News in Brief
ASPEN Airport officials canceled six flights at the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport Saturday, but with a recent lifting of restrictions by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), this might be the last time.”Things are going to be getting back to normal,” said Bill Tomcich, director of Stay Aspen Snowmass, an agency that books hotels and flights.The CRJ-700 jets that fly in and out of Aspen are restricted when the barometric pressure falls below normal levels. While low barometric pressure usually accompanies a large storm, there have been a number of times this season when the barometer fell without the attendant bad weather and officials were forced to cancel flights because of the regulation.Friday, SkyWest Airlines received approval from the FAA that will allow CRJ-700 jets to fly into Aspen when barometric pressure is at abnormally low levels. The approval leaves the decision to the pilot should barometric pressure fall too low.”We’ve had some low barometric pressure today that’s resulted in some cancellations,” Tomcich said. “FAA approval was just received [Friday]. And they’re working as quick as they can to fix this situation. But it’s going to take time before all the aircraft have the updated software in place.”Saturday’s canceled flights were on planes that had not been updated yet.Tomcich empathized with passengers whose flights were delayed or canceled as others took off. He said flights were going as scheduled by Saturday evening and all flights were on schedule for Sunday.
RIFLE Noting streets littered with cigarette butts, Rifle City Council members have agreed to contribute up to $5,000 to clean up Rifle’s downtown.The proliferation of butts results in part from the state’s indoor smoking ban that went into effect in July. A request for funding was made to city council Wednesday night by the Downtown Development Authority.”We had a work session with the DDA about a week ago and talked about initiating a clean-up program,” reported city manager John Hier. “Since the smoking ordinance passed, there’s been more cigarette butts on the streets and in our downtown area, especially.”The problem was mostly being seen on Third and Fourth Streets downtown and on Railroad Avenue, Hier said.Mayor Keith Lambert said he was agreeable to a trial program that may be adjusted over time.However, Councilwoman Jennifer Sanborn said it was a shame that city and DDA money had to be used to fix the problem.”It’s tragic to spend city and DDA funds to pick up trash,” Sanborn said. “But this is what the DDA is left with. I hope it will prompt business owners to clean up.”The city contribution to the DDA for cleanup was approved unanimously. (Glenwood Springs Post Independent)
Next Monday, Feb. 13, the council will host a work session on the results of the city’s outreach on the aging New Castle Creek Bridge. Next-step recommendations are expected to be announced at the meeting.