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Your Evening News - January 19th, 2015

Jan 19, 2015

Aspen to Talk Child Care

The City of Aspen is gathering community leaders together to discuss early child care and its importance tomorrow. Organizers say affordable childcare supports the resort town’s economy.

Shirley Ritter with the City’s Kids First program says a quarter of the families who either work or live in Aspen are receiving some kind of child care assistance. Her office distributes financial aid to about 50 families. Other programs, through the school district and county, support more kids. She says the benefits keep workers in town.

“In this community we know that housing is really expensive, everybody’s well aware of that. But unless you have young children, you probably aren’t aware of how expensive child care is. It can be just as expensive as housing. Sometimes people pay more than what they pay in rent.”

Tuesday’s discussion includes a screening of the PBS documentary “The Raising of America.” And, officials from Aspen’s business community will talk about how they support their employees. The event is at noon at the Wheeler Opera House.

EPA Chief to Visit Aspen, X Games

While some of the best free skiers and riders head to the valley this week for the Winter X Games, a Washington official will be joining in. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy is expected in Aspen for a news conference this week. The event is expected to take place at Gondola Plaza on Thursday afternoon. McCarthy has been the head of the EPA since 2009. The event is in conjunction with Protect Our Winters – a non-profit advocacy group working on issues related to climate change and winter sports. The Winter X Games kicks off at the Buttermilk ski area on Thursday.

Garfield Clean Energy Releases Report for Final Quarter 2014

A Garfield County effort for saving energy is reporting a positive 2014. The Garfield Clean Energy Collaborative recently released its final quarter report for last year.

The collaborative consists of ten local governments in Garfield County, ranging from Parachute to Colorado Mountain College. And it’s reporting a high number of energy efficient upgrades for last year. Heather McGregor is Administrative Manager with the Collaborative. She says her colleagues weren’t sure that could happen, since lots of national funding wasn’t available for 2014.

“We did have as much rebate funding to work with this year, we were nervous going into the year that we wouldn’t get as much response from households and businesses to make energy efficiency upgrades.”

McGregor says other rebates from utilities, governments, and organizations made up the difference.

Gov. Hickenlooper Says Low Oil Prices to Slow CO Production

Colorado’s governor says falling oil prices will cause a cutback in production in the state during the first quarter of 2015. Crude oil has fallen to $40 to $50 a barrel. Governor John Hickenlooper says that price is well below the $60 to $65 a barrel level oil companies in northern Colorado need for production to make sense. But he told CPR’s Colorado Matters the state economy is more diversified now than it was when oil prices plummeted in the 1980s.

“So I don’t think it’s going to have near the impact on the economy than it did back then. We’ll get through it.  But we’re certainly looking at it as we budget the revenues to the state. As we look at some of the challenges we might have with employment, there will be some impact. But I don’t think it will be huge.”

In a forecast released last week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts crude oil prices will average $58 a barrel this year and $79 a barrel in 2016.