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Because every town needs a park, a library and a newspaper

Carbondale’s weekly

community connector

Volume 12, Number 49 | Jan. 9-15, 2020


River Valley Ranch hosted a community sledding party on Jan. 3, inviting kids to warm up with hot chocolate and s'mores on the patio between runs on the range. Photo by Jennifer Johnson r rt iste in nce T! Reg to w es co NIGH E am H HER e X-G EAC OR re 2 f ets! F k tic

from now until January 31, 2020.


By Judith Ritschard Even though we’d been going to the same restaurant for years, I hadn’t noticed a little message at the bottom that read: “Today’s menu was made possible by immigrants.” I left a tip for our waiter, signed and exited the restaurant, surprised at my own level of elation to see a small shoutout to the immigrants who are undeniably the backbone of so many businesses in this valley It is just one simple sentence, but the message is clear. It’s a small token of gratitude and really, one that I think is long overdue. I suppose it’s difficult to remain unmoved when I hail from a family of immigrants that does the kind of work that

On Immigrants and our food frankly not many white folks are lining up to do. For a business to recognize the work of immigrants while our current president paints them as dangerous and unworthy — and while hate crimes are up — is a bold move. It’s doubly daring because let’s face it, not every patron of the restaurant cares to see this group of people get kudos for their hard work. Many people out there are against immigration and may not continue to support a business that makes them think of how they are benefiting from the very people that they hold in contempt. Honestly, I’m baffled by how clearly interwoven into our food system immigrants are, but how there continues to be so many myopic Americans who would prefer denial as long as they are getting their creature comforts in a timely, delicious manner. Maybe it’s the saturated fat in their juicy hamburger and fries that bogs down their brains and makes them forget that most likely it was immigrants who were responsible for getting that meal on the table in

LETTERS Consider the source Dear Editor: I wondered why Fred Malo Jr. has such a good opinion of teachers encouraging students to participate in a parade promoting homosexuality [Sopris Sun 1/2/20]. Then I remembered the letter Jr. wrote to the Post Independent on 1/5/18 — the one where he avowed St. Paul to be gay and a pedophile. It might be a good idea to take what Jr. opines about any sexual matters with a grain or two of salt. Just saying. Bruno Kirchenwitz Rifle

Hard days night Dear Editor: Out well before dawn Make the most of every day Dusk comes much too soon JM Jesse Glenwood Springs

Another meditation group Dear Editor: I was surprised when I read the Jan. 2 article about Carbondale meditation groups and there was no mention of the group that I’ve been attending most Monday nights for the past two years. Roaring Fork Insight, led by Lisa Goddard has been meeting weekly for the past four years at Roaring Fork Aikikai (2553 Dolores Way). Meditators gather every Monday evening at 7:15 for a 30 minute silent meditation followed by a dharma talk in the Theravada Buddhist tradition led by Lisa. Please let your readers know. Patrick Morrissy Carbondale


Todd Chamberlin's name was misspelled in last week's article on Town boards.

some manner or another. Our food system - from the farmers planting the seeds to men and women (and even children) picking the produce, to the delivery truck drivers to the cooks and the dishwashers, simply could not function without the involvement of immigrant labor. Let me add that all immigrants, regardless of legal status, contribute to the American economy. The 11 million or so undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. today contribute over $11 billion in state and local taxes. The Social Security Administration estimates that unauthorized immigrants contribute $13 billion in payroll taxes annually, which only serves to strengthen the Social Security system. Furthermore, this type of small recognition is more than just a shoutout. I see it as an attempt to add awareness. Maybe a small way to replace animosity where there should be more gratitude instead. And how cool would it be if more local business followed suit? What if we saw more signs that read things like, “the cleanliness

Tips for winter driving in Colorado By The Gazette Don’t be a peephole driver when the snow flies or windshields freeze with moisture. During frequent cold snaps this time of year throughout Colorado and most of the rest of the country, stretching all the way through spring, drivers need to schedule extra time before driving away in cars that have not been garaged. Each driver needs to clear the entire windshield and all other glass essential to the safe operation of any motor vehicle. The vehicle’s windshield defroster should be blowing heat before the car moves. A warm windshield avoids sudden inside or outside frosting. Those who cannot keep their windshields clear, for whatever reason, should pull over, park in a safe location and stay put until the problem can be solved. This seems like common sense, but nearly every cold morning we see drivers trying to see through obstructed windshields and side windows. Law enforcement too often finds windows obstructed by snow and/or ice when they respond to crashes. Just last week our community saw the tragic result of a young driver who reportedly tried to skimp on windshield scraping. His Dodge truck hit a pedestrian crossing the street in Colorado Springs early in the morning. Police say the driver operated the truck with a windshield frosted over with ice. They claim the driver tried to navigate by peering through a small

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of this hotel is maintained largely by immigrant workers.” Or, “these homes were built in large part with the help of immigrant labor.” Would there be less resentment towards immigrants? I think it could help. In all the years I’ve lived and worked in this valley, I have never noticed a business give such a visible acknowledgment to a population that is constantly criticized in the media, has been at the core of a national debate for decades and, in my opinion, is largely underappreciated. I challenge more business out there follow in these footsteps. If you appreciate the immigrants who are there for you and your business every day, say so. Help connect the dots in people’s minds during this era where people just like my familia are so often the brunt of often unfair criticism and blatant hatred. Help remind all of us during this season of giving and gratitude that immigrants have historically played an important role in the building of the United States, and they continue to give so much of themselves today. The views expressed in opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect those of The Sopris Sun. The community is invited to submit letters up to 500 words to Longer columns are considered on a case-by-case basis. The deadline for submission is noon on Monday.

patch cleared off near the driver’s side. The pedestrian sustained lifethreatening injuries; police charged the driver with careless driving resulting in injury. All pedestrians and people in cars deserve common-sense safety precautions by all others on the road. One person’s failure to plan should not cost another person’s life or well-being. Driving a vehicle without the benefit of full vision turns tons of steel into a dangerous weapon. And no, it is not anyone’s right to take this risk. We have laws that require all occupants of vehicles to wear seatbelts. We have a large variety of laws intended to improve the safety of drivers, their passengers and others on the road. These laws are part of maintaining a civilized society. Local and state politicians should assess laws regulating windshield obstruction and ensure they are tough enough to deter this common and dangerous shortcut. Too many drivers clearly believe the reward of saving time by making do with peepholes is worth the savings in time and exposure to the cold. The conscious decision to drive with a window obstructed by snow or ice should be a serious infraction. When the weather is cold, don’t be a peephole menace. Warm the defroster, scrape the windshield and keep it clear. Saving a few minutes should never involve risking human lives.

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Donate online or by mail. P.O. Box 399 Carbondale, CO 81623 520 S. Third Street #32 970-510-3003 Editor Will Grandbois • 970-510-0540 Advertising: Todd Chamberlin • 970-510-0246 Graphic Designer: Ylice Golden Reporter: Roberta McGowan Delivery: Tom Sands Current Board Members Marilyn Murphy, President Raleigh Burleigh, Vice President Linda Criswell, Secretary Klaus Kocher, Treasurer John Colson • Kay Clarke • Carol Craven Megan Tackett • Gayle Wells The Sopris Sun Board meets at 6:30 p.m on second Mondays at the Third Street Center. Contact to reach them.

