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Mulhall column: Garfield Avenue reverie

There comes an age when you can look back at your time on this planet with a fair amount of perspective. If you’re lucky, maybe you see a time when you hit your stride, or at least came close.

Apparently I’ve reached that age, for it occurred to me the other day that there were a few years in the early ’90s that fit the bill, due at least in part to fly fishing.

It was during that time I guided for Roy Palm.

Guiding didn’t exactly jibe with my mostly quiet demeanor, which is to say I wasn’t nearly as good at guiding as I was at angling, and it’s fair to say in retrospect that my reputation as a decent fly fisherman was more a reflection of how much time I spent fishing than anything else.

I knew a lot of guides, most no more than acquaintances, until one night while tying flies in the front room of my Garfield Avenue rental I heard a knock at my back door. It was about 10:30 p.m. I flipped on the porch light and there he stood, still in wet waders, strung fly rod in hand.

A young guy with a slight southern accent I couldn’t place, he introduced himself and explained he was a Fryingpan guide and that he’d heard from a neighbor I liked fly fishing. Somewhere in the moments that followed we struck up a friendship that would last for years.

From him I learned more about fly tying and angling than I’d managed to accumulate in all my years of mostly self instruction, and while I don’t fish much anymore, my gratitude has never wavered.

I suppose if I’d befriended more guides, it would have upped my game even more, but most of the guides I knew operated at an energy level I could not match.

It wasn’t even clear to me that most guides did anything but guide. Even eating and sleeping were suspect from everything I could tell. This made wetting a fly just for the fun of it something truly far off, and I just couldn’t square that.

Some guides were legendary. Every outfitter had a history of at least one guide who by swagger if not by skill put clients into fish, regardless of client ability or experience.

Other guides developed unusual self-marketing strategies.

One such guide from a rival outfitter developed a reputation for eating the same aquatic insects trout ate. He’d find a blue wing olive, for example, floating along and pluck it off the water. As lore had it, he’d then study the hapless mayfly, perhaps eying the finer details of color and size. Then boom. Down the gullet it went.

He told clients this helped him think like a trout, and just as word of his dietary adventurism began to elicit trip requests, it all came to a screeching halt when giardia sidelined him with a scorching case of trots.

I never could match guides for energy or creative self-marketing, but it all worked out. Roy Palm seemed to understand how I was wired and usually paired me with experienced anglers who preferred a minimalist approach.

In fairness, my guiding days were numbered almost from the day they began. It’s almost axiomatic that guiding is a young man’s avocation, and while my 30s are nearly just that far behind me, there is a beacon in this valley that still brings memories of that time back to life.

On those rare occasions I’m traveling downvalley between Basalt and Carbondale at twilight, I’ll take old 82, particularly west of El Jebel, and turn on Catherine’s Store Road.

As I drive, window down, I’ll share my attention to the road with occasional glimpses of the antenna on Sunlight Peak.

A lot has changed since 1990, but the sight of the Sunlight Peak antenna on a summer evening remains the same.

Mitch Mulhall is a husband, father and longtime Roaring Fork Valley resident. His column appears monthly in the Post Independent and at postindependent.com.

Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin counties to prioritize certain groups for COVID-19 testing amid case surge

A surge in demand for coronavirus testing with the uptick in new COVID-19 cases nationwide has prompted the western Colorado counties of Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin to manage testing on a regional basis.

Recent referrals for testing — including for people who may be worried, but not necessarily symptomatic or at higher risk for serious illness — has caused a backlog of late in obtaining test results.

That wait, sometimes up to eight days, minimizes the effectiveness of the testing strategy to contain and slow the spread of the disease, public health directors from the three counties said in a joint statement issued Thursday.

“We cannot test and trace our way out of this pandemic,” Heath Harmon, Director of Eagle County Public Health and Environment, said in the tri-county press release.

Ultimately, he added, “We need greater compliance on prevention measures from all people in our communities, regardless of whether they are locals or visitors.”  

To maximize the testing strategy’s effectiveness, public health departments in the three counties will now coordinate testing efforts to try to achieve great turnaround on test results.

“Testing is a key containment strategy to slow the spread of the disease,” the joint statement reads. “Surges in cases nationwide are stressing the testing components supply chain and the capacity at state and commercial labs cannot keep up with the demand.”

A plan to coordinate testing efforts regionally is being devised by a medical team made up of hospital and public health officials from the three counties.

Details, such as which of the counties would be prioritized for testing depending on rates of infection and other factors are still being worked out.

Ideally, test results need to be turned around within 48 hours to be effective in combatting the spread of the disease, public health officials point out. But the increased demand for testing has overloaded test supplies and stressed the ability for state and commercial labs to keep pace, they said.

