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Your Morning News - January 20th, 2015

Jan 20, 2015

Aspen Mayor to Talk Climate Change at National Conference

Aspen mayor Steve Skadron is heading to Washington at the end of the week to talk to other U.S. mayors about preparing for a changed climate.

Climate resiliency planning is one of Aspen City Council’s top ten goals. The City commissioned a study to examine what kinds of changes are in store for the resort town. The temperature is expected to increase and the number of frost-free days will rise.

Aspen has also worked to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions through the Canary Initiative. Mayor Steve Skadron says he plans to share Aspen’s progress.

“The work we’ve done to this point will be recognized as some of the most aggressive out there. That’s the message I want to put forth to my fellow mayors, that if a community like ours can address this, there’s opportunities for other communities, as well.”

The two-day meeting is called the Mayor’s Innovation Project and “integrating climate resilience into city decisions” is one of four main topics the mayors will discuss.

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.

Aspen to Talk Child Care

The City of Aspen is gathering community leaders together to discuss early child care and its importance, today. 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.