PHOTOS: Day 1 of Silt Heydays |

PHOTOS: Day 1 of Silt Heydays

Silt HeyDays got off to a rocking start Friday with several band performing rock hits form the ‘80s.

Saturday’s festivities gear up early with a pancake breakfast starting at 7 a.m. in Stoney Ridge Park, located at 648 N. Seventh Street.

The Leonard Curry Trio will perform a blend of bluegrass, folk and more leading up to annual parade at 10 a.m.

This parade starts at Cactus Valley Elementary School and heads east on Grand Avenue to Ninth Street, where the route turns north and makes its way to Stoney Ridge Park.

Games, music and activities continue throughout the day both in Stoney Ridge and the Silt Historical Park, located at 707 Orchard Ave. Along with the horseshoe tournament earlier in the day, a corn hole tournament was added to the day’s activities. There is a $5 entry fee and the winner will take home a brand new corn hole set. Second and third place will bring home cash prizes, and a portion of the entry proceeds will benefit the Silt Historical Society.

Diamond Empire Band will close out the day with some country rock starting at 6 p.m. at the Stoney Ridge Pavilion. The concert is free.

Sunday starts at a faster pace — at least for some — with the seventh-annual HeyDay Hobble 5K race at 8 a.m. The race starts and ends at the Silt Historical Park.

The eighth-annual Silt Heyday Car Show runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Guest opinion: Update of coal program long overdue

On June 23, the Department of the Interior held a hearing in Grand Junction to receive comments from the public about its recently announced comprehensive review of the federal coal leasing program. While the review is underway, no new leases will be issued on federal lands.

The review also comes at a time when the coal industry is in the midst of transition and demand for coal is at an historic low thanks to a glut of cheap natural gas.

Interior’s decision means that the program will be reviewed for the first time in more than 30 years. Unfortunately, the current law is outdated and environmentally irresponsible and contains gaping loopholes that have allowed coal companies to cheat taxpayers out of revenue and to avoid government accountability.

Coloradans should care about the undervaluing of federal coal. The seven coal mines currently producing on federal land in Colorado encompass some 60,000 acres and accounted for 18.5 million tons of coal produced in 2015, worth roughly $740 million. This generated about $44 million in royalties, half of which goes to the state. Over the last decade, Colorado has received only $235 million for its share of the royalties from federal coal.

The Interior Department last reviewed the coal program during the Reagan administration after investigations demonstrated that taxpayers were being shortchanged. In response, Congress enacted a series of changes to the system, requiring competition for federal leases and implementing the concept of fair market value for federal coal. But the Interior Department initiated another review in the 1980s after reports that federal leases were once again being undersold on the open market.

And yet, here we are again. Both the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, and the inspector general of the Interior Department issued reports in 2013 again expressing concerns about the federal coal program, particularly the leasing process and fair market value. One finding — that 90 percent of lease sales receive bids from only one bidder, typically the operator of a mine adjacent to the new lease — shows the federal coal program bears little resemblance to the one envisioned by Congress.

A full review of our federal coal program will help ensure that taxpayers in Colorado and other states receive a fair price for federal coal. What’s more, the review will help establish safeguards to better protect public lands, streams and wildlife we all love and that are so critical to the healing process for veterans when they return from deployment.

An updated program would also be in line with Colorado values: Recent polling found that an overwhelming number of Coloradans (66 percent) support changes to the federal coal program, and 63 percent of Colorado residents oppose issuing new mining leases to companies that have failed to clean up areas they have mined in the past.

We urge our fellow Coloradans to support of reforms that will help protect public lands and bring us closer to a system that is fair and equitable for all.

Jill Lancelot is a Denver resident and the cofounder of Taxpayers for Common Sense. Garett Reppenhagen is a former U.S. Army sniper and the Rocky Mountain coordinator for the Vet Voice Foundation. He lives in Park County.

CIA Director Brennan says in Aspen that Putin is part of problem in Syria

The brutal bloodbath in Syria likely won’t stop until Vladimir Putin ends Russia’s misguided policy of propping up Bashar al-Assad, CIA Director John Brennan said in a presentation Friday at the Aspen Security Forum.

Brennan, in his first appearance in Aspen, had harsh words for the Russian president and his country’s role in prolonging the fight in Syria and allowing people to continue dying.

“I believe there’s going to be no end game even in sight as long as Bashar al-Assad stays in Damascus because he is the reason why so many Syrians are fighting,” Brennan said.

“There needs to be some sense that Al-Assad is on his way out,” he later added. “It needs to be clear he’s not part of Syria’s future.”

