Aspen briefs: Theatre Aspen gets new managing director; Sen. Gail Schwartz honored; Hunter-Smuggler EA

Theatre Aspen hires new managing director

Theatre Aspen has announced the hiring of John Thew as the new managing director of the organization. He was hired following a national search.

Thew, who held the same position with Minneapolis’ Theater Latte Da, replaces Emily Zeck. The change will take effect in early November.

Under his leadership at Theater Latte Da, contributed income grew 65 percent and ticket revenue rose 95 percent. Prior to his position in Minneapolis, Thew was with New York’s Second Stage Theatre.

“We are thrilled to have hired John Thew as our new managing director after several months of searching for the perfect fit,” said Theatre Aspen artistic director Paige Price. “I’d like to add that Emily Zeck’s contributions to Theatre Aspen during a time of unprecedented growth and fiscal health cannot be underestimated, and we wish her the very best in her next chapter.”

Theatre Aspen completed its record-breaking 30th-anniversary summer season at the end of August. Productions of “Les Miserables,” “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and “Fully Committed” were featured. The Theatre Aspen School offers year-round programming for young children and adults.

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Sen. Gail Schwartz receives Randy Udall Award

The Colorado Renewable Energy Society honored state Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass, with its first-ever Randy Udall Award on Sept. 6 during the society’s sixth annual conference at the University of Denver School of Law.

The Randy Udall Award was created in memory of Randy Udall, a Roaring Fork Valley champion of renewable energy and its critical relationship to climate change. The award is given for leadership in energy and climate-change policy.

“To be given the Colorado Renewable Energy Society’s first Randy Udall Award is entirely humbling, as he was a personal hero of mine,” Schwartz said in a statement. “Randy loved Colorado and advocated to sustain our natural environment and use our resources wisely. My work at the state Legislature for the past seven years has been motivated by similar goals. We live in a remarkable state that provides for us through its diverse geography and natural resources, which we must strive to keep in balance to ensure our economic future.”

During her two terms in the Colorado General Assembly, Schwartz has worked to protect water, natural resources and agriculture lands, the statement said. Her record also has strongly promoted energy diversification and new renewable resources and encouraged energy efficiency. In particular, she has sought to develop a wide range of renewable resources in rural Colorado in order to drive local economic development and job growth.

Udall spent more than a decade developing partnerships regionally among coal mines, the ski industry and rural electric utilities to address methane releases from coal-mine operations. This year, Schwartz sponsored Senate Bill 13-252, which incorporated coal-mine methane into the state’s energy portfolio as an eligible resource. Capturing and utilizing methane emissions from coal mines to create energy helps protect the atmosphere from the strong greenhouse gases while creating a new, reliable, clean energy source.

The Colorado Renewable Energy Society is led by executive director Lorrie McAllister. It’s a statewide nonpartisan nonprofit that works to move Colorado toward increased use of renewable energy and energy efficiency while supporting advancement of new science and technology.

Environmental assessment available for review

An environmental assessment and draft decision notice analyzing the implementation of projects contained in the Hunter Creek-Smuggler Mountain Cooperative Plan has been completed and is available for review.

There will be no further comment period on this project, but individuals who submitted timely and specific written comments during the prior scoping period will have eligibility to file objections.

The Hunter-Smuggler plan contains a range of projects across a 4,681-acre project area in the White River National Forest’s Aspen and Sopris ranger districts. The project area is adjacent to Smuggler Mountain Open Space and private property. The proposed action includes the following project groups:

Recreation-trail improvements, management and maintenance.

Forest-health and wildlife-habitat improvements and management.

Smuggler Mountain Road (County Road 21) improvements and maintenance.

Outdoor education.

The White River National Forest, in partnership with the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, Pitkin County and the city of Aspen, will implement approximately 10 acres of forest-vegetation treatments this fall on Smuggler Mountain.

Objections, including attachments, must be filed via mail, hand-delivery, express delivery or messenger service to Scott Fitzwilliams, forest supervisor, 802 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs, CO 81601; by fax to 970-945-3266; or by email to

Copies of the environmental assessment are available for review at the Aspen Ranger District Office and online at

For more information, call Martha Moran at 970-945-3312 or David Francomb at 970-963-2266.