Sopris Sun

Carbondale's community supported, weekly newspaper

  • Paco Nevarez imparts wisdom to his Folklorico dancers (Jane Bachrach photo)

  • Redwing blackbirds are staking territory - bikes and runners beware (Lynn Burton photo).

  • Dean Bowlby is part of the new show at the Launchpad (Courtesy photo).

  • Bullseye! RFHS students win statewide archery contest (Jane Bachrach photo).

  • RFHS and CRMS girls in recent soccer action (Courtesy photo)

Breaking News

Perhaps the most consistent administrative presence in Carbondale's town hall for more than a decade, Mayor Stacey Patch Bernot, is stepping down from office midway through her second term in the job because she is moving out of town. Read more >

Latest News

Some time around the last full weekend of July, in conjunction with the 2016 Carbondale Mountain Fair, close observers of signs and that sort of thing may notice something different about how the Carbondale Council on the Arts and Humanities (CCAH) identifies itself in marketing and other formats.
Starting at about that time, according to Amy Kimberly, executive director of what is now vocally referred to as “cah-cah” in local shorthand parlance, will be changing its name to Carbondale Arts (CA, or “cah”).
Why? Read more >
When the Garfield County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) recently voted to deny a plan to rezone some 43 acres of vacant land between Carbondale and Glenwood Springs, the rejection was not for lack of arguments on the project’s behalf by Commission Chair John Martin.
The denial was aided, however, by testimony from Carbondale Mayor Stacey Bernot and representatives of Glenwood Springs, who asked the BOCC to reject the rezoning application on a variety of grounds.
On April 18, the BOCC voted 2-1, with Martin on the losing end, to deny a rezoning application that would have created a 43-acre commercial zone, with capacity for nearly 982,000 square feet of commercial or retail space situated roughly halfway between Carbondale and Glenwood Springs. Read more >

When Francisco Nevarez-Burgueño, director of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Folklórico, first meets with his five- and six-year-old beginning dancers, he tells them to clap. After their typically subdued clapping he tells them, “No, no, no ... really clap! LOUD!” Once they clap to his satisfaction, Nevarez then shows these budding dancers how to make that same resounding sound with their feet.
What he loves most about teaching Mexican folk dancing, Nevarez told The Sopris Sun in an interview earlier this month, are “the faces of the kids when they learn how capable they are to move their bodies and stomp their feet and do it with strength and confidence.”
At the Colorado Creative Industries (CCI) Summit in Carbondale on May 5-6, Nevarez (or Paco, as most people call him) will be awarded a Governor’s Creative Leadership Award for his work with folklórico. According to the CCI website, three such awards are presented each year to “community members that have demonstrated a significant commitment to Colorado’s creative landscape through civic leadership and volunteerism ...”. Read more >
Plans moved forward last week for the Rio Grande ArtWay through Carbondale, although it is not likely that actual work on the gardens, supplemental trails, sculpture installations and other aspects of the ArtWay will begin until summer at the earliest, and perhaps not until next year.
Amy Kimberly, executive director of the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities and a main driver behind plans to make Carbondale a designated “Creative District,” said roughly 35 people took part in a meeting on April 14 between CCAH and the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA), which controls the Rio Grande Trail as it winds through town.
“It went great,” Kimberly recalled. “It was a pretty diverse swath of the community, and everybody was pretty positive.”
The plan behind the ArtWay effort is to beautify the trail as it runs through Carbondale, with a variety of locally-sponsored, volunteer-initiated projects. Read more >
It is time once again to celebrate the dandelion, Carbondale’s humble municipal flower, with the annual extravaganza in Sopris Park known as Dandelion Day, which this year falls on May 7, according to a Web site dedicated to the event (
Dandelion Day is now in its 18th year and is sponsored by the Environmental Board, or E-Board as it is known, which is an advisory board appointed by the elected Carbondale Board of Trustees.
This year’s event has been consolidated to a single day of programs, according to Dandelion Day Committee member Candace Goodwin, who also is a past member of the E-Board.
Others on the committee are Alyssa Reindel, Sue Gray and Robin Van Norman, all of whom are listed on the Web site with contact information. Read more >
Does Carbondale’s drinking water contain lead that has leached from the town’s water delivery system?
The short answer is, not as far as local officials know.
Ever since the news broke that residents of the city of Flint, Michigan was suffering from lead poisoning in its municipal water system, towns all over the U.S. have been wondering if they have the same problem.
And the question does not seem to be one that can easily be answered.
A Feb. 8 a New York Times article reported unsafe lead levels have recently turned up in Washington, D.C.; Durham and Greenville, N.C.; and Jackson, Miss, to name just a few.
While lead water pipes were federally banned more than three decades ago, according to the article, there are millions of instances of lead pipes in the ground that predate the ban, most of them in the “service pipe” networks that carry water into homes or businesses. Read more >