He noted that Syria was a country where Muslims, Christians and Jews once lived side by side. Now there’s been “so much blood spilled” that it seems impossible the country will ever return to the past.

Putin was so determined to stabilize Syria and stop the spread of terrorism toward Russia that he moved in with brutal force and backed al-Assad when he was on his heels, Brennan said. But he criticized Putin for acting without a long-term strategy and hoping that all chips fall into place.

Syria’s problems aren’t going to be resolved on the battlefield. A political solution needs to be negotiated as well, he said, and he wishes Russia would follow the United States’ path.

“I think the Russians need to come to terms that Assad has to go. We don’t want him to go overnight,” Brennan said, saying that would create too great of a vacuum too soon.

Brennan, a career CIA man who was appointed director in March 2013, said Syria is the most complex issue he’s encountered.

“I see Putin playing checkers here when it’s really a five-dimensional chess game,” Brennan said.

A big part of that chess game is addressing the presence of ISIL, which stands for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the name that Brennan regularly used rather than ISIS, referring to the Middle Eastern terrorist group.

Moderator Dina Temple-Raston, a correspondent for NPR, asked Brennan if he sees ISIL competing with the terrorist organization al-Qaida.

Brennan responded that ISIL is more of a “global menace” then al-Qaida has ever been. ISIL members grew up in the digital age and have created a social-media presence that is difficult to attack.

“The world can be their playground,” he said.

Al-Qaida requires prospective members to apply, then it vets them and, if they pass, they join a secret society, he said. Whereas al-Qaida tends to spend more time planning large attacks, ISIL compresses the time required to hatch an idea and get a person in position to act. They prefer an “operational cadence” of actions to strike fear into the world, he said.

Brennan contended that ISIL leadership itself doesn’t know for sure if attacks carried out in the U.S. and other countries are really members of the terrorist group.

“They will take credit for a lot of things. This is part of their brand,” he said.

He said the two terrorist groups might be shooting at a common enemy in Syria and they are cooperating in Yemen, but he doesn’t see the groups merging. That means prolonged action against twin threats. He said he doubts Syria can be stabilized, rebuilt and restored to peace during his lifetime.

Crime Briefs: The Rifle ‘Good Samaritan’ shot himself

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office has determined that a man who was shot July 16 was shot by a mysterious assailant as he’d claimed.

In a news release Friday, the sheriff’s office said his gunshot wound was self-inflicted.

This man, who has not been named and has not been charged with a crime, told investigators that he’d pulled over on Colorado 13 near mile marker nine to assist a red vehicle that was stopped with its lights flashing. While approaching the vehicle, he told police, he was shot in the torso by someone in the vehicle.


Glenwood Springs police responded last weekend to a vehicle break-in at Starbucks on Grand Avenue, which led officers to bag full of syringes and methamphetamine.

One barista heard breaking glass early in the morning. Another barista went outside to find her car window had been smashed and her backpack had been stolen.

Another employee saw a man run from the area toward the Rio Grande Trail.

At the Wendy’s next door, police found a bike leaning against a dumpster. A bag was slung across the handlebars, and inside police found several needles, one loaded syringe, two spoons with residue on them, a jar of some unknown liquid and a baggie of 27.8 grams of methamphetamine.

This amount of methamphetamine is not consistent with personal use, but with distribution, one officer noted in an arrest affidavit.

About 1½ hours later, a woman on Latson Court called police saying she was with a 43-year-old man with a cut-up hand who’d said he tried to steal a car.

This man told police, though, that he hurt his had when he wrecked his bike the night before and that he left his bike at Wendy’s.

He was arrested on charges of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, a level 2 drug felony, possession of methamphetamine, a level 4 drug felony, and first-degree criminal trespass, a class 5 felony. He was also charged with criminal mischief and theft, both misdemeanors, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a petty offense.


Sheriff’s deputies arrested a 30-year-old New Castle woman after witnesses say she was brandishing a rifle and screaming at two family members on Pinon Run.

“The armed female was reportedly yelling at the other parties that they were trespassing on her property,” the responding deputy wrote in an affidavit.

One of these relatives was the woman’s 24-year-old sister and the other was their 13-year-old cousin visiting from out of town.

By the time deputies arrived, the gun was out of sight.

Watching the 30-year-old’s kids, the younger sister said she got agitated when one of the children “fake cried.”

The 13-year-old cousin told police that she and the younger sister “had been in the house doing laundry and playing with (the 30-year-old’s) kids when (she) went crazy.”

