Library executive director search moves forward | PostIndependent.com

Library executive director search moves forward

The Garfield County Libraries began searching for an executive director last fall after longtime director Amelia Shelley stepped down to pursue an opportunity close to family in Vancouver, Washington. The search began with a focus on candidates from neighboring states. In May, two candidates were brought in for in-person interviews. After considerable deliberation, the Library board of trustees did not offer the position to either candidate.

The search then continued on a nationwide scale. Interim Executive Director Sandi Kister and board member Marilee Rippy traveled to Orlando, Florida, in June to recruit during the American Library Association (ALA) annual conference. Their efforts generated significant interest in the position, resulting in applications from librarians across the country. Seven of the candidates were interviewed via Skype by the library’s search committee, which was made up of members of the staff, board of trustees and the public. The committee has decided to bring in three outstanding candidates for in-person interviews.

“This is an exceptional library district with a highly productive, creative and successful staff, magnificent facilities and a supportive community,” said Kister. “We want to ensure that we provide an executive director who will capitalize on these advantages and lead us toward an even better future. We look forward to finding the right candidate for our district during this process.”

The first candidate, Amy Hanaway, comes from St. Louis, Missouri. She received her Master of Library Science from the University of Maryland, and is currently enrolled in ALA’s Certified Public Library Administrator program.

The second candidate is Esther Day from Waco, Texas. She has over 19 years of experience in libraries, and has been a library director in Kentucky and Tennessee, as well as Texas.

The final candidate, Dustin Fife, currently works for Utah Valley University. He was named a “Library Journal Mover and Shaker” in 2016, and is a past president of the Utah Library Association.

All three candidates will be touring the libraries on Aug. 3, and will have interviews with the board of trustees that evening. The interviews will begin at 6 p.m. at the New Castle Branch Library, and will each take approximately one hour. The interviews are open, and all members of the public are welcome to attend.

On Thursday, Aug. 4, the candidates will begin the day with additional meetings with staff members. They will then participate in a meet and greet from 5-6 p.m. at the New Castle Branch Library. All members of the public are encouraged to attend and get to know the candidates.

Following the meet and greet, the board of trustees will conduct a secondary interview with the candidates. This interview session is also open to the public.

On the Fly column: Finding solitude may lead to finding fish

It’s mind boggling to witness firsthand the amount of fishing traffic that comes in and out of our valley. Most anglers fish the easy access points along the Fryingpan and Roaring Fork rivers. While these easy-to-find access areas provide good fishing opportunities for most people, I generally try to escape the crowds and fish during less busy times of the day, or I fish the less prime spots and make do with what is thrown at me.

Midday hatches of pale morning dun and green drake mayflies attract plenty of attention from anglers fishing on the Fryingpan River. The hatches typically fade by 3 p.m., and shortly thereafter most fishermen retreat back to their families to eat dinner and call it a day, while the guides head over to the bar to drink and tell stories. This scenario is just fine by me. The evening hours offer not only more solitude but also cooler weather and plenty of rising fish. Of course, this can be hit and miss with our monsoon weather patterns during the evening hours. Rusty spinner falls are common every evening and keep the fish well fed as they scour the water’s surface picking off these easy meals. Some of my favorite fly patterns to fish with include the following: CDC Rusty Spinners, Polywing Spinners, Royal Wulffs, Stimulators, Humpies, Sparkledun Drakes and Green Drake Cripples.

This past week I fished with several out-of-town friends and ventured up the Fryingpan River near Folkstad Springs on a busy Saturday. This area of the river consists of mostly pocket water and plunge pools and is generally quite shallow. For the casual angler, water like this doesn’t appear to hold many fish, but upon closer inspection it is, in fact, chockfull of rainbow and brown trout. These lesser-fished areas of the popular river are prime for dry fly or dry/dropper fishing. Oftentimes, the biggest key to having a successful day on this river is to simply find fish that haven’t been fished over all day. Find those “less prime” or “B” areas of river and cover water continually looking for new and fresh fish.

Needless to say, we are fortunate to have such a quality fishery where one spot isn’t necessarily better than another. There’s lots of river out there, so don’t fret if someone is fishing in your secret spot. You very well might find a new spot that fishes just as well as or even better than your old favorite.

This report is provided every week by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at (970) 927-4374 or taylorcreek.com.

We should eat more bison to preserve them

Massive bison herds used to be a staple of the Great Plains, until they were nearly hunted out of existence.

Now, with a new designation as the United States’ national mammal, bison ranchers argue that to conserve the species we have to eat them.

It’s an idea called “market-based conservation,” and it contends that humans are no good at saving species out of the goodness of our hearts, or motivated by some driving force of environmental justice. Instead, we create demand for an animal and then work hard to keep its population robust so we can gawk at it through binoculars, take pictures of it or, in the case of the American bison, eat it.

Greg Nott is an accidental bison rancher. He didn’t grow up on a farm. But in 2012, his wife, Tami, saw a herd of grazing bison on her way to Wyoming from their home in Longmont. She knew then she wanted to raise them.

“I was pretty opposed to it at first because my background is in (information technology),” Greg said.

Over four years they took steps to pivot from computers to bison. Greg kept his job in database management in Fort Collins and Tami still commutes a couple of times a week to Longmont doing finance for the couple’s church. In the off hours they raise bison, selling meat at nearby farmers markets. The Notts raise their small herd on a wide, grassy piece of prairie a few miles south of the Colorado-Wyoming border near Carr.

Their bison heifers are corralled behind a six-foot-tall barbed wire fence. In summer they lose their thick winter coats, looking slim and trim in their warm weather pelts. They take turns rolling around in the dirt, sending a small dust cloud into the sky.

“We have people asking, ‘Can we pet them?’ And we’re like, ‘No, please don’t,’” Greg said.

Tami agrees: “You get your hand in the wrong place, you get a horn.”

What the animals lack in calmness and domesticity, they make up for in the price of their meat. No longer relegated to novelty status, bison is in demand at restaurants and grocery stores. The National Bison Association reports sales in retail and restaurants have grown by more than 22 percent over the past two years, topping $340 million.

Yet the Notts say they didn’t just get into the business to make a buck. Part of their desire is to get the animals back on the land they historically roamed.

“In order to save this animal, we’re going to have to eat them,” Greg says.

That’s a sentiment Dave Carter shares. He’s the director of the National Bison Association, based in Westminster.

“I call it market-based conservation,” Carter said.

The idea got a boost recently when Congress named the animal America’s national mammal.

“I think the goal of this is to put bison on a stage to allow all of us that are connected with this animal to tell the story of bison,” Carter said.

MANY SUPPORTERS

The coalition that pushed for the designation included everyone from Native American groups to wildlife advocates to university foundations. Even the Boy Scouts jumped on board. Another flank of the coalition is made up of business people, from small-time ranch associations to Ted Turner, America’s most prolific bison rancher. They say by persuading consumers to buy and eat bison, it creates demand. More ranchers raising them means more animals out on the plains.

Conservation through commerce is not an idea without its critics, though. Taken to its logical conclusions, it’s the same concept that drives most big game trophy hunting. Hunters pay big bucks to take out a rhino, hippo, tiger and in theory that money then goes to save even more of them. Picked up by a media outlet or internet influencer, those stories invariably go viral leading to weeks of online outrage.

Even the National Bison Association recognizes the oddity of asking consumers to grill our national mammal.

“Some people will say, ‘Well gosh, if this is our national mammal and such an icon, why are we eating it?’” Carter said, noting that as long as the industry is profitable more ranchers will join the fray, keeping the mammal on its historical range.

Plus, it’s a prey animal, not like the lions of Africa or the bald eagle Americans so revere.

Bison ranching as a practice isn’t new in the U.S., but those in the industry want to latch onto this moment in the spotlight thanks to the national designation. The early 2000s brought a lull to the bison market. Some call it a “bison bubble,” where ranchers were more focused on breeding and selling the live animals to other aspiring ranchers, rather than investing in infrastructure to process and market their hides and meat.

Since that bubble burst, Bob Dineen has built his bison slaughter facility in Brush. Inside, bison carcasses move along a chain, hung upside down by their legs. Workers use sharp knives to trim up the carcasses, carefully peeling off their hides. Another employee pushes a wheelbarrow past full of freshly skinned bison heads, eyes intact.

“The young bulls that are our prime product weigh somewhere around 1,100 pounds live,” Dineen says, while weaving through hanging carcasses.

NOT COMPETING WITH BEEF

Rocky Mountain Natural Meats kills and butchers upward of 200 animals a day. Meatpackers who process beef cattle do in one day what the entire bison industry does in a year, all to satiate consumers’ hunger for mass-produced beef.

