Carbondale's community supported, weekly newspaper


  • Sections: News Published

    Libraries look to Boulder for first-ever gun policy

    The idea of carrying guns into a public library may not be at the top of local readers’ list of things to do, but the possibilities underlying that idea will be on the agenda of the Garfield County Library board when it meets on Feb. 5 in Carbondale, according to the library district’s director, Amelia Shelley. According to Library Board of Directors at-large member Bill Lamont of Carbondale, the issue was discussed at a board meeting last week, and Shelley was directed to write up a proposed policy statement much like the one adopted by the Boulder Public Library Commission in 2012. Prior to that adoption, the Boulder library prohibited the possession of guns in the library facilities except for library security officers and police. The library board in Boulder, according to an account in the Boulder Daily Camera newspaper, adopted a new policy that simply states, “No person may bring or possess a weapon, except as expressly permitted by state law.” State law, Shelley told The Sopris Sun, does allow holders of concealed-carry permits to possess guns in many public places, including libraries. According to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, 2,619 concealed-carry permits have been issued in Garfield County since carrying concealed weapons became legal in Colorado in 2003. Of that number, 1,507 are active, 267 have expired and 792 are open for renewal, the sheriff’s office reported this week. read more →
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  • Sections: News Published

    CRES principal resigns, EL decision put on hold

    Heather Cremeans, principal of Crystal River Elementary School, announced her decision to resign at the end of the current school year. In a letter to sent to community members last Friday, Superintendent Diana Sirko and Chief Academic Officer Rob Stein stated, “We are thankful for Heather’s hard work and dedication to our students during her two years as principal and we wish her all the best in her transition to new opportunities. As Heather has expressed her intentions to finish the year strong, we still have plenty of time to plan for celebrations and goodbyes.” Cremeans began her tenure as principal of CRES in the fall of 2013. In an e-mail, she told The Sopris Sun “I am excited about the RFSD Strategic plan and look forward to CRES bringing it to fruition. I appreciate the staff and parents who have supported my efforts to make CRES the best it can be.” read more →
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  • Sections: News Published

    Town nails CDOT for removing school zone signs

    Carbondale officials, angered and dismayed over potential hazards to school kids walking across Highway 133, on Tuesday convinced the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to reinstall “school zones” signs and flashing beacons near the intersections of Highway 133 and two major cross streets near schools, at least for now. But the state agency will take another look at the issue come spring, and may take them down again unless it feels the signs and beacons are warranted by potential for accidents involving children crossing the highway, said Town Manager Jay Harrington. The signs and flashing lights cautioned motorists to slow down from 40 miles per hour, the speed limit just north of the zone, to 25 MPH along the stretch of highway from just south of Hendrick Drive to the intersection at Snowmass Drive, an area close to several schools and regularly crossed by numerous school-aged children. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Rep. Bob Rankin pushing two bills in legislative session

    Fresh from his re-election victory last November, and set to dive into the 70th session of the Colorado General Assembly this week, Colorado Rep. Bob Rankin (R-Carbondale) already had been hard at work for more than two months in his new role as a member of the bi-partisan Joint Budget Committee (JBC), which oversees the state’s $26.9 billion annual budget. “It’s really good to have a person from the Western Slope on that committee,” Rankin told The Sopris Sun during an interview on Jan. 3 in Carbondale, explaining that while he is the sole Western Slope member on the JBC, his position give him the chance to “ask questions about things that might affect us over here,” issues that might not be raised or addressed by representatives from districts in eastern Colorado. Rankin, 72, says of himself on his Facebook page, “I am a constitutional and fiscal conservative who believes in limited government, less regulation and support of free market capitalism.” His district includes Garfield, Rio Blanco and Moffat counties in northwest Colorado. read more →
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  • Sections: News Published

    Some RFTA riders riled over crowded 133 lot

    Area bus riders might be forgiven for being a little upset at the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority about the availability of parking spaces at the Carbondale Park & Ride lot, acknowledged the transit agency’s CEO Dan Blankenship recently. But, he promised, things will improve in the spring or summer. “We’re in the height of the busy season right now, and the lot’s overflowing,” said Blankenship in an interview in late December. But RFTA planners had been working on a solution, including the purchase of a lot next to the Park & Ride at a cost of $425,000 and making plans to expand the parking lot, plans that he had hoped would come to fruition before the end of 2014. But, he said, the agency got a nasty surprise when construction estimates for another Park & Ride expansion project in New Castle came in last fall at more than twice the $500,000 estimate. At that point, he said, he and his board were worried that RFTA was at the mercy of contractors who already had plenty of work, and who were putting high-premium prices in their estimates for anyone trying to get more work out of them. read more →
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  • Sections: News Published

    New group promoting “middle-income” senior housing

    An ad-hoc group of Carbondale-area residents is hoping to convince a developer to build a new, “middle-income” senior housing center in the Carbondale area, as a way of helping senior citizens to stay in the Roaring Fork Valley rather than being forced to move away in their old age. A development partner is talking with the group, but a representative told The Sopris Sun this week that the idea is too preliminary to be discussed in any detail, although a potential site is under contract and the company is starting to interview architects for the project. The representative declined to comment for the record about the project or the development company that is considering it. The group has been dubbed the “Senior Coalition to Determine and Address Senior Housing Needs in the Roaring Fork Valley,” although it is known simply as The Coalition among its advocates. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Celebrating a great 2014, thanks to all of you!

    As another year wanes and The Sopris Sun approaches its sixth birthday, the board would like to thank our donors, advertisers, contributors and readers for your continued support. As a non-profit, local newspaper, we constantly strive to better connect our community and provide information valuable to Carbondale’s diverse population. With those ideals in mind, we certainly have had a year worth celebrating. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Ice, snow update tops weekly report

    Ice and snow, and continuing unseasonably warm temperatures, were the leading issues in Town Manager Jay Harrington’s Dec. 26 memo to the town’s employees, board of trustees and other recipients. “The streets and parks crews have been dealing with snow and ice issues from the last storm,” Harrington reported, detailing the use of “scoria … a product obtained from volcanic ash [and] an inert substance that does not contain silica or other harmful substances” to provide traction for motorists at intersections. Concerning ice, Harrington wrote that the town’s two ice rinks remained closed last week, due to the warm temperatures and to the blanket of snow that fell around Christmas time. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Carbondale’s Creative District gets boost after Pryor visit

    The process of getting Carbondale certified as its own Creative District got a boost last week with a visit from Wendell Pryor, a consultant from Chaffee County who has been hired to assist the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities in the three-year certification process. Pryor, who also is the director of the Chaffee County Economic Development Corporation and is listed as a lecturer at the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School of Public Affairs as well as at Colorado Mountain College, is being paid by the state to help Carbondale through the Creative District process. Meanwhile, said CCAH Executive Director Amy Kimberly, the Carbondale Creative District has $15,000 in grant proceeds and other contributions to kick-start the process in its first year. She said the district has been told to expect another $10,000 in grant money in year two, and a final grant of $15,000 in year three, which is the year that certification is to occur. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Dentists developing near Alpine Bank

    In keeping with Carbondale’s growing reputation as a healthy place to live and work, the town is about to get yet another large medical office facility — a dental office on a now-vacant lot between Heritage Park Care Center and Alpine Bank, near the corner of Village Road and Highway 133. This will be the town’s second new, enlarged medical business, following recent completion of the Roaring Fork Family Physicians of Valley View Hospital facility further south along the highway. The new dental office is being built by Doctors Matt and Taylor Verheul (pronounced ver-heel), and their partner, long-time local dentist Eugene Covello. read more →