KAJX

Your Evening News - November 28th, 2014

Nov 28, 2014

Winternational Comes to Aspen

Aspen Skiing Company is hosting two world cup races this weekend. Starting tomorrow, some of the top skiers in the world will battle their way down Aspen Mountain.

For the first time since 2012, Ajax is hosting the slalom and giant slalom races. Aspen Skiing Company has moved public access one street over... and rearranged the main viewing area... in hopes of improving safety and making spectating more fun.  The TV audience is also important. Jeff Hanle is with Ski Co.

“For us it sends an amazing message across the Europe in particular, that’s where ski racing fans are, and the races are broadcast live throughout Europe.”

In the U.S. viewers can watch both days’ events on NBC or related channels, but only the Sunday afternoon competitions will be live.

Winternational Preparations

Aspen is winding up for two World Cup ski races this weekend. Although the Skiing Company has hosted similar races before, this is set of events in two years. Event coordinators and mountain personnel were putting on the finishing touches today on the spectator area at the finish line. Down and around the corner, at the main public entrance, Jeff Bingham was chipping off ice and snow off Monarch Street. He is Maintenance Engineer at the Mountain Queen Condominiums.

“I’m looking forward to seeing World Cup women go really really fast on one of the most technically challenging courses apparently on the World Cup, from what I hear and read, and it's going to be great.”

Bingham says this year he’s big fan of teen phenom Michaela Shiffron. Another fan favorite, Lindsey Vonn, will not be racing in Aspen this weekend.

E.P.A. Rules on Ozone Could Affect Colorado

On Wednesday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced new rules around ozone, a pollutant linked to asthma and other health problems. The draft document calls for lowering the current standard for ozone from 75 parts per billion to between 65 and 70 ppb. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says the new standards will “clean up our air and protect those most at risk.” Opponents say the new rules will hurt jobs and the economy.

In Colorado, the Department of Public Health and Environment hasn’t yet taken a stance on the measure but, its Air Pollution Control Division has calculated its impacts.

Right now, just the Denver/North Front Range area doesn’t meet the current threshold. But, if that standard changes areas on the Western Slope could be in violation including the Rangely area, Mesa County, the Four Corners area and possibly Gunnison County. Gordon Pierce is with the state.

“Once you’ve been designated as non-attainment, the State has develop what’s called a state implementation plan, which outlines measures that would be taken to get an area back into compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standard.”

The State says oil and gas, traffic and power plants are the three biggest contributors. In Western Colorado, much of the ozone pollution is coming from states to the West. So, if the standard changes Pierce says regional work will need to be done to lower emissions.

Sand Creek Remembered 150 Years Later

Hundreds of people are expected to travel to the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site in eastern Colorado tomorrow as they mark the 150 anniversary of that infamous event. The story goes that on November 29th, 18-64 volunteer troops attacked a peaceful Native American camp 130 miles east of Pueblo. Soldiers killed nearly 200 people, mostly women, children, and the elderly, and desecrated their bodies.

Shawn Gillette is chief of interpretation at the Historic Site.

“They’re kind of shocked when they learn the story of Sand Creek. How could a nation do this to its own people? And then they come away feeling, but our nation acknowledges it.”

This weekend’s commemoration will include private ceremonies by tribes and descendants of the victims, as well as public historical programs and documentary screenings about the Sand Creek Massacre.