In Brief: Bright planets look like they’ll join; Hall of Fame’s big night; last of physics talks Wednesday |

In Brief: Bright planets look like they’ll join; Hall of Fame’s big night; last of physics talks Wednesday

Two brightest planets in night sky will appear close together Wednesday

Skygazers will have an interesting and easy-to-identify celestial event to look at Wednesday evening when the two brightest planets in the sky, Venus and Jupiter, appear to come very close together. It’s what astronomers call a planetary conjunction.

Venus, typically the brightest object in the nighttime sky except for the moon, is often seen just before sunrise or just after sunset. For the past few weeks it has been noticeable in the western sky at twilight, slightly higher each night and appearing to move closer and closer to Jupiter, the third-brightest nighttime object apart from the moon.

Wednesday night they will appear in very close proximity as they pass each other. In subsequent weeks, Venus will continue to be noticeable, higher and higher in the evening sky, while Jupiter will slowly move lower and lower toward the western horizon.

The two planets will appear very close to each other Tuesday evening as well, just not quite as close as they will appear when in conjunction Wednesday night.

They aren’t really close together, of course; they just appear that way from the vantage point of earth. Venus is the planet second-closet to the sun, earth is third and Jupiter is fifth. Jupiter is the largest planet and Venus is third-smallest after Mercury and Mars.

— Denver Post

U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall inducts 2021 and 2022 members

ISHPEMING, Mich. — The U.S. National Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum that recognizes the athletes and visionaries who have significantly enriched the global sports of skiing and snowboarding in the United States inducted members from 2021 and 2022 and one member from 2018, cementing their place in history as accomplishing the highest possible industry honor.

“Over 600 individuals attended the ceremonies and the week-long industry celebrations. Many of our inductees stated that this event was the highlight of their career,” said Justin Koski, executive director of the U.S. National Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame and Museum Inc. “To be able to host so many accomplished individuals and their families for this once in a lifetime achievement is a really unique experience that is a true testament to their respective dedication to the sport.”

Each year, the Hall of Fame manages a revolving list of nominations and works through the selection process to elect the next class of honored members. The process involves over 400 industry advocates and takes place in July and August with its new class being voted on in August and announced mid to late September. The 2024 U.S. National Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame induction ceremony is scheduled for Park City Mountain, Utah, in March 2024.

Class of 2021

  • Sven Coomer (Sydney, Australia)
  • Herman Dupre´ (Seven Springs, PA)
  • John Eaves (Calgary, Alberta)
  • Renie and Dave Gorsuch (Vail)
  • Peter Graves (Putney, VT)
  • Mike Hattrup (Ketchum, ID)
  • Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) (2018)
  • Jan Reynolds (Stowe, VT)
  • Alan Schoenberger (Park City, UT)

Class of 2022

  • Gwen Allard (Mendon, VT)
  • Tina Basich (Nevada City, CA)
  • Gary Black (Sun Valley, ID)
  • Shannon Dunn (Steamboat Springs)
  • Rusty Gregory (Mammoth Lakes, CA)
  • Terry Kidwell (Tahoma, CA)
  • Kent Kreitler (Sun Valley, ID)
  • Phil McNichol (Revelstoke, B.C.)
  • CJ Mueller (Breckenridge)

Last of physics talks Wednesday at Aspen Center for Physics

The Nick and Maggie DeWolf Foundation will present the last free “Public Physics Talk” of the season at 5:30 p.m Wednesday, doors open at 5 at the Flug Forum at Aspen Center for Physics with the promise of cookies and tea.

In “Casting a Wide Net for Dark Matter, Tim M.P. Tait of the University of California Irvine will discuss the nature of dark matter, the mysterious substance whose existence is necessary to hold galaxies together, but whose fundamental nature remains unknown. Tait will go over some of the key ideas for how to build experiments that could teach us more about dark matter, and how we can synthesize their results to build a kind of composite image of what the dark matter can (or can’t) look like.

Tait is a chancellor’s professor and chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Irvine. His research interests include theoretical investigations of physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics, particle physics phenomenology, high energy collider physics, and cosmology. Tait’s work involves both exploring new models and new phenomena, as well as theoretical interpretation of experiments.

‘Meet the Author’ features teen writer

Nyala Honey is a local teen author who has published two books so far. This 14-year-old’s newest novel, “The Silent One,” is a post-apocalyptic young adult thriller.

She will discuss her writing journey, the process of publishing her latest book, and answer audience questions at the Carbondale Branch Library on Saturday, April 8, at 3 p.m. Light refreshments will be provided, and the event is free and open to the public. For more information: 970-963-2889.

Dementia presentation at Sopris Lodge

Sopris Lodge at Carbondale will host Woo Bandel, community engagement manager from the Colorado Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, to present “Understanding and Responding to Dementia-Related Behaviors” on Tuesday, April 4, from 2:30-4 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is required, and attendance will be limited to 25 registrants. Call 970-456-6871 or visit to RSVP.

