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A T M I E L C C H G A N IN community connector

The Third Annual Imagine Climate event, hosted by Community Office for Resource Efficiency (CORE), kicks off on March 1 with the completion of three crowdsourced murals decorating Colorado Mountain College (CMC) buildings in Aspen, Carbondale, and Glenwood Springs. CORE created the murals with French artist JR''s Inside Out global art project, incorporating the faces and stories of nearly 90 locally-known participants from ages two to 78. Lara Whitley, Director of Brand + Creative Strategy at CORE, informed The Sopris Sun that each mural site includes a QR code scavenger hunt. The full collection of individual portraits, along with a three-minute audio montage produced by Aspen Public Radio and KDNK Community Radio, will be

Volume 13, Number 3 | February 25 - March 3, 2021



Carbondale’s weekly

CORE partnered with artists, scientists, nonprofits, businesses, and municipalities for Imagine Climate 2021. On Feb. 20, the first of three community murals was installed at CMC's Lappala Center in Carbondale. Photo by Raleigh Burleigh. available at aspencore.org on March 1. Imagine Climate 2021 continues all month, with a livestreamed musical performance by DJ Spooky on March 2, an art opening at The Launchpad on March 5, a multimedia exhibition presented by CMC opening on March 11, curated collaborations by The Arts Campus at Willits and 5Point Film, and a virtual town hall with Zach Pierce, Governor Polis' Special Advisor on Climate and Energy, on March 16.

Scan this QR code with your phone to access CORE's Imagine Climate 2021 webpage with detailed information about this year's offerings.

Never say die


Mature Content by Kristi Nichols

In March, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I emailed my oldest son a list of my financial details, a copy of my will, and my advanced medical directive. I thought it was the prudent thing to do in case I contracted the virus and died. Almost instantly, I received his reply: “Is everything alright, Mom?” I had not expected this response and thought it was a good time to have a conversation about death. As my children were growing up, I made sure to keep the subject of sex in the conversation. I knew that for my children, having sex was inevitable, and there were important discussions to have before it was too late. I wasn’t worried that talking about sex would cause them to have sex; I was more worried that not talking about it might make their lives more difficult. Sometimes it was uncomfortable, but the more we talked, the more approachable the subject became. It's the

same with death. Learning to talk frankly about death and dying takes the burden off everyone. The thought of me, my family members, friends, or anyone dying is uncomfortable, but we need to talk about it. As the COVID pandemic death toll continues to rise, more people are contemplating their own death, the death of loved ones, and dying in general. Never has there been such a need to talk about death and dying. We have become a society in which talk about death is taboo. We are born, we live, and then we die. We don’t speak openly about this natural series of events; rather we allude to it. The subject has become a source of discomfort. We avoid talking about it directly, just like sex. For some reason, we no longer die. We “pass away.” Why can’t we simply die? Birth and death used to be a family, community, and religious event. Death was not hidden in a hospital or “care” facility. Discussions about dying and death were not just between a few family members and a medical professional. People were directly and personally involved in caring for dying relatives. Conversations were necessary to plan futures. Death was considered a natural thing and not a forbidden subject. The word "hospice" derives from the Latin word “hospitum,” meaning hospitality or place of rest and protection for the ill and weary. Essentially, going home. Death as a taboo is taking its toll. When a dying person has

not been able to talk about their death, it becomes an unnecessary source of anxiety and depression. These conversations need to be about practical concerns as well as fear, pain, and loss. When final wishes have never been discussed with family members, they are hard-pressed to make decisions at the end of their loved one’s life. Creating living wills and advanced medical directives is a good way to get the conversation started. Once the subject is broached, it may create more opportunities to express emotions and answer questions. The psychiatrist Irvin Yalom describes four ultimate concerns: death, isolation, loss of freedom, and meaninglessness. These are the most important concerns of the living, and even more concerning for someone approaching the end of life. Why not encourage conversations regarding these deep subjects. What does it mean to those aging or experiencing a fatal illness when the subject of death is taboo? Should they be embarrassed to acknowledge their own mortality? Should they be kept silent about what concerns them most? How can there be dignity and grace in dying when we can’t talk about death? Our society’s obsession with perfection renders many people unwilling or incapable of dealing with the painful realities of life, especially death. To embrace the human experience means embracing the full spectrum of life’s events,

including death. Dealing with mortality can be overwhelming, but approaching death doesn’t have to be arduous. We shouldn’t have to worry about upsetting or protecting others when we need to talk about important things. I believe the way forward is for us to go back to acknowledging death as what naturally happens at the end of life. We need to revive our conversations about death. It will take courage. It is difficult to face our own mortality and that of those we love. It is always sad and often frightening. Conversations about death remind us that one day, those we care about may no longer be around and maybe, we will die before them. Let’s remember to enjoy and appreciate them now and cherish every moment we spend together! Now is also the time to plan a good death. If there is one thing I know as a psychotherapist, it’s that talking about our fears eases them. It allows us to be more honest, candid, and at peace. By talking about difficult subjects such as death, you will likely learn that you are not alone and that someone is waiting to have that conversation with you. For more information on how to start the conversation, go to theconversationproject.org. “Mature Content” is a monthly column provided by the Carbondale AARP AgeFriendly Community Initiative (CAFCI).

LETTERS Illuminated Light the Night with Love shined brightly, bringing community members, artists, youth and sponsors together to spread joy and laughter. Carbondale Arts believes this is crucial as we maneuver through what, we hope, are the final months of strict COVID regulations. The event was safe and creative and we have deep gratitude for our community who kept it so. We also want to thank Barbara Frota who inspired us to move forward with this event, especially during these uncertain times. Additional thanks to our sponsors, who saw the benefit of this event and stepped up to make it happen. These are: Dalby Wendland & Co., Kevin Gibson and Carlos Ulloa-Jaquez, Frosty and Carly Merriott, The Rebekah Lodge, Angela Bruno and Greg McClain , Carbondale Family Dental, Alpine Bank, KDNK, The American Heart Association and Carbondale Age-Friendly Community Initiative. The creativity and artistry that was shared by our artists and performers made

this event what it was. Thanks to Marilyn Lowey, Loren Wilder, Yoli Laguerre, Keith D’Angelo, Garrett Waltsak, Nico Heins, Gabriela Mejia, Hannah Sutton Stoll, Cate Johnson, Zakriya Rabani, Fischer Cherry, Bonedale Flashmob/Alexandra Jerkunica, Joe Burleigh, Raleigh Burleigh, Anna Jasmine, Jill Scher and Jan Schubert, 5Point Film Festival, Bridges High School and VOICES, Dance Initiative, Claim Jumpers, Genevieve Villamizar, Chad Patrick and their team of drummers, Larry Yazzie, Corey Summers, Ernie Priest and Tanell Lavender and Natalie Rae. Many people stepped up to make this happen, especially Aly Sanguilly, Molly DeMarr, Sarah Overbeck, Kellyn Wardell, Brian Colley, Amy Kimberly, Kenna Steindler, Tsama Pineda, Joey Staron, Bill Laemmel, Amber Sparkles, Deborah Colley, April Crow-Spaulding, St. Stephens, Ross Montessori, Studio for Art+Work, Dos Gringos, Kat Rich, Jeff Britt, Gay for Good, Mark Burrows, Rocky Mountain High Dispensary, The Property Shop, 450 Tepanyaki, Cripple Creek, and Coloradough.

