| AspenTimes.com

Mother-daughter to discuss life in Aussie outback

Aspen Real Life resumes its speaker series on Thursday with a mother-daughter conversation about Janie-Joseland Bennett's childhood on a cattle station in the Australian outback.

Bennett and her daughter Eleanor will be sharing stories from their monthlong journey traveling back in time to record Eleanor's upcoming podcast, "The Questions I Never Asked" — a biography on her mother's childhood on a cattle station situated alongside the Pitjantjatjara Aboriginal community in the remote Australian outback.

Eleanor is a freelance podcast producer and broadcast journalist covering issues of climate justice and women's empowerment.

The event starts at 4 p.m. at the Caribou Club. For more information, go to aspenreallife.com.

Women’s ski and march set for Saturday in Aspen

The third annual Women's Ski and March for Decency and Truth is set for Saturday morning at Aspen Mountain and Paepcke Park.

The Aspen event, which is hosted by the Pitkin County Democrats, coincides with women's events going on around the country.

For the past two years in Aspen, hundreds of people have gathered to ski and march.

Those interested in skiing first should meet at the gondola plaza at 10:30 a.m. Saturday to ski Aspen Mountain. After the descent, the group will leave the plaza at 11:45 a.m. to go to Paepcke Park on Main Street.

From noon until 1 p.m. there will be assorted speakers at the park. A march through Aspen is planned after the speakers finish.

Snowmass Village sales tax rebates available

Snowmass Village residents who lived within town limits for all of 2018 are eligible for a $50 sales tax refund. This rebate is intended to reimburse residents for sales taxes collected by the Town throughout the year.

Residents must prove full-time residency in Snowmass Village for the entire year of application.

If one is registered to vote in Snowmass Village, no further proof of residency is required. Those who are not registered to vote must provide a driver's license with a Snowmass Village address or a lease agreement with a Snowmass Village address.

The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. Friday, March 17.

The town asks that residents allow five to 10 business days for an application to be reviewed and approved. Applicants will be notified via email upon approval. The rebate check will be sent to the mailing address provided in the application within 30 days of approval.

To complete an online application or for more information, visit http://www.tosv.com.

History: Smoke show at S’mass

"Running these gates is a laid-back Challenge" read a headline in The Aspen Times on Jan. 12, 1984. "The Marlboro challenge offers something new in the way of ski racing. It's 50 cents a run, pay as you go, electronically timed, head-to-head racing on a relatively easy course. With no prizes, no teams, no leagues and no posted results, it can be the easiest, most relaxed way to run gates. In short, no pressure. But, on the other hand, there are other kinds of pressures. 'Come on,' says a guy to his female companion, 'you have to try it. I need someone to race against.' 'No way,' she says, 'I'll ski down and watch from the bottom.' 'Let's race,' says another man. 'No thanks,' says his companion. 'Our relationship is doing just fine without that.' And once the race is run, and the two times are flashed on the electronic scoreboard at the bottom of the course, it's time for a different sort of exchange. 'You had the faster course,' protests one loser. 'I beat you by five whole seconds,' replies the faster skier. 'Let's go do it again.' Retorts the loser, 'this time I know I can beat you.' All in all, definitely a good time. Now all they need is a rope tow to get you right back to the top of the hill for another try. You'll find the Challenge courses on Rip's Run on Aspen Mountain and on Log Deck at Snowmass."

Marolt: Life’s been good to us so far

We have it good here in The Village. Our wars are waged over which is better, skiing or snowboarding. The biggest thing we have to defend is Snowmass' reputation as the best ski area in the world. The greatest disaster in our history is Base Village or Village Market getting replaced by Clark's; take your pick.

We have no traffic. There is little crime. The shuttle bus comes practically to your home when you call for a ride.

If the bartender doesn't know you at your favorite restaurant, it's probably because you don't drink, and the lack of recognition at the bar is more than made up for by the waitstaff. The people at the post office get letters with the wrong address written on them to the right people, eventually. The guys at the gas station like to talk about cars. The local police wave with two fingers as they drive by on our clean streets.

