Letters to the Editor

Letter: Affordable restaurants

May 4, 2016 — 

Justice Snow’s and Lucci’s restaurants are in the same position — kinda. Both are required to house affordable eating places. Nothing has gone into the Lucci’s space because of that and Justice Snow’s is not affordable (check out the tiny letters on the bottom of the menu for the only acceptably priced meal).

Ruth Harrison

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Letter: A vital service for veterans

May 4, 2016 — 

I fell in love with the Aspen area and the sport of skiing when my dad opened the mines in 1948. I graduated as a civil engineer at the University of Colorado and accepted a commission in the regularly Army — over 20 years of service, two tours of Vietnam, retired in 1984. I treasure my experience in serving with the greatest soldiers on the planet, and I’m delighted to see how our vets are treated now.

In mid-April, I was honored to attend an Aspen Mountain ski adventure provided to a group of vets by Challenge Aspen Military Opportunities. In February, I attended a Challenge Aspen ski adventure in Snowmass. I cannot adequately express how much I enjoyed the two events. The gifted and professional pros of Challenge Aspen were truly inspirational for me personally, but my greatest joy was to be able to observe the therapeutic and miraculous effects that it had with the wounded warriors. I was astounded by the magic that was wrought by the Challenge Aspen team, which resulted in inspiration, enthusiasm, happiness, camaraderie, achievement and pride, all of which were reflected in growth of self-confidence, self-reliance and self-esteem.

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Letter: From Tibet to Aspen

May 3, 2016 — 

Hello, friends — Aspen Tibet is delighted to announce the Sacred Arts of Tibet Tour will be returning to Aspen from Aug. 19 through 26 followed by a visit to Carbondale offering the Roaring Fork Valley Tibetan culture and craft experiences. As the original tour sent out into the world by his holiness the 14th Dalai Lama from the Gaden Shartse Monastery re-established from Tibet in southern India, it is the valley’s honor to have received well-trained and highly skilled monks at every opportunity since 1970. Additionally, the Aspen Art Museum will be hosting a mandala by the Drepung Monks of Atlanta from July 20 through 24.

We look forward to providing the community with happiness resources. If you have a location, group or individual you believe would benefit from the presence and work of the monks, contact me at aspentibet@gmail.com. Event details to come at www.aspentibet.com.

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Letter: Give cyclists, pedestrians the right of way

May 3, 2016 — 

Is Carbondale no longer a bicycle-friendly community? So far this spring, stop and yield signs have gone up all along the bike and pedestrian path on both sides of Highway 133. At nearly every driveway where automobiles turn off and onto the highway, pedestrians and bicyclists are required now to stop or yield to vehicular traffic as it crosses the (supposedly) protected pedestrian and bicycling corridor. Compare that to the Rio Grande Trail, where bicyclists, pedestrians and equestrians are genuinely protected from vehicular traffic for miles at a time without a stop. Is Carbondale instead a car-is-king community now and I simply didn’t get the memo? Because in a bicycle-friendly community, bicycles and pedestrians should have the right of way when cars turn off the road and cross the protected bicycle and pedestrian corridor. So let’s turn those stop and yield signs around and protect the bike-path users from turning cars rather than the other way around.

Willet Mather

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Letter: Thanks to Skico for extended ski season

May 2, 2016 — 

I wish to express my thanks to Aspen Skiing Co. for giving the locals who are not yet someplace warm and exotic two amazing extended-season weekends at Highlands! We experienced some of this season’s best snow conditions. The groomers did an incredible job, as well, and everyone had big smiles on their faces. It was a fabulous ski season. Thanks again for opening the lifts and giving us something to do during our usual snowy spring weekends.

Catalina Cruz

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Letter: Fear the establishment

May 2, 2016 — 

Autism in America skyrocketed from one child in 2,500 20 years ago to one in 48 today. Autism was on pace to infect half of our children by 2025 until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that autism had suddenly, inexplicably remained constant between 2010 and 2012.

News of this miracle was released concurrent with the Tribeca Film Festival’s exclusion of “Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe.” While “Vaxxed” is actually pro-vaccine, it exposes the horrendous cost of bad and badly administered vaccines.

