Around Town 2

GarCo Search and Rescue Searching for New Members

Garfield County Search & Rescue is seeking new volunteer applicants. If you have been looking for a way to give back to our local communities, if you enjoy helping others, and if you’re good at activities such as snowmobiling, ATVing, skiing, snowshoeing, climbing, canyoneering, rafting, boating, swimming and dog handling, this may be for you.

Candidates must be 18 years old and have a desire to help others in need while out-of-doors in all kinds of weather and across all sorts of terrain. They will need to show dedication to the training program and a willingness to respond to missions whenever possible. Visit GarfieldCountySAR.com or email garfieldsar@gmail.com 
for more information.

Roaring Fork Valley Featured in Adult Coloring Book

Artist Staci Dickerson has designed a coloring book for adults that is filled with images of the Roaring Fork Valley. Dickerson was prompted to create Mountain Life COLORado when a dear friend of hers, who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness, expressed regret at never having learned to paint. Dickerson says, “I realized that for many, drawing is an obstacle that keeps them from enjoying the wonderful experience of coloring or painting.”

Psychologists have found that coloring, whether inside or outside the lines, is a great alternative to meditation that helps relieve tension and anxiety. Psychologist Ben Michaelis, has said, “There is a lot history of people coloring for mental health reasons. Carl Jung used to try to get his patients to color in mandalas at the turn of the last century, as a way of getting people to focus on the subconscious to let go. Now we know it has a lot of other stress-busting qualities as well.”

Mountain Life COLORado features Dickerson’s hand-drawn images of wildlife and spots such as the Crystal Mill and the Maroon Bells. It is for sale for $14.95 at the Book Train, Factory Outdoor, and Treadz in Glenwood Springs; at Dancing Colors, the Roaring Fork Co-Op and the Launchpad in Carbondale; at Basalt Printing and Bristlecone Mountain Sports in Basalt; and at the Explorer Bookstore and Carl’s in Aspen. For information, email stacid72@sopris.net or phone the Launchpad at 970.963.1680.

Ro Mead Remembered

The life of Ro Mead, executive director of the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities (CCAH) from 2004 to 2011, was celebrated by Carbondale friends and admirers on December 5. Mead, 78, died of pancreatic cancer.

After growing up in and living in Denver, Mead moved to the Roaring Fork Valley in the 1970s, living in Redstone, Cattle Creek and Carbondale. An accomplished ceramic artist, gardener and cook, Mead is credited with bringing First Friday to Carbondale. She also helped to found the Carbondale Public Arts Commission.

Close friend and current CCAH executive director Amy Kimberly memorialized Mead. “Ro put CCAH at the center of community. She was reaching out and mending fences and inspiring vision. She was responsible for bringing the visual arts into a stronger focus within CCAH, and she was a catalyst of Carbondale establishing itself as an all-round arts community. Ro grew the small gallery CCAH had started, transforming it into an inspiring showcase for diverse, local artists, and she started programs in our public schools. Ultimately, Ro’s greatest joy came from being able to give back to people, whether you were an orphan in Africa, a child at Crystal River Elementary, or a friend.”

Battlement Mesa Inaugurates 
Solar Plant

Two members of the Battlement Mesa Metro District board recently cut a ceremonial ribbon opening a solar array that will power the district’s water treatment plant. The huge solar array is made up of 1,422 panels and generates nearly 700,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, about as much as 100 homes use in a year. The panels will power all of the water treatment plant’s annual electricity demands and are expected to save the district $200,000 over 20 years.

The Battlement Mesa plant is the fourth Garfield County water plant to achieve net-zero electricity status, joining plants in Rifle, Silt and Carbondale. CLEER (Clean Energy Economy for the Region) says that altogether, there are 27 government-owned solar arrays in Garfield County, yielding a combined generating capacity of 4.6 megawatts. They produce about 8.4 gigawatt-hours of clean electricity each year.

At a solar workshop for government agencies held in September, Katharine Rushton of Sunsense Solar, the company that installed the Battlement Mesa array, explained various financing mechanisms and noted that there is “an advantage to installing solar in the coming year” because the 30 percent federal tax credit will drop to 10 percent at the end of 2016. Xcel Energy’s Solar Rewards program will also end in 2016.

New I-70 Express Lane to Reduce Time to Airport

By the time this January issue of Roaring Fork Lifestyle is printed, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) says that the long-awaited Interstate 70 Mountain Express Lane will be open. The lane is intended to reduce peak-period travel time by between Floyd Hill and the Eisenhower and Johnson Memorial Tunnels by half, resulting in an average 30-minute time savings.

The lane will be one of the most expensive toll roads in the U.S., with a toll that varies from $3 to $30 depending on demand and is capped at $30 for the 13-mile stretch of road. CDOT believes that drivers attempting to get to the airport and get on the slopes will be glad to have the option of paying the toll and avoiding traffic in the “pinch point” areas where traffic peaks between 1 and 3 p.m. on the weekends.

CDOT encourages drivers to plan I-70 trips to avoid peak traffic times. Westbound traffic becomes heavy on Fridays between 4 and 9 p.m., on Saturdays from about 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. with the peak around 8 a.m., and again on Sunday morning between 7 and 10 a.m. Eastbound traffic typically builds up on Saturdays around 2 p.m., peaks between 4 and 5 and drops dramatically after 7 p.m. On Sundays, traffic starts to build as early as 1 p.m.  It peaks around 4 to 5 p.m. and drops off after 7.

Colorado 500 Raised $2 Million 
for Basalt

Retired Indy race car driver Wally “Washboard” Dallenbach joined Basalt Mayor Jacque Whitsitt and the Lions Club in celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Colorado 500 last fall. Guests at the Dallenbach Ranch in Basalt enjoyed music from the dance band Poser and singer Pam Rosenthal along with a dirt bike race and a vintage motorcycle show. The event raised combined donation of over $2 million. From the funds, Basalt High School graduates received 76 scholarships totaling $481,000 and other community organizations received $647,219.

“I’ve played with some of the best, but Mr. Dallenbach ranks as one of the finest washboard players I’ve ever had the pleasure to perform with,” said Matt Harrington, lead singer for Poser. “I’ve also been told that he’s a pretty good driver as well.”