To ease that strain, the three counties will employ the following testing strategy until state and commercial laboratory capacity can achieve consistent turnaround times of 48 hours or less:

Testing is recommended for

  • People with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, including fever, cough or shortness of breath 
  • People with symptoms and who are at greater risk for severe disease, including hospitalization and death (65 years of age or older, or who have chronic lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, serious heart conditions, are immunocompromised, are pregnant, or are otherwise considered at high risk by a licensed healthcare provider)
  • People who are hospitalized with symptoms consistent with COVID-19
  • Those who have had close contacts with a confirmed COVID-19 case, as defined and recommended by a local public health agency
  • People within congregate settings where there may be a broader exposure to COVID-19, as determined by a local public health agency

Testing is not routinely recommended for

  • People who do not have symptoms and no known close contact exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case
  • People who are preparing to travel or recently returned from travel who do not have symptoms
  • Employees who have not had a known close contact exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case
  • People who are worried, but have not had close contact exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case and do not have symptoms
  • People who have been confirmed previously and are being retested for release from isolation.
Latest Garfield County COVID-19 Statistics & Trends

Garfield County stats

Cumulative cases as of 7/9 (all clinics) — 352

New cases reported in past week — 45

Rolling two-week onset of new cases: June 25-July 8 — 44; June 11-24 — 83

Test positivity rate — 4.7%

Deaths — 3

Source: Garfield County Public Health

Valley View COVID-19 Cumulative Stats 7/9/2020

Specimens collected through Valley View — 3,780 (New since 7/2: 549)

Positive results — 195 (New since 7/2: 54)

Pending results — 52

Patients admitted with COVID-19 since outbreak began — 34 (3 new since 7/2)

Patients discharged (incl. transfers and deceased) — 24

Grand River COVID-19 Cumulative Stats 7/9/2020

Specimens collected through Grand River Health — 1,893 (New since 7/2: 174)

Positive results — 87 (21 new since 7/2)

Pending results — 27

Patients admitted with COVID-19 since outbreak began — 3 (1 new hospitalization since 7/2)

Patients transferred — 2

Source: Hospital statistics released twice weekly

Officials also question the value, from a public health perspective, of people being tested for antibodies to determine if they previously had COVID-19, but who are no longer symptomatic

“If you are currently sick, antibody testing cannot determine if that sickness is COVID-19,” according to the joint statement.

Antibody tests measure whether a person has antibodies from a virus, but only after they have recovered.

“These tests should not be done until the patient has been without symptoms for at least seven days and does not have a fever,” according to the release.

Also, “A positive antibody test does not provide complete assurance at this time that someone will be protected from a future COVID-19 infection, and people should continue to take precautions and adhere to (public health safety precautions).”

“We all wish this pandemic would end … (and) go back to our normal ways of living life,” Garfield County Public Health Director Yvonne Long said in the release. “The answer to keeping our economy is doable if we have everyone’s buy-in, but only doable if we have everyone’s buy-in.”

That includes wearing a mask in public when social distancing is not possible, staying six feet apart, washing hands regularly and staying home when sick.

“We can dramatically reduce spreading the virus,” Long said. “Those very basic actions that we are all getting used to are the ticket to getting back to a new normal.”


Alpine Bank in Carbondale closes lobby after workers test positive for COVID-19

Alpine Bank in Carbondale is temporarily closing its lobby after two employees tested positive for COVID-19.

The lobby closure is voluntary and drive-up services will continue at the Carbondale branch, according to a news release Thursday from Alpine Bank.

“This temporary closing of Carbondale’s lobby does not affect drive-up and walk-up banking services, which are still available at this location during normal operating hours,” Alpine Bank Carbondale President Garrett Jammaron said in the news release.

Alpine Bank branch locations in Glenwood, Basalt and Willits are unaffected and remain open, the release state. Alpine Bank is working with local and state health agencies to determine if any other steps are necessary. Testing is being requested for all branch employees and the Carbondale location will undergo “fogging” and enhanced cleaning.

Ample sunshine throughout Garfield County this weekend, but high heat increases need for caution

A severe hot and dry spell could put people spending an extended amount of time outdoors at risk this weekend, but with proper planning, fun can still be had by all.

“We have a ridge of high pressure moving into the Four Corners area, making for some extremely warm and dry conditions in Glenwood Springs,” said Erin Walter, a National Weather Service meteorologist. “Temperatures could potentially exceed 100 degrees this weekend and will remain high into next week.”

Because of the heat, the NWS is advising people to be cautious about spending too much time in the sun during the next few days.

Locals looking to get away from this weekends triple digit temperatures might find places like Meadow Creek Lake a nice stopping point.
Kyle Mills / Post Independent

But the dog days of summer are still bursting with recreational opportunities ranging from fishing to floating, said Lisa Langer, Glenwood Springs Tourism director.

“Of course, one of the best ways to cool off this weekend is to stop in for a drink or a treat at one our many wonderful establishments,” Langer said. “And, water sports would be really ideal. Rafting and kayaking are great, and paddle boarding is a fun way to just lay back and relax, so long as you’re not on the river.”

A guide to renting water sports equipment and guided fishing tours is located in the Glenwood Springs Travel Guide, which can be downloaded free at www.visitglenwood.com.

For those wanting to avoid the waterways, Langer said a well-planned hiking or biking trip would be possible so long as people head out early.

“Mitchell Creek is a great path that’s very well shaded,” she said. “Grizzly Creek is another good one, but people will have to contend with construction on Interstate 70.”

Drinking plenty of water and applying sunscreen will be essential to avoiding the worst of the heat, but people should also avoid overexerting themselves this weekend.

“Stay out of the hot sun, and I wouldn’t do a south-facing hike like Storm King Trail,” Langer said. “I wouldn’t suggest biking the Rio Grande Trail in the heat of the day, but the Glenwood Canyon Path would not be as directly in the sun.”

Walter said a low chance of moisture through Sunday decreases the risk of wildfires started by thunderstorms, but fire danger will still be high because of the potential for human-caused fires.

Given the fire danger, White River National Forest officials are urging people to be especially cautious with their ignition sources this weekend.

“The forest is drying, and the hot and dry conditions forecast over the next few weeks mean no relief is in sight,” White River Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams said in a news release. “We often see monsoonal moisture by now to take the edge off, but fire danger will continue to increase.” 

Stage One fire restrictions are in place on all lands managed by the White River National Forest, the release stated. Stage One fire restrictions are also in place on local BLM lands and unincorporated Garfield County.

Although temperatures could marginally cool off later next week, Walter said the NWS climate models are predicting abnormally warm and dry conditions through September.

On the upside, the nights will remain cool.

“With these very dry conditions, the temperatures tend to drop really quickly as soon as the sun goes down,” Walter explained. “We’re looking at low nighttime temperatures around the 50s this weekend.”


Dance Initiative offering Self-Guided Tour of Carbondale Dance

It’s not quite time for dancing in the streets, but there will be dancing in the outdoors Friday evening in Carbondale.

Dance Initiative is offering a Self-Guided Tour of Carbondale Dance Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. at “unique outdoor locations.” Four local dance companies, including the Sopris Soarers, Alya Howe, CoMotion Dance Company, and Claudia and Erik Peña will be performing.

The Tour is the brainchild of Dance Initiative Executive Director Megan Janssen who said she was just trying to find a way of doing something outside while the recent warm weather affords that opportunity.

“In the time of Covid, with everything being canceled, one of the things I’ve gained is some patience and more ability to handle logistics because nothing else is happening,” Janssen said. “It felt like a worthwhile thing to put some time and energy into just one performance this year.”

The idea is for small groups, or “quarantine pods” as Janssen called them, to buy their tickets in advance, after which they will be sent a schedule and a route of where they’re going, when they need to be there, when the performance is, who’s performing, and other pertinent information about social distancing and face covering.

“We’re limited to 20 people per performance,” Janssen said.

The event has turned out to be extremely popular, and as such, Janssen said it is close to being sold out, although she is creating a waitlist in case they get some last-minute cancelations.

The Sopris Soarers, which are well known locally for their performances at Mountain Fair and the Green is the New Black fashion show, will present an aerial routine they’re calling “As One.” The Soarers will have up to nine or 10 performers that will include both adults and children.

Alya Howe of the Alya Howe Performing Arts Umbrella will present a performance based on a body of work called “Disappeared; Women.” She’ll be working with Cynthia Giannini, a dancer from Denver who performed with Joffrey Ballet for a number of years. Giannini will perform solo while Howe accompanies the dance with spoken word.

Claudia and Erik Pena are Latin dancers who study and teach bachata among other dances like hip hop and salsa in the valley. They’ll be performing a dance they call “Confiesale,” which will feature some new tricks they’ve learned.

CoMotion Dance Company will be working with professional violinist MinTze Wu. The performance, called “Collective Kaddish,” will be a collaboration between the dancers and Wu, and is based on a piece of music and a piece of poetry that Wu wrote. It will have collective choreography that has a more modern feel, Janssen said, and the poetry will be performed by the group “Voices,” — a local nonprofit youth voices project.


Nearly 270 Roaring Fork Valley businesses awarded PPP loans greater than $150,000

Nearly 270 businesses and nonprofit organizations in the Roaring Fork Valley received loans of $150,000 or more from the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program after the COVID-19 crisis hit, according to data released by the Small Business Association.

The loans were used as a lifeline by borrowers ranging from Aspen Valley Hospital and multiple dental and medical clinics to construction firms, and from arts organizations such as Aspen Art Museum to restaurants. Several prominent law firms and architectural businesses throughout the valley also obtained loans.

The loans were approved but there may be cases where the borrower decided not to collect the funds, according to the SBA.

About two-thirds of the loans awarded in the Roaring Fork Valley, 180 of 269, were in the range of $150,000 to $350,000, according to an analysis of the federal data by The Aspen Times.

There were 77 loans between $350,000 and $1 million and another 10 between $1 million and $2 million.

There was only one loan between $2 million and $5 million. That was to Clark’s Market Inc., a chain anchored in Aspen. Clark’s said it would use the loan to retain 402 jobs throughout its chain, according to the information released by the SBA.

There was only one loan in the valley in the highest category, $5 million to $10 million. That was to Aspen Valley Hospital, which said it would use the loan to retain 500 jobs.

The Paycheck Protection Program was rolled out by the federal government in April to soften the blow to the economy from business shutdowns at the start of the coronavirus crisis. The program provided eight weeks of funds primarily to keep employees on payroll and from filing for unemployment. Other allowed uses are interest on mortgages, rent and utilities. Loans that aren’t forgiven will have an interest rate of 1%.

While the SBA oversees the program, banks provided the loans and helped clients with the paperwork. Representatives of several local banks said in April that the vast majority of their clients planned to use the funds primarily for payroll.

The SBA data showed that 125 of the 279 loan recipients in the Roaring Fork Valley didn’t indicate how many jobs the loans would be used to retain or they marked zero jobs.

Following is the list of the loan recipients in Aspen, Snowmass Village, Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs. The job retention is listed when it was included in the SBA data.