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Locals unite to ease school lunch debts By Roberta McGowan Sopris Sun Staff ‘They’re just little kids,” said Patrice Fuller, owner of Beer Works, who along with Carbondalian April Spaulding spearheaded a fundraising campaign to pay off students’ lunch debts at the Carbondale Middle School. Fuller and Spaulding recently delivered a check for the $4,300 donated so far to the Roaring Fork School District Food Service Director Michelle Hammond. Fuller clarified that $3,011 of the total paid off all middle school lunch debts, and the remaining money will be used for future food debts. “People just kept coming in with small and large donations,” Fuller smiled, adding, “People were shocked that this problem exists in town and were eager to help out.” Hammond reported that 41 percent of the middle school children qualified for district assistance. But how did this community effort get started? Fuller recalled chatting with a relative who runs a lunch room in another state. “I learned this problem was quite prevalent in schools around the country.” She then discussed this with Spaulding, who both know of families with financial problems. Spaulding remembered, “Kids can have what is now called food insecurity.” The other issue kids then faced was “lunch shaming” and the stigma that followed. The American Bar Association explained this phrase refers to the overt identification and

The paper you are holding costs us

stigmatization of any student who does not have money to buy a school meal. Most school districts including Colorado have banned this practice. Hammond pointed to the current district policies — which can be found a under the meal policy section. The 32-member Nutrition Service Team works hard to uphold the department's motto: "Nutrition is our Mission." The department's 11 busy kitchens serve over 2,400 meals daily at 13 district locations and features a regular rotation of meals that include student favorites like chicken enchiladas and pizza. The Nutrition Service Department of Roaring Fork School District is a part of the National School Lunch Program and complies with USDA program regulations and mandates. The department supports student achievement by not only offering nutritious meals, but also by promoting overall wellness through breakfast programs, and nutrition education opportunities and by connecting students to their food through Farm to School and School Garden programs. The district has free and reduced meal applications available in English or Spanish at all school offices and kitchens. Applications are also available at the Nutrition Office located at 1405 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs. For more information, contact the bilingual free and reduced coordinator Silvia Barragan at or call 384-6016. One statewide nonprofit, Hunger Free Colorado, has been around since 2009. Its

goal is to connect families and individuals to food resources and fuels changes in systems, policies and social views, so no Coloradan goes hungry. In addition, Chalkbeat Colorado, a new nonprofit organization covering public education, reported that the state plans to spend $2.2 million on lunch subsidies this school year. Expanding the program to high school students would cost an additional $464,000, with that money going into food service budgets. So, with all these revised policies, why is there a need for private fundraising? Just imagine this scenario: a family has serious woes making ends meet, but the total income exceeds the requirement for free or reduced meal prices. Yet, to pay for school lunches puts a severe strain on the family’s ability to pay other critical bills, like housing. The students and their families in this or similar situations, Hammond said, can fall through the cracks, and the result could be no food at lunch. Hammond emphasized that all district students get the same lunch through eighth grade even if they don’t qualify for free or reduced price. “We’ve never denied a meal,” she noted. Now that more people are aware of this ongoing concern, Fuller and Spaulding confirmed they will hold additional fundraisers. Fuller, who has owned the Beer Works for over three years, and Spaulding have worked together to host other community needs projects, Fuller said “I’m fortunate to have a platform to bring all of us together.”

Experts agree that good nutrition is important for a successful learning experience — but not everyone can pay full price. Photos courtesy of Roaring Fork School District.

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In addition to missing Roaring Fork Insight in our meditation story — see the letter on 2 and the calendar item on 9 — we also neglected to mention an important point in our story on nontraditional college students. In addition to the regular Fast Forward scholarship — which offers opportunities for kids to pursue tech programs and career prep — there’s a new scholarship for local first-time degree seekers of any age who demonstrate financial need. Renewable support of up to $6,000 per year is available; contact 947-8304 or for more information.

High Country Retired Senior Volunteer Program is looking for folks age 55+ to serve with one of 45 different nonprofit organizations in Garfield County. RSVP’s mission is to enrich the lives of individuals age 55+ through meaningful volunteer opportunities that use their skills, abilities and life experiences in service to their communities. Each year, volunteers collectively serve over 20,000 hours with local organizations and impact and enrich the lives of Garfield County residents. For more information, contact Mary Moon at mpmoon@ or 947-8462.

I heart art

“6 X 17, Art from Six Roaring Fork Valley High Schools” opened at the Aspen Chapel Gallery on Jan. 8 and will run through Feb. 9. The 102 participating art students hail from Aspen, Basalt, Roaring Fork, CRMS, Glenwood Springs and Yampah Mountain High School. The art teachers and students chose the artwork. Michael Bonds & Tom Ward, co directors, organized the show. This is the 217th consecutive exhibition since the Gallery opened 34 years ago. Meanwhile, the Town of Carbondale is hosting a public reception at Town Hall for the donation of Nicolette Toussaint's painting "Mules at the Thompson House" from 4 to 6 p.m. on Jan. 22.

Grand theft auto

Over the last few weeks, there have been several auto thefts ranging from Basalt to Parachute with multiple thefts occurring in the Rifle-Parachute area. It is unclear if these thefts are related but car owners everywhere need to be on high alert and extra vigilant. The majority of the thefts are occurring after dark but can occur anytime and anywhere. In order to discourage potential thieves from making you their next target, you can do a few things. 1: Lock your vehicle when it is unattended. 2: Do not leave your keys or extra key set in the vehicle or sequestered in a “hidden” box. 3: Whenever

Put a fork in it

We've already shamed folks for ignoring the signs and dropping their stuff off at the Near New after hours, but a whole new level of disrespect emerged during the store's holiday closure. We're guessing their seasonal decor was intended to further discourage illegal dumping, but it didn't work — boxes got piled around and even on top of the display. Photo by Will Grandbois possible park your vehicle in a well-lit area that is readily visible to the traveling public. 4: Be a good witness, if you see one or more people hanging around a car be observant. If possible without putting yourself in danger, take a picture, note the time and location. Call Dispatch at their non-emergency number 625-8095 and report your suspicions. 5: Never leave your car running and unattended while it “warms up.” 6: Never leave valuables in your car overnight or even for a short period of time, including wallets, purses, identity cards/passports, cameras, firearms etc.

Step on the gas

In an effort to help prevent lung cancer from exposure to radon gas, the Energy Smart Colorado program at Walking Mountains, Vail Health’s Shaw Cancer Center and Eagle County Environmental Health are offering free radon test kits while supplies last. Pick yours up at the El Jebel Community Center (20 Eagle County Dr.). Radon is an invisible and odorless

radioactive gas that comes from the soil and enters homes through small gaps in foundation walls and floor slabs. Once inside, it mixes with the air we breathe, which can present a serious health risk if high levels of radon are inhaled over time. Radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers. To learn more about radon, visit or call Eagle County Environmental Health at 328-8755.

The Beat goes on

The Carbondale Beat will be shifting their focus this winter exclusively to dinner service. While they have had a bustling lunch service thus far, and are extremely grateful to their loyal customers for the support, The Beat owners, Lucy Perutz and Tobyn Britt are playing the long game. The change will ensure the longevity of the restaurant and the health and happiness of those involved. Stop by between 5 and 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday — and as always, the bar will stay open later if the mood strikes.

