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News briefs

Aspen Rotary's Youth Exchange Program seeks host families

The Aspen Rotary's Youth Exchange Committee will conduct an informational session for families who want to learn about being a host family for a Rotary Youth Exchange student from another country. The session will be hosted at 6 p.m. today at the home of Jamie and Maurice Emmer, 1220 Alta Vista Drive, Aspen. The session will last about one hour.

Members of the Youth Exchange Program Committee will be present, as will a family that has hosted a student in the past. The current inbound student attending Aspen High School, Margo Uhlrich from France, also will be there.

There is no obligation and no pressure to be a host family. This is an opportunity to learn more about the program and the opportunity to be a host family. The event is open to the public.

GIS Day 2015 invites map enthusiasts to discover mountain mapping

Map aficionados are invited to gather in Aspen on International GIS Day on Nov. 18 to celebrate geospatial technology and learn how easy it is to use digital mapping technology for a host of everyday purposes.

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The GIS Day Open House will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m at the Aspen Fire House (420 E. Hopkins Ave). Pitkin County GIS Department will showcase intuitive and interactive maps focusing on the new Pitkin Maps & More website as well as the Open Space and Trails Pitkin Outside application. Participants will get hands-on instruction on how to use the map application to create a mailing list, create a property report, download data, print a custom map, find nearby parks and trails and access a historic maps gallery now available for download, among other things. All data and map services on Pitkin Maps and More are offered at no cost.

The open house also will include demonstrations, question-and-answer sessions, refreshments and map trivia with prizes.

More information on GIS Day is available by calling 970-920-5012 or by contacting Tyler Lambuth at tyler.lambuth@ pitkincounty.com.

Pitkin County assumes control of High Valley Farms odor monitoring

The Pitkin County Environmental Health Department has assumed control of the High Valley Farm marijuana growing operation's third-party odor-monitoring program. In an agreement reached with Pitkin County commissioners in September, High Valley Farms is paying the county for a third party that will actually conduct the odor monitoring. Should any odors be detected, the monitor will contact High Valley Farm to gain access to the property and check the building to verify whether odors are indeed coming from the facility. Pitkin County Environmental Health Manager Kurt Dahl will be immediately notified by text and email whenever a complaint is lodged.

"I am optimistic that this effort will help to alleviate the concerns of the public that proper odor monitoring is occurring at High Valley Farm. Our role will be to validate that the carbon filters at the greenhouses are working," Dahl said.

Odor monitoring, which has been in effect since mid-September, resulted from neighbor complaints of "skunklike pot smells" emanating from the large-scale growing facility. All greenhouses at High Valley Farm have reportedly been fitted with carbon filtering systems that remove odors.

High Valley Farm officials say marijuana plants are currently being moved back into the greenhouses and are being distributed more evenly so that carbon filters in each of the facilities have more even loads. Officials say all greenhouses will be full to capacity and plants properly distributed by early December.

High Valley Farms is required to meet with commissioners on a quarterly basis until they no longer deem it necessary.