| AspenTimes.com

Young AVSC athletes given opportunity to be X Games forerunners

Tabatha Galicia is afraid to fall. It’s probably something the 14-year-old snowboarder from New Castle isn’t overly accustomed to, but considering the stage, it’s a valid fear. After all, it is X Games.

“It’s kind of stressful, because if you fall you know everyone is watching,” Galicia said before training Tuesday at Buttermilk. “I saw some fall yesterday. I’m still stressed out a little bit.”

She’s also incredibly excited for the opportunity. Galicia is one of the few forerunners at X Games Aspen this week, meaning she gets the opportunity to train with the women’s halfpipe snowboarding competitors when they do.

The Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club athlete also will be the first to drop into the pipe before Saturday’s finals as part of her forerunning duties.

“She is helping get the crowd stoked. She makes sure the cameramen and camerawomen know what they are doing and gets all the competitors super amped on her awesome snowboarding,” said Josh Ganz, Galicia’s AVSC coach. “She absolutely loves the halfpipe — that’s one of her favorite disciplines in snowboarding and she works really hard at it.”

There are a handful of young skiers and snowboarders at X Games this week who get to slip the courses — an effort to remove any of the small bumps and ruts that may impede the competitors — but only a small few get to be forerunners. Along with Galicia, 11-year-old Aspen freeskier Hunter Maytin will get to be a forerunner for the men’s halfpipe skiing competition, which includes local star and reigning X Games Aspen gold medalist Alex Ferreira.

“I’m a little nervous,” Maytin said. “It was great hanging out with everybody, getting to meet a bunch of new people.”

AVSC handpicked Maytin and Galicia for the honors this week as they demonstrated certain attributes, such as a passion for the sport, that it felt made them deserving of the role.

“With AVSC, we decide our forerunners based on age, ability and, even more importantly, if they demonstrate our core values: teamwork, integrity and commitment,” Ganz said, saying Galicia showed just that. “She is always trying to help out her teammates and stoke them up and offer suggestions when she can.”

Being a forerunner is a great opportunity for the young athletes. On top of it all, the extra practice sessions under the lights are a chance for them to experience all the glory of something like X Games.

“It’s extra training time, hanging out with the big guys and seeing how they approach it,” said Maytin’s AVSC coach, Greg Ruppel. “He is here to psyche up the crowd. Sometimes at the World Cup they use forerunners to kind of set a baseline, but here it’s just more to give a young kid an opportunity to come out and ski this venue and stoke up the crowd before the main guys get up there.”

The women’s snowboarding superpipe final with Galicia is scheduled for 8:45 p.m. Saturday, while the men’s skiing superpipe final is schedule for 7 p.m. Sunday with Maytin.


Crosstown Shuttle under-used in Aspen

To the honorable mayor and Aspen City Council,

Thank you for giving us an opportunity to present a request for extended crosstown bus service for the West End.

As you know, the Crosstown Shuttle runs only seasonally, during winter ski and summer music times. In the offseason, spring and fall, West End residents are on their own. All well and good. However, our reasonable request for extended hourly service seemed to be resisted by one member of the council because of their personal work situation.

I feel the comments were inappropriate. Our request for two hours of extended bus service is reasonable and affordable, given the fact that our property taxes more than pay for the city services rendered.

Jim Markalunas


Old powerhouse building in Aspen needs to cool it

Walking by the old powerhouse building that Liz (Chapman, environmental health specialist, city of Aspen) works in, I’ve noticed that second-story windows are open 24/7, all winter long. Talking to Liz today about what of waste of energy that is, she said it’s because if they are not open then it’s 80 degrees in the second floor. That’s a problem. Eighty-degree air is an asset in the winter and shouldn’t be dumped outside; after all, there is a climate emergency going on.

She mentioned numerous HVAC experts have been consulted and there doesn’t seem to be an answer. You need to move that hot air down to the cold first floor. You could cut a 1- or 2-foot diameter hole between the floors at the east end of the big room upstairs and install a vertical tube from near the ceiling of the second floor, have it go down to the floor on the ground floor and then install a fan in it. Then you could keep the second-floor windows closed all winter long. Mrs. Polar Bear would offer thanks if she could talk.

Tom Mooney


A chorus of dissent over Aspen Public Radio change

Much has been written already about the loss of local music programming on KAJX. I raise my voice in support of those who are lamenting the elimination of the unique in favor of the generic. Another significant blow to KAJX listeners comes with the cancellation of “Performance Today” — the premiere classical music program on public radio. Fred Child was a special friend to KAJX and many classical music devotees in Aspen.

The advent of 24/7 cable news and opinion programming has diminished the quality and variety of media offerings. It is a shame for KAJX to fall into the trap of dropping the programming that feeds the soul in favor of something that we already have too much of.

