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Boebert’s spokesman quits less than 2 weeks into term

DENVER (AP) — The spokesman for Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert of Rifle has quit less than two weeks after she was sworn into office, saying he was prompted to by the insurrection at the nation’s Capitol.

Ben Goldey confirmed his departure to The Colorado Sun after it was first reported on Saturday by Axios. The Sun reported that Goldey did not respond to additional questions, but he told Axios he was leaving in the wake of a deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Boebert, a first-term Colorado Republican with links to the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory, has sought to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s victory and gained attention for vowing to carry a gun in the Capitol.

“Following the events of January 6th, I’ve decided to part ways with the office,” Goldey told Axios. “I wish her and the people of Colorado’s Third District the best.”

Boebert’s office declined to comment. “The office does not comment on internal personnel matters with individual employees,” Jeff Small, Boebert’s chief of staff, told The Colorado Sun on Saturday.

Goldey’s replacement has already been hired. Boebert’s staff is largely made up of former staffers of President Donald Trump and Republican ex-U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner.

New hands on reins for local outdoors group renowned for putting boots on ground

Ron Rash is stepping down from his role as the Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers executive director in March because of health reasons. Fortunately, he will leave the organization in capable hands.

Rebecca Schild, the current associate director, will take the reins March 15. Schild has her doctorate in environmental studies from the University of Colorado Boulder and 15 years of experience as an outdoor and environmental educator.

Schild’s enthusiasm shines through when discussing her new role.

“The good vibes that I get from everybody about RFOV is encouraging,” she said Friday.

Nearly everyone she talks to appreciates the nonprofit’s role or is at least aware of what it does. “We’re like a good neighbor,” she said.

Schild is also excited to apply her academic background and experience with environmental nonprofits.

Her doctoral dissertation examined the role that recreation-based stewardship organizations play in successful land management. One of her goals with RFOV will be increasing the educational component. She wants people to make the connection between recreating on public lands and understanding the impact. Volunteers will do more than rebuild a trail or enhance habitat.

“Every time they come out, they should have an educational experience,” Schild said.

She co-founded and directed the High Mountain Institute’s Adventure and Conservation Semesters in the American West and Patagonia. The organization is based in Leadville. Students were given an opportunity immerse themselves in an activity such as rock climbing in the Indian Creek area south of Moab while working on a service project in the fragile high-altitude desert. Schild likened it to a combination of the National Outdoor Leadership School and Conservation Corps.

She is eager to introduce parts of her past to the future of RFOV.

The organization celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. They have built a reputation over that time for being one of the most successful nonprofit organizations at getting boots on the ground and hands in the dirt.

Every year, hundreds of volunteers and partner organizations enlist to help maintain existing trails, create new trails and restore habitat on public lands. RFOV avoids political stances and lobbying on issues. The public land managers come up with the projects; RFOV delivers the people power to get them done.

“We think of ourselves as a stewardship organization,” Schild said.

Schild, 37, joined RFOV in October 2019. Her first field season in 2020 was obviously a tumultuous one because of the coronavirus. RFOV had to reconsider how it organized its projects. The large, public workdays of the past could not be held because of social distancing requirements. Instead, it held more workdays with smaller groups. The system centered on completing projects rather than specific calendar days.

“The pandemic has forced us to think of how we’ve always done things and modify them,” Schild said.

Pandemic or not, the new ways of accomplishing projects is here to stay beyond 2021. There will still be large, public events — when health issues subside — such as at the start or conclusion of projects, Schild said.

RFOV also has been adaptive in the types of projects it schedules, due to the nature of life in the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys. For the second time in three years, fires changed portions of the landscape, first with the Lake Christine Fire in 2018 and now with the Grizzly Creek Fire last summer.

“We’re really ramping up to do a lot of fire restoration work over the next 10 years,” Schild said.

The organization will consult with land managers about getting involved in fire mitigation projects. (RFOV 2021 projects will be released in April.)