Lay of the land

For its first five years, the No Man’s Land Film Festival toured globally while its Flagship Festival was based in Carbondale. This year, the main event moves to Denver. “Mountain towns are expensive, access can create a challenge, and they are predominantly white. We know that the public face of the outdoors is changing and we won't stay rooted in the pass,” organizers observed in a release. “We want our films and audiences to represent the new realm of femininity in the outdoors.”

Laugh out loud

Single tickets are on sale now for the 2020 Aspen Laugh Festival which runs Feb. 18-22 at the Wheeler. A “Saturday Night Live” favorite, an award-winning host of “The Daily Show,” an iconic improv troupe, a trio of headliners and more are all included in the lineup of performers, with the additions of Aspen favorite Becky Robinson and “GLOW” star Jackie Tohn. Reserve your seat at aspenshowtix. com or call 920-5770.

With Athletic Director Jade Bath’s departure, we’re having trouble getting an official schedule for Rams basketball. However, if is to be believed, they'll host Gunnison on Jan. 10, starting at 5:30 p.m. with the girls followed by a 7 p.m. boys game. While neither team has played any league games yet, the girls are 6-4 for the season and the boys are 1-9.

Proud parents Amy and Steven Burdick of Carbondale and David Skinner of Moody, Missouri announce with great pride the graduation of their son, Michael Skinner, from Colorado State University at Pueblo.Michael received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and plans to pursue a career in Denver.

They say it’s your birthday Folks celebrating another trip around the sun this week include: Kay Jacobson, Jim Mitton, Anne Hillmuth and Rick Holt ( Jan. 9); Erica Sparhawk, Lorraine Escue, Ron Razzore, Mary Finley, Nancy Vories and Jake Strack Loertscher ( Jan. 10); Crystal Holley ( Jan. 11); Betsy Bingam-Johns ( Jan. 12) Tracie Wright, Annemarie Zanca, Marianne Ackerman, Chuck Bauer and Michael Hassig ( Jan. 14); John Phelan, Frank Nadell and Crista Barlow ( Jan. 15).

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4 • THE SOPRIS SUN • • NOVEMBER 7, 2019 - NOVEMBER 13, 2019


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THE SOPRIS SUN • Carbondale’s weekly community connector • NOVEMBER 7, 2019 - NOVEMBER 13, 2019 • 5


If you know of someone who should be featured in “Our Town,” email or call 510-3003.

Mulry cares for the caregivers By Kate Phillips Sopris Sun Correspondent The Sopris Sun is conducting a series of interviews with folks you may not have seen in the paper before – a sort of introduction to your neighbors. This week we caught up with Rachel Mulry, founder and owner of Roaring Fork Valley Parenting. Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? A: I actually grew up here. My husband is from San Francisco, and we lived there for eight years and had our first two kids there. Then we moved back about three and a half years ago to be closer to my parents, have help in parenting, and to give our kids easy access to the natural beauty that is abundant in this valley. Q: What is Roaring Fork Valley Parenting? A: Roaring Fork Valley Parenting offers support throughout the range of parenting stages through talks and workshops, classes, and oneon-one consultations. My vision is for parents to be able to find the support they need wherever they are in parenting for whatever challenges they are facing. Q: I noticed on your Facebook page you are doing some great work with new mamas.

A: I started out focusing on new moms because I was one myself. I’ve been leading a New Mama Support Circle ... that meets every Monday morning at The Family Nest. Each week the group of moms join together with their babies, and we spend time building community, getting to know each other, [and] connecting with the babies through songs and games. The other piece of that is to connect these new moms with the resources that could be supportive to them in the community. I bring in “wise women” from the community to share their area of expertise: a women’s pelvic health physical therapist and a pediatric physical therapist to talk about physical well-being and development … a nutrition coach, mindfulness teachers … and just recently a graduate of the New Mom program who taught other moms how to do yoga with their babies. Q: Is there an age limit? A: The group does because of the limitations of space, and for the ability to create that emotional safety. It is just for babies and their moms in the first year. It is not open, unfortunately, to older siblings because of the attention older children require. Q: What will be offered for the older groups?

A: I am trained as an Infant and toddler potty-training coach. I recently led a potty training Q&A where parents were able to come and discuss the process. Parents who were just starting were able to get a sense of what to expect, and others who already started, but were encountering road blocks, were able to get some strategies and ideas. Another offering is the Hand In Hand Parenting approach, which I have been training in over the past six years. Hand In Hand Parenting is about building a strong family connection and using five listening tools to help parents and their children build their emotional well-being. One more area I am offering is Simplicity Parenting, based on the book by Kim John Payne. [Children] need a much slower, much simpler life in order to really enjoy childhood. Simplicity Parenting helps parents focus on their family values and making the life they want with their kids. Hand In Hand parenting covers the emotional aspect of life with children, and Simplicity Parenting is a little more practical. Q: What is something that you are really proud of in either your work or personal life? A: I am proud of the work I have put into my own family.

Wishing you a great 2020!

Rachel Mulry of Roaring Fork Valley Parenting with her three children. Photo by Mark Burrows Before becoming a parent, I had no idea how hard parenting is and how uniquely challenging our own children can be. My children challenge me in exactly the areas where I have the most work to do. I am proud that I keep trying to be a better parent, and I keep reaching for my vision of family. Q: Any words of wisdom?

A: I want parents to know what vital work they are doing every day and that there is a reason it gets hard, because it is emotional work that we are doing. In order to do that well we need our own support. Also, my mom has this quote on her refrigerator: “Sometimes courage is the small voice at the end of the day saying I will try again.”

UPCOMING EVENTS New Mama Support Circle: Monday afternoons in January Simplicity Parenting: 2 to 4 p.m. Jan. 12 Hand In Hand Parenting / Tears and Tantrum: 7 to 9 p.m. Jan. 15 Hand In Hand Parenting / Six Week Starter Class: Wednesday evenings in February To learn more and register for upcoming classes. visit Roaring Fork Valley Parenting on Facebook or email Mulry at

We don 't charge for obits The death of a loved one costs enough. The Sopris Sun is happy to publish local obituaries of a reasonable length, including a picture, for free.

Email to submit one or for more information. Happy New Year! In 2020 we will be bringing you free quarterly webinars, new blogs and a whole lot more valuable information. Stay up-to-date on the latest digital marketing trends by following us!




