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“Spruce Up e Sun” and the winner is… The ink from the markers is dry and the dust has settled from the colored pencils — the results of The Sopris Sun’s “Spruce Up The Sun” contest are in. We received over 100 submissions, and then went to work selecting our four favorites. It wasn't easy to do, but fortunately we had expert help from the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities. The overall winner was secondgrade student Althea Brooke. Her entry appears on the cover of this edition, and she won a mountain bike donated by a dedicated fan of The Sopris Sun. Cynthia, a five-year-old, won the preschool and kindergarten division. Her prize is a box of fingerpaints. We'd love to give Cynthia her award, but first we have to find out exactly who she is. No last name or school was included on her entry. Cynthia, please call us: (970) 618-9112. Second-grader Travis Ochko won the first and second grade division. The winner of the third and fourth grade competition was third-grade artist Solana Teitler. Her prize is a portable set of water color paints. Thank you and happy holidays to all who participated, and to those who contributed time and prizes. Thank you for sprucing up The Sopris Sun. To claim your prize, call The Sopris Sun at (970) 618-9112. See page 9 for the other winning covers.

Almost a done-deal development

Local schools try to stave off hunger

An explosive early ski season

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Carbondale Commentary

Ho Ho Hope Recently I was waiting at a stoplight when I saw a man with a huge wooden cross over his shoulder walking against traffic along the busy street. His head was down and he had a steady pace to his step, but then I noticed on the bottom of the cross there were two little tricycle sized wheels attached. It was like a live motivational poster: Christianity, Improved Upon by the Invention of Man. It’s not every day I feel that kind of conviction in my actions (and only a couple of times in my life have I wished I had a camera that much.) I realized that man has what a lot of us are searching for – hope. Misery loves company, but Hope, she’s a loner. And this seems to be the case with every generation. I thought my generation was jaded because we refused to work or breed, and they named us after a giant X, but at least we had hopeful nerd role models portrayed by great actors like Matthew Broderick and Anthony Michael Hall. Nowadays shows are based on the ‘reality’ of being Bruce Jenner’s stepdaughter and spending your days walking around hell with a Prada handbag, talk about the opposite of hope. I realize that I’m aging and it’s a natural progression to think Top 40 is terrible (Let’s face it Top 40 has always been terrible. We certainly didn’t listen to it in the ’80s, we had punk; just as By Jeannie Perry I’m sure the kids today have something better than the Jonas Brothers.) But as we age and lose our minds and bodies and souls – “Joe vs. the Volcano” – is it natural to also lose our hope? And if so, why isn’t there a remedy on the pharmacy shelves of this great capitalist nation? Where is the spiritual botox? When I look in the mirror each morning I still see myself as a youthful Disney heroine, a Snow White and the Seven Rednecks if you will. Albeit with a few more freckles than I used to have — and yes, they are freckles. It’s not like I wake up and break into song or anything, but I don’t want to climb on The-Whole-World-Is-Going-To-Hell-In-A-Handbasket Wagon (maybe because I don’t actually know what a handbasket is.) Is it inevitable? Are we genetically programmed to lose hope as we age, eventually turning into sad little Eeyore-ish versions of ourselves? Caring only about our next meal so that we can take our pill, certain of our species’ ultimate demise, never secure in the fact that we are still here plugging along (quite a few of us actually)? “Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia.” – Charles Schultz We pose our own biggest threat with overpopulation, and yet modern medicine is hellbent on beating death. It’s about to get really crowded around here – 7 billion by next year, Why do we think it’s our job to control the numbers when it comes to animals, but then we take the opposite attitude when it comes to ourselves? It seems the majority think that someone else is concerned with our fate; that God or Allah or Warren Buffet is looking out for us and we don’t really have any control, but that’s where we’re wrong. Imagine you’re a grasshopper, and God is a human. Now imagine God in a bike helmet riding on the bike path and you, the grasshopper, are sitting right in his way. (You may have seen this from the other perspective.) That’s right, even if there is some large-and-in-charge being with the power to destroy us in an instant, chances are it doesn’t care. It has much bigger issues on its mind, like whether or not to invest in hedge worlds. It’s amazing there could be so many of us and yet we’re no closer to understanding the meaning of our existence. As far as we’re concerned, the missing piece to the puzzle of life is still under the cosmic couch surrounded by dust bunnies the size of white elephants. It’s us: we are the universal remote control, but for some reason we can’t see it in ourselves, much less work the damned thing. Think about it, if there is a God and he did create us, he’s grown bored watching our pitiful daily dramas about gay marriage and immigration. We’re the ultimate reality show, and it’s time to change the channel. Seriously, it’s time to watch a little PBS or go outside and play. Put the Ho Ho Ho back in hope and make our show worth watching.

Ps & Qs


The Sopris Sun welcomes your letters, limited to no more than 400 words. Letters exceeding that length may be edited or returned for revisions. Include your name and residence (for publication) and a contact email and phone number. Submit letters via email to or via snail mail to P.O. Box 399, Carbondale, CO 81623.

No Marijuana on Main Street Editor’s note: According to one of its owners, the marijuana dispensary may open slightly later, and under a different name, than we reported in our Dec. 17 edition. For tax purposes, the town does treat dispensaries like retail business and benefits from sales tax. Dear Editor: It is difficult for me to believe that our town council has approved a “pot shop”

going in on Main Street between the Novel Tea Bookstore and the Crystal Theater. Marijuana is not legal, and I don’t think the town council has considered the ramifications of this type of establishment on Main Street. What about families and children walking around on Main, especially during the spring, summer and warm fall days when the front door of the pot shop will likely be open and the strong aroma of cannabis is wafting out onto the sidewalk? What about unsus-


Ron Robertson, reading and recuperating. Photo by Frank Norwood

Christmas greetings from Ron Dear Editor: Greetings from the Hospitals ofAmerica. It’s me, Ron… I wanted to let everyone know how much your cards and prayers and good thoughts have helped me through these hard times. It seems like two years since Joe Scofield took me to the ER instead of guitar practice. Since then things have changed. I’m thinner now but my heart is bigger. I haven’t had a drink of water or solid food since they took over the ship and killed the captain. I can finally fit into my favorite Italian wool slacks. pecting tourists who are meandering in town and are frankly embarrassed that grandma and grandpa had to take a “breather” on the benches in front of these shops? How about teenagers loitering in the front to see if a score could be made from a pot shop client? Bottom line is that, sorry, Carbondale is not Telluride and this type of business should not be located on Main Street. Granted, clients for medical marijuana must have a “prescription” for the drug, but I would think many would probably rather have some anonymity as they purchase their “medicine” than having everyone in Peppino’s or The Lift witnessing their pick-up. The pot shop is not retail, and will contribute basically nothing to downtown but an unfamily-like, touristdamaging atmosphere. So, town council, what in the world were you thinking? Those of us with clear, sound minds would surely like to know! Katherine Schuhmacher Carbondale

Lessons from prohibition Dear Editor: It was about 90 years ago when we were facing the same problems that we are today. The stock market was crashing, and people were in need. But today we revisit an occurrence that changed the world: Prohibition. In the 1920s, Prohibition was made to help minimize the crime in the world, but it did everything but that. It caused more organized crime, and led people to rebel against the amendment. Today, we face the same prob-

My cat, Marble, refuses to read any of Lynn’s e-mails so she is completely in the dark about where I am, but I’m pretty clear on where I am… I’m too far away from the people I love to be able to stay here much longer. So my wish for you and everyone you love is to give yourselves a hug and a warm touch because that’s what life is really about. I think that’s one of the many things I’ll take with me from this experience. All my love, Ron Robertson Carbondale lem with the illegalization of marijuana. As we can see from the past, Prohibition did nothing to stop the people from drinking, but made them rebel against the law. Like the 1920s, today is filled with innovations and LETTERS page 8

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The Sopris Sun is an LLC organized under the 501c3 nonprofit structure of the Roaring Fork Community Development Corporation. Editor: Terray Sylvester • 618-9112 Advertising: Anne Goldberg • 379-5050 Reporters: Trina Ortega • Jeremy Heiman Photographer/Writer: Jane Bachrach Copy Editor: Lynn Burton Ad/Page Production: Terri Ritchie Paper Boy: Cameron Wiggin The Sopris Sun is published partly with the support of the Rotary Club of Carbondale

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ompson Park approaches approval By Jeremy Heiman The Sopris Sun The Thompson Park development proposal, freighted with the responsibility for preservation of the historic Thompson House, cleared a lot of hurdles Dec. 15 on the way to approval by the Carbondale Board of Trustees. While the trustees did not grant final approval to the application or agree to annex the property, which lies in unincorporated Garfield County, they did unanimously direct town staff to prepare documents of approval and to continue the discussion on Jan. 19. During the meting, a generally optimistic mood prevailed in the council chambers. It now appears that the historic Thompson ranch house is on its way to permanent preservation as a result of continuing negotiations between the town and the current owner of the house, Thompson Park developer Frieda Wallison. (See accompanying story, this page.) “The bottom line is, we are prepared to donate the Thompson House to the Mount Sopris Historical Society, together with the $75,000 contribution we would make,”Wallison told the board. Attending the meeting were close to 35 local residents who mostly appeared to support preservation of the house. Local philanthropist Jim Calaway, of River Valley Ranch, offered to contribute $1,000 annually toward the maintenance of the house, and offered to use his influence to urge others to contribute as well.