•$5million to $10 million

Aspen Valley Hospital, Aspen, 500 jobs retained

•$2 million to $5 million

Clark’s Market Inc., Aspen, 402 jobs retained

•$1 million to $2 million

Aspen Club Lodge Properties LLC, Aspen

CSC Management LLC, Aspen, 90 jobs retained

Gould Construction, Glenwood Springs, 83 jobs retained

Maroon Creek Club LLC, Aspen, 84 jobs retained

Mountain Family Health Center, GWS, 165 jobs retained

Mountain Valley Development Services Inc., GWS

Pacific Sheet Metal Inc., Carbondale, 90 jobs retained

R&A Enterprises of Carbondale Inc., GWS

Roaring Fork Club LLC, Basalt, 148 jobs retained

Rocky Mountain Connections, Basalt

•$350,000 to $1 million

7908 Aspen LLC, Aspen

Anderson Ranch Arts Foundation, Snowmass Village

Aspen Concrete Structures Inc., GWS

Aspen Alps Condominium Association Inc., Aspen

Aspen Clark’s Real Estate LLC, 45 jobs retained

Aspen Grocery LLC, Aspen

Aspen Property Management Inc., Aspen, 28 jobs retained

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Aspen

Aspen Tree Service Inc., Carbondale

Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club Inc., Aspen, 40 jobs retained

Aspen Waldorf Foundation Inc., Aspen

Backbone Group LLC, Carbondale, 60 jobs retained

Balcomb and Green PC, GWS

Berthoud Motors Inc., GWS

Betula Aspen LLC, Aspen, 51 jobs retained

Bill Poss and Associates Architecture and Planning PC, Aspen

Brexi LLC, Aspen

Brikor Associates LLC, Basalt, 23 jobs retained

Cache Cache Ltd, Aspen

Caribou Club Ltd, Aspen, 45 jobs retained

Carl’s Pharmacy, Aspen, Aspen

Casa Tua Aspen LLC, Aspen, 68 jobs retained

Charles Cunniffe Architects PC, Aspen


Colorado Poolscapes, GWS

Colorado Rocky Mountain School, Carbondale Inc., Carbondale

Cornerstone Property Management Aspen LLC, Aspen, 30 jobs retained

Cottle Carr Yaw Architects, Basalt

Crestwood Condominium Association Inc., Snowmass Village

Dancing Bear Residences Owners Association Inc., Aspen, 49 jobs retained

Fierce American Food Co. LLC, Aspen, 29 jobs retained

Forrest Painting LLC, Basalt, 23 jobs retained

Frias Properties of Aspen, Aspen, 70 jobs retained

GF Woods Construction Inc., Aspen, 21 jobs retained

Garfield & Hecht PC, Aspen

Giba Inc, Aspen

Giobi Inc, Aspen, 43 jobs retained

Glenwood Canyon Brewing Co. LLC, GWS, 54 jobs retained

Glenwood Medical Associates, GWS

Glenwood Springs Food Inc., GWS

Glenwood Springs Subaru Inc, GWS

Glenwood Tramway LLC, GWS, 67 jobs retained

Habitat for Humanity Roaring Fork, GWS

Hansen Construction Inc., Aspen, 52 jobs retained

Harriman Construction Inc., Basalt

Innovative Painting Systems Inc., Carbondale

Integrity Pizza LLC, GWS, 139 jobs retained

Jaywalker Lodge Inc., Basalt, 54 jobs retained

JC Hospitality Aspen LLC, Aspen, 29 jobs retained

Koru Ltd, Carbondale, 20 jobs retained

L&M Corp, Aspen, 32 jobs retained

Lassiter Electric Inc., Basalt, 42 jobs retained

Lead Resort Management LLC, Aspen

Matsuhisa Aspen LLC, Aspen

Mountain Temp Service LLC, Aspen

Music Associates of Aspen Inc., Aspen

Myers and Co. Architectural Metals, Basalt, 68 jobs retained

Paragon Systems Integration LLC, Aspen

Pitkin County Dry Goods Co, Aspen

Powder Keg Inc., Aspen, 48 jobs retained.