Big thank you to the community for decorating farolitos with such creativity and loving intention. We are also grateful for the handful of the Rio Grande Trail residents that decorated their homes with string lights or donated power so that we could light up the bike path. We’re also deeply grateful for all the volunteers that showed up to put on this event. Lastly, we could not do this without the deep support of Roaring Fork Transportation Authority and Brett Meredith. They oversee the Rio Grande ARTway and provide joy all year round. Carbondale Creative District

For the time being A life is finite Comes and goes before you know Yet lasts a lifetime JM Jesse Glenwood Springs Continued on page 14

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 news@soprissun.com. Longer columns are considered on a case-by-case basis. The deadline for submission is noon on Monday. 2 • THE SOPRIS SUN • soprissun.com • February 25 - March 3, 2021

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Donate by mail or online. P.O. Box 399 Carbondale, CO 81623 520 S. Third Street #32 970-510-3003 www.soprissun.com Editor Raleigh Burleigh • 970-510-3003 news@soprissun.com Executive Director Todd Chamberlin • 970-510-0246 adsales@soprissun.com Graphic Designer: Ylice Golden Reporter: Roberta McGowan Delivery: Crystal Tapp Proofreader: Lee Beck Current Board Members

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Local arrest stirs controversy By James Steindler Sopris Sun Correspondent

Michael Francisco has lived in Carbondale for 10 years. He grew up in Belize, where his father was a police officer, before moving to Los Angeles (LA) when he was 15. He is currently 54 years old. In Belize, Francisco was not familiar with racial profiling as a law enforcement issue. It was not until he moved to LA that other Black men and women taught him it was best to steer clear of men and women in blue. Prior to the pandemic he worked with special needs students and English as a Second Language learners through the Roaring Fork School District. The virus took away the need for this position so he began working nights for City Market (CM) in Aspen. He was recently promoted as the floral manager there. Carbondalians who tune into KDNK on Sundays from noon to 2 p.m. may know his radio show: Reggae Wave-o-lution.

Christmas Eve 2020 It was a quiet Christmas Eve at CM in Carbondale. Francisco had finished gassing up at the fuel center before entering the store with a friend. Upon entering, he noticed the store’s general manager (GM) sorting cake displays. He knows the GM through work and

as he caught their eye it did not appear that anything was awry. Police Chief Kirk Wilson also happened to be there picking up a couple of last-minute items for his wife’s Christmas stocking. Before leaving, he was waved down by a front-end manager. It was relayed to the chief that another employee inside the fuel center felt uncomfortable due to a customer’s alleged behavior. Francisco’s defense attorney, Michael Edminister, shared that the police reported that two employees were inside the fuel center, the station manager and an associate. Apparently, the associate felt uncomfortable after allegedly being pointed at and looked at angrily by a Black man paying at the window. The complaining witness (CW) later explained to police that the fuel station manager, who took Francisco's payment, likely did not see the alleged grimace and gesture because they had their head down at the time — therefore would not be able to corroborate the accusation. Furthermore, during questioning the CW described a previous situation where she felt uncomfortable; an experience which allegedly involved another man who also was Black. Inside the store, a front-end manager requested that the suspect be removed. The chief initiated

a call and two additional officers soon arrived. Wilson briefly convened with his recruits before leaving the premises. According to the chief, the front-end manager pointed out Francisco. Wilson maintains that the goal was to get Francisco to leave and not to instigate an arrest. However, by the time the two remaining officers contacted Francisco he was already at the self-checkout, had finished scanning his first item and, as the chief acknowledges, was preparing to presumably exit. Still, the officers told Francisco that he was trespassing and management wanted him gone. Francisco was confused; he knew the GM , and had just seen them a few minutes before. He tried explaining this to the officers and indicated that he would like to get to the bottom of what was going on. A distinction here is that the police had mostly been in contact with a front-end manager, not the GM — potentially having caused confusion. The officers asked for Francisco’s ID which he refused to reveal and insisted that he had done nothing wrong. Francisco remembers then asking the police if he was free to go and them saying no and telling him to place his hands behind his back. Francisco did not comply and the officers forced him to the ground where he laid face to the floor while

Michael Francisco speaks with his attorney Michael Edminister after a hearing on Feb 8. Photo by James Steindler. being restrained. Chief Wilson — after being called again for backup — arrived on scene along with a fourth uniformed officer. Francisco says, “It was like being thrown into a movie scene but no one gave me the script.” Police proceeded to search Francisco which included removing his rasta cap or “tam” and rummaging through his

dreadlocks. Francisco informed the officers that the cap was a religious symbol and should remain on his head. According to Wilson, he then placed the cap back onto the restrained man and attempted to tuck his dreads back underneath. Wilson states that had it been a woman with long hair, they’d have done the same thing. Continued on page 14

Conceptos Finales Del Corredor de 8th Street

8th Street Corridor Final Concepts

La ciudad de Carbondale ha progresado con el estudio del corredor de la calle 8th Street, desde la calle Main a la calle Village. Basado en los comentarios recibidos durante todo el proceso por el público y la Comisión Bicicletas y Peatones, hemos desarrollado dos conceptos finales. Estos conceptos serán discutidos en Marzo 1, 2021 en la reunión de la Comisión Bicicletas y Peatones, y se espera que después de la discusión en esa reunión, habrá una recomendación de las dos opciones para aprobación formal por el consejo de administración.

The Town has been moving forward with the 8th Street corridor study, from Main Street to Village Road. Based on feedback received throughout the process from both the public and the Bike Pedestrian and Trails Commission (BPTC), two final concepts have been developed. These concepts will be discussed at the March 1, 2021 BPTC meeting, and it is expected that following discussion at that meeting, the BPTC will recommend one of the options for formal approval by the Board of Trustees.

Información de la reunión de marzo: Fecha: Marzo 1, 2021 Horario: 6:00 PM Esta será una reunión virtual. Si desea comentar las opciones, envíe su nombre completo y dirección por correo electrónico a kmcdonald@carbondaleco. net antes de las 4:00 p.m., 1 de Marzo, 2021. Recibirá instrucciones sobre cómo unirse a la reunión en línea antes de las 5:30 PM. Se puede encontrar más información relacionada con la adhesión o la escucha de la reunión en el paquete de la agenda de la reunión. Se puede acceder al paquete en el siguiente enlace: https://bit.ly/3sfYDig

El paquete completo, incluyendo notas del personal e información adicional estará disponible el jueves antes de la reunión. Se han desarrollado exposiciones que muestran los conceptos superpuestos a imágenes de las aéreas. Para ver las exposiciones, vaya al siguiente enlace: https://bit.ly/2NuCRbQ o escanear el código QR en su tableta o dispositivo móvil.

Exhibits have been developed that show the concepts overlaid onto aerial imagery. To view the exhibits, go to the following link: https://bit.ly/2NuCRbQ or scan the QR Code on your tablet or mobile device.

March BPTC Meeting Information: Date: March 1, 2021 Time: 6:00 PM This will be a virtual meeting. If you would like to comment on the options, please email your full name and address to kmcdonald@carbondaleco.net by 4:00 PM on March 1, 2021. You will receive instructions on joining the meeting online prior to 5:30 PM. Further information related to joining or listening to the meeting can be found in the agenda packet for the meeting. The packet can be accessed at the following link: https://bit.ly/3sfYDig The full packet, including staff memos and additional information will be available the Thursday prior to the meeting.