More at stake than a historic house Among the other issues that had stood between the proposal and approval were prob-

lems relating to affordable housing, overall density, traffic and open space. These previous disagreements were generally put to rest by changes in Wallison’s new proposal, though the details are a long way from being worked out. In response to comments by trustees in a previous meeting, Wallison, working with town housing planner Kay Philip, arrived at a housing solution very different from the standard requirements under the current community housing guidelines. The guidelines require a mix of housing affordable to residents with incomes ranging from 80 percent to 150 percent of the local average median income (AMI). Under Wallison’s new proposal, all the affordable dwellings would be affordable to buyers in the 80 percent AMI category, which specifies a maximum price of $212,504. Money raised by a 1-percent across-theboard real estate transfer assessment (RETA) on the market-priced dwellings in the development would buy down the price of each of these units by about $20,000, depending on the number of units built. The average price is calculated to be $192,182. Because this agreement reduces the price of the affordable housing by about a third, the number of affordable units would be reduced by the same amount. The overall density of the proposal came under fire when Wallison first brought her plans before the trustees. Originally her plans called for between 45 and 85 units. In her latest proposal, she offered to cap the size of the development at 72 units. Both the traffic impacts of added population and the connectivity of streets within the DEVELOPMENT page 15

With concessions from the developer of the Thompson Park project, and engagement on the part of concerned residents, Carbondale’s historic Thompson House will likely be preserved for the public. Photo by Jane Bachrach

Historical society steps up to safeguard Carbondale’s past By Trina Ortega The Sopris Sun With the acquisition of the Thompson House, the Mount Sopris Historical Society takes on the somewhat daunting task of maintaining a roughly 120-yearold homesteader residence, but MSHS President Jeannie Perry welcomes the responsibility. The Carbondale Board of Trustees last week granted preliminary approval of Frieda Wallison’s Thompson Park

planned unit development that includes the donation of the historic house to the Mount Sopris Historical Society. “I don’t think the house was ever really in a lot of danger. Anyone who goes through the house just falls in love with it,” Perry told The Sopris Sun.“We’re looking at it as ‘Yea! We finally have the coolest museum and we get to take care of it.’” The house, built between 1885 and 1890, has been compared to the RedHISTORICAL SOCIETY page 15

More students qualifying for reduced-price meals By Jeremy Heiman The Sopris Sun The worldwide recession has found its way into local school cafeterias, and more Carbondale students are taking advantage of free and reduced-price lunches in the past two years, according to figures provided by the Roaring Fork School District. The same is true district wide, with applications for lunch assistance up by 352 in 2009 over 2008, said Michelle Hammond, food service director for the district. This year, 286 children at Crystal River Elementary, 187 at Carbondale Middle School and 128 at Roaring Fork High School qualified for free and reduced-price lunches. In 2007, the number of students qualifying at the elementary school was 223; at the middle school, 150; and at the high school, 58.

The Roaring Fork School District, which includes schools in Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs, serves lunch to approximately 1,900 students every day, and of those, on average, 707 pay full price, 275 pay a reduced price and 917 get free lunches. The regular price of lunches in the district is $3 for elementary school students, $3.50 for middle school and $4 for high school.The reduced price is $.40 for grades 3-12. To needy students in grades K-2 the district only offers free meals. The total number of students in the district who qualified for reduced-price and free lunches increased from 1,375 in 2007 to 1,723 in 2008 to 2,075 in 2009. Hammond explained that the overall number of lunches served daily is lower than the number of students qualified for assis-

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tance due to a number of factors. A big one, she said, is the desire of high school students to leave campus and spend lunch with their friends. “I can say that at the high school level, it’s very difficult to get the students to stay,” she said. The Roaring Fork district provides the free and reduced-price lunches through a program administered by the Colorado Department of Education using food and monetary assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Hammond said. Applications to participate in the program are sent to the parents of all students in the district every year. Parents who want their kids to get free or discounted lunches must send in applications along with evidence of need, such as pay stubs or documents indicating they qualify for food stamps. This year the district gets 19 cents per day per student who qualifies for free lunches.

The district spends that money locally as it sees fit, on food products such as produce or dairy products and whatever else is needed. Hammond said she orders the food from distributors, and the government pays the bill. “I never see the money,” she said. Last year the amount was 21 cents per student. This year, due to the recession, the amount has been reduced for the first time ever. The assistance program applies to breakfast as well, but the number of students who come in for breakfast is small — about 500 per day throughout the district. Parents of students in the district can also get assistance from the Family Resource Center, if they did not apply for lunch assistance at the beginning of the school year. “If there’s a student whose family is going through hardship, they can help that family out,” Hammond said, with lunches, tutoring or other forms of assistance.

Next Steps:

The Roaring Fork Family Resource Centers work to assist students and their families in the Roaring Fork Re-1 School District. Among other purposes, the centers help students with basic needs such as food, clothing and transportation. For more information visit, or call (970) 384-5694. THE SOPRIS SUN • DECEMBER 24, 2009 • 3

News Briefs The Weekly News Brief The Sopris Sun and the KDNK news department team up each week to discuss recent news from the Roaring Fork Valley. Catch the Brief on KDNK at 7:50 a.m. and at 5:50 p.m. on Thursdays, or find it online at

Montessori school selects builders The board of directors of the Ross Montessori School has taken another step toward a new building for its students. On Dec. 12, the board selected the local firms Studio B Architects and Fenton Construction, as well as the Denver-based Hutton Architects, to build the school’s new facility. “I’m overjoyed,” said Mark Grice, headmaster of the school. “I feel like we have a new partner now and a partner we can really believe in, and that the whole school believes in.” Grice said that the building team has experience with Montessori classrooms, which are best built in a certain shape. He also said he is glad to be working with local firms, which he hopes will be more accessible and committed to the project. The school received 24 bids for the project, and estimates that the new facility will cost about $8 million. School directors are applying for a grant from the state department of education to cover a portion of that expense. Under the terms of that grant, the school will have to qualify for at least a “gold” rating on the LEED scale of environmentally sustainable building practices, Grice said. He mentioned that he is excited to make a lesson out of the construction process and use it to provide students with an up-close, hands-on experience with green building practices. The new building will likely be located on five acres of land in unincorporated Garfield County east of Carbondale near Willow Lane and County Road 100. Grice said it will be built for 250 kids. About 215 kids attend the current facility, which is, as Grice put it, “a little tight.” As a public charter school, Ross Montessori does not need to obey county zoning rules, but does need to submit to county oversight on its water, septic and traffic impacts. Grice was confident those impacts could be mitigated. He expects the new, larger school, with its resource-efficient retrofits, to use less water than the current, smaller school. He said that in the current facility each student

uses about four gallons of water per day. Grice also said the school is considering purchasing another bus, which would reduce traffic impacts. As yet, a date has not been set for the Montessori school’s project to be reviewed by the Garfield County Board of Commissioners. The deadline for the state grant application is in April. For more information, call Ross Montessori at 963-7199.