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Letter: The maternal struggle

May 2, 2016 — 

This Mother’s Day, many of us will celebrate the powerful bond between mother and child. Tragically, the worldwide symbols of motherhood — dairy cows — never get to see or nurture their babies.

Newborn calves are torn from their mothers at birth, so we can seize and drink the milk that mother cows produce for them. The powerless, distraught mothers bellow for days, hoping in vain for their babies’ return. The babies are kept alive elsewhere to soon become veal cutlets.

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Letter: Fear the Donald

May 1, 2016 — 

I think both political parties fear Donald Trump because he is a political outsider who will expose all of the corruption going on in D.C. that might interfere with the elitist lives of our current politicians and their sycophants who are all riding the taxpayer gravy train.

Michael Galvis

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Letter: Sports smorgasbord

May 1, 2016 — 

Tuesday afternoon and evening are busy for the Aspen Skiers, with girls soccer starting at 3:30 p.m. for senior night and then the Aspen boys lacrosse team returning to the field with varsity at 6 p.m. and junior varsity at 5:30 p.m., all on the Aspen High School turf.

Please come out and support your athletes and their last few home games of the regular season. Hope to see everyone.

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Letter: Not the place for housing

May 1, 2016 — 

Total dismay sums up my feelings after reading comments Kathy Chandler Henry made following a meeting up in Aspen where White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams spoke. I’m talking about the 20 acres adjacent to Crown Mountain Park the Forest Service is currently trying to sell.

Chandler Henry confirmed the county is exploring the purchase with intent for a high-density development with 175 to 225 units with 400 to 600 people. You can’t be serious!

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Letter: Constitutional concerns

May 1, 2016 — 

An apology to the people of Aspen and all those concerned:

My name is Vince Thomas, and I would like to formally apologize to the people of Aspen and any visitors or others who witnessed the protest and demonstration March 12 that started at the Health and Human Services Building at 405 Castle Creek Road and spanned to the Rubey Park Transit Center at 420 E. Durant Ave., where I was arrested for the first time in my life at 50 years of age.

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Letter: Paying to wait

May 1, 2016 — 

While people who live in Aspen wait 10 minutes to catch a bus to Snowmass Village for free, I live in Rifle and must wait hours at a time and pay $3 to go the same distance one way. Seems legit? $46.2 million well-spent to give people who live in Aspen and Snowmass a free ride.

Rudi Kirchenwitz

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Letter: Support lady Skiers

April 30, 2016 — 

As a senior at Aspen High School and Captain of the girls lacrosse team, I ask that you come to the Aspen School District Stadium on at 5:15 p.m. Monday when we play Grand Junction in our final home game of the season.

I’ve been fortunate to play with the most amazing group of senior girls these past four years, and I would appreciate your help in honoring them on senior night. Furthermore, every person, both coaches and players, has grown and exceeded their role on this team, and they too deserve honor and recognition. Again, I ask that you come support your lady skiers in this important league game.

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Letter: Would you trust this salesman?

April 30, 2016 — 

On the prospect that there a few local naive individuals out there supporting Donald Trump, consider the following:

Suppose you are buying a car. You ask the salesman, “What mileage does it get?”

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Letter: Badass Beth

April 29, 2016 — 

I just read one of the greatest columns ever written. It was written by Aspen Daily News columnist Beth Brandon, and it was a column about herself (“I am a survivor of sexual assault,” Aspen Daily News, April 28). It’s a must-read.

I do not know Beth personally. But I will use her own words to describe her: Beth is a badass.

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Letter: Bring back Butch's

April 29, 2016 — 

I have heard news going around town that Butch’s Lobster Shack might be coming back to Basalt this summer. I sure hope that this is true. Butch’s has been an institution for many years and was sorely missed last summer.

It certainly is one of the most unique dining experiences in our valley, with fresh seafood flown in from the East Coast. It’s one of Basalt’s best hot spots and has always been a great place to socialize with not only Basalt friends but friends from Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond, as well.

