Letters to the Editor
Nancy Pfister’s stolen time suddenly throws aspects of ourselves off balance. Like the architecture of a cathedral, the construction of our identities is held together by contrasting tensions. If a supporting premise falters, we may have a crisis of readjustment; sometimes demons find footing within. Sweet Nancy had her share, yet she blazed a path of enthusiasm, and if she intuited you as a good person, she had a way of focusing her joy on you that made anyone in her searchlight feel special.
When she was out and about and happy, she was a rolling Pied Piper who swept others up in her high spirits, befriending strangers and acquaintances while creating an impromptu posse that culled itself depending upon the freewheeling staying power of her companions. Her untethered nature was a phenomenon. As a young woman her beauty, charisma and freedom of movement could beguile men and cause disaffection in some women. Her high frequency required patient understanding from her true friends.Learn more »
Up until Sunday, your paper professionally reported the events as they have occurred in the Nancy Pfister homicide case. Then, on Sunday, you began to sensationalize the case with the front page headline, “‘A BIG, BIG DEAL.’”
How you could stoop to this level of journalism, after publishing Tony Vagneur’s very beautiful and moving love letter to Nancy on Saturday, is beyond me. Tony expressed to all of us all that ever needed to be said about our very great loss of one of our own.Learn more »
While the Aspen Hope Center has been in the media a tremendous amount lately with regard to the community support we are offering, we wanted to take a moment out of our day to thank those who support us.
In December, Nina McLemore hosted an event honoring Lita Heller and donated a portion of the proceeds from sales. It was a lovely evening of smiles and fashion, honoring Lita and talking about the services the Hope Center provides.Learn more »
Go back to the city, dog haters
To the two people who accosted my friend and our dogs Saturday, I would like to address this letter to others in Aspen that forget that this is a small community and it is important to be neighborly.Learn more »
Uphold code, deny Hotel Aspen proposal
Dear Aspen City Council,Learn more »
Aspen needs more hotel development
Dear Aspen Times and Mayor Steven Skadron,Learn more »
To the guy (or girl) — I couldn’t really tell what you were — with the old white Ford Explorer, thanks for letting me in past the airport where our two-lane highway becomes one lane. Don’t know if you noticed in front of you, it’s every other car that merges in.
In other words, one car from the right and one car from the left. See the pattern? Oh, and by the way, you were in the HOV lane so you should have been on the same side as me (left), as you were the only one in your car. I really hope you got to your destination that one second faster. Douchebag!Learn more »
A blight on Aspen
The Hotel Aspen project would be a nice addition if they would just stick to the PUD code, which says they must fit into the neighborhood in mass and scale, meaning its height. The heights of the neighborhood houses range from 17 feet to 25 feet.Learn more »
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Joe DiSalvo and the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office for the professional and sensitive way in which they have handled the events surrounding the tragic and untimely death of my mother. While nothing can take away the pain of what has happened, I felt completely confident that everything possible is being done to guard the integrity of the investigation and ensure justice for my mother.
In addition to the Sheriff’s Office, I would also like to commend the following law enforcement agencies: Aspen Police Department, Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Basalt Police Department, Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, Carbondale Police Department and the Pitkin County coroner.Learn more »
Elks Lodge brightens local smiles
Ask a local second-grader about their teeth, and they might share a fun story with you from their day at the Children’s Dental Fair.Learn more »
I would like to say thanks to the Glenwood Springs City Council for unanimously voting against drilling in the Thompson Divide area and urging the Bureau of Land Management to let the leases expire on April 1. The negative effect of huge trucks traveling through downtown Glenwood Springs, on Midland Avenue and up and down Four Mile Road on a daily basis on the city’s infrastructure, recreation-based economy and private-property values cannot be overstated. There are property owners in Parachute who claim their property values have dropped as much as 75 percent after their street became a haul route.
