Around the Mountains news briefs |

Around the Mountains news briefs

SEI students place the first PV modules on the roof o fCarbondale's town hall on Wednesday afternoon. Notice the harnesses keeping students safe from an untimely death. (Photo by Gina Guaracio)

CARBONDALE ” Carbondale installed a 4,000-watt solar electric system this week on top of its town hall.

Town Trustee Scott Chaplin said Colorado towns might have a token sign lit by solar energy, but doesn’t think there is another place that has gone as far as installing a 4,000-watt system.

“We are really being a leader in Colorado in this area,” he said.

Solar Energy International, a nonprofit educational organization in Carbondale, donated student labor for the installation as part of their August photovoltaic course.

“We think there will be a lot more business in solar electric with the passage of Amendment 37,” said Carol Weis, an Solar Energy International instructor.

Amendment 37, passed by Colorado voters, says the state’s largest utilities must get 3 percent of electricity from renewable energy sources ” such as solar, wind and hydro power ” by 2007, and 10 percent by 2015.

” Gina Guaracio

Colorado Mountain College has canceled its election for three director seats because of a lack of competition.

Three board of directors candidates stepped forward, but no one has challenged them, election coordinator Toni Black said.

Board chair Doris Dewton, of Edwards, will serve a second term as director in District 7, which includes most of Eagle County, Black said. Dewton is a former U.S. Department of Energy employee and later worked as a Washington lobbyist for the oil industry.

The two other seats will have new directors. In District 1, which covers most of Pitkin County, Anne Freedman, of Basalt, takes the position vacated by Jacque Whitsitt. Whitsitt declined to run for a second term, Black said.

Filling the vacated seat in District 3 in western Garfield County is Roy Brubacher, of Parachute. He takes over for Judith Hayward, who reached term limitations after serving two four-year terms.

” Donna Gray

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Administrators of the surrounding White River National Forest reorganized their massive staff this week to get more rangers out in the field and rededicate itself to its core duties.

Forest Supervisor Maribeth Gustafson said 25 positions were eliminated but 23 new ones were created. For the most part, managerial and business administration positions were eliminated and field positions were added, she said.

Additions range from a wildlife technician who will count species to a ranger who will help tourists.

The changes will affect all six ranger districts in the forest, including Eagle and Minturn.

The White River has the most recreational use of any national forest in the country, in large part because it contains 11 ski areas, including Vail and Beaver Creek mountains. Natural gas development has also skyrocketed in the Rifle area.

Gustafson said the reorganization will place extra personnel in recreation, and oil and gas staff. Hikers, cyclists, dirt bikers and other backcountry travelers should see an increased presence of rangers due to the changes, she said.

Gustafson said the four employees who were laid off were notified of the decisions in private recently.

” Scott Condon

Vail, Colorado

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