Glenwood Springs—The Glenwood Springs City Council is considering closing the left turn lanes at 27th and Grand Avenue to relieve some of the morning traffic congestion.  The problems at the increasingly busy intersection were heightened this past Wednesday morning during what police called a “perfect storm” of factors including volume, weather and accidents that bottled up traffic from Four Mile Road to Midland Avenue.  On normal days, 27th and Grand is challenging enough. That’s why the council, city engineers and the police department are mulling over a plan to limit left turns during the peak commuting hours.  Glenwood Springs Police Chief Terry Wilson suggests closing the left turn lanes from 7 to 9am.  The council will discuss the plan in greater detail during future meetings.


New Castle—As Garfield County braces for a huge drop in sales tax revenue, each town is looking for ways to diversify and broaden their own economies.  That was the underlying theme during a recent forum at the New Castle Community Center where five council candidates shared their ideas.   Graham Riddile may be a newcomer on the local political scene but he’s no stranger to the community.  The longtime New Castle resident and 2007 Rifle High School graduate talked about his views on bolstering the local economy.  The Colorado School of Mines alum says the key is taking a regional approach by viewing New Castle as part of the big puzzle that is Garfield County.  Riddile says he’d like to find ways to attract more light industrial businesses to town.  Incumbent Patrick Stuckey believes attracting more visitors to New Castle will boost local sales taxes.  Stuckey serves on the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority Board of Directors and believes his influence helped convince RAFTA to put a park and ride in town.  Grady Hazelton owns and operates Wing Nutz Bar and Grill in North Rifle.  He is a firm believer in local government support of the small business community.  Longtime resident Mary Metzger isn’t a big proponent of more retail growth or light industrial.  She says the town’s local senior citizens are often overlooked as key contributors to the local economy.   16 year resident Merle Means is a Vietnam Air Force veteran and a retired minister.  Means says the first step in attracting more visitors to New Castle is to make the town itself more attractive, starting with the  I-70 off ramp into town. The five candidates are battling for three open seats on the town board.  Ballots must be returned by election day, April 5th.