December 1, 2023

Coffee Ordering

Devoted To Marvelous Coffee

In Brief: Coffee (machines) for teacher appreciation; city hires preservation planner; Basalt overnight sewer work will be loud

In Brief: Coffee (machines) for teacher appreciation; city hires preservation planner; Basalt overnight sewer work will be loud

Skico gets coffee (machines) for hark-working teachers

Aspen Skiing Co. donated three Lavazza office coffee machines — one for each teachers’ lounge — to express their appreciation for Aspen School District teachers, the district announced during Teachers Appreciation Week.

“This has been such a gift — yes, the coffee is delicious, but these new machines have also created these little moments, in the morning and on our breaks, for us to just say ‘Hi’ to each other and have a quick catch-up,” said Matt Fields, a sixth grade teacher.

The coffee machines are the result of brainstorming a way to celebrate teachers after the COVID pandemic. Katherine Sand, director of Aspen Family Connections, said the pandemic took a toll on teachers, who one day had lesson plans designed to take place in their classroom, and the next day had to figure out how to deliver the same quality lesson plans via Zoom.

“When we all came back to campus and teachers returned to their classrooms, we just needed to let them know that their work was amazing, and that they are amazing,” she said. To come up with ways to do that, Superintendent David Baugh reached out to Skico Director of Community Engagement Michael Miracle to see if he might have any ideas.

“Our teachers put in endless hours to ensure that our students have the best education possible,” Baugh said. “We are so appreciative of them, and it’s fantastic that our community partner Skico sees the value that our teachers’ work brings to our entire community.”

Teacher Appreciation Week is celebrated in the Aspen School District between May 1-5 with dozens of activities, including a Parent Council breakfast, food trucks, raffle give-aways, and, of course, coffee.

City hires historic preservation planner

As Amy Simon celebrates 30 years with the city of Aspen in the Community Development Department overseeing the Historic Preservation program, she has enlisted a new generation to take the reins, so she can focus on her work as planning director. 

Kirsten Armstrong started this week as the city’s Historic Preservation principal planner and is the point of contact for all new projects. Armstrong, whose background and education is in architectural history, will make recommendations to the Historic Preservation Commission and Aspen City Council on projects and policies. 

She most recently lived in Orlando, Florida, working in disaster relief and home rebuilding in hurricane zones in the South.

Simon said she is well-suited for the job because of her experience in the architectural realm and intensive study of ways that communities express their values related to the built environment. 

The Historic Preservation Committee, a nine-member citizen voluntary board, has vacancies. There is one regular seat and two alternate seats open. If interested, residents can fill out the Board/Commission Application: 

The Historic Preservation Committee meets twice a month. For more information on the agendas and the city’s Historic Preservation Program, visit .

Overnight Midland Spur sewer work, May 10-11

The town of Basalt reports that the Midland Spur work is proceeding on schedule: The retaining wall is constructed, utility lines are being put in place, and the work has gone smoothly.

There will be overnight sewer work that begins on May 10 at 7 a.m. and runs through May 11 at 6 p.m., which will be noisy, officials said. The reason for the overnight work is to reduce the amount of time sewer service is off-line for customers in the area and to expedite this specific construction activity, they said. 

Public meeting on Thompson Divide withdrawal on Thursday

The U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management have announced public meetings Thursday, May 11, for the proposed Thompson Divide Administrative Mineral Withdrawal. 

The meetings begin at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. at the Western Colorado University Ballroom (1 Western Way, Gunnison) or virtually (register in advance) The sessions will consist of a short presentation, followed by a question-and-answer session. The 6:30 p.m. session will include Spanish interpretation virtually. 

Prior of New Camaldoli to lead workshop at Aspen Chapel

Cyprian Consiglio, the prior of the New Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur, California, will lead a workshop at the Aspen Chapel from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, May 13.

He is a Christian monk, musician, composer, writer, and teacher — and student of the writings of Bede Griffiths “with a great love for comparative religion,” organizers said. Consiglio regularly leads conferences on meditation and has written numerous articles and four books, including “Spirit, Soul, Body,” which will form the basis of this workshop. This echoes the “Mind, Body, Spirit” idea that is embedded in the Aspen ideal, according to organizers, who said much of his music and teaching revolve around the universal call to contemplation through spirituality and the arts.

This event will include periods of teaching, music, and meditation. You can attend in person or via livestream. Tickets from $50. Details at

Roaring Fork Conservancy’s Runoff Party, May 20

Roaring Fork Conservancy’s Runoff Party is scheduled for 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, May 20, at the conservancy at 22800 Two Rivers Road, Basalt. The event is free, but organizers request

Whether you’re a novice or pro, the event aims to get river-ready for the summer season. In addition to multiple stations that will be set up throughout the event, several topics are programmed:

  • 11 a.m., Fly Tying 101.
  • Noon, Get Your Rig Ready: Best practices for a raft, a SUP, or your fly rod.
  • 1 p.m., Casting Contest for Kids & Adults .

Food by Slow Groovin BBQ and Beer from Odell Brewing Co. available for purchase.

Questions? Contact Christina Medved at (970) 927-1290 or [email protected].

Book Ball features two-time Booker Prize winner Margaret Atwood

Aspen Words’ annual Book Ball is scheduled on Tuesday, June 20, at the Hotel Jerome Grand Ballroom, with reception at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7.