More stimulus campaign winners The Go Green – Get Green economic stimulus campaign held its latest drawing on Saturday, Dec. 19 at The Pour House on Main Street. The winners were as follows: Kim Harding, Shari Wilson, Maureen Rothman, Melissa Waters and Shana Miller each won a 20-punch RFTA pass. They picked up their lucky raffle tickets at Alpine Bank, The Lift, The Pour House and White House Pizza. Eli Castillo won $100 in Carbondale cash and received his ticket from Tortilleria La Roca. Billy Miller won the grand prize of the night, a home energy audit and insulation retrofit. He played with a ticket that came from Pop’s Liquor. Carbondale’s stimulus campaign officially kicked off on Nov. 15, and tickets will be available through Feb. 15. Raffle tickets can be picked up in more than 100 participating local businesses. They are free to anyone who walks through the door on a one-ticket-perday basis. Look for posters and ticket boxes at participating businesses. To enter the next raffle, start picking up tickets now. The next raffle will include a variety of prizes and a celebration. It will be held from 1-4 p.m., Jan. 9, at Sunburst Car Care. The grand prize raffle for an electric car will be held on Feb. 20. All raffle tickets submitted through the course of the stimulus campaign will be entered in the grand prize drawing. For more information visit

H A P P Y H O L I D AY S Landscape Rock

Top Soil

Rainy Day Designs wins award

Local real estate firm grows

Rainy Day Designs, a Carbondale-based graphic design studio, was the Gold Medal winner in the 2009 Summit Creative Awards for their work with Roaring Fork Leadership. The competition rewards creative excellence for small and medium-sized firms. “We’re extremely excited to win such a respected award,” said Craig Wheeless, founding partner of Rainy Day Designs.“I’m proud of our team and thrilled that our work for Roaring Fork Leadership elicited such a tremendous response.” Every year, Rainy Day Designs selects local non-profits to assist with marketing and design initiatives. This past year, the agency chose Roaring Fork Leadership, an organization devoted to developing leaders for the community through the cultivation of relationships and skills. Rainy Day Designs founding partner Erin Rigney had participated in Roaring Fork Leadership and was moved by the way in which it positively impacted her and the community. “Roaring Fork Leadership is a non-profit incubator,” says Rigney.“Many people leave the RFL program with an increased desire to step-up, get involved in, and give back to the community. Also, the class of 2008 marked its 20th anniversary class, and we felt this was the perfect time to give back to an organization.” For more information on Rainy Day Designs, visit or call 963-9748.

The real estate market may be down, but Fleisher Land and Homes is expanding. According to a press release, two more agents are slated to sign on with the company. One will join the firm’s Carbondale office to focus on residential property sales in the midvalley. The other new employee, a former Parachute real estate broker, will join Fleisher’s Rifle office until the company opens an office in Parachute/Battlement Mesa area. Fleisher Land & Homes has expanded over the last 18 months, adding support staff, new agents and expanding its Rifle office. Earlier this year Fleisher Land & Homes added 15 agents by acquiring portions of Coldwell Banker and Western Land & Homes in Rifle, stated the release. Craig Rathbun, co-owner and president of the Fleisher Company, said that the business has been able to hold its own during the downturn in the real estate market because it does not just rely on sales, but also derives income from property management and maintenance services. According to the press release, Fleisher is now seeking to acquire or merge with a residential real estate company in the Aspen/Snowmass market. “If we can’t find a small high quality firm to buy in that market, we’ll aggressively recruit agents to start a residential division to augment the commercial division we already have in Aspen,” said Executive Vice President Matt Flink.

Cop Shop TueSDaY, Dec. 15 At 4:45 p.m., a Chevy Tahoe tried to stop on a patch of ice and slid into a Subaru Forrester stopped at the intersection of Hendrick Drive and Highway 133. TueSDaY, Dec. 15 At 5:12 p.m., a red Jeep slid into a Prius stopped at the same intersection. WeDNeSDaY, Dec. 16 At 6:11 p.m., a car slid into a snow bank near Carbondale Middle School.The driver was 15 years old and didn’t have a driver’s license. The car didn’t have valid license plates either. Carbondale police impounded the car. Saturday, Dec. 19 At 2 a.m., a man reported that two guys sitting at the bus stop

on Main and Seventh streets had asked him for “cannabis” as he walked by. The two men sitting at the bus stop told the officer that, in fact, the man walking by had asked them for marijuana. Faced with conflicting statements, the officer ran background checks and moved on. SuNDaY, Dec. 20 At 2:05 p.m., a woman attempted to steal groceries worth $320.88 from City Market. SuNDaY, Dec. 20 At 5:58 p.m., a woman called from Latigo Loop to report that her son had been exposed to medical marijuana during a holiday visit with a relative. The police advised the woman to talk to a lawyer for advice.

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Spring gulch ski trails open – with a bang By Trina Ortega The Sopris Sun Two big snowstorms and cold temps have left the Spring Gulch cross country skiing trails in excellent condition forcing a flurry of postings on Facebook and some chatter on the street announcing that the popular Nordic area is “in.” “It’s groomed, groomed, groomed. We had lots of people there over the weekend. We could use a little more snow, but it’s not thin. The skiing’s been great,” said Mount Sopris Nordic Council member Andy Taylor. Taylor skied both Saturday and Sunday and gave it the official thumbs-up.“It’s good. It couldn’t be better.” In the thick of the second big storm, Greg Williams of Carbondale posted a picture on Facebook Dec. 13 of the fresh-cut corduroy on the Finlandia trail, stating that conditions were “perfect.” This past weekend, not even the Prius that “spontaneously combusted” in the parking lot was enough to keep the antsy skiers from coming back. The Prius reportedly caught fire Saturday afternoon. Some speculated that the driver had parked over a still-smoldering bonfire, but Taylor said the Carbondale Rural and Fire Protection District still was looking into the incident. “It might have been spontaneous. We’re not sure,” Taylor said. Noreen Steiner, of Glenwood Springs, snapped photos of the car as it went up in flames and fire fighters doused the blaze. She said that black smoke started billowing out of the front of the parked car and a few muffled explosions flung chunks of plastic around the parking lot. A good Samaritan was kind enough to tow away a white Subaru parked beside the Prius before it too went to a fiery demise. When cars aren’t burning in the parking

A Prius ignited in the parking lot at the Spring Gulch Cross-County trails on Dec. 20, attracting a crowd of skiers who saw the billowing smoke. Photo by Noreen Steiner lot, Spring Gulch’s 19 kilometers of trail provide respite and exercise for those near and far. Len Zanni of Carbondale caught the last light on Sunday. As he powered up Roundabout on his skate skis, he chatted about all the great winter opportunities in the valley — including Spring Gulch — for both kids and adults. Meanwhile, visitors Carolyn and Jo Topping of Geneva, Switzerland, were making the rounds on Lazy Eight, and local children were rolling in the snow after practicing their glides across the slick snow.

Although free and open to the public, the Spring Gulch trails are on private property. The North Thompson Cattlemen’s Association and the Crystal River Ranch Cattlemen’s Association allow for cross-country skiing only during the winter. The nonprofit Nordic council pays for grooming equipment and maintenance, among other costs, to keep the area in top shape. In other words, it ain’t really free, so Taylor reminds skiers to contribute or pay for an annual membership. “If they’ve already given, give again. We appreciate it.”

An additional way to give is through the annual fundraiser ski-a-thon, Ski for Sisu, that will take place as usual before the big game on Superbowl Sunday Feb. 7. Visit or email for more information and to submit membership dues. NOTE: Spring Gulch will be closed to the public during the Colorado High School Activities Association race Jan. 9, when 300 middle and high schoolers will be kicking and gliding on Carbondale’s favorite trails.

