Winter X Games

Your Morning News - January 23rd, 2015

Jan 23, 2015

Pitkin County Cites a Drone Pilot

Law enforcement in Pitkin County responded to their first ever-incident yesterday of drones being flown in an area where they’re not allowed.

Two people were flying a drone near the Winter X Games venue around 3:30 in the afternoon. The drone was within the general flight path of the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport, which is illegal. The operator of the drone was charged with reckless endangerment and the drone was confiscated.

Meanwhile, ESPN was granted special permission by the FAA to fly drones for the X Games in a specified area, away from spectators.

EPA Head: Climate Change An "Economic Issue" For Aspen

Jan 22, 2015
Marci Krivonen

The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency told a small crowd in Aspen Thursday that action on climate change is needed now. Administrator Gina McCarthy timed her visit with the Winter X Games, to reach a younger crowd.

McCarthy’s visit was in conjunction with Protect Our Winters, a climate change advocacy group led by snow sports athletes. Standing next to the ski gondola, McCarthy emphasized how action on climate change is critical to economies like Aspen’s.

Mountain Edition - January 22nd, 2015

Jan 22, 2015

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition.

The Winter X Games are once again in the Upper Roaring Fork Valley.

Officials try to shed light on a lack of childcare in our region.

A major landowner in Aspen is asking elected leaders for an extension for one of his development proposals.

Aspen’s Police Chief reports back from a statewide conference about pot and public safety

And a troubled Carbondale elementary school will need a new principal next year.

Officials in Garfield County get an update on an oil and gas study.

And doctors in Glenwood Springs are lending a hand with radon testing.

Aspen’s mayor heads to Washington.

And we stop by a long running nordic ski area in the Mid Valley.

Elise Thatcher

  The X Games have officially begun, with the Women’s Ski SuperPipe Final Wednesday night at Buttermilk. When it comes to new events, there will be a Special Olympics giant slalom race, as well as a gaming center where people attending the event can compete for prizes and their own X Games Medals. This weekend will also have a wider array of events for disabled athletes than in the past. Overall at least three Aspen-area hometown favorites will be gunning for gold. Aspen Public Radio’s Elise Thatcher was at a press conference with the athletes yesterday, and files this report.

Your Morning News - January 21st, 2015

Jan 21, 2015

X Games Briefs Aspen on Plans

The ESPN Winter X Games will be up and running tonight. Organizers briefed Pitkin County officials yesterday on the final details.

The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority expects upwards of 38,000 rides starting this evening through Sunday. Where those people are dropped off and picked up at Buttermilk is one of the changes in place this year. Pitkin County Manager Jon Peacock.

“For past attendees of the X Games, the layout will be a little different, with construction and new bus circulation on the venue, how people will come to and leave the venue will look a little bit different, but I think it’ll be even more efficient than in years past.”

Events begin at 7pm this evening. Another change this year is concerts will be on site instead of in Aspen.

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.

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.

Marci Krivonen

ESPN is asking Pitkin County to consider allowing alcohol and fireworks at the upcoming X Games. An official from the network went before county commissioners on Tuesday with the requests. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen explains.

ESPN officials say they want to enhance the X Games experience at the base of Buttermilk. That’s the site where athletes test their skills on the superpipe and throw tricks on jumps and rails.

Andrew M. Israel

The next big thing in skiing and snowboarding is already here. At least, that’s according to the heavy hitters in the snow sports industry, which held its annual conference this last weekend in Denver. Aspen blogger Andrew M. Israel was there to take it all in. He writes the, and occasionally for Israel says one of the best moments doesn’t really have much to do with snow: "Always one of my favorites is waffles on a stick, at the Vans booth. 


Elise Thatcher

For the first time in seven years, snowboarding phenom Shaun White did not take home the X Games gold for Super Pipe. The Flying Tomato decided to save his legs for the Olympics in a matter of weeks… and Danny Davis took home the gold. That was the last event for this winter’s X Games… and early signs are that it may have been successful

Editor's note: Below is a transcript of reporter Elise Thatcher's story.

[Sound of snowboarder landing on the ice in the SuperPipe, during men’s finals.]