In Brief: Jet goes off runway, closes airport; surgeon general to speak at Aspen Ideas: Health; couple of trails reopen |

In Brief: Jet goes off runway, closes airport; surgeon general to speak at Aspen Ideas: Health; couple of trails reopen

Staff report

Aspen airport closes Sunday after jet goes off runway

Around 1:50 p.m. Sunday a mid-sized business jet, a Falcon 900, went off the west side of the runway at the Aspen Airport.

Airport personnel are working through snow and mud to remove the aircraft.

Airport operations were likely be closed for the rest of the day, according to airport director Dan Bartholomew. No injuries or damage to the aircraft have been reported. 

Skier dies at Eldora after hitting tree

A woman visiting from Texas died Sunday morning after she crashed into a tree while skiing a run at Eldora Mountain Ski Resort, officials said.

The 58-year-old woman reportedly fell while skiing down Muleshoe, a black diamond run, and continued to slide down the mountain until she struck a tree, according to the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office. 

The woman’s friends and family immediately called 911 and performed CPR until paramedics arrived and took over efforts to resuscitate her, the Sheriff’s Office said. But the woman was pronounced dead on the scene. She was not identified.

— Colorado Sun

Aspen Ideas: Health announces speakers, including surgeon general

 Aspen Ideas: Health organizers today previewed a selection of speakers appearing at the 2023 event, which takes place June 21-24 in Aspen.

Hundreds of leaders and innovators spanning health, medicine, science, business, culture, and more will gather there with fellows and members of the public to discuss health challenges, cutting-edge innovations in medicine and science, and pathways toward better health for all.

Among the scheduled speakers:

  • Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation, on the collective investment needed to move the needle on public health around the globe.
  • StoryCorps CEO Sandra Clark on the art of active listening and how it can help foster empathy and understanding.
  • Renee Wegrzyn, Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H), on advancing high-impact biomedical research to accelerate life-changing health solutions.
  • Best-selling author Gretchen Rubin on how we can cultivate our five senses to fully engage with the world around us.
  • Architect Michael Murphy on the ways human-centered design is changing the blueprint for the spaces where we live, learn, work, play, and heal
  • Paula Johnson, President of Wellesley College, on the intersectionality of gender, race, and health outcomes. 
  • Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tracy Kidder on his new book Rough Sleepers, which chronicles the trailblazing work of Dr. Jim O’Connell and the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program

Additional speakers and agenda information will be released in the coming weeks and months, organizers said. Aspen Ideas: Health is organized by the Aspen Institute with media partner NBCUniversal News Group. 

Perham and Brush Creek trails reopen

The Perham Creek trailhead reopened Saturday, along with the Brush Creek Trail, PItkin County announced.

But Brush Creek Trail will remain closed to dogs until May 16, and dogs must be leashed when they are allowed., officials said. Other seasonal closures remain in place.

Gas drilling rises in Garfield County

Local natural gas drilling levels last year recovered slightly from particularly low levels in 2021, though not as much as might be expected given soaring prices for the commodity in 2022.

Why not?

“I think the short answer is we can’t move as fast as prices move,” said David Keyte, chairman and chief executive officer of Caerus Oil and Gas, a major local producer.

He said that when prices spike, it’s not a simple matter for Caerus at least to simply start operating more rigs. He pointed to work required in areas such as geological assessment, permitting, infrastructure development and rig contracting that all need to occur before a rig can start drilling.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, natural gas prices at the Henry Hub, a key gas distribution hub in Louisiana, rose from below $3 per million British thermal units in early 2021 to well over $5 later that year, and then reached nearly $10 at points last year. It had fallen back to just below $2 this week, though Keyte said prices in the western United States have been somewhat more elevated due to the level of demand in the region and limits on supply.

According to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Garfield County last year had 108 well starts, which refers to drilling beginning on new wells. That’s up from 30 the prior year, but 2021 was a particularly slow year for drilling in the county that typically leads the region in natural gas drilling levels. The county hadn’t had fewer well starts since the 1990s, and its drilling activity built up in the early 2000s to a peak in 2008 with 1,690 well starts before gas prices and drilling levels fell.

Gypsum Fire in top 5% for ISO rating

The Gypsum Fire Protection District announced that its ISO Public Protection Classification rating has improved to a 2/2Y for the majority of the district. 

ISO ratings measure, on a scale of 1-10, four primary categories of fire suppression: fire department, emergency communications, water supply, and community risk reduction. Lower scores are better.

Gypsum Fire through the years has focused on improving capabilities, including staffing, facilities, and equipment. The District’s ISO rating in 2015 improved from a classification of 5 to a 3. 

The new rating takes effect June 1. That puts Gypsum Fire in the top 5% of 41,177 departments nationwide. The 2Y designator refers to locations outside a water source, where responders must bring their own water. 

“This is really a win for the community, as they are the reason we’re here, from supporting us at the ballot box to our partnerships with other Eagle County entities. We are proud to return value to our community through earning this prestigious rating,” Fire Chief Justin Kirkland said. “I’m proud to continue working and growing along with our community, and this rating is a reflection of a lot of hard work by all involved.”