News in Brief | AspenTimes.com

News in Brief

The publisher and editor of The Aspen Times want to know what you think. How is our news coverage? Are we missing anything? What would you like to see in the paper?At 3 p.m. Monday at Explore Booksellers & Bistro, Publisher Jenna Weatherred and Editor Bob Ward invite the public to enjoy a cup of coffee and talk about The Aspen Times and its role in the community.This will be the first of three informal gatherings during the fall offseason, so there will be other opportunities for those who can’t make it this time. The Times will run announcements and advertisements about each of the meetings.

COLORADO SPRINGS (AP) – President Bush, projecting a take-charge role on Hurricane Rita, toured the high-tech hub of federal response efforts and said Saturday he was pleased by the government’s preparations.Nearly six hours after Rita made landfall, Bush tracked the hurricane’s assault on the Texas-Louisiana border from the situation room at the U.S. Northern Command headquarters in the Rocky Mountain foothills, more than 1,000 miles away.Surrounded by plasma screens and slide projections, Bush got a detailed briefing on the federal plan to deal with the possibility of heavy flooding in eastern Texas and western Louisiana, additional spills from levees in and around New Orleans, and disruptions to U.S. energy supplies.”We’re in good shape,” Navy Capt. Brad Johanson, director of Northern Command’s joint operations center, told Bush after outlining the military personnel and equipment hurrying in to help.Following the hourlong briefing, the president said: “It comforts me knowing that our federal government is well-organized and well-prepared to deal with Rita.”Bush planned stops later Saturday in Austin, Texas, to visit the state’s emergency operations center, and in San Antonio, where many federal supplies and personnel were being staged. His schedule was not immediately disclosed.The scurrying to set up photo opportunities for the president showed the White House in crisis-management mode.With his approval ratings lower than ever, Bush has suffered from the perception that both he and his administration responded too slowly to Hurricane Katrina. That storm devastated the Mississippi coast and southeastern Louisiana nearly a month ago.

BROOMFIELD (AP) – Hundreds of scientists from around the world will gather next week to discuss the atmosphere’s growing accumulation of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas produced by everything from plant decomposition to coal-burning power plants.”You’re going to see some of the best researchers and thinkers in this area coming together,” University of Colorado professor James White said of the International Carbon Dioxide Conference.The conference has been held every four years since 1981, when about 40 scientists attended. This year, about 400 are expected when the conference convenes in Broomfield.It is the first time the conference has been held in the United States, and it comes at a time of growing public awareness about carbon dioxide, said Britton Stephens, a scientist at the Boulder-based National Center for Atmospheric Research.”It’s stuff the scientists have realized for a while, but it’s starting to grab everyone’s attention that things are changing,” said Stephens, who studies mountain forests’ absorption of carbon dioxide.