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CCAH scales back Sopris Park summer concerts

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By John Colson

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Sopris Sun Correspondent

Carbondale’s popular Summer of  Music concert series in Sopris Park is being significantly scaled back this year, leaving just a couple of main events in the park and shifting some public concerts to another location in town.

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The Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities (CCAH) will continue to be involved in putting on concerts during the summer months, explained CCAH Executive Director Amy Kimberly at a meeting of the town board of trustees on Tuesday.

But, she told The Sopris Sun in a telephone interview earlier on Tuesday, she and her staff hope to no longer be the main organizers of the concerts.

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“We’ll still be involved, and I’ll probably still end up doing a lot of the work,” she said with a laugh, adding that she is hoping to engage other local arts organizations to take up the slack of organizing events.

The shift is in keeping with the recommendation of a special task force set up earlier this year to study complaints from residents living in the neighborhood around Sopris Park. Some neighbors of the park have for years been unhappy with the noise and traffic associated with such events as the Carbondale Mountain Fair and other happenings held in the park.

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Mountain Fair, which takes place at the end of July each year, will still be held in Sopris Park, Kimberly told the trustees on Tuesday, as will a solitary Summer of Music concert on July 13.

The Summer of Music shows at the Sopris Park Gazebo started about a decade ago as a partnership between CCAH and the town of Carbondale. Prior to that were several years of the Performance in the Park series, also at the Gazebo and also sponsored by CCAH.

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Kimberly told the trustees that current plans call for a new series of three music-and-a-movie events in the Community Partnership Park at the Third Street Center, 520 Third St. at the south end of town.

The series, called Third Sundays at Third, builds on the highly successful First Friday events held around town on the first Friday of every month.

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The show dates for the music/movie events are June 22, July 10 and Aug. 17.

“This would be held in the town park behind the Third Street Center with local bands starting at 7 and a film following,” Kimberly wrote in a memo to the trustees. “Folks can bring lounge chairs, sleeping bags, picnics and fun. Popcorn will be served!”

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She emphasized to the trustees that the movie screen and speakers will be aimed westward, at nearby Highway 133, to avoid creating a disturbance for neighbors living to the south and east of the Third Street Center grounds.

Another event planned for this summer is the annual Boogie in Bonedale on July 4, in conjunction with that month’s First Friday, with area businesses, galleries and restaurants taking part in a celebration centered around the historic commercial core along Main Street.

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In other action the trustees:

• Unanimously appointed Scott Mills, Patrick Hunter, Lisa DiNardo and Christopher Ellis to serve on the town’s Environmental Board, joining current members Jason White, Jeff Lauckhart, Christopher Ullrich, Matt Gwost and Dave Bernhardt. The trustee liaison to the E-Board is Katrina Byars, and the staff liaison is Larry Ballenger.

• Unanimously approved the renaming of Bull Pasture Park, on the west side of Highway 133 near the junction with Prince Creek Road. The park’s new name is Nuche (pronounced “nooch”) Park, in honor of Ute Indians that populated this area prior to the white man’s arrival in the late 1800s. The name comes from the Ute name for the Crystal River Valley, “Nuche-Mu-Gu-Avatum-Ada’he” or “the people’s place of the heart,” as explained by Ute elders Roland McCook and the late Clifford Duncan.

•  Unanimously approved a liquor license transfer to Finnbar’s Irish Pub & Kitchen, the new eatery at the River Valley Ranch golf clubhouse, owned by Kelly Wyly O’Donovan and Denis O’Donovan Finbarr, according to documents at town hall.

• Unanimously approved special-event liquor licenses for fund-raising events planned by the Carbondale Public Arts Commission on June 5 at the SAW arts center on Buggy Circle; the KDNK Mt. Sopris Music Festival on June 27-28 at Fourth Street Plaza; Cajun Clay Night, June 28 at the  Carbondale Clay Center on Main Street; and the “Viva La Woman” celebration by Advocate Safehouse on July 11-12 at the PAC3 space in the Third Street Center.

• Approved, by a vote of 4-2 (trustees Frosty Merriott and A.J. Hobbs dissented, and Trustee Pam Zentmyer did not attend the meeting), amendments to the town’s medical marijuana zoning code, streamlining some of the licensing provisions and establishing a requirement that 30 percent of the electric power used by marijuana medical businesses come from renewable energy sources.

The trustees also called for the planning and zoning commission (P&Z) to consider whether medical and retail marijuana cultivation can take place in the Historic Commercial Core zone district downtown, and particularly whether the cultivation operation of The Center medical marijuana outlet can continue its practice of growing both medical and retail pot at its downtown location.