News in Brief | AspenTimes.com

News in Brief

The Aspen Chamber Resort Association’s visitor center within the Wheeler Opera House was closed for Thanksgiving. It’s scheduled to be closed for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, as well.Though the ACRA visitors center at its Rio Grande Place offices remain open, some ACRA board members on Tuesday questioned the wisdom of closing the downtown locale on holidays.”Those are key holidays for our visitors,” board member Stan Clauson said.The Wheeler box office, which shares its lobby with ACRA, is closed on the holidays, locking out the chamber, said Debbie Braun, chamber president.Board members agreed the organization needs to ask Wheeler Director Gram Slaton for access to the building on the holidays.

The Bureau of Land Management field office in Glenwood Springs will begin closing several gates for the winter on Thursday to prevent vehicle access in certain areas. The annual closures provide crucial big-game winter range, protect municipal watersheds, and prevent road damage under muddy conditions. The closures continue through April 30. Closures take effect at several points in the Castle Peak area in Eagle County, East Elk Creek in Garfield County, and on Light Hill and the Crown in Pitkin County. “The public should also be aware that Transfer Trail will be closed as well,” Field Manager Jamie Connell said. “The BLM recognizes that snowmobiling is a popular winter activity in that area and, by closing Transfer Trail, snow conditions can be maintained for those folks.”All of the areas continue to be open to nonmotorized recreation opportunities such as hiking, snowshoeing, horseback riding and skiing. For more information, contact the BLM office in Glenwood at 947-2800.

EAGLE Eagle Countys new Home Rule Commission has until the end of July to draft a new charter, or set of rules, for the countys government. Work on that charter started Monday when the 11 people elected to the commission Nov. 1 held their first meeting.There wasnt a lot actually accomplished. Don Cohen of Edwards was named chairman of the group, and Kathy Chandler-Henry of Eagle was named vice chairwoman. The group also asked County Attorney Bryan Treu to set up an information session about the experiences of the states other two home-rule counties, Pitkin and Weld.Beyond that, the group members talked a bit about what they thought a new county charter could, or should, look like. While almost all 11 members said they support the idea of adding two more commissioners to the current three-member board, a former Eagle County commissioner said maybe thats not such a good idea.At first I thought five commissioners would be a slam-dunk, David Mott said. But this didnt pass by much. There was a lot of opposition. Maybe there are other alternatives we could look at, maybe three commissioners, but elected out of districts.However it happens, better representation remains high on the list for several members.The Roaring Fork Valley needs a commissioner, now and forever, said committee member Jacque Whitsitt of Basalt.And it isnt just Roaring Fork Valley residents who feel that way. Colleen McCarthy of Vail said a lot of people in the eastern part of the county believe they dont have much of a voice at the county seat.At the first meeting, various members supported: Five members from five districts, with voters in those districts voting for just one commissioner. Making the job nonpartisan. Creating five districts for commissioners but having all county voters elect all the boards members.

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