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Summit County: Colorado Mountain College student turns his passion for recycling into a local business startup

‘We only have one planet so we need to … take care of it.’

Erick Becerril at the Frisco Recycling Center. PHOTO COURTESY KATE LAPIDES.

*Editor’s note: Under an informal content-sharing arrangement, we’ll occasionally be posting articles and blog posts about and by Colorado Mountain College students.

By Colorado Mountain College

SUMMIT COUNTY — Erick Becerril wants to get his hands on your garbage.

If that seems odd and unsavory, consider the context. Becerril, at age 23, is the enthusiastic founder of a Summit County waste diversion business called Faction and Company. His business takes care of waste from residential and small commercial clients by ensuring that separated compostable materials, standard recycling, and reusable items end up in the right place.

For Becerril, the right place for waste is getting it composted and upcycled — the process of converting old products into new ones in order to repurpose them for new uses — as much as possible. Hence, Becerril’s passion for your leftovers, whether they are last year’s skis or kitchen table, or, even better, last night’s Pad Thai. Since the EPA estimates that more than 60 percent of the municipal solid waste that ends up in landfills is organic material comprised of food scraps, yard trimmings, paper and paperboard, Becerril is especially keen to expand his compost efforts to ensure that your organic waste never meets the landfill at all. Continue reading

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CMC taking applications for study abroad programs

Study ‘art and resistance’ in Guatemala

Spend time exploring the incredible Mayan ruins of Tikal during Colorado Mountain College’s Guatemala: Art and Resistance class in March 2012. Photo Bob Gumbrecht.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY —Colorado Mountain College is taking applications for its international programs study abroad courses, including art and culture in Guatemala and Spanish immersion courses in Costa Rica.

Spend time in Spain, Costa Rica, Guatemala or Ireland and earn college credit through Colorado Mountain College’s International Programs study abroad courses:

  • Spring semester in Spain, Jan. 17-April 7, with a cultural seminar in Madrid, Jan. 17-22; earn credits in Spanish and literature. Application deadline Nov. 21. Contact Mary Ebuna, 719-486-4224, mebuna@coloradomtn.edu.
  • Guatemala: Art and Resistance, March 1-11; earn credits in art and political science while you learn about Guatemalan painting, weaving, pottery and architecture in the context of the country’s tumultuous political and social history. Application deadline Dec. 2. Contact Bob Gumbrecht, rgumbrecht@coloradomtn.edu, 970-870-4484; or Cynthia Zyzda, czyzda@coloradomtn.edu, 970-870-4432.
  • International business and literature in Dublin, May 16-June 16; earn credits in literature and/or business. Application deadline March 16. Contact Jeffrey Runyon, 719-486‐4240, jrunyon@coloradomtn.edu.
  • Spanish immersion and home stay in Alajuela, Costa Rica, June 30-July 28; earn credits in Spanish. Application deadline April 1. Contact Lauren DeAre, 970-319-5817, ldeare@coloradomtn.edu.

Past participants have included college students working toward a degree and community members looking for a learning experience. For more about Colorado Mountain College’s International Programs, go to coloradomtn.edu/InternationalPrograms.

Through Spanish immersion and other international classes, Colorado Mountain College students have the chance to study language and culture, and earn college credit, while experiencing the world.

A day at the huge market in Chichicastenango is one of the highlights of this spring’s Guatemala: Art and Resistance class at Colorado Mountain College. Photo Bob Gumbrecht.

Mountain news roundup

A “blinkered view” of large mammal migration, preserving Colorado’s historic buildings, giant sea monsters in Montana, and more

A lynx in the San Juan Mountains — photo courtesy Colorado Division of Wildlife.

Compiled by Jenney Coberly

Understanding animal migration crucial in increasingly developed landscape

Here’s a story that resonates here in Summit County, with the current debate on the effect of the proposed Breckenridge Peak 6 expansion on local wildlife.

The Denver Post reported on Monday that GPS tracking data collected from radio collars on mountain lions, lynx, wolves and other large mammals are challenging scientific understanding of the animals’ range and habitat. Colorado Division of Wildlife and other western biologists are tracking more animals using satellites and computers and seeing them wander farther, more frequently and far beyond the bounds of what is believed to be their normal habitat.

“We may have had a blinkered view of what their behavior and territory really is,” according to Colorado Division of Wildlife spokesman Theo Stein.

“We’re going to see more development,” said Jodi Hilty, director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s programs in North America. Understanding wildlife migration is crucial “to make sure we don’t accidentally cut off routes.”

Continue reading

Aging — we all do it, so why not do it wisely?

Dr. Jeffrey Wallace.

March 18 Aging Wisely forum at CMC will address maintaining autonomy and good health

By Jenney Coberly

SUMMIT COUNTY — A person walks from 70,000 to 115,000 miles in an average lifetime, so it’s no wonder older people tend to have more foot problems than youngsters.

Maintaining healthy feet is just one of the many topics that will be addressed at the March 18 CMC Aging Wisely Forum. Other topics on the agenda include sports medicine, nutrition, and skin health. Continue reading

Breckenridge: NRO alumni return for special concert

Pianist Zsolt Bognár.

Violinist Brandie Phillips.

Mid-winter treat for classical music lovers at new CMC auditorium

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — A pair of National Repertory Orchestra alumni are returning to Breckenridge for a special Feb. 11 performance at Colorado Mountain College, featuring the classic combination of violin and piano.

Pianist Zsolt Bognár wowed NRO audiences in the summer of 2009 and Brandie Phillips was the 2010 concertmaster. Next week, they will appear together at the new CMC auditorium. Continue reading

CMC to offer first full-credit digital photography class

A photograph by CMC's digital photography instructor Matt Lit illustrates how an image can be altered digitally in post-processing using programs like Lightroom.