Also on RFOV’s plate in 2021 will be work on routes built by Pitkin County Open Space and Trails. The open space program teamed with RFOV to secure a $90,825 grant from Great Outdoors Colorado. The funds will help RFOV hire a seasonal field coordinator and part-time crew leader. As part of Pitkin County’s involvement in securing the grant, its project will have a high priority with RFOV. Gary Tennenbaum, director of the open space program, said increased trail use during the pandemic has heightened the need for maintenance.

Rash headed RFOV for nearly two years. He took over for co-founder and longtime executive director David Hamilton. Rash will continue working with the organization as a crew leader and instructor for crew leaders. He and Schild have already started the transition of leadership.

Schild, a Colorado native, lives in Glenwood Springs with her husband and their 2-year-old daughter. She will balance work with her passions for rock climbing, trail running and backcountry skiing.

“I like strategic planning,” she said. “I’m a big-picture thinker and I’ve got a lot of ideas.”


Conquering Hero: Hailey Swirbul takes big steps toward catching world’s skiing elite

Hailey Swirbul on Dec. 27, 2019, in Aspen. (Photo by Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times)

There might be part of Hailey Swirbul that is finally beginning to believe she belongs. The 22-year-old cross-country skier is coming off quite a stretch with the U.S. ski team, one that includes her first career World Cup podium and a successful go in the notorious Tour de Ski.

Both are signs the Basalt High School graduate and former Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club athlete has taken that step up to the world’s elite.

“I’ve kind of proved to myself that I can do that,” Swirbul said of being able to hang with the sport’s top athletes. “The more time I spend in Europe on the World Cup and the more time I spend around those top girls the less intimidating it becomes for me. I think that’s a huge factor.”


Back home for a couple of weeks before returning to Europe for the conclusion of the season, Swirbul was able to reflect on the past month and what it’s meant for her career. The first major step was taken Dec. 13 when Swirbul, a first-year member of the national A team, finished third in a 10-kilometer freestyle in Davos, Switzerland.

Even with a smaller-than-usual field, the race was a first career World Cup podium for Swirbul, made more special by the fact that teammate Rosie Brennan won for the second time in as many days, the first two World Cup victories of the 32-year-old Olympian’s career.

“That was definitely pretty special and it was cool to have Rosie win that and be able to see that’s the person I’ve been training with all summer and she’s right there and she’s the best in the world on this day,” Swirbul said. “It’s a little bittersweet to me because it wasn’t the full field, but that’s always an easy mentality to fall into … I’m trying to work on that and appreciate it for what it was and take some confidence knowing I can hang with some of those top girls now, which is cool.”


From Davos, Swirbul joined the Americans at the Tour de Ski. The Tour de France-style stage race was created in 2006 and featured eight races over 10 days and has become one of the most grueling events on the cross-country calendar. Even finishing the race is seen as an accomplishment.

For Swirbul, this year’s Tour de Ski was her first and she entered the first stage — the first three stages were held in Val Müstair, Switzerland, before crossing into Italy — with a lot of trepidation.

“I’d heard a lot of horror stories going into it,” she said. “I had no idea what to expect. I had no idea if I would be bad at this many races or great or whatever. After the first couple of days I was, ‘I’m actually in this, I’m doing OK.’ So I set a goal to try and get a top 20 by the end and I barely pulled that off. That was pretty cool to be able to achieve that for myself. I’m just happy I got to try and see what it’s like and learn for the future.”

Swirbul called the Jan. 3 third stage “probably one of the best races of my life” and paved the way for an overall finished of 18th in the Tour de Ski, third best among the U.S. women. The cherries on top included Brennan’s sixth-place overall finish and of course Jessie Diggins, the 2018 Olympic gold medalist, who finished first to become the first North American to win the race in its 15-year history.

“It’s cool to be part of a team that is that strong and that powerful. I definitely can recognize that and see it that way,” Swirbul said. “It was pretty inspiring to see Rosie and Jessie just dominate, honestly, especially for the couple of days there in the middle. It’s cool because those gals, they are not unattainable. They are amazing skiers, but I can see that level, I can see how they got there.”


These results have the U.S. women performing at a level they never have on the World Cup. Until Diggins and the now-retired Kikkan Randall combined to win gold in 2018, the only other Olympic medal by an American, man or woman, in cross-country skiing had been Bill Koch’s silver in 1976.