The bison meat from this facility supplies restaurants owned by Ted Turner, and large retailers like Whole Foods and Costco. Their hides are shipped off to be tanned, and organs are boxed up to be processed for pet food, a burgeoning market for bison producers. In a chilled prep room, a table is packed with boxes half-filled with livers the size of a head pillow.

“These would be individually wrapped tongues,” Dineen says. “And those are testicles or Rocky Mountain oysters. And there’s a good market for those.”

No matter how high demand climbs, bison will always remain a niche product, Dineen said. He’s not interested in competing with beef, even though the practices used in raising bison, like keeping the animals on grass longer, could be used in contrast with much of modern beef production. Rather than convert beef eaters to bison, Dineen’s motto is: “Eat beef six days a week and bison on the seventh.”

What will keep the bison industry stronger, he said, is more focus from processors to boost the ranchers who sell to them.

“It’s very important that producers are able to be profitable raising bison. That’s our focus is to try to push that profitability back to the rancher,” Dineen said.

Because that kind of market-based conservation, Dineen argued, is an effective way to put more of the national mammal back on the land.

Harvest Public Media is a reporting collaboration of KUNC, Rocky Mountain PBS and other public media stations in the Midwest.

Column: Liberal arrogance and what must be done

In a recent column in the Post Independent, another columnist asserted that she became liberal by listening. Undoubtedly this came from listening to liberal professors, liberal media and other liberal students. The inference was that conservatives were not as tolerant as liberals.

Were liberals listening when Rutgers rescinded an invitation to arguably the most accomplished woman of our century who happens to be African-American, Condoleezza Rice? Or when Virginia Tech refused to allow the African-American author Jason Riley to speak because of his conservative views? When Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry was not allowed by members of the Northwestern faculty to take an offered position there because of his views? There are many more examples of liberals rejecting those who do not reflect their own views, especially African-Americans.

Was she listening when Black Lives Matter chanted “Pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon”? I view the Black Lives Matter movement as racist in its hatred of whites as the neo-Nazis and skinheads are in their hatred of blacks. Neither has any tolerance for those who do not support their views or have a different color of skin.

I believe that intellectual racism is worse than blatant discrimination. The idea that one must fit a particular thought pattern due to the color of one’s skin is appalling. Thought police at their worst. At one time universities were centers for learning with vigorous debates of both sides of an issue. Unfortunately they have in many cases become propaganda mills of liberal thought.

Both sides of the political spectrum have small-minded bigots. I don’t believe that most Americans are racists. However if we are to solve the problems caused by racism, we must admit our prejudices. Anyone reading my column will know that I am very prejudiced against Islamists. I detest the manner in which they treat women, homosexuals and anyone who is not of their particular brand of Islam. Most of us have prejudices. We need to recognize them and be aware of how it affects our treatment of others.

The mass media and the Obama administration push the agenda of victimization of blacks by the police, disregarding the facts. A recent Harvard study conducted by professor Roland G. Fryer concluded, “On the most extreme use of force — officer-involved shootings — we find no racial differences in either the raw data or when contextual factors are taken into account.” Professor Fryer is African-American.

While recent studies show that race relations have deteriorated under the Obama administration, in general conditions have vastly improved over the past 50 years. Discrimination due to color would be rare in housing, restaurants or schools. More African-Americans have college education and have found opportunities in business.

Unfortunately conditions in the ghettos of our major cities have not improved. Chicago, Watts, Baltimore, D.C. and Detroit are examples of this urban decay. According to the Chicago Tribune, there have been 2,110 shooting victims in Chicago since January 1. Most of those victims were black.

According to one government study, 72 percent of black babies are born out of wedlock. In many cases the father will not be involved in raising the children. In any situation raising a child as a single parent is a challenge. In the ghetto it is extremely difficult.

In South Florida, my wife worked as a volunteer guardian ad litem in the worst neighborhoods. While social workers and lawyers argued, she tried to do what was best for the children. Unfortunately, all too often the children were placed with relatives who had little capacity for caring for them.

In order to improve conditions in these neighborhoods, we must admit what the problems are. We need to have a goal of making the neighborhoods safe to live in above all else.

The police brutality mantra of the mass media and this administration must be changed. Effective policing is absolutely necessary. Otherwise the apparent anarchy that exists in these cities will grow and fester throughout the country. The president, black leaders, Democrats and Republicans need to speak with one voice by supporting the police and pushing for law and order. We cannot accept the black-on-black murder rates in these areas. Gun control is not the answer. Enforcing the law is.

