Archive

  • 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 →
  • Sections: News Published

    Smithy turns 40, Chris and Terry Chacos look back

    A very special lunchtime was approaching on Tuesday, May 5 at the Village Smithy restaurant in Carbondale — it was precisely 40 years earlier that restaurant founders Chris and Terry Chacos had first opened the doors of what was arguably to become the most popular eatery in town. Serving breakfast and lunch (“Dinner was too complicated,” Chris Chacos noted that day) the Smithy, as it is known, has become almost the automatic choice for locals looking for good food and a place to encounter friends and neighbors. It also has been what politicians now like to call “a job-creator,” offering employment to a broad swath of local residents in a town that, in the mid 1970s, had a population of roughly 1,000 people. During its years of operation, Terry, who is 72, estimated that the restaurant has employed about 400 people, an estimate that Chris, who turns 82 next week, neither debated nor doubted. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    County Halts CRMS construction project

    On Wednesday, April 29, Garfield County posted a "Stop Work" notice, halting CRMS' sign-building project at the south end of the CR 106 public right-of-way. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    GarCo commissioners continue CRMS road discussions

    A road-related dispute between Colorado Rocky Mountain School and its neighbors to the north, in the unincorporated community of Satank, apparently will play out at a meeting of the Garfield Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) on May 4 in Glenwood Springs. And one outcome of that meeting could be whether the school will be forced to undo some of its recent moves involving a historic road that bisects the campus property. At issue is a series of actions taken by the school that critics say have affected the public right-of-way of County Road 106 through the CRMS campus, which is located to the west of town where West Main Street turns into CR106. read more →
  • Sections: News Published

    Earthquake spares Pokhara, other areas not so lucky

    POKHARA, Nepal — On April 25, 2015, I was with Lakpa, one of the two men who flew off Mount Everest and co-starred in the documentary “Hanuman Airlines.” We were sitting in the Himalayan Encounters garden in Pokhara, Nepal, talking about the next film we would make about his descent of the Ganges River to the sea by kayak. Within a minute of sitting down the rumbling began, a thunder that seemed to come from the earth and all around. After 10 seconds it didn’t stop and I remembered to turn my camera on. A hundred barking dogs and cows moaning, the distant screams of girls carried over the rumbling of the earth added to the cacophony unfolding. My second thought was “It’s not stopping!” read more →