Hailey Swirbul competes in a past season. Courtesy photo.

For the most part, the U.S. has hardly been more than a blip on the sport’s radar going back decades. But Diggins, Brennan and now Swirbul are among those looking to change the narrative.

“The more times you can do that and practice that and be around those really strong athletes, it makes it feel more attainable,” Swirbul said.

Entering the weekend, Diggins sits first in the overall World Cup standings, with her best career overall finish having been second during the 2018 season when she came up just shy of the globe to Norway’s Heidi Weng.

Brennan is currently third in the overall and first in the distance standings, while Swirbul is third among American women sitting in 20th in the overall standings (17th in distance, 21st in sprint). Sophie Caldwell Hamilton — the wife of Aspen’s own Simi Hamilton, a member of the men’s A team — is ranked 26th in the overall.


Next up for Swirbul is the U23 World Championship, scheduled for Feb. 8-14 in Vuokatti, Finland. This will be the final year she’s able to compete in the event and is eyeing a strong farewell. She’s raced at U23 the past two years, her best finish being fifth as part of a relay last winter in Germany.

“I definitely have personal goals for myself that I’d love to achieve,” Swirbul said. “I’d really love to be on the podium there. But I don’t feel a ton of external pressure.”

After U23 worlds, Swirbul will regroup with the rest of her team at the 2021 World Championships that begin Feb. 22 in Oberstdorf, Germany. This will be her first time representing the U.S. at worlds, which is held every two years and along with the Olympics is the sport’s greatest standalone competition.

Swirbul doesn’t yet know if she’ll get any starts at worlds, but she looks forward to playing whatever part she can get.

“Whether I’m able to help out by actually racing on that day or not, I think our team has a really good shot at a relay medal. That would be really cool to be part of, whether I’m on the cheer squad or the start line,” she said. “This has been a really important year for me to remember to take a deep breath and realize it’s just another race. Any of these races, it’s just another start line and I know that if I can do what I know how to do and just go hard, it will usually be a decent effort.”


Fire on top of Willits building created a few tense moments

Roaring Fork Fire Rescue answered the kind of call they hope to avoid Thursday night when a fire was reported in the mixed commercial and residential building at 231 Robinson Street in Willits.

The fire ended up isolated to a HVAC unit on the top of the building, but responders had to assume there was a risk to the multiple residences of the building. There are several businesses, including El Korita restaurant, on the ground floor and residences on the upper two stories.

“It probably looked like a big show,” Deputy Fire Chief Pete Bradshaw said Friday morning. “We put a lot of resources on it.”

A call came in at 11:05 p.m. about flames visible on the top of the building. Roaring Fork Fire Rescue responded with 18 firefighters, two engines, a ladder truck and an ambulance. Mutual aid was sought from the fire departments of Aspen and Carbondale, but those firefighters were told while en route they could stand down.

A person on scene was able to direct firefighters to the roof, Bradshaw said. The first responders knocked down the fire using hand tools and fire extinguishers. The HVAC unit was about the size of two refrigerators, Bradshaw said. The fire started in the filter from an unknown cause, he said.

The fire triggered an alarm and residents were trying to determine the source of the blaze. Bradshaw estimated 75 percent of the residents temporarily evacuated their units.

They were cleared to re-enter after firefighters were confident that the fire was contained to the HVAV unit. Firefighters cleared the scene by 12:30 a.m. Friday.


Judge denies Aspen restaurant group’s request to stop Red-level restrictions

People enjoy the outdoor dining space at White House Tavern on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

A judge denied an Aspen-area restaurant group’s eleventh-hour attempt to suspend a public health order that takes effect Sunday prohibiting indoor dining in Aspen, Snowmass Village and the rest of Pitkin County.

Ninth Judicial District Judge Anne Norrdin’s ruling late Friday afternoon was a setback for the newly formed Pitkin County Restaurant Alliance, a nonprofit that filed a complaint and motion Thursday to stop the order’s implementation through a court-ordered temporary restraining order.

Restaurants have until 10 p.m. Saturday to serve their last meals indoors — that is until case counts go down and the board of heath downgrades orders to Orange levels or below.