Second, we need to commit resources to the schools in these areas. Putting resources in before law and order is established would be a waste. First law and order. Once effective policing is in place then we do need to invest in schools including trade schools. There should be policing of and penalties for truancy and misbehavior in the schools.

Third, once physical security is established, tax incentives and financing could be made available to encourage businesses to establish in these areas. Again, this will not work if law and order is not first established. Singing “All we need is love” won’t work.

Roland McLean, an Aspen Glen resident, is a University of Colorado graduate, Navy veteran and retiree after more than 30 years in international construction. His column appears on the fourth Thursday of each month. Reach him at rmackmc@gmail.com.

Colorado Escapist: The ins and outs of J24 sailboat racing on Lake Dillon

Editor’s note: For more of host Shawna Henderson’s adventures across Colorado, including wine biking in Palisade and stand-up paddleboarding in Glenwood Springs, see the sports section at www.summitdaily.com.

“Starboard tack!”

Our captain yells the order as sailboats in front of us quickly scurry to get out of our way moments before a head-on collision.

There is nothing easy about sailboat racing on Lake Dillon. Rumor has it that our hometown reservoir is one of the more difficult places to race sailboats in the world, but I have little background to justify that statement. If you want to experience the thrill of a high-alpine lake regatta, join a racing crew. It’s the real deal: Due to the constant wind shifts and random directional changes, a crew out here must be prepared for anything. Learning to sail on Lake Dillon gives you the skills to sail anywhere in the world.

The start line

It’s essential for every boat captain to master proper starting techniques before a sailing regatta. If a boat arrives too early, it gets pushed over the line before the starting horn is blown. If a boat passes over too late, the craft is in position to get “gassed,” the term used for bad air. Race marshals are on the watery course to call out premature starts, which forces the boat to turn around and begin again.

The sweet spot is any location where no other boat is stealing your wind. As the count down begins (10…9…8…) the crew realizes we might be missing the mark. We luff our sails to slow the boat boat that we don’ miss the mark. Nearby boats count down just feet away (7…6…5…) until the last few seconds (4…3…2…) when the boats trim in the sails and off we go, on our way to the first upwind mark.

The game plan

Usually, race organizers place the first mark, or buoy, upwind of the start line. As we pick up speed, the captain calls out “high side” or “windward side,” which means the entire crew on our J24 rushes to even weight on the side of the boat that’s out of the water.

At the start of the race, boats begin with two sails up: the headsail, known as the Jib or Genoa, and the main sail. Located at the helm is our captain, who orchestrates the entire production. Fast decisions make or break our position in the race, and the question remains: Do we tack (a zigzagging steering motion) or not before hitting the lay line?

As we utilize the wind to pick up a nice pace, the crew realizes that we are getting lifted into a perfect position to make a clean tack around the mark. Then, the wind shifts and we get “headed,” meaning the boat is heading too far away from the mark, leaving us no choice but to tack — and then tack again.

As the trimmer

Sailboat racing is a production with all hands on deck. Everyone has a role to play, and together, their efforts make all the parts flow like a finely oiled machine.

The captain drives the vessel and commands the rest of the crew for the next move. I’m the trimmer, so when our captain says, “Ready to tack,” I jump into position, patiently watching as the front sail begins to luff before releasing the lines on one side of a winch. I duck under the main sail as it swings to the other side of the boat and pull with all my might to wrap the line around the other winch.

“Trim in!” the captain yells as I grab the crank to tighten the lines. Now we are really cruising. The wind picks up and the crew moves to the high side to balance the boat. I dangle my feet over the edge, holding onto the lifeline.

By now, the boat is out of the water and on course to hit the lay line. I’m in charge of the lines connected to the Genoa, as well as flying the spinnaker. We round the mark and this is where things get a little crazy. Things happen quickly: Pole up. Spinnaker up. Genoa down.

Unpredictable winds

Oh, the joys of racing on a high-alpine lake. Unlike other bodies of water with a consistent wind forecast, unexpected wind shifts are common on high-alpine lakes.

Our man on the foredeck looks out on the water to see changes in the ripples. Foredeck is positioned at the front of the boat and in charge of the spinnaker, the large front sail. His job is to remove the pole and place it on one side or the other depending on the wind.

“Wind puff in four, three, two and one,” he says, as a burst of wind that seemingly comes from nowhere places the boat on edge. We quickly move to the high side to balance out the boat.