THE SOPRIS SUN • Carbondale’s weekly community connector • February 25 - March 3, 2021 • 3

SCUTTLEBUTT Distant visitor The Sopris Sun is happy to announce that we have been paired with an intern through the Colorado Press Association. Jackson Braitberg was born in Denver, raised in Orinda, California, and is a senior studying journalism and business at Colorado State University. When taking a break from his studies, Jackson enjoys exploring Colorado trails and microbreweries. For the next ten weeks, he will author a new weekly newsletter for The Sopris Sun, visiting our communities vicariously through the stories of our nonprofit newspaper. You can follow Jackson's impressions and musings, then meet him in person when he visits Carbondale for the first time on Dandelion Day, May 8. Join our newsletter by visiting soprissun.com

Starlink Have you spotted a string of satellites caravanning across the night sky? Local residents have recently been informed that Starlink, internet from space, is now available to a limited number of users in our area. Subscribers are informed that data speeds can vary between 50 and 150 megabytes per second. Brief periods of no connectivity are to be expected as the system is enhanced with more satellites and ground stations. Plans appear to average $99 locally, per month, with a $499 hardware fee plus shipping. More info at starlink.com

Solarize Garfield County Beginning March 1, Garfield Clean Energy and CLEER (Clean Energy Economy for the Region) will give homeowners and business owners access to belowmarket pricing and special local rebates on solar systems, along with support and advice on going solar. Those who register for the program will be eligible for a free remote site assessment over the phone, followed by a no-cost, no-commitment assessment on their property from the installer. At that point they can decide if they want to sign a contract or not. Visit garfieldcleanenergy.org/

solarize for more information, plus registration for an introductory webinar on March 4. Or call CLEER at 970-704-9200, ext. 1101.

Sponsors sought With the recent discontinuation of Garfield County’s animal control program, The Sopris Sun is looking for sponsors to help cover the cost of pet adoption ads for C.A.R.E. Contact Todd Chamberlin to learn more about how to help us help our furry friends and their caretakers.

Vaccination dashboard Pitkin County has launched a new online dashboard with weekly summaries of first and second doses administered to Pitkin County residents, plus updates about the current phase of COVID vaccinations offered and eligibility requirements.

Paycheck Protection Program The U.S. Small Business Administration has opened a 14-day, Payment Protection Program loan application period exclusively for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees. More info at sba.gov

Check shelves Garfield County Libraries recently eliminated fines for overdue materials, removing overdue charges on all accounts. In exchange, they ask that well-loved books and materials now considered “lost” by their system be returned as soon as possible.

They say it’s your birthday

Fish fry In lieu of St. Stephen Catholic Church’s annual fish fry event, Colorado Ranch House, 19th Street Diner, Rivers Restaurant, and Springs Bar & Grill will each offer specials every Friday of Lent with donations made to St. Stephen Catholic School for every meal purchased.


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Folks celebrating another trip around the sun this week include: Barb Bush, Dottie Daniels, Dorsey Moore, Marty Rynearson and Jayme Sewell (Feb. 26); Jeremy Dwiggins, Gaby Mata Serafin and Sara Tymczyszyn (Feb. 27); Junior Ortega (Feb. 28); Emma Duke and Robert Weinhold (March 1); Sean Jeffries (March 2); Barbe Chambliss and Bella Frisbie (March 3).

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CSU student Jackson Braitberg will intern with The Sopris Sun through May, crafting a weekly newsletter to inform, inspire, and connect readers with our content. Photo by Zara Noonan.

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4 • THE SOPRIS SUN • soprissun.com • February 25 - March 3, 2021


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Communities disagree over land use Roberta McGowan Sopris Sun Staff Reporter

Overview In its bucolic setting, Missouri Heights rises over 1,000 feet above the valley floor. It’s a place without much noise or light pollution; home to ranches, farms, small residential subdivisions and equestrian facilities. Presently, Garfield County is reviewing plans by Ascendigo Autism Services for a 126-acre recreation/education complex in Missouri Heights and is awaiting reports on potential impacts to water, fire, traffic, dust, noise and light pollution. The Carbondale and Rural Fire Department

was not available for comment by The Sun’s press deadline. The development plan includes: a base camp headquarters and other structures totaling 37,800 square feet plus a guest cabin and an equine therapy center. Keep Missouri Heights Rural (KMHR) opposes the project as being too large, a wrong fit for the area as well as environmental concerns. The county review process begins with a pre-application conference, then the detailed site plan submission and staff review, followed by the Garfield County Board of County Commissioners setting public hearings and making the final decision.

Missouri Heights on a peaceful winter afternoon. Photo by Roberta McGowan.

Keep Missouri Heights Rural (KMHR)

Ascendigo Autism Services

The neighborhood group organized in the summer of 2020, when residents first learned of Ascendigo’s plans. KMHR is adamantly opposed to the complex, citing three main concerns: fire, water, and community. David Aguilar, a leader of the group, asserts that the project is business/commercial and thus not permitted under current zoning and land use codes. The area is considered rural/residential and KMHR is concerned that this development will open the door for additional large-scale enterprises. “People moved here for the rural beauty, and piece by piece we’re losing that,” Aguilar stressed. KMHR is working with a water engineering group, a fire threat study company and a traffic engineering group to assess potential impacts. The area surrounding Missouri Heights has historically been ravaged by wildland fires: Lake Christine, Panorama and the Coal Seam event that threatened Glenwood Springs. This past summer saw some of the largest blazes in the state’s history, including the Grizzly Creek inferno, and few can forget the 1994 South Canyon fire which took the lives of 14 firefighters. Aguilar also bemoaned what he described as “a lack of communication” by Ascendigo with area residents. Missouri Heights has been in the middle of community/developers conflicts before. It has faced situations that were ultimately denied, such as the Hunt Ranch and the Dragonfly projects. The Garfield County Zoning code, article 15, defines educational facilities as “Buildings and uses for instruction or research activities associated with an academic institution that has curriculum for technical or vocational training that may be, but is not limited to, kindergarten, elementary, secondary, or higher education, including residential facilities for faculty, staff, and students.” Missouri Heights Resident Holly McClain said she welcomes everyone, but her major concern is water, especially when it comes to fighting fires.

Ascendigo’s mission is “to elevate the spectrum by empowering people, inspiring lives and shattering expectations.” Chief Operating Officer Dan Richardson, also Carbondale’s mayor, detailed Ascendigo’s scope. “Our clients are very diverse for our three core programs. For summer camp, they are largely kids — ages seven to 18 — but roughly 25 percent are adults too." Richardson said the project “allows us to custom design facilities for individuals with autism so that they can thrive in a more conducive environment, which is quite rare. This site allows us to be close to services and amenities and capitalize on recreational activities such as horseback riding, hiking, climbing and more.” According to Richardson, the organization is reaching out to neighbors to work together, responding to concerns about access to trails and walkways, potential light pollution, traffic, and water and fire concerns. “We have to integrate with the community.” He asserts that the plan will have less impact than the alternative of a housing development. Regarding water, Richardson said that Ascendigo is planning for “typical domestic water use, irrigation of horse pastures, a playing field (although we are exploring artificial turf ), and landscaping, as well as irrigation control structures to help optimize irrigation and provide other sensory benefits for our participants, which is an important component to supporting individuals with autism.” In addition, Ascendigo states on a webpage dedicated to the project, that it has “no plans to lease the property to other organizations” and “will not seek tax-payer support.” Richardson also noted that other nonprofits and businesses operating in Missouri Heights include WindWalkers, Colorado Mountain College, the Missouri Heights Schoolhouse, Strang Ranch, Cedar Ridge Ranch, Crystal Springs Ranch, the gravel pit, and many short-term rental properties. Ascendigo insists that their project falls under the Garfield County rural zoning permission for education and reports that adjacent property owners have been consulted.

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THE SOPRIS SUN • Carbondale’s weekly community connector • February 25 - March 3, 2021 • 5

COMMUNITY CALENDAR THURSDAY FEB. 25 LIVE MUSIC:Valle Musico performs at Heather’s in Basalt at 6 p.m. ANTHONY RAY HINTON: Colorado Mountain College hosts Anthony Ray Hinton, author of “The Sun Does Shine,” virtually at 7 p.m. on how he found life and freedom on death row. Registration is at coloradomtn.edu.


CLOUDS DISSIPATE: The Art Base in Basalt presents multidisciplinary works by Miamibased artist Sue Montoya through March 12. Hours are 10 a.m. through 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. SOUND HEALING: True Nature offers a sound hearing journey with Dr. Zachary Cashin at 5:30. Capacity is limited to 10 participants. More info at truenaturehealingarts.com LIVE MUSIC: Feeding Giants plays at Heather’s in Basalt at 6 p.m.


