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A few bright spots are emerging in the Roaring Fork Valley's economy: local unemployment rates have fallen in the last two years, and in some towns, like Carbondale, permit applications for new construction are picking up.
But how does the valley's economy look from the bottom of the labor market ladder? KDNK's Nelson Harvey caught up with some day laborers in Carbondale recently to find out.
Carbondale's planning and zoning commission outlined their plan for the town's coming development code rewrite, emphasizing the public's role in the process. KDNK's Eric Skalac spoke to the commission chair Charlie Kees to find out more.
Governor Hickenlooper made a visit to Glenwood Springs today to commemorate the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority's new natural gas bus system. KDNK's Ed Williams was there and filed this report.
The controversial oil and gas leases in the pristine Thompson Divide area are due to expire in the coming months. In the wake of a recent application by two Houston-based energy companies to suspend their lease expirations and to drill for gas in the Divide, the Pitkin County Commissioners along with local conservation groups held a town hall meeting last night to discuss the issue with the public. As KDNK's Ed Williams reports, the turnout for the meeting was huge.
(Click on the story for the full audio of the meeting)
An upgrade of Highway 133 is in the works, and part of that process is a new roundabout at the intersection of 133 and Main street.
Carbondale is working with the Colorado department of transportation to engineer the new highway and intersection and after recommending a two-lane "offset design" roundabout, CDOT is going through a peer review process to judge the design.
But after members of the town's board of trustees questioned the need for a two-lane roundabout, town staff explored other design options. At last night's town trustee meeting, Public Works Director Larry Ballenger described one potential alternative, provided by the Walkable, Livable Communities Institute, and roundabout specialist Michael Wallwork.
KDNK's Eric Skalac caught up with Ballenger after the meeting and asked about the difference between the roundabout designs.
Last night, Carbondale trustees again voiced their opposition to gas drilling in the Thompson Divide. They voted unanimously to send a letter to the Bureau of Land Management and the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation commission emphasizing the inappropriateness of the area for gas development.
They also talked about adopting the international green construction code--a code aimed at making commercial construction more energy efficient. In that discussion, it was clear the board saw a link between the issues in the Thompson Divide and the energy requirements the town imposes on new buildings. They peppered Carbondale town building official John Plano with questions about renewable energy requirements for new and remodeled structures.
KDNK's Eric Skalac spoke with Plano to find out more.
After years of public speculation, oil and gas operator SG Interests recently applied for six permits to drill in the Thompson Divide, and many in the community are concerned about potential impacts.
The Garfield County Commissioners held an educational and informational session Tuesday, bringing together representatives from SG and state and federal agencies to answer questions about the coming approval process. More than two dozen members of the public took them up on the offer. KDNK's Eric Skalac has more.
Carbondale held its first Fat Friday parade last week, and after walking in the parade himself, KDNK's Eric Skalac spoke to some of the people celebrating on the street to find out what they liked about Carbondale.
Riding bikes in the snow is nothing new, but in the last few years a new sport–fat biking–has exploded in popularity. Several bike companies have introduced models outfitted with extra wide tires, and frames specially designed to tackle much of the same terrain that mountain bikers do in the summer. And as the low snowfall of the last two years has kept powder days to a minimum in western Colorado, the sport has spread like wildfire in the lower Roaring Fork Valley. KDNK's Nelson Harvey took a ride with some local fat bikers last week, and filed this report on the growing fat biking scene.
Last night, Carbondale gained one more fully licensed medical marijuana dispensary, bringing the total number within town limits to three. KDNK's Eric Skalac spoke to Mayor Stacey Bernot following the approval to find out how the the environment for medical marijuana businesses has changed.