Parks and Rec. Commission gives up a field, hopes for more in return By Trina Ortega The Sopris Sun The Carbondale Parks & Recreation Commission (P&RC) recently voted to recommend approval of the Roaring Fork School District’s high-density teacher housing project at Third Street and Sopris Avenue even though the town eventually will lose access to a popular regulation-size soccer field at the site. But through that formal action, taken at the commission’s Dec. 16 monthly meeting, the P&RC is actually hoping to address its No. 1 priority: adding more athletic space for town residents who need more fields of green for everything from soccer and football to ultimate Frisbee and bike polo. “We feel that losing that field is not our first choice. We would like to have that field, especially because of its central location right in middle of town,” said P&RC Chair Chris Harrison. “We’re really looking toward the long-term best picture here. Even though we might be giving up that field … what we will potentially be getting back is three times what we would get from [just] that field.” The alternative would be to oppose the housing project. Then the school district

would have no choice but to look at lands at the North Face property on the south edge of town to put some of their housing, he explained. “If they do that, the athletic complex plan would be shot down.” That plan, for an extensive sporting fields complex, was presented this fall as a joint proposal between the town and RFSD. Estimated at roughly $3 million, the goal of the complex would be to add five new soccer/baseball/multi-use fields in south Carbondale, among other upgrades and additions, to meet the needs of both entities. The Carbondale Board of Trustees currently is reviewing the school district’s request for the planned unit development to build its teacher housing on the site between the Bridges and Third Street centers. RFSD representatives have said that because the cost of the project has increased, they must eat up the popular Bridges field with a higher density neighborhood of up to 120 dwelling units. As a counter measure, the district promised to provide a regulation-size field elsewhere in town. It proposed making available its two fields at Roaring Fork High School. However, P&RC members last month took a strong stance against that offer,

stating that the fields would not be available during school hours and athletic program hours, which include boys football and soccer in the fall. So the town and the school district will look into ways to gain more sporting fields, such as one idea to take down the fencing at the Ron Patch baseball fields between Crystal River Elementary and Carbondale Middle schools to open the area seasonally for multi-purpose athletics use. And on Dec. 16, school board member Bill Lamont said that if the PUD is approved, the Bridges field would continue to be available even while the housing project gets built. “The housing project … if it’s approved by the trustees in the spring probably won’t break ground at the earliest until the sum-

mer. It will be phased, and Bill said the first two phases of the project won’t impact that soccer field. So conceivably that field can still be used,” said Recreation Director Jeff Jackel. Jackel applauded the P&RC for its formal support of RFSD’s project, stating that the overall master plan is “the solution to our athletic needs for the town for the next 15 to 20 years.” Both Harrison and Jackel agreed the town and school district must work together to put an athletic fields master plan in place. Jackel is also working on a new intergovernmental agreement for the two entities. “We’ve got to work in cooperation with the school district because they’ve got the land. The town just doesn’t have the land,” he said, adding that the town has the ability to obtain grants for the complex.

Next Steps:

The Parks and Recreation Commission will discuss the athletic complex master plan again on Feb. 10 and invites the public to attend. Depending on public comment, the commission may push for trustee approval so the town can seek grant support for the athletic complex. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at Town Hall. THE SOPRIS SUN • DECEMBER 24, 2009 • 5


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They’re steppin’ up Congratulations to Carbondalians Amanda Brooke and Jon Warnick. Brooke is the new director of the Youth Recovery Center at Valley View Hospital after having worked there for five years as a nurse. Warnick, who has been serving as treasurer on the board of the Colorado Mountain College Foundation, is now chairman.

it’s a Cowboy! On Dec. 13, Tammy Nieslanik delivered an early Christmas to hubby Ted, and chances are he’s already wearing a tiny little cowboy hat. Congratulations to Ted and Tammy Nieslanik on the birth of their baby, Emmit. We know about this cause Grandma Celia, one of our most trusted sources, spilled the beans. We haven’t seen a pony out in the pasture yet, but…

The Princess Bride We’re not referring to fiction (the popular film). In this case we’re reporting fact. And the fact of the matter is, we are happy to announce that The Sopris Sun’s own luscious Potato Princess (see cover, Sept. 17, 2009), is evidently one hot potato in the eyes of Aspen’s international man of mystery, Jerry Murdock. As if it were a scene lifted out of “The Blue Lagoon,” Jerry proposed to our Potato Princess, former Carbondalian Gina Guarascio, on a beach located on Necker Island, a private island owned by business magnate Richard Branson. We’d like to con-

gratulate these two jetsetters, but we’re hoping that Gina won’t give up her crown. We expect that she will agree to reign as our Potato Day Princess, or Queen if she’s married by then, for at least one more year. We also hope that Jerry continues to be a romantic (proposing on a private island) and insists that he pick the location for the wedding. We’re afraid that if Gina has any say in that decision, she might pick a location somewhere in Idaho.

Birthdays, some sooner, some later Holly “Honey” Miely, Dec. 24; Emma Danciger, Dec. 26; Greg “DJ Phathead” Benson, Dec. 26; Chip Bishop, Dec. 28; Randy Schutt, Dec. 29; Sue Edelstein, Dec. 29; Kris Cook, Dec. 31.

Christmas in Carbondale We learned on Tuesday that Katie Scott and her kids, Madeleine, Annie and Duncan, have arrived in C’dale for the holidays. The tip came from a certain Sopris Sun board member who had been conscripted (happily, it seemed) for babysitting duty. Katie used to teach at CRMS and is well loved. Keep an eye out – maybe you’ll spot her around town.

Dr. Papidies Have you heard or read about Dr. Papidies yet? If not, we’ll let you know up front that Dr. Papidies is not a brain surgeon or urologist, even though from here on out we’ll refer to him as “Dr. P.”

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Lea Linse, a freshman at the Colorado Rocky Mountain School, met Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter on Dec. 17 in Aspen. Ritter was in town for the mountain pine beetle symposium hosted by For The Forest. Linse had recently participated in EcoFlight’s Flight Across America program for high school students. EcoFlight offered her a bird’s (or beetle’s?) eyeview of the impacts of the bark beetle in the Rocky Mountain West. Photo courtesy of Krysia Carter-Giez Dr. P isn’t even a physician, nor has he graduated from college. Dr. P isn’t even human. Dr. P is a dog that happens to have won the “cutest dog competition” for the All American Pet Brands Company, beating out over 60,000 dogs from across the country. So why is this relevant to Carbondale? It’s relevant to Carbondale because, according to one of our most reliable investigators, Dr. P’s human is Dr. Leslie Capin who is a part time Carbondale resident. Our


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source told us that Dr. Papidies was rescued from a puppy mill and given to Dr. Capin by one of her friends. Our source added that Dr. P has Addison’s disease which requires daily medications and constant monitoring. Here’s the kicker – Dr. Capin donated the entire take home prize of $1 million to the Denver Dumb Friends League and The Max Fund, $500,000 to each. Thanks Dr. Capin. We are proud to have you and Dr. P as Carbondale residents.


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Optimistic voices of the west By Terray Sylvester The Sopris Sun After four years in search of some of the most iconic characters between the Pacific Ocean and the Rockies, Redstoneresident Meredith Ogilby says she doesn’t think it is individualism that may preserve the culture and ecology of the West – it’s interdependence. Never mind the region’s reputation for rugged independence, Ogilby said, it’s through cooperation that some of the people in her recently published book, “Voices of the American West,” have made a difference. “I think people are collaborating to get anything done and it’s a lot of grassroots collaboration – the idea of collaboration creates community, community creates change,” Ogilby said, paraphrasing writer and scholar Terry Tempest Williams, one of the luminaries interviewed in the book. “Voices of the American West” is a collection of 49 conversations with some of the figures who loom large over the environmental struggles, culture and politics of the rural West. Ogilby, a longtime, award-winning photographer, co-authored the book with Corinne Platt, a journalist who lives in Ophir, Colo. Ogilby shot the black-and-white prints that accompany each interview. Both women conducted and edited the interviews that make up the volume. Though the book delves into some sticky subject matter – energy development, the tangled politics of wolf reintroductions, preserving indigenous cultures – Ogilby said that she hopes the intimate tone of the conversations and photography will make it accessible. Some of the voices the pair included in the book are familiar to the Roaring Fork Valley, such as Maroon Belles Connie Harvey, Joy Caudill, and the late Dottie Fox; and Luis Polar, editor of the local Spanish-language newspaper, La Union. Other sections of the book are filled with those who have shaped the West on a broader scale, such as former congressman and Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, and scholars

