Carbondale's community supported, weekly newspaper


  • Locations: News Published

    RFCC presents noted opera singer Nov. 6

    The Roaring Fork Cultural Council presents noted opera singer Sue Patchell at Thunder River Theatre on Nov. 6. She will be accompanied by pianist Franz Vote. The performance starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 at (click on RFCC). Patchell will begin the evening by speaking about the state of opera in the United States. The program will include several arias, which she will introduce with information about the composers and specific operas. read more →
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  • Locations: News Published

    Critics question need for fire district vote this year

    As voters in the Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District cast their mail-in ballots regarding a two-year tax hike sought by the fire district, there remain some questions about why the district chose to seek a tax hike this year instead of some time in the future. In commentaries sent to local newspapers and in discussion groups on the Internet, some have argued that the district is moving too quickly with the tax increase question on the Nov. 3 ballot. The district’s board of directors, the fire department management and the voters, according to critics, have not spent enough time analyzing a recently released 10-year fire district master plan to adequately explain to voters why the tax hike should be approved. Fire district officials, however, have consistently maintained that the tax hike is a necessary “stop-gap measure” to provide needed funding for equipment, training and personnel, and to allow the district to provide services without further dipping into the district’s diminishing cash reserves. read more →
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  • Locations: News Published

    RFSD explains security plans

    Here’s something that WILL NOT happen regardless of the outcome of the $122 million Roaring Fork School District bond issue election on Nov. 3. The school district will not be installing airport-type security, or other electronic security devices, at school entrances. That’s what Roaring Fork School District Chief Operating Officer Jeff Gatlin tells The Sopris Sun. Several “safety and security” improvements are listed on the school district’s fact sheets (, as well as the categories “learning environments,” “facility condition improvements” and “energy efficiency upgrades.” Big-ticket items in the proposed bond issue are: $34.4 million for a new pre-kindergarten-through-eighth-grade school between Glenwood Springs and Carbondale at Eastbank; $31.6 million to modernize and upgrade middle schools in Carbondale, Glenwood Springs and Basalt; $20 million for a Glenwood Springs Elementary School remodel to create a single, interconnected school (the district received a $9.1 BEST grant that it must use it or lose it); and $15 million for RFSD employee rental housing. read more →
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  • Locations: News Published

    Carbondale trustees OK staying with TRIDENT in 2016

    Carbondale police will continue to be part of the Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team (TRIDENT) for at least the next year, following a presentation by Police Chief Gene Schilling at a work session on Tuesday evening that convinced a skeptical trustee that it was a worthwhile program for the local cops. Trustee Allyn Harvey, in preparing for Tuesday’s discussion of the police department’s proposed 2016 budget, had pointedly asked Schilling to prepare documents showing Carbondale’s involvement in TRIDENT, and what the results of that involvement have been. Schilling’s statistics showed that TRIDENT, from January through September of this year, made 81 arrests, mostly in Rifle and Glenwood Springs, with one arrest in Carbondale. During the same period, according to the data, TRIDENT went to bat on 34 cases, again mostly in Rifle and Glenwood Springs, with only one originating in Carbondale. read more →
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  • Locations: News Published

    Carbondale native takes to the air, brings folks along

    A Carbondale native, and fifth-generation scion of the Sewell ranching family, is hoping to make his mark on the Roaring Fork Valley from above — specifically, from the pilot’s seat in a helicopter taking leaf-peepers, search-and-rescue personnel, real-estate buyers, environmentalists and other interested parties on rides that give a new meaning to the concept of “high altitude touring.” Alex Sewell, 32, and his business, Alpine Aviation, are now up and running with a relatively small, four-seater helicopter called a Robinson R44, operating out of the Glenwood Springs Municipal Airport under the motto, “Helicopter Tours For Business Or Pleasure.” read more →
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    Staff submits $6.2 million budget for 2016

    Town officials are honing in on the final preparations for Carbondale’s proposed 2016 budget, which calls for expenditures of slightly more than $6.2 million in the general fund, which covers the town’s day-to-day operating expenses. At a budget hearing on Tuesday, Finance Director Renae Gustine laid out a general-fund plan divided up between several departments, with roughly 65 percent of the money going for personnel costs. Overall, according to a chart included with the documents provided to the trustees, the general fund’s proposed $6.2 million is only slightly below the total estimated expenditures for 2015, which are expected to come in at $6.3 million once the current budget year is closed out. read more →
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  • Locations: News Published

    Carbondale Fire District’s current budget issues date to ‘04

    There are only about three weeks left before the Nov. 3 election, and ballots were scheduled to be mailed out this week to voters in general, including those who will decide the fate of a tax hike requested by the Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District. And although the management of the district remains concerned about the impending election, Fire Chief Ron Leach said he is determined to avoid feeling one way or another about passage of a proposed two-year tax increase that would boost the district lagging revenues enough to keep the district operating somewhat normally for the time being. “I’m not optimistic or pessimistic,” Leach told The Sopris Sun this week. “I’m just trying to do my job and let the political process take its course.” read more →
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  • Locations: News Published

    Element by Westin now accepting reservations

    The Element hotel in Willits Town Center is set to open in early December and is now accepting holiday and 2016 reservations, according to a press release. Hotel owners, Denver-based Silverwest Hotels, LLC, have also welcomed hotel and resort management executive Michael Welly as the new general manager. Welly most recently worked for Cairn Consulting as president, offering evaluations and advice regarding hotel and resort operations, staff performance, annual business plans, capital plans and project management. read more →
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  • Locations: News Published

    Cat committee reaches compromise, trustees next

    Carbondale's cat controversy appears to be nearing resolution, after members of a committee appointed by the Board of Trustees agreed last week to a series of compromise recommendations to send to the BOT. The recommendations, according to committee member Mary Harris, call for refinements and revisions to the town's existing “nuisance cat” ordinance, which has been on the books for decades but not generally known to town officials or citizens. The trustees, as a group, may get their first, formal looks at the recommendations at the board's regular meeting on Oct. 13, according to Town Clerk Cathy Derby. read more →
  • Locations: News Published

    Local trio releases film critical of gas drilling

    A locally-produced film about oil and gas drilling, hydraulic fracturing, and the use of water in those industrial enterprises will be shown on Oct. 14 in the Calaway Room at the Third Street Center in Carbondale. Carbondale-based film makers Hamilton Pevec and Austin Lottimer, with their partner and co-producer Aaron Milton of Glenwood Springs, have come up with a film that they believe tells the inside and underside story of water use in the booming natural gas industry in Garfield County and the West in general, entitled “Before The Last Drop.” Pevec, who also has been working to bring relief and help to victims of last April’s earthquake in Nepal (he has a Nepali wife, Devika, who is due to give birth to their baby next April), told The Sopris Sun recently that he first heard about the issue of water use in the natural gas industry from Milton in 2012, shortly after Milton had quit a six-month job in the industry. read more →