Divided Aspen Metropolis Council sends Wheeler cash query to voters

After locating a member of Aspen City Council who was absent from Tuesday’s regular session to vote on a controversial election issue, the council voted 3-2 in favor of an ordinance asking voters to withdraw tax revenue from the Divert real estate transfer tax for the Wheeler Opera House.

Councilor Skippy Mesirow was reached by city director Sara Ott after an hour and a half discussion of his elected counterparts, who were stuck 2-2 in a vote, to send the question to the vote.

Mesirov attended the meeting at his Aspen apartment after a vacation trip through WebEx. The conversation among councilors continued for another 40 minutes, which ended in a swing vote by Mesirov after asking questions about the councilors’ positions that they had previously stated.

He voted because of his late arrival despite objections from two council members, Ward Hauenstein and Rachel Richards.

“I think this is a flawed process because Skippy comes at the last minute,” said Hauenstein.

Richards asked Mesirov to wait and listen to the entire conversation later before making a decision.

“If you get involved,” she said, “I would really appreciate it if you wait and watch until you see the previous discussion … and I don’t want to have to repeat 10 minutes of online comments to you about my concerns and assessments.”

The special session was called for Tuesday so Richards could be on the podium. since she was on vacation a week earlier when the rest of the council debated whether the question should be sent to the electorate.

Richards said she watched the August 24th meeting of the council and was ready to turn down the vote question for a myriad of reasons, including the fact that the city’s recent election results showed that the required 60% of voters are unlikely to support her.

Prior to Mesirov’s appearance, Councilor John Doyle said a decision to send a question to voters was important enough for all five members to vote.

“I just firmly believe that Skippy should be here so we can get a resounding yes or no,” he said. “I hate having another meeting, but he’s part of our board of directors, he should get involved.”

With the Friday deadline for submitting ballot language to the Pitkin County Clerk and Recorder’s Office, the council took a break to see Mesirov’s availability.

Richards said the council members’ conflicting views on diverting funds from the Wheeler Opera House did not send out a good signal to voters.

“Great, you have a 3-2 vote to put it on the ballot and try to win with it,” she said, arguing more than once Tuesday that it was still not entirely clear how the money was being spent and how much would be diverted and what would be left for the historic Wheeler Opera House.

“I think if the council puts a question together and publishes it and it fails, it is the council’s failure to ask a failed question … and I think that is not reflected well in the council,” she said.

Mayor Torre, who had voted with Doyle and Mesirov to put the question on the ballot, said the time had come.

“I think we should go ahead with November and give our community a chance to vote on it,” he said. “That doesn’t work structurally for us and we should fix it and we could fix it by putting it on the ballot and supporting it and getting it over the 60% threshold … and I also think that doesn’t tie our hands up, even to ask another question in the next year or two, or right now, when we are sitting in front of us and have the opportunity to make progress. “

The poll question is asking that some of Wheeler’s property transfer tax revenue be diverted to the Red Brick Center for the Arts, which is currently supported by the city’s general fund and the city’s wealth management plan fund.

The elimination of the general fund as a source of support for the Red Brick would allow the city to pay its remaining $ 2.1 million in outstanding certificates of attendance for the financially vulnerable Isis Theater.

The poll also calls for the cap on $ 100,000 annually allocated to arts and culture grants to local nonprofits to be lifted and opened up more widely to the visual and performing arts.

The Wheeler real estate transfer tax was first adopted by voters in 1979 and was specifically pledged as financial support for the Wheeler Opera House, plus the $ 100,000 annually allocated.

In 2016, voters extended the RETT to 2039 and reiterated the 1979 vote that any change in funding would require the support of 60% of voters.

The Wheeler Opera House currently has $ 40 million in funds.

Hauenstein said he wants to ensure other important community needs, particularly mental health and childcare, are adequately funded before asking voters to divert money from the Wheeler property transfer tax for more arts funding.

At the beginning of the council discussion on Tuesday before Mesirov’s appearance, Doyle said in the back of his mind that if the question fails, it could be asked again, but with questions from the Wheeler board of directors and other concerns, it would be a good idea to step down and assess it more closely, instead of rushing it.

He later changed his mind and voted yes to put it on the ballot after voting against Richards’ earlier motion to deny the ordinance that voters sent him.

Hauenstein and Richards voted yes to reject the motion, while Torre and Doyle voted no, which resulted in a 2-2 deadlock.

When asked again to approve the regulation, Richards and Hauenstein vote no and Mesirow, Torre and Doyle vote yes.