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6 • THE SOPRIS SUN • • NOVEMBER 7, 2019 - NOVEMBER 13, 2019

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Event allows boys to confront their emotions By James Steindler Sopris Sun Correspondent Get ready for an event to bring in the new year, which may prompt a communal resolution that could change humanity as we know it. It will be a community open event to discuss the side-effects of masculinity in the world. Here’s the backstory... It began with Charles Morris, a local author, grief counselor and community advocate. Morris is the first to say that the work he embarks on would not be so bountiful without other committed individuals and agencies. Morris is open to working with every person he meets along his path and takes each opportunity to do so. Over the past several months - Morris has invested much of his time working in conjunction with a national-based group, The Representation Project (TRP). TRP is concerned with genderization and how that has affected society. Their mission is no small feat: to transform our culture. TRP believes that pushing masculinity on boys is corrosive and causes implications in society. The organization aims to bring awareness to the nation through film and media. One of three films they’ve made, “The Mask You Live In” that outlines their points about masculinity. Four of the film’s main points that Morris uses to introduce each screening and event are that boys are “influenced by the media, their peer groups and adults in their lives to (1) disconnect from their emotions, (2) devalue authentic friendships, (3) objectify women and

(4) resolve conflict through violence.” Morris goes on, “If you would just look at those (points) and expand them a little bit they cover a really broad brush stroke of the culture.” Morris discovered TRP and the film in a roundabout way. In June 2019 he helped facilitate a panel discussion held at True Nature on the healing properties of grief. There there was an emphasis on the importance of art therapy and art expression. A woman approached Morris after the discussion and told him that her son would simply not enroll in an art class. She requested that Morris “‘please find something that would address boys, young men and their challenges to confront their emotions.’” Without delay, Morris began reaching out to his resources. Initially he envisioned including the issue of boys confronting their emotions in a subsequent panel regarding the healing properties of grief. After a friend introduced Morris to the film and he showed it to his associates, they believed this was a subject that deserved its own platform. Morris began working to facilitate several public screenings of the film along with talkbacks afterwards. With the help of Rita Marsh, at Davi Nikent Center for Human Flourishing, the first of such screenings took place in November 2019 at The Third Street Center. Beginning in March the film will play at each public library from Aspen to Parachute. Each library is responsible for promoting these screenings, so if anyone is interested in attending they should inquire through their local library or its website for dates and times.

Charles Morris discusses the upcoming event with Jenny Lindsay and other community members during a potluck planning session. Photo by James Steindler Following the screening in November, attendees wanted to take action and do their part to help break down elements in society of toxic masculinity. A follow up event was scheduled for Jan. 11. This upcoming event is open to the entire community, and Morris hopes to have an even bigger turnout than seen in November. At the event, attendees can expect to reflect on the points of the film and discuss ways to facilitate change — such as workshops to teach boys that it is okay to show emotion and further discuss the roots of their own emotions. As Morris explains, it they will discuss the aforementioned four main points of the film “but focusing on what the community feels it needs to address the issues brought forward by the film.” The film will not be screened at this event but its themes will be discussed. It is not necessary

to have already seen the film to attend. That said, if anyone would like to see the film before attending, it is available to stream online. Otherwise there is further reading material available at Morris continues to collaborate with professionals ranging from social workers to psychologists. Those several individuals and institutions are eager to discover how the community will respond to these screenings and discussions. Besides, this is a grassroots campaign and will depend heavily on community involvement to see real progress. ‘THE MASK YOU LIVE IN’ FOLLOW-UP

When: 1 to 5 p.m. Jan. 11 Where: Third Street Center Calloway Room

THE SOPRIS SUN • Carbondale’s weekly community connector • NOVEMBER 7, 2019 - NOVEMBER 13, 2019 • 7

Parks & Recreation releases Dog Park survey By Ken Pletcher Sopris Sun Correspondent Should there be changes at the Carbondale Nature Preserve (CNP) — known to most as Delaney Dog Park? That is what the Carbondale Parks & Recreation Department wants to know. Parks & Rec Director Eric Brendlinger thinks some issues need to be addressed, while others like dog owner and member of the citizen Parks & Rec Commission John Williams says, “(it) is perfect just the way it is.” (Note that Williams’s comments here and below are his only; he is not speaking for the commission.) Enter Genevieve Villamizar, who is working toward a master’s degree in Environmental Management from Western Colorado University. This fall Villamizar approached Brendlinger looking for a project for her master’s work. After contemplating several possible ideas, it was decided to focus on the CNP. Under the auspices of the Parks & Rec department and the commission, the first phase of her project was to develop a public survey to solicit opinions on the current and future use of the park. The ultimate goal was to produce an integrative environmental management plan for it. The CNP is an extensive 33.4-acre open space north of Fourth Street on the northern edge of town. It is Carbondale’s largest park. The area was originally owned by the Delaney family, who used it as a settling pond for their coal-mining operation. After the mines closed, the area was flooded and used as pasture land. There is some question as to how Carbondale took possession of the land in 1999. The Town states that it was purchased for $500,000 from the Delaneys, but Williams believes that the Delaneys donated the land. It is possible that its acquisition was a combination of the two. Because the park’s land was a former

Dogs and people enjoying enjoying each other at the Nature Park on a sunny afternoon. Photo by Sue Rollyson industrial area, two environmental assessments were undertaken. These indicated that the land was not contaminated, but at that time more than half of it consisted of low-lying wetlands. The Town subsequently ceased inundating it, but the park has remained prone to flooding, especially in spring. A 2015 wetlands survey determined that about one-third of the park was still wetlands. In 2002 the Town commissioned a public survey of the Delaney property, which received 379 responses. A small percentage of respondents wanted at least a portion of the land made into sports facilities, though it was determined that the high water table there made such a use unfeasible. The largest proportion of survey takers preferred that the park be mostly natural open space. Based on the survey and other inputs, a comprehensive master plan was produced, but its $3 million price tag was too expensive for the Town to undertake. As a result, the park has remained largely undeveloped, though that has not stopped it from becoming Carbondale’s most heavily used public space. As its popular name implies, it has turned into a boon for dog owners, who enjoy the opportunity to allow their pets to run offleash in a large but generally contained space. As Brendlinger noted, “[The park] has benefited many people, especially since most of the other parks don’t allow dogs.” (Only Hendrick Dog Park does.) Indeed, it is also

frequented by birdwatchers, nature lovers and folks without dogs just out for a walk in a quiet setting. However, the minimal amount of park maintenance over the years has produced some issues. Prominent among these has been the degradation of the trail system, which in spring becomes muddy and leads to braiding and erosion. Williams pointed out that the Town’s use of a pickup truck to collect trash in the park produced the ruts leading to the muddy spring conditions. Brendlinger acknowledged that a truck formerly was used but noted that now trash is collected using an ATV with fat tires. Still, the old ruts and seasonal muddy conditions have remained. Brendlinger also mentioned the issue of noxious weeds and invasive species in the park, especially in light of the comprehensive weed management plan that the department put in place last fall. According to Brendlinger, Parks & Rec has been looking for ways to address these and other issues for some time, “at how we want to manage” the park. He has wanted to create a five-year improvement plan but recognized that “(we) need to be super realistic about what we can do” with limited resources. The process of creating the survey kicked off in mid-December, when Villamizar invited “stakeholders” – dog owners, town officials and other interested folk – to a meeting to discuss how to shape the survey’s questions. She then solicited comments online and led

walks in the park. From that input a draft survey was written and submitted for further comment. The final version was presented for approval to the Parks & Rec Commission at its Jan. 8 meeting. As indicated above, the decision to conduct a survey has generated some controversy. Williams and other dog owners have expressed concern that some kind of curtailment on the park’s use by dogs could come out of the survey’s findings. Brendlinger has recognized this: “(People) get used to a pattern of use; any change puts us on guard.” However, both he and Villamizar have stressed that they wanted the process to be unbiased and simply an exercise in gathering data on how to better manage the space. Villamizar stated in emails, “The … inherent qualities and uses of the park will not be changed … specifically in regards to dogs … and hopefully, through our work, (will be) enhanced.” Williams and others have remained skeptical. He intoned the old maxim, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” regarding the survey. He went on, “I’m all for creating a Friends of the Dog Park group that could do things like collect trash and resolve other issues (like weeds and invasives).” The CNP survey will be online starting Jan. 9 and run through 30 on Survey Monkey at the Carbondale Recreation Center website ( Hard copies will also be available at the Town Hall.