“We’re disappointed,” alliance attorney Chris Bryan said. “This means all restaurants in Pitkin County are going to have to come to a grinding halt.”

The alliance argued Monday’s decision by the board of health to close indoor dining would cripple the local restaurant industry and put more than 1,500 people out of work. As well, the alliance said the board made its decision without conclusive evidence that closing restaurants to indoor dining would help stem the spread of COVID-19 cases locally.

Norrdin’s ruling noted courts are typically reluctant to usurp government orders without hearing from the defendants, who in this case are Pitkin County, the board of health and interim public health director Jordan Sabella.

“The court declines to act … without first hearing from the Defendants, to intervene in the manner sought in an area fraught with medical and scientific uncertainties and where Pitkin County officials appear to be shaping their response to changing facts on the ground,” the ruling said.

Indoor dining was the major change made Monday in the newest public health order, as most Pitkin County businesses and services — with the exception of restaurants — have been operating under Red-level restrictions since Dec. 21.

Outdoor dining, takeout and delivery at restaurants still will be available, though there will be an 8 p.m. last call and tables can only have people from the same household.

Norrdin’s decision does not put an end to the alliance’s legal challenge to the county’s newest health order. The defendants still must formally answer its lawsuit that seeks to lift the Red order through a permanent injunction. The suit also seeks judicial review of the health board’s order and a declaratory judgment that the county cannot enforce the order.

“The Court understands and recognizes the difficulty and hardship created by the pandemic, which has threatened and taken lives and livelihoods,” the judge’s decision said. “However, the Court does not find the sought ex parte intervention in public health decision-making without hearing from representatives of public health officials to be an appropriate use of its authority under the circumstances.”

Bryan issued a statement on behalf of the alliance, which said: “The alliance thanks Judge Norrdin for her expedited attention to this important matter. Although the alliance is disappointed the court denied its request for a temporary restraining order delaying implementation of the new public health order until a formal hearing could be scheduled, the alliance appreciates Judge Norrdin’s order requiring the defendants to respond timely to its pleadings and further requiring a preliminary injunction hearing to be set so the Alliance’s claims may be heard. The Alliance remains confident the new public health order will be invalidated due to its numerous underlying faults and looks forward to its day in court.”

On Tuesday, the day after the board of health’s decision to go Red, the Pitkin County Alliance filed articles of incorporation for a nonprofit corporation with the Colorado secretary of state. Bryan said the group consists of “over two dozen” restaurants. The alliance’s complaint does not identify its member restaurants because “we don’t want anybody to be retaliated against,“ Bryan said.

Among the restaurants not in the group include Jimmy’s An American Bar and Grill, whose co-owner has been one of the most vocal operators opposed to health orders going into the Red phase.

That co-owner, Jimmy Yeager, issued a statement Friday about its decision not to litigate.

“We, Jimmy’s Restaurant, made the decision to not officially join the efforts of the restaurant alliance in asking for a judicial review despite our fervent moral support for the action and our profound disappointment in the decision by the Board of Health. In the past 10 months we have worked hard to assist the county in their decisions by providing perspective and the ‘how to’ for restaurants to provide a safe dining experience. We have earned a seat at the table and a place in the conversation. Should we have been a plaintiff, it would have jeopardized our ability to continue in this role. We will be moving forward and requesting time at the next meeting to have a robust conversation about their decision and what needs to happen next. We have acted only in good faith and expect to be treated with the same mutual respect.”

County Manager Jon Peacock said Friday the alliance is well within its rights to ask for a public policy to go through judicial review.

“I can tell you this is certainly not personal from the county and the public health perspective,” he said. “And I hope the folks on the other side of the lawsuit don’t feel that way either.”

The county also has said it plans to participate in the state’s 5 Star program, which would allow participating businesses to move down a code level. The program cannot take effect until the county’s incidence rate declines for 14 days and lands below 700, the positivity rate is below 10% and less than 90% of hospital beds are in use. The county’s incidence rate, the state’s largest, has been in the 3,000 range for the past two weeks.


