Stuff by Will Grandbois

  • Sections: News Published

    Leach withdraws contract request during executive session

    Carbondale Fire Chief Ron Leach, who has served for decades without an employment contract at the Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District, recently told the district’s board of directors he wants a contract for his remaining time on the job. But at a special meeting on June 2, after the fire board ran into opposition over its attempt to take Leach’s request behind closed doors, the discussion was moved to the fire board’s next regular meeting, scheduled for June 10. The chair of the fire board, Carbondale Police Chief Gene Schilling, told The Sopris Sun in the wake of the June 2 meeting, “Ron withdrew his request for a contract” after a brief executive session. But, Schilling continued, further discussion will be on the agenda for the June 10 meeting, about the advisability of having a contract in place for the position of chief, which in 2014 carried an annual salary of nearly $115,000. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Here, gone and back again: Lilly comes home

    As western ranches go, it wasn’t grand or impressive, but the location was good. Eight and a half acres carved out of the 52-acre Four Pines Ranch, right on Nettle Creek where it joined the icy blue Crystal River. Mary thought it would do just fine. “It had an apple orchard and two little guest houses, an old house that had been fixed up, and a beautiful old stable,” she remembers. And there was a bonus: “Free water, coming out of the creek through a wooden pipe held together by wire, running right through the property. Well, you know, in the west free water is invaluable!” read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    From Nepal: The caste system and disaster relief

    POKHARA Nepal — It made me feel like a good consumer spending a lot of money on relief supplies, more than $1,000 (U.S.) on tarps alone. One ton of rice plus 330 pounds of potatoes cost $470! Seventy mattresses and 35 yards of foam matting cost $600. We collaborated with a new group, got everything ready to go and booked a truck for 8 a.m. the next morning. By 10:30 a.m. it still hadn’t arrived; then we remembered it was Saturday. The driver told us he would be there, and then he must have remembered he doesn’t work on Saturday but failed to inform us. We took the extra day to do more purchasing, arrange another truck and Jeep, and go to bed early. The truck showed up on time a day late. It took three hours to collect all our supplies from around Pokhara, but once we were on the road, all the usual apprehension burnt off under the scorching sun, a cool 105 degrees. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Trustees running to keep ahead of bear problems

    Chicken coops, back yard fruit trees and bears in an urban setting can be a recipe for trouble, a local wildlife officer told the Carbondale Board of Trustees at a recent meeting, and everything possible should be done to avoid situations where hungry bears invade back yards. That was one of numerous topics discussed at a May 19 work session, where the specific subject at hand was Carbondale’s emergency 2014 “bear-proof trash receptacle” ordinance, passed last September and up for possible modification this summer. The ordinance was seen as a way of forcing local homeowners and businesses to deal with their garbage in a way that prevents bears from getting into the trash and, in some cases, the home, which could result in a bear either being killed or relocated to another part of the Western Slope. Carbondale area wildlife manager John Groves, who spoke at the meeting, said the 2014 ordinance has been “fairly good” at achieving its intended goal. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Town takes ownership of historic Thompson House

    The historic Thompson House located along Highway 133, hereafter to be known as the Thompson House Museum, now belongs to the town and citizens of Carbondale, but it won’t be open to the public until some time next year. The reason, according to officials of the town and the Mount Sopris Historical Society (MSHS), is that the grounds around the museum and the gravel road leading to it will be occupied by a variety of earthmoving and digging machines in the months to come. During that time, developer Frieda Wallison’s contractors will install the utilities and other infrastructure that will serve the new Thompson Park residential subdivision on land surrounding the museum, as well as the equally new Ross Montessori School on an adjacent site. Town Manager Jay Harrington told The Sopris Sun that the infrastructure work probably will not be finished until the fall, perhaps in October. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Trustees vote to fund RFSD anti-drug campaign

    The town of Carbondale has joined forces with the Roaring Fork School District in a campaign to convince teenage students that it is dangerous and inappropriate to drink alcohol or use marijuana and other drugs while their brains are still in the formative stage. But the partnership, forged at a meeting of the town Board of Trustees on Tuesday, did not come together without a little conflict, in the form of heavy criticism of the school district over what one trustee deemed a dereliction of the district’s duty with regard to student mental health issues. The trustees, after considerable debate, agreed on Tuesday to dedicate $20,000 in revenues generated by the legal sale of marijuana in town, to help pay for a special clinician service at area schools, and an outreach campaign aimed both at the community at large and parents with kids in the local schools. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Memorial Day correction

    The American Legion Post 100 Memorial Day ceremony at the cemetery on White Hill takes place at 9 a.m. on May 25, followed by a ceremony at the cemetery on Eighth Street at 9:30 a.m., and a wreath ceremony at the Highway 133 bridge at 10 a.m. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Fishing guide association nets better boat launch

    Drift boats and inflatable rafts slip easily into Roaring Fork River currents just below the Highway 133 bridge during spring and summer months, and into the fall. It’s an often-idyllic scene, with the Roaring Fork’s Gold Medal fishing waters silently pushing the watercraft down stream then out of view. Out of view of other boaters, that is. Other boaters who have been stacked up, waiting and snarling to themselves, because some river users (mostly professionals) are more adept at getting their boats off their trailers and into the water than others. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    CR106 access issue looks to be heading for a compromise

    If all goes according to plan, the controversy over use of the old Garfield County Road 106 as it passes through the Colorado Rocky Mountain School (CRMS) will soon be a thing of the past. But that outcome depends on the deliberations of a working group set up by the Garfield County Board of County Commissioners, at a meeting on May 18 at which representatives of the school, neighboring parts of the county and county staffers gave another round of testimony about an issue that goes back more than 35 years. “I think there’s a lot of common ground between the two parties,” said Commissioner Mike Samson at the meeting, after the school made the first conciliatory gesture in acceding to a proposal that the right-of-way become a marked, designated trail for pedestrians, bicyclists and equestrians. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Mary Lilly: Memoirs of a Carbondale grande dame

    I recently asked Mary Lilly to tell me about the first time she ever laid eyes on Carbondale, and was rewarded with the “look” that anyone who knows her would have recognized: eyebrows slightly raised over bright grey-green eyes, soft but quizzical grin, and a gentle tip of her head, all clearly suggesting that I was asking the wrong question altogether. “Really?” she replied with some amusement. “But that’s in the middle of the story! I’d better start at the beginning. We started out in California in 1936, and were interested in skiing in the mountains … .” read more →