In Brief: Airport to close for maintenance most of May; Hayes Carll to perform at Ascendigo gala; CMC celebrates Black History Month with play |

In Brief: Airport to close for maintenance most of May; Hayes Carll to perform at Ascendigo gala; CMC celebrates Black History Month with play

Staff Report

Aspen/Pitkin County Airport to close May 10-24 for maintenance

The Aspen/Pitkin County Airport will be closed from May 10-24 for airfield pavement maintenance, which is part of the facility’s Federal Grant Assurance obligations, county officials said.

They said the work will focus on the taxiway and de-ice pad and is being done during a two-week off-season period to avoid impacts during the busy summer months. The airport originally had anticipated avoiding a closure because the designs for the repairs divided the work into four phases and mostly happened at night during the airport’s curfew hours, they said. However, a local ordinance prevents the acquisition of pavement materials after 10 p.m., so such night work was not possible.

Performing all work during operational hours would have required aircraft to use portions of the runway as a taxiway, significantly reducing the facility’s operational capacity, and resulting in the potential for significant flight delays and cancellations during this period, officials said.

This facility closure will allow for the completion of other projects, including the installation of a new Federal Aviation Administration navigational aid, which will replace an older, less reliable, and less energy-efficient unit, and also provide an opportunity to replace worn runway markings.  

Ascendigo Blue Aspen Winter Gala on Feb. 18

Ascendigo Blue Aspen 2023 will feature singer/songwriter Hayes Carll at the Western-chic themed gala Saturday, Feb. 18, at The St. Regis Aspen Resort, which benefits Ascendigo Autism Services, a Roaring Fork Valley-based non-profit serving the autism community.

The goal of Ascendigo Blue Aspen 2023 is to raise funds for programs that assist individuals affected by autism.

Adventures — Ascendigo’s flagship program — offers recreational-therapy programs, encouraging adventures in the outdoors to build confidence, skills, and friendships.

Ascendigo also offers programs for adult participants who receive one-to-one support with social, vocational, daily living, and recreational endeavors. Children in the region receive early-intervention, behavioral therapy, and school consultations by professional clinicians. The Ascendigo Academy offers training to service providers, schools, and law enforcement to better support and protect those with autism.

Hayes has received two Americana Music Awards, a Grammy nomination for best country song and multiple Austin Music Awards. His music can be heard as the backdrop to the television series “Yellowstone.” Allison Moorer, Hayes’ wife, is a singer/songwriter, producer, and author. She has released 10 critically-acclaimed albums and written the memoir, “I Dream He Talks to Me,” about her experience as an autism mom.

“We are thrilled to welcome Hayes and Allison to our Western chic-themed event,” said Julie Kaufman, Ascendigo’s chief development officer. “I know the audience will be blown away by their talents. As autism parents, our mission means a great deal to them. Ascendigo Blue is a wonderful way for our community to come out and celebrate, all while helping us sustain our work.”

Sponsors include Aspen Skiing Co., Aspen Magazine, The Aspen Times, Woody Creek Distillers, Caprice Wines, Bud Light, and Snow Te-Ski-La. Sponsorship information, VIP tickets and tables, and individual tickets for Ascendigo Blue Aspen 2023 are available at

The weekend of festivities begins with a VIP cocktail reception on Friday, Feb 17, for sponsors and VIP ticket holders.

Black History Live: Josephine Baker’ at CMC Spring Valley

Colorado Humanities and Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley at Glenwood Springs will present “Black History Live: Josephine Baker,” a live portrayal of the performer, World War II spy, and civil-rights activist, at CMC Spring Valley on Feb. 14. 

February is Black History Month, and, to celebrate, CMC is welcoming Colorado Humanities’ production of scholar and actor Becky Stone, who will portray Baker (1906-1975). Born in Saint Louis, Missouri, Baker began her career singing and dancing when she moved to France in the 1920s. She fought against the Nazi regime in World War II and became an activist against racial injustice. 

Previously, Stone visited the Spring Valley campus during Black History Month and portrayed Harriet Tubman in 2017 and Maya Angelou in 2019. 

“Black History Live: Josephine Baker” is scheduled for 3-4:30 p.m. Following the performance, KDNK Music Director Cody Lee is helping to curate a set of music to be played in the theater from 4:30-6:30 p.m. The set will include recordings of Josephine Baker and of later musicians — French and African-American — who were influenced by her. The event will be held on campus at the New Space Theatre, CMC Spring Valley, 3000 County Road 114, Glenwood Springs, and is free and open to the public. 

For more information, contact Adrian Fielder at CMC Spring Valley at 970-947-8246, or visit

Eagle County Mental Health Advisory Committee has open Roaring Fork slots open

The Eagle County Mental Health Advisory Committee is accepting applications for four open seats on the committee. Applications are due Feb. 17 and can be found at :

The committee is seeking to fill four vacancies of specific roles and/or backgrounds, with the ability for individuals to fulfill multiple roles, which include two large health-care provider representatives 
and two community advocates/individuals with lived experience. Of these roles, two must be filled by Roaring Fork Valley representatives.