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Seasonal closures help alleviate wildlife stress By Kate Phillips Sopris Sun Correspondent Winter is in full effect here in the valley, and local authorities are bundling up to welcome and educate the influx of outdoor recreationists. There is no question that the Roaring Fork Valley is rich in wildlife and open space, but as the snow begins to pile up this space becomes limited for wildlife. As a result, experts are continuing to implement seasonally trail closures for habitat preservation and migration patterns. Carbondale District Wildlife Manager John Groves said winter trail closures are a team effort in the valley. Recommendations are made by Colorado Division of Wildlife and decisions to close come from the Forest Service and BLM. “Our recommendations for winter closures are based on higher concentrations of deer and elk in certain areas,” Groves said. For example, The Crown is seasonally closed to motorized and mechanized (e.g., bikes) vehicles in order to ensure the deer and elk have adequate grazing zones. “Deer, elk and bighorn sheep are on a starvation diet, during the winter,” he said. “They spend the spring, summer and most of fall fattening up so they have enough calories during the winter months. They are still eating, but the nutritional value is not equal to what they need.” The closures help alleviate any stress these big game species might encounter when energy conservation is critical. White River National Forest District Ranger Kevin Warner added that, “Dogs are tough on wildlife, especially this time of year. Even while on leash dogs can stress wildlife out by barking or spooking the animals.” Specifically, Forest Service Road 310 along Avalanche Creek is closed to vehicles. The area north of Road 310 is closed to humans, and the entire area

Outdoor enthusiasts can find plenty of fun and snow at higher elevations around the valley. Photo by Ann Driggers is closed to dogs from Nov. 15 through May 1, according to the White River National Forest. Recreationists are allowed to snowshoe, hike, or cross country ski in designated zones, but even these passive recreations can disturb the bighorn sheep population. “Studies show that passive recreation is as impactive as motorized recreation,” Groves said. “With non-motorized recreation you can sneak up on the animal, which can then startle them. It also takes longer to move through the area, which causes stress on the wildlife. They are using extra energy to watch and be concerned.” So where can outdoor recreationists enjoy the wintry months? Groves suggests areas that are above the scrub oak, on well-established trails, and places with less animal activity. Since the grass is typically covered during the harsh winter months, big game will graze on oak

brush and woody substances at lower elevations. Groves recommends that recreationists stay at higher elevations where the snow is more plentiful and wildlife is less likely to roam. Babbish Gulch, Marion Gulch, and the top of McClure Pass are all great areas to recreate while still enjoying a winter experience. Mike Pritchard, Executive Director of Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association (RFMBA), is currently in the midst of a four-year proposal to change prohibitions on mechanized vehicles and to find new routes that allow fat bikers. Specifically, RFMBA is interested in areas where snowmobilers are allowed and trails that are already groomed. “The White River National Forest has prohibitions of wheeled bikes that some users are not even aware of,” Pritchard said. “As fat biking gains popularity in the valley, we are noticing a

need for new routes.” Pritchard notes that RFMBA is currently working with WRNF to reduce trespassing on restricted riding zones, such as WRNF land around Sunlight Mountain. While most people are respectful of the closures, Pritchard said every now and then they are asked to help identify trespassers. WRNF has yet to conduct studies on the impact of fat bike-specific recreation, and cyclists are encouraged to stay off restricted routes until further information is presented. Despite these restrictions, Pritchard said there are plenty of areas to fat bike that are both legal and enjoyable.

The Aspen Fat Bike Loop is a short — but fun — loop that combines nordic trails, groomed singletrack and plowed areas. The loop starts and ends at the Aspen Golf Course and rides through Marolt Open Space and Maroon Creek Trail. Users are reminded to stay on designated trails and not veer into restricted nordic zones. Additionally, cyclists can enjoy all trails south of Elk Traverse on Red Hill, the Rio Grande Trail (with the exception of a two mile stretch between Rock Bottom Ranch and Catherine Store), Prince Creek trails below North Porcupine, Grandstaff Trails in Glenwood Springs and some lower New Castle trails. Pritchard also emphasizes that riding when the conditions are right and knowing how to use the right gear are crucial for a fun and safe winter riding experience. “The key to riding is frozen, not when the snow is melting or slushy,” Pritchard notes. “Fat biking is harder during the heat of the day, so you’ll want to wait for the cold. When the snow is fresh, that is the time to ski!” It is also recommended that fat tire bikes have a pressure between 3 and 7 psi and that they not leave a rut greater than 1 inch. As the snow continues to fall this season, all authorities agree to continually check weather and avalanche conditions, know before you go and heed seasonal closure signage. Visit whiteriver/alerts-notices to learn more about seasonal closures. The RFMBA is always interested in trail education and expanding the fat bike community. Visit RFMBA online at or attend the Aspen Fat Bike Race on Feb. 1 to learn more about this growing sport.

WINTER RECREATION PRO TIPS Be aware of new and old signage Stay on well-established trails with little wildlife During heavy snow years, higher elevation is better Reduce ruts and other trail disturbances If possible, leave your dog at home or on leash As always, check avalanche and weather conditions


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THE SOPRIS SUN • Carbondale’s weekly community connector • NOVEMBER 7, 2019 - NOVEMBER 13, 2019 • 9


Laws Distillery will present its second class with incredible food, amazing drinks and beautiful charcuterie. Reserve a single or group spot at $45 each. Event runs from 7 to 9 p.m. at Carbondale Beer Works (647 Main St.). Go to or call 704-1216 for tickets.

Beer Works (647 Main St.).Carbondale Beer Works. Contact for more information.


Learn about the Colorado “Denizens of the Alpine” who survive the harsh environment at the highest elevations. A small, but hardy brown-capped rosy-finch, considered a species of greatest conservation need, that lives there FRIDAY JAN. 10 year-round. Speakers are wildlife biologists COMFORT IN TEXTILE Amy Seglund and Aaron Yappert. From 6 to Enjoy the large scale sculpture exhibit by 7 p.m. at the Third Street Center Contact fiber artist Erica Green titled “A Moment or Please.” Small-scale string drawings will call 963.3330 for more information. also be displayed.The opening reception INTRO TO HYPNOSIS and talk is from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Art Base (99 Midland Spur, Basalt). The exhibit Wake up to a better life and be the person runs through Feb.13. Call 927-4123 for you most want to be. Also, experience group hypnosis. From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at information. the Third Street Center (520 S. Third St.). ENTER DIMENSIONAL Cost is by donation. Go to The Carbondale Clay Center (135 Main St.) for information. showcases local favorites John Cohorst and BINGO Chris Erickson with a 6 to 8 p.m. opening Carbondale Beer Works (647 Main St.) reception. hosts a 7 to 10 p.m. benefit for Carbondale ROCK AND ITS MANY VARIETIES Arts’ Rosybelle Maker Bus — with raffle The Silos band with Walter Salas-Humara prizes to boot. and El Kamino plays rock, alternative rock and roots rock from 8 p.m. at the Black FURTHER OUT Nugget (403 Main St.). No cover. FUNK,SOUL, ROCK AND R&B

The Taylor Scott Bank embraces a wide range of musical genres. Listen to their newest release “All We Have” with guests including Henry Garza of Los Lonely Boys. From 8:30 to 11:30 Steve’s Guitars (19 N. Fourth St.) Call 963-3304 for tickets.