Patricia Limerick and Charles Wilkinson. But the book includes tales from lesser-known individuals as well, such as Navajo artists and activists James and Mae Peshlakai; and Steve Henke, who oversees 3 million acres of rich natural gas deposits in New Mexico for the BLM. “We were just dazzled by every single interviewee in the book, and just wanted to tell their stories and bring them to life and humanize these issues,” Ogilby said, mentioning that all told, she and Platt interviewed close to 70 people, and regretted that they weren’t able to include them all. And somewhere along the way, Ogilby said, the connections between the people she and Platt interviewed began to catch her attention. “We started thinking of the West as a small town,” Ogilby said. “All these people seem to know each other.” Ogilby thinks that such ties are especially important for conservation and, to make her point, cited several ranchers included in the book. She mentioned Doc and Connie Hatfield, who organized a cooperative of more than 90 ranches in Oregon to raise healthful sustainable beef. She also describes Warner and Wendy Glenn who helped found the Malpai Borderlands Group in southern Arizona to promote ranching that doesn’t compromise the ecological health of the land. “We were seeing that there was much more of a balance between the land-based economy and the environmental movement as we went,” said Ogilby. “We started looking at ranching in a new way, and the ranchers were looking at themselves in a new way, and thinking of the land as sustainable – the idea of keeping people on the land for a healthy ecosystem; that isn’t something that we used to hear.” Ogilby quoted Johanna Wald, an attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council who is included in the book: “We need other voices, we need other interests, we need the farmers and ranchers, we need the people of the small communities, we need the people of the bigger communities … My

River rat, entertainer, activist and Arizonan Katie Lee (center) is one of the characters included in “Voices of the American West.” Photo courtesy of Meredith Ogilby hope, and actually my commitment, is to keep those coalitions strong so that … we can sit down together and create a vision of the West we all share, and that we want to promote.”

Find a voice:

“Voices of the American West” is available in book stores in the Roaring Fork Valley.


Letters continued om page 2 kids wanting to be free-spirited and different. Due to marijuana being illegal it has caused people to act in reckless ways and has caused crime to rise because of the selling and distribution of weed. But this can all be stopped, just as it was in the 1920s. Marijuana is slowly starting to become legal, with small steps towards the process. Because of this, people are becoming more accepting towards the plant, and see it for more of medical use, rather than recreational. I believe that if we become more accepting as a town, we will see how this could be a great thing for our community, and a small step towards making it great for the world. Like Prohibition, if we keep making the plant frowned upon, it will have a deleterious effect on the world and will only create unwanted chaos. Caitlin Whitten Carbondale.

City Market’s monopoly? Dear Editor: I had to chuckle when I saw The Sun’s headline, “If C’dale gets a big new grocery, what’s in store for City Market?” [Dec. 17 edition]. Considering how bad a supermarket our City Market is, I think the answer should be obvious: The good employees will leave, following most of the customers, and the store will become an embarrassment to the other tenants in City Market Plaza.

I know this store is hampered by a small, oddly shaped space as well as decisions made in the corporate offices, but I think the main reason Carbondale has been illserved by this store is its monopoly in the town. Residents will greatly benefit from some competition, and I am looking forward to it. Whereas many supermarkets are adding or expanding their salad bars, our City Market pulled theirs out so there could be more room for cookies. Their prices are ridiculously high, often 30 to 50 percent higher than Target for the same items. Their selection is limited, and they frequently have empty facings on many items (especially those on sale). The store has quite a few great employees, and I’ve no doubt their smiling faces will be greeting us in any new supermarket in town. Craig Silberman Redstone

Too hot to touch Dear Editor: This morning I read in the Dec. 17 issue of The Sopris Sun that the town of Carbondale has given $2,000 to the Wilderness Workshop, which is backing the Hidden Gems wilderness project. The article also said that the town of Basalt and Pitkin County have also provided funds to the Wilderness Workshop. This project, and

opposition to it, has received growing coverage in the local news media. However, it’s my opinion that public discussion and debate have not risen to a level that merits local government endorsement of the Hidden Gems, let alone giving money to one side or the other. The resolution of this issue will affect the ability of me, my family and friends to recreate on public lands. I submit to you that providing public money (my tax money) to advocate a private group’s position on the Hidden Gems issue is not what these people were elected to do. How can any of them now claim to have an open mind on this issue as it continues to unfold? They have acted thoughtlessly and unethically and many of us will not forget. John Goodwin Carbondale

Seniors, double check your taxes Dear Editor: I am writing to alert seniors who live in Pitkin County to check their property taxes for the last few years to make sure they did get their senior discount if they applied for it. This past spring while helping my parents with their taxes, I saw that they had not been given their senior discount. Since I had filled out the form requesting this discount for them several years earlier I knew they should have it and called the property tax office. It turned out that my parents name had been dropped from the system by

the computer. Pitkin County owed my parents a refund for several years and apologized for the error. The county employee said she could send the 2008 refund right away and that we would have to wait a bit for the prior year’s refund. The first check came, but neither my mother nor I saw the second one come. A few weeks ago I suggested to my mother she call Pitkin County to see about that second check. The county employee told her that they had mailed a check for over $3,647 last spring, but that was in error, (also due to the computers) and my parents now owed Pitkin County $2,500, but they would not charge us interest on what was owed due to the error being theirs. (My 90 year-old father had deposited the check to his bank account but failed to alert us to the larger-thanexpected windfall since he really doesn’t do money accounting at age 90.) I actually think they should reward my parents for alerting them to this second error and split the difference, but of course, that will not be what happens. The people in the office were very apologetic. Computers do weird things sometimes. I am writing to advise seniors to look at their property tax bills to make sure they got what they deserved in a discount, but of course, not anything extra! There will be no senior discount this year, so maybe the computers will work better. Who knows? Illène Pevec Paonia

Wishing you a joyous holiday season and a happy new year!

0350 Highway 133

>ÀLœ˜`>i U ™Ç䇙È·Îä{ä Member FDIC 8 • THE SOPRIS SUN • DECEMBER 24, 2009

e winners of the first annual “Spruce Up e Sun” coloring contest

Preschool/kindergarten winner: Cynthia, 5 years old. No last name or

First/second grade winner: Travis Ochko, second grade.

school was included on her entry. Cynthia, please call us: 618-9112.

Carbondale pianist Laurel Sheehan leads a group of Christmas Carolers as they warm up their vocal chords at the Fourth Street Plaza last Thursday evening, Dec. 17, before heading down Main Street to spread some holiday cheer. Photo by Jane Bachrach

Third/fourth grade winner: Solana Teitler, third grade. THE SOPRIS SUN • DECEMBER 24, 2009 • 9

Community Calendar

Further Out

To list your event, email information to Deadline is 5 p.m. Friday. Events take place in Carbondale unless noted.

Dec. 31


SUNDAY Dec. 27

LiBRaRieS CLoSeD • All Garfield County libraries will close at 2 p.m. and will remain closed through Christmas. Normal hours will resume Dec. 26.

SPiRiTuaL SeRViCe • A Spiritual Center at 0695 Buggy Circle, suite 205, hosts a service with Golden Sha at 10 a.m. More info: 963-5516.

CHRiSTMaS SeRViCeS • The Church at Carbondale offers a Christmas service with carols and candlelight at 6 p.m. at the church at 110 Snowmass Drive; and carols and a live nativity at 7 p.m. at Turnbull’s barn, on Prince Creek Road. More info: 963-8773 or

MON. – WEDS. Dec. 28-30

CHRISTMAS STeVe’S GuiTaRS • Steve’s Guitars at 19 N. Fourth Street presents special Christmas music. More info: 963-3304 or MoVieS • The Crystal Theatre presents “Invictus” (PG-13) at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2631; and “Pirate Radio” (R) at 5 p.m. Dec. 27 and Dec. 31.

SATURDAY Dec. 26 STeVe’S GuiTaRS • Steve’s Guitars at 19 N. Fourth Street presents local students home for the holidays. More info: 9633304 or auTHoR TaLK • Aspenite Kay Bucksbaum, author of “A Place to Grow” will speak from 4:30-5 p.m. at the Pitkin County Library at 120 N. Mill Street. Signed copies of her memoir will be available for $20. Refreshments. More info: (970) 429-1900.

WiNTeR eXPLoReRS • The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies at Hallam Lake offers a Winter Explorers program for children. Examine animal tracks, learn winter survival techniques, investigate how the natural world copes with winter. Register at or 925-5756. WiNTeR RaNCHeRS • The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies at Rock Bottom Ranch offers a Winter Ranchers program. Children will feed critters in the farmyard, play games, learn how to spin wool, study animal tracks and more. Register at or 925-5756.