“I see valid arguments for both sides,” said Doyle when he was pushed to his position by Mesirov. “I’m struggling with this because we could get it back on the ballot right away; I like what Torre said about letting the voters decide, we have a smart electorate, and I also agree with the points Rachel made as she hasn’t even met the Wheeler board yet. It’s a difficult thing. “

Mesirov leaned over to Torre’s position.

“Let’s do it now and let the polling feedback guide us,” he said.

The council spent much less time discussing another vote question, which was passed 4-0, to be sent to Aspen voters this fall.

The council spent about 15 minutes at the beginning of the meeting approving two regulations and a decision that sends a basic exchange question to the voters.

If approved by voters, it would lay a 19 acre shelter easement over Shadow Mountain, preventing future development and guaranteeing public access and recreational opportunities.

The property is known as the Pride of Aspen Mining Claim, and if voters agree to the land swap, it will be owned permanently by the City Park Department and Pitkin County’s Open Space Program.

By approving the deal with homeowner Bob Olson who owns 501 W. Hopkins Ave. owned next to the Midland Trail, he will receive 4,000 square feet of public right of way on his 7,500 square foot property.

The additional square footage to Olson’s property would allow for better access and more landscaping around the home, along with setbacks that would create a buffer for the adjacent Midland Trail.

His company, RD Olson Investments II, LLC, headquartered in Newport Beach, California, bought the 19 acres on Shadow Mountain for $ 1 million in 2018 for prophylactic purposes to ensure no one would do or suggest anything right behind their home that he could contradict.

As part of the land swap, between 360 square meters and 780 square meters of additional floor space could be added to the existing 3,450 square meter house, depending on the proposal and land use regulations.

csackariason@aspentimes.com

Pioneer Excessive Faculty sends off seniors in model with in-person commencement ceremony – Every day Democrat

Seniors in Woodland School District have been through a lot over the past two years. While their years ended a little better than the 2020 senior class, the 2021 class still only had about half of a senior year to really soak it all up.

But on Friday night, all of those things that students have been missing out on in recent years were washed away, if only for a tiny bit, when Pioneer High School honored its senior class with a personal graduation ceremony on its own campus.

Traditionally, Woodland graduation ceremonies had been badly affected by either high winds or unbearable heat. Conditions were perfect for the graduation classes after Cache Creek High School celebrated its graduates in the same field on Friday afternoon.

Last year, Pioneer held a virtual ceremony instead of a personal ceremony. Farewell speakers, administrators and favorite teachers spoke. Prior to the official online ceremony, the high school hosted a drive-through celebration where the seniors literally drove through the Pioneer campus and received their coveted high school diplomas.

This year, Pioneer had a classic ceremony in front of a relatively crowded stadium. After a brief introduction by headmistress Sandra Reese, the graduates walked the route to their places in the field.

Before the ceremony officially began, Superintendent Tom Pritchard, who will retire in October, said a few words.

“Graduation is a time to reflect on yesterday, appreciate today, and anticipate the endless possibilities of tomorrow,” said Pritchard. “I’m sure it feels like you nervously met kids in kindergarten just moments ago, only to find that they are sitting next to you as lifelong friends today. Your path today was undoubtedly a challenge, but each of you has overcome obstacles to be here today. “

Next came the farewell speech from Pioneer’s best student, Fernanda Tovar Lara.

Pioneer High School students graduate on Friday night. CARLOS GUERRERO – DAILY DEMOCRAT

“Unfortunately, our class didn’t have a full junior or senior year,” Lara said during her speech. “Instead, we had to face a reality enforced by a pandemic that left many of us with a sense of loneliness, insecurity, and even grief and grief. Even so, our resilient class managed to make the best of the situation. Flexibility has become our second nature. Today we are here at our graduation ceremony, but this is a reality we found it difficult to imagine a few months ago. However, this reality would not have been possible without our supportive and sometimes stressful teachers, our lovable but suffocating guardians, our loyal and overly blunt friends and, last but not least, 99% of our sanity. “

After the speech, three other students, including Hannah Bradshaw, Hanna Medina, and Ximena Bravo, each had their own moments on the microphone.

Senior class presidents Estevan Romero and Morgann Winger then presented the senior class gift to the 2022 class.

After the class roll call, some students tossed their hats in the air and started mingling with family members, friends, and classmates in the field.

“It feels fantastic to be having personal graduations again this year,” said Jake Whitaker, President of the Woodland School Board, who attended with the rest of the board. “A lot of work and community work was done to make this possible. It’s important to us to celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates, and especially the Class of 2021, who survived two years of school where public education was disrupted by an unprecedented global pandemic.

La Salle sends its seniors out in type with spring ending soccer win – Pasadena Star Information

The seniors of the La Salle High soccer team have faced many adversities and struggles in their four years. They had three different head coaches who suffered a 3-7 season, a 0-10 season, and then the COVID-19 pandemic that obliterated the traditional fall season and nearly prevented that shortened spring season.