New course aimed at helping photographers get the most out of their digital equipment

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — For the first time this semester, Colorado Mountain College will be offering a full-credit course in digital photography, taught by long-time local photographer Matt Lit. The course (starting Jan. 18) in digital photography will be offered alongside a class in traditional photography using film cameras.

Click here to visit Lit’s website.

Lit said CMC has previously offered weekend-workshop type sessions on digital photography, but the class starting this month is aimed toward more advanced digital photographers. Students with digital SLR cameras and compact cameras with more advanced controls will find the class helpful in improving their digital photography.

“It’s about creatively taking control … and using the digital camera as a computer, because that’s what it is. And as a computer, it should never be trusted,” Lit said, adding that course will cover areas like adjusting exposures for challenging lighting conditions on snow in the mountains, as well as how to shoot pictures in extreme conditions like the cold weather of a high country winter. Continue reading

Backstage performance raises funds for cardio awareness

Two showings of the Backstage Theatre production of A Walk in the Woods will benefit health screening in Summit County.

A Walk in the Woods focuses on an unlikely friendship between arms negotiators during the Cold War

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Colorado Mountain College will host two special performances of “A Walk in the Woods” as a fundraiser for the CardioPlus awareness health fair.

CardioPlus is a new project of the Breckenridge Mountain and Summit County Rotary Clubs.  The Summit Club has managed the local 9-Health Fair for twenty-five years and CardioPlus is an extension of those measures of health risk factors.

The play, by Lee Blessing, is based on actual events and presents the intrigue and a behind the scenes look at international diplomacy. Bob Moore and Gary Ketzenbarger perform in this two-man drama.

The shows are at 7 p.m. Nov. 5 and 6 at the new CMC theater. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online at Backstagetheatre.org.

Read a New York Times review of the play here.

So, you wanna be a weather forecaster

It's not just as simple as looking at the satellite image.

Learn how to predict powder with a mountain meteorology workshop coming up in Leadville, Colorado

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Forecasting weather is tricky no matter where you are, and when it comes to the mountains of Colorado — in the middle of the continent and the intersection of several different storm tracks — all bets are off.

If you’re in the Sierra Nevada, you can count on big storms rolling in off the Pacific for reliable dumps, and when a N’or easter starts building off the Atlantic Coast, it’s only a matter of counting the days until it dumps in New England. But snowfall patterns in the Rockies are much more subtle, mainly influenced by the direction of moisture-laden winds rather than defined storm fronts and cyclonic storm. Continue reading

Video: CMC’s aging wisely, aging well forum

Local experts offer insight at a Colorado Mountain College panel on aging. Please click on the image for a link to the video. It may take few moments to load. VIDEO FILED AND PRODUCED BY JENNEY COBERLY.

Physical, social health equally important for Summit’s growing senior population

By Bob Berwyn

Video by Jenney Coberly

Please click on the image at right or here to watch video excerpts from the forum. The video may take a few moments to load. Please contact us if you experience problems with the video.

SUMMIT COUNTY — The take-home message from an Aging Wisely, Aging Well forum at Colorado Mountain College’s Breckenridge campus was two-fold, according to moderator Don Parsons, who said the 10-member panel included experts from both the medical side and the social sciences field.

“Part one is medical,” Parsons said. “There are three decisions people can made: Diet, exercise and not smoking, along with regular check-ups and assessments of things like blood pressure and cholesterol,” he said.

“The second part is social. Staying in good health and having a happy life depends on staying active socially, volunteering, perhaps thinking about business opportunities.”

Locally, a task force has been meeting recently to talk about a long-term vision for senior housing needs. On a broader level, a group of community stakeholders assembled as the Rural Resort Region met during 2009 to discuss a variety of related topics exploring challenges and opportunities for senior residents in the area’s mountain communities.

One of the meetings focused on health care, another on seniors in the workforce and volunteerism and a third on transportation. Summaries and information from those meetings are online as pdf documents at this web page. Continue reading

NRO and Colorado Mountain College bring Carmen to Breck

The NRO and Colorado Mountain College are teaming up to offer an HD broadcast of the New York Metropolitan Opera's production of Carmen. PHOTO COURTESY THE NRO AND THE MET.

April 10 performance will be broadcast in HD at the new CMC auditorium

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Opera buffs will no longer have to make the drive to Denver for HD broadcasts of the New York Metropolitan Opera. Thanks to a partnership between the National Repertory Orchestra and Colorado Mountain College, the Met’s new production of Carmen, by Richard Eyre, will be  presented April 10 at the CMC auditorium in Breckenridge.

Here’s an excerpt from a review:

The Metropolitan Opera’s gripping new production of Bizet’s ‘Carmen,’ stars the Latvian mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca in the title role and the tenor Roberto Alagna as Don José and
Barbara Frittoli. Opera lovers know the music and compelling story of Carmen, the gypsy ‘lady’ and her toreador. But few  have heard and seen the passion that Garanča brings to this role.

Acclaimed British director Richard Eyre has said that, “He wanted to subvert the opera’s familiarity so that audiences will leave shocked and awed, yet also touched, by this 1875 masterpiece. That is easy to say, but Mr. Eyre, in his Met debut, has actually done it.

Other than updating the Seville setting of the opera to the 1930s from the 1830s, to invoke the brutally repressive period of the Spanish Civil War, Mr. Eyre has created an essentially traditional Carmen.

Tickets including a pre-concert reception are $35, while show-only tickets are $20. The reception starts at 6 p.m. and the broadcast of the opera at 7 p.m.

Contact the National Repertory Orchestra office at (970) 453-5825 or julie@nromusic.com to make your reservations.

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