During our last race, the boat in front of us began heeling over to the point that one of the crewmembers got dumped in Lake Dillon. Even though the design of modern sailboats makes it almost impossible to capsize, you feel that adrenaline rush when the wind kicks up.

Things get crazy determining what boats are on port tack. When the wind is blowing on the left side of the boat you are on a port tack, and when the wind is blowing on the starboard side you are on a starboard tack. Since boats on a starboard tack always have the right of way, races can be won or lost based on crew tactics: ending on a starboard tack could make all the other boats hustle to get out of your way, with some boats coming within inches of each other before the finish line.

At the end of the day, we are out on intimidating Lake Dillon to have fun and learn new skills. And, when the wind picks up, it certainly gets the heart pumping.

Water resources park pushed for confluence

A new idea floating about for reuse of the old Glenwood Springs sewer plant property near the confluence of the Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers would involve an educational museum about the history, science and ecology of Western water resources.

But it could be a tough stream to row against competing development interests for the city-owned portion of the larger confluence area that’s being eyed for major redevelopment.

Jonathon Dunn, who owns the Redstone Cliffs Lodge in the Crystal River hamlet of Redstone, is in the early stages of talking up the water museum concept.

“Glenwood Springs is the first city on the upper Colorado where the river meets sufficient infrastructure to support an expanding tourism market,” Dunn said.

It’s also a center for water management businesses and water law, and the confluence area and old wastewater plant would make a natural home for the project, he said.

So far, Dunn has a small group of supporters, including the new director of the Frontier Historical Society, Bill Kight, and is trying to get the ear of city leaders who have made redevelopment of the confluence area a high priority over the next few years.

The idea would involve creating an educational park and repurposing some of the old sewer plant infrastructure into a “water exploratory” museum with educational exhibits and hands-on water science features.

“We want to make it fun for kids and visitors, and also link it to the school curriculum,” Dunn said.

The main sewer plant building could be used for the museum, and one or more of the circular clarifier tanks could be converted into a virtual reality biosphere that could educate visitors about endangered water-dependent climates around the world, Dunn said.

150,000 VISITORS?

The grounds could also be developed into a variety of gardens and landscaped areas showcasing different types of habitat and how they relate to water, he said.

Dunn estimates the museum could attract upwards of 150,000 people a year. For any food or other vending services, rather than inviting new businesses to locate there, he suggested outsourcing to existing businesses.

The Frontier Historical Museum could be part of the mix as well, Kight said, especially if the existing Farnum-Holt Funeral Home were to relocate as often suggested in the city’s confluence planning efforts.

Should the city or some other entity decide to acquire the funeral home building, the historical society would be interested in considering it as a new museum location, he said.

“We have so many photos and exhibits that tell the story of Glenwood Springs that we can’t display because we just don’t have the space,” Kight said of the museum on Colorado Avenue.

The historical society has been exploring different locations around town, but the confluence area makes a lot of sense, he said.

As for the water museum, “whatever happens with that would have to include the Ute Indians, who saw the confluence of rivers as sacred,” Kight said. “It’s a good opportunity to tell their story.”

The city and Downtown Development Authority, in working to update the 2003 confluence master plan with the Sonoran Institute and more recently Community Builders, has envisioned a variety of tax-generating commercial and mixed-use development for the area.

While a riverfront parkway is one of the things being discussed and drawn into the plans, it’s been a foregone conclusion that the old sewer plant infrastructure would eventually be demolished.

“There have been several suggestions for different things at the confluence,” said City Councilman Steve Davis, who represents the ward where the confluence is located.

‘A SHAME’

But he doubts any plan that would involve leaving the old sewer plant buildings intact would fly.

“In our discussions with the community, we keep going back to the concept we put together with the Sonoran Institute and DDA,” Davis said of a concept plan that suggested a variety of shops situated away from the river and a public parkway along the water front.

“That would be difficult to do with the old buildings and tanks in place,” he said.

Dunn disagreed, and said the museum would be too costly to build from scratch as opposed to reusing the existing structures. And he believes a park for that area would have greater appeal.

“It would be a shame to lose the longer-term value to the town as a whole to short-term profit,” he said.

So far, Dunn has not made a formal pitch to City Council, but has been making the rounds to different advisory committees and business groups. He has also developed a website outlining his vision. It can be found at www.confluencepark.org.

City Manager Debra Figueroa said that $300,000 is currently in the city budget to demolish the wastewater plant buildings and related infrastructure, but that’s not nearly enough to get the job done.