CRESTONE POETRY FESTIVAL: This two-day festival features readings, open mics, and workshops — all free and online! More info at poemfest.com LIVE MUSIC: Rodrigo Arreguín performs at Heather’s in Basalt at 6 p.m. SPIRITUAL SCIENCE: Compassion Film Festival screens “The Dalai Lama: Scientist” online at 9 a.m. followed by Q&A with the director. compassionfest.world

Visit soprissun.com to submit events.

YOUTH ART SHOW: Aspen Art Museum presents the Roaring Fork Youth Art Expo, “Still Lifes and Works from Home,” from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.

Louise Kelly on the challenges of hearing loss compounded by facial coverings required as a COVID precaution. This free, public webinar is at noon, at aspenpublicradio.org


WATER PLAN: The City of Aspen’s Water Utility offers its third of three community engagement sessions focused on its 50-year water plan. The meeting takes place 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. More at aspencommunityvoice.com

LEAH SONG: True Nature welcomes back Leah Song from Rising Appalachia for an intimate evening with two candlelit concerts, at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. More info at truenaturehealingarts.com



SUMMER CAMP: Aspen Center for Environmental Studies’ summer camp registration begins at 9 a.m. Spots are available for students entering first through eighth grade this fall, on a first-come, first-served basis. aspennature.org

STORYTIME: Basalt Library offers online storytime for prekindergartners, streamed live on Facebook at 10:30 a.m. SOLARIZE: Garfield Clean Energy and CLEER (Clean Energy Economy for the Region) introductory webinar, “Why Solarize?,” on Thursday, March 4, at 5:30 p.m. The webinar will cover the basics of how the program works as well as costs, rebates, tax credits, financing options and other aspects of solar systems.


IMAGINE CLIMATE: CORE launches “Stories of Climate Change / Historias del Cambio Climático.” This stream will be broadcast with “Arctic Rhythms” by DJ Spooky, performed live from New York City at 6 p.m. on CORE’s Facebook and YouTube.

NO MAN’S LAND: The 6th Annual No Man’s Land Film Festival takes place online beginning March 4. nomanslandfilmfestival.org




Bloodmobile visits the Carbondale Rec Center from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Appointments and masks are required. More at stmarysbloodcenter. org or by calling 970-298-2555.

NESTed ROOTS: Carbondale Arts, in partnership with CU Boulder’s Nature, Environment, Science & Technology Studio for the Arts program, presents two exhibitions on how the arts can create conversation and spark action to bring awareness to climate change.

MARY LOUISE KELLY: What is a disability and what is not? Challenge Aspen and Aspen Public Radio present NPR host and audio journalist Mary

Retail Marijuana| 21 +


The Lappala Center in Carbondale was the first of three CMC buildings to be decorated with a crowdsourced mural for CORE's Imagine Climate 2021. Photo by Raleigh Burleigh.



Roaring Fork Insight offers a weekly meditation practice with teachings on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 a.m. and Wednesdays at 8 a.m. More at roaringforkinsight.org KARAOKE THURSDAYS: The Black Nugget offers karaoke on Thursdays at 7 p.m. CRYSTAL STREAMING: Virtual cinema offerings include “Identifying Features,” “You Will Die at Twenty,” “M.C. Escher: Journey to Infinity,” “Museum Town,” “Some Kind of Heaven,” and “Acasa, My Home.” Fifty percent of ticket sales support the Crystal Theatre. More at crystaltheatrecarbondale.com VALLEY VISUAL ART SHOW: The 42nd Annual Valley Visual Art Show continues at The Launchpad in

Carbondale through Feb. 28. Open for viewing Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. carbondalearts.com MOMENTS OF LIGHT: Continues at The Ann Korologos Gallery, Basalt, through March 6. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. COMPLEXITIES: North American ceramic artists on display at the Carbondale Clay Center though March 27. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. HAPPY TRAILS: Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers, and the Aspen Chapel Gallery displays watercolor paintings and sculptures celebrating the outdoors through April 11. Open every day 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

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TOWN REPORT FREE COVID TESTING SITE remains in operation behind Town Hall. The county could be moved to “level blue” in the near future if the case count continues to drop. The website to schedule an appointment is rfcovidtest.com

THE CARBONDALE POLICE DEPARTMENT hosted recovery coaches from Mind Springs Health and High Rockies Harm Reduction to learn how to refer individuals in crisis to mental health and addiction services.

THE PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION meeting on Feb. 25 will include a public hearing for the Thompson Park Preliminary and Final Subdivision Plan for Parcels 3 and 4. The commission will also conduct interviews for prospective members Kim Magee and Jarrett Mork.

THE AQUATICS FACILITY MASTER PLAN is now available for review at carbondalerec.com/newpoolinfo Questions, comments, ideas, or other feedback can be shared with Parks and Recreation Director Eric Brendlinger at ebrendlinger@carbondaleco.net or 970510-1277.

CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS were removed downtown and at the Forest Service building. THE SPECIAL EVENTS TASK FORCE did not request approval of street closures generally for 2021. Individual events will need to come to the Board of Trustees for specific street closure approval. YOUTH CLIMBING CLASSES in March are open for registration at carbondalerec.com BIKE, PEDESTRIAN AND TRAILS COMMISSION presents two final concepts for the 8th Street corridor at a virtual meeting on Monday, March 1, at 6 p.m. For more information, see page 3. UTILITIES STAFF continues to prepare the ditches for cleaning and irrigation season. Staff will install two flumes on the Weaver Ditch as weather permits.

This "Refined Conceptual Plan" from Carbondale's Aquatics Facility Master Plan details a revamped design maintaining the town pool's current location north of Sopris Park. Courtesy graphic.

By Raleigh Burleigh Sopris Sun Editor

Into the weeds

Carbondale Trustees met on Feb. 23 for their regular meeting. All trustees except Erica Sparhawk were in attendance. The meeting began with a “community hero” award presented by Marty Silverstein to the pharmacy workers at City Market. Trustees then approved a consent agenda including “accounts payable” that amounted to $400,830. Items of considerable expense included a final payment of $229,425 to R & A Enterprises for improvements to the wastewater plant; $38,266 for a 2021 Ford Interceptor for police patrol; $25,000 for membership to Garfield Clean Energy; $9,645 for computer upgrades at the Roaring Fork well; and $1,845 for police firearm equipment. Other items on the consent agenda included reappointment of Nick Miscione to the Historic Preservation Commission, a liquor license renewal for Homestead Bar & Grill, a retail marijuana manufactured infused products license renewal for Sopris Verde, a resolution to pursue a Spring 2021 Garfield County Federal Mineral Lease District grant for $20,888 towards a new hybrid Ford Explorer police patrol car, and a resolution to upgrade electricity offerings at Gateway RV Park from 30 amp to 50 amp. Next, Colin Quinn introduced recommendations from the town’s Environmental Board for the 2021 Climate Action Plan. Recommendations include reducing emissions in publicly-owned buildings, including schools; participation in town code updates; tracking progress to reduce emissions with a spreadsheet presented to trustees twice a year; and involving the Environmental Board in gathering input for updating the town’s Comprehensive Plan.

