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Pages of the Past: New high schools, trains and the Dalai Lama

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From the archives of the Roaring Fork Valley Journal, compiled by John Colson

Jan. 27, 1977
Carbondale and Basalt students and teachers all reported that the newly constructed Basalt High School and Roaring Fork High School were working out well, despite deficiencies, electrical-system problems and other hitches about the buildings.
In Carbondale, the new Roaring Fork High School on Snowmass Drive (which has since been replaced with a bigger, more modern building further south) offered a more spacious environment than the old building, including a much larger cafeteria space, a well-equipped auditorium and classroom space that made way for a broadened science curriculum.
The new Basalt school, which itself also has since been replaced with a bigger building,  accommodated about 200 students and 18 teachers in grades nine through 12 at that point (officials said it could grow to perhaps 300 students before it would start to feel crowded).

Jan. 29, 1987
A Carbondale man, Allan Kramer, came up with a plan to run a “dinner train” up and down the Roaring Fork Valley, as an adjunct to a proposed Roaring Fork Railroad ski and commuter train that was to run from Denver to Glenwood Springs and then along the Denver & Rio Grande Western tracks to Woody Creek. The proposed ski and commuter line came from rail advocate Randy Parten, with passenger service from the old Stapleton International Airport in Denver and a new terminal in Aspen, in keeping with a national reawakening of interest in localized train travel.

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Jan. 30, 1997
A decade later, Carbondale was still wondering about the best use of the Rio Grande right of way (Kramer’s dinner train and Parten’s ski train ideas had never gotten rolling). Valley residents were hotly debating a proposal to create a new layer of government, the Roaring Fork Railroad Holding Authority and buy the right of way (for $8.5 million) in order to keep the valley’s options open to either reinstituting passenger train service or turning the right of way into a pedestrian, bicycling trail. Carbondale’s estimated share of the purchase price was to be $118,000.

Jan. 25, 2007
Carbondale filmmaker Hamilton Pevec, son of local activist, teacher and author Illene Pevec, won an invitation to Tibet to help preserve the teachings of the Dalai Lama. Specifically, he wrote in a grant application to help defray his costs, he would be assisting monks at the Namgyal Monastery in Dharamsala, “the skills they need to tell their own stories to the world,” by filming the Dalai Lama and documenting his words.

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