A big fear of parents is that their kids won't be able to afford to live here when they head out on their own. But, the angst over this is only because they have forgotten to be grateful we live in a place so desirable that the kids want to move back in the first place. What a luxury it is to find it hard to return because you think you can't afford it than, like in many other places, kids don't return because they can't stand it. Where there is a will there is a way, but where there is no desire there is no chance.

We have four comfortable seasons to look forward to; none too long, none too short. We only complain, "it's too hot" or "it's too cold" when we need to make small talk or when we have trouble sleeping because we forgot and ordered the coffee flavored ice cream for dessert. We get rain, snow and sunshine in soul-soothing doses. The earth beneath our feet is stable. The wind does blow in earnest from time to time, but usually only up high where it produces magnificent plumes of snow streaming impressively from the tops of the peaks or whips the clouds into formations interesting enough to inspire local poets. I remember a few limbs breaking loose and dropping on cars and once, when I was a boy, our neighbor's fence blew down, but, again, these are mostly bits of excitement to talk about and can usually be fixed by the inconvenience of meeting your insurance deductible.

The howling of wild coyotes is a romantic tune. Our snakes aren't poisonous. We don't have to carry guns and look over our shoulders walking through the wilderness. When you don't presently have one, even the local mosquito bites don't seem to itch too badly.

We go to the gym, not because it is the only means available to get into shape, but because we usually know a lot of people there and it's a good place to catch up and find out what's going on around town. For serious training we have miles and miles of perfectly engineered and constructed trails through the woods and into the mountains to follow along on our bikes or in running shoes at a full effort. For active recovery days we hike those same trails to take a look at what we missed when we went through previously with our heads down. When we feel like showing off, there's always skiing and snowboarding. The prevailing attitude is that athletic attire can be acceptably worn for almost any event or occasion, even for working out in.

Politics is easy. A cut from the municipal budget is as rare as a partisan argument in a Town Council meeting. We debate which projects to spend our surpluses on. We don't elect candidates, just friends and neighbors. A letter to the editor is as effective as speaking up at a public meeting so that shy and humble people can have their say. It is not considered a waste of time to pass an ordinance for which there is no other purpose but to let longtime locals know that their contributions to the community are appreciated.

Like I said before, because life is so tranquil that locals have acquired the habit of repeating themselves often for lack of more urgent things to discuss, life is very good in The Village. I hope this blessing makes us kinder. I hope it makes us more patient. I hope it inspires us to take the offseasons seriously and figure out ways to share our good fortune far and wide.

Roger Marolt is proud to be a Village People. roger@maroltllp.com

Briefs Jan. 15: Aspen boys, girls basketball sweeps Vail Mountain

Aspen boys and girls sweep through Vail Mountain School

The Aspen High School boys and girls basketball teams swept through host Vail Mountain School on Tuesday night.

The AHS boys won 65-42 for their second straight victory. The Skiers jumped out to a 24-9 lead after the first quarter and held on from there. AHS had four different players finish in double figures, led by the 18 of Noah Hollander. Aspen improved to 4-6 overall.

The AHS girls won 43-9 to improve to 3-5 overall. This is the first time the AHS girls basketball team has won more than two games in a single season since going 10-12 overall during the 2011-12 season, according to MaxPreps.

Both the Aspen boys and girls will next host Gunnison on Friday night in their league openers.

Also Friday, the AHS girls swim team is scheduled to host Summit in a home dual. The swimmers are only a few weeks away from the conference championships and then it's on to state.

On Saturday, the AHS hockey team will host Resurrection Christian at 6 p.m. inside the Aspen Ice Garden.

Basalt High boys, girls basketball teams lose on the road at Vail Christian

The Basalt High School boys basketball team played Tuesday night at Vail Christian, falling 64-42. The loss dropped the Longhorns to 2-9 overall.

