The 2018 race for Governor, to vote in a successor to John Hickenlooper, is underway. One of the initial candidates to sweep through the Roaring Fork Valley has been 2nd district Democratic Congressman Jared Polis. The longtime Boulder businessman, who launched ProFlowers dot com and BlueMountain dot com visited Glenwood Springs and Carbondale Wednesday. Polis offers KSNO just a few of his qualifications…

Polis greeted a small but enthusiastic crowd at Glenwood’s Bluebird Café… and he went straight to Carbondale from there. If you missed him Wednesday but would still like to hear him in person, his valley swing continues today, at 9 this morning at the Aspen Square Hotel. At lunchtime, he’ll be available to you at El Korita on Harris Street in the Willits Town Center, 12:30 to 1:30. Then it’s back to Aspen, and the Congressman will wrap things up with a 3rd Meet & Greet, and a talk on the energy future, at 6:30 tonight, at Maker & Place, on the pedestrian mall at 315 East Hyman Avenue. Polis is probably the best-known candidate in an already-crowded gubernatorial field that could draw even more names. Currently, Polis’ Democratic primary opponents include former state Senator Mike Johnston, who grew up in Vail but has served a legislative district in Denver… former state Treasurer Cary Kennedy, and Denver civic activist Noel Ginsburg. On the other side, there are already 3 Republican candidates too, with again, more said to be considering bids. We’ll look to catch up with as many as possible, when they visit this part of the state.

Remember the big story of the last couple years really starts happening, a week from Sunday night… at midnight on the 13th, or actually a minute past, on Monday the 14th… Glenwood Springs’ existing Grand Avenue Bridge will close forever, and crews will immediately start cutting the 64-year-old span apart with concrete saws. While he says he’s heard from some locals that they have fond, nostalgic memories of the bridge that’s almost gone, Police Chief Terry Wilson doesn’t count himself among them…

TWilson 1 :12 Q:…not about it…

But Wilson is enthusiastic about how you’ve been preparing for the old bridge’s elimination, and completion of the new span over the Colorado River. He says readiness for the 3-month-long detour is better than anticipated…

TWilson 2 :09 Q:…would go out…

If you have a group of 6 people or more who’ll want to regularly ride to work or wherever together, the Chief says more of those permits for van pools are still available, and that’ll get you access to special lanes to speed your trips along. Call his department to get yours at 384-6500, or log onto glenwoodpolice dot com. You’ll also find a link to the GSPD at ksno dot net.

An initial audit report came out late last month, but the police probe is still underway, of the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts’ finances. A meeting this week had the board telling members the center’s debts have been cut to around $50,000. When long-time Executive Director Christina Brusig suddenly resigned in April, the board learned it was in the hole some $68,000. Board President Kate McRaith reveals this week the panel met with Brusig as far back as January about her management of the center’s programs and its money… finally telling her she could quit or be fired. McRaith says the board never really got the full picture of how bad the finances were until Brusig was out. The recent audit figured as much as $15,000 in spending was questionable, another $5000 or so seen as probably not authorized by the board. Brusig claimed all spending was authorized. No clear word yet as to when the police probe will wrap up, potentially determining whether there might be criminal charges involved.

The annual Ideas Festival and Security Forum have been over for weeks, but still the heaviest hitters in America keep flocking to Aspen Institute talks. Tuesday, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke, detailing among other things her friendship away from the bench with late Justice Antonin Scalia. Wednesday, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was back in Aspen for her 5th Global Development Lecture, this time honoring a past economic minister from Nigeria. And this evening at 6:00, the Institute will hear from Virginia Governor and former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe.

If you missed some of our stories or just want to read them for yourself, they’re all posted at ksno dot net. I’m Jim Williams, KSNO News. There’s more of the Morning Roundabout, including Meteorologist Don Day’s complete extended forecast, on the way next.