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Local news briefs

GSPI seeks candidatesfor editorial boardThe Post Independent is accepting applications from residents who want to serve a six-month term on the paper’s editorial board.The paper’s editorial board forms the opinions for the editorials that appear on the paper’s commentary pages.Two citzens will join five of the paper’s staff members on the editorial board.The board meets once per week, and the positions begin in January.Interested residents can contact managing editor Thomas Martinez at 945-8515, or by e-mail: tmartinez@postindependent.com.Re-2 school board approves retroactive salary increasesThe Garfield Re-2 School Board board recently approved retroactive salary increases for all of its classified and certified staff, and funding for new paraprofessionals. The approval came exactly three weeks after voters passed a $2.7 million mill levy.About $800,000 of the $2.7 million will be used for the salary increases, which are retroactive from August to December, said Re-2 superintendent Gary Pack. Most increases are around 4 percent, he said, but some are a little more.The board allocated $150,000 for new paraprofessionals, and new teachers will be hired in the spring, Pack said. Memory Treeremembers loved ones who have passed onRibbons with the name of loved ones who have passed on can now be purchased and placed on the 17th annual Memory Tree Celebration at the E. Dene Moore Care Center in Rifle.A card acknowledging the gift will also be sent to a recipient of choice in honor of the person being memorialized.A ceremony with music and prayer will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9, at the care center. The program will include tree lighting, music by local pianist Bonnie Reiff, thoughtful words for the season and light refreshments. It is open to the public, and you do not need to purchase a ribbon to attend.For more information, contact Mary Jane Hangs at 625-1514.Forest Service willingto work with miner for winter operationsThe local Forest Service district ranger says the agency wants to work with Crystal Valley miner Robert Congdon to resume operations this winter, but more information is needed.And, depending on Congdon’s plans for wintertime mining at his White Banks Alabaster Mine near Avalanche Creek, the process may or may not require extensive new environmental reviews.”I feel very strongly that Robert, as a miner and a mineral holder, has a right to operate there,” said U.S. Forest Service Sopris and Aspen District Ranger Bill Westbrook.”The thing we’re struggling with is, we need to know what his winter operating plan is,” he said. “The current operation plan is for summer use, and the wintertime use is not what we scoped.””Scoping” is the term for gathering public comment and technical data relating to land-use proposals for public lands.Westbrook was responding to recent comments by Congdon relating what he believes to be an onerous process to amend his mining permit, and foot-dragging on the part of the Forest Service that resulted in his mine being shut down last month.Congdon said, one way or another, he hopes to clear up the issues and be back in the mine by February or March.- compiled from staff reports


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