The Basalt girls basketball team dropped a 55-34 decision at Vail Christian on Tuesday. BHS fell to 1-10 overall on the season.

BHS will host Gunnison on Saturday.

Colorado Mountain College in Leadville to host Colorado Cup races on Jan. 26

This year's Colorado Cup races at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville will feature a 6.4-kilometer skate ski race, an 8K fat-tire bike race and 5K, 10K, sprint and medley snowshoe races.

This year's competitions are scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 26, at CMC's Leadville campus. Competitors from beginner to expert level are welcome to participate in each racing discipline.

The Colorado Cup races will start at 8 a.m. and will continue through noon. Entry fees for each competition range from $20 to $40. Interested participants can register online at RunningClub.coloradomtn.edu.

All proceeds will benefit the Colorado Mountain College Competition Club, which supports the school's running club. The running club is the official host of this year's Colorado Cup races.

The 5K snowshoe race will again determine the Colorado High School Snowshoe State Championship, as it has since 2010. Last year, Summit High racer Jeremiah Vaille won the competition. Snowshoe racers will compete on the trail system surrounding CMC's Leadville campus.

— Antonio Olivero, Summit Daily


Chem trails aren’t a conspiracy

It's 8:41 on Thursday morning. There are three chemtrails, now acknowledged as solar radiation management or geoengineering, stretching from east to west. They are growing wider, joining and forming a thin overcast. There are only three, while multiple jets with normal contrails buzz to and fro. Once again, deep blue Colorado sky morphed into gray haze.

Since global warming is perceived by many as an imminent threat to civilization, it is dangerously naive to believe governments and those who control governments are going to sit back and simply let it all play out. Let's not forget the military. Some genius realized that whoever controls the weather controls the battlefield. A battlefield they insist is worldwide.

Research deeper than Wikipedia (Chemtrails are a conspiracy theory!) or the MSM (Chemtrails are a conspiracy theory!) reveals ample evidence that particles of metals which reflect sunlight have been injected into our atmosphere for decades in an attempt to control global warming and weather systems. The effects of spraying massive amounts of aluminum into our environment are becoming too apparent to ignore.

The Northwest is the epicenter of both spraying and awareness of spraying. Aluminum and barium in the soil have dramatically increased way past acceptable levels and folks are catching on. There are whistleblowers, experts, obviously polluted skies, soil samples, sick people, dying plants, raging fires (tiny particles of aluminum are combustible, firefighters have never experienced such intensity) and very concerned citizens pleading to be heard all over the internet.

Meanwhile, Alzheimer's disease which is linked to an accumulation of aluminum in the brain, also has increased dramatically, with no officially recognized cause.

Will Kesler


Colbert’s Prep Playbook: Remember that Michael Glen kid from BHS?

The high school basketball season here in the Roaring Fork Valley is, well, in development. In all fairness to the Roaring Fork girls, who are a solid 7-4 overall, it's been a rough go for area teams.

So, before we hop into this week's slate of games, I wanted to point out some good basketball news. Remember that Michael Glen kid, who graduated from Basalt a few years ago? Remember when he led the Longhorns to the state quarterfinals his senior year in 2017 and finished his career with 1,390 points, 694 rebounds and 169 blocked shots?

Do you remember when Glen signed with the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, an NCAA Division II school playing out of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference? Remember how he was named the RMAC freshman of the year?

Well, he's having a pretty solid sophomore season, as well. The Orediggers limped out to a 1-3 start this winter, but have won 11 straight to reach 12-3 overall. They are a perfect 9-0 in RMAC play and have a two-game lead in the conference.

Glen, who is listed as a 6-foot-7, 200-pound forward, has started all 15 games for the Mines. He started 30 of 31 games as a freshman. As a sophomore, he is averaging 10.4 points per game, which is fifth-best on the team. He leads the Orediggers with 6.5 rebounds per game and is tied for second on the team with 18 blocked shots.

