Local briefs: Lanes on Main St. to close, CMC ribbon cutting

Aspen Times staff report

Lanes on Main to close

The Paepcke Transit Hub Improvements project will close one lane in each direction on Main Street from Tuesday, Sept. 6, through Wednesday, Sept 14.

The lane closures, which will be on Main Street between Aspen Street and Garmisch Street, will be in place for 24 hours a day, seven days a week for simultaneous concrete and storm-drain work. Construction work also will occur on Saturday, Sept. 10.

“General contractor Gould Construction is using this time for critical work and to create efficiencies in the schedule to stay on track to complete all infrastructure in early October,” said Mike Horvath, senior project manager with City of Aspen Engineering. “The bus shelter will be in place by mid-November.”

Inbound or eastbound traffic will merge into one lane on Main Street between First Street and Garmisch Street. Outbound or westbound traffic will merge into one lane on Main Street between Monarch Street and Aspen Street.

The pedestrian crossing on Main Street west of Garmisch Street will remain open. The local inbound/eastbound bus stop on the north side of Paepcke Park will be closed; other bus stops in the vicinity will remain in place.

Roaring Fork Leadership seeks project ideas

Roaring Fork Leadership Academy 2023 is seeking civic-impact project ideas for community change initiative projects for its Civic Lab. 

Each year, academy participants select a civic-impact project to use as an incubator to practice their skills learned in the academy while making an impact in the community. It reflects a triple benefit, benefiting the participates leadership, the civic organization and the community.

Each project focuses on the process of collaboration, whereby program participants agree to share a purpose that will bring learning, awareness and change on important issues into the community. The Academy 2023 has 25 leader participants and four civic impact projects will be selected.

The projects most likely to be selected will:

  • Have a direct and positive change impact on the community;
  • Be consistent with Roaring Fork Leadership’s mission;
  • Have a narrow and specific scope;
  • Involve available data or information that can result in a high-quality solution;
  • Include a sense of urgency and energy to resolve the issue now.

 Sources of projects include:

  • Are you a community organization that needs a Roaring Fork Leadership team to do detailed strategic planning, develop ideas or needs help creating change? 
  • Do you know of a gap that exists in our community where the interests and the competencies of a team could help close the gap and create change?

The vision of Roaring Fork Leadership is “Better Leaders, Better Community.” The 10-month academy program brings diverse leaders from the Roaring Fork and Colorado valleys together for a year of skill development necessary for effective leadership, as well as network building to strengthen the bonds of the community. The civic-project component is completed by graduation in May 2024.

If you have a civic-impact project that you would like to propose to Roaring Fork Leadership, the Civic Impact Project Idea Form is available at For more information, contact Executive Director Andrea Palm-Porter at 970-922-6035 or

Gas prices 20% lower than Fourth

After a seemingly never-ending spring of price hikes at the pump, gas prices have declined every week of the summer and are expected to be the lowest since March 3 and 20% lower than on July 4, at $3.79 per gallon. According to GasBuddy, the leading fuel-savings platform saving American drivers the most money on gas, prices this Labor Day weekend will continue to fall slightly from summer highs, though remain over 60 cents per gallon more expensive than last year.

Forecast to be the biggest travel summer since pandemic shutdowns in 2020, this year’s soaring gas prices threw a wrench in to the road-trip plans of many Americans. At the beginning of the summer, 58% of Americans responded to GasBuddy’s survey that they intended to take a road trip over the summer, with 33% to travel on Labor Day weekend.

Gasoline demand on Independence Day weekend this year was notably lower than that of 2021, and the decline in gallons pumped in recent weeks advise that seasonal trends continue to push demand down for the unofficial close to the summer.

New head of Colorado Trail Foundation

Tisha McCombs has been hired as the Colorado Trail Foundation new executive director. She takes over later this month as only the second full-time chief executive officer of the organization, following in the footsteps of Bill Manning, who is retiring after 17 years at the helm.

McCombs has years of experience in the business, outdoor and nonprofit worlds, most recently as executive director of the Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association, based in Grand Junction. Prior to that, she was regional operations director for the Western National Parks Association. Her business background includes several business-related positions, including general manager at the Montrose Daily Press and with Target Corporation.

For his part, Manning says that after 30 years of working with hundreds of volunteers as the head of trail organizations in Colorado, he’s looking forward to transitioning from paid staffer to volunteer status himself.

Students Graduate from Bates College

Several students from the Roaring Fork Valley have graduated from Bates College this year in Lewiston, Maine.

J.D. Glenn of Carbondale graduated after majoring in English and minoring in philosophy. The son of Robert K. Glenn and Melissa B. Glenn is a 2018 graduate of Basalt High School.

Maya McDonough of Aspen, graduated after majoring in geology and minoring in history and physics. McDonough, the daughter of Robert P. McDonough Jr. and Nancy D. Pearce, is a 2018 graduate of Aspen High School.

Carly Ransford of Carbondale graduated after majoring in politics and gender and sexuality studies. Ransford, the daughter of Ken Ransford and Emily Ransford, is a 2018 graduate of Concord Academy.

Located in Lewiston, Maine, Bates is internationally-recognized as a leading liberal arts college, attracting 2,000 students from across the U.S. and around the world. 

CMC ribbon cutting for solar storage project

Ameresco, a company specializing in energy efficiency and renewable energy, will join with Holy Cross Energy and Colorado Mountain College at the college’s Spring Valley campus on Sept. 14. The three partners will introduce the Western Slope’s new Solar and Battery Energy Storage Project at a ribbon-cutting event.

The project is a result of Holy Cross members’ requests and Colorado Mountain College’s commitment for more local, renewable-energy options. The solar array will also help CMC move closer to its goal to be carbon neutral by 2050 and Holy Cross’ goal to provide carbon-free energy to its members by 2030.

Developed by Ameresco and constructed by Sunsense Solar, a local solar contractor based in Carbondale, the project is made of 13,500 solar modules. Sixty-eight battery stacks are housed in four on-site containers, which will send electricity directly to Holy Cross’ distribution system. The project is about 95% complete and will become commercially operational this fall.

The ribbon cutting event for the new Solar and Battery Storage project is free and open to the public from 1 to 2 p.m. on Sept. 14 at the Ascent Center, Colorado Mountain College Spring Valley at Glenwood Springs, 3000 County Road 114, Glenwood Springs, 970-945-7481.

‘Demential Conversations’ presentation Sept. 22

Sopris Lodge at Carbondale will host Lisa Paige, volunteer community educator from the Alzheimer’s Association, to present “Dementia Conversations” on Thursday, Sept. 22, at 10:30 a.m.

She’ll offer tips on how to have honest and caring conversations with family members about going to the doctor regarding a diagnosis, deciding when to stop driving and making legal and financial plans.

Sopris Lodge at Carbondale is at 295 Rio Grande Ave. Refreshments will be served during the presentation, followed by a guided community tour.

This event is free and open to the public. An RSVP is required, and attendance will be limited to 20 registrants. Visit to RSVP.


Professional dancers return to Aspen to perform in ‘The Nutcracker’

Roaring Fork Valley natives Emily Ridings and Nikki Ferry have come full circle when it comes to dance. Both studied dance with Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (ASFB) as kids, continued their training with other prominent schools, and now return this weekend, as ASFB presents “The Nutcracker” at Aspen District Theater.

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