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Mountain News: X Games make Aspen ‘feel better, even right’

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Mountain News: X Games make Aspen ‘feel better, even right’

Compiled by Allen Best

ASPEN, Colo. — Aspen, not unlike a host of other skis towns, has been struggling to emerge from an economic and intellectual malaise. It may not be the whole answer, but the snowmobile flips and all the rest of the X Games seem to be at least part of the solution.

First hosted in 2002, the games were held for the third straight year at Aspen during January, drawing a crowd estimated at 50,000. Moreover, Aspen – mostly the ski company, but with direct and important contributions from the town government – has now committed to host the event through 2007.

The Aspen Times, a generally reliable follower of public opinion, reflected that the X Games were doing something right for the resort. "It’s hard to put your finger on it, but suddenly Aspen feels better, even right," said the newspaper. "People are all over the streets. Restaurants, shops and lodges are filled to capacity, and for the most part, visitors and residents alike seem to be smiling and having a great time."

The newspaper pointed special attention to a concert held in the downtown area, put on by the ski company and sponsored by Budweiser. The high-octane and profanity-peppered performance had "people dancing in the streets. Aspen had finally, if only for a moment, shed its stodgy high-society image. Messy vitality run rampant."

Girls protest no-skin code

KETHCUM, Idaho — Girls at Wood River High School conducted a sit-in to protest a new dress code that they contend violates their right to self-expression. The code bans midriff and cleavage skin, as well as sunglasses, caps, and hoods.

The school’s principal, Graham Hume, seemed reasonably tolerant and amused by the protest, says the Idaho Mountain Express. He said it was sparked, in part, by Victoria’s Secret issuance of thongs, which fashionably are seen above the top of the pants.

But teachers are getting uncomfortable at times. "If a girl has a low-cut top and a teacher needs to help her at her desk, it’s uncomfortable," he said. "With sexual harassment out there, we can’t afford to not pay attention."

Swifts strengthen hold on Colorado newspapers

VAIL, Colo. — Vail long ago ceased to have a newspaper headquartered in the town. At one time three newspapers with the name "Vail" were being published, but all were located down-valley. Now, there are two, but owned by the same company, Swift Publishing, a Nevada-based chain.

Swift, owner of the Vail Daily, the dominant publication in the market, purchased The Vail Trail, a weekly and the original newspaper. In announcing the acquisition, Vail Daily publisher Steve Pope promised that the weekly would continue to have an independent and left-leaning voice, while the daily would have a right-leaning voice – but neither one getting very far from center.

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