If you find yourself on the Front Range soon, might be worth checking him out in person. The Orediggers next play Friday at home against the South Dakota Mines. They also host Black Hills State on Saturday. The postseason gets rolling in early March.

His younger sister, Taylor Glen, is a junior at Basalt and a pretty solid basketball player herself. Although, soccer might be her best sport.


Both Aspen and Basalt teams are back in action Tuesday. BHS heads to Vail Christian, with both boys and girls teams really needing a win. AHS will be at Vail Mountain. The Aspen boys (3-6 overall) have to be feeling a little better after routing Cedaredge 57-40 on Friday in what has to be their best win of the season. Maybe they have turned a corner?

Both Aspen teams will then host Gunnison on Friday night. Basalt hosts Gunnison on Saturday.

The other home game this week involves Aspen hockey. The Skiers will host Resurrection Christian on Saturday night at the Aspen Ice Garden. That game now is at 6 p.m. It will be the final home game of the regular season for AHS, as its final six are on the road.

The AHS girls swim team will host Summit in a meet on Friday afternoon. The swim season is fast approaching its conclusion with conference and state championships coming up in early February.

Aspen hockey, currently 5-4-2 overall, is coming off a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to a ranked Fort Collins team. AHS does lead the Peak Conference by a couple of points over Crested Butte, however. Those teams will play each other on back-to-back days (Feb. 8-9) in Gunnison.

If you want some more local action this week, you can always check out the Wilder Dwight Classic speed races (skiing) at Aspen Highlands beginning Friday, or there is the Aspen Ice Spectacular on Saturday (2 and 5 p.m. shows) at Lewis Ice Arena, featuring a few Olympic figure skaters, including Aspen's own Jeremy Abbott.


Colorado law enforcement officials, citizens join forces at Rifle summit to combat human trafficking

Western Slope resident Angela Roe Clark is and always will be a survivor of human trafficking.

Her experience with the crime began when she was just 5 years old. She was trafficked and abused by her grandfather in rural Iowa.

“Familial trafficking is the biggest piece of the pie,” said Clark, who spoke about her healing and recovery at the 2019 Western Slope Human Trafficking Summit Friday in Rifle.

Clark said she began remembering the repressed memories eight years ago, and, after much personal exploration, she began working to educate and inspire other survivors of human trafficking.

She is now certified with the national survivor network and hopes to bring awareness to the crime.

“It’s in rural America just as much as it is in the cities,” Clark said. “Wherever there is poverty you will find trafficking.”

With thousands of cars driving through every week on one of the busiest interstate highways in the country, Garfield County residents may have had one of the least traceable and most harmful crimes go past them on any given day without ever knowing.

The crime usually involves selling people, often children, for slave labor and sex.

The Friday summit, held at Colorado Mountain College-Rifle, allowed local and statewide law enforcement officials and members of the public to come together to try to combat and learn more about a crime that occurs in every state across the country.

“It’s not a crime that stops at state lines,” Lara Mullin, senior deputy district attorney with the Denver District Attorney’s Office, said at the symposium.

She spoke to how critical these types of symposiums are to help police and the general public better understand how the crime works. Collaboration is the only way to handle these types of cases successfully, she said.

“These are hard cases. (They are) complex, and require a lot of investigation,” Mullin added. “It is critical for sheriffs, city law enforcement and federal law enforcement officials to share sources and resources.”

Rifle City Prosecutor Angela Roff said she wanted to have Friday’s summit in Rifle to provide training for local law enforcement and basic education to identify and help victims.

“It’s the same laws we are all trying to enforce,” she added.

The summit included roundtable discussions with prosecutors from across the state, presentations on the resources available for prevention and prosecution, and personal stories from victim advocates and human trafficking survivors.

Rifle Police Chief Tommy Klein said that five officers from his department attended the summit — about 20 percent of the department’s sworn force. He added how impressed he was with the amount of help out there for people who are victims of human trafficking.

