Your Evening News - January 20th, 2015

Jan 20, 2015

Mark Hunt to Take Aspen’s Questions at Public Forum

The man who controls the majority of buildings in downtown Aspen will speak publicly for the first time to the community on his future plans. Aspen Business Events is hosting a question-and-answer session with Mark Hunt. Along with investors, Hunt has amassed 15 buildings in the commercial core and has invested more than $100 million in real estate in the city. The event will take place on Thursday at 5pm at BB’s Kitchen. Two Hunt proposals for low-cost hotels go before the Aspen City Council on Monday.

Former ABC Pot Shop Moves to Aspen’s Core

Aspen’s sixth pot shop in the city limits may open in time for the X Games. Stash is opening right next to City Market. It used to be located in the Aspen Business Center. Co-owner Garrett Patrick says lots of walk-in traffic was a big reason for moving into Aspen proper. But it’s taken longer than expected to set up the new location, largely because of state and local requirements.

“You know, all the rules and regulations, we have to get our landlords to approve stuff, and get insurance that they want for our business.”

Stash had planned to open with the beginning of the New Year. Previously the business had been just a medical marijuana shop before going recreational last year.

Aurora Theater Shooting Trial Starts Jury Selection Today

Jury selection is underway starting today in the Aurora theater shooting trial.  James Holmes faces the death penalty and has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, in what has become one of the most complex and high profile cases in Colorado history. 

The court has issued nine-thousand jury summons for the case. It’s expected to take more than a month to find 12 jurors and 12 alternates.  Karen Steinhauser is a defense attorney and former prosecutor in the Denver District Attorney’s office.  She says it will be a challenge to find people in the community who weren’t directly impacted.

“With the number of people at that theater, the number of first responders that you had, people at the hospitals, people who had friends at the theaters.”       

In Colorado death penalty cases, jurors must also be death qualified, meaning they can’t be against the death penalty and sit on the jury.  If jury selection runs according to schedule, opening statements could begin in May. 

Colorado Public Radio contributed to this report.

Aspen Mayor to Talk Climate Change at National Conference

Aspen mayor Steve Skadron is heading to Washington at the end of the week to talk to other U.S. mayors about preparing for a changed climate.

Climate resiliency planning is one of Aspen City Council’s top ten goals. The City commissioned a study to examine what kinds of changes are in store for the resort town. The temperature is expected to increase and the number of frost-free days will rise.

Aspen has also worked to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions through the Canary Initiative. Mayor Steve Skadron says he plans to share Aspen’s progress.

“The work we’ve done to this point will be recognized as some of the most aggressive out there. That’s the message I want to put forth to my fellow mayors, that if a community like ours can address this, there’s opportunities for other communities, as well.”

The two-day meeting is called the Mayor’s Innovation Project and “integrating climate resilience into city decisions” is one of four main topics the mayors will discuss.