The younger sister added that the irate woman had been drinking and that she takes medication for bipolar disorder.

They got into an argument and the older sister punched the younger in the temple.

“At this point it ‘escalated’ and (the older sister) told her that she was ‘white trash like mom,’” according to the affidavit.

The 13-year-old cousin began gathering clothes for them to leave. And as they were heading out the front door they noticed the 30-year-old sister behind them with a rifle.

The younger sister would later say that it was only a pellet gun and that she didn’t want to press charges.

The woman was arrested on charges of menacing, a class 5 felony, and misdemeanor harassment.

Police link mail thefts

A 20-year-old New Castle man has picked up a couple of cases in quick succession, both involving mailbox thefts.

A Glenwood Springs man discovered in March that a missing $700 check that was supposed to be mailed to him had been cashed about a month earlier.

This check was cashed at Dinero Rapido in Glenwood Springs, according to an affidavit. This business also takes the customer’s identifying information, including a photograph, which investigators were able to connect to the 20-year-old man.

Glenwood Springs police also found this man was also suspected in a money order theft case from June.

In this second case a Glenwood Springs woman reported a couple of money orders had been stolen from her mailbox, which were for rent from a tenant. One was for $200 and the other for $1,000.

On the lesser money order, cashed at Safeway, was a different name than the 20-year-old’s. But his name and other identifying information appeared on the $1,000 money order, cashed at City Market, according to police.

In both of these case he was arrested on identical charges: identity theft, a class 4 felony, forgery, a class 5 felony, and the misdemeanors theft and criminal possession of a financial transaction device.

‘Happy Fair’ rings through Carbondale

The town of Carbondale on Friday welcomed back its beloved Mountain Fair with the arrival of vendors at Sopris Park.

More than 140 tents and booths popped up Friday morning as the vendors prepared for the start of the fair at noon. Artists and artisans lined the main row and food and drink stations set up on the outside.

Those perusing the vendor set-ups will hear the phrase “Happy fair!” several times strolling through the park.

Mountain Fair is known as a hotbed for the artistically creative. It officially opened to vendors at noon Friday, but the real action kicked off with the community drum circle around 4 p.m. Afterward, the main stage will be occupied by musicians all the way through the end of the fair Sunday with only short breaks between sets.

It would make sense that the arts are the focus of the vendors in the park. After all, Mountain Fair is a huge booster for the art programs in the area.

“All proceeds fund art programs for the Carbondale Arts,” said Kat Rich, who is an information booth supervisor and Mountain Fair Dream Team member. “We are hoping to increase visibility for Carbondale Arts and its programs in the community.”

Mountain Fair is also almost completely volunteer run. Carbondale Arts, formally known as the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities, organizes the hundreds of volunteers as well as many other aspects of the fair.

“There are only three paid staff members,” Rich said. “There are over 300 volunteers who work putting together and running the fair.”

Planning for Mountain Fair begins in January and continues sporadically throughout the year. The real legwork happens during the last week prior to the fair’s start when some volunteers take several days off work to set up the park for the influx of visitors.

Rich expects anywhere from 20,000-25,000 visitors to Mountain Fair over the three-day weekend. Over the years, the fair has focused on becoming more green and sustainable. This year, organizers are strongly emphasizing reusable cups, utensils and plates.

“When you’re heading into the fair, pretend like you are going camping,” said Jason White. White is a member of the Green Team, a local organization that works to make Mountain Fair more sustainable.

White is referring to the idea of bringing reusable eating utensils. Patrons who bring their own canteens or buy them at the fair will find discounts on liquor and cleaning stations for their supplies.

The Green Team has made all kinds of adjustments over the years to make the fair as sustainable as possible.

“We’ve been here at Mountain Fair for 10 or 12 years,” White said. “We work with the vendors to get compostable materials. We call it working upstream. We reach out to the vendors beforehand and make sure they sign a compliance letter that says they will use the types of materials that we allow at Mountain Fair.”

The Green Team has certainly done a lot in recent years to make the fair greener. At last year’s fair, the team was able to have a 90 percent waste diversion rate, meaning only 10 percent of the waste ended up in a landfill. They hope be even higher this year.

For the vendors, these hoops are worth jumping through.

Jeff Isaacson has been to every Mountain Fair except for the inaugural one back in 1972.

“There’s only one Mountain Fair,” Isaacson said. “I used to do all the fairs around here, but this is pretty much the only one I do now. I live for Mountain Fair.”

