Stuff by Will Grandbois

  • Sections: News Published

    C’dale cat committee moves closer to a compromise

    A committee working on Carbondale’s controversial cat-crackdown ordinance came a little closer to finding common ground between two entrenched factions at a meeting on Sept. 24, but not before a few fireworks were lobbed into the tense atmosphere of a town hall meeting room. “I will stop,” declared local real-estate agent Cindy Sadlowski, whose Street Cat Coalition has been working to trap, spay and release feral cats (cats that are wild and live on their own) for the past 15 years, thereby preventing feral cats from reproducing and cutting down on their numbers as the adult cats age and die off. Sadlowski feels an effort to pass a law restricting the movement and independence of cats is unwarranted and intrusive. She maintains that the real causes of bird population declines are habitat loss, disturbance by development and other human activities, and pollution. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Are Red Hill users loving it to death?

    The volunteer managers of the Red Hill Special Recreation Management Area (SMRA), otherwise known as the Red Hill trails system north of Carbondale, would like to remind users of the area that the trails do not police themselves for trash, little bags of dog do-do, and other refuse that crops up on the trails. In fact, according to a posting on the Facebook page Friends of Red Hill, it was reported “We are currently paying $120 per month for bi-weekly removal (of plastic doggy-poop bags), plus costs of the bags, all of which adds up to $2,000 per year.” The Red Hill Council, which manages the trail system, welcomes the growing numbers of users, but would like to see more of them involved in the upkeep of the trails, a council official said this week. “To my way of thinking, every hour you use the system, you ought to give something back,” said Davis Farrar, a local planning consultant who is the director of the council. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Cat control committee not purring along so well

    A group of Carbondale residents and officials apparently are having difficulties over a proposed new ordinance intended to keep cats from killing birds by treating felines like dogs in the eyes of the law. The committee, created by the town board of trustees on Sept. 8, is charged with figuring out how Carbondale should deal with what some say is a local cat population that is killing an unacceptable number of birds. But others maintain that the cats are not to blame, and that it is human activities that are responsible for whatever declines may be observed in the region’s bird population, not just locally but regionally and nationally. The committee has had one meeting, on Sept. 17, and a second meeting is planned for Sept. 24. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Trustees OK 50 percent pay hike for future boards

    After getting mixed reviews from members of the public, the Carbondale Board of Trustees voted 4-1 to approve a 50-percent pay hike for future trustees on Tuesday — though the raise will not apply to anyone on the board until the next municipal election, in April 2016. Trustees, who currently are paid $600 per month, would earn $900 a month, and the mayor’s paycheck would increase from the current $1,000 a month to $1,500 per month. Trustee Pam Zentmyer, whose term expires next year and who cannot run for reelection due to term limits, was the only trustee who voted against the pay raise (Trustee A.J. Hobbs and Mayor Stacey Bernot were absent). “I can’t get on board with this,” Zentmyer told her fellow trustees. “I just can’t get past the fact that we are the only board (in town government) that does get paid.” read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    New TRUU minister also an ordained Zen priest

    Florence Caplow, the new minister for the Two Rivers Unitarian Universalist (TRUU) fellowship that meets weekly in Carbondale, arrived Aug. 7 more or less sight unseen. That is, she had never been to the Roaring Fork Valley before and had only met with members of TRUU’s search committee and congregation via phone, Skype, and e-mail prior to her arrival. It’s not the first time Caplow, a field biologist for much of her adult life, had landed in a new place knowing very little about it. “I’m used to just showing up somewhere and finding my feet. And I love that actually,” she told The Sopris Sun. Caplow grew up 75 miles southwest of Indianapolis in the town of Terre Haute and attended college at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, where she studied botany and ecology and received her B.A. degree in 1987. Her work as a field biologist focused on identifying and protecting rare plant populations throughout the West, including species new to science. For this move to Colorado, she uprooted from Port Townsend on the Washington coast, which had been her home for the last year. Despite her years in the Pacific Northwest, she’s no stranger to the drier landscapes of the Southwest, having conducted research in the Mojave Desert and the Intermountain West in the past. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Community steps up for CRES

    As students at Crystal River Elementary School (CRES) returned to classes this year, they were full of “oohs” and “aahs” when they saw the new amphitheater-style space on the western edge of the campus. Over the summer, a group of parent volunteers and valley professionals designed and constructed the school’s 750-square-foot outdoor learning space that has four rows of concrete seating on a large concrete pad next to the town’s historic ditch system. A steel structure defines the edges of the space and provides shade. The outdoor classroom can seat 30-40 children. CRES held a ribbon-cutting event prior to Back-To-School events on Tuesday. Members of the Parent Teacher Organization took charge of the project after the school was awarded a $5,000 Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    USDA cites Marble Distilling for leadership

    The management at Marble Distilling Company (MDC) recently got word they have received a $197,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which recognizes the distillery’s “leadership” in water conservation and energy efficiency, according to distiller Connie Baker. The grant acknowledges the MDC’s system for recycling four-million gallons of water and using heat-transfer technology to leech energy from the water at certain points in the system to heat and cool the distillery building as well. “MDC is taking a leadership role among 50-plus craft distillers of Colorado by launching their innovative Water Energy Thermal Storage (WETS) design to save both energy and process water,” Baker said in a written statement this week. Baker told The Sopris Sun that her company plans to reach out to distilleries large and small to encourage them to make use of the MDC designs for their own facilities. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Carbondale trustees discussing 50-percent pay hike

    It appears as though a majority of Carbondale’s elected leaders are leaning toward enacting a pay raise for future trustees, but first they want to hear from their constituents about the idea. Toward that end, the trustees next week (at a meeting on Sept. 22) will take input from the public on a proposed ordinance that would authorize a 50-percent pay hike for the trustees and the mayor starting with the upcoming municipal election in 2016. This would be the first raise authorized for the elected officials in about 15 years, according to town records, and would take a trustee’s paycheck from the current $600 per month to a new rate of $900 per month, and would boost the mayor’s pay from $1,000 per month now to $1,500 per month. The raise would only apply to trustees who are elected in 2016, 2018 or thereafter. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    CARE shelter turns 15, thousands of lives changed

    Thousands of lives (counting dogs and cats) have literally been changed for the better since Colorado Animal Rescue (CARE) opened its shelter doors 15 years ago. “People come up here and fall in love with a dog or cat,” said CARE co-founder Jim Calaway. “I see it all the time.” The CARE shelter is located on 11-acres at Colorado Mountain College’s Spring Valley campus between Carbondale and Glenwood Springs. Chances are that you, or someone you know, has adopted a CARE dog, cat or other pet. In fact, CARE has placed more than 12,500 homeless dogs and cats in homes in the past 15 years. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Cat fight continues, so trustees name committee

    Carbondale’s Board of Trustees narrowly avoided passing a new ordinance regulating the freedom of domestic cats on Tuesday night, opting instead to create a subcommittee to work on the proposed ordinance, an exercise that Mayor Stacey Bernot jokingly said might be like “herding cats.” That subcommittee is to include two trustees — Frosty Merriott and Allyn Harvey — Police Chief Gene Schilling and a member of the town staff. In addition, the subcommittee will include two local women who have come to symbolize the “pro” and “con” side of the debate over the control of cats, Mary Harris of the Roaring Fork chapter of the Audubon Society and Cindy Sadlowski, founder of the Street Cats Coalition, which has worked for 15 years to keep down the number of feral cats in the region by spaying or neutering the animals. The town staff wrote up a proposed ordinance after Harris told the trustees in July that the predation of birds by free-roaming cats is essentially pushing some bird species toward extinction. read more →