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Letter: Hospital election doesn't make sense

April 29, 2016 — 

As time goes by, I am becoming more confused and less enthused by Aspen Valley Hospital. As Roger Waters says, “Sometimes it seems to me as if I’m just being used.” We pay taxes and elect a board to what? They charge whatever the market will bear, even if it means gouging local a taxpayer who has sent quite a bit of money toward the organization. They build an exorbitant building to lure doctors out of private offices into public-subsidized offices that then seem to only increase the cost of services and reduce physical therapist choice and access.

Speaking of increased costs, a simple “add-on” blood draw during the local community health process was three times the price had we shopped around and gone to Valley View Hospital downvalley. Our bad, but who would have thought

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Letter: A fabulous resource for teens

April 29, 2016 — 

Writing on behalf of Carbondale Middle School students, we would like to thank the Aspen Youth Center and Aspen Recreation Center for allowing us to spend time in their facility during a recent field trip to the Aspen Recreation Center. They have welcomed us for multiple years in a row now! Our valley is truly blessed to have this valuable resource for teens. Most towns could only dream of having a facility and organization like this!

The Aspen Youth Center is a welcoming, safe and fabulous space for teens. This organization provides a structured setting for them to learn interpersonal skills, gain confidence and be in a secure environment. The staff are positive role models and have caring personalities and patience for every teen who walks through the door. Our students had a tremendous amount of fun playing games with one another and made connections with both Aspen Youth Center staff and students from other schools. Please consider making a donation to this treasured program right here in our backyard.

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Letter: Balko and Nagle for AVH

April 28, 2016 — 

We would like to remind everyone that there is an (only) mail-in election happening this offseason. Every registered voter within the hospital district should have received a ballot in the mail by now. They are due back no later than May 5. If you have any questions on the election or where to obtain a ballot, please reach out to Amy Trubiroha Wells at 970-544-1261 or trubirhora@aspenhospital.org.

We take our hat off to the existing Aspen Valley Hospital board members, with a special note of thanks to Dr. Barry Mink for his years of service on the board. While all seven of the fine community members would do a solid job to fill the two seats up this spring, we would like to offer our unconditional support for Dr. Greg Balko and to allow Dr. Mindy Nagle to extend her service on the board.

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Letter: The beauty of 1A

April 28, 2016 — 

Great column about the Lift 1A area by Mr. Lo Semple in last Saturday’s Aspen Daily News (“Lift 1A and metamorphosis”). I agree with him that despite the opinions of certain members of FIS and officers of Aspen Skiing Co., this area really isn’t broken and shouldn’t be fixed.

On the contrary, I think it should be preserved as a monument to the history of skiing in Aspen. I love everything about this area from parking and walking up the hill to the funky locker room/restroom building to the great skiing on this side of the mountain and, yes, even the lift itself.

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Letter: Let's be the solution

April 28, 2016 — 

Something recently has been troubling me. The criticisms in the Aspen Power Plant debate have become personal, going so far as to impugn the personal integrity of David Cook and others. There simply is no place in our town for personal attacks as they undermine what makes Aspen so very special: our sense of community and trust.

Let’s review David Cook. David grew up with nothing handed to him. He earned everything with grit, determination and a firm commitment to the American ideal. As luxury chains have displaced local businesses, David has committed himself to entrepreneurship, building channel 82, a local media company broadcasting Aspen to the world while hiring local employees and paying local taxes. More than that, David is a devoted father to a wonderful daughter who is being educated in our local school system. He and his wife give back — leading nonprofits and community initiatives from Aspen Cares to Jazz Aspen Snowmass, the Historical Society to Aspen NextGen. David is kind, wise, adventurous, athletic and a loyal friend. He is the guy you call first. And he shows up. He embodies the Give First mentality and heart-centered existence that we so value in this town.

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Letter: Clean up Crown Mountain Park

April 28, 2016 — 

Seeing all the smiling faces of those running for the Crown Mountain Park board in Wednesday’s edition (“Four enter race for 2 Crown Mountain seats,” The Aspen Times, April 27), how about you get your gloves on and pick up the massive dog poop at the park, especially poop from the folks living in the adjacent apartments who let their dogs run wild? The poop has been there for months! You’ll get my vote! And enforce the $500 fine, please!

