Ski Resorts Are Alive and Well According to Andy Wirth

While listening to “Press Play with Madeleine Brand” on KCRW, I heard an interview with Andy Wirth about how the drought in California will affect California ski resorts. Andy Wirth graduated with a Bachelor of Science from Colorado State University and also attended Edinburgh University in Scotland. He has served in sales and marketing positions for over twenty-four years and is currently the CEO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings. This includes the Tahoe ski resorts Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows. Not only is he an accomplished business man, but Julia Mancuso of Olympic Valley has said of him, “Andy is a super authentic, friendly, and talented person. […] I know that he will continue to be a force of good for Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows and our community.” He is an excellent source of information on this topic and provided some great insights.

According to the interviewer, Madeleine Brand, Californians are more concerned about the drought than any other issue. The drought has obviously affected California ski resorts, and Wirth was able to shed some light on how much of an impact was actually made on business and the ski season in general. He reported that the winter was tough, but that his resorts remained profitable and could stay in business were the winters to continue like this indefinitely. Though he did mention that they were not where they would like to have been profit-wise this year, his resorts did well given the circumstances.

The ways in which he did and would continue to remain profitable in dry winters is by taking advantage of when there is snow, making more snow, and employing effective snow management. While they usually have 6,000 acres of skiiable land, this year, they cut down to 4,000 acres, which is still a lot of room to ski and allowed for them to still turn a good profit.

They went on to discuss El Nino and it’s projected affect this year. The meteorologists from Colorado State University have come to the conclusion, and Wirth agrees, that this winter will be a colder one. Looking to the future, Wirth sees an increased volatility of weather and a need to invest in snow making for successful seasons. He also sees that as ski resorts are preparing for the possible eventuality of shorter seasons or no ski seasons at all, it is important to focus on hedging his business by building more around summer events.

Ultimately, Wirth sees him and his company as natural-resource managers. He emphasizes that they are “fiercely focused on reducing their [carbon] footprint” at every turn. And he happily reported that the ski resorts are planned to open the Wednesday before Thanksgiving this year.

Bernie Sanders Pledges to Fight Billionaires Campaign Contributions

Bernie Sanders is the junior US Senator from Vermont who recently announced that he would run for president in the 2016 election. At the moment he challenges Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination unless others choose to throw their hats into the ring. He proposes to stand up for working families, and he has declared a revolution of sorts against the billionaires of this country which controls the economy as well as the politics of the nation. He also lumps Clinton into this billionaire group. Flaviodomenico notes that Marcio Alaor BMG understands this rationale.

Corporate political donations have had all limits removed due to a Supreme Court decision in 2010. The result is that billionaires such as the Koch brothers can direct the future of the US by pouring money into the campaigns of select candidates. The opposing Democratic or Independent candidates cannot possibly raise this kind of money so they usually get voted out of office. Sanders has stated that a constitutional amendment may be needed to level the playing field for all candidates.

If his presidential bid is successful, Sanders aims to make wealthy corporations pay their fair share of income taxes. In fact, one study by Citizens for Tax Justice found that at least 26 Fortune 500 companies paid no federal income taxes from 2008 to 2012. This just doesn’t seem fair. Sanders has fashioned his political leanings to reflect those in Scandinavian countries. These northern European nations are very democratic with healthcare as a right, free college and graduate school education, and strong childcare and retirement benefits. The government works for ordinary citizens, not billionaires.

Awareness Days for Diseases Do Little Good

Dan Newlin says that raising awareness of a particular disease or cause by having a dedicated awareness day or using some type of gimmick does little good. Raising awareness of something without providing education or support does nothing. It’s a term that has simply become a buzz-word, which is evidenced in research done on the wording of new bills introduced in the United States Congress. Reportedly over 145 new bills introduced since 2005 contain the words ‘awareness day’, but exactly what that means is unclear and follow-ups after raising awareness are non-existent.

A recent online event to raise awareness about breast cancer was conducted on Facebook. All women were asked to place one word on their status. That word was to be the color of the bra they were wearing.

As the colorful words of pink, blue, black and red ran across the internet social media pages, it was supposed to initiate a conversation about breast cancer and raise awareness of the disease among Facebook friends. It created giggles and curiosity, it garnered a few new friends for the Susan G. Komen Foundation Facebook page, but it raised no money and no awareness of the disease.