5PointVoices presenta un espacio segura para la autoexpresión de estudiantes entre de la cinematografía

Diez estudiantes senior en la escuela secundaria de Bridges en Carbondale crearon una película corta documentando sus vidas para un proyecto final. Adam Carballeira, un maestro de inglés en Bridges, enseñó la clase junto con la artista de enseñanza Cassidy Wiley en persona cuando las precauciones de COVID-19 permitieron.

“Estamos creando persona a persona, no pantalla a pantalla … pienso que el proyecto de cinematografía se podía hacer en línea, pero el facto que todos podían reunirse fortaleció,” Wiley dijo.

La película es justo bajo 10 minutos y una compilación de videos tomados por los diez estudiantes y entrevistas donde compartieron detalles sobre ellos mismos y sus vidas que no puedes saber con solo mirarlos.

“Mi gol fue … mostrar al mundo que los adolescentes son asombrosos y tienen pensamientos ricos. Para mi pienso que, y adultos, dar nosotros esperanza para el futuro, tu sabes, porque estas personas jovenes estan afuera quienes son tan poderosos y apasionados sobre creado un mundo bueno,” Carballeira dijo.

El curso final sería posible por 5PointVoices — un esfuerzo colaborativo entre de dos organizaciones sin fines de lucro locales que querían usar sus goles de celebrar arte y enriquecer comunidades y dar estudiantes poco representados una plataforma.

Regna Jones, la directora ejecutiva de 5Point, dijo que ella piensa que las personas jóvenes están subestimadas frecuentemente o se perciben de forma inexacta. Ella dijo que la película corta le da a alguien quien decide a mirar una oportunidad para obtener una mejor idea de quiénes son estos estudiantes.

“Pienso que ya que el proyecto estaba en el enfoque de las estudiantes y para ellos entendieron desde al principio les ayudó a abrirse de maneras que es posible ellos no habrían hecho si sintieran que no tenían nada que decir sobre la presentación de la película,” Jones dijo.

Ella también dijo que la idea principal para el curso estaba planeado, la mayoría no era estructurado con un formato estricto para empezar. El aspecto educacional del curso que se enfoca en los elementos técnicos de grabación de video no fue la única lección que los estudiantes o los coordinadores se fueron con después de las seis semanas.

“Fueron mucho aprendido dentro del grupo en conjunto y pienso que está abriendo a la idea que educación es algo que viene de dentro, no es como una experiencia de arriba hacia abajo. Mentores y educadores excelentes son estos que podían ver estudiantes como maestros,” Jones dijo.

Renee Prince, la directora ejecutiva de Voices, dijo que la idea detrás del proyecto permite que evolucione con el paso del tiempo. Aunque el curso tuvo artistas de enseñanza dedicados, en persona y virtualmente, la intención fue para sea un curso dirigido por estudiantes; algo adaptable dependiente en quienes son los estudiantes y que servirá a ellos mejor.

“La procesa creativa demanda que todos nosotros estamos aprendiendo y tomando riesgos reales y poniendo nosotros mismos fuera de nuestra zona de confort; los adultos y estudiantes en el habitación. Todos nosotros estamos haciendo lo porque creamos algo nuevo que no fue allí antes,” Prince dijo.

Abriendo un espacio para realizar conexiones nuevas fue un gol detrás del programa. Las estrechas relaciones se forman entre de los estudiantes y con los maestros basado en actividades del aula y conversaciones donde la vulnerabilidad será normal. Prince dijo que ella no realizó que pronto un sentido de comunidad podría formarse, especialmente con una gran parte del curso ocurriendo virtualmente durante las etapas iniciales.

“Pienso que todos personas estaban sorprendidos con que rápido puede crear comunidad dentro de un grupo de personas entre del proceso creativo,” Prince dijo.

La película “estrenada” en diciembre 14 en una proyección virtual para estudiantes, maestros y coordinadores del programa. En una conversación después de mirar por primera vez, el estudiante Matt McComb comentó en su reacción emocional a ver todo metraje junto en un producto final.

“La escena final de la película me hizo llorar … que angie dijo fue tan poderoso … sobre nunca puedes estar satisfecho con hacer algo y siempre deberías por más,” McComb dijo.