Richard Felder


So long, Aspen Public Radio

To the Aspen Public Radio board of directors and listening public,

I am writing to voice my disgust and sadness over the recent actions taken by the Aspen Public Radio executive director and any others responsible for the abrupt cancellation of all current music programs and the dismissal of all the hard-working, dedicated and talented volunteer hosts. This is in addition to the decision some time ago to change weekend programming to repeat so many programs, and to now add additional repeats during the week.

My husband and I have supported Aspen Public radio for 25 years, even before moving to the valley 20 years ago. Until a few months ago, we listened almost exclusively to the station, from morning to night. When the weekend duplication of programs began, we stopped listening to KAJX on weekends and began exploring both KDNK and Colorado Public Radio, as well as direct streaming of preferred programs. In our opinion, since the departure of Carolyne Heldman (who did an outstanding job), the station has continually gone down hill to the point where we will cease listening.

We are now “voting” with our hands — by turning our dial to those other public radio stations and sources, and with our checkbook — we have cancelled our KAJX Evergreen membership, and will direct our financial support to those stations that value local participation and diversity in programming.

We encourage other listeners who feel as we do, to do the same.

Marjorie MacDonald


Format change a blow to Aspen Public Radio community

I am very disturbed by the changes made by the radio staff at KAJX/KCJX to remove local music programming and replace it with syndicated talk programs such as “Fresh Air” and international news that you can stream elsewhere. The presenters of Jazz from Aspen (I am a regular listener of Stu’s and Jeannie’s programs) are an amazing group of volunteers and community members. I also was saddened when the Sunday morning “Pass the Mustard Bluegrass” was curtailed last year. I am happy it found a spot at KDNK.

BBC is on every night. “Fresh Air” is already programmed for early evenings and on weekends. To learn we are losing our music programming for more programming of Fresh Air makes no sense to me. There are other examples such as “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” weekly episodes that are repeated over the weekend.

I did intend to complete the 2019 radio listener survey. It focused too much on delivery formats and was going to take me an hour or more to complete. I don’t remember being asked to rank which programming I preferred. I was saddened when Krista Tibbet’s “On Being” program was removed. I wrote to the station expressing my disappointment and did get a reply but not a satisfactory response of why it was dropped.

Do we really have to accept this as the final decision? No, not if we decide to withhold contributions during 2020 fund raising. The soul of Aspen Public Radio is being ripped out and KAJX will soon become a very generic radio station on the path it is pursuing.

Thanks to Maddie Vincent of The Aspen Times for her in-depth reporting of this community loss.

Emily Miller

Glenwood Springs

Finished with KAJX

Unbelievable! After years of listening at night to the Jazz mix-ups, so much better than XM radio, it’s gone! That was my only reason for supporting KAJX. I did love the Roundup series, but that’s gone also. I’m canceling.

Stace Yater-Wallace


Aspen jet set needs its wings clipped

When one of my longtime friends who is on the airport update committee asked me what I thought should be done, I quickly replied, “Shorten the run-way!”

When I moved here Aspen was hard to get to. That was part of its charm. You had to want to get here. Interstate 70 had not yet been completed and you had to drive over two passes to get here. We have made it too easy.

The Supreme Court probably won’t agree with me, but I think any community should be able to decide for itself how accessible it wants to be. I’d like to limit executive jets to dropping passengers off and then flying elsewhere to park. Instead, we subsidize the rich. Executives park their families here to take advantage of the good school system and then commute to Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. Another big plus of limiting executive jets would be that it would begin to depress Aspen real estate prices! Let the 1% end by complaining that “Aspen used to be easy to get to!” Go to Mar-a-Lago.

Jim Breasted


A kick in the gut by KAJX

The gem of carefully crafted nightly jazz shows on KAJX has been rudely and abruptly pulled from the worshipful ears of the Roaring Fork Valley listeners, along with daily Performance Today broadcasts and a slew of others local DJ-hosted music programs. I was shocked to find out the top-notch musical programming by talented local and inspired DJs is being replaced by 24-hour news programs. While I love NPR, I certainly don’t want to hear news, politics, reviews and endless talking 24 hours a day.

Where is the balance?

I see it as a rude slap in the face to local listeners. KAJX is now following a slick, big-city format in a small valley that reveres arts, music and culture. Tammi Terwelp has delivered an insult to the fine, talented volunteer DJs who lovingly provided fine entertainment, and left a gaping hole for those of us who want to listen to fine jazz, classical and other shows. Bring back the music, Ms. Terwelp.

Nancy Collins


The P is for Public

Dear local NPR affiliate APR,

Aren’t you forgetting the P part? Bring back the music! #1776

Sandy and Lee Mulcahy