Carbondale's community supported, weekly newspaper


  • Sections: News Published

    Wilderness Workshop eyes “next phase” in its evolution

    The Carbondale-based Wilderness Workshop organization, founded some 48 years ago, is heading in new directions, as indicated by Executive Director Sloan Shoemaker in a recent press release about a change in the organization’s relatively small staff and a conversation with The Sopris Sun. The press release concerned the recent hiring of Lindsey Palardy as the organization’s public information officer and lead fundraiser, replacing long-time employee Dave Reed, who left recently to become executive director at the Western Colorado Congress in Grand Junction. Palardy, who holds a master’s degree in environmental studies, a degree in environmental law and most recently was a fund-raiser for the Aspen Youth Center, will “help launch us into the next phase or our evolution, wherever that may take us,” Shoemaker predicted in the press release. But exactly what that “next phase” will entail is not entirely clear, Shoemaker and other Wilderness Workshop officials told The Sopris Sun in a recent interview. “If we track the arc of Wilderness Workshop’s evolution,” said Shoemaker, “we’ve come a long way from an all-volunteer organization that focused on local wilderness … to an organization that isn’t solely focused on wilderness anymore and has a professional staff.” read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Cocina del Valle: New co-op caters to all markets

    A dozen Hispanic families, most of them from Carbondale, have banded together to form Cocina del Valle, or Kitchen of the Valley, which has been cooking up a storm of mostly Mexican dishes and catering to a growing clientele of area organizations and individuals. Family members do the cooking, serve the food at events, and handle the catering and delivery duties. Cocina del Valle, which was started with the help of the Manaus Fund’s Valley Settlement Project in the Third Street Center [TSC] in Carbondale, was hoping for a kitchen space located in the TSC as well. But after months of trying and failing to reach an agreement for a kitchen facility in the TSC, Cocina del Valle is about to move into a space on Two Rivers Road in Basalt, formerly occupied by the now-defunct Eurasia restaurant, according to Carbondale philanthropist and entrepreneur George Stranahan, founder of the Manaus Fund and principle of the Valley Settlement Project. Once it is open, some time this spring, the Cocina del Valle will function as a sit-down restaurant and a catering business, with take-out available, said Stranahan, who negotiated a lease agreement with the Basalt landlord this week. read more →
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  • Sections: News Published

    Dandelion Day could wither without new blood

    The Carbondale community appears to be the only one in the U.S. that has named the dandelion as its town flower, according to a quick search of the Internet in search of other such locales. But Carbondale’s unique place in history, as far as dandelions and civic pride are concerned, may be in trouble if the organizers do not get a little help in staging the annual Dandelion Day, which this year is to take place on May 8-10 in Sopris Park and other venues. The Dandelion Day planning committee recently issued an appeal to the town’s Environmental Board (or E-Board, as it is commonly known) seeking greater support and participation from E-Board members, or at least ideas about where to find additional personnel to help put on the popular event. Efforts to contact E-Board members for this story were not successful. read more →
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  • Sections: News Published

    Murder suspect booked in GarCo Jail

    Murder suspect Arturo Navarrete-Portillo, 46, was released from a Grand Junction Hospital on March 4 and taken to Garfield County Jail, according to a press release from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Navarrete-Portillo was transferred from Valley View Hospital to an unidentified Grand Junction hospital on Feb. 16, after he was involved in an automobile accident on Highway 133 and later told law enforcement officers he had killed his wife, Maria Carminda Portillo-Amaya, 30, earlier in the day. Navarrete-Portillo appeared before a Garfield County district judge for advisement at 3:30 p.m. on March 4 and is being held without bond. read more →
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  • Sections: News Published

    Fire board considers master plan framework

    The elected leaders of the Carbondale fire district, at a meeting on Feb. 11, laid out a framework for updating the district’s decade-old master plan, including how to engage the public in coming up with ideas for rescuing the district from its ongoing financial difficulties. The district recently hired two consulting firms — Mark Chain Consulting LLC of Carbondale and the Almont Associates firm of Port Orange, Fla. — to divide between them the chores linked with the master planning effort, at a total cost of nearly $87,000. The two firms are splitting the contract for the master planning effort, with just over $53,000 going to the Chain group and nearly $34,000 to the Almont firm. The master plan project is an outgrowth of a 2013 tax hike election, in which voters rejected the district’s request for additional tax revenues to overcome losses of revenues due to the effects of the recent national recession. District officials have warned taxpayers that the district is facing serious fiscal problems and must find ways to boost its revenues or be faced with cutting the quantity and quality of services provided to district residents. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Man arrested after stabbing on Cooper Place

    Carbondale police reported on Tuesday that a dead woman was found in an apartment building on Cooper Place on Feb. 16, after a man involved in a car wreck on Highway 133 told police he had killed his wife in that apartment building. Police were not releasing the name of the victim, or of the alleged killer, as of shortly after 11 a.m. on Tuesday, pending notification of the victim’s family and the issuance of an arrest warrant for the suspect. An autopsy confirmed that the woman died of multiple wounds from a sharp object, and that the case formally is considered a homicide. This reportedly is the first homicide case in Carbondale since 2003, when Jessie Brooks was tried and convicted for the accidental shooting death of his friend, Bobby Rogers, according to news stories published at the time. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Spoken word artists return to Roaring Fork Valley

    For the third year in a row, Aspen Words (formerly known as the Aspen Writers’ Foundation) has brought acclaimed bilingual spoken word teaching artists to work with students in Roaring Fork Valley middle and high schools. From Feb.17-27, this year’s trio of poets is fanning out across the Roaring Fork Valley, encouraging and inspiring young people in 16 schools to find their voices and express their feelings through poetry. In Carbondale, they will lead assemblies and bilingual workshops for students from Roaring Fork High School, Bridges High School, Carbondale Middle School, Carbondale Community School, Colorado Rocky Mountain School and Ross Montessori School. Valley-wide, they will reach over 3,000 seventh through 12th graders in just nine days, according to a press release. This is visit number three for Myrlin “Myrlindo” Hepworth from Phoenix. He’s joined again this year by poet Logan “Dirty Verbs” Phillips from Tucson — who taught with Hepworth here for two weeks last February and also as a guest of the RE-1 School District in the spring of 2013 — plus first time visitor, award-winning young female poet Mercedez Holtry from Albuquerque. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Carbondale Officially a CO Creative District

    Colorado Creative Industries and the Boetcher Foundation named the Carbondale Creative District as one of five new creative districts around the state read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Carbondale fire district splits master plan contract

    The elected leaders of the Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District on Feb. 5 decided unanimously to split a contract for a new district master plan between two companies, one of which is out of Florida and the other of which is based in Carbondale. According to a statement released by the district, the contract is being divided between Mark Chain Consulting, based in Carbondale and headed by a former member of the fire board, and Almont Associates of Port Orange, Florida, a firm that originated in the small town of Almont, Colorado, near Gunnison. The board had budgeted $90,000 for the master plan contract, and the statement from the district noted “the combined proposal figure is $86,985, within the district’s budgeted amount.” Chain, who was on the fire board until he was defeated in the last board election and initially submitted a bid of $98,500 for the entire master plan job, is to be paid roughly $53,000 for his part of the plan process. Chain’s portion of the planning process is to be largely a matter of “leading the public involvement process, which entails community surveys, community outreach, and website and communication services, along with the financial feasibility process portion of the Master Plan,” according to the district’s statement. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Commission expands historic downtown survey work

    Carbondale officials have begun the process of adding to a five-year-old survey of the historic homes still existing in the downtown area, as part of the Carbondale Historic Preservation Commission’s (CHCP) ongoing work to preserve as much as possible of the town’s architectural legacy. The CHPC this week issued a “request for proposals” from firms interested in updating the 2010 Historic Resource survey, which was conducted by Aspen-based Suzannah Reid, of Reid Architects, Inc. The 2010 survey, which Reid said cost approximately $11,000, identified and catalogued 20 historic homes in town and contains a lively summary of the early history of the Roaring Fork River Valley and Carbondale in particular. Reid also conducted a 2006 survey that identified 29 historic commercial structures. But as of this week, she told The Sopris Sun on Monday, Reid had not applied to take on the proposed survey update. According to CHCP member Ashley Allis, who works for Design Workshop in Aspen, the commission hopes the survey will be at least partly funded by grants from the Colorado Historical Society, which also contributed to the costs of the previous two surveys. Allis confirmed that the proposed survey is “building” on the earlier survey work, and that the commission hopes to add at least 20 historic homes to the 20 that were identified in the 2010 survey. read more →