El consenso de los estudiantes fue que todo estaba montado de una manera donde todos pudieran presentarse. La estudiante Angie Ramirez dijo que ella estaba agradecida a todos los artistas de enseñanza y los coordinadores que hicieron posible el proyecto. La combinación de los puntos de vista de los estudiantes en una película autobiográfica poniendo perspectiva en capas en una manera única sin embargo armoniosa.

“Siento como mirando y escuchando que todos los demás querían decir, te da un punto de vista diferente en vida y te hace ver cosas de otras maneras. Vi la forma en que Grace pensaba, Bailey y Parker y todos … puedes aplicar esto a tu propia vida. Si no fuera por ustedes no habríamos tenido la oportunidad de verlo,” Ramirez dijo.

Cualquiera puede ver la película en este enlace de Youtube y Jones dijo que 5Point plane a incorporar en el sección de la programa de estudiantes en el festival anual de cine de la organización sin fines de lucro. El trabajo en equipo entre 5Point, Voices y la escuela secundaria de Bridges continuará esta primavera e idealmente en los próximos años para seguir creando un espacio para autoexpresión entre de estudiantes a punto de irse escuela secundaria y forjar caminos nuevos para ellos mismos.

“Sentí tan vigorizada e inspirada al estar con estos niños. Ellos son esperanzados, no son hastiados, son amables el uno con el otro, son curiosos, y pienso que ver el mundo para diez minutos de su perspectiva, especialmente en estos tiempos que se sienten oscuros y pesados tan a menudo, pienso que será muy refrescante … Pienso que obtener un sentido nuevo de lo que hace que los niños sean tan especiales,” Wiley dijo.



El consejo escolar de Roaring Fork discute pruebas y vacunas para el personal

Los miembros del consejo escolar del distrito de Roaring Fork discutieron los protocolos nuevos de COVID-19 para la mayoría de la reunión de la noche del miércoles. Estos protocolos empezaron después de las vacaciones de invierno e incluyeron un periodo de cuarentena más corto para maestros que recibieron un resultado negativo.

El consejo escolar también habló del prospecto para la disponibilidad de vacunas para maestros, y una actualización en el plan del distrito para aprendizaje virtual para escuelas en Glenwood Springs, Carbondale y Basalt.

La primera reunión del consejo escolar del año nuevo también fue la primera bajo la dirección de la presidente nueva del consejo, Natalie Torres.

El superintendente de las escuelas de Roaring Fork, Rob Stein, proveyó actualizaciones realizadas durante vacaciones, incluido un periodo de cuarentena más corto para maestros, estudiantes y el personal que pueden haber estado expuesto al virus.

Por la dirección de funcionarios de salud pública, ahora el periodo es para 10 días, en vez de 14, para estudiantes, y para maestros podía ser tan corto como siete días.

“Si miembros del personal querían regresar después de siete días ellos podían hacerse la prueba, y con la confirmación de una prueba fiable y negativa ellos podrían regresar después de siete días,” Stein dijo. “…Lo que estamos tratando de priorizar es mantener el aprendizaje en persona.”

Hay un programa voluntario que empieza el martes para RFSD maestros y el personal donde ellos podrían recibir una prueba rápida de COVID una vez por semana. El jueves fue el último día para inscribirse si empleados quieren empezar las pruebas tan pronto como la semana próxima.

La decisión de proveer pruebas rápidas solamente para el personal, en vez de la inclusión de estudiantes, tuvo la influencia de la orientación de autoridades de salud pública local.

“Esta foto en tiempo no es suficiente para garantizar que no tienes la enfermedad, pero es suficiente para miembros de la comunidad a relajarse sus comportamientos. Pues, no queremos crear un sentido de seguridad falso que socava los esfuerzos hemos hecho…,” Stein dijo.

Ya que las pruebas rápidas tienen un 40% probabilidad de resultados negativos falsos, es importante que no cambie su comportamiento después del hecho. Esto significa la continuación de distancia social de otros, lavarse a fondo sus manos y llevar una máscara, Stein agregó.

El distrito fue ofrecido la oportunidad a participar en los ensayos de una prueba rápida nueva donde el primer mes sería gratis. Sin embargo, Stein dijo que el distrito sería acusado con una cantidad desconocida después del primer 30 días. Esto fue causa de preocupación, él dijo.