As a beekeeper, Isaacson used to sell his honey by where the main stage is today. Since then, he has been selling his homemade Italian ice, which he has found has been a more popular sell.

“I’ll keep doing it until I physically can’t anymore,” Isaacson said. “I live to be a part of it. I’ve seen quiet a few great fairs over the years.”

Those who set up in the park aren’t the only businesses looking to benefit from Mountain Fair.

Charlie Chacos is a co-owner of Bonfire Coffee on Main Street in Carbondale. As an experienced Carbondale business owner, he understands the swarm of people about to hit Carbondale.

“It’s pretty much all hands on deck,” Chacos said. “We don’t allow many people not to work. We average about four staff members on duty for the mornings, but we’ll probably have six for Mountain Fair plus managers.”

Just up the street, David Dixon of Strange Imports is preparing too.

“We get a big increase in traffic and a moderate increase in sales,” Dixon said.

As a shop with expensive and fragile merchandise, Dixon is also wary of what the increase in traffic might mean for his shop.

“Intoxication can be an issue, also a bunch of little kids dripping ice cream everywhere,” Dixon said. “Overall I don’t mind it. I’m very welcoming to everyone who wants to look around. I’ve never had any real problems with anyone.”

As master of ceremonies, town Trustee Katrina Byars’ voice will be heard over the speakers to make announcements of the goings on at the fair. But her involvement in the fair is two-fold. She is also the general manager of the Dandelion Market food co-op.

Byars increases her staff and product, but her biggest concern is not about her role or her business.

“I just want everyone to have a safe and happy Mountain Fair,” Byars said. “There is nothing else like it.”

Chatwood, Gonzalez lead Rockies over Mets

NEW YORK — Tyler Chatwood kept winning on the road, Carlos Gonzalez homered and drove in four runs and the Colorado Rockies defeated the New York Mets 6-1 Friday night for their fourth straight victory.

Mark Reynolds homered and Charlie Blackmon had four hits for the surging Rockies. They are 11-4 since the All-Star break and have moved within four games of Miami for the second NL wild-card spot.

Chatwood (10-6) improved to 6-0 with a 1.30 ERA away from Coors Field this season. The 26-year-old is 4-6 with a 5.69 ERA at home.

Gonzalez matched a season-high hitting streak of 11 games with an RBI double in the first. He hit a 448-foot, three-run drive in the ninth for his 21st homer.

Steven Matz (8-7) gave up two runs and 10 hits in six innings.

James Loney homered for the Mets. Alejandro De Aza had another kind of hit — he had a pinch-single in the eighth, and later was running to third when he was grazed in the helmet by the shattered barrel of Travis d’Arnaud’s bat.

Down 3-1, the Mets got a pair of singles to start the eighth off Jake McGee. Scott Oberg relieved and retired the next three batters on just three pitches. The Mets are the majors’ worst hitting team with runners in scoring position.

Nick Hundley’s RBI single in the sixth put Colorado ahead for good at 2-1.


The Mets started a weekend-long tribute to Hall of Famer Mike Piazza, handing out replica jerseys to all fans. A large home plate with Piazza’s No. 31 in the middle was etched into the center field grass in anticipation of Saturday’s number retirement ceremony.


Rockies: OF Ryan Rayburn was a late scratch from the starting lineup after bruising his left knee in batting practice. … OF Gerardo Parra (sprained left ankle) began a rehab assignment with Double-A Hartford on Friday. He played left field for five innings in the first game of a doubleheader, going 1 for 2 with a walk and scoring a run.

Mets: 3B Jose Reyes (strained left ribcage) missed his fourth straight game. “He’s a little closer,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “We’ve got to be careful not to overdo it.”


LHP Jorge De La Rosa (6-7, 5.70) is slated to start for Colorado on Saturday night in a matchup of veterans, opposed by 43-year-old righty Bartolo Colon (9-5, 3.35). The 35-year-old De La Rosa is 2-1 with a 3.79 ERA in three starts at Citi Field. Colon will be starting on short rest, earning the win over St. Louis in the second game of a doubleheader on Tuesday.

Bank robbed on Glenwood’s bustling Grand Avenue

As tourists and downtown workers crowded Glenwood Springs sidewalks at 5:30 p.m. Friday, a man robbed a bank at the town’s busiest intersection and fled on foot down Grand Avenue.

Police Chief Terry Wilson said a white man “wearing a really odd straw bucket hat and big sunglasses, so he was very concealed,” walked in the front entrance of Vectra Bank at Eighth Street and Grand Avenue. One of his hands was concealed, Wilson said, and “he implied he had a weapon.”

