News in Brief
EAGLE COUNTY When the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport closes for 60 days for runway renovation April 9, flights to nearby Eagle County Airport will make up the difference.From April 9-23 United/United Express will run six flights daily to and from Denver, including two Airbus A-320s which carry 138 passengers each and can accommodate end of season skiers. And Colorado Mountain Express (CME) will offer a $63 one-way fare for one-way van transfer to and from Aspen until April 16.From April 24 until June 6, the day before the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport reopens, United Express will run seven daily flights (six Saturdays) on smaller Dash-8 aircraft between Eagle and Denver. Charter service on CME vans will cost $300 for one 10-passenger van each way from Eagle to Aspen.
ASPEN Aspen High Schools girls hockey team will be competing for the first time this weekend. The team is competing in the Plains Hockey League, which consists of 40-plus boys teams and six girls squads, mostly from the Denver area. All teams consist of A, AAand AAA players. Aspen will take the ice for the first time this weekend. They play at 4 p. m. today at the Ice Garden, 8:30 p.m. at Lewis Ice Arena and again at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday at the Aspen Ice Garden. The seasons remaining games will all be in Denver.
EAGLE One of the hardest-working rangers on the White River National Forest has garnered national honors for her dedication to wilderness.Beth Boyst, currently working out of the Eagle/Holy Cross District, has been named recipient of the prestigious Bob Marshall award for wilderness stewardship, in recognition of her outstanding leadership in the U.S. Forest Service wilderness program.”It’s quite a huge honor. I was really surprised,” Boyst said. “I consider stewardship of these lands to be an honor. Protecting them for future generations is a core value to me.”Boyst singled out partnership efforts with various grassroots citizen groups as a key element in the ongoing challenges of protecting designated wilderness areas in perpetuity.
“She’s exceptionally caring and committed to stewardship,” said Breckenridge wilderness advocate Currie Craven, co-founder of the Friends of the Eagles Nest Wilderness. (Summit Daily News)
SUMMIT COUNTY A new law lifting the state sales tax cap for open space programs probably won’t become part of the local open space funding equation. The Board of County Commissioners may ask Summit County citizens to extend – and perhaps even boost – an open space property mill levy as soon as this November. But the commissioners don’t seem keen on the idea of raising sales taxes to fund open space.The first of two open space mill levies approved by local voters will expire in 2009. The thinking is that, should voters reject the measure this year, it would ensure a “second bite at the apple,” according to Commissioner Thomas Davidson.But all three commissioners said their preferred option is to stick with property taxes rather than switching to the more volatile revenue stream from sales taxes.Senate Bill 98, signed by Gov. Ritter last week, enables counties to ask voter approval for a sales tax increase of up to .5 percent to fund open space programs, a crucial measure for numerous counties that are already at the state-set 6.91 percent sales tax limit. Summit County already charges the maximum allowable sales tax, so the measure theoretically would allow the county – with voter approval – to raise sales taxes by up to .5 percent, specifically for open space purposes.Commissioner Tom Long said the county may have underestimated its need for open space funding back in 1999. So now the commissioners are asking open space planners for a detailed assessment. Based on that report, the county will do some surveys this summer to try and determine what voters will support. (Summit Daily News)
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The future of the Aspen-Pitkin County airport took a significant step forward Thursday. Pitkin County commissioners decided 4-1 to accept the recommendation of a community-based committee and leave the runway where it is, a bedrock decision in the long process toward a new terminal and airfield.