change, or a vaccine becomes available to the public. The city's Parks and Recreation department also announced that it would be reopening playgrounds and outdoor sports facilities, but with social distancing guidelines and a maximum of 10 people at playgrounds, and 25 people at sports courts and fields. Spectators are also discouraged at pick-up sport events. More information about current public health orders can be found on the city's website.

Christin Kay / Aspen Public Radio

Pitkin County Reopening Plan Includes Industry-Specific Dates

Thursday, May 28 - Phase two of Pitkin County’s reopening plan includes a step-by-step schedule with reopening dates for different industries. County officials say reopenings come with strict regulations and health guidelines. The planned dates could change if the county sees indications that the presence of COVID-19 is increasing. 

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