The Sopris Sun

Pages of the Past: Sign of the season

From the archives of the Roaring Fork Valley Journal

Jan. 19, 1978

Aspen was experiencing a dearth of local seasonal help — with anywhere from 40 to 60 percent fewer employees available to each lodge than theoretically needed. “I have been doing maid work. My assistant manager has spent all day helping the housekeeping department,” said Mike Norton, president of the Aspen Chamber of Commerce and manager of the Gant. Some business people put it down to the bad season the previous year (some have drawn comparisons between the winter of ’76-77 and the current one), while Norton blamed the cost of living. A group of workers at a local pub raised concerns from poor public transit — this was well before RFTA — to low wages — $3.50 an hour with rent around $300 a month — to a general sense of being used and abused by employers.

In other news, a 22-year-old Glenwood man was killed in an accident at Mid-Continent’s Dutch Creek No. 1 mine, the second fatality in a year that had barely begun.

Jan. 21, 1988

The largest field up to the date, 150 sled dogs were in Redstone for two days of annual sprint races. The 6.5 mile course saw 38 six-dog teams, with a shorter route for three dogs. “Occasional eerie howls slivered the approaching dusk as four-legged competitors awaited their dinner,” wrote Carol Craven. “For a brief time, dozens of pairs of arctic blue eyes gazed tranquility through narrow windows as the owners slipped away through the gathering dark for their turn to chow down.”

In other news… After almost two years of planning, the “Downtown Carbondale” pointer sign went up at Main and Highway 133, drawing feedback from “graphically vibrant” to “the damned thing’s pointing the wrong way when you look at it heading south.”

Jan. 22, 1998

A set of objectives identified as part of the Town’s comprehensive planning process was expected to be up for public feedback in early February. Among the stated objectives were promoting the development of a diverse housing types, creating opportunities for residents to work within three miles of home, encourage alternative transportation, grow with sensitivity to the environment and maintain open space and agriculture.

In other news… Trustees instructed Town Manager John Hier and Police Chief Gene Schilling to start developing a “community policing philosophy.”

Jan. 17, 2008

Colorado Rocky Mountain School and Aspen Valley Land Trust partnered to protect 18.5 acres along the Crystal River as open space. The land had been purchased by the private high school around the same time as the sale of its commercially zoned property along Highway 133 (which has since been the subject of several controversial development proposals before being slated for a new grocery store and a mixed-use buildout). The preserved property, meanwhile, was viewed as a resource not only for the school’s science program and annual kayak races, but to the community at large. “This parcel is one of Carbondale’s gems along the Crystal River corridor,” said AVLT Executive Director Martha Cochran. “CRMS has taken a big step toward preserving the riverfront for future generations.”

In other news… The Aspen Skiers broke a 54-game winning streak that the Roaring Fork boys’ basketball team had amassed over four seasons of league play, defeating the Rams 61-57 in Carbondale.