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News: Carbondale weights lawsuit, debates selling river island

News: Carbondale weights lawsuit, debates selling river island March 16, 2011
Carbondale Town Trustees continued their conversation on what's been called The Island Property – a piece of land in the middle of the Roaring Fork River the town owns.

Trustees reviewed an ordinance that would sell the property for $100,000 to the parties that are suing the town over what's essentially a property dispute.

Typically public property is disposed of or sold via a vote of the people. But the state law allows communities to dispose of land via an ordinance if it hasn't been developed.

The town has been dealing with the property for years and more recently a law suit. The property is between 12 and 17 acres, depending on how high the river is. The only way to access the land is by boat. The property was originally donated to the town in 1981 as a tax write off.

Trustees heard from about a dozen people – all who spoke in favor of the town pursuing the lawsuit in favor of holding onto the land and resolving any property line disputes.

KDNK's Conrad Wilson spoke with Carbondale Mayor Stacey Berton following last night's meeting about where the discussion goes from here.
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Interviews

Interviews: Nonprofit news org takes root

March 16, 2011
A new nonprofit investigative news organization has started in the Roaring Fork Valley. The group is called Aspen Journalism. It's based off a New York-based news organization called ProPublica. KDNK's Conrad Wilson spoke with Aspen Journalism's Brent Gardner-Smith about the idea and what the organization plans to contribute to the region.
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Business & Economy

News: Xcel, solar industry agree on rebate changes

News: Xcel, solar industry agree on rebate changes March 16, 2011

A once threatened solar rebate program is back on the table for customers state-wide. Xcel Energy and the Colorado Solar Industry reached an agreement late Tuesday that keeps the program going at least through the end of the year. KDNK’s Conrad Wilson has the details.

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Capitol Coverage

Capitol Conversation: New congressional map in the works

March 14, 2011
Lawmakers will wrap up statewide hearings on redistricting by the end of the week. A bi-partisan committee has traveled across Colorado to get input from voters on drawing new congressional lines. The legislature is charged with writing the map for congressional districts after this latest census. As part of our Monday capitol conversations, KDNK's Bente Birkeland explores the history and complications of having politicians write the map.
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Environment

News: Crystal River Valley fights potential dams, flooding of Redstone

News: Crystal River Valley fights potential dams, flooding of Redstone March 14, 2011
The Colorado River District holds conditional water rights from 1957 that would, in theory, allow it to build a reservoir bigger than Ruedi on the Crystal River. If constructed, the landscapes and communities along the river would forever be changed. Reporter Brent Gardner-Smith of the investigative news organization Aspen Journalism, looks at the impacts to the region. The reporting is a collaboration between KDNK News, Aspen Journalism and The Aspen Daily News.
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Interviews

Amy Goodman speaks in Carbondale

Amy Goodman speaks in Carbondale March 14, 2011
Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! visited Carbondale for a town hall breakfast. She spoke about the importance of taking part in a democratic society and the responsibility we all play in pushing the government to work for the people.
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Immigration

Panel: Immigration issues in Colorado and the Roaring Fork Valley

March 4, 2011
As part of KDNK's Spring Renewal Membership Drive, we assembled a panel of experts to discuss immigration issues around the Valley.

Over the past 20 years, the state's Hispanic population has ballooned from 13 percent to nearly 21 percent of total residents, with the trajectory sure to continue. Here in Garfield County, we've seen the Latino population grow ninefold, largely due to immigration. This valley saw a large influx of immigrant labor as the home building and service industries picked up. Tonight we'll be discussing how that affects all residents in the valley, and what can be done to fix the challenges we'll be facing in the future.

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Local News

News: Fire accelerant poured down side of destroyed Willits home

News: Fire accelerant poured down side of destroyed Willits home March 2, 2011
We have an update this morning on the fire that destroyed a house in the Willits subvision near Basalt in January. Local investigators have reported that the fire was an arson, but haven't said much else. KDNK's Mathew Katz reports.
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Politics

News: Trustee Foulkrod recuses himself, Merriott under fire

March 2, 2011
In a surprise move, Carbondale Trustee John Foulkrod recused himself from the Village at Crystal River development. That's the proposed 24 acre development on the intersection of Main Street and Highway 133 in Carbondale. But the developer asked another trustee to also remove themselves from future meetings. KDNK's Conrad Wilson was at the meeting and has this report.
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Real Estate

News: With more wildfires, insurance rates go up across the West

March 1, 2011
Wildfires are becoming increasingly common throughout the Western US. One near Boulder last year was the worst in Colorado's history; causing over $200 million in damages. And now insurance companies are stepping up efforts to prevent losses. As KDNK's Conrad Wilson reports companies are setting new, stricter standards for what they'll insure.
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