Your Morning News - February 3rd, 2015

Feb 3, 2015

Aspen Talks Health & Human Services Funding

Aspen City Council continued a conversation last night about funding health and human service organizations. Right now, the City doles out $400,000 annually to various charities.

The council’s conversation centered around whether additional dollars should be pulled from another pot of money and if the method currently used for choosing worthy organizations should continue. Right now Pitkin County decides where the money goes.

Mayor Steve Skadron suggested pulling additional dollars from a tax dedicated to the Wheeler Opera House.

“This is how I think it should go: should new incremental money come into our pool of contributions, I believe that money should have a focused outcome. I think the focus should be on uniquely Aspen problems.”

He’d like to support seniors in need, substance abuse, mental health and suicide. The conversation will continue later this month, when councilman Dwayne Romero is present.

Snowmass Continues Base Village Review

Last night Snowmass Town Council and planning officials took up proposed changes to a major development project. The review of Base Village will continue tomorrow. The multi-day discussion comes as residents, officials, and developers are anxious to see the project move forward while still making sure it’s still a good fit for the community.

Julie Ann Woods is Community Development Director for the town, and explains some of the modifications requested by developer Related Colorado.

“The big change in this project is that the applicant is proposing to modify the types of buildings that are on the site, including the addition of a new hotel, which would be the Limelight Hotel.” 

Revisions also include adding fractionals to a mix of condos, and combining two lots near the base of the Snowmass ski area. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher asked Woods what her office is recommending about the proposals.

Phone Scam Targets Aspen Residents

Aspen’s Police Department issued scam alert today. Law enforcement has heard from residents about calls from people saying they’re with federal agencies.

People running the scam say they are with the IRS or other offices. Some leave voicemails like this one received by an Aspen resident.

“This message intended to contact you regarding an enforcement action, executed by the United States Treasury. Ignoring this will be an intentional second attempt to avoid an issue of your appearance before a magistrate judge, or a grand jury.”

The scam is similar to one making the rounds across the country over the last year.

The Aspen Police Department is warning residents to be cautious about any calls that involve money and are allegedly from a government agency.

Residents in the El Jebel area reported a scam last month where a caller pretending to be with the Eagle County Sheriff’s office demanded money and promised to get rid of a fake warrant.

Music School Sees More Applicants Than Ever

The Aspen Music Festival and School is announcing its 2015 summer season. The organization holds classical music performances for eight weeks featuring students from around the world with more students applying this season than ever before.

The Aspen Music Festival and School invites a total of 630 students to its wooded campus every summer. The students range in age from 9 to 35 years old and are taught by faculty from major schools of music, orchestras and opera companies.

So far, the organization has taken in 3,000 applications from students. That’s a new record, says CEO Alan Fletcher.

“We’ve had a very concerted effort to visit all of the major American schools in person and to be recruiting from important world conservatories. It’s suitable for our theme of travel.”

This summer’s theme is “Dreams of Travel,” which explores music informed by cultures other than the composer’s own. The Festival includes 300 events and begins July 1st.