Discussions touched on electrifying buildings and the town’s fleet of vehicles. Mayor Richardson also mentioned that the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority is studying the possibility of adding a bus stop to the Carbondale Circulator route near the new City Market. Parks and Recreation Director Eric Brendlinger presented the 2021 Integrated Weed Management Plan with the purpose of ensuring healthy soil, resistant to opportunistic nonnative plants, with herbicide and chemicals as a last resort. This is the first integrated plan for all park acreage and town gardens. Techniques vary depending on the conditions at each park. The plan was adopted and is available for review in the work packet for the meeting. Lastly, Carbondale Arts Director Amy Kimberly requested a street closure from Weant Boulevard to the 4th Street intersection for the 50th Annual Mountain Fair, scheduled for July 23, 24, and 25. According to Kimberly, the goal is to spread out artisan booths to allow for more space in Sopris Park. The plan was presented with a letter from Main Street businesses in support of the proposed closure. “I think this makes sense and Mountain Fair has kind of outgrown Sopris Park,” suggested Trustee Ben Bohmfalk. “I have a feeling this may be a tradition that people want to maintain.” Trustees expressed approval for the plan. A work session meeting on Feb. 26 involved discussing possible applications of funds garnered from the new tobacco tax. Trustees also had a check-in with the Historic Preservation Commission to discuss their involvement with updating the town’s Comprehensive Plan. All public meetings are available for review on the town’s YouTube channel, “Town of Carbondale Board of Trustees.”

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First Friday Carbondale has partnered with Carbondale Arts to promote the 42nd Annual Valley Visual Art Show, now open! From First Friday, February 5 throughout the month, swing by The Launchpad to pick up a FREE coloring page and check out the art show. Coloring pages can also be picked up at the Carbondale Recreation Center and FirstBank Carbondale Branch. Plus, follow the below steps to enter to win a prize! 1. Color the artwork of your choice from the coloring packet 2. Tear-off and complete the contact info slip 3. Take the slip to FirstBank Carbondale Branch by Friday, February 26th to be entered to win one of 25 prizes, including gift certificates to local businesses! One entry per person. Winners will be drawn First Friday, March 5.

CARBONDALE.COM/FIRST-FRIDAY | CARBONDALEARTS.COM Artwork: Cone Flowers by Liz Caris, on display at the R2 Gallery in The Launchpad

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THE SOPRIS SUN • Carbondale’s weekly community connector • February 25 - March 3, 2021 • 7

Sharing origins

VOICES’ Visual Journaling Projects give students fun and safe ways to express big feelings and experiences through art, all while learning valuable writing skills. In a recent project with newcomer students in Mary Hernandez’s Carbondale Middle School class, teaching artists Vanessa Porras and Art Williams spent two weeks helping these young creatives craft “I Am” poems using drawing and collage. Journaling is a powerful mental health tool; as part of this project each student is given a journal and art kit they can continue to use after the VOICES project is complete.



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I am from la aguila of the Mexican flag From galletas Gamesa and maseca I am from the waves of the lluvia Green grass, the wetness of the water y the smell fresco and roasted tortillas I am from el cempasuchil, yellow y green I'm from tamales and my cabello like my uncle's, the night, dark and fresco From Alejandro and Lucia I'm from the go to misa and to the catecismo From si pasas el examen te doy algo and hazlo ahorita I'm from photos of the virgen and going to misa I'm from Glenwood Springs y the sangre of Querétaro. From the tamales of chicken and frijoles From my grandfather going every mañana to take care of the vacas.

I am from tortillas frescas, feel soft and smell like corn From Coca-Cola and Pepsi I am from the smell of bricks asperos I am from el sillón café, poco duro, and my mom's burnt pots I'm from cocos, palms verdes and hard I'm from tamales en Christmas and wavy and smooth hair from my abuelo Miguel and mi hermano Anyelo I’m from fish family and trabajadora From la mano peluda and pelo de olas I’m from “el gato te va a comer” y “eres un angelito’’ I'm from photos of Jesus and statues of the Virgin I’m from el centro uno, Mazatenango, Suchitepéquez, Guatemala ceviche and beef broth From my grandfather Miguel hunting deer and vio a jaguar eating a cow and se fue corriendo Straight hair and the eyes azules de mi abuelo and the photos of him in my house in Tahuexco village Son muy importantes para la familia

you belong. Perteneces.

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I am from the serpiente Mexicana From las Bimbo and Nike I am from the puertas blancas with coffee afuera I'm from the pasto verde, mojado y fresco I am from the palmeras, long leaves I'm from tamales que te hacen toser el pelo de my aunt: negro, suave y lacio I'm from, “they get up temprano and have a lot of parties,” From “No te subas, you are going to fall!” and “Vas a ver!” I'm from catolica, llega the father I'm from México: Compostela, Nayarit From the pescado ceviche Cuando my round-faced grandfather died in the living room and photos in the kitchen They are very important because you can olvidar.


I am from a cup of milk From Galletas Maria and Galletas Magdalenas I am from the rain a little cold El árbol fuerte, los animales bonitos, y el entrando a la casa un pato riéndose I am from the rain that sounds like a plastic bag, Un sillón rústico entrando la puerta de fierro I'm from tamales de chipil and el cabello de mi abuela From mi mamá Blanca y mi papá and mi abuela Bernarda y mi abuela Clemente I'm from the los fines de semanas, lo íbamos a Beach and contabamos historias de terror From “te vas a caer” y “no vengas llorando” I'm from la iglesia de mucha sillas I'm from entomatadas enchiladas y pescado De mi papá cuando se cortó el dedo cortando el coco y no gritó hasta que se lo comió la gallina From the que mi mamá sufrió mucho de pequeña The cocina de mi abuela con fotos de toda la familia

SEEKING OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR DHM Design is a national landscape architecture and ecological services firm with a position open in our downtown Carbondale studio. The position involves a combination of local office administration and clerical support to our corporate business office. Must be well organized and computer literate in Microsoft Office, with basic understanding of Deltek or similar accounting/ data management software, and basic working knowledge of Adobe InDesign. This is a full-time, in-office position, with regular office of hours of 8am-5pm Monday through Friday. Pay rate and benefits dependent on hourly status and skill level. Will provide on-job training for the right candidate. Please visit the Contact page of www.dhmdesign.com for more information and instructions on how to apply.

I am from las tortillas de maíz. From the cookies Maravillas and milk. I am from my mom’s flowers. Colorful, very thorny, the smell of my mom’s red chili peppers. I am from the mountains, green and with many trees. I'm from green tamales with a lot of meat and my mom’s curly hair. From my mom Reyna and my dad Arturo. I'm from my mom’s green molé and we walked every weekend. From “tu puedes hacer lo que te propongas” and “te dije que no lo hicieras.” I'm from Diós and la Virgen de Guadalupe, we went almost every weekend. I'm from Jalpan de Serra, Querétaro, México. The strong red of his bulk, the color brunette of the family. My mom is brunette with curly. My two brothers, tall and one a little short. In the house from Mexico. They are very important because of all the memories we spend together.


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THE SOPRIS SUN • Carbondale’s weekly community connector • February 25 - March 3, 2021 • 9

Inventor rides waves of opportunity By Jeanne Souldern Sopris Sun Correspondent It may appear that Chris Karol's life has taken a circuitous route. Looking closer, you will see that each turn has led to a series of connected pathways. The year 1982 would see the first official snowboard competition, the National Snow Surfing Championships (later known as the U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships), held at Vermont's Suicide Six Ski Area. In 1983, Karol won the event as a member of Jake Burton Carpenter's team. Being there for snowboarding's beginnings, he recalls, “After high school, I told my dad that I wanted to be a pro snowboarder, and there was no such thing. He was like, 'Really? You got two weeks, and then you've got to get your ass out the door.’” Karol's family moved to Africa when he was three months old. His father, a lawyer, was hired as a parliamentary draftsman to write a new constitution for the newlyindependent nation of Malawi. They lived there for three years, and when they returned to the United States, the family would eventually settle in Orford, New Hampshire, a small town Karol said is much like Carbondale. Karol discovered skateboarding at age 12, shortly after his parents divorced. He says, "It was like an escape for me, and I became obsessed with it, so that was how I found out about snowboarding ; through the pages of Skateboarder Magazine."