She is currently pursuing an EPA grant intended for reclamation of brownfield properties and redevelopment. If successful, that grant could also leverage funding for additional master planning of the confluence area and the broader downtown planning that the DDA has been working on, Figueroa said.

As for the funeral home, owner Trey Holt said he has gotten inquiries from private interests about buying the property. But no formal offers have been made, he said.

If the funeral home were to relocate in the future, Holt said he would like for it to include land for a new cemetery since the city’s Rosebud Cemetery is nearly full. That would likely mean finding a piece of property outside of town, he said.

Readers Say Thanks

Wildfest was a heartwarming success

On July 2, more than six hundred people showed up for Wilderness Workshop’s first sold-out Wildfest at Owl Farm in Woody Creek! We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the many supporters, sponsors, vendors, and volunteers who came together to make the day a success.

Wildfest is a special kind of celebration. We keep the ticket affordable and cut the silly frills to give this valley all it needs to party like it used to: good music, great food, and the finest people. It’s for all ages and backgrounds, bringing everyone together to take a step back and celebrate the wonderful public lands surrounding this place we are so lucky to call home.

Many people made Wildfest a success, starting with Anita Thompson and Owl Farm for providing a fantastic venue. Thank you to our 40 incredible, hard-working volunteers from up and down the Roaring Fork valley. We hope volunteers will join us for our annual Wilderness Workshop volunteer appreciation party later this summer. Thank you to our sponsors and businesses in the community that made this happen, especially our key support from Sopris Liquor & Wine, Alpine Bank, The Agency, Xssentials, Aspen Times, Aspen Sojourner Magazine, Bristlecone Mountain Sports, Reese Henry and Co., and Ken Ransford, P.C. Thank you to the professional musicians, performers, and chefs who made Wildfest a day to remember. And thank you to all who attended. It’s you, the public, which allow Wilderness Workshop to protect and conserve public lands. And only with your contributions, can we bring Wildfest to the valley next summer. We are sustained by community support and we always welcome new members. Join us today and find out more about what we do to keep wild lands wild at www.wildernessworkshop.org.

Justin Patrick

communications manager, Wilderness Workshop, Carbondale

Gratitude to our community

As we wind down from our 18th Annual Cajun Clay Night, I find myself overwhelmed with gratitude for the people who live in this beautiful community. Trying to gather volunteers can be a daunting task, yet, I have found that there is no shortage of people who are happy to help, in any capacity. I believe in the importance of civic responsibility, and know that collectively, we all contribute to the health and vitality of the Roaring Fork Valley.

On behalf of the board of directors and the staff at the Carbondale Clay Center, thank you for your involvement, patronage and support.

With sincere gratitude,

Angela Bruno

director, Carbondale Clay Center

Rockies should make minor moves at deadline

Sitting at 49-52 just five days away from the 2015 Major League Baseball trade deadline, the Colorado Rockies are in a precarious spot this season.

Clearly a ways away from competing for the National League West division title at 10 games back, a spot in the National League wild card game at 6 games back and sitting at a 0.9 percent chance at a playoff berth, per Baseball Prospectus, the Rockies have quite a few trade chips that could fetch quite a bit in return on the trade market.

Starting with right fielder Carlos Gonzalez, the Rockies could get a king’s ransom in return for the All-Star outfielder hitting .317 with 20 homers and 62 runs batted in through 96 games played.

Should the Rockies feel inclined to put him on the market, one would assume that he’d command at least two top pitching prospects and a handful of other solid mid-level prospects to complete the deal, much like what the Rockies commanded from the Toronto Blue Jays last July in the Troy Tulowitzki deal.

While Jeff Hoffman, Miguel Castro and Jesus Tinoco are all fine prospects and should one day make a big impact for the pitching-starved Rockies, the fledging franchise would be wise to hold on to its star assets, starting with CarGo.

Sure, his name has surfaced on the trade rumor windmill, especially with the call-up of top outfield prospect David Dahl earlier this week, but that doesn’t mean the Rockies are going to sell high on one of their biggest stars outside of third baseman Nolan Arenado just because they have very little chance of making the playoffs at this point in the year.

No, what the Rockies should do is consider moving fan-favorite Charlie Blackmon, who would command a high value on the market and is reportedly the top target for the Washington Nationals, who are desperate for a great lead-off hitter and top defender in center.

