KAJX

The Road to Sochi

Mountain Edition - March 6th, 2014

Mar 5, 2014

Today, we’ll bring you the latest with the investigation into the murder of Aspen native Nancy Pfister.

Republicans and Democrats are whittling down the contenders for state and local elections this fall.

Aspen’s first recreational pot shop starts selling buds… and we find out how much Carbondale has made on marijuana taxes.

And we hear from a Paralympic coach who arrived in Sochi this week. With the international tensions in nearby Ukraine, we’ll hear how safe athletes are feeling.

Getty Images-AFP-Pierre-Philippe Marcou

Aspen athlete and Nordic skier Noah Hoffman competed yesterday in the last day of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The US Ski Team praised Hoffman’s performance in the taxing 50 kilometer race. Afterwards, Hoffman told NBC News he felt good about how the event went.  As the crowd cheered in the background, Hoffman explained he’s focused on the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea: “This is definitely a step in the right direction for me, and looking forward to progress in the World Cup Circuit and coming back in four years and winning a medal here.”

Mountain Edition - February 20th, 2014

Feb 20, 2014

The Thompson Divide prompted conflicting statements by environmental groups and Garfield County this week. Avalanche danger has been sketchy lately because of certain unusual factors.  And if a snow slide happens inside a ski area, turns out the resort isn’t to blame. A Basalt advisor wins an award for her work with female investors. We say goodbye to a member of the Aspen Public Radio family, lost too soon.  And, we’ll wrap up our coverage of Aspen area athletes going to the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Mountain Edition - February 13th, 2014

Feb 13, 2014

A new report says there isn’t enough natural gas in the Thompson Divide to make it worth drilling. But the industry argues there aren’t enough facts to say if the leases would be a bust…

A new marijuana task force is meeting for the first time today. The goal is to monitor the effects of recreational pot on the Roaring Fork Valley.

The City of Aspen’s utility wants to run on 100-percent renewable energy and its enlisted the help of a government laboratory to help them get there. Aspen will inch closer to its renewable goal when it starts taking power from a new hydro plant in Ridgway later this month.

Local teenagers are getting a lesson on slam poetry. Two performance artists are visiting schools this week, teaching kids how to write and deliver “spoken word” poetry.

Finally, a Durango biathlete is competing in Sochi tomorrow. Her story is a unique one - she owes her Olympic bid to her twin sister.

Mountain Edition - January 30th, 2014

Jan 30, 2014

With just eight days until the Olympics start in Sochi...the Aspen community sends off four local athletes who will compete.

Health care prices in the Valley have been rising for years. Now, a handful of local employers are trying to improve worker’s health--and bring down costs.

Basalt’s setting a path for its future...in a non-traditional way. It’s using a method called “crowd-sourcing” to gather input on urban planning.

A new group in Aspen wants to make it easier for young people to stay in Aspen. City council approved the Next Generation Advisory Commission this week.

And, as Colorado’s population grows, the state’s water supply can’t keep up. A Basalt organization is involved in a statewide water plan.

Terrain parks are ubiquitous at ski resorts around the country. Now, there’s an effort to make them safer.

Finally, Aspen’s Torin Yater-Wallace is heading to the Olympics. The freeskier is recovering from injuries...but, says he’s ready to compete.

Mountain Edition - January 23rd, 2014

Jan 23, 2014

The X Games are in full swing, with eye popping jumps and bright lights. And, it’ll be on the calendar for five more years, thanks to a new agreement.

Hometown favorite Gretchen Bleiler is competing in this week’s event-- her last X Games before she retires.

Aspen Police say a so-called skimming device was discovered at a local ATM. We’ll find out what that means for locals.

Cell service can be a real pain in Snowmass Village. But improving coverage can be tricky.

We’ll hear how a state senator hopes to expand broadband internet in the Valley….

Whether there’s more snow coming any time soon…

And the long view from a decorated athlete... about his experience at the Olympics.

