In Brief: Coffee (machines) for teacher appreciation; city hires preservation planner; Basalt overnight sewer work will be loud |

In Brief: Coffee (machines) for teacher appreciation; city hires preservation planner; Basalt overnight sewer work will be loud

Skico gets coffee (machines) for hark-working teachers

Aspen Skiing Co. donated three Lavazza office coffee machines — one for each teachers’ lounge — to express their appreciation for Aspen School District teachers, the district announced during Teachers Appreciation Week.

“This has been such a gift — yes, the coffee is delicious, but these new machines have also created these little moments, in the morning and on our breaks, for us to just say ‘Hi’ to each other and have a quick catch-up,” said Matt Fields, a sixth grade teacher.

The coffee machines are the result of brainstorming a way to celebrate teachers after the COVID pandemic. Katherine Sand, director of Aspen Family Connections, said the pandemic took a toll on teachers, who one day had lesson plans designed to take place in their classroom, and the next day had to figure out how to deliver the same quality lesson plans via Zoom.

“When we all came back to campus and teachers returned to their classrooms, we just needed to let them know that their work was amazing, and that they are amazing,” she said. To come up with ways to do that, Superintendent David Baugh reached out to Skico Director of Community Engagement Michael Miracle to see if he might have any ideas.

“Our teachers put in endless hours to ensure that our students have the best education possible,” Baugh said. “We are so appreciative of them, and it’s fantastic that our community partner Skico sees the value that our teachers’ work brings to our entire community.”

Teacher Appreciation Week is celebrated in the Aspen School District between May 1-5 with dozens of activities, including a Parent Council breakfast, food trucks, raffle give-aways, and, of course, coffee.

City hires historic preservation planner

As Amy Simon celebrates 30 years with the city of Aspen in the Community Development Department overseeing the Historic Preservation program, she has enlisted a new generation to take the reins, so she can focus on her work as planning director. 

Kirsten Armstrong started this week as the city’s Historic Preservation principal planner and is the point of contact for all new projects. Armstrong, whose background and education is in architectural history, will make recommendations to the Historic Preservation Commission and Aspen City Council on projects and policies. 

She most recently lived in Orlando, Florida, working in disaster relief and home rebuilding in hurricane zones in the South.

Simon said she is well-suited for the job because of her experience in the architectural realm and intensive study of ways that communities express their values related to the built environment. 

The Historic Preservation Committee, a nine-member citizen voluntary board, has vacancies. There is one regular seat and two alternate seats open. If interested, residents can fill out the Board/Commission Application: 

The Historic Preservation Committee meets twice a month. For more information on the agendas and the city’s Historic Preservation Program, visit .

Overnight Midland Spur sewer work, May 10-11

The town of Basalt reports that the Midland Spur work is proceeding on schedule: The retaining wall is constructed, utility lines are being put in place, and the work has gone smoothly.

There will be overnight sewer work that begins on May 10 at 7 a.m. and runs through May 11 at 6 p.m., which will be noisy, officials said. The reason for the overnight work is to reduce the amount of time sewer service is off-line for customers in the area and to expedite this specific construction activity, they said. 

Public meeting on Thompson Divide withdrawal on Thursday

The U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management have announced public meetings Thursday, May 11, for the proposed Thompson Divide Administrative Mineral Withdrawal. 

The meetings begin at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. at the Western Colorado University Ballroom (1 Western Way, Gunnison) or virtually (register in advance) The sessions will consist of a short presentation, followed by a question-and-answer session. The 6:30 p.m. session will include Spanish interpretation virtually. 

Prior of New Camaldoli to lead workshop at Aspen Chapel

Cyprian Consiglio, the prior of the New Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur, California, will lead a workshop at the Aspen Chapel from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, May 13.

He is a Christian monk, musician, composer, writer, and teacher — and student of the writings of Bede Griffiths “with a great love for comparative religion,” organizers said. Consiglio regularly leads conferences on meditation and has written numerous articles and four books, including “Spirit, Soul, Body,” which will form the basis of this workshop. This echoes the “Mind, Body, Spirit” idea that is embedded in the Aspen ideal, according to organizers, who said much of his music and teaching revolve around the universal call to contemplation through spirituality and the arts.

This event will include periods of teaching, music, and meditation. You can attend in person or via livestream. Tickets from $50. Details at

Roaring Fork Conservancy’s Runoff Party, May 20

Roaring Fork Conservancy’s Runoff Party is scheduled for 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, at the conservancy at 22800 Two Rivers Road, Basalt. The event is free, but organizers request

Whether you’re a novice or pro, the event aims to get river-ready for the summer season. In addition to multiple stations that will be set up throughout the event, several topics are programmed:

  • 11 a.m., Fly Tying 101.
  • Noon, Get Your Rig Ready: Best practices for a raft, a SUP, or your fly rod.
  • 1 p.m., Casting Contest for Kids & Adults .

Food by Slow Groovin BBQ and Beer from Odell Brewing Co. available for purchase.

Questions? Contact Christina Medved at (970) 927-1290 or

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