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  • 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

    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 →
  • Sections: News Published

    Fire district weighing impact of increased property values

    Property values jumped this year by an average of 25 percent within the boundaries of the sprawling, 320-square mile Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District, according to Garfield County Assessor Jim Yellico, but it is not clear whether the resulting rise in fire district revenues will be enough to avoid a tax-hike ballot question in November. Yellico, who issued notices of assessed valuation more than a week ago, stressed that the new property-value numbers must be viewed as an average, meaning some property values rose more and some less than that average. Plus, Yellico emphasized, the numbers at this point are preliminary, subject to change due to a variety of factors over the coming months — factors that will include challenges to the assessed values assigned to particular residential or commercial properties, and the possibility that errors in the assessor’s data could result in revisions before the final numbers are known in late summer. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Town considers whether smart meters are a dumb idea

    Carbondale may soon join a growing contingent of cities and towns resisting the installation of so-called “smart meters” by utility companies, out of concern that the new-fangled meters might pose health hazards, privacy violations and other problems for residents. For their part, according to a wealth of online reports, utilities are hoping to modernize their distribution of and billing for electricity and natural gas supplies, by creating a metering system that more closely monitors energy use in homes and businesses. The issue arose at Tuesday’s Board of Trustees meeting, when local naturopathic doctor Jody Powell urged the trustees to consider passing a moratorium on the installations. read more →
  • 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 →