News in Brief | AspenTimes.com

News in Brief

Willits going before Basalt councilBASALT The Willits Town Center expansion proposal is scheduled to go before the Basalt Town Council Tuesday for a final review. The meeting is scheduled to start at 6:15 p.m. and last for 90 minutes at Basalt Town Hall. The council will consider two primary requests from developers Michael Lipkin, and Joseph Freed and Associates: They will consider amending Willits Town Centers original approval so that a commercial space can be created to accommodate a Whole Foods supermarket. A different configuration is needed for a store of approximately 44,000 square feet. The original approval doesnt allow individual spaces that large. The developers also are seeking approval to add 120 residential units to the town core. That would add about 150,000 square feet to the 500,000 square feet of commercial and residential space already approved. The Town Council voted 5-0 on Sept. 25 to approve the requests on first reading. A second reading is required. Councilmen Mark Kittle and Gary Tennenbaum didnt attend the first meeting. Tuesday’s hearing includes time for public comment.Channel change on Pitco translator system PITKIN COUNTY Viewers who watch the NBC network on channel 58 of the Pitkin County Translator System will find NBC on Channel 40 beginning Oct. 29, the county announced. The change will not affect those who currently watch NBC on any other channel on the Pitkin County TV translator system, according to the county. Call 920-5395 for more details.School board airs concern over AEF campaign ASPEN The Aspen School Board wants to make sure that money its receives each year from the Aspen Education Foundation, a private, nonprofit group that gives grants to the district to supplement school finances, is not being threatened by AEFs plan to create an endowment for itself. School board members made it clear at work session Monday that they support the AEFs intent to create a multimillion-dollar endowment, which AEF representative Lisa Chiles said is needed to provide a stable source of funds for the future. But, the board members made it equally clear that they do not want the capital campaign to interfere with AEFs basic purpose helping to pay for everything from equipment to teachers that the district is unable to afford through normal financial avenues. AEF, which was created by the school board in the 1990s, gives grants totaling $350,000 to $450,000 to teachers and schools each year. However, as part of the capital campaign, the foundation hopes to hire additional personnel that could increase its annual overhead from 5 percent of its annual budget to as high as 30 percent. Officials with the two entities agreed to discuss the capital campaign again in February, when the school district has a better idea of its budgetary needs for the 2008-09 school year

Independence, Kebler, Cottonwood passes still openDENVER Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park, Independence Pass into Aspen, Cottonwood Pass and Kebler Pass are still open. The Colorado Department of Transportation says the highway leading to Pikes Peak is open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. depending on conditions. However, the road leading to Mount Evans is now closed for the season. The upper portion of Colorado 5 leading to the summit of 14,264-foot peak has been closed for the last month but now the entire road is closed in preparation for winter

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