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News in Brief

Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN The Aspen City Council on Tuesday agreed to pay half of the cost for Jazz Aspen Snowmass to set up a music stage on the Cooper Avenue mall during the June festival.The estimated cost for the stage, equipment, lighting, security and talent is estimated at $50,000. The city of Aspen will pay up to $25,000.The council supported the request in a 3-2 vote, with City Councilmen Jack Johnson and J.E. DeVilbiss dissenting because they argued JAS should have asked for the financial assistance during the annual arts and nonprofits grant request process.Johnson said it wasnt fair to give more money to one group over another after the grants have been issued and the public process is over. JAS received $30,000 in grants by the city last fall.Its very upsetting to me, because Ill hear about it from someone else who didnt get something, Johnson said. Its a very worthy organization, but its difficult for me to consider outside of the cycle.Mayor Mick Ireland, along with councilmen Steve Skadron and Dwayne Romero, supported the request but directed JAS executives to ask for the money all at once.This isnt going to happen next year, Ireland said.Joe Lang, director of JAS, said it was an oversight and was not included in their supplemental budget request last year.The city of Aspen contributed to the Cooper Stage in 2003, 2004 and 2005. JAS paid for it entirely in 2006 and 2007.The stage will showcase student musicians from throughout the valley that are participating in JAS educational programs, as well as provide free entertainment and ambiance in the commercial core during the days of the festival, which will take place June 19-22.

ASPEN The city of Aspens water department will host an informational meeting next week for those interested in learning more about plans for a Castle Creek hydroelectric plant.The meeting will take place from 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, in the Sister Cities room at City Hall. A review of the building design for the hydroelectric plant and a discussion of the projects upcoming phases are on the agenda. The plant, which was approved by voters in November 2007, will play a key role in meeting the citys renewable energy goals, according to city officials. The 1.05-megawatt facility will produce approximately 5.5 million kilowatt hours annually, or about 8.5 percent of the annual energy requirements of Aspens electric customers. It will reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by approximately 5,167 tons, representing a 0.6 percent community-wide reduction in emission of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that has been identified as a culprit in global warming. Next weeks session will be the third neighborhood meeting devoted to the project, according to John Hines, utilities engineer for the city. Well probably have several other meetings in the coming months, Hines said in a city press release. Weve been speaking with the neighbors around the project area and told them we would keep in touch. This is a part of that process, and anyone who is interested in learning more is invited to attend.

ASPEN The life of Doug Burden, an Aspen resident who died in late January, will be celebrated at an aprs ski memorial at the Hotel Jerome corner library from 4-6 p.m. Saturday, March 22. The celebration is in appreciation for the kind thoughts and expressions of love from his friends. For more information, call 948-6215.

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