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  • Sections: News Published

    Bears still snoozing, watch out in coming week

    Although spring-like weather has blossomed in the Roaring Fork Valley in recent weeks (with momentary revivals of winter’s cold and wet), the annual appearance of bears coming out of hibernation has not yet accompanied the warmer temperatures, according to wildlife officials. Only one bear sighting has been reported so far in this region, said Perry Will, Colorado Parks & Wildlife Manager for Area 8, which covers Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin counties. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Emergency marijuana moratorium ordinance fails 4-2

    There is not yet a moratorium on new cannabis-related businesses in Carbondale, but the town’s Board of Trustees is likely to take another look at the idea in April, as a way of working to alleviate what some have referred to as the town’s “marijuana ghetto” in the neighborhood of Village Road and Buggy Circle. A proposed “emergency moratorium,” proposed by Trustee Allyn Harvey, was on the agenda of a March 16 special meeting of the trustees (after The Sopris Sun went to press), at which the town also gave formal approval to subdivision plans and other details concerning the Carbondale Marketplace project, where a new, larger City Market grocery store is to be built. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Rodeo arena going roofless again this summer

    People sitting in the bleachers at the Gus Darien Riding Arena on Catherine Store Road, gathered to watch the rodeo next summer, will not have a sheltering roof above them, although Carbondale officials had been planning to erect a roof over the bleachers this spring. The project, which is to cost close to $70,000 (and is to include renovation of the announcer’s booth) will take place next fall, after Garfield County put the brakes on approvals for the construction project in order to review a permit application for the project and memorialize the county's understanding of uses for the property. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Carbondale trustee forum packs Calaway Room

    In many regards, Tuesday night’s Board of Trustees candidate forum at the Third Street Center was typical Carbondale: • Just like two years ago, candidate Doc Philip showed up in his chicken hat and clutched a stuffed cat; • Early in the proceedings, 91-year-old Art Ackerman got up and announced that he had to leave for KDNK to do an entire show dedicated to Frank Sinatra; • One audience member chuckled and agreed with this reporter that yes, it might be funny if the night included a dedicated heckler (ala the talent shows from long, long ago); • None of the men wore a coat and tie, or coat, or tie; Patricia Warman sported some dazzling footwear – blue sneakers with pink shoestrings; • The forum was well covered by the local electronic media and press; • And the room was packed with more than 100 residents and presumed voters. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Merriott, Byars spat turns ugly at trustees meeting

    At a meeting on March 9, what seemed to be ongoing enmity between two trustees — Frosty Merriott and Katrina Byars — erupted into a full-fledged argument that prompted Byars to leave the meeting early after indicating she may step down from her position on the Board of Trustees. Merriott, reacting to Byars’ remarks about the need for housing among the town’s poorer residents, suggested that Byars was thinking more of her own needs rather than those of the broader community, and Byars accused Merriott of inappropriately attacking her personally at this meeting and on previous occasions. The exchange boiled over at a point nearly three hours into the four-hour meeting, during a wide-ranging discussion about adopting the recently completed Unified Development Code’s (UDC) and its provisions concerning affordable housing. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Original Town Mothers weigh in on City Market proposal

    The Carbondale Board of Trustees was expected on Wednesday night (after the Sopris Sun’s news deadline for this edition) to give the final approval to the subdivision and other actions granting development rights for the Carbondale Marketplace project. While expected, the moment carries with it a certain amount of political drama, as it was the culmination of more than 16 years of debate, controversy and community turmoil concerning the development site — roughly 24 acres of ground formerly owned by Colorado Rocky Mountain School, to the north and west of the intersection of Main Street and Highway 133. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Carbondale trustee candidates make their pitches

    Last week, The Sopris Sun profiled three Carbondale Board of Trustees candidates: Doc Philip, Dan Richardson and Marty D. Silverstein. We wrap it up with week with Ben Bohmfalk, Michael Durant, Allyn Harvey, Wayne Horak and Patricia Warman. Voters will be filling three seats. The ballots will be mailed out on March 14 and must be returned by 7 p.m. on Election Day, April 5. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    What doesn’t the town have? A capital improvements fund

    Carbondale voters will be asked on Election Day, April 5, to approve a new property tax to pay for capital improvements around town. The proposed tax would assess an additional three mills to all real property within the town limits, which would amount to roughly $119 per year on a house valued at $500,000 by the Garfield County assessor. For commercial properties, the tax hike would amount to about $870 per year on a business valued at $1 million, according to calculations by town officials. According to town officials, the new tax would generate perhaps $425,000 a year or so, which could be used to leverage grants and other sources of income to multiply the ability of the tax to pay for costly improvements. The tax is needed, town officials have decided, in order to create a pool of money for capital improvements, which in the past have been paid for largely by using a combination of money from the town’s general fund and payments from the Federal Mineral Lease Fund (FMLD) maintained by Garfield County, with some other resources. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Mayor logs trips to D.C. on Thompson Divide issues

    Carbondale’s Mayor Stacey Bernot has, for the past couple of years, taken a little time at some meetings of the Board of Trustees to inform the others on the board that she had recently been in Washington, D.C. No, it wasn’t a move to make the trustees jealous of vacation time spent in the nation’s capitol. Instead, the reports were meant to let the trustees, any reporters on hand at the meeting and the viewing public (the meetings are televised) that she had once again gone east to lobby against controversial plans to drill for natural gas in the Thompson Divide area. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Climate Action Excise Tax questions, and answers

    The meat of the Climate Action Excise Tax ballot question that Carbondale residents are voting on starting March 14 is 36 words long and says the money will be used for the “ … purposes of funding programs to increase energy efficiency, to increase renewable energy use, to reduce emissions from motor vehicles, and to take other steps toward the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and address global warming … .” Carbondale residents are being asked to pay on average an extra $7-8 on their monthly natural gas and electricity bills, and about $15-$30 for businesses. Any new tax can be complicated to explain and understand, global warming is plenty complicated to explain and understand, combine them both and there are lots of questions to address. read more →