No one was injured and the man ran away with an undisclosed amount of cash, heading south on Grand.

Glenwood police and Garfield County sheriff’s deputies were at the bank, and Wilson said the FBI was notified.

“What’s amazing to me is he ran down Grand” in unusual attire “and the only call we got was the 911 call from the bank,” Wilson said.

Bank robberies are rare in Glenwood. The most recent one before Friday was June 30, 2014.

Jack Lee Wright, 52, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, pleaded guilty in federal court that case. Wright was suspected of a cross-country robbery spree that included banks in Texas and Florida.

At the West Glenwood Alpine Bank, a man wearing a blue T-shirt and blue and white checkered shorts walked in, put a backpack on the counter, showed a black semiautomatic handgun and passed a note to the teller demanding money. He left the bank with $18,958, documents showed.

Arrested in Maryland, Wright was identified by a Rifle motel operator.

Before that, the last bank robbery in town was of the US Bank in April 2012.

20-acre wildfire near Carbondale prompts evacuations

A wildfire that grew to 20 acres Friday afternoon in the lower Crystal River Valley prompted the evacuation of a housing area and campground and closed Colorado 133.

At about 9:30 p.m. the crews concluded fire fighting efforts for the night, leaving an engine, crew and a Pitkin County deputy to patrol the area. At the end of the day fire crews had the blaze about 25 percent contained.

Officials said shortly before 7 p.m. that the highway would be closed for at least two hours. And a Pitkin County alert about an hour later said the highway would be open to one alternating lane until about 3 a.m.

Saturday’s continued fire operations may call for more single lane closures after 6 a.m., according to a press release.

Homes along Red Dog Road 7 miles south of Carbondale were evacuated and a shelter set up at Roaring Fork High School. The KOA campground 5 miles from Carbondale also was evacuated. Campers were being allowed to return to the campsite Friday night.

The fire itself, according to a Pitkin County alert, is in ranchland about 4 miles south of Carbondale. Smoke was visible from as far away as Cattle Creek along Colorado 82.

An aerial tanker had done one drop on the blaze and was returning to Grand Junction to reload for another drop. Helicopters also were working the blaze.

Fire crews from Glenwood Springs, Basalt, Snowmass, Aspen, Upper Colorado River Fire Crew, Colorado Department of Fire Prevention and Control, the U.S. Forest Service Control and the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Department were working the emergency.

An early alert indicated that the blaze, which started at around 3:30 p.m., probably was ignited by a power line. A recording at Holy Cross Energy said the utility had a power outage in the area. Initially, the fire was about 5 acres, but a wind shift shortly after 4 p.m. apparently helped it grow.

Letter: Triumph on the Fourth

The Glenwood Springs Lions Club and the Mountain Lions Club would like to thank all our sponsors and contributors that helped make our third annual Firekracker4k and the city’s Fourth of July celebration a great success.

We also want to thank the 72 runners who helped start the day with a bang. Our goals of having a fun activity for our community and families on the Fourth as well as raising funds for our vision care projects in the valley were achieved. The Lions Club will also be able to provide scholarships to help our youth.

It was great to see the city, police and fire departments, service clubs, Symphony in the Valley, and other local organizations come together to make the Fourth of July meaningful again in Glenwood Springs. The fireworks were great. Good job.

Darrell Stanley

Glenwood Springs Lions

Letter: The IRS doesn’t call

Please be reminded that the IRS does not use phone calls. If you get one, just hang up.

I just had one recently and they left a message. If you listen to the message its the same one as before.

The lady starts out by saying: “You must call this number back. If you do not call this number, you will be liable for any consequences for failing to call this number back.” So I am a traveling notary and I called it back.

It doesn’t dawn on me that this person didn’t identify herself. So I call back and man answers and I didn’t say who I was, so if you do call back, don’t say this is so and so returning your call. I just said, “Can I help you?” and he said, “Are you returning the phone call that was left on your machine?” and I said no. He said, “Are you sure you are not returning the phone call that was left on your machine?” I said, “I just called this number. So what do you want?”

He said, “What is your name?” and I said, “What do you want?”

He wanted my name. I thought my name is on the answering machine so this is another one of those fake IRS calls. I refused to give my name.

He said, “I am from the IRS” and I said, “You’re another one of those fake calls. You’re a fake and if you call back again, I am calling the Colorado State Attorney General’s Office and giving them this phone number.”

He hung up. This is not the IRS. Do not engage them in any conversation and don’t give them your name.

Jane Spaulding