News in Brief | AspenTimes.com

News in Brief

Pitkin County commissioners adopted a resolution Wednesday in opposition of the latest version of the 2006 federal budget, saying it makes large cuts to services they see as necessary to a large population in the United States.

The resolution says the budget outlines $30.5 billion in “entitlement reductions” between 2006 and 2010, including a $10 billion cut to the Medicaid program and $3 billion in cuts from the food stamp program, both over the next five years.

In Colorado more than 750,000 people are without access to health care and more will be affected by reductions in Medicaid funding, the resolution says, and 245,000 Colorado residents who use food stamps will be affected by reductions to that program.

It goes on to say that the budget resolution includes $106.2 billion in tax cuts over the next five years.

Pitkin County will send its opposing resolution to Colorado’s state representatives and senators. Commissioner Mick Ireland called the budget “morally outrageous” and noted that the county has a mill levy in place to provide local residents with health and human services when state and federal cuts are made.

It appears neither the town nor residents of the Crystal River neighborhood can do anything to stop a home for recovering alcoholics from opening its doors.

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“Alcoholism is considered a disability by federal law, and fair housing laws also apply,” Carbondale Mayor Michael Hassig said Wednesday. “The law says you have to make reasonable accommodations for these people to live in residential neighborhoods, regardless of covenants or zoning.”

The town could request a public hearing if it’s determined a group recovery home planned for a Crystal Village neighborhood is in violation of zoning laws, Hassig said, but it could not go to the extent of shutting the operation down altogether.

“We can request that they address such things as the number of people, parking and other life-safety issues,” he said. “But by federal law, we are required to reach a consensus with them.”

The town’s Board of Trustees has scheduled a special meeting at 7 p.m. tonight at town hall to update neighbors.

About 20 residents of Catherine Court and the surrounding Crystal Village area attended Tuesday night’s regular town council meeting to express concerns about recovering alcoholics moving to their neighborhood.

The owner of the home in question has indicated he intends to house up to nine male clients who are in recovery from alcoholism.

RATON, N.M. (AP) ” An earthquake measuring magnitude 4.9 struck near the New Mexico-Colorado border Wednesday, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The quake hit southwest of Trinidad and west of Raton, N.M., in an area that experiences quakes from time to time, said Bruce Presgrave of the U.S. Geological Survey.

In September 2001, a dozen quakes ranging from magnitude 2.8 to 4.5 hit southwest of Trinidad over four weeks.

Presgrave classified the latest quake as “light” and said it was not likely to cause serious damage.

“It was a lot more shaking,” said Robert Kiefer, 53, of Aguilar, comparing this quake to one he remembered from four years ago. “The power went out. It was flickering.”

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