As Colorado's Unaffiliated Voters Grow, So Do Efforts to Engage Them

    Cliff Redish is a political exile. He lives in a world that's colored Republican red and Democrat blue. He used to be a Democrat, but now he's unaffiliated. Perched on a barstool in a pub in Carbondale on Colorado's Western Slope, he's hesitant to even talk about it.

    "We're so divided. It's just unbelievable. It's hard to even bring this up in a bar right now." - Cliff Reddish

    He's part of a somewhat mysterious, often ignored, yet potentially powerful group in Colorado - roughly 37 percent of active voters now declare no party. They are the top category of active voter, a shift from a generation ago in 2004.

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    Western to Launch New School Thanks to Large Donation

    Western State Colorado University recently unveiled plans for a new undergraduate program in computer science and engineering. The program is being created from a $80 million donation by Paul Rady, a 1978 graduate of the school. It's the largest donation in Western's history and one of the largest ever for a public university in Colorado.

    The Paul M. Rady School of Computer Science and Engineering will offer degrees through the University of Colorado but students will attend courses at Western. The program will be housed in a 75,000 square-foot building on the south side of campus.

    “This is quite literally Western’s greatest opportunity in its history to evolve into a serious force in education and technology,” said Greg Salsbury, President of WSCU.

    Photo: Construction is underway for the new WSCU computer science and engineering building. Credit: Christopher Biddle

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    Sports Barrel - 9/12/18

    Titans Volleyball, Track, and Soccer continue their winning ways and get ready for Homecoming. Also, did you know John Goodman was the football coach in Revenge of the Nerds?

    Former School Psychologist Pleads Guilty

    Patrick Robinson, the former school psychologist whose vague threats of violence sparked a district-wide school lockout last December, pleaded guilty earlier this month to a class 3 misdemeanor, just before he was set to go to trial.

    We sat down with reporter Cayla Vidmar, who’s been following the story for the Crested Butte News, who says that Robinson had been caught drinking on the job several times including on the day of the lockout.

    Robinson’s sentencing date is September 13th at the Gunnison County Courthouse, and we’ll be following up with Vidmar and the Crested Butte News.

    Listen to the story:

    Low Water Levels Cause Early Closures at Blue Mesa Reservoir

    The reservoir west of Gunnison is currently at 39 percent capacity, a historic low that's prompted the closure of some facilities. The Iola Boat Ramp on the south shore of the reservoir is closed for the season and the Elk Creek Marina no longer offers fuel or public restrooms. Meanwhile, the store and restaurant - and the Lake Fork Marina - will close on September 10.

    The National Park Service is encouraging boaters to move their watercraft away from low-water areas.

    Sandy Snell-Dobert with the park service  tells KBUT's Christopher Biddle that it's the first time she can remember low water causing closurs at the lake.

    Photo: Rangers patrol Blue Mesa Reservoir. Courtesy of U.S. National Park Service.

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    Priorities Emerge at Brush Creek Work Session

    The towns of Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte held a joint town council work session on Tuesday regarding the Corner at Brush Creek, a proposed affordable housing development at the corner of Highway 135 and Brush Creek Road.

    While no decisions were made, topics at Tuesday’s meeting included the addition of an athletic field and/or intercept parking lot, the number of for-sale units as opposed to rentals and density. While the perfect number of units still evades the working groups, priorities for both towns are beginning to emerge.

    The project hinges on the approval of at least three of the four parties that own the land,  which includes the two towns as well as Gunnison County and Crested Butte Mountain Resort. Many believe Mt. Crested Butte will cast the deciding vote as to whether or not the project moves forward.

    PHOTO: Town councils from Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte meet in the town council chambers of Mt. Crested Butte on September 4. Credit: Christopher Biddle

    Listen to the story. 


    KBUT Jazz Host Roger Kahn on Colorado Jazz Musician's Festival

    The Colorado Jazz Musician’s Festival is September 7, 8 and 9 in Crested Butte. the event showcases Colorado jazz artists such as Dana Landry, Wayne Wilkonson and more.

    KBUT's Christopher Biddle sat down with Roger Kahn, host of the KBUT program Jazz on a Summer’s Eve to find out what to expect from the event.

    KBUT is a co-sponsor of the jazz festival.

    Listen to the interview.


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