I also would like to thank Garfield County Commissioner John Martin for speaking out on this issue in his letter to U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, urging him to support legislation protecting Thompson Divide and paving the way for a market-based solution to be reached. Being a Western man, John understands the value of the land in Thompson Divide to ranchers and the property values to those of us who live up Four Mile Road.Learn more »
Letter: Don’t give Hotel Aspen a passMarch 7, 2014 —
Don’t give Hotel Aspen a pass
Dear Councilman Art Daily,
There are two ways to build three new over-sized 5,000-square-foot “free-market” homes in Aspen’s West End.
One way is to purchase three properties zoned for residential homes and purchase three transferable development rights —TDRS — needed to build beyond what the properties alone allow. The three vacant properties in the West End nearest the Hotel Aspen are currently listed for $3.9 million, $4.5 million and $3.5 million. Adding the cost of three TDRs at $200,000 each yields a total initial investment of $12.5 million before significant city mitigation fees.
The other way is to purchase an existing lodge and demand City Council allow 15,000 square feet of new residential homes, saving the developer the initial investment of buying residential zoned lots.
It is this second way that is before City Council on Monday in connection with the proposed Hotel Aspen rebuild that increases the hotel’s lodging inventory by only nine units, in exchange for three modern residences to rise three stories in the back on the traditional two-story Victorian Bleeker Street.
The Hotel Aspen proposal asks for multiple variances above and beyond the many incentives written into the current Aspen lodging land use code. The code sets 27,000 square feet of floor area for the entire property and then provides for a “special review” process that allows square footage to be increased to a generous 33,750. Yet the owners of Hotel Aspen want more. The developers are asking for a variance to build 9,500 square feet of floor-area ratio (FAR), or 35 percent over the 27,000 allowable and 2,750 square feet of FAR, or 8 percent over the liberal “special review” allowance of 33,750.
In addition to the egregious variances, Hotel Aspen wants a waiver of the $91,000 city mitigation fee earmarked to support of our local parks and transportation. Neither the Parks Department nor the Transportation Department supports waiving these fees.
It’s time for Aspen’s city council to stand firm on the thoughtful and already flexible Aspen code, by directing staff to draft an ordinance for Hotel Aspen project that conforms with the code allowed two-story, 25-foot height along Bleeker and 27,000 square feet of FAR, or at the most, the liberal “special review” allowance of 33,750, but not one square foot more!
By treating Hotel Aspen the same as other applicants under existing municipal land use law, future developers, community members, and elected officials will know the playing field is level. The precedent of “no special treatment for special interests” should put an end to the inordinate waste of time and resources spent on the Hotel Aspen’s request for the moon.
Letter: A vision for BasaltMarch 7, 2014 —
A vision for Basalt
Imagine a pedestrian river easement stretching the length of Two Rivers Road (Old Highway 82), connecting downtown Basalt to Willits Town Center with a walking-biking-cross-country-ski-dog walking easement. Perhaps the existing Two Rivers Road might become a one-way for RFTA and local residents and the other lane reserved for non-vehicular, pedestrian use.
Imagine ... do a little shopping at Whole Foods, visit Kitchen Collage, browse Bristlecone, then ride your bike to downtown Basalt for a little lunch at any of the fine eateries.
I’ve been stopped many a time by out of town bike riders asking directions to Willits Town Center. Offering an additional, beautiful river easement into Old Town Basalt is an attractive route for bikers and pedestrians, as well as preserves the Roaring Fork River by eliminating unnecessary vehicular traffic from the adjacent Two Rivers Road.
Letter: History’s on your sideMarch 6, 2014 —
History’s on your side
I am happy to reassure both Jon Busch and the community that Louise Berg’s tapes are safely preserved in the Aspen Historical Society’s archives. In Mr. Busch’s letter to the editor of March 2, he states that the tapes need to be “preserved and restored.”
