Engaging from a different angle
Aspen Journalism is on the airwaves and at the opera house
Among our big-picture goals at Aspen Journalism is engaging the communities we serve in more ways. While a well-researched and thoughtfully written news story appearing on our website and in collaboration with our publication partners will always be our core product, we remain enthusiastic about finding new and different points of contact with our audience. In my experience in nearly two decades in newspapers, you often reach people through an appearance on the radio, or through an in-person event, that you never would’ve had the chance to when working in one medium alone. Or as a consumer of content, perhaps something new presents itself, or you are able to engage in a deeper way, when the information comes in a different format than the written word. Given that, it has been exciting to see some recent initiatives in this realm bear fruit.
Regular listeners of Aspen Public Radio’s local newscasts have been hearing COVID-19 news from Aspen Journalism’s Tracking the Curve project and our Data Desk Editor Laurine Lassalle, who has sent in a handful of audio versions of her posts to be read by on-air hosts. She also covered a recent board of health meeting on double duty for Aspen Journalism and APR.
Most recently, Will Grandbois, who took on a freelance assignment for Aspen Journalism covering a river restoration initiative along a key stretch of the Crystal River, sat with KDNK Community Radio News Director Amy Hadden Marsh to talk about the piece.
And Water Desk Editor Heather Sackett, herself a former broadcast reporter with KOTO in Telluride and who has co-produced audio versions of her in-depth reporting on water speculation with northern Colorado’s KUNC, will be on Aspen Public Radio’s airwaves again later this week, talking about her latest piece covering the city of Aspen’s envisioning of its future potential water projects. During an October appearance with APR’s Halle Zander, she shared her knowledge about how demand management fits into bigger picture water issues in the Colorado River basin. She’s been invited back to break down the latest on the city of Aspen’s efforts to study alternative water supply options as community leaders express concern about someday facing a shortfall.
Aspen Journalism is also proud to be sponsoring an event put on by the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies taking place next month, where local photographer, filmmaker and storyteller (and Aspen Journalism board member) Pete McBride will give a presentation at Aspen’s Wheeler Opera House on his recent book, “Seeing Silence: The Beauty of the World’s Most Quiet Places.” We hope to be there in person to connect masked face to face with many of you as we explore McBride’s study of the increasingly scarce voids where humans can experience the sublime notes of nature. The event takes place on Sunday, Dec. 19 from 6 to 7 p.m. It includes a Q&A and book signing. Tickets and more information are available here.
We hope these multimedia efforts reach you in some way as you get in gear for the holiday season.
Also, don’t miss other recent news, including Sackett’s piece following up her August report about a complex water development proposal in the Uncompahgre basin. Last week, she reported on a flap between project proponents in Ouray County and state officials who are seeking increased protections for a stretch of stream that would be impacted by the proposed new dam and pipeline. After the story ran previewing a Colorado Water Conservation Board meeting concerning the topic, she broke the news on Twitter that the state board is going ahead with filing for an instream flow right, despite the county’s pleas for a delay.
And please keep up with our Tracking the Curve and Data Dashboard projects, updated every weekday and every Tuesday, respectively. Checking Tracking this morning, I was shocked to see over 7,000 new COVID-19 cases statewide since Friday, along with a statewide positivity rate sitting at 9.26%. And today’s Dashboard relays that the six months from May to October represented the busiest summer season, in terms of occupancy, on record for Aspen and Snowmass.
Thank you for reading, and supporting, Aspen Journalism.
Curtis Wackerle, editor and executive director
5,820 acre-feet of storage — mostly for emergency use — could cost over $400 million in today’s dollars
By Heather Sackett | November 23, 2021
Storing water specifically until an emergency occurs is not a decreed beneficial use under Colorado water law. But municipal water providers often have a lot of leeway to plan for future needs, which could include storage projects.
County wants first to work out state opposition to Cow Creek project
By Heather Sackett | November 17, 2021
The CWCB, at the recommendation of Colorado Parks & Wildlife, is seeking instream flow protections for a 7.4-mile reach of Cow Creek — from its confluence with Lou Creek to its confluence with the Uncompahgre River, downstream of Ridgway Reservoir.
Local streamflow rates down from last week but closed to last year’s levels.
By Laurine Lassalle | November 23, 2021
• Snowmass and Aspen’s combined paid occupancy rate reached 47.3% in October.
• Summer of 2021 sets new occupancy record for both towns with 60.3%.
• Air temperature drops back down near seasonal normals.
Documenting COVID-19 in Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties
By Laurine Lassalle | November 23, 2021
Pitkin County’s positivity rate is now reaching 7.9%, down from 9.9% last week. Garfield County’s rate is also hovering at around 7% while Eagle County’s incidence rate is over 11%.
Our nonprofit mission is to produce good journalism for people who care about Aspen, the Roaring Fork Valley, and the upper Colorado River basin. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you.
“Aspen Skiing Co.’s investment in an expanded snowmaking system on Aspen Mountain prior to the 2019-20 winter is already paying big dividends. ‘Having that snowmaking up high has been a lifesaver for us,’ said Katie Ertl, Skico senior vice president for mountain operations. ‘I don’t think we could have done it without snowmaking this year.’”
Source: aspentimes.com | Read more
“As Colorado prepares to release wolves by 2023, a working group favors medium pace of release that would reintroduce 10 to 15 wolves each year sourced from the Northern Rocky Mountains into areas of the state with broad expanses of public lands and low populations of humans and livestock.”
Source: steamboatpilot.com | Read more
“We got into this hole thanks to the worst of capitalism — letting companies privatize their gains from despoiling the environment and warming the climate — while socializing the losses among all of us. We can get out of it, in part, by accelerating the best of American capitalism.”
Source: nytimes.com | Read more
“Hedge fund Alden Global Capital, one of the country’s largest newspaper owners with a reputation for intense cost cuts and layoffs, has offered to buy the local newspaper chain Lee Enterprises for about $141 million. Alden scooped up the Tribune papers earlier this year … including the Baltimore Sun and Chicago Tribune. Alden also owns the Denver Post, Orange County Register and Boston Herald.”
Source: demoinesregister.com | Read more
“Like the New Deal — which incorporated many of Marriner S. Eccles’ ideas from the 1930s — the current bill funds highway building, dam repair, railroads and other public work projects. But it also expands the infrastructure net to include ecosystem restoration, wildfire mitigation and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.”
Source: hcn.org | Read more
“As developers approach communities in the San Luis Valley to buy their water rights and then move the water for growing Front Range cities, community-oriented acequias are the seams holding communities together, and they are also what makes them vulnerable to wealthy outsiders who threaten historic culture.”
Source: collective.coloradotrust.org | Read more
Our nonprofit mission is to produce good journalism for people who care about Aspen, the Roaring Fork Valley, and the upper Colorado River basin.