The committee meets on the last Thursday of every other month from 1-2:30 p.m. Attendance may be virtual or in-person. Frequency, date, time, duration, and location are subject to change.

The committee provides funding recommendations for programs intended for all citizens of Eagle County. The committee makes recommendations for the provision of mental-health services in our community, as well as the support of organizations along the continuum of care, including promotion, prevention, treatment, and recovery. All recommendations will consider equity in access to services for all residents of Eagle County.

Eagle County offers free recording notification service to deter property fraud

To alert residents to potential property fraud, the Eagle County Clerk and Recorder’s Office offers a free Recording Notification Service that will send an email alert to residents when a document, such as a deed or power of attorney, is recorded using a monitored name. With this service, residents can request the monitoring of up to five different names per registered email address. Thus far, nearly 300 residents have taken advantage of this free service, officials said.

“This service does not prevent a potentially fraudulent document from being recorded,” said Clerk and Recorder Regina O’Brien. “However, it does provide notification that will assist a property owner in taking immediate action. This early warning system is preferable to belatedly discovering fraud months or years later.” 

Real-estate scams and fraud are becoming more prevalent, officials said. Some properties in Eagle County have been illegally advertised for sale on real-estate apps by individuals other than the rightful owners, according to county officials, who said: “Scammers use various online real-estate marketplace companies and pose as legitimate landlords or property owners. Often, the scam involves the request for deposits via wire transfer, money transfer apps, or even gift cards.”

Report any fraudulent activities to the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office at 970-328-8500 or email

California snowpack at double the seasonal average

The California snowpack is more than double of the seasonal average after receiving a significant boost from one of the wettest three-week periods on record, state officials announced Wednesday.

The Department of Water Resources on Wednesday conducted the survey at Phillips Station, at the entrance road to Sierra-at-Tahoe and recorded the snowpack at 205% of normal and a snow water equivalent of 33.5 inches, which is 193% of average for the location.

The snow water equivalent measures the amount of water contained in the snowpack and is a key component of DWR’s water-supply forecast. 

The wettest three weeks followed what was the driest three-year period on record in California and also one of the hottest heat waves ever for September, said a DWR press release.

“California has always experienced some degree of swings between wet and dry, but the past few months have demonstrated how much more extreme those swings are becoming,” said DWR Director Karla Nemeth. “California is preparing for more intense and dangerous climate swings by bolstering both drought and flood preparation. While today’s results are good news for water supplies, we know from experience how quickly snowpack can disappear if dry conditions return in the months ahead.”

LGBTQ+ commitment by school board draws lots of comment

Around 150 people gathered in-person, and more than 120 appeared online, during a Jan. 31 Summit School District meeting to voice support and opposition to a resolution passed by the district’s Board of Education in October that re-affirmed — in part — its commitment to LGBTQ+ representation and inclusion.

The gathering came following a Jan. 12 board meeting during which several parents and county residents spoke largely against the resolution, especially as it pertains to students in kindergarten through third grade. The Jan. 31 meeting, however, saw a majority of speakers give testimony in support of an LGBTQ-friendly curriculum, with some becoming visibly emotional.

Before public comment was taken, school district leaders also continued to voice their support for the LGBTQ+ community while acknowledging the concerns of some district parents. 

Summit County to overhaul short-term rental licensing

Two weeks before the Summit Board of County Commissioners is set to take a final vote on legislation that will overhaul the short-term rental licensing process, officials are continuing to make adjustments to the policy.

The most significant changes supported by commissioners during a Jan. 31 meeting had to do with booking caps for properties — an amendment first discussed during commissioners’ Jan. 24 meeting in which they held a first reading and vote on the ordinance. During that meeting, commissioners voted to change a 135-night limit to one that limits short-term rentals to 26 separate bookings per year.

During the Jan. 31 meeting, commissioners directed staff to increase the ordinance’s booking limit to 30 amid concerns that 26 did not mirror the original intention of their policy. Commissioners said they hope the booking cap will achieve the same goal of a 135-night limit, which they said is to reduce disruption to short-term rental neighbors. 

“The rationale is that that gives some flexibility for the (short-term rental) owner while also sort of mitigating some of those impacts for short-term rentals,” said Senior Planner Jessica Poetter. 

The booking cap, initially proposed by Commissioner Elisabeth Lawrence, is modeled after a cap in Palm Springs, California, Lawrence said. A booking cap of 26 was estimated to have generated anywhere between 104 and 182 nightly stays per year for a property depending on the length of each booking, according to Potter. 

“We made this switch from days to bookings for a number of reasons but partly in response to the community from whom we heard that nights was not practical,” said Commissioner Tamara Pogue. “While I don’t think Palm Springs is necessarily exactly the same as Summit County, it is a data point that we can look to to help us figure out where we should land on in terms of the number of bookings.

“I suspect 26 is a little bit too low if we go back to a conversion of our original goal of 135 nights.”

As the policy currently stands, a limit of no more than 5% to 18% of certain county areas can hold short-term rental licenses. Commissioners had carved out an exception for certain residents of the county’s workforce and retirees, allowing them to hold licenses regardless of the caps.