Proguard Protection Service Inc., Basalt, 31 jobs retained

Reese Henry and Co., Aspen

Roaring Fork Valley Cooperative Association, Carbondale, 33 jobs retained

Rowland Broughton Architecture and Urban Design Inc., Aspen, 39 jobs retained

Rudd Associates Construction Inc., Basalt

S&L Travel Partners Inc., Aspen, 51 jobs retained

S2M Construction Co Inc., GWS, 40 jobs retained

Sopris Engineering LLC, Carbondale, 29 jobs retained

Sport Obermeyer Ltd, Aspen, 51 jobs retained

Stutsman-Gerbaz Inc., Snowmass

SV Snowmass Hospitality LLC, Snowmass Village, 35 jobs retained

The Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, 42 jobs retained

The Aspen Country Day School Inc., Aspen, 60 jobs retained

The Romero Group LLC, Basalt, 70 jobs retained

Umbrella Roofing Inc., Basalt, 58 jobs retained

Valley Acquisition Co. LLC, Basalt, 37 jobs retained

Young Services LLC, GWS, 47 jobs retained

•$150,000 to $350,000

Ajax Holdings LLC, Aspen

Ajax Pool and Spa Inc., Basalt, 19 jobs retained

Ajax Roofing Co, Basalt

All Kids Dental Pediatrics and Orthodontics, GWS, 38 jobs retained

All Valley Maintenance, Basalt, 13 jobs retained

Allergy Asthma and Immunology of the Rockies PC, GWS, 11 jobs retained

Alpine Moving and Storage Inc., Aspen, 22 jobs retained

Alpine Property Management Inc., Snowmass Village

Amatis Controls LLC, Aspen, 12 jobs retained

American Seminar Institute Inc., Carbondale

Antoinette Paris LLC, Aspen

Argos Capital Management Inc., Aspen, 7 jobs retained

Aspen Branch Inc., Aspen, 8 jobs retained

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, Aspen

Aspen Community Foundation, Basalt

Aspen Glow Holiday Works, Carbondale

Aspen Hope Center, Basalt

Aspen Medical Care PC, Aspen

Aspen Snowmass LLC, Snowmass Village, 19 jobs retained

Aspen Tile and Bath Gallery Inc., Aspen, 15 jobs retained

Austin Group Holdings LLC, Aspen, 30 jobs retained

B Willson Enterprises Inc., Woody Creek

Bald Mountain LLC, Aspen, 13 jobs retained

Basalt Bike & Ski Inc., Carbondale

Batch&Ramp; Abbratch LLC, Aspen, 22 jobs retained

Belly Up Aspen LLC, Aspen, 71 jobs retained

Bethel Party Rentals Inc., GWS

Big Stone Publishing Ltd, Carbondale

Bishop Plumbing and Heating Inc., GWS, 20 jobs retained

Bison Adventures LLC, Snowmass Village

Blue Lake Preschool Inc., Carbondale

Bluegreen Inc., Aspen

Brigitte Inc., Aspen, 40 jobs retained

Cali Corp., Basalt, 17 jobs retained

Carbondale Car Care, Carbondale

Carbondale Dental Center PC, Carbondale, 15 jobs retained

Challenge Aspen, Snowmass Village, 9 jobs retained

Cleaner Express Ltd, Aspen, 22 jobs retained

CMZ LLC, Snowmass Village

Colorado Adventure Center Inc., GWS, 85 jobs retained

Columbia Builders Inc., GWS

Colwest Roofing and Waterproofing Co. Inc., Carbondale, 10 jobs retained

Compass Peak Imaging LLC, GWS. 7 jobs retained

Crawford Design Build LLC, Carbondale

Crawford Properties LLC, El Jebel

Crystal River Spas Inc., Carbondale

CSCP Operators LLC, Aspen

CSZDVM, Carbondale, 21 jobs retained

Daly Property Services Inc., Basalt

DB Bistro LLC, Aspen

Distinguished Boards and Beams, Carbondale

Double Diamond Moving and Storage, Carbondale

Down to Earth Landscapes and Construction, Carbondale, 26 jobs retained

Durgin Electric LLC, Carbondale, 21 jobs retained

Eagle Crest Nursery LLC, El Jebel, 19 jobs retained

Early Learning Center, Aspen

Earth-wise Horticultural Inc., GWS, 17 jobs retained

Ecos Environmental and Disaster Restoration Inc., GWS, 16 jobs retained

Eigelberger LLC, Basalt, 11 jobs retained

El Korita Inc, Basalt

Electrical Outfitters Inc., GWS, 20 jobs retained

Elk Mountain Hospitality Inc., Aspen

Elk Mountain Ventures Inc., Basalt

Eric Willsky MD Medical Corp., Aspen

Excavation Services Inc., Carbondale, 27 jobs retained

Fast Encoding Inc., Aspen, 9 jobs retained

Flame Out Fire Protection Inc., Basalt

Forum Phi Architecture LLC, Aspen, 18 jobs retained

Frying Pan Anglers Inc., Basalt

Garfield Youth Services, GWS

Glenwood Anesthesia Professionals PC, GWS

Glenwood Auto Parts Inc., GWS, 25 jobs retained

Glenwood Springs Dental Partners, GWS

Glenwood Springs Lodging, LLC, GWS, 44 jobs retained

Global Work Resources LLC, Basalt, 69 jobs retained

Good Earth Landscaping & Maintenance LLC, Carbondale, 25 jobs retained

Grand River Construction Co, GWS

Great Western Painting Inc., Carbondale, 20 jobs retained

Groundskeepers of Aspen Inc., Aspen

GZO Sheet Metal and Roofing Inc., Aspen

Haymax Hotels LLC, Aspen, 14 jobs retained

Henry & Mike LLC, GWS, 20 jobs retained

Hickory House of Aspen, Aspen, 25 jobs retained

High Country Engineering Inc., GWS, 15 jobs retained

High Tone Auto Body Inc., Basalt

High-Con Inc., Basalt

Highlands Pizza Co. LLC, Aspen

Historic Redstone Inn, Redstone

Holmes Excavation and Concrete Inc., Carbondale

Home Team BBQ of Aspen LLC, Aspen

Hospice of the Valley Inc., GWS

I Matti Ristorante Inc., Aspen, 175 jobs retained

Incline Management LLC, Aspen

Integra Motorsports LLC, GWS, 16 jobs retained

Integrated Mountain Maintenance Inc., GWS

Ivy League Camps LLC, Aspen, 25 jobs retained

Janckila Construction Inc., Carbondale, 15 jobs retained

John L. Frey, Aspen, 8 jobs retained

Joonas Group LLC, Aspen

K and W Concrete Inc., Basalt

Kalos Aspen LLC, Aspen, 10 jobs retained

Keelty Construction Inc., Basalt

Kelly Klee Inc., Aspen, 9 jobs retained

La Creperie Du Village LLC, Aspen, 30 jobs retained

Liquidated LLC, Snowmass Village

Lunamezza Ltd LLC, Aspen

M.T.G. Inc., Aspen

Maru LLC, Aspen

Mauldin Plumbing and Heating Inc., GWS, 18 jobs retained

Mid Valley Auto Body LLC, GWS, 10 jobs retained

Midvalley Family Practice PC, Basalt

Mighty Mouse Management, Snowmass Village

Mitchell and Co LLC, Carbondale

Mountain Chalet Enterprises Inc., Aspen, 36 jobs retained

Mountain Chevrolet LLC, GWS, 29 jobs retained

Mr. Vac Air Duct and Carpet Cleaning Inc., GWS, 17 jobs retained

Murry Dental Group LLC, GWS

New Creation Church of Glenwood, GWS, 52 jobs retained

North of Nell Condominium Association, Aspen

O2 Aspen 2 LLC, Aspen

Oates, Knezevich, Gardenswartz, Kelly and Morrow PC, Aspen

Offroad Design Inc., Carbondale, 18 jobs retained

Onion LLC, Basalt, 22 jobs retained

Orthopaedic Associates of Aspen and Glenwood Springs PC, Basalt, 19 jobs retained

Osmia Organics LLC, Carbondale, 20 jobs retained

Pacific Food and Beverage Co., Aspen, 30 jobs retained

Paramount Professional Services LLC, GWS, 16 jobs retained

Peter J Martin Insurance LLC, Carbondale, 11 jobs retained

Pine Mountain Electric Inc., GWS

Pinions LLC, Aspen, 35 jobs retained

Pinnacle Water Inc., Carbondale

Premier Party Rental LLC, Carbondale, 45 jobs retained

Recon Protection LLC, Aspen, 11 jobs retained

River Restoration LLC, Carbondale

River Valley Ranch Master Association, Carbondale, 16 jobs retained

Roaring Fork Resources LLC, Basalt

Roberts and Co. Inc., Carbondale, 10 jobs retained

Rocky Mountain Gutters and Maintenance Inc., GWS, 18 jobs retained

Rygr LLC, Carbondale, 11 jobs retained

Sagome Inc., Aspen

Savage Excavation LLC, Carbondale, 17 jobs retained

Schlumberger Scherer Construction, Aspen

Silver News LLC, Aspen, 16 jobs retained

SLL Ltd, Snowmass Village

Smoke Modern Barbecue LLC, GWS, 35 jobs retained

Sopris Home Care LLC, GWS

Southside Commercial Enterprises LLC, Basalt

St. Stephen Catholic Church, GWS, 47 jobs retained

Stone Age LLC, GWS, 13 jobs retained

Stonebridge Condominium Association, Snowmass Village

Structural Associates Co. GWS, 19 jobs retained

Studio B Architects, Aspen, 11 jobs retained

Suarez Masonry LLC, GWS

Su Casa Inc., Aspen, 50 jobs retained

Sunlight Inc., GWS, 44 jobs retained

Sunsense Inc., Carbondale

Tatanka Provisions Co LLC, Aspen, 15 jobs retained

Ted Hess and Associates LLC, GWS, 12 jobs retained

Tequilas III Inc., GWS

Terrapin Las Colinas LLC, Aspen, 24 jobs retained

Terrapin Management Corp., Aspen, 14 jobs retained

The Aspen Digger Inc., Carbondale

The Buddy Program, Aspen

The Hert Four Inc., GWS, 36 jobs retained

The Pepperoni Pizza Kitchen, Carbondale, 42 jobs retained

The Pullman LLC, Carbondale

The Runaway Shovel Inc., Woody Creek

Theatre Aspen, Aspen, 25 jobs retained

Timberline Condominiums Association Inc., Snowmass Village

TJ Concrete Construction Inc., Carbondale

Tom and Ellen Marshall Enterprises Inc., Basalt, 26 jobs retained

Tracker Software Corp, Snowmass Village

UBCI Inc., Carbondale, 18 jobs retained

Ute Mountaineer Ltd, Aspen

Valley Settlement, Carbondale

Village Smithy Restaurant Inc., Carbondale

Vivala Inc., Aspen

Western Hospitality Group Ltd, GWS

Woody Creek Distillers, Basalt, 17 jobs retained

Your Parts Haus Corp., Carbondale, 29 jobs retained


PHOTO: Fire in median by Grizzly Creek caused brief closure of I-70 in Glenwood Canyon Wednesday afternoon

Roaring Fork Valley raises $12M for area-wide COVID-19 aid

Just over $12 million has been raised in the Roaring Fork Valley for COVID-19 relief and recovery assistance, and nearly $8.5 million of it has been distributed to help 17,000 households from Aspen to Parachute.

“Our community is one of the most generous there is,” said Tamara Tormohlen, executive director of the Aspen Community Foundation, which has tracked the fundraising through its nonprofit and government partners. “That generosity is hopefully preventing people from going off the cliff (financially).”

The money has come mostly from private donations and government subsidies, including $3 million from Pitkin County, the town of Snowmass Village and the city of Aspen.

The ACF has directly received $6.7 million, with the bulk of that going into a rescue fund set up by Aspenites Bob Hurst, Melony Lewis and Jerry Greenwald who have fundraised $5 million from 100 donors.

“They deserve a lot of credit,” Tormohlen said.

The fund supports social service nonprofits that are providing humanitarian assistance during the crisis, helping individuals who fall through the cracks receive the assistance they need, and seek ways to address gaps that exist in the region due to the scale of issues, whether it is citizenship, mental health, financial or a litany of others.

Another $1.7 million has come from another 100 donors, including individuals, foundations and governmental entities to the ACF’s COVID-19 regional response fund, which distributes the money to various nonprofits from Aspen to Parachute in times of disaster.

Tormohlen noted that ACF contributions have tripled since this time last year.

Of the $12 million donated, about $8.5 million has been doled out, according to Tormohlen, with almost $6 million dedicated to economic assistance and $1.6 million in food.

The remaining has gone to other needs including legal aid, assistance for domestic violence victims and baby supplies.

Based on data that the ACF has collected, there were 50,000 people contributing to the workforce in the region prior to the pandemic, and 22,000 of them lost income once COVID-19 hit the tri-county area, which does not take into account about 4,000 people who are undocumented.

Tormohlen said when considering those who have received unemployment, 17,000 households were left without income support.

“That turns out to be the same as our level of support to people,” she said, adding that the average amount of assistance has been $800 per person.

The majority of people the assistance has helped are those on the front lines of the resort community like housekeepers and hospitality workers, as well as those who work in construction.

The ACF has been working closely with the county and the city of Aspen, the latter of which donated $450,000 directly to the foundation.

Part of that city money was a match to a $200,000 donation by local resident Mark Styslinger through the Altec Styslinger Foundation.

The city also gave the county $500,000 toward its COVID-19 relief program to provide financial relief to city of Aspen residents in the areas of housing, utility, food and childcare assistance.

Snowmass kicked in $200,000, the county contributed in $500,000 and $218,000 came from private donations, according to Nan Sundeen, director of human services for Pitkin County.

The relief program, which also was fueled by state and federal money, was suspended on July 1 after issuing nearly $2.3 million in assistance to more than 3,400 Pitkin County residents since late-March.

“We need to pause and work with our partners to find the best vehicle (to distribute the funds),” Sundeen said. “We need the time and really assess the need and if we are the best organization to do this.”

Both Tormohlen and Sundeen agree the need will continue as the pandemic is expected to continue into next year.

“We are working with our community partners on what happens if there is no more (federal) stimulus or unemployment,” Sundeen said. “That is going to be a significant hit to the community.”

Because of the $600-a-week federal unemployment payments through July and the one-time $1,200 stimulus check, requests for assistance tapered off in June.

The county doled out just over $1 million in March, compared to just $25,000 in June.

Of all the requests through the county, shelter was No. 1, with more than $1.7 million going toward that.

The county’s relief fund served as a short-term financial bridge that allowed thousands of residents the time and peace of mind to file unemployment claims, and it also allowed other community nonprofits to begin to set up relief programs.

The city also contributed $1.5 million from its housing fund to help with rent, mortgage and HOA assistance in the 3,000 deed-restricted units in the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority inventory.

Of that amount, $600,000 has been spent, according to Sundeen.

“We are reaching out to the city to see what they want us to do with that money,” she said, adding she expects requests to increase once the offseason hits, layoffs occur and public health orders potentially change in response to rising cases of COVID-19.

“We don’t know what happens at the end of August,” she said. “This is a very tender time for everybody because there is no roadmap, no crystal ball.”

Tormohlen echoed the economic uncertainty and acknowledged donor fatigue when crises are long-lasting.

“We are still assessing and still in that economic response mode,” she said. “We acknowledge the generosity but there is still plenty of room for giving because there is more need here.”


Guest column: We either lie about them or omit them

Finally, “Black Lives Matter” gains traction. Showing videos and telling stories that bring attention to the large numbers of deaths by police and the cases and deaths by Covid-19 among African-Americans has led to this long-delayed confrontation with our prejudiced society. What we see with our own eyes can no longer be ignored, which makes this seem a historic moment that could bring about real change.

The press has gone some way toward reporting the heavy impact of the disease on the working poor. Solid reporting has brought out the disproportionate number of black and brown people working as house cleaners, health care aides, and in food processing plants, public transportation, and other occupations that put them at greater risk of contagion. Poor neighborhoods, poor water and crowded living conditions have also been exposed as furthering the spread of the virus.

What may not have registered is that the worldwide epidemic has also hit American Indians particularly hard. With a population of just 173,667, the Navajo Nation had 7,549 confirmed cases and 363 deaths attributed to the virus as of July 1. That is more than 4,447 cases per 100,000 people — a higher per-capita rate than anywhere in the United States.

For comparison, New York is at 2,150 cases per 100,000 people. Put another way, at the Navajo Nation rate, my state of Oregon would have over 184,000 COVID cases and 8,970 deaths instead of 208 deaths. (Source: Worldometer). Yet the press has devoted little space to the virus having its way in Indian country.

The history of disease among tribes is in a word — terrible. Epidemic diseases killed more indigenous people in the Americas at the start of European colonialism than all the Indian wars. Measles, smallpox and tuberculosis devastated the misnamed Indians, from fishermen-borne diseases brought to tribes along the Atlantic coast in the 16th century to the near-extirpation of the Cayuse in the 1840s. These diseases, unfamiliar to the native Americans, continued to damage tribes through the twentieth century.

Charles Mann argues strongly in 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, that disease attacks on Indians had a genetic component, meaning that indigenous Americans were far more susceptible to viral diseases than white populations. And, according to Indian friends, there are strong tribal memories of the devastating 1918 flu. That generational memory has some living in fear today as Covid-19 marches across America.

Historian Alvin Josephy said that when we are not lying about American Indians in our history, we are omitting them. A recent instance of omission: Politico reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has turned down tribal epidemiologists’ requests for data about the virus that it’s making freely available to states.

For Euro-Americans, it’s been a harsh road traveled over and around American Indians. Most of it has had to do with land: They had it and white people wanted it. Disease killed off Squanto’s people, and when the Puritans arrived they were saved by caches of food remaining in what seemed like an empty landscape. Combat with superior numbers and firepower grabbed more land from native Americans. When war didn’t work, treaties — and a continued rewriting or abandoning them — snatched more land.