Caregivers and their young children are invited the Carbondale Branch Library (320 Sopris Ave.) for a 10;30 a.m. movement circle, songs and stories.


Carbondale Arts (76 S. Fourth St.) celebrates The Crystal Theatre (427 Main St.) presents a wide variety of local artists with a show “Little Women” (PG) at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 10, 11, running through Feb. 28 and starting with a 6 and 14-16 as well as 5 p.m. Jan. 12; “Harriet” to 8 p.m. opening reception. (PG-13) at 5 p.m. Jan. 10 and “Parasite” (R) at 4:45 p.m. Jan. 11. Closed Monday, Jan. 13. SATURDAY JAN. 18



Rediscover your purpose and passion ultimately guiding you to the authentic Discover “The Path of the Heart.” Open life you deserve to live. From 2 to 4 p.m. at to yogis looking to expand their practice by Coventure (201 Main St.) Go to eventbrite. understanding reverence. Event goes from 3 to com for tickets from $30 to $40. 5:30 p.m. at True Nature (100 N. Third St.). COMEDY NIGHT Purchase tickets at for $45. A.J. Finney headlines a set of comics starting WINTER TRIATHLON at 7 p.m. at Marble Distilling (150 Main St.). Run, ski and bike at the Full Moon Winter Triathlon set for 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the ROCK N’ ROLL BAND Gus Darien Arena. Run the entire triathlon Enjoy the Tankerays from Western Colorado individually or put together a team. Post race, from 9 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. at The Black Nugget enjoy a giant bonfire, hot soup and bread, (403 Main St.). snacks, awards and a beautiful full moon. Preregistration until Jan.10 is $35 per person or ONGOING team and day of is $40 per person or team. All registrations $5 off with a non-perishable food TEEN ADVISORY GROUP item for Lift-Up. Go to to The Carbondale Branch Library (320 Sopris register. Ave.) invites seventh through twelfth graders to discuss, plan and sponsor events with SUNDAY JAN. 12 planning at 4 p.m. on the second Friday of each month. SIMPLICITY PARENTING EXPLORE REVERENCE

Learn to slow down to allow time and space for kids and parents to enjoy childhood, From 2 to 4 p.m. at The Family Nest (201 Main St.). Limited space for adults only or with babies. Event is by donation. RSVP at 216-5365.




ONLINE: PHONE: (970) 510-1290 IN PERSON: Carbondale Recreation and Community Center

10 • THE SOPRIS SUN • • NOVEMBER 7, 2019 - NOVEMBER 13, 2019

Wordsmiths of all experience and abilities gather at the Carbondale Branch Library (320 Sopris Ave.) at 6 p.m. on the second Monday of the month.


Free opportunities include a powerpoint presentation by Dr. Greg Feinsinger about the science behind plant-based nutrition at 7 p.m. the first Monday of the month. Also free one-hour consultations for heart attack and other chronic illness prevention are available by appointment Monday mornings by calling 379-5718. Also, come to a plant-based wholefoods potluck at 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Monday of the month at the Third Street Center (520 S. Third St.).

Come join the fun in four rounds of trivia questions and “Name that Tune” in a team competition of up to six members. $5 per player benefits the Andy Zanca Youth Empowerment Program. A $50 gift certificate goes to the team winners. From 7 to 9 p.m. at Carbondale

Young children (accompanied by an adult) are invited for stories, songs and more beginning at 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays at the Carbondale Branch Library (320 Sopris Ave.) — please use the side entrance to the Calaway Room.


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Colorado Mountain Club member Dirk Summers discusses his recent trip to the two highest mountains in Africa: Mt. Kenya and Mt. Kilimanjaro. From 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Carbondale Public Library (320 Sopris Ave.). Free to attend. Go to Calendar/EventDetails.aspx?ID=49148 or call 303-279-3080 for more information.


“Beginning with Blessing” with Rev. Laurie Bushbaum

The stories about the births of Buddha, Krishna, and Jesus give us clues about being human, about being wounded and healed, and about being Divine. Reverend Bushbaum writes, “When I was 13 years old, I attended a Catholic Mass with my best friend and her family. It was at that service that Father Capucci laid his hands on my head and blessed me. I have never forgotten that moment. Where are the blessings around us and what does it mean to bless others? Where does the authority and power to Bless, come from? Music with Jimmy Byrne Preschool with Justice Bouchet Religious Exploration with Ana Chynoweth SUNDAY SERVICES AT 10AM AT 520 S. 3RD STREET CARBONDALE CO

Munchie Monday 10% off Nature’s High Edibles

Wax Wednesday $5 off all Double Black Concentrates If you missed Lauryn Benedit's "Divas in the Treetops" Naturalist Night on Jan. 8 at the Third Street Center, you may still be able to catch it at 6 p.m. Jan 9 at Hallam Lake. The same pattern repeats every Wednesday and Thursday with the Carbondale events as follows: "Denizens of the Alpine" on Jan. 15; "Disappearing Elk" on Jan. 22; "Maintaining Catchments, Not Watersheds" on Jan. 29; "Pika Ecology in a Time of Global Change" on Feb. 5; "Feral Horses in the Western USA" on Feb. 12; "Saving Tropical Birds in the Roaring Fork Valley" on Feb. 19; Border Wall Impacts on Wildlife" on Feb. 26; "Snowmelt to Streamflow" on March 4 and "The March 2019 Avalanche Cycle" on March 11. Visit for more info. Courtesy photo. ROTARY

The Carbondale Rotary Club meets at the Carbondale Fire Station (300 Meadowood Dr.) at 6:45 a.m. Wednesdays. LOVE ADDICTS

Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, a 12-step group will meet from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. every Tuesday at Holland Hills United Methodist Church (167 Holland Hills Rd., Basalt).


Get a donation-based introduction to Hatha Yoga from 8 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays, The Launchpad (76 S. Fourth St.). TAI CHI

An inclusive, peer-led recovery support group open to anyone with a desire for recovery — independent of faith and regardless of race, gender or orientation — meets Tuesdays from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Third Street Center (520 S. Third St.). MINDFULNESS


The Mindful Life Program in the Third Street Center (520 S. Third St.). offers group sessions Mondays at 7:30 p.m. Admission is by donation and registration is not necessary. Contact or 6330163 for more information.

Rising Crane Training Center (768 Highway 133) offers free boxing and fitness classes for folks with Parkinson’s disease from 11 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and Thursdays. Call 274-8473 for information.



Lisa Goddard offers a Western Buddhist mix of zen, vipassana and secular mindfulness meditation from 7:15 to 8:15 p.m. Mondays at Roaring Fork Aikikai (2553 Dolores Way) and 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays at the Aspen Chapel (77 Meadowood Dr.) for upvalley commuters.

Independence Run and Hike hosts a weekly group run on Thursday nights. Meet at 6:30 p.m. at the store, 596 Highway 133 (in La Fontana Plaza) during daylight saving time and at 6 p.m. during the darker months for a four-mile loop around town. All paces are welcome. Call 704-0909 for more information.