U.S. Bank announced as title sponsor of Bash for the Buddies

The Buddy Program announced that U.S. Bank is the title sponsor for the 24th annual Bash
for the Buddies. The bash is a celebration of the youth, families, and volunteer Big Buddies throughout the Roaring Fork Valley with whom the Buddy Program works with through their four mentoring programs.

The event typically raises over one-third of the organization’s annual operating budget and is
critical to sustaining their youth mentoring programs, Buddy Progam officials said.

The Bash for the Buddies will take place on Friday, July 7. This year’s honorees are Gail and Lenny
“Boogie” Weinglass for their many years of service and support of the Buddy Program. In light
of the honorees, this year’s theme is inspired by Boogie’s Diner of Aspen. Gail and Boogie will
also host the event at their ranch in Aspen.
For more information about the Bash for the Buddies event:

Large hangers approved for Rifle’s airport

Garfield County has approved an updated concept plan from Dark Horse Aviation to construct two large hangars at the Rifle Garfield County Airport. The Board of County Commissioners accepted the revised concept plan submitted by Dark Horse Aviation, which is constructing two new hangars proposed at 49,000 square feet and another of 40,000 square feet.

“Commissioner Samson said once we get the new development guide approved, we’ll have lots of developers coming to the airport to build, and I think this is just one of the many that will be coming before the commissioners,” said Rifle Garfield County Airport Director Brian Condie.

Dark Horse asked to proceed with its original request to lease airport parcels A-5 and A-6, allowing for the construction of larger hangars at the airport. The proposal noted that Dark Horse was determining how to maximize its investment at the airport over the 40-year land lease. The lease rate for the property was estimated at $83,867 annually. 

Ryan Maxfield, executive VP of business development for Dark Horse Aviation, told the board that the design of the Rifle Garfield County Airport and ample ramp room makes it a reliable destination for pilots flying into the area. 

“I began flying airplanes before I knew how to drive a car, so I have a unique background,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate enough in my career to have flown into Eagle, Aspen, Telluride, and Rifle, and you guys have one heck of an airport, and you should be very proud. In my mind, from a pilot’s perspective, Rifle’s always been a sure bet. … It’s a safe alternate, even if you’re not coming here in the first place.”

Roaring Fork Engineering announcements

Roaring Fork Engineering announced the promotion of Anthony Alfini to principal and the addition of Maggie McHugh to the team. McHugh will be serving the firm’s water and wastewater clients.

Anthony Alfini

“Anthony’s expertise in our industry and acumen for business operations have made him an essential member both within our organization and in the external community,” RFE President, owner and Principal Richard Goulding said. “Additionally, we are thrilled to have Maggie McHugh rejoin our team. Her experience in managing large-scale water and wastewater projects will be highly valuable.”

Alfini, a native of Rifle, earned his bachelor’s degree in science and civil engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.

McHugh graduated from The Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering. She then pursued a master’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she focused on water resources.

Maggie McHugh

Roaring Fork Engineering offers a range of services including civil, environmental, water resources, and construction administration to clients such as land developers, municipal corporations, commercial entities, and private landowners in Colorado’s mountain communities.

Presentation on organ donation

 Sopris Lodge at Carbondale will host a guest speaker from the Chris Klug Foundation for discussion about organ, eye, and tissue donation on Monday, April 10, from 3-4 p.m. at 295 Rio Grande Ave. 

April is National Donate Life Month and the Chris Klug Foundation is an Aspen-based non-profit that raises awareness about donation and strives to eliminate the wait for those on the transplant waitlist.

This event is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is requested, and attendance will be limited to 25 registrants. For more information or to RSVP, contact Sopris Lodge’s Director of Sales and Marketing Marie Herr at 970-456-6871, or visit the website events page at

Meeker Mustang Makeover seeks trainers for summer event    

The Meeker Mustang Makeover seeks 10 young horse trainers to start a 1- year-old mustang and compete in the makeover and help find homes for these horses.

This year, local horses from the Piceance basin and other areas of Colorado will be highlighted in the competition. Horse trainers, both amateur and professional, are encouraged to apply. While the Meeker Mustang Makeover provides clinics to help trainers through the process, applicants should have horse experience as these horses are wild, officials said.

The application period is open now until April 1 at 11:59 p.m. More information and applications are available at

This year, 25 trainers from across Colorado will pick up their Mustangs in Meeker on April 29, attend a Getting Started Clinic, and 120 days later, perform and compete to show how far they have come from wild horse to willing partner in front of a crowd at the Meeker Rodeo Fairgrounds. All horses are then sold at the end with trainers receiving 50% of the proceeds of their horse, in addition to taking home prize money and scholarship funds.

The selected trainers will have the opportunity to attend two free clinics by Wild Horse professional Steve Mantle. There is a youth division with yearlings in hand (halter) for kids ages 10 to 17 and a saddle competition with 3-year-old mustangs for anyone aged 15 and up.

The competition will be held on Saturday, Aug. 26, followed by an online and live auction of all the horses to their permanent homes. Trainers receive half of the auction proceeds. Longhorn Video Auctions is the auctioneer and last year attracted 22,000 views on the website.

Applications online at Questions? Call Robyn Blackwood at 760-774-6863.