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  • 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

    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

    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 →
  • 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 →