Free silent meditation sessions at The Launchpad (76 S. Fourth St.) from 6:45 to 7:30 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Call 388-3597 for more information. DHARMA

The Way of Compassion Dharma Center holds a talk and meditation from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and a silent meditation and Buddha of Compassion practice at 8 a.m. Saturdays, the Third Street Center (520 S. Third St.). SANSKRIT MANTRA

Devika Gurung demonstrates how chant is about more than spirituality, but also

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breath and rhythm at 4:30 p.m. Sundays, The Launchpad (76 S. Fourth St.).

All levels are welcome to participate a gentle path to health and flexibility from 9 to 10 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays with John Norton. Marty Finkelstein offers a 5 to 5:30 course for beginners before his 5:30 to 7 p.m. class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Both classes take place at the Third Street Center (520 S. Third St.).


Flower Power weekend!


Senior Matters (520 S. Third St., Suite 33) offers a table tennis club for adults from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays. Contact Marcel Kahhak at 963-5901 with questions.

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Welcome back, Aspen Gay Ski Week. January 11- 19 Aspen Gay Ski Week is also the annual fundraising event for AspenOUT, a local non-profit and 501C3 organization, focused on anti-bullying and tolerance. AspenOUT also grants scholarships to local LBGT youth. For more information visit:


Colorado Animal Rescue’s Yappy Hour at the Marble Distilling (150 Main St.) takes place at 5:30 p.m. the third Thursday of the month. Sip on handcrafted cocktails and meet a C.A.R.E. dog, with $1 from every drink donated to C.A.R.E. Bring your own dog along as well.


THE SOPRIS SUN • Carbondale’s weekly community connector • NOVEMBER 7, 2019 - NOVEMBER 13, 2019 • 11

GOVERNMENT BRIEFS Landfill employees get state nods Pitkin County Landfill Manager Cathy Hall has been appointed to the State Solid and Hazardous Waste Commission by Governor Jared Polis. Hall joins the City of Aspen’s Senior Environmental Health Specialist Liz Chapman who chairs the commission. In other news from the Pitkin County Solid Waste Center, Pitkin County Land Manager Liz Mauro was recently named the Colorado Weed Management Association Weed Manager of the Year.

Access to driver's licenses expanded Beginning Jan. 2, the Glenwood Springs DMV office is one of five in the state to start offering licenses to all Coloradans regardless of immigration status. The expansion of the SB251 driver's license program is critical for rural communities that have faced significant barriers to accessing this program. Having access to a driver's license will ensure folks can get safely to and from work and that the agricultural economy in rural communities continues to thrive.

Air Quality Control Commission adopts tougher rules The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) voted unanimously last month to adopt strong new emissions rules for the oil and gas industry. For Western Colorado, the newly adopted rules mean that oil and gas companies will need to inspect their wells and tanks at least twice a year, depending on the size of the facility. Under the old rules, the smaller wells only needed to be inspected once in the 30-50 year lifespan

of the well. The AQCC’s action to implement statewide regulations and give residents on the Western Slope the same level of protection as those living on the Front Range. The Commissioners also unanimously adopted a new rule proposed by three citizen groups that adds significant protections for homes, schools and other public areas within 1,000 feet of oil and gas operations.

Wolf restoration qualifies for ballot The Elections Division at the Colorado Secretary of State’s office announced today that Proposed Initiative 107 (“Restoration of Gray Wolves”) has qualified for the 2020 General Election ballot. In related news, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials say an eyewitness report of six large canids traveling together in the far northwest corner of the state last October, in conjunction with the recent discovery of a thoroughly scavenged elk carcass near Irish Canyon, strongly suggests a pack of gray wolves may now be residing in Colorado. The public is urged to contact CPW immediately if they see or hear wolves or find evidence of any wolf activity.

Gardner looks after cannabis careers for vets, immigrants U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) have announced the introduction of bipartisan legislation that would prohibit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from denying veterans VA-backed home loans based on their employment in their state’s legal cannabis industry. Currently, cannabis is considered illegal under federal

law, though 48 states including Colorado have laws permitting or decriminalizing marijuana or marijuana-based products. The senators also announced another bipartisan bill that would prohibit U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from considering an individual’s employment in the state-legal cannabis industry as a factor in his or her application for naturalization. Both bills were simultaneously announced as a package of legislative measures that would help improve the lives of individuals who work in the state-legal cannabis industry.

Want to get involved? Contact your elected officials about the issues that matter to you

Bennet drafts tax credit for carbon capture on farms Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet has released a discussion draft of legislation to establish a new tax credit for farmers and ranchers, state and local governments and tribes, to better sequester carbon in agriculture, forestry, rangelands, and wetlands. In the most recent United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, scientists estimated that the land sector can sequester 30 percent of global carbon emissions. In Colorado, many farmers and ranchers are already implementing innovative solutions to sequester carbon, but the cost of initial investments often presents a serious challenge. Bennet’s proposal has two parts: a quantification credit, which establishes a 30 percent tax credit for the cost of quantifying baseline and annual carbon sequestration levels for agriculture, rangeland, forest and wetlands, and an outcomes credit which creates a dollar per-ton tax credit based on the amount of carbon sequestered.

Senator Michael Bennet 261 Russell Senate Office Bldg. Washington, DC 20510 (202) 224-5852

Senator Cory Gardner 354 Russell Senate Office Bldg. Washington, DC 20510 (202) 224-5941

Congressman Scott Tipton 218 Cannon HOB Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-4761

CO Senator Bob Rankin 200 E Colfax, 346 Denver, CO 80203 (303)866-5292

CO Rep Perry Will 200 E Colfax, 07 Denver, CO 80203 (303)866-2949

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The Town of Carbondale will be holding a regular municipal election on April 7, 2020. Three Board of Trustee seats (all four-year terms) are up for election. Those wishing to run for Trustee may pick up Nomination Petitions beginning January 7, 2020 Monday–Friday 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. from the town clerk, 511 Colorado Avenue. Qualifications: All candidates must be a qualified elector of the Town, a citizen of the United States, at least 18 years of age, and must have resided in the Town of Carbondale for one consecutive year immediately prior to the date of the election. Petitions must be returned to the town clerk no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, January 27, 2020. The Town of Carbondale is a non-partisan body of local government, therefore, there is no party affiliation designation. For more information contact town clerk Cathy Derby at 510-1206 or 12 • THE SOPRIS SUN • • NOVEMBER 7, 2019 - NOVEMBER 13, 2019

Interested candidates should submit a fully completed Application for Employment, resume, six professional references and cover letter to the Town of Carbondale, Human Resources Department, 511 Colorado Avenue, Carbondale, Colorado 81623 or email same to The Town of Carbondale offers a generous benefits package that includes: health insurance, life insurance, 401A retirement plan, paid time off (vacation, sick), paid holidays (10 days per year). The job will remain open until filled.