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Chris Karol works on a podcast at his home studio in Carbondale. Photo by Jeanne Souldern. With the advent of early snowboard designs, there came the natural progression of starting snowboarding schools; however, the approval process wasn't easy. As Karol recalls, "I tried to do one in Aspen in ’84/’85, but we got shot down because of the insurance issues. Being a brash teenager, I asked them who their insurance company was and they told me it was Lloyd's of London. Somehow I got the phone number and called. We set up a meeting, and they [Lloyd's of London] came over to Aspen with two other underwriters that insured ski areas. We gave them a presentation of what snowboarding

was. They ended up reclassifying the snowboard as a 'directional device,' like skis, where previously they had been classified as 'snowplay devices,' like [metal] flying saucer sleds." Karol and Jeff Grell then met with Aspen Highlands Skiing Corporation (AHSC) representatives, which, in retrospect, Karol says was a bit of an adventure; the two of them "scrounging up suits from somewhere." He recalls, "Dick Merritt, then-director of AHSC's Mountain Safety, and a few of the old-school Aspen guys showed up at this meeting. It was at the old Aspen

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Highlands cafeteria. We brought all our boards in. That next summer, they allowed us to do a pilot program at Buttermilk that went well, and the following season, 85/86, they actually started letting snowboards up at Buttermilk." After retiring from racing, Karol started coaching at Ski Club Vail and working at Gorsuch running their first snowboard department. While there, he saw an opportunity to create a better snowboard product. He now has eight patents for snowboard boot and step-in binding systems, which he later licensed to Rossignol and Burton snowboard companies. Karol coached the U.S. Olympic snowboarding team when the sport made its debut in the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan. In 2001, he got a call from Chris Klug, a former teammate from his days in Mt. Bachelor in Bend, Oregon, and became a program director for the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club. The realization that he wasn't an "industry guy" is what made Karol leave snowboarding. Reflecting on it, he says, "What I carried from snowboarding was the inventive part, the community-building part, the investigative part, and getting back to the inventor person that I am." When working as an inventor, he started using the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) business consulting resources to learn about licensing. The knowledge he gained would lead to a partnership today with Coventure. In 2018, Executive Director Mike Lowe asked

Submit the logo design to: kenna@kdnk.org. To drop off a physical copy call 970-963-0139. Winner receives a family membership, a hat, bumper stickers and 5 KDNK t-shirts. We look forward to seeing what y’all come up with!

10 • THE SOPRIS SUN • soprissun.com • February 25 - March 3, 2021

Wednesdays 5-7 p.m.


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Storms boost the snowpack to near-normal

Meteorologist David Miskus explained, “The improvements were made in the D3 and D4 areas only. Colorado ended last year in an It's more of a long-term drought exceptional drought. By Oct. 2020, because you guys had a very bad 22% of Colorado was categorized in southwest summer monsoon. So “exceptional drought.” This number you have that on top of a weak start the winter snowpack. At least peaked at almost 28%, where it toMonitor U.S. Drought February 16, 2021 now, the last couple of weeks have (Released Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021) hovered for much of January. Colorado Valid 7 a.m. EST Exceptional drought (D4) is the been better.” Miskus is the Drought most severe drought category used Point of Contact for the Climate Prediction Center, by the National Weather Service, and refers to events that occur, on a program of the National average, just once in 50 years. The Weather Service. Miskus wrote this most recent second most severe category is D3, or “extreme drought,” and represents U.S. Drought Monitor Report, and Intensity: events that occur once every 20- his work was supported by reports None 50 years. D2, severe drought, is from the Colorado Climate Center D0 Abnormally Dry a statistical category for drought at Colorado State University in Fort D1 Moderate Drought conditions occurring once every 10 Collins. Their recommendations D2 Severe Drought to 20 years. According to archive noted that the improvements had D3 Extreme Drought data back to 2000, the current D4 occurred mostly in southwestern and D4 Exceptional Drought drought conditions were surpassed central Colorado, but also clarified The Drought Monitor focuses on broad-scale conditions. Local conditions may vary. For more in only 2002, when 34% of Colorado that “areas not being improved still information on the Drought Monitor, go to https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/About.aspx was in exceptional drought. Other have very large deficits and need notable exceptional drought years much more snow before we start toAuthor: continue well into the spring as David Miskus improving, like northwest and north streams include 2013 and 2018. across the Roaring Fork NOAA/NWS/NCEP/CPC Last week, the U.S. Drought central Colorado.” Watershed are flowing at only 53Locally, the Roaring Fork 72% of normal.” Monitor finally saw enough snowfall in Colorado to reduce watershed saw the improvements Low stream flows are reflected droughtmonitor.unl.edu the percentage of the state in the statewide entity observed. regionally as well — according to exceptional and extreme drought, According to the most recent the Intermountain West Climate the first double-digit reduction Snowpack and River Report from Dashboard Feb. 17 briefing, “inflow since October 2020. As of Feb. 16, the Roaring Fork Conservancy, the forecast for Lake Powell is 46% of 59% of the state was in exceptional snowpack is now at 95% of normal average.” Persistent low soil moisture or extreme drought, down from for this time of year, up from about across the region is expected to keep 70%. However, the long term 74% in January. However the report stream flows low, as soils absorb drought trend remains — 90% of acknowledges, “While this is good melting snow, limiting how much the state is in category D2 or higher. news, we need this pattern of snow water ends up in streams. The Olivia Emmer Sopris Sun Correspondent

From right to left, Jake Burton Carpenter, Chris Karol, Kevin Workman, Andy Coghlan and Tom Sims following the third U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships in 1983 at Snow Valley, near Manchester, Vermont. Courtesy photo.

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This map of Colorado shows the persistent drought conditions across the state. Maps are released by the Drought Monitor every Thursday. This map reflects improved conditions on Feb. 16, 2021, and takes into account February storms that increased local snowpack. Courtesy graphic. Colorado Department of Natural Resources January Drought report states, “Without above average precipitation for the remaining winter months, hydrologic impacts will be more pronounced this year than in 2020.” Drought planning is happening across the state and region. In Colorado, the municipal portion of the State Drought Mitigation and Response Plan has been triggered. The agricultural action portion of that plan has been in place since last summer.


if he was interested in becoming the local SBDC consultant. Given Karol's coaching experience, it was a natural fit. Karol's ventures include Veracity Space, offering podcast production services, which he sees as an emerging advertising model. He has partnered with Lowe to create a podcast series available for viewing on Coventure's YouTube channel. Karol co-founded Soul Monkey Surf (SMS) with business partner Jimmy Sechrest. One of SMS's products, the Snowskate, engineered by Sechrest, is made from non-toxic resin. Their goal is to have a small manufacturing facility in the Valley. When Karol speaks about snowboarding's evolution, he describes "that early generation of snowboarders, we saw, clear as day, a blue ocean of opportunity." Karol continues to tap into that ocean today.