“Pienso que vamos a mirar y aprender y continuaremos a ver si debemos hacer un plan exhaustivo, pero no sería para martes,” Stein dijo.

Las logísticas de las pruebas de los estudiantes – cómo administrar la prueba, a donde las datos completas y los residuos biológicos serían enviadas y como asegurare todos personas hacen las torundas en una manera correcta (un otro causa grande de resultados negativos falsos) todavía necesita más discusión y la toma de decisiones por el distrito.

En una nota más positiva, los educadores del frente fueron agregados al fin de la fase 1 para la implementación de la vacuna de COVID-19. Aunque, continuaré esperando varias semanas antes si la vacuna está disponible para grupos de trabajo específicos localmente.

Stein dijo que considerar a todo el personal de escuela será esencial, y que fue posible para trabajadores que no están en el frente, como los mecánicos del autobús, serán necesitados en el frente y manejar una ruta del autobús.

“Vaya mira. Hay un rayo de esperanza y algo de sol en el horizonte, así que es emocionante escuchar esto,” Torres dijo. “Lo dar todo es algo que esperamos con impaciencia.”

Stein también dio una actualización en los cuatro estudiantes que tuvieron los síntomas que causaron la escuela secundaria de Roaring Fork en Carbondale a cancelar lo aprendido en persona por un día más temprano esta semana. No encontró ninguna similitudes entre los estudiantes, como si ellos estaban en las mismas partes del edificio o si algunos compartieron una clase juntos. Hasta el momento la causa de su enfermedad sigue siendo desconocida, aunque a ellos se les pidió que hicieran una prueba de COVID.

La razón principal para cerrar la escuela el día próximo fue para hacer un proceso de desinfección y limpieza profunda. Un consultor ambiental vendrá para realizar una investigación a fondo, pero Stein dijo que el tiempo del giro para el consultor llegar a la escuela no debe ser muy rápido.

“Tuvimos el cuerpo de bomberos, tuvimos otros consultores locales mirando nuestros sistemas de HVAC y nuestro peligros ambientales potenciales. Estábamos sospechosos de que fuera un problema con la calidad del aire … desafortunadamente, no pudimos precisar la causa,” Stein dijo.

El miembro del consejo Jasmin Ramirez preguntó sobre la distribución de la comida a estudiantes necesitados.

El Director de Operaciones Jeff Gatlin confirmó que el horario fue ajustado a los miércoles y los viernes en vez de los miércoles y los sábados. Antes de las vacaciones de invierno, el programa estaba distribuido aproximadamente 7,000 platos cada semana. Este semana pasada, la participación fue más baja de lo habitual pero Gatlin dijo que la causa fue probablemente debido al cambio en el horario.

“Movimos nuestra distribución de los paquetes de comida a los miércoles y los viernes … esto es algo que el equipo de servicios de comida ha trabajando muy duro para comunicar,” Gatlin dijo.


CMC honors Martin Luther King Day with free, virtual events available to the public

Colorado Mountain College will honor Martin Luther King Day this Monday with guest speaker Dr. Marcia Chatelain and then Tuesday, Jan 19, will have a panel of faculty and students conducting a discussion about the topics presented in the lecture.

CMC announced these free events available to the public Jan. 14 in a press release. Chatelain is a professor who teaches African American studies and history at Georgetown University.

She is also the author of the books “South Side Girls” and “Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America”. Chatelain was an Andrew Carnegie fellow in 2019 amongst several other accolades for her work as a historian.

The virtual lecture is titled “Building Bridges to Common Ground” and will be held at noon via zoom. Members of the community as well as faculty and students of CMC can access the talk here. Chatelain will discuss Dr. King’s life and messages and how they can help bring people together in a time of chaos and division.

Community members can also tune into the panel discussion Tuesday from 10-11:30 a.m. through this zoom link. More information about how to participate in these conversations can be found here.



Bessie Minor Swift Foundation now accepting grant applications from Garfield County

The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation announced in early January that it is accepting grant applications from nonprofit organizations in Garfield County.

