City Council to study anti-war resolution
ASPEN – Crested Butte’s Town Council has already
adopted a resolution urging peace, not war, setting off a spirited
discussion of several weeks in the letters forum of the Crested
Butte News. Now, the Aspen City Council has agreed to at least
talk about such a resolution.
That agreement came after five former council members from
1989 appeared before the 2002 council with a proposed seven-point
resolution that, among other things, urges national leaders
to “use the power of this nation not to wage war with
Iraq but to pursue a peaceful alternative.” Only one current
member of the City Council, Tony Hershey, rejected considering
the resolution, reports The Aspen Times (Nov. 26)
The five former council members were former Mayor Bill Stirling
and council members Bill Tuite, Frank Peters, Michael Grassman
and Steve Crocket. They had governed Aspen during the time the
town had considered a ban on furs.
Aspen Skiing Co. to run gondola on wind power
ASPEN – Take away the storied background and the new
crop of mansions, and Aspen is laid out much like any town in
the Midwest, and some of its power will be coming from the Midwest
as well. The municipal government, which delivers power to the
town, has gone in as a partner on a new coal-fired power plant
in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Currently, according to The Aspen Times (Nov. 19), 54 percent
of Aspen’s energy comes from renewable resources, primarily
hydroelectric but now including 5 percent from wind power generated
at Kimball, Neb. The city would like an even higher percentage,
but there isn’t enough to purchase at the moment. The
contract signed by the city will allow it to choose to buy renewable
energy for all its energy needs at some point and not use any
Meanwhile, up on the mountain, the Aspen Skiing Co. completed
a deal to buy enough wind power to run the gondola this winter.
The power is so highly leveraged it almost squeaks. In addition
to Skico’s $25,000, an advocacy group called CORE (Community
Office for Resource Efficiency) chipped in $10,000, and two
local electrical utilities also contributed. Yet another partner
is ESPN with its X Games, a variety of snow-based hair-raising
events that appeal to the younger generations’ sense of
Auden Schendler, Aspen’s director of environmental affairs,
said the benefits of wind power will be promoted at every opportunity,
from the World Cup races to the X Games. Part of the message
will be the trend of global warming and the cause of greenhouse
This latest move means that 6 percent of the Aspen Skiing Co.’s
electricity comes from wind turbines. That boosts Aspen considerably
over Vail, believed to be second highest in the wind-power sweepstakes
among ski area operators.
OSHA investigating death of Keystone snowmaker
KEYSTONE – Federal safety investigators were looking
into the death of a 28-year-old snowmaker, Ben Bornstein, to
see if federal regulations regarding enclosed spaces had been
violated. The man was found in a five-foot-deep snowmaking shelter
that contains valves for air and water pipes. The Summit County
coroner ruled he had died by drowning, reports the Summit Daily
News (Nov. 27).
Park City looking to make splash with whitewater
PARK CITY, UTAH – Supporters of a whitewater park are
trying to gain support for a study into its feasibility. They
say it would make Park City more competitive with mountain resorts
that have whitewater rivers nearby.
One park being discussed would cost $800,000 to $1.8 million.
Another idea, a self-contained park, would cost $5 million.
However, before much else happens, supporters believe they need
a $5,000 study. They tried, but failed, to get support for that
study by the city’s recreation advisory board, reports
The Park Record (Nov. 23-26).
Whistler house outfitted with mattresses for
WHISTLER, B.C. – Firefighters recently dispatched to
a house in Whistler found enough mattresses to accommodate 70
people. The attic alone had 24 beds, separated by bits of clothing
hanging as curtains. Individual rooms had seven to 10 mattresses.
There was evidence of 10 renters at the home, but they will
be forced to leave because of concerns about fire safety. There
were zoning violations as well. Pique newsmagazine turned up
evidence of rent of $538 per person based on double occupancy,
or $680 per person for a single bed.
The Whistler Question (Nov. 28-Dec. 4) traced the situation
to Whistler’s tight housing market. Up to 20 people a
day checked for rentals at the Whistler Housing Authority, which
had only one.
Another dormitory-style house also was reported, with nine
boys in one room and nine girls in another room, each being
charged $550 each.
Prostitute extorts $55,000 from Steamboat banker
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – A banker from Steamboat Springs went
to Washington, D.C., on business, and while there, hired an
escort to spend three nights with him at $1,000 a night.
At home again, he began getting phone calls from her. The 36-year-old
woman, described as dark-haired and buxom, threatened to tell
his wife if he didn’t send her money. He complied, sending
her $55,000 in three installments, reports the Rocky Mountain
News (Nov. 26). Still, she wanted more.
At last, the banker went to police. Following their instructions,
he stalled in order to record her threats. For reasons that
are unclear, the prostitute made good on her threat and called
the banker’s wife. Finally, though, he agreed to give
her money. When she went to the appointed place in suburban
Washington, D.C., however, she was arrested by FBI agents. Married
to a retired electrician, her side of the story is that the
banker was investing in her hair and beauty salon. That, at
least, is the story she told a federal court judge in Denver.
Vail opens Blue Sky Basin expansion area early
VAIL – When Vail Resorts began promoting expansion onto
Battle Mountain a decade ago, the company’s most prominent
argument was that the north-facing bowls would give Vail early-
and late-season skiing.
Now called Blue Sky Basin, the expansion area has been open
for four seasons, and for the first time it was opened this
year by Thanksgiving. The last two winters, both slow-starting
affairs, presumably the types the expansion area was supposed
to protect again, Blue Sky didn’t open until Christmas
or later. This year was described as among the snowiest Novembers
Why has Blue Sky been opened so late? Part of the problem was
that after the expansion was proposed, the ski area operator
agreed to leave more debris along the trails as habitat for
wildlife. But environmental activists said from the outset the
expansion was all about marketing, being able to boast more
If the environmentalists were correct, as the evidence overwhelmingly
indicates, Blue Sky Basin is a big winner. Despite the fact
that it takes half a morning for many skiers to get there, they
do go. The expansion has taken much of the traffic off the front
side of Vail Mountain.
A sense of remoteness partly explains Blue Sky’s success,
while the terrain itself is another part. There are cornices
for experts, cruises for intermediates. One skier from Denver
summarized opening day at Blue Sky in his quote to the Vail
Daily (Nov. 26). “We’ve had worse days heli-skiing,”