Mountain Edition - January 16th, 2014

Jan 16, 2014

The first purchases of recreational marijuana in the Roaring Fork Valley happened this week. People lined up outside the Doctor’s Garden in Carbondale on Wednesday.

While weed becomes legal for adults 21 and older, parents are worried about the effects retail pot might have on teenagers, if it gets into their hands.

A trial in Aspen this week leads to an acquittal for a brew pub in Aspen. The Aspen Brewing Company was cited for noise violations.

Rainbow flags along Aspen’s streets mark Gay Ski Week in Aspen. This year, there are more participants than ever before. And, a group ceremony for civil unions will wrap up festivities.

As ski equipment improves and people are skiing faster, ski resorts are working harder to educate people. Aspen-Snowmass is focusing on ski safety.

Finally, the U-S cross country team is doing well this season. And, some think there’s a chance the team could medal. That hasn’t happened for more than 30 years.

Mountain Edition - January 2nd, 2014

Jan 2, 2014

Colorado made history this week when retail marijuana stores around the state opened for business. People traveled across the country to stand in line at several Denver-area businesses.

Here in the Roaring Fork Valley, retail pot shops will open later this year. In the meantime, law enforcement is getting ready.

Aspen resident and Nordic skier Simi Hamilton also made history-- but in a totally different field. He’s the first American male to win a World Cup stage race. The win gets him closer to the Olympics.

Paying for health insurance is really expensive in the Roaring Fork Valley compared to most other places in Colorado. Now, Governor Hickenlooper says he may get involved in lowering premiums.

Garfield County believes the state did a bad job setting up the prices for those premiums. But some experts say insurance officials didn’t break the rules. We’ll hear from one expert who’s asking why medical care is so high in the Valley and other resort communities.

Finally, sometimes the the road to Sochi is especially difficult. Ski racer Wiley Maple’s efforts were cut short after an old injury flared up.

Mountain Edition - December 12th, 2013

Dec 12, 2013

Seatbelts could have prevented some major injuries in a bus rollover that happened in October. That’s when A RFTA bus crashed near Carbondale.

The Pitkin County Jail is working on a set of policies for sexual assault. It’ll serve as a model for rural jails across Colorado.

Turns out, the higher you go in elevation...the bigger your brain gets. This brain swelling may be keeping high school athletes safer.

One of the largest citizen science efforts in the world kicks off on Sunday. The annual Christmas bird count includes volunteers in the Roaring Fork Valley.

And, Aspen’s Olympic history stretches way back. It begins when the first ski runs were being cut on Aspen Mountain...in the 1930’s. We’ll have more in the Road to Sochi.

Mountain Edition - November 21st, 2013

Nov 21, 2013

Federal agents on the Front Range today are raiding medical marijuana dispensaries and grow operations with the help of local authorities. We’ll have the latest.

A new method for handling criminals is ramping up in Pitkin County. Instead of incarceration, a new wellness program is being tried for people who fit the bill.

As the Greater Sage Grouse’s habitat disappears across the West, federal officials are deciding how strongly to protect some of its Colorado habitat. Local stakeholders are watching closely.

College students around the country are getting an inside glimpse into the social workings of the Roaring Fork Valley...through a book called “The Slums of Aspen.”

A Wall Street Journal reporter explores the early movers and shakers in developing fracking - one of them is a former Aspen resident.

Finally, the fastest distance Nordic skier in the U-S grew up in Aspen. We profile Noah Hoffman in the Road to Sochi series.

Mountain Edition - November 14th, 2013

Nov 14, 2013

Energy planners gathered in Carbondale this week to compare notes and strategize about funding.

The Town of Basalt approves a home for senior citizens. Now, there’s an effort underway to recruit residents.

Snowmass Village takes a stab at cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The town has some of the highest per capita in the nation.

An independent study finds the Roaring Fork Valley’s mass transit system means big savings for residents.

We find out whether Lance Armstrong had anything to do with death threats against the national agency to prevent doping.