We agree! The Aspen Historical Society digitally preserved the 96 Berg tapes along with the other 314 audio tapes in our collection, thanks to grants from the The Thrift Shop of Aspen and the city of Aspen. The Aspen Historical Society Archives are home to many treasures in addition to the Berg tapes — they currently house 28,181 photographic images, 6,827 written material items and 1,048 books — and the collection is constantly growing. Roughly 9,500 images, the poster and map collections, and The Aspen Times newspapers through 1963 are available online at www.archiveaspen.org for easy public access. We are also in the process of upgrading our archive facility. To listen to these tapes, access photographs or for research assistance, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 925-3721, ext. 103.
Curator, Aspen Historical Society
Letter: Recipe for a world warMarch 6, 2014 —
Recipe for a world war
Russia just put its foot down in the Ukraine. The United States government, with help from European governments, has been systematically taking down governments and creating alliances with others in order to encircle Russia. The Ukraine presidential coup was orchestrated by the U.S. Intercepts of the phone conversations of high-level U.S. diplomats prove that. Same with Syria, Iran, Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan — the list goes on.
The military-industrial-financial state requires an enemy and Russia fills the role perfectly. The “War on Terror” is wearing thin. Al-Qaida and the Taliban don’t have jet fighters and guided missiles.
Flipping the Ukraine would mean cutting off the markets for Russian (and Iranian) natural gas. That hurts Russia and turns the market over to the Arab States.
This is all happening above Obama’s pay grade. He did not start this game; he’s just the figurehead. This is how world wars get started. What’s the next move going to be?
Letter: Why mess with Aspen’s character?March 6, 2014 —
Why mess with Aspen’s character?
The owners and applicants of the Hotel Aspen seem to be asking for much more than other remodeled small lodges have with their PUD small lodge district overlay and an unprecedented amount of variances to build lot line to lot line with heights way above code in two historic districts, Main Street and the West End.
The Hotel Aspen already has 45, lately remodeled hot beds, so why are they going through so much heavy-duty uphill fighting for only nine more, while designing all rooms smaller? Isn’t this the type of lodge that caters to families? With similar remodels like those at the Annabelle and Innsbruck Inns, it seems the Hotel Aspen could easily reach its nine additional units without asking for a free-market development money engine, several variances for height and mass, plus a public subsidy of $91,000 that steals from the city’s parks and transportation departments.
Both the Annabelle and the Innsbruck, small lodging boutiques on Main Street, did recent remodels by staying within the codes (or at least very close) in height and mass. They are beautiful, fit in with our unique town charm, and are well operated and successful. As far as I know, they did their remodels without needing public/city subsidy. Why does Hotel Aspen deserve special favors to do their improvements?
City Council should oppose this project, for we, the public, have too much to lose. We should not scrape and replace within our historic districts only to build lodges that look like office buildings more fitting for downtown Chicago, and that compromise our City Council’s standards and cheat other town departments. One more negative to this project is that another huge, healthy fir tree, which adds so much in aesthetics and environmental health, will be cut down with this plan.
Aspen has a special character that has made us distinctly different and unique from all other world-class resorts. Why are we trying to change what works and what brings tourists here who seek out and enjoy our Western and Victorian flavor?
Letter: He was one of a kindMarch 5, 2014 —
He was one of a kind
Having attended Stewart Oksenhorn’s memorial service last week, I can’t help but wonder if he had any idea of the impact he had on this community. Would Stewart have envisioned nearly 500 people crowding into the Wheeler Opera House on a Sunday afternoon to weep and laugh, to collectively mourn his incomprehensible absence, to celebrate his remarkable life, his rare being?
To my eyes, Stewart was nothing less than a wonder. As someone who has labored in the writing field, Stewart’s prodigious output, his very ubiquity, was a marvel if not a downright miracle. How could he possibly attend that many events, view that many movies, read that many books, listen to that many CDs, and go on to write insightfully about all of them? Plus be a sports fan, plus be a devoted, hands-on dad? Where did all that energy come from, and what now that it’s gone?