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SEEKING HIGHER GROUND By Nicolette Toussaint

My roof is equipped with an 8.5 kilowatt solar array, enough to supply household needs and to charge Sparky, our electric car. Our 25 solar panels free us from an electric bill; they don't make us energy independent. In the summer, Xcel Energy sends us checks to pay for the excess electricity we churn out. In winter, when our panels don't produce as much, we pay Xcel for a bit of juice. Across the seasons, it zeros out. Texas is unique in having a power grid largely divorced from the rest of the U.S. As three million blackedout Texans learned last week, interdependence has its advantages. Oddly enough, while I understand little about our solar panels and inverter — I rely on Sunsense Solar for that

My Friend, the North American Electric Grid — I do know a lot about power transmission! I was working for the nonprofit Utility Reform Network when California conducted its ill-fated experiment in electric deregulation. The promise was that the free market would dramatically reduce electric rates by allowing Californians to choose among competing power providers. What happened short-term — within months! — was the third-largest blackout in U.S. history. Within a year, the cost of electricity shot up 277 percent! Most residents got no choice of providers whatsoever. It took years to sleuth out all the causes for California's meltdown: market manipulations (chiefly due to fraud by Enron traders in Texas operating schemes with nicknames like “Fat Boy” and “Get Shorty”), partial U.S. electric deregulation in 1992, California's 1996 deregulation bill, population growth, drought, and a very hot summer. Longer term, the politicallycharged separation of electric generation from power transmission led to two major utilities going bankrupt, or nearly so; to explosions and fires and to Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) power lines burning down an entire town (R.I.P. Paradise, California). Economist Judge Glock, writing

for the free-market-oriented Cicero Institute in 2019, asked why PG&E's transmission lines had become a “live-wire threat.” He said that forestry practices, climate change, and PG&E's lax practices all shared some blame, but he chiefly fingered state and federal regulators that had “not incentivized PG&E to improve safety or efficiency.” As I read about Texas' blackout this week, I felt “deja vu all over again.” It's not fire, but ice this time. Still, the same causes remain in play, and they're being amplified by climate change. Texas' enduring enthusiasm for deregulation had much to do with the sparks generated both in 1996 and last week. The Lone Star State is unique in having a power grid that stands alone, as an island. Years ago, Texas deliberately chose NOT to connect to the North American power grid; they wanted to avoid regulation by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). In 2011, after a snow storm froze natural gas wells, coal plants and turbines, thus leading to big blackouts, FERC warned Texas it needed to “winterize” its system. Texas responded by drafting some voluntary “best practices.” Unsurprisingly, weatherpreparedness hadn't been “incentivized” by the time last week's storm broke. The Texas

Tribune summed things up thusly: “Officials … left the choice to prepare for harsh weather up to the power companies — many of which opted against the costly upgrades. That, plus a deregulated energy market largely isolating Texas from the rest of the country’s power grid, left the state alone to deal with the crisis.” In a pinch, most U.S. states can borrow power from their neighbors. Alaska, Hawaii and Texas can't. Alaska and Hawaii are marooned due to geography. Texas stands alone due to isolationist choice. While Texas Governor Greg Abbott was quick to blame “frozen windmills” for the outage, both math and geography expose that fallacy. Wind produces only seven percent of Texas' power. In Colorado, we get nearly 20 percent of our energy from wind farms, and Colorado isn't as chilly as Antarctica, where the McMurdo research station is reliably powered by a one-megawatt wind farm! Clearly, windmills CAN work in the cold. IF they are designed to. Because Texas chose profits over people's well-being — or, if you prefer, businesses weren't sufficiently “incentivized” to weatherize — power plants of all sorts broke down. “The very cold weather and snow has impacted every type of generator,” reported

Dan Woodfin, a senior director at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. The failure included “nuclear units, gas units, wind turbines, even solar, in different ways.” Given the wild weather swings unleashed by climate change, energy systems across the entire country will be experiencing stress from heat, cold, wind and water. We'll have to reconsider where to draw boundaries: boundaries in temperature range, boundaries between profit and reliability, boundaries between regulation and freedom. All in all, I'm happy to live within the boundaries of Colorado. When the mercury dips below zero, mostly, the power stays on. I wish we didn't burn so much coal, but we do employ a nice mix of energy sources, including a growing portfolio of renewables. Plus, Colorado has what's characterized as a “highlyregulated” market — woo-hoo! Right now, I'm warm in my office. Outside, in the sunny cold, my electric meter is whirring backward, delivering extra juice to Xcel — and to the Western U.S. electric grid. All that makes me feel kinda warm and happy because, as I learned decades ago in California, no woman is an island.

Free Identification Tags For Every Pet!

Colorado Animal Rescue has teamed up with Glenwood Springs Subaru to provide FREE identification tags to ALL pets in our area! To keep all pets safe and in their home, C.A.R.E. is offering free pet ID tags to any resident of Garfield County (& neighboring municipalities)! With the recent changes to our county animal control program, we are on a mission to provide EVERY pet with current identification. We love when a stray pet can be taken directly home and not spend any time in the shelter. There is no better way to return a lost animal to their home than by contacting the owner directly. Order an id tag for each of your pets. Choose your favorite color and style! Your pet’s tags will arrive by mail free of charge, ready to add to their collar. Microchips are also available at the shelter for only $30. Microchips contain an identification number that is linked to an owner’s supplied contact information. They provide pets with a lifelong link to safety and are effective when an id tag isn’t present.

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¿SABÍAS QUE? Dejar su vehículo en ralentí durante más de 10 segundos usa más combustible y produce más CO2 que simplemente reiniciar el motor. El ralentí innecesario desperdicia dinero y contribuye al cambio climático. Las ciudades de Basalt y Carbondale por ordenanza prohíben más que dos minutos de inactividad. Por favor, haga su parte y ¡mantén nuestro aire limpio!

POR FAVOR, HAGA SU PARTE Y ¡MANTÉN NUESTRO AIRE LIMPIO! 12 • THE SOPRIS SUN • soprissun.com • February 25 - March 3, 2021


Basalt launches community participation projects Roberta McGowan Sopris Sun Staff Reporter With an eye on the future, Town Council appointed council member Glenn Drummond as the official representative on the soon-to-be-launched Community Vision and Strategy Project Vista (Vista) under the Eagle County Stewardship Team. Drummond is also a volunteer member of the Parks, Open Space and Trails committee. Under the Vista umbrella, Eagle County invited community members to help identify solutions to challenges created by COVID-19 and to design a future for Eagle County with health, equity, and resilience in mind. Angelo Fernandez, Eagle County deputy manager, presented the project in detail and encouraged Basalt to join the effort. Its goals are enhancing public participation to develop Eagle County’s Comprehensive Plan, Strategic Plan, and other community policies, programs, and initiatives addressing issues like housing and transportation. Fernandez described Eagle County’s Comprehensive Plan as a blueprint for growth including land use policies, capital investments, and other plans. “We want to bring in the people in the community who understand and have a good idea of what we face,” Fernandez explained, adding that the team is also looking to involve community builders — including nonprofit organizations, local agency partners like Basalt and other voices that have been left out to help build a vision and strategies for the future.

Mayor Bill Kane said, “This process will let us touch Eagle County in an up-close and personal Manner.” He noted two of the biggest issues are development of the Highway 82 corridor and open space concerns. Fernandez agreed that it’s a community dialogue about where the county is, which way to go, and how to get there. Each of the Basalt Strategic Focus Areas touch on this effort. In particular, it is stated that the town values local citizens and represents their interests for the benefit of the entire community. Council also appointed three new members to the Basalt Green Team, charged with combating climate change. Greg Smith, Pranav Lakhina, and Martin Bonzi were each appointed to serve for two-year terms. Smith explained that he wanted to join because of concern for “the negative impact of humanity's spread and consumption on nature, the nature of our planet and on humanity itself.” He continued, “My concerns have been inflamed over recent years, but especially this year as a severe drought throughout the west has led to extreme fires due to climate change.” The Green Team was established in 2007 to advocate for a more resilient and sustainable community. Monthly meetings are well-attended by community partners and supporters, such as Holy Cross Energy and CORE, who help to advance the Town's sustainability goals. The team sponsors projects throughout Basalt that promote waste reduction, improve

As Basalt plans for the future, it might be a good time to learn about the town's history. Check out this walking history tour. Courtesy photo. energy efficiency, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and promote sustainability. At the January 2021 Green Team meeting, members discussed a grant program to provide compostable takeout supplies to restaurants. The grant also talks about education and outreach programs like the EverGreen Zero Waste public composting program At the July 2020 meeting, the team had brainstormed potential projects for 2021, including to increase public education on topics like waste and energy saving measures. Also discussed were

opportunities to work with the local schools, and researching how e-bikes are being used locally for commuting and recreation. Holy Cross is currently providing a rebate to e-bike purchasers if used for commuting and replacing vehicle miles traveled. The recently completed sales tax report shows an uptick in revenues. The report for January 2021 shows a 16.3 percent increase in sales tax compared to December 2020. The largest category increase was in the building sector with an 155 percent increase due to the boost in construction.