Also commit to demanding that the people who host the kids Tough Mudder pack out that disgusting mud they left all over the place one or two years ago I’m still enjoying it today. Disgusting! Yuck, yuck, yuck! They packed it in — pack it out! Come and show your commitment to the park and I’ll vote for you! Not holding my breath, though. Sadly, no one really cares.

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Letter: Comments on the hospital

April 28, 2016 — 

I am one of the candidates seeking membership to the Aspen Valley Hospital board.

However, I am writing as an Aspenite and hope that whoever is elected to the board understands that a strong CEO is of the utmost importance to the long-term health of our hospital.

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Letter: Thanks to Skico

April 28, 2016 — 

Editor’s note: The following letter was originally addressed to Aspen Skiing Co. President and CEO Mike Kaplan.

Dear Mike,

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Letter: No to donor names at schools

April 27, 2016 — 

Su Lum’s column, “The Reese’s Pieces school district” on March 30, was fantastic.

Would anybody want to name the public schools Reese’s Pieces or Trump Schools?

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Letter: Marketing tips for Snowmass

April 27, 2016 — 

We see the Snowmass Village group sales director job is calling for a genius to interview and secure the gig.

I’d consider entertaining the interview only if the Vill will commit to only chunking up solid business deals and visitor purchasing strategies that minimize the dollar flows to nearly zero for Aspen.

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Letter: Fluoride equals poison

April 27, 2016 — 

I like a good story or fairy tale as much as anyone. However, when you repeatedly hear the same story, you have to come to the realization of whether the story is true or false.

The person telling the story also plays an important role. You may expect a different outcome to your story if you have Jack the Ripper or Grandma telling the story.

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Letter: We can do better

April 27, 2016 — 

We can do better

In America, we are stuck with arrogant Democrats and/or complicit Republicans. Both parties politics/policies have helped/are helping to destroy our country.

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Letter: Lane's selflessness knows no bounds

April 27, 2016 — 

My name is Ryan Parrott and I feel particularly passionate about the difficulties facing burn survivors, as I served for eight years in the United States Navy as a SEAL and have been burned due to a roadside bomb.

I started a nonprofit a few years ago to help burn survivors, and a man named Ace Lane, a fellow burn survivor, stepped up to the plate, reflecting on his own injuries and committed to helping us grow. From an awareness perspective, to funding our efforts through his own personal giving, to hosting events benefiting my organization, he has been a pinnacle mentor to me and supporter to our growth and ability to help other burn survivors and their families.

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Letter: Science Center looking for space

April 27, 2016 — 

The Aspen Science Center would like to thank the community and especially Mark Hunt for making our STEAM Room at the Crystal Palace such a smashing success!

Over the 17 days that we were open to the public, we had more than 1,200 individuals through our doors for over 1,600 visits (all free of charge), accommodated 14 field trips covering more than 500 youth, and hosted several birthday parties, fundraisers, speaker series and other community events. This is just a small example of what the science center can do when we have a venue from which to operate, even if temporary.

We would love to find a similar space for the summer and/or fall to present our next iteration of the STEAM Room. We are pretty adaptable and could work with spaces of many different sizes, and require very little in terms of specific infrastructure. We can move in and out relatively quickly, but ideally would have at least two months in the same location. This space could be in Aspen again, but could also be downvalley in Basalt or Carbondale, allowing us to reach a different audience. Anyone with reasonably solid leads on such a space is encouraged to reach out David Houggy at david@aspensciencecenter.org.

Thank you again to all who came and enjoyed what we did at the Crystal Palace. We are looking forward to a summer filled with fun programs and events, including our fifth annual Science Street Festival on Aug. 7, our Physics BBQs starting June 29 and more Science Sundays at Jimmy’s. Please visit www.aspensciencecenter.org for more information.

David Houggy

President, Aspen Science Center

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