News in Brief | AspenTimes.com

News in Brief

The Colorado Board of Examiners of Architects has asked a district court judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Aspen City Councilman Jack Johnson, who claims the board has violated his constitutional right to free speech.The state attorney general’s office filed the board’s response Monday.In its motion, the board contends Johnson failed to exhaust the administrative remedies available to him before seeking judicial relief.The response also claims the individual members of the board, in the performance of the board’s functions, are immune from the lawsuit.The board ordered Johnson to refrain from referring to himself as an architect, as he is not licensed. In its response to Johnson’s suit, the board claims the facts of the case don’t show that Johnson’s First Amendment rights have been violated.”The statutory scheme provides that the board may issue such an order if it determines that a person has represented that he is an architect without having been issued a license,” the board’s motion states. “The allegations do not support a finding that the [board] violated a clearly established statutory or constitutional right.”The lawsuit claims the board overstepped its authority and that Johnson never misrepresented himself as a licensed architect. The board is limited to regulating architects within a commercial context, said Johnson’s attorney, Christopher Beall. The complaint against Johnson arose during the councilman’s political campaign and not because he called himself an architect to solicit business, according to Beall.

Mother Nature rained down a blessing and a curse on Glenwood Springs on Tuesday.Rain, lots of it, fell on the Cascade Fire above No Name all night and just about drowned it out. But the rain also brought a load of mud onto Highway 82 during evening rush hour.Tons of red mud flowed down gullies onto the highway about 6 p.m., said Colorado Department of Transportation maintenance senior foreman D’Wayne Gaymon.”The crew was heading home and they saw it,” he said.They worked until “12:30 or 1 a.m.,” Gaymon said, to clear the mud and rock from a number of smaller flows between the light at County Road 154 and the Colorado Mountain College turnoff at County Road 114, he said.The mud obstructed one northbound lane of traffic, and one lane stayed open. Gaymon estimated the flow was about three feet at its deepest at the CMC turnoff.”It was rush hour, and traffic was backed up,” Gaymon said.A road just north of the CMC turnoff that leads to a number of houses was also blocked. Crews were still at work Wednesday clearing four or five separate flows that crossed that road, Gaymon said.What was a headache for commuters on Highway 82 was a blessing for the firefighters on the Cascade 2 Fire above No Name as the rain fell steadily on the fire, said spokeswoman Renee Brousseau.Wednesday morning the fire was 90 percent contained. Forty firefighters and a single-engine air tanker continued to be assigned to the fire.Smoke was still visible on portions of the fire, and crews continued to work on hot spots in large tree stumps and other areas.The bike and pedestrian path in Glenwood Canyon along Interstate 70 between the vapor caves and No Name remains closed because of the danger from falling rock, Brousseau said. One westbound lane of I-70 also remains closed.”Even though fire activity is low, there are still rocks and debris rolling down the hillside, which has always been an issue in this location,” Brousseau said.