News in Brief
Insurance firm sues Thunderbowl contractorA Massachusetts insurance company is suing a local high-end residential contractor, alleging shoddy construction at an Aspen Highlands townhouse led to a burst water pipe.Lexington Insurance Co.’s lawsuit against Resort Builders seeks more than $100,000 in damages. The lawsuit says Lexington insured a two-unit townhouse duplex at 85 Thunderbowl Lane.On Nov. 26, 2003, according to court papers, a water line in one of the units froze and burst, damaging the residence and its contents. The unit had been on the market to be sold at the time.The lawsuit alleges Resort Builders failed to adequately protect interior water lines from freezing. It also says the home was not properly insulated.Resort Builders owner Frank Goldsmith said he was aware of the problem but had not seen the lawsuit. He said the issue was between his firm’s insurance company and Lexington.Lexington is seeking a jury trial.Downvalley Internet knocked outAn equipment failure at the Glenwood Springs office of Qwest knocked out downvalley Internet access for nearly eight hours Thursday morning.Sopris Surfers, a Carbondale-based Internet service provider, said its phones were swamped by customers complaining about the disruption.”Qwest could not explain what caused the failure” that began at 2 and continued until nearly 10, according to a statement from Sopris Surfers. The outage affected all providers who route Internet traffic through the Glenwood Springs office.Though the problem was fixed, the disruption caused a severe backlog of users trying to connect to the Net, the statement says.”This is overloading many e-mail and Web servers supported by Sopris Surfers,” according to the statement. “Some [customers continue] to have issues due to the high demand for Internet usage.”Two Rivers Road down to one laneBridge construction starting today means Two Rivers Road in Basalt will be reduced to one lane for two to three months.Commuters are urged to take alternate routes. Call 927-4723 for more information.Be like Aspen, Ketchum toldAspen was tossed out as an example to emulate this week in Ketchum, Idaho, where the nonprofit Advocates for Real Community Housing addressed the need for housing that workers can afford.The lack of affordable housing in the Ketchum/Sun Valley resort area is changing the demographics of Ketchum and making it difficult for businesses and government to hire the employees they need, according to a report in the Idaho Mountain Express.”Without people tuning the skis and working in the local coffee house, the quality of life here is going to decline,” said Aaron Domini, Citizens for Smart Growth planner, the Express reported.Becky Zimmermann, a planner with the Denver-based planning firm Design Workshop, noted Aspen’s efforts to house employees began some 25 years ago and has produced about 2,500 units. She rattled off a handful of local housing projects.”As it relates to affordable housing, you want to be like Aspen,” Zimmerman said, according to the Express. In 2002, the Blaine-Ketchum Housing Authority concluded that the Wood River Valley needed 665 deed-restricted housing units. The area now has 22 such units with 40 more on the way and 100 proposed.
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Basalt High School choir director Brittany von Stein made her first court appearance Wednesday for advisement on the criminal charges filed against her for alleged sexual relations with a student. The criminal case was sealed by a judge’s order so limited information was available.