Although the Rockies wouldn’t be able to pry away Washington’s top pitching prospect in Lucas Giolito, Colorado could potentially acquire a pitcher like Joe Ross (7-4, 3.49 ERA, 79 K’s) from the Nationals, along with a mid-level prospect like 1B/3B Matt Skole or catching prospect Spencer Kieboom, both of whom are close to reaching the majors.

Neither prospect would blow the doors off of anyone, but both are solid and would provide depth and upside in the Rockies’ system.

When looking at the Rockies’ system, there’s plenty of hope on the horizon with shortstop Brendan Rogers, catcher Tom Murphy, outfielder Ramiel Tapia, Hoffman and Dahl all close to the big leagues, so a small market team (in baseball terms) like the Rockies would be wise to continue to build a strong foundation.

That all starts with hanging onto stars like Cargo, Arenado and rookie sensation Trevor Story, who looks like a lock to win the NL Rookie of the Year award.

If the Rockies do decide to move some pieces to contenders, Blackmon should be at the top of the list. By moving Blackmon, not only do you open up an everyday spot for Dahl to prove himself at the big-league level, but you could also acquire a big-league pitcher like Ross to help right away. Granted, that’s a hypothetical return and one that is sort of realistic.

Blackmon isn’t some cheap castoff, not when he’s playing Gold Glove-caliber defense in center and has a slash line of .299/.358/.462. That’s some great production as a table setter at the top of the lineup for any contender looking for an upgrade.

Along with Blackmon, the Rockies could explore moving a veteran corner infielder such as Matt Reynolds to a contender looking for a big bat off the bench with playoff experience, as well as guys like outfielder Ryan Raburn and lefty reliever Boone Logan.

The returns on those three certainly wouldn’t be significant or franchise-altering, but for a team that likely isn’t going to make the playoffs it would bode well for them to sell off veteran pieces that don’t have long-term outlooks with the franchise for whatever they can get in return.

Unlike last year’s blockbuster trade of Tulowitzki, this year’s deadline should be relatively minor for the Rockies. A few more good years of smart moves, good drafting and patience should have the Rockies returning to the playoffs. With a great young core centered around stud pitchers Jon Gray, Tyler Chatwood and Tyler Anderson, along with Arenado, Gonzalez and Story, Colorado might finally have another Rockies group to be proud of.

LOCAL SPORTS BRIEFS

COAL RIDGE CHEER AND FOOTBALL CAMP

From Aug. 1-4 the Coal Ridge Titans will host their youth football and cheer camp from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the high school football field.

The camp is open to students in grades 3-8, with a camp fee of $30 per student, and $50 per family.

Each session at the camp will be hosted by the football and cheer teams that will teach fundamentals, teamwork and character development. The camp also includes conditioning. Athletes need to wear comfortable, cool clothing with football cleats or supportive tennis shoes and a water bottle.

SILT HEY DAY HOBBLE 5K

The Silt Hey Day Hobble 5K starts at 8 a.m., Sunday, July 31 at the Silt Historical Park at 808 Orchard Avenue in Silt.

Cost of the race is $20 pre-registration, $25 day of the race.

Please contact Kathy Strong at 970-948-7923 for a registration form.

PYRO’S PUSH IT UP TRAIL RUN/WALK

Pyro’s “Push it Up” Trail run & walk will commence at the West Elk Trail on the Flat Tops, at 8 a.m. Aug. 13 with a 3.5K family/beginner trail before going onto a 7.7K trail that is more challenging. The event is capped off by a 13K double down on a steep rugged trail.

The cost of the event is $35 per run. For more information, visit the event website, www.pyroswings.com or call 970-876-2324.

The event is in memory of Capt. William “Pyro” DuBois, who died defending his country in the Middle East on Dec. 1, 2014.

Proceeds from the event will go to Pyro’s Wings Scholarship fund for future fighter pilots and families of fallen heroes.

STORM KING TOURNAMENT

The Storm King Tournament will take place at the Glenwood Springs Golf Club on July 30.

The two-lady best-ball tournament is open to all ladies with a current United States Golf Association handicap.

Entry fee for the tournament is $110 per team and includes green fees, continental breakfast and lunch. Call Glenwood Springs Golf Club for more information at 970-945-7086.

SODA POP OPEN

The Boys and Girls Jr. Golf Tournament will take place at the Glenwood Springs Golf Club on Aug. 1, and is open to all junior golfers. Age groups for the tournament include all boys and girls 9 and under, boys and girls ages 10-12, boys and girls ages 13-15 and boys and girls ages 16-18. Entry free for the tournament is $10 and includes green fees, hot dog and soda. The Soda Pop Open is Colorado’s oldest Jr. Golf Tournament. Call Glenwood Springs Golf Club to enter 970-945-7086.