After disease and war and treaty making, there was government policy: the Indian Removal Act of 1830 sent tribes to “unsettled” lands across the Mississippi. The Dawes Allotment Act of 1887 tried to divide remaining Indian lands into parcels for individual Indians to farm, selling the “surplus” un-allotted lands to settlers. The Termination Act of 1953 tried finally to do away with all treaty and contractual relations and obligations with the federal government — freeing up more land to be purchased by Weyerhaeuser Timber and white farmers and ranchers.

There are complex histories of the relationships between today’s Latino and Indian, and among African Americans and American Indians. But what can always be said of native Americans, who remain invisible to many, is that they have defied deliberate attempts to eradicate them. Against all odds, against massive disease outbreaks and repeated injustices, they persevere.

Black lives matter, Indian lives matter, and Covid-19 is teaching us more about the history of both. Any true telling of today’s pandemic and past ones, of our country’s history and vision of our future, must include the original native Americans.

Rich Wandschneider is a contributor to Writers on the Range (writersontherange.org), a nonprofit dedicated to spurring lively discussion of the West. At the Josephy Center for Arts and Culture in Joseph, Oregon, he is developing the Josephy Library.

Enviro Education network offers guidelines for taking learning outdoors this fall

An approach that’s been in practice for many years in the realm of environmental education — the outdoor classroom — could be more broadly applied this fall.

Recently, the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (CAEE), including its area affiliate, Carbondale-based WildRose Education, came up with guidelines for making better use of outdoor spaces to teach students.

Outdoor learning could become a crucial component to pre-K-12 education in the coronavirus era, as schools come up with unique ways to safely resume in-person learning while maintaining proper health precautions.

Whether that takes place on school grounds, or out in the community in parks and other outdoor spaces, the possibilities are endless, said Sarah Johnson, WildRose founder and watershed educator.

“As schools deliberate on how best to move forward during the fall semester, I encourage administrators and teachers to leverage the tremendous expertise of environmental educators to work with their students, design their outdoor teaching plans, and offer teachers support in teaching and learning outdoors,” Johnson said.

Schools of all kinds, public and private, are busy this summer trying to devise plans to safely reopen to students come August and September with public health considerations in mind to keep the spread of COVID-19 in check.

CAEE in late June released online guidance on how to reopen schools this fall, providing resources for individual schools and school districts to tap into if they want to cut down on the number of students who are inside buildings at a given time.

The downloadable document includes dozens of strategies on how to effectively use outdoor classrooms, as well as tips for teachers on how to teach outdoors while adhering to social distancing requirements.

It also offers tips on how to incorporate environmental and outdoor education into the coursework, regardless of the subject, while making use of those outdoor spaces.

The program was developed in collaboration with the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), explained Katie Navin, executive director for the Colorado Alliance.

“As soon as COVID hit, we began having conversations with our community partners and environmental educators about coming up with some creative solutions for how could support schools,” Navin said.

“There will be countless challenges for schools when it comes to reopening, but that can happen in a lot of different ways using the natural phenomena that surrounds us.”

Those outdoor spaces can be used for the most academic of subjects — reading, math and social studies, for instance — as well as subjects that are naturally suited to the outdoors, such as science and art, Navin said.

“There are any degree of possibilities,” she said. “In many cases you’re literally just doing the exact same thing outdoors as you would indoors.”

The approach can also be used to support home schoolers, Johnson said. 

Wild Rose Education has shared a full menu of virtual educator professional development offerings this summer that teachers and curriculum development teams can use.

“Some teachers are more confident taking students outside, and just need some support to be able to do that,” Johnson said. “A lot of teachers are hungry for more training on best practices to feel confident and make it safe for their students.”

Specific teacher training is offered for course work in river science, watershed geography, youth civic engagement, public lands and “Leave No Trace” skills.

The courses include continuing education credits, and some offer graduate credits from Western Colorado University and the Colorado School of Mines, Johnson added.

Also, the 2020 Youth Water Leadership Program offers teenagers virtual learning opportunities during the upcoming fall semester. Because the program is now taught virtually, it has expanded to include school throughout the entire Upper Colorado River Basin.

Many schools in the Roaring Fork Valley have been offering outdoor education for many years, with support from groups like the Roaring Fork Conservancy and the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, Johnson noted.

But the current situation presents even more opportunities to maximize the outdoor classroom, she said.

Johnson pointed to one summer school program, Summit 54’s “Summer Success” for upcoming first through fifth graders, which quickly adapted to move its classes outdoors this year, as an example.

Schools in the Roaring Fork Valley and across the Western Slope do have what Johnson refers to as a “rural advantage” when it comes to outdoor learning.

“We do have more open space in towns, and we’re more spread out,” she said. “And, we’re not afraid to take kids outside.”

That’s not to say urban schools can’t make use of outdoor spaces for learning, Navin pointed out.

“It does look different,” she said. “The environment is where we live, and learning what there is to know about that.

“And, there are some fantastic examples of urban schools creating outdoor learning spaces,” she said, pointing to schools that have created raised garden beds on asphalt playgrounds, and other similar projects.

As stated in the eeGuidance, “[EE] organizations can and should be essential partners in supporting schools and families as states begin to reopen schools.

“As with any strategy, these recommendations are not without hurdles, nor will they fully address all of the challenges facing schools,” states the eeGuidance document. “But, environmental and outdoor education programs present some promising tools for schools and districts throughout the U.S. and are essential partners in creating a more just and sustainable future for all.”