Grants will be awarded to selected nonprofits that promote literacy, reading and writing skills and programs in the languages, sciences and interdisciplinary areas. Applications will be accepted through Feb. 15, and recipients will be announced on May 1.

The Fund will consider applications requesting a minimum of $500 and a maximum of $3,000.

The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation considers grants to organizations that provide direct service to help with the implementation or expansion of literacy programs for children who are below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading, and also to develop reading and writing skills at all age levels.

The Foundation supports STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) as well. The Foundation also occasionally supports programs for adults.

More than $700,000 in grant money has been awarded since 2008. The Foundation prefers to consider support for programs rather than grants for the purchase of technology. The Foundation also favors organizations that do not have access to large fundraising budgets and are local in nature. Grants are made only to nonprofit organizations certified as tax exempt.

More information and the application form is available on the Foundation website.

The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation was formed by the owners and founder of Swift Communications, the company that owns and operates the Glenwood Springs Post Independent [postindependent.com] and the Citizen Telegram in Rifle.

Bessie Minor Swift was the mother of Philip Swift, the founder of Swift Communications. She was born in Onaga, Kansas on June 29, 1887, raised in Kansas City, Missouri, then moved to Blackburn, Missouri where she taught school in a one-room schoolhouse.

Phil Swift recalled that the importance of education was reinforced throughout his upbringing, not so much through statements or concrete expectations, but through the example of his mother’s interest in English, reading, history and music.

Phil Swift passed away in November 2019.

Nonprofit organizations in the area are encouraged to apply.

Kaup to seek reelection to at-large Glenwood Springs City Council seat

In this April 2017 file photo, Shelley Kaup spends the evening with friends, family and supporters at the Rivers Restaurant waiting for election results.

Glenwood Springs City Council member Shelley Kaup says she will seek reelection to another four-year term to one of council’s two at-large seats in the April 3 election.

“The next few years are critical to help the city recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Grizzly Creek Fire,” Kaup said in a formal statement announcing her reelection bid.

“I have a vision for Glenwood Springs to prioritize quality of life for our residents, strengthen our diverse economy and safeguard our neighborhoods and environment from the impacts of growth,” she said. “My experience and willingness to work through tough issues uniquely qualifies me to get the job done.”

Kaup was elected to the at-large seat in April 2017, and had previously served a term on council in her downtown ward seat from 2007-11.

Petitions to run for three City Council seats that are up for election in April were made available the first week of January.

Also to be decided in the April 6 election will be the Ward 5 seat (south Glenwood) held by current appointed Mayor Jonathan Godes, and the Ward 2 seat (west and north Glenwood) held by Ingrid Wussow, who was appointed last year to fill out the term vacated by former councilman Rick Voorhees.

Godes and Wussow both said Thursday they intend to run in the April election, but no challengers have yet emerged. Candidate petitions are due at the end of January.

Kaup, who currently serves as mayor pro-tem, pointed to several achievements over the past four years in making her formal announcement, including support for local businesses and individuals during the pandemic.

“We were among the first local governments in Colorado to put a mask order in place, and we worked closely with the Chamber and Downtown Development Authority to deal with economic impacts,” Kaup said.

“The city has loosened regulations to allow restaurants to serve customers outdoors, provided business grants from the CARES Act to businesses most impacted by the pandemic, and directed $236,000 to local charities to make sure families in our community have support and enough to eat,” she said.

Kaup also cited the city’s response to last summer’s Grizzly Creek Fire, protecting the city and its water intake system at the time of the fire, and working with federal officials to prevent erosion on fire-damaged slopes within the city’s watershed.

Kaup noted that she has also been a champion for the new in-town recycling center, contracting for renewable energy to be part of the city electric supply, making improvements to the Two Rivers Park riverbank, and numerous street and infrastructure upgrades.

“We still have a lot of work to do, but we are making progress,” Kaup said.

She said she continues to support other council members and residents in opposing the Rocky Mountain Industrials plan to greatly expand the limestone quarry on Transfer Trail.

“We have taken that fight to the highest levels of government, and we will continue to protect our community and our economy from what would be a devastating impact to our city,” Kaup said in her release.

Kaup has lived in Glenwood Springs since 1988.