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THE SOPRIS SUN • Carbondale’s weekly community connector • February 25 - March 3, 2021 • 13

By Suzie Brady


LETTERS Our friend Clay I can’t tell you enough how much I cheered your response to Steve Campbell’s letter. I get so sick of those one word hostile, smug, nasty letters. Thanks for your endurance. Stephanie Janiga Carbondale

Secession Perhaps it is time for Carbondale to petition to secede from Garfield County. There is historical precedent of other U.S. counties doing the same. County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky represents the Carbondale district but the voting record shows he was primarily elected by the Glenwood Springs and Rifle voters. He clearly lost among the Carbondale voters. That is just one reason among many core philosophical differences; Carbondale is not being represented by the Garfield County Commissioners. But, realistically, Carbondale does not have the tax base to become “Carbondale County.” However, perhaps Pitkin County (which already includes Redstone) could be petitioned to add Carbondale. Both the voting record of Pitkin County and the lifestyles of the workers are very similar to Carbondale. Gary Pax Carbondale

Impeachment trial

Continued from page 2 assumed that tribalism was gone for good. Wrong! It’s back! Seventy-five years ago, the land which produced the musician and composer Johann Sebastian Bach burned alive gypsies, homosexuals and Jews. It can happen again here. On Jan. 6, it happened at the U.S. Capital in Washington, D.C. And last week, 43 U.S. senators voted to find Trump “not-guilty.” Tribalism is way more fatal for humanity than COVID-19. James Breasted Carbondale

Limbaugh A truly great American has been taken from us. I cried when I learned of Rush Limbaugh's passing. He extolled America's unique freedoms and opportunity. His Excellence in Broadcasting dealt in disseminating facts not feelings. Rush chastised liberals and conservatives alike with a keen wit and biting sense of humor. He entertained us while we learned the whole story. He shouted America's greatness from radio's rooftops. He was the little guy who made good but never lost touch with his roots. While the 4th Estate, big tech, and mass media have mostly devolved into agenda-driven propagandists, Mr. Limbaugh always spoke truth to power. Verily, Rush Limbaugh was a talent on loan from God. R.I.P. RUSH. Bruno Kirchenwitz Rifle

I watched much of the second Importance of truth impeachment trial of Donald Trump. Here The most important lesson that I took is partly my perspective. Civic education as from the past few years, is how utterly I once experienced it has mostly vanished indispensable truth is to maintaining a from our schools. Therefore, people don’t see themselves as citizens. Instead, they democracy. The high-minded concepts laid think and feel tribally. Over most of human out in our constitution, demands fealty to history, humans have considered themselves integrity and clear minded administration of as members of a tribe. In other words, for the constitutional process. Without integrity, lack of education, people resort to old ways the system is shown to flounder and capsizes of thinking and being. Trumpism is based on into a chaos of mistrust and authoritarian this atavism. The founding fathers and the oligarchy. John Hoffmann framers of the Constitution were members of the Enlightenment which by its very nature Carbondale 14 • THE SOPRIS SUN • soprissun.com • February 25 - March 3, 2021

Arrest from page 3

At about this time, longtime resident Kendra Ford stumbled upon the scene. “It seemed to me like he had no idea what was going on,” Ford stated. She described it as, “beyond humiliating,” to see Francisco on his knees with two officers on each side while another, albeit in a calm voice, spoke down to him. Handcuffed, officers escorted Francisco out and secured him inside one of the three patrol vehicles before transporting him to the police station whereupon he was later released with a complaint and summons for 1) Disorderly Conduct (for the alleged pointing), 2) Resisting Arrest and 3) Obstructing Government Operations. Francisco emphasizes, and the police have not confirmed otherwise, that he was never made aware of the nature of the accusation against him that evening.

Follow-up Francisco appeared in Carbondale Municipal Court on Feb. 8 with his attorney. At the hearing, town prosecutor Angela Roff expressed she would like to obtain copies of materials from an internal investigation done by CM in response to the incident. The chief wants to assure the community that the department acted on the premise that a man was accused of behaving inappropriately and not based on the color of his skin. He states that it would be very upsetting to him personally, and the department, to ever find out about witnesses exaggerating or fabricating testimony. However, the chief states that the video

they viewed from CM, “Clearly shows him [Francisco] pointing his finger,” outside the fuel center. Wilson also mentions that one of the initial detaining officers was in training and fresh out of the academy. Carbondale Police Department (CPD) and its officers, according to Wilson, partake in “implicit bias” and “anti-bias” training regularly. Many trainings are online through Police One Academy. The state of Colorado only requires four hours of anti-bias training every five years for law enforcement, which Wilson believes is incredibly insufficient. He acknowledges the current pervasive climate surrounding race and police violence. “That is not us,” he affirms. “This department is full of good people that want to do a good job; and I want to make sure that he [Francisco] was not put in a situation unjustly.” The chief has been outspoken in the wake of the death of George Floyed. He issued a statement to the community over the summer of 2020 which expressed his disdain over the actions of the Minneapolis police officers. In the statement he also brought up the Citizens Police Academy which is now offered in Spanish and English. He implores locals to participate in the program and, “Learn about the CPD from Carbondale Officers.” “I’m certainly aware of what’s going on in this country but I am proud that’s not in our officers’ mindset,” the chief concluded. Francisco’s next court date is March 8 at 4:30 p.m. He intends to plead not guilty.


Addressing food insecurity Photos and text by Raleigh Burleigh

Nearly one year after Governor Polis issued Colorado’s stay-at-home order, the pandemic continues to take its toll on the local economy, as evidenced by a continued demand for help from food assistance charities. According to Debbie Patrick, Director of Development, Marketing and Communications for Lift-Up, an initial spike of six times the normal demand in the initial months of the pandemic has leveled to around three to four times the number of families seeking help pre-pandemic. Lift-Up consistently brings 20% more food than what was distributed the previous week, in case there’s another spike. For the coming months, Lift-Up’s services will remain the same, offering mobile distribution Monday through Friday at a different community each day from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Mobile distribution serves Carbondale at the Third Street Center on Mondays, Parachute at 201 1st Street on Tuesdays, New Castle at Cristo La Roca on Wednesdays, Glenwood Springs at the Church of Christ on Thursdays, and Rifle at Church of Jesus Christ of

Latter-day Saints on Fridays. Lift-Up’s Aspen Pantry is open by appointment. In lieu of "Extended Table," Lift-Up offers “Grab-n-go” meals from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. twice a week at Rifle United Methodist Presbyterian Church and Monday through Friday at First United Methodist Church in Glenwood Springs. Lift-Up will soon release a bilingual survey to pinpoint preferences for late spring distribution, with the possibility of adjusting hours and locations. The Meal Monkey lunch program continues to serve the Garfield County RE-2 School District with free meals for children on Fridays in Rifle, Silt, and New Castle. Additionally, Food Bank of the Rockies provides free food assistance with Aspen Skiing Company at Crown Mountain Park in El Jebel on Tuesdays from noon to 2 p.m.; with Aspen Family Connections at the Aspen Golf Club every Wednesday from noon to 2 p.m.; and with the Safe and Abundant Nutrition Alliance on Saturdays at Rifle Middle School from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and at Glenwood Middle School from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Lift-Up volunteers pose for a quick photo during their shift at Carbondale's mobile distribution site.

A volunteer loads donated food into the back of a car at Lift-Up's mobile distribution point in Carbondale.


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