We’ll wrap up with the latest from our Road to Sochi series. Olympic hopeful Meg Olenick aims to be one of the first compete in a sport new to the winter games.

Mountain Edition - November 7th, 2013

Nov 7, 2013

On Tuesday, most voters said “no” to big tax increases locally and statewide. A CSU political science professor says anti-tax activists are growing in their influence.

One measure that did pass taxes retail marijuana to raise money for schools. As pot becomes more available in the state, one youth non-profit is worried.

A warming climate is changing ecosystems in the Roaring Fork Valley and one local government is using open spaces to gather data on what’s happening.

A new art display at the Wyly Art Center in Basalt features the work of a self-taught painter.  Despite being silenced by Alzheimer’s, Winifred Wyman is speaking through paint.

Also today on the Road to Sochi, Aspen native Simi Hamilton works to make the 2014 winter Olympic team. The Nordic ski racer specializes in sprinting.

That’s coming up on Mountain Edition.

Mountain Edition - October 31st, 2013

Oct 31, 2013

A weekend RFTA bus rollover that injured 11 people is under investigation. We have the latest.

The fire district that serves Carbondale is asking voters for a tax increase. The chief says it’s needed to fight increasingly intense fires. Opponents say it costs too much.

Snowmass Village voters have a different tax question. It would pay for improvements to aging infrastructure like leaks and cracks in sewer pipes.

A Mid-Valley non-profit is concerned about the health of the Fryingpan River. Flows were down over the summer… thanks to the drought last winter... and a study will determine how that affected fish.

The Aspen Skiing Company is recognized with an award for commitment to the arts. Aspen Public Radio’s Roger Adams talks to the Ski-Co’s Managing Partners, Jim and Paula Crown.

Finally, an Aspen ski jumper is hoping to make the Olympic team in the Nordic combined. We profile Michael Ward in the latest Road to Sochi segment.

Mountain Edition - October 17th, 2013

Oct 17, 2013

Businesses currently selling medical marijuana will be allowed to sell recreational pot on January 1st, if they’re willing to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for a license. Dispensary owners say the added business would be a boon.

The story of Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace continues to unfold. In a new book, two Wall Street Journal reporters explore the financial underpinnings of how and why the cyclist cheated.

A coal mine over the mountains near Paonia recently laid off many of its employees. The layoffs and that could hurt local communities.

And, we’ll examine at coal mining across the country and look into the challenges the industry’s currently facing.

Finally, we introduce you to a young female snowboarder looking to make the Olympic team in a new event - snowboard slopestyle.

Mountain Edition - October 10th, 2013

Oct 10, 2013

The government shutdown trudges on but Pitkin County is working to alleviate the pain by increasing access to a local attraction on federal land.

A proposal for funding public education has been called historic by Colorado’s governor. But, the ballot measure could stretch wallets.

The Aspen Skiing Company hopes to catch the eye of up and coming skiers from certain Asian countries.

And, changes may be in store if the USA Pro Challenge bike race returns to the upper Roaring Fork Valley next year. We talk with an economist who says big sporting events may not mean more money for the towns hosting them.

Finally, we get an update on local athletes training for the upcoming Winter Olympics in Russia.

John Ohail/oakley.com

As the Winter Olympics inch closer, we’re continuing to highlight the Aspen-area athletes who are training for the Games. Ski racer and Aspen native Wiley Maple is a speed demon. Last year, he was clocked going 95 miles per hour down a snowy course. But, Maple is more than just a skier, he loves art. During slow times at competitions, you can find him sketching to pass the time. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

Oliver Kraus/USSA

Our series continues this week with a look at how winter athletes are chosen for the U.S. Olympic team. The competition is fierce. Athletes who train together often become competitors. There’s a set of guidelines athletes must meet to grab one of a handful of open spots in each event, whether it’s cross-country team sprint, snowboard half-pipe or alpine super-G. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen talked to Tom Kelly with the United States Ski and Snowboard Association, or USSA, about the process.