But they fought their way through and ended their high school careers with a convincing 31-7 win over St. Anthony on their home field on Friday night in the Del Rey League. The win put La Salle (3-2, 3-1) second in the league.

“These guys played great tonight,” said La Salle head coach Ben Buys of his seniors. “It wasn’t about winning league games, but three, even though it was a spring season. In addition, this spring you see a lot of people saying they don’t have enough people. We had 26 tonight. We had injuries. Our best player, Marcus Powe, didn’t play (because of the COVID protocol). There are many reasons why they might give up and apologize and throw in. But they didn’t. “

“We are very grateful that we can play and play the five games we had,” said Giovanni Butteri, La Salle’s senior receiver. “This season has been pushed back again and again. When we finally got a game we were so excited and ready to play.”

The Lancers were leading 12-7 at halftime before pulling back in the third quarter thanks to some big offensive games and a strong defense that looked completely different from the one that allowed Harvard-Westlake to score 58 points last week.

La Salle’s Chris Miller made a mistake on the two-yard line at St. Anthony. Rashaad Austin ran back into the end zone two games later to give the Lancers a 19-7 lead in the middle of the third quarter.

After La Salle forced St. Anthony to play after a three, he took over his next possession on his 36-yard line. Quarterback Richie Munoz then found freshman David Mysza wide open on the field for a 64-yard touchdown that extended the lead to 25-7.

“It was definitely satisfying,” said Mysza. “I’m glad I was able to help the team. It was fun.”

La Salle finished early in game four when Austin scored a seven meter run. Austin finished with 24 trages and 92 yards.

The Lancers scored the first goal of the game after David Vanden Bosch ended St. Anthony’s inaugural possession early in the first quarter. La Salle then took over on its own 30-yard line. The Lancers moved the ball onto St. Anthony’s 35-yard line when Munoz fell back to pass. He was under pressure and struggled to his feet before finding an open Giovanni Butteri who practically went into the end zone to give La Salle a 6-0 lead.

The Lancers extended their lead to 12-0 early in the second quarter when they completed a nine-game 63-yard drive that twice demonstrated Munoz’s ability to evade tackle. At one game it looked like he was running but then suddenly stopped short of the scrimmage line and found Aidan Leyland’s downfield for a 58-yard completion.

La Salle advanced onto St. Anthony’s two-yard line and faced a 4th and a gate. It looked like St. Anthony was going to stop as Munoz was pressured and ran backwards. But he crawled to his left and found Butteri wide open in the end zone.

Butteri finished the game with three receptions for 47 yards and two touchdowns.

“It was a lot of fun,” laughed Butteri when asked if he would like to score two touchdowns in his last game.

While the seniors emerge victorious, La Salle has a young corps of players led by Munoz, who is only in his sophomore year. He finished the game with 11 of 17 passes for 253 yards and three touchdown passes. Mysza caught five passes for 133 yards and is optimistic about the future of the program.

“I think we have a lot to do,” said Mysza. “We will do very well in the future. (Munoz) It’s only getting better and our corps is getting bigger and stronger. I think we’ll be a really good team. “

Geri Horner sends birthday needs to her son through Instagram | Leisure

Geri Horner sent her son a sweet birthday message on Instagram.

The 48-year-old star hit the photo-sharing platform to greet her four-year-old son Monty and post a behind-the-scenes video of their celebrations.

Geri – who has Monty with husband Christian Horner and Bluebell (14) with Sacha Gervasi – wrote in her post: “Happy birthday, Monty! Four today! We love you! [kiss and heart emojis] Xxx (sic) “

In the video clip, Monty runs into Geri, who wishes her son a happy birthday.

Geri’s house is also filled with balloons and birthday cards to celebrate the occasion.

The pop star, who has been married to Christian since 2015, previously announced that motherhood helped heal her relationship with food after her battle with bulimia.

Geri has had a healthier approach to food since she was born.

She said, “Food was such an interesting topic for me that it took me some time to find a healthy relationship.

“I only did ‘Bake Off’ because my daughter loved the show, and when I did, I went on this whole journey again to re-establish my relationship with food.”

Geri’s approach to food has changed dramatically in recent years.

She explained, “I realized that you can start loving, having fun with it, and it’s a way of relating to people – and it reminded me of when I was little and with my aunt Doreen Cake baked.

“I always wanted a good relationship with food so that my daughter would have it, so she wouldn’t be like me when I was growing up – always on a diet and not interested at all.

“As a world, we’re moving in a different direction now anyway. Yes, we want to be beautiful, but we let go of the perfect. I think we’re bored of it.”