TUESDAY Dec. 29 STeVe’S GuiTaRS • Steve’s Guitars at 19 N. Fourth Street presents acoustic guitarist Pete Huttlinger. More info: 963-3304 or

WEDNESDAY Dec. 30 FRee HeaLTH SCReeNiNGS • Mountain Family Health Centers conducts free public health screenings for cholesterol, blood pressure, heart disease risk and more from 1:30-7 p.m. at the Gordon Cooper Library. More info: Sharla Gallegos 6183159 or

FRee HeaLTH SCReeNiNGS • Mountain Family Health Centers conducts free public health screenings for cholesterol, blood pressure, heart disease risk and more from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. at Glenwood Springs Health Department, 2014 Blake Avenue, Glenwood Springs. More info: Sharla Gallegos 618-3159 or LiBRaRieS CLoSeD • All Garfield County libraries will close at 5 p.m. and will remain closed through New Year’s Day. Normal hours will resume Jan. 2. STeVe’S GuiTaRS • Steve’s Guitars at 19 N. Fourth Street presents a New Year’s Eve Full Moon Musical Party. More info: 963-3304 or

Jan. 2 BaNJo MaGiC • The National Multiple Sclerosis Society presents Banjo Magic with world renowned Banjoist Peter Mezoian and his One Night Stand Band, plus a magic show with mind reader Eric Mead, at 7 p.m. at the Wheeler Opera House, 320 E. Hyman Avenue, Aspen. Majid Kahhak will paint Mezoian live on stage. Proceeds benefit the National MS Society. Tickets: More info: or (970) 241-8975.

Jan. 3 LIVE MUSIC • Heart of the Rockies with Twirp Anderson, Cash Cashman, John Sommers and Randy Utterback plays at the Silvertree Hotel in Snowmass Village from 3-6 p.m. More info: (970) 923-3520.

Jan. 5 FiLM FeST • The Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival plays at 7 p.m. at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen. More info:

Jan. 7 WaLDoRF TouR • From 8:25-9:55 a.m. the Waldorf School on the Roaring Fork hosts “Walk Through the Grades,” an inside-the-classroom chance to observe each grade of the school, followed by a Q & A with a faculty member. 16543 Highway 82, on the frontage road a 1/2 mile east of FURTHER OUT next page

KID’S OF CARBONDALE Licensed infant to toddler in home day care (8-30 months) • Focus on music, finger painting & scribbling • Centrally located in Carbondale, kids enjoy walks to Sopris Park, Library & Recreation Center • $7/hr or $45/day, 8:30am - 3:30pm; classes limited to 4 children Julie Lang 704-1189 or 379-1728

Christmas punch passes available... a great gift for a friend, wife or husband! $90 for 2 days or 14 hours

Church at Carbondale a fun place to get serious with God! Christmas Season Schedule Christmas Eve, December 24th 6:00 pm Candlelight Service at the Building 7:00 pm Live Nativity at Turnbull’s barn Call 963-8773 for info/directions Regular Schedule: Saturday Nite Church 6:30 pm Sunday Morning Church 9:00 am Common Grounds Coffee Shop Tuesday-Friday 8:00—3:00 Sunday mornings 8:00—12:00. 10 • THE SOPRIS SUN • DECEMBER 24, 2009

Further Out


Catherine’s Store. Reservations: 963-1960. More info:

PReGNaNCY YoGa • Pixie Byrne offers a Yoga for Pregnancy Series to moms who are at least in their second trimester. Classes occur from 12:30-1:45 p.m. on Tuesdays through Jan. 19 at True Nature Healing Arts, 549 Main Street. Info: Pixie at 948-6971.

Jan. 8 LiVe MuSiC • The Band of Heathens performs at 8 p.m. at the Gathering Center at the Church of Carbondale. Tickets available at the CCAH office and Dos Gringos. $20 for CCAH members, $25 for non-members.

Jan. 9 STiMuLuS RaFFLe • The Go GreenGet Green economic rejuvenation campaign hosts a raffle from 1-4 p.m. at Sunburst Car Care, 745 Buggy Circle. Festivities include cash, door prizes, sales. More info: 963-1890 or LiVe MuSiC • Robert Earl Keen plays at 8 p.m. at the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen. Tickets: $40; (970) 920-5770.

Jan. 11 PReSCHooL PiX • Aspen Film presents the best in children's books on video for kids ages 3 to 6, at 10:15 a.m., at the Children’s Rocky Mountain School. Spanishlanguage videos will be screened at 10:45 a.m. Free, monthly event. More info: or 925-6882.

Jan. 15-16 LiVe LaTiN FuSioN • The Kimera ensemble plays upbeat Latin American and Spanish music at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 15 at CMC’s Spring Valley Center in Glenwood Springs. They will play on Jan. 16 at CMC’s West Garfield Campus in Rifle. Tickets available at the door and at 947-8367.

XMaS TRee ReCYCLiNG • Starting Dec. 26, Carbondale residents may recycle clean and once-live Christmas trees in the designated area at the parking lot due east of Town Hall. More info: 963-1307. SMaLL PaiNTiNGS • Amy Butowicz and Erin Rigney present Small Paintings this holiday season at Rainy Day Designs' studio at 16 N. Fourth Street. Weekday viewings 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. through Dec. 31. More info: 963-9748. aRT CLaSSeS • It’s time to register for art, music and dance classes at the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts. Winter session begins Jan. 11. Art, pottery, silversmithing, piano and more. Stop by a class for free. Course catalogue available at More info: 945- 2414. NoNe oF YouR BeeSWaX • Encaustic beeswax creations by five artists from the Anderson Ranch Arts Center will be on display during the None of Your Beeswax! exhibit through Jan. 26. Colorado Mountain College Gallery, Ninth Street and Grand Avenue, Glenwood Springs. More info: or 947-8367. JuNioR NoRDiC SKi CLaSS • Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club offers junior cross-country ski programs this winter

at Spring Gulch for grades K-12. One- and two-day-per-week beginner and intermediate programs. For more info and to register: or John Callahan, (970) 205-5140. HoLiDaY aRT eXHiBiT • S.A.W. (Studio for Art + Works) at 978 Euclid Avenue presents the Holiday Group Show through Dec. 31. Ceramics, jewelry and paintings by seven SAW artists. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and by appointment. More info: 963-0201 or CaSTLe TouRS • The Historic Redstone Castle is open for guided tours Saturday and Sunday throughout the winter. One tour each day at 1:30 p.m. Special holiday tours offered Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Tickets available at Tiffany of Redstone and the Redstone General Store. More info: 9639656 or aCaDeMY SCReeNiNGS • Aspen Film’s 19th annual Academy Screenings, featuring films that will appear in the Academy Awards, will be held at 6 p.m. at Harris Concert Hall, 960 N. Third Street in Aspen through Jan. 2. Tickets: More info: 925-6882. WeiGHT-LoSS CLaSS • Principles of Effective Weight Loss meets at 5:30 p.m., Wednesdays, at the Carbondale Recreation Center. Minimal fees. More info: Valerie Gilliam, (970) 948-5877, or SuiCiDe SuPPoRT • A support group for those who have lost a loved one to suicide, meets the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist

Church in Glenwood Springs at 824 Cooper Street. More info: Pam Szedelyi, 945-1398, or ReFoRMeRS uNaNiMouS • Reformers Unanimous, a faith-based program for those who are struggling with addiction, meets at 7 p.m., Fridays, at Crystal River Baptist Church, 2632 Highway 133. More info: 963-3694. GiFT WoRKSHoPS • A variety of affordable, multi-session holiday gift workshops focusing on pottery, silversmithing and other arts are available at the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts through midDecember. Info: 945-2414. DaNCe CLaSSeS • Learn African and Caribbean dances with live drummers and fun rhythms. All ages and abilities welcome. $10. Mondays from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Carbondale Community School, 1505 Satank Road. More info: Steve (970) 379-8422. WiNTeR CaMP • Snowmass Recreation Center will offer Winter Camp from 8 a.m. -5 p.m., Dec. 21 through Jan. 4, for Kids 6 to 14 years. Gym games, sports, rock climbing, Wii and swimming in the saline pools. Space is limited. More info and to register: 922-2240. FRee HeaLTH SCReeNiNGS • Mountain Family Health Centers is conducting free, public health screenings throughout December for cholesterol, blood pressure, heart disease risk and more. Area businesses may also arrange for free, on-location screenings. Dates, places and more info: Sharla Gallegos, (970) 618-3159, or


Community Briefs Bring out your dead The town of Carbondale will once again sponsor a Christmas Tree recycling program. Starting Dec. 26, Carbondale residents may bring their once-live Christmas trees to the parking lot on the northeast corner of Fourth Street and Colorado Avenue (across from Town Hall). Please place them in the designated area. No artificial trees, flocked trees, sprayed trees, wreaths, garland, ornaments, tinsel, plastic bags, wire, rope or lights are accepted – bare trees only. Call 963-1307 with questions.

CMC courses for job seekers, entrepreneurs The Colorado Workforce Center at CMC offers free classes to help job seekers and entrepreneurs. Funded through $50,000 in economic stimulus funds from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, the programs are designed to help people retool for new careers, improve interviewing skills and learn how to be successful entrepreneurs. Classes are planned through the end of April and are free to clients registered through any local Colorado Workforce Center. Three workshop series – on the topics of entrepreneurship, beginning computer skills and job seeking – will be presented in Glenwood Springs, Rifle, Aspen, Edwards, Leadville, Dillon and Steamboat Springs. The workshop, "Is Entrepreneurship for You?" will be offered on Thursdays, starting Dec. 17. "Marketing for the Entrepreneur" is planned for Wednesdays starting Jan. 13. An "Accounting for the Entrepreneur" workshop will be offered Wednesdays starting Jan. 20. These classes will meet at the CMC Glenwood Center at 1402 Blake Ave in Glenwood Springs and will then move to other locations. A "Never, Ever Computer Class" series is planned for Thursdays starting Jan. 14 at all seven CMC locations. For more information about upcoming workshops call Sherri Martinez at CMC at (970) 384-8519 or 1-800-621-8559. For contact information for the Colorado Workforce Center in your area, and for a list of all such centers in the state, visit

Art Briefs Wanted: an opening act Roaring Fork Valley rock musicians can audition to perform their best grunge rock in February. The Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts is seeking a rock band to open for the "Amputators Love Fest" on Feb. 13, featuring the "Amputators," a grunge/hard rock band from Steamboat Springs. The opening act needs to perform at least a 30- minute set. To set up an audition, call Christina at 945-2414 or e-mail

Two exhibitions at aaM The Aspen Art Museum is featuring exhibitions by Belgium-based artist Kris Martin and Paris-based collective artist Claire Fontaine. Martin’s exhibition will remain in place through Jan. 24. Fontaine’s exhibition is named “After Marx April After Mao June,” and will remain on display through Jan. 3. Martin creates objects in which the ideas and the materials are carefully refined to explore and emphasize time – its passage and its relationship to faith, aging, and to our self-conception and sense of mortality. Martin’s AAM exhibition features five large, human-height boulders, their apexes marked by tiny paper crosses. This shift of scale and perspective turn the rocks into mountains, their cracks into crevasses and their highest points into symbols of arduous accomplishment. Fontaine works in such diverse media as neon, video, sculpture, painting and text to create neo-conceptual art that questions the political impotency that characterizes much contemporary art today. The exhibition includes the work Passe-Partout (2009), a sculpture composed of handmade lock-picks associated with fishing flies, lures, and hooks used in the rivers of Colorado. It also includes a neon sign, mounted on the exterior of the AAM that reads “Foreigners Everywhere” in the Ute language. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday - Saturday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday; and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission is free.


Peter Heitzman smiles through the finish line of the first-ever Independence Jingle Bell Run on Dec. 20. Lauren Arnold won the 4-mile race with a time of 24:23. Andrew Mansfield, 15 years old, was the first male finisher with a time of 25:05. For complete results contact Brion After at Independence Run and Hike: or 7040909. Photo by Renee Ramgee

Stripper Fit toning bodies and turning heads in Carbondale By Chris Van Leuven Special to The Sopris Sun The Stripper Fit craze has officially hit Carbondale as of late. Due to excited chatter around town and the additional sexy, über-popular shows performed at Loyal Brother’s Lounge on Grand Avenue in Glenwood Springs and Phat Thai in Carbondale, attendance at the Stripper Fit classes has increased to over 50-100 visits per week.

The three pole dance instructors, Holly “Honey” Miely, Beth “Minx” Maun and Rebecca “Barbie” Stokes, teach out of the Body Barn in LaFontana Plaza on Highway 133. Each teaches Stripper Sculpt and Pole Fusion classes four or more times per week. The Stripper Fit brochure states: “Students learn basic pole safety, spins, lifts, transitions and the three elements in a pole dance routine. … Heels and booty shorts add to the fun.” By lifting their own body weight,

women increase their flexibility as they tone their cores and upper body without getting bulky. Students also get a chance to perform a stripping routine. The only rule of Stripper Fit is that all instructors and students must make up customary “stripper” names. Honey, the founder of Stripper Fit, has been living in the Roaring Fork for the past eight years and also works in real estate. She is originally from Chicago, has a minor

“Pole dancing is one of the most beautiful expressions of the female form through strength, flexibility and grace. It’s physically stimulating, invigorating and it provides a safe place to release our sexuality. It’s a great workout and we have a lot of fun.” Holly “Honey” Miely is the founder of Stripper Fit. Photo by Jeffrey Graham


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Stripper Fit founder Holly “Honey” Miely in dance from the University of Arizona and has a background in jazz and gymnastics. She’s been teaching dance classes since she was 14 years old. About six years ago she began teaching fitness classes, and took up pole sculpting classes not long after. “When I heard about this fitness thing, I put a pole in my house. It came very naturally to me,” she said. “Pole dancing is one of the most beautiful expressions of the female form through strength, flexibility and grace. It’s physically stimulating, invigorating and it provides a safe place to release our sexuality. It’s a great workout and we have a lot of fun.” Minx relocated to the Roaring Fork Valley 10 years ago from Key West, Fla., and started teaching pole dancing five years

ago. She has been a fitness instructor and personal trainer for the past 20 years. Minx, who additionally teaches cardio and sport conditioning classes at the Body Barn, says of Stripper Fit: “You're using a different form of resistance, using momentum and the weight of your body to build strength in a fun way. It’s totally empowering.” She continued, “It’s really fun to have people in true beginner classes who show up in running shorts, long pants and sweatshirts… and in a matter of a month are showing up in short shorts, and ready to come to class.” Barbie is originally from Bozeman, Mont., but came to Carbondale from San Clemente, Calif., five years ago. She’s an independently contracted personal trainer and fitness instructor with a background in indoor cycling and yoga. Barbie got interested in Stripper Fit about four years ago, and was one of Holly’s first students. She became an instructor last August. The three instructors teach Stripper Sculpt and Pole Fusion to women ranging in age from 18 years to older than 60. They also offer private classes. Classes focus on fitness and consist of 45 minutes of overall toning. Exercises include stripper squats, dance stretches and intensive floor workouts similar to Pilates. To accommodate the extra students, The Body Barn has provided Stripper Fit with additional space. People “see it and they want to do it,” Honey said.“It gives women a chance to do something out of their everyday life.” Honey said she is attracted to pole dancing partly because it gives her the chance to perform and organize a show called Honey’s Pole Cat Revue. The most recent event was put on at Phat Thai last Halloween, and was reportedly well received. “Putting on shows is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Honey said. Her revue consists of two fire dancers, a belly dancer and five pole dancers. Some performances have everyone dancing at once and some are solo. “It’s definitely a production,” she says. Honey has plans to revisit the Loyal Brother and Phat Thai for future shows, but is currently looking for venues and sponsors. Honey's PoleCat Revue also offers private bachelorette parties. Honey’s contact is:

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How not to kill your Christmas tree Years ago, when I was just discovering gardening, the idea of digging up a Christmas tree captivated me. My two sisters had flown the coop for Colorado and I had dad all to myself that year. I wanted to commemorate it. By then, I had explored pretty much every nursery and garden center in the area, and knew of a tree farm less than a mile from our home. We walked the rows of firs, spruces and Scotch pines, looking for the perfect 3-to-4-foot, wonderfully uniform pyramid. One of the farm guys dug up our choice, wrapping the ball in burlap. At home, we planted it in a whiskey barrel, watered it in, and brought the tree inside to begin the festivities – decorating a real, live tree! To this day, I’m amazed the tree ever made it. We pretty much failed to do anything needed to keep it healthy. First bad: we brought it right inside. What we should have done was staged it in the (cooler) garage until the week before Christmas. Living, dormant evergreens should really only be inside for 10 days, max. Some sources say only four days. Apparently, you don’t want warmth to trigger new growth. I hadn’t noticed any though, despite sitting in our cozy Christmas nest for weeks. Our homes aren’t just warm though, they’re dry. We were smart enough to water the ball, of course. I guess though, it helps big time if you spray a living tree with by Geneviève Joëlle what’s called an “antidessicant,” such as Wilt Proof. This Villamizar is a wax-based spray you mist all over the tree, even the undersides of the branches. This coating will slow down evaporative water loss through the trees needles. Even on fresh-cut Christmas trees, it helps prevent needle drop as the tree dries out. By pure chance, we did put the tree in the best possible place. We were going for drama though, not tree vigor. Stepping in from the cold, our fairy tale tree, in all it’s firfragrance glory, was right there to greet us: twinkling lights, years of collected, sparkly trinkets dangling from every lush branch. We didn’t consider at all how far it was from heat vents or the drying sunlight pouring in from windows, both of which hasten a drying, dreary demise. Post-New Year’s funk made it clear the holidays were over. It was time to put the tree

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back out. Again, we hadn’t acclimated it in the garage or a cold basement for any length of time, let alone the recommended week or so. Unwilling to let go of the holidays, I left it by our front door as a decorative seasonal planter, replete with the twinkly lights. The fact that we had a southern-facing brick entryway that moderated the temperature shock was most likely the only other thing that saved it. It should have bit the big one by then – especially being in a pot above ground. Potted specimens are a lot more exposed than those in the ground. Which was the last thing I never considered. Pardon My Garden, our valley gardening club, urges you to dig a hole for your live Christmas tree before the ground freezes ... like maybe in early November! Store the loose dirt in a wheelbarrow somewhere; when it’s time to plant, even with snow or frozen ground, you’re good to go. Shovel the snow out of your hole, place the tree in it according to all tree planting standards, and backfill with your loosened, unfrozen soil. Your root ball is already moist. So don’t water it in heavily if the ground is frozen. Like I said, I can’t believe our tree lived at all. We failed at so many levels to do anything right. But we were lucky. It grew up to be a really amazing tree: “Me n’ My Dad’s Tree,” a memory preserved in my first garden forever. Maybe. Who knows what the new owners have done… maybe they cut it down and brought it in for Christmas.

Sports Briefs

continued om page 12

CRMS hosts climbing competition Chalk dust filled the air and muscles strained at the Western Slope High School Climbing competition on Dec. 12.The competition was the second of the year and more than 80 middle and high school climbers converged on Colorado Rocky Mountain School for a spirited bouldering competition. For three hours, students from CRMS, Glenwood Springs High School, Montrose High School, Ridgeway/ Ouray, Grand Junction, Vail, and the Carbondale recreation center climbed side by side on 33 newly designed boulder

problems on the CRMS climbing wall. Each of the problems had a point value based on its difficulty and climbers struggled to finish their personal five best problems. When the chalk settled, Juan Pablo Alcocer of CRMS won the overall competition and Summer Igo of Grand Junction won the girl’s division. CRMS was on top with wins in the boy’s advanced, intermediate, and beginner categories, and in the girl’s beginner category. Students will continue to train and compete throughout the winter with an eye to qualifying for the state championships in late February.

Historical society continued om page 3 stone Castle and the Molly Brown House in Denver. Descendant Lew Ron Thompson of Carbondale and his siblings have kept the contents of the house intact and have preserved it as what many describe as a “turn-key museum.” Only a month ago, though, the fate of the house was not certain. Wallison had offered to deed it to the town in her request for a PUD and annexation, but trustees were not convinced that the added financial burden was worth the tradeoffs. A consultant hired by the town estimated it would cost approximately $24,000 to operate the house for six months out of the year. That estimate included a town administrative fee of $4,000, which is no longer needed, according to Wallison. Wallison said she does not estimate the house will cost that much to operate on an annual basis. Minus the town fee, she predicts it will be more in the $11,000 range, including $6,000 for upfront repairs noted by the consultant. Wallison added that it was never a consideration to raze the house, which has been the fate of numerous pioneer and Victorian homes throughout the valley. The issue was whether the house could be preserved without


Wallison gaining development rights on the property. “We certainly were not in a position … to donate the house,” she explained. But from the time she first walked through the home she said she felt the house “needed to be saved.” To that end, Wallison will donate $75,000 toward the operating expenses. (See main story on page 3.) The donation toward maintenance and capital improvements originally was offered to the town but now will go to the Mount Sopris Historical Society, which also aims to hold events, parties and other functions at the residence to help generate income, according to Perry. Other funding sources will be through grants. Lew Ron Thompson and others whose families homesteaded the area (including Ditty Perry and Pat Fender), as well as the historical society and active community members took a “very up-front role on it,” Wallison added. The historical society was set to meet with the town this week to begin ironing out the details of a lease for the land, which will be annexed into the town through the PUD. Wallison is expected to go before the trustees again on Jan. 19 to continue ironing out the larger PUD and annexation agreement.

Development continued om page 3 development have been the subject of discussion in past meetings. In the newest proposal,Wallison and her consultants have agreed to maintain an unpaved road that now exists between the northern and southern parts of the project. The developer has also suggested in her newest proposal that the town work with the Colorado Department of Transportation to construct a roundabout at the Weant Boulevard intersection with Highway 133, adjacent to the project. She suggested that she would pay a traffic impact fee based on the number of residences in her development, and said that if the developers of the school district housing project on the other side of the highway follow suit, a large contribution toward the roundabout would result. The area dedicated to parks in the new proposal increased from 2.04 acres to 2.21 acres, and the developer removed two houses that were planned for the area south of the historic house. This not only increases the total area of parklands, but adds parkland next to the tennis courts at RVR, creating the feel of a much larger park. Trustees and members of the public expressed gratitude and relief. “I really appreciate what you’ve done here,”Trustee Frosty Merriott told Wallison. In a previous meeting, Merriott had opposed the development out of concern that it would prove an ongoing expense to the town, which is dealing with a slim budget and has had to lay off employees. At the public hearing, Laurie Loeb, a long-time resident and activist, commended those who turned out to support the preservation of the Thompson House; the developer for making concessions that would lead to an agreement, and the board of trustees for“being relentless” in upholding the town’s standards. “We get to have the cake and eat it too,” Loeb said.

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BR/own bath with Sopris view through trees in beautiful, quiet, nearly new 3BR/2-1/2BA house. Share kitchen & living room with female artist and adorable cat. Another cat considered. Walk to bus, downtown. $600+ utilities. 1 month’s deposit. Anne 379-5050 or NICE HOME IN CARBONDALE. Two bedrooms, loft, two baths, garage, fenced yard, hardwood floors, granite counter tops, open plan, spacious. Available January 1, 2010. $2,200 per month. $1,000 deposit. 319-9684.

WATCH FOUND just outside Roaring Fork High School on Dec. 16 following the holiday program. Call to describe at 488-0776. ON VACATION? NEED AN OFFICE? SHORT TERM? LONG TERM? If you need professional office space while visiting the area, stop in and use one of our offices. Phones, fax, scanner, secured high speed internet, private offices. Daily, weekly and monthly rates available. Long term also available 379-4766.

PACKING SUPPLIES YOU WANT TO RECYCLE? I need bubblewrap; peanuts; sturdy, medium to large boxes and other wrapping material to ship ceramics. Will pick up locally. Anne 379-5050. PROFESSIONAL WRITER AVAILABLE for press releases, annual reports, letters and special projects. Call Lynn Burton at 963-1549. SPORTS REPORTER. The Sopris Sun seeks a volunteer to cover RFHS sports. Call 618-9112.


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for helping us hit the stands, each and every week … … Snow or no, The Sun keeps shining. A year has passed since The Valley Journal closed its doors. But with your support The Sopris Sun has stepped in to provide news, arts, sports and community coverage to Carbondale and the Roaring Fork Valley.

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