Stuff by Will Grandbois

  • Sections: News Published

    Real estate rebounding after Great Recession

    Property values in Carbondale rose dramatically this year, on average 23 percent, according to Garfield County Assessor Jim Yellico, a development that is taken as yet another sign that Colorado and the Roaring Fork Valley are pulling out of the economic slump caused by the recent Great Recession of 2008-2010. Yellico was careful to stress in a recent interview that the valuation numbers are preliminary and may change due to several factors in the coming months. These factors can be a result of protests filed by property owners, which would trigger an examination of the rationale for the change in value of the affected property as indicated on the notice, or as a result of errors discovered in the calculations made by the assessor’s office. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    No decision in CR106 issue

    Only one thing is certain about the ongoing controversy surrounding Garfield County Road 106 as it passes through Colorado Rocky Mountain School outside Carbondale — there will be at least two more meetings before the county commissioners decide what the future of the historic right of way is to look like. Those meetings will be a May 14 “walk-through” of the campus by the county commissioners, county staff and others taking part in the debate over the old roadway, and a second meeting on May 18 that at least one county commissioner hopes will be the last time the county has to deal with this issue. “I’m tired of this, and I don’t want it coming back before us again in a year or two,” said Commissioner Mike Samson at a meeting about the road dispute on May 4 in Glenwood Springs. At that meeting, the commissioners heard nearly two and a half hours of testimony from different quarters in the dispute, including representatives of the school interested in limiting public travel on the right of way as much as possible, neighbors from the unincorporated neighborhood of Satank to the north and others, who are just as interested in keeping the right-of-way open to use by as many members of the public as want to use it. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Getting relief supplies to earthquake epicenter

    POKHARA, Nepal — We gathered on April 29 at the Blue Sky Paragliding company headquarters in Pokhara, Nepal to load four Jeeps with relief supplies and get organized. We loaded 120 kilograms of rice, 25 liters of fuel, 10 tarps, 10 blankets 15 boxes of water, shovels and picks in our truck and more in the other three. We worked with Karma Flights because they had already established a relay distribution station to make sure supplies got into the right hands. The paragliding companies have all leapt in to help. Our group of Nepalese, French, Canadian, British and Americans hit the road feeling optimistic and slightly apprehensive as roads are bad and it’s raining. We began to fishtail, something wrong with the steering. A quick roadside fix put us back on the highway. In Mugline we bought more blankets. The traffic was thick; everyone drove too fast. As we crested a small hill the gears would not engage. I jumped out and saw the back right wheel was sticking out 1.5 feet, just barely on the truck. A few small cars passed us, but the big busses and trucks could not. A mechanic arrived in two minutes, and in 15 minutes the new part was installed, the wheel back on. During this time an angry German film crew criticized us on our poor choice of places to break down. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Smithy turns 40, Chris and Terry Chacos look back

    A very special lunchtime was approaching on Tuesday, May 5 at the Village Smithy restaurant in Carbondale — it was precisely 40 years earlier that restaurant founders Chris and Terry Chacos had first opened the doors of what was arguably to become the most popular eatery in town. Serving breakfast and lunch (“Dinner was too complicated,” Chris Chacos noted that day) the Smithy, as it is known, has become almost the automatic choice for locals looking for good food and a place to encounter friends and neighbors. It also has been what politicians now like to call “a job-creator,” offering employment to a broad swath of local residents in a town that, in the mid 1970s, had a population of roughly 1,000 people. During its years of operation, Terry, who is 72, estimated that the restaurant has employed about 400 people, an estimate that Chris, who turns 82 next week, neither debated nor doubted. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    County Halts CRMS construction project

    On Wednesday, April 29, Garfield County posted a "Stop Work" notice, halting CRMS' sign-building project at the south end of the CR 106 public right-of-way. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    GarCo commissioners continue CRMS road discussions

    A road-related dispute between Colorado Rocky Mountain School and its neighbors to the north, in the unincorporated community of Satank, apparently will play out at a meeting of the Garfield Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) on May 4 in Glenwood Springs. And one outcome of that meeting could be whether the school will be forced to undo some of its recent moves involving a historic road that bisects the campus property. At issue is a series of actions taken by the school that critics say have affected the public right-of-way of County Road 106 through the CRMS campus, which is located to the west of town where West Main Street turns into CR106. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Earthquake spares Pokhara, other areas not so lucky

    POKHARA, Nepal — On April 25, 2015, I was with Lakpa, one of the two men who flew off Mount Everest and co-starred in the documentary “Hanuman Airlines.” We were sitting in the Himalayan Encounters garden in Pokhara, Nepal, talking about the next film we would make about his descent of the Ganges River to the sea by kayak. Within a minute of sitting down the rumbling began, a thunder that seemed to come from the earth and all around. After 10 seconds it didn’t stop and I remembered to turn my camera on. A hundred barking dogs and cows moaning, the distant screams of girls carried over the rumbling of the earth added to the cacophony unfolding. My second thought was “It’s not stopping!” read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    North Face weed spraying continues despite protests

    Carbondale’s elected leaders came close to reversing themselves Tuesday night, regarding an herbicide-spraying program at the North Face Bike Park that upset several area residents when it was revealed to the public earlier in April. But a 3-3 tie vote (Mayor Stacy Bernot was absent) put an end to an appeal from residents to hold fast to the town’s long-standing policy against the use of toxic chemicals on town property. Trustees Allyn Harvey, Pam Zentmyer and Frosty Merriott voted against a motion to stop the herbicide program, while trustees A.J. Hobbs, Katrina Byars and John Hoffmann voted in favor of holding off on the herbicides while the town investigated its options. The issue arose during the public-comments section of the trustees’ April 28 meeting, which is when anyone who wants to talk with the trustees, but is not there for a scheduled agenda item, can take a few minutes of the board’s time. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    5Point rolls in April 23-26

    The eighth annual 5Point Film Festival takes over Carbondale once again on April 23-26, with: more than 35 special guests, more than 45 short adventure films spread over six programs, 12 free participation activities, four free community parties and the ever-popular Van Life Rally. 5Point’s five guiding principles are: Respect (For each other, the environment, for the experience and the knowledge we inherit from those who inspire and teach us); Commitment (To overcome fear and give ourselves completely to the challenge at hand while leading a vital existence and never allowing ourselves to become complacent); Humility (To assume the courage and the discipline to listen to our intuition and not our egos, always mindful of our place in the natural order); Purpose (To muster the motivation and conviction necessary to pursue our highest aspirations in the face of adversity); Balance (To maintain our focus and energy in life, in nature and on the journeys we undertake while things we cannot control shift around us). read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Library fireplace fuels heated debate

    Officials with the Garfield County Libraries District want to install a gas fireplace in the relatively new Carbondale Branch Library, but some people in Carbondale think a gas fireplace is a bad idea that sends the wrong message about the town’s energy priorities. The issue gained public prominence on April 14, during a discussion at the Carbondale Board of Trustees meeting between the trustees and library board member Bill Lamont, about an issue not related to the fireplace. During the discussion, Trustee Pam Zentmyer brought up the fireplace project, which is scheduled for review at the May 7 meeting of the library district’s board of directors in Parachute. read more →