Will local law enforcement wave the red flag? By James Stendler Sopris Sun Correspondent Colorado’s Article 14.5 Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) — also known as the “red flag” gun law — is now in effect. The full title for this law is the Deputy Zackari Parrish III Violence Prevention Act named in honor of a Douglas County Deputy who was shot and killed in the line of duty. As is typically the case when it comes to gun control in this country, the people are divided over this new legislation. Under the law any family member, household member or law enforcement officer can petition to have someone’s firearms seized. The petitioner would have to provide sufficient evidence, including a written affidavit, stating their reasoning. Subsequently, a hearing must be held the same day a petition is filed — or the following court day from the time it was filed — at which time the petitioner would present their concerns to a judge. If the judge finds grounds to proceed, they will set a hearing within fourteen days from that time. At that hearing the judge can decide to issue an ERPO to have the respondent’s guns seized for 364 days. The removal period is not indefinite but the petitioner can file a motion for an extension. An ERPO will be treated as a civil case. There is a petitioner and a

respondent both of whom both are citizens and not agents of the state. By contrast, a criminal case is handled by the District Attorney, who is an agent of the state. The law requires that the police agency of the jurisdiction where the respondent resides must serve the ERPO on the respondent. In his nearly 38 years on the force, Carbondale Police Chief Gene Schilling has not seen a law quite like this. Schilling says the department will take the new cases as they come. When asked what is to be expected with these new cases, Schilling replied “The short version is we don’t really know, because we haven’t had one yet.” Schilling plans to work in conjunction with the judicial system when a case comes up. Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario does not agree with the law but will enforce it. Vallario believes that it infringes on citizens’ constitutional rights, specifically the Second and Fourth Amendments. Vallario does admit there is a possibility the Sheriff ’s Department could utilize the law saying, “Would we use the ERPO, the red flag law? That possibility always exists, it’s a tool that we could use.” What worries Vallario is that people may take advantage of the new law. He elaborates, “I’m more concerned with the family member that goes to the court for a variety of reasons, you

The Wild West became a little tamer this year. Any and all guns, such as the one pictured above, can be removed from a respondent’s home under the new law. Photo by James Steindler know ‘grandpa’s shooting squirrels off his porch; we think he’s dangerous; we want you to take his guns.’” When someone is unwilling to turn over their firearms that can pose a risk. If a respondent does not comply with the ERPO and relinquish their firearms they can face arrest and misdemeanor criminal charges. Vallario believes that the law could put his deputies in jeopardy. He says “It

is one thing to go knock on somebody’s door for some type of call for service and whether or not they may have guns or not; it’s another when they know you're coming to take their guns.” Colorado is not the first state to enact such legislation. Connecticut passed a similar provision in 1999. Other states have slowly been following suit ever since. After the Parkland shooting the number of red flag states

doubled. With mass shootings being of high concern, it is no surprise there has been an uptick as of late. To date 17 states have passed a red flag law. 0 How this law shakes out in Colorado remains to be seen. Knowing that the Carbondale PD and other local agencies will work with the judicial branch gives reason to believe that there will be some cases locally.

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THE SOPRIS SUN • Carbondale’s weekly community connector • NOVEMBER 7, 2019 - NOVEMBER 13, 2019 • 13

Booming market sparks new real estate offices By Roberta McGowan Sopris Sun Staff Today’s real estate market is as challenging as ever. So, several local companies are stepping up their game to meet the supply and demand conundrum that faces buyers and sellers of both residential and commercial properties. Erik Cavarra, managing broker of Engel & Völkers Carbondale and a licensed partner, explained why the firm just opened their new Carbondale location on Main Street — joining those in Aspen, Snowmass Village and Basalt. “Our growth in the Roaring Fork Valley can be attributed to the true ethos of the Engel & Völkers brand, which lies in passionate, local experts serving the neighborhoods in which they themselves live, work and play,” he said. Also, Slifer Smith & Frampton (SSF) Real Estate has grown with the recent launch of SSF Commercial/Entrepreneurial Real Estate. Broker associate Mike Mercatoris reported the new team will be led by long-time local brokers, himself and Bob Langley. “I’ve been on both sides of the table, having signed dozens of leases for my own businesses and involved with negotiating at least 50-plus leases for others,” Mercatoris said. “We aim to help people make a life and not just a living. It’s a whole new way of thinking about commercial real estate, because entrepreneurs who are landlords purchase commercial buildings and entrepreneurs who are tenants fill those commercial buildings,” Mercatoris added. “Our goal will be to be to help connect them and broker a successful transaction — ultimately having a positive effect on the community.” He stated that “A large portion of the commercial market never hits the Multiple Listing Service (MLS, as landlords do not want to worry their tenants or business owners do not want to worry their customers and employees.” The new division is based in the CoVenture building on Main Street. According to the Colorado Association of Realtors, November figures show the average median price for a single

family home price in Carbondale stands at $870,000 with the townhouse/condo median being $527,500. Most property sales are finalized very close to the asking price. Many realtors prefer to use the term median rather than average. As it relates to residential real estate, the median sales price lists all prices in ascending or descending order and finds the midpoint — where half the homes sold for more, and half the homes sold for less. While the average — or mean — sales price is calculated by adding all home prices, then dividing that by the number of closed sales. In the case of “average,” the price can be skewed by an extremely low or high sale. Also in the mix of commercial and residential is Lynn Kirchner, real estate broker and owner of Carbondale’s Amoré Realty on Main Street. She noted that her firm continues to work with commercial and residential buyers and sellers. “Amoré Realty isn’t only about real estate but is also about you, our community, transitions and life changes.” Kirchner related. She said Amoré will help with transitional assistance for people who financially need to make a change. She noted that the population of homeless and almost homeless is growing. “We help people. That’s our business,” Kirchner affirmed. Kathy Westley, broker/owner of The Property Shop, which also covers Carbondale, related that, “We remain busy with clients throughout the area and look forward to a healthy real estate market in 2020.” Engel & Völkers is working with RM Construction to build condos and townhome at Thompson Park at the historic Thompson House site off Highway 133, which was built in the 1880s. According to the website for the project, the expected build-out plan includes 40 units. Of these, 25 are market units, seven are single family homes and eight are affordable units. Cavarra clarified that the affordable units will be allocated through the Garfield County Housing Authority’s (GCHA) lottery selection process GCHA assists individuals, families, seniors and persons with disabilities in locating and procuring affordable purchase and

BIG CITY SELECTION, MOUNTAIN TOWN VIBE. More than 60 strains of flower plus concentrates, edibles, tinctures, topicals, CBD, and more. 14 • THE SOPRIS SUN • • NOVEMBER 7, 2019 - NOVEMBER 13, 2019

As the Thompson Park housing project takes shape, RM Construction Superintendent Dell Hunter met with Engel & Völkers Carbondale Office Manager Sheila Harrington. Photo by Roberta McGowan rental housing opportunities. As part of the effort, GCHA gets help from The Uncle Bob Foundation, so named in honor of the Uncle Bob Mountain, a distinctive Garfield County landmark. The foundation’s mission is to assist lower income families in Garfield County with housing, personal development and economic self-sufficiency. It provides financial support and the development of attainable housing within Garfield County.


CARBONDALE 970-510-3065 304 HIGHWAY 133 9:00AM–7:00PM



While a big snow offers plenty of recreational opportunities, it's also hard work. It was all hands on deck on Jan. 2, with residents and Town employees pitching in to clear sidewalks. Arborist Mike Callas even discovered some abandoned New Year wear in the process. Photos by Will Grandbois

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THE SOPRIS SUN • Carbondale’s weekly community connector • NOVEMBER 7, 2019 - NOVEMBER 13, 2019 • 15



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