News in Brief |

News in Brief

Copter inspecting power linesThe unmarked helicopter passing low over the upper Roaring Fork Valley on Wednesday was neither dropping emergency supplies to stranded tourists nor on the lookout for terrorists threatening to attack Aspen’s celebrities.Local residents can expect to see a helicopter swooping for the next day or two as the Holy Cross Energy electric cooperative inspects its overhead power lines.The inspection flights began Wednesday morning, when the chopper flew low and slow over Aspen and the upper valley. It is should continue until it covers the entire valley, possibly through the end of the week, according to a Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher.Calls to Holy Cross were not returned.Mailboxes go boomASPEN Two mailboxes have exploded in Aspen in the last few days, according to police.Police believe the explosive might be something like an M-80 or an improvised device rather than simple heavy-duty fireworks. Both explosions destroyed mail, making the acts a federal offense. Police said the Postal Inspection Service knows about the crimes and will be involved in the investigation. Further, the crime is an act of arson, a felony that carries possible jail time. Detective Eric Ross asked people with information to contact him at (970) 429-1823. Skico joining green networkASPEN A network that makes companies accountable for environmental and social impacts, and helps them address their contribution to issues like global warming, has welcomed the Aspen Skiing Co. into its ranks.A coalition of investors, environmental groups and other public interest organizations called Ceres announced it approved the Skico to join last month. The Skico joins more than 70 companies, including 18 Fortune 500 firms, in the network.Companies that join Ceres are subject to a thorough investigation by the nonprofit. The companies must commit to engage with shareholders and other stakeholders on sustainability issues, to report publicly on sustainability performance and to make additional improvements.They must also sign on to the Ceres Principles, a code of corporate responsibility established after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989.While announcing its affiliation with Ceres, the Skico also said it has received three awards for environmental causes. Those awards are: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy gave the Skico a 2006 Green Power Partners of the Year award for its leadership role in the ski industry for promoting the purchase of green power. The Skico announced in March that it would purchase wind energy equal to 100 percent of the emissions from electricity use. Some 20 ski resorts have followed its lead. Lonely Planet gave the Skico its First Choice Responsible Tourism Award as Best Destination. It recognizes entities for managing tourism well for the long-term benefit of tourists, conservation and local residents. Conde Nast Traveler selected the Skico as one of 12 global organizations or locations for its 2006 Greenlist.Vail OKs golf course windmillsVAIL The Vail Town Council approved the money Tuesday to install 2,700 glowing windmills on the Vail Golf Course later this winter.Lights inside the windmills, made of 8-foot-tall plastic posts, will light up when the wind spins the turbines. The project was conceived by Denver artist Patrick Marold.The art installation will cost $94,500. The money comes from the towns Art in Public Places budget, which in turn comes from the towns real estate transfer tax.The windmills will be installed March 16 near the 16th green of the golf course and will remain there until Earth Day, April 22.The council approved the expenditure by a vote of 5-1. Farrow Hitt voted against the project, objecting to this use of the real estate transfer tax fund. (Vail Daily)