“These types of classes are important because it teaches officers what to look for,” Klein said.

“As a prosecutor, I have seen situations where red flags have been raised,” Roff explained.

While the Western Slope may not be the first place people think of when it comes to human trafficking, it can happen anywhere, she added.

Marketa Zubkova, who works as a community advocate for the Hispanic Affairs Project, helps connect immigrant communities with the resources and support available to them, including immigrants who have been subject to human trafficking for labor.

In situations she’s seen, immigrant communities have been used for labor on the Western Slope. She tries to connect them to the proper resources.

The individuals most vulnerable for exploitation are not likely to dial 911, according to Mullin. She encouraged summit attendees that, if they see something that doesn’t look right, to say something.

The National Human Trafficking Hotline is 888-373-8888.

Guest commentary: Solution to our country’s environmental challenges is ecological literacy

In this unique time, our federal leadership is taking no action to address climate change, is dramatically reducing environmental regulations that protect our air, water and food, and believes that the use of more fossil fuels is the solution to energy independence.

Personal politics aside, this direction reflects a lack of basic ecological literacy: no connection with nature (usually occurring in elementary school), no understanding of human dependence on ecosystem services (concepts learned in middle school), and no knowledge of even rudimentary environmental economics — where, in this case, short term economic gains will be offset by longer term external human health and mitigation costs (principles explored in high school and college).

At the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, we believe it doesn't matter whether you are liberal or conservative, Republican or Democrat, Muslim or Christian, American or foreigner, black or white. Being ecologically literate transcends these labels and leads you to the understanding that in a world of 7.5 billion people (and growing), we all must be conservationists.

The vast majority of conservationists don't even self-identify as such. But, if you would rather that bulldozers not raze the woods, desert or beach you love, then you might be a conservationist. If you like the idea that some places should be truly wild and free, then you might be a conservationist.

And, if you want clean air, clean water, clean food, a stable climate for you and your children — these transcend our differences and our politics — then you are a conservationist.

Ecological literacy has never been more important in our country's history. ACES works each day to teach and inspire citizens, students, policymakers, land managers and tourists to integrate environmental science and ecological literacy into the fabric of their daily lives.

This year, ACES is celebrating its 50th anniversary of "educating for environmental responsibility" as our founder, Elizabeth Paepcke, so presciently said decades ago.

ACES has come a long way in 50 years. In the past year alone, ACES taught life, earth and environmental sciences every day in regional schools to a total of 5,500 students, providing more than 2,700 in-school classes and 420 outdoor field programs. ACES partnered with 56 schools to help them meet state science standards and connect thousands of youth to the natural world.

At Rock Bottom Ranch, our "regenerative agriculture" techniques are used to educate both youths and adults how to grow food sustainably, highlighting replicable models of sustainable, low carbon-footprint agriculture while providing local, healthy food for regional residents.

ACES' forest division has forged groundbreaking new science on forest health through our Forest Health Index, State of the Forest Report, and our one-of-a-kind Forest Forecast model, showing where tree species will exist in the future given varying climate change scenarios.

ACES continues to protect and restore habitats in our region. Through the Hunter-Smuggler Cooperative Plan, we are helping restore local forests and enhance wildlife habitat in portions of the 4,860-acre planning area.

Through our lectures and events, we convene eco-luminaries from around the world and continue to incubate community leaders and promote civic engagement.

For the past 50 years, ACES has aimed to create an environmentally literate citizenry requisite for societal well-being. It is our hope that for the next 50 years ACES can continue to act as an integral part of Aspen's "environmental conscience," safeguarding the reason above all else why most of us choose to live here — the natural world.

At this crucial moment in our country's history, I want you to be aware of your own power — and shared responsibility — to determine the future of this planet.

I ask you to transcend the political fray, get involved, and join us in our work to educate for environmental responsibility.

Chris Lane has been the CEO of the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies since 2012.