Beyond Stewart’s unquantifiable contribution to the Roaring Fork Valley arts and culture scene, it was his kindness and genuine interest in others that I will remember most. Years ago, when I was executive director of the Aspen Writers’ Foundation and a new mother, Stewart would regularly stop in to my office at the Red Brick Arts Center. We would exchange pleasantries, talk for a bit about upcoming author events, about books we liked or didn’t like. But what Stewart seemed most interested in, or at least the conversations that stand out most in my mind, were the ones about our kids. I took my son to work with me the first five months of his life. He slept in his car seat on my desk or lolled about on the floor under a canopy of dangly plastic things. Stewart would poke his head in and want to know how the sleep patterns were going. Was I getting any rest? Was the baby? Stewart’s daughter, Olivia, born two years earlier, hardly slept at all as an infant, and for that matter wasn’t sleeping much as a toddler. How was it integrating new motherhood and working full time? Wasn’t being a parent the most satisfying, challenging, thrilling experience ever, which we both agreed it was?
Other than family and close friends (women mostly, though not all), I can’t think of another single person with whom I had those kinds of conversations, and certainly no one with whom I enjoyed a primarily professional relationship. But that was Stewart.
Much has been written about Stewart’s boundless curiosity and intellectual capacity. His humanity and his heart were even bigger.
He is so greatly missed.
Julie Comins Pickrell
Letter: Do as you sayMarch 5, 2014 —
Do as you say
I find it so refreshing to see 0bama and his sock puppet, Jay Carney, be so vociferous over Russia invading the Ukraine and saying that “every nation has the right to secure borders.” So how about securing our own borders, you incompetent fools!
Letter: An Aspen voidMarch 5, 2014 —
An Aspen void
Nancy ... forever young. Where have all the flowers gone?
Letter: Another cash grab?March 5, 2014 —
Another cash grab?
Is the long-range goal and intent of the Brown brothers, owners-developers of the Hotel Aspen, to modernize and preserve a small lodge or is it to cash out on their requested three free-market units on Bleeker’s West End, in the potential amount of $20 million? This development would be a permanent negative impact on the West End neighborhood in mass, scale and character and would only add nine additional hotbeds.
If the owner-developers really wanted to help out the city with needed hotbeds, then why would they not redevelop the entire parcel with more than just nine more small rooms ? The Hotel Aspen just had a major remodel four years ago in 2010. With the Boomerang coming back in scores of hotbeds, is Aspen’s loss of the affordable bed base as bad as some might think?
After the Hotel Aspen’s recent remodel in 2010, approximately 87 percent of their 45 existing units are at 300 square feet and approximately 15 percent of their units are 475-square-foot fireside-suites. With a simple remodel they can arrive at their requested nine additional units without much effort, all done without a public subsidy of $91,000 (destroying two historic districts).
Recent remodels of the Annabelle Lodge and Innsbruck Lodge along Main Street were done without requesting inordinate public funding and subsidy, and without going beyond the code allowances in height and mass along the historic Main Street corridor.
These hotelier bothers seem to have no interest in protecting neighborhood character, following existing codes or protecting historic character of Aspen’s last two remaining historic districts.
When an application is turned down by the Planning and Zoning Commission, as well as the city planning department, and has more than 100 neighborhood and citizen names on a petition in its opposition, there must be more to this application than meets the eye. Is it greed?
The developers should not hold the town hostage by asking the public to cover their mitigation fees of $91,000, by taking out soaring 100-year-old trees for their free-market houses, and by building lot line to lot with more mass and height than is accepted by code.
If these applicants want to be truly good neighbors and responsible citizens, then they should certainly accommodate the city with more hotbeds than just nine, rather than take their multi-millions on public subsidies and run. This is not what Aspen’s small-lodge preservation overlay code intended or what Aspen needs.
Letter: Racing through climate changeMarch 4, 2014 —
Racing through climate change
Congratulations to Mayors Steve