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Wednesday and Thursday night, the City of Aspen is hosting public open houses to gather input input on an affordable housing development at the Aspen Lumberyard near the Aspen Airport Business Center. 

Previous meetings gave the city guidance on what kind of facilities will be included in the project. Public input and conversations with city council identified desires for housing, parking space, childcare facilities and easy access to public transportation.

Molly Dove / Aspen Public Radio

The City of Glenwood Springs filed a motion Monday to intervene in Rocky Mountain Resources’ lawsuit against Garfield County.

The controversial mining company operates the Mid-Continent Quarry just north of Glenwood Springs. It filed federal and state lawsuits suggesting Garfield County has no authority over their limestone mining operations after the county cited the company for violating their special-use permit.

Elise Thatcher

Starting Tuesday, Basalt residents who want to run for one of the three open Basalt Town Council seats or for mayor can pick up their paperwork and start gathering signatures.

Basalt Town Councilman Bill Infante will hold an event that morning at Starbucks in Willits from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. to answer questions from potential candidates.

Colorado Department of Revenue / Division of Motor Vehicles

Beginning Thursday, Jan. 2, immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally can be issued a valid state driver's license from the Glenwood Springs Division of Motor Vehicles.

The Colorado Road and Community Safety Act, passed in 2013, allowed undocumented immigrants to obtain these drivers licenses, but only from four Division of Motor Vehicle offices in the state.

Vaping360 via Creative Commons

Just after Christmas, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration raised the nationwide minimum age to buy tobacco and nicotine vaping products to 21. Pitkin County health officials, who had previously sought local regulation to reduce youth tobacco use, are still pressing on with plans to make the same change in the county.

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.

Molly Dove / Aspen Public Radio

Glenwood Springs officials are applauding the Bureau of Land Management’s decision to postpone approving a hydrology study by mining company Rocky Mountain Resources.

The company is looking to expand its limestone mining operations just north of Glenwood Springs by 5,000 percent.

Molly Dove / Aspen Public Radio

Last week, Pitkin County Board of Commissioners approved three members to join the Citizens Review Board for Child Welfare Services.

The state requires every county to have a citizen review board in order to investigate any serious complaints about staff and processes. However, the review board for Child Welfare Services has not been utilized for at least eight years. 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

On Monday, the Snowmass Town Council got a look at the size and location of buildings that would make up a proposed overhaul of Snowmass Center. Richard Shaw, a landscape architect working with Eastwood Snowmass on plans for the renovations, led a tour for council members and residents. 

5280fire.com

 


The four finalists for Glenwood Springs' chief of police include one who oversaw the aftermath of a deadly shooting earlier this year and another who was recently placed on paid leave.

 

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

The City of Aspen hosts a “Feedback Forum” next week, where officials are hoping to get public input on four different city projects. The open meetings will be held on Dec. 4 at the Limelight hotel in Aspen.

carbondalerec.com

An organization in Carbondale helps people who are homeless shower at the local recreation center.  Now, Carbondale Homeless Assistance could receive financial support from the town to help fund the program. 

Molly Dove / Aspen Public Radio

“We’re at war. These are battles we need to win.”

Mayor Jonathan Godes stood in front of a large room of City Hall lined up next to other city officials at the recent rollout of the “Don’t Strip Glenwood” campaign. 

The city is designating $1.25 million to fight Rocky Mountain Resources’ proposed limestone mine expansion. City officials say if that expansion is approved, it could decimate their tourist town. 

Molly Dove / Aspen Public Radio

County officials in Colorado have imposed a moratorium on new or amended mining and gravel projects for the next six months to allow time to create a 2030 comprehensive plan and adjust the land-use code.

The Post Independent reported Monday that the moratorium imposed in Garfield County means Rocky Mountain Resources Industrials cannot make changes to its special use permit for a limestone mine north of Glenwood Springs.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Molly Dove, Morning Edition Host: In its meeting a couple of weeks ago, the Pitkin County Board of Commissioners talked about whether or not to accept a piece of donated land, just upvalley of Woody Creek off of Juniper Hill Road. When they first considered accepting the donated land, there were some questions raised as to whether or not the county should do so. To help break it down, we're joined by reporter Alex Hager. Give us some background on this, where exactly is this land that we're talking about?

Molly Dove / Aspen Public Radio

Glenwood Springs launched their “Don’t Strip Glenwood” campaign Friday to fight against Rocky Mountain Resources, a company mining limestone a mile outside of city limits. 

Currently, Rocky Mountain Resources’ operates on about 15 acres at the Mid-Continent Quarry near the Transfer Trail. It runs seven days a week between 7 a.m and 5 p.m.

Christin Kay / Aspen Public Radio

Basalt is getting closer to updating its master plan, a community vision that guides the town's leadership in making decisions about land use and development. Wednesday night, residents got to throw in their chips, literally, with some ideas gleaned from previous community outreach and stakeholder meetings.

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.

Wyatt Orme / Aspen Public Radio

 


The Basalt Affordable Housing Committee wants to see a new regional housing coalition succeed. At a meeting with town council on Tuesday, it asked the town of Basalt for $10,000 to help establish the coalition. 

 

The idea of one committee that would tackle affordable housing up and down the Roaring Fork Valley came out a regional housing study released earlier this year. 

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.

WikiMedia / Colorado General Assembly

Voters in Pitkin, Garfield and Eagle Counties have the chance to talk with some of their current or vying state representatives before the upcoming 2020 election and legislative session. 

Democratic Candidate James Iacino of Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District will be in Aspen on Friday, November 1 for a free meet and greet. He will be in the Community Room in the Aspen Police Department from 12:45 p.m. until 2:30 p.m.

Elise Thatcher

The City of Aspen’s 2020 Budget is being discussed in city council before it’s finalized at the end of November. 

The city says the main goal of the budget is to increase the availability of affordable housing. One way they are doing that is through granting Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority (APCHA) a $404,700 subsidy for a new software called HomeTrek. 

Wikimedia Commons

A public hearing for controversial Ordinance Number 25 is being held Tuesday night at Aspen City Council’s meeting. The ordinance would regulate the possession of deadly weapons in city-owned buildings. 

The law would not extend to people carrying a concealed firearm and who possess concealed carry permits. Deadly weapons also include knives and any device that is intended to be used for death or serious bodily injury. 

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Earlier this year, Basalt discovered that it might have violated Colorado law by raising its property tax rate. It refunded money to property owners. Now, it’s asking voters to approve ballot issue 3A, which would allow the town to keep its current tax rate. If 3A fails, the town faces a budget shortfall of about $700,000 and says it would have to make significant cuts to public services.

Holy Cross Energy courtesy photo

National Energy Efficiency Day is October 2. Local governments are making progress on their climate goals, but some say there is more to be done.

Aspen, Basalt, Snowmass Village and Pitkin County are working in partnership with the Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE) to set and reach goals to reduce carbon-emissions. Aspen’s reduction goal is 30 percent by 2020, Basalt’s is 25 percent by 2025 and Snowmass Village has a 20 percent reduction goal by 2020.

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.

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