CHEATIN’ WOODCHUCK RACE

The sixth and final installment of the Colorado River Valley Charity Race series is the Cheatin’ Woodchuck Race 5 mile, which will take place Aug. 6, starting at the Rifle Fish Hatchery. Registration is open online, and all proceeds benefit the Sunlight Winter Sports Bus 2016/17 season.

COACH CHAVEZ 30-YEAR CELEBRATION

The public is invited to attend a recognition celebrating Coach Bob Chavez and his 30 years as head coach of the Glenwood Demons. This event will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, in Veltus Park. Light appetizers will be served. Bring a chair or blanket to sit on for this 30-40 minute program. More details to come. Any questions can be directed to Doug Laven at Demonsreunion@gmail.com.

Hundley, Dahl homer as Rockies beat Orioles 3-1 behind Gray

BALTIMORE — In a duel between rookie right-handers, Jon Gray outpitched Dylan Bundy to provide the Colorado Rockies with a feel-good series win.

Nick Hundley broke up Bundy’s no-hit bid with a two-run homer, and Colorado rode a strong outing by Gray to a 3-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday night.

David Dahl hit his first major league home run in his third game for the Rockies, who took two of three from the AL East leaders.

“It’s one of our best series of the year,” Colorado manager Walt Weis said. “It’s got to be up there. We got real good starting pitching this series and we had some really clutch hits. That’s what it takes.”

Colorado has won six of seven and is 9-4 since the All-Star break.

Gray (7-4) allowed one run and five hits over seven innings to earn his first road win since June 5. He had to be sharp, because Bundy was unhittable from the outset.

Making his third career start, Bundy (3-3) retired the first 16 batters before Mark Reynolds drew a walk.

Hundley then hit a 1-2 changeup into the left-field seats for a 2-0 lead.

“When a guy is rolling that good, you’re just looking for a mistake,” Hundley said. “Fortunately, he made a mistake.”

Two batters later, Dahl chased Bundy with a shot to center.

Dahl made his big league debut in the series opener and got a hit in each game.

“He had got me the at-bat before on all changeups,” Dahl said, “so I wasn’t really looking for it. But I kind of just saw it and saw it up and tried to take a good swing.”

Manny Machado homered for the Orioles, who fell to 37-16 at home after dropping successive games at Camden Yards for the first time since May 30-31.

On the positive side for Baltimore, Bundy went deeper into a game than ever before and notched a career-high eight strikeouts.

“He was the reason we were in that game,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Impressive.”

After Machado hit his 21st homer in the sixth, Baltimore didn’t get another runner into scoring position.

Adam Ottavino and Boone Logan worked the eighth for the Rockies and Carlos Estevez got three straight outs for his 10th save, tops among major league rookies.

Earlier, Baltimore missed two opportunities to jump on top.

After the Orioles loaded the bases with one out in the fourth, Gray retired major league home run leader Mark Trumbo on a popup before Jonathan Schoop hit a fly ball to center.

Baltimore also wasted a leadoff double by Matt Wieters in the fifth.

STREAK BREAKER

Orioles slugger Chris Davis snapped an 0-for-24 skid with a bunt down the third-base line against the shift. He also walked and struck out twice.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rockies: LHP Chris Rusin was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list. He will take the spot of reliever Jason Motte, who was put on the 15-day DL with a right rotator cuff strain.

Rusin was 2-4 with a 4.12 ERA in 12 games before being sidelined by a strained left shoulder. Manager Walt Weiss said Rusin will be used out of the bullpen.

Orioles: Hyun Soo Kim was back in the lineup for the second consecutive game after being activated from the DL on Tuesday. Kim started in the left field and has not shown any lingering effects from a strained right hamstring.

UP NEXT

Rockies: Rookie left-hander Tyler Anderson (3-3, 3.56 ERA) makes his ninth career start Thursday in the opener of a four-game series against the New York Mets. He won his last outing against the Braves, allowing three runs over six innings.

Orioles: RHP Ubaldo Jimenez (5-9, 7.38), who returned from paternity leave Tuesday, will start Thursday’s makeup game from a May 9 postponement in Minnesota.

While Jimenez has struggled this season, he is 5-3 with a 2.55 ERA in 10 career games (nine starts) against the Twins.