Two-time Booker Prize winner Margaret Atwood is the featured guest, and the literary organization will present the Aspen Words Leadership Award to Suzanne Bober.

Also scheduled to attend are luminaries Claire Dederer, Ashley C. Ford, Major Jackson, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Erin Entrada Kelly, Katie Kitamura, Joshua Mohr, Tom Perrotta, Emily Raboteau, Victoria Redel, Luis Alberto Urrea, Michelle Wildgen, and publishing industry professionals. The event will also feature an auction and paddle raise to support Aspen Words in its mission to encourage writers, inspire readers, and connect people through the power of stories.

For more information, contact [email protected].

Staunch Moderates launch radio show

Greg Simmons, a founder of the Bigfoot & Staunch Moderates movement, announced the group has a new one hour national radio show” on Mondays: “Staunch Moderates Radio.” Listen here:

“Our intellectual movement born 2019 in Aspen is Staunch Moderates.,” he said. “Simply stated, Staunch Moderates harken back to a time in both American discourse and policy — not long ago but nearly forgotten — where candidates and leaders strove towards the center, seeking consensus, and staking out moderate positions rather than throwing stones from the fringes.”

The Staunch Moderates have chosen multiple platforms for the promulgation of their ideas and to spread the word of their movement for peace: a news bureau; a feature length documentary film called “Mission Peace”; jazzy, cool, hip hop music/albums; and sports videos. The documentary summarizes the founding of the movement through the conclusion of the 2020 election.

The Staunch Moderates’ videos, news reports, and music has totted up an astonishing 85 million views and streams, according to Simmons. Find them here: or “Staunch Moderates News” on YouTube at

Kelly joins Chistie’s Real Estate Aspen Snowmass as principal/broker

Stacey K. Kelly, a top-producing residential real estate professional, has joined Christie’s International Real Estate Aspen Snowmass, where she will be a principal/broker.

She will help to lead the luxury brand’s expansion into Snowmass, where she will be based when the new location opens this summer.

Stacey K. Kelly

A founding partner of the Rulon Kelly Team, she assembled a group of agents and brokers who generated annual sales that consistently qualified the group’s ranking among the market’s Top Five sales leaders.

Since 2005, Kelly, her husband, and two children have lived in the Roaring Fork Valley within the Aspen Snowmass area.

Throughout her career, Kelly has focused on not only sales success, but also stellar customer service, Christie’s said in a statement, which has earned her over 50 5-star reviews on Zillow, a 5-star rating on Google, and unsolicited appreciation from other brokers.

“I will be in a new location, but clients can expect the same great service,” Kelly said. “I have been part of the Snowmass community for a long time, and it is one of my favorite places in the world. This is a great opportunity for me to join Christie’s Snowmass office and to expand my efforts in the right way for me and for my clients.”

Winners announced from Chris Klug Foundation

The Chris Klug Foundation announced the three winners of their 2023 CKF Awards. The awards aim to celebrate three trailblazers in the transplant community who have worked hard to inspire and educate others. 

There are three categories in the CKF Awards to honor the three aspects that go into the transplant process.

The winner of the inaugural Hero Award is Katrina Fountain, a donor mom who lost her 5-week-old son suddenly. When asked about organ donation, Fountain said yes, even when her family disagreed.

Her son Jaleel went on to rescue a young boy with his heart and a young girl with his liver giving the gift of life. Since losing her son, Fountain decided to honor his legacy by gaining her life coach certification specializing in grief. She joined LiveOnNY‘s Aftercare Department facilitating quarterly donor family support groups, which aim to ensure individuals have a safe space to share.

Dave Galbenski is the 2023 Bounce Back Give Back Award Winner. He is the recipient of a liver through living donation. He was in his forties when he was diagnosed with PSC, a rare autoimmune disease that led to him being told the only hope was a liver transplant. In 2019, he was added to the transplant waitlist, and his brother-in-law donated his left liver lobe. Since his transplant, Galbenski has become a long-distance runner racing in the Detroit Free Press half marathon. He has also competed and won medals in the US Transplant Games, the transplant version of the Olympics.

He worked with Henry Ford Memorial Hospital to encourage transplant recipients to join their local Transplant Games team. Currently, living donation only accounts for 6% of all liver transplants, he has worked to increase awareness by hosting Living Donor Awareness Nights at Utica, Michigan’s professional baseball field.

Maria Fernanda Filizola won the Community Champion Award. She is both a caregiver and Donate Life Northwest (DLNW) employee who has become an advocate for donations. Her transplant journey began about 20 years ago with her ex-husband. He was diagnosed with Alport’s syndrome, and during the marriage, he received two kidney transplants. Filizola was his caregiver during their relationship; now their daughter Nevaeh has been diagnosed with Alport’s syndrome and has received two tissue transplants and is facing the probability of a kidney transplant.

As a result of this, Filizola became passionate about donation and began volunteering for DLNW with the hope of focusing on outreach in the Latino community. She was later hired as the Latino outreach coordinator and then the community engagement manager. She has focused on improving access to education and resources in both Spanish and English.

The award winners will join the team of CKF volunteers and speak at events across the country, sharing their stories and inspiring others. 

The Chris Klug Foundation was founded in 2003 by liver transplant recipient and Olympic medalist Chris Klug. The foundation aims to eliminate the wait for a transplant by inspiring and educating individuals to register as organ, eye, and tissue donors. More information: