Stuff by Will Grandbois

  • Sections: News Published

    Carbondale town budget looking good despite one bummer

    As Carbondale officials took their first steps this week into deliberations about the 2016 municipal budget, one bit of bad news greeted them from the outset — revenues from the state’s mineral severance tax fund plummeted this year, meaning Carbondale will have far less next year than it has received from state energy impact funds in the past. But the Board of Trustees, at its meeting Tuesday, also got some good news — sales tax proceeds have continued to rise, property tax revenues are expected to be up by about 26 percent, and the town’s general-fund reserve cash balance should be nearly $5 million at the end of this year. The general fund, which accounts for most of the town’s operating revenues and expenses, is expected to have a year-end balance of just over $4.9 million, according to a presentation by Finance Director Renae Gustine. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Go ask Alice, she’ll tell you what she knows

    A new Carbondale-based online magazine (AliceTheMag.com) owes its name to a pair of Alices. One, of “Alice in Wonderland” fame, was born at the hand of author Lewis Carroll in 1865. The other Alice, with the last name of Paul, is lesser known, at least to most guys. Paul (1885-1977) was an American suffragist, feminist as well as main strategist and leader of the 1910s campaign for the 19th Amendment which prohibits sex discrimination in the right to vote. “We named it Alice because we want the content to be both brazen and imaginative, like our inspirations: Alice Paul and Alice in Wonderland,” Alice co-founder Maura Masters told The Sopris Sun. “Alice is an honest depiction of what real women think about and go through each day.” read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Carbondale fire board OKs tax hike ballot question

    The Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District board of directors last week formally approved a ballot question seeking a tax hike from district property owners, and a committee of concerned citizen activists is being organized to advocate for passage of the tax question. The committee, which numbered 15 members as of Tuesday, is composed of such noted Carbondale-area luminaries as local philanthropist Jim Calaway, Pour House restaurant manager Skip Bell, local resident Casey Sheehan, Dr. Sandy Devany, rancher Kit Strang, KDNK manager Steve Skinner, and former Carbondale mayor Michael Hassig. “And there are more who want to join in,” said Carbondale attorney Tom Adgate, who is heading up the committee. “By this time next week, it should be a Who’s Who of people who care about Carbondale.” read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Green Hill blue over state’s marijuana delays

    The town of Carbondale has written a letter to the state of Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) of the Department of Revenue, asking that the state do something about a bureaucratic roadblock that is preventing a local cannabis-testing laboratory from doing its work. That business, Green Hill Laboratories LLC, has gotten all the certifications needed from the state and the town to conduct microbial testing of marijuana smokable and edible products, to detect contamination such as mold and mildew and prevent products from making consumers sick, according to Jessica Olson, lab manager. But the state has yet to get to work enforcing laws requiring that that testing be conducted, as laid out in statutes legalizing cannabis for recreational consumption. Colorado voters in 2000 legalized marijuana use for registered medical-marijuana patients, and in 2012 for recreational marijuana use by anyone over 21 years of age, though the testing requirements only apply to the recreational cannabis industry. As part of the state’s bureaucratic framework for overseeing the cultivation, sale and consumption of smokable products as well as edibles, the state was supposed to require that all cannabis products be tested by certified, professional laboratories. But those requirements, though they apparently have been completed and the relevant documents issued to testing labs, have yet to make it onto the state health department’s website, from which cannabis-related growers and sellers get their legal-compliance information. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Welcome back; Crew, ERW programs continue

    Welcome to the 2015-16 school year! The beginning of school is always exciting and an important occasion. There are few things more impactful than the beginning of a new school year across our three communities. We look forward to greeting our students and their parents, and know that in our rapidly changing world, a high quality education is more important than ever! We take very seriously our role of preparing kids for the future and know that there is no margin of error, and no chance for our students to get this year back if we don’t do all we can to contribute to their learning. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Fire board votes for tax hike ballot question

    The elected leaders of the Carbondale fire department voted on Aug. 19, 4-1, to move ahead with a ballot question this November, asking for a tax hike that would bring in roughly $600,000 more in annual property tax revenues than are now coming into the department’s coffers. The ballot question also would come with a two-year “sunset clause.” That means that a tax hike of 1.75 mills, which would boost the tax rate to 7.653, would be limited to two years in duration, after which the tax rate would drop back to its existing level. If the district still needed additional revenues, it would need to go back to the voters, perhaps as early as 2018, to seek another tax hike. The sole dissenting vote on the tax question came from Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District (CRFPD) board member Carl Smith, a former fire fighter and paid staffer at the CRFPD who won election to the board in 2014 largely based on his public skepticism about the board’s handling of its fiscal affairs. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Vera Diemoz looks back on Thompson years

    The year was 1911, and: • Ishi, considered the last Native American to make contact with European Americans, emerges from the wilderness in northeast California; • The U.S. sends 20,000 troops to the Mexico border as that country’s revolution gains momentum; • The U.S. Supreme Court dissolves Standard Oil; • The Brooklyn Dodgers buy land for what will become Ebbets Field. • Closer to Colorado in 1911: • The settlement of Gypsum, east of Glenwood Springs, is incorporated as a town;  • The largest piece of marble taken from the Colorado-Yule quarry to date is 28 feet long and weighs 55 tons; • And … Vera (Montover) Diemoz is born at old Snowmass Creek, where St. Benedict’s Monastery is now located. From 1911 to 1930, Vera moved with her family to farms at several Roaring Fork Valley locations — including the St. John’s place up Prince Creek, which was part of what is now Two Shoes Ranch — until she married Fred Diemoz in 1930 and settled on his farm on Silt Mesa. This reporter met with Vera, her grand-nephew Vern Arbaney and his wife LeAnn (Thompson) earlier this week on a shady patio at Heritage Park Care Center on the west side of Carbondale. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Bears pulling late season forays into valley towns

    The general opinion among wildlife experts in Western Colorado earlier in the summer was that there was more than enough bear fodder in the high country this year, and the bears were not likely to be heading into local towns in large numbers to forage through garbage cans to fatten up for the winter. But, according to area wildlife manager Perry Will, that outlook has changed somewhat. “Activity has really picked up in the last three weeks, as far as bear conflicts,” said Will. He reported that there have been numerous conflicts between bears and humans in the upper regions of the Roaring Fork Valley, and even a few bear sightings in Carbondale. That means it is time for Carbondale residents to think about buying a bear-proof trash container to keep in compliance with the town’s stated and ongoing desire to discourage bears from rooting around in trash cans. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Rotary exchange creates “a life in a year”

    Last year, while her classmates were making their way through their senior year of high school, Briana Boland was across the world, taking a different approach to her education. Boland recently returned from Taipei, Taiwan, where she spent the year as a Rotary exchange student. The exchange turned out to be an incredible and life changing experience for Boland; she has returned from her year abroad with a new language, new friends and a slew of new experiences. “Going in I really didn’t know anything much about Taiwan,” Boland said. “I didn’t understand anything that was going on and everything seemed so weird. It’s really a completely different world.” read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    City Market developer slates open house at TSC

    The developers who hope to put a new City Market grocery store on the west side of Highway 133 have scheduled an informal open house to present the project to the public at the Third Street Center from 5 to 7 p.m. on Aug. 26, according to a notice sent to nearby by residents. “This meeting is being held as a courtesy to the community that the proposed development site is on,” said the notice. “ … The intent of the meeting is to inform you of the proposed project and to engage an open dialogue of any issues and/or concerns you may have.” According to the notice, the applicant is City Market/King Soopers, 65 Tejon St., Denver, CO 80223. The rest of the project team is Galloway & Company Inc, (consultant), 6162 S. Willow Dr., Suite 320, Greenwood Village, CO 8011 and Aaron McLean (site development coordinator) 303-770-8884; Sopris Engineering, LLC (engineer) at 502 Main St., Carbondale; and Naos Design Group, LLC (architect) 5031 S. Ulster St., Suite 300, Denver, CO 80237. Next Wednesday’s open house comes nearly 15 years after plans first emerged for development of a 24-acre parcel of land on Carbondale’s western edge. Recently, the town accepted an “an introductory application” from King Soopers (locally known as City Market under the corporate banner of the Kroger grocery store chain). The land in question is located to the north and west of the intersection of Highway 133 and Main Street, and does not include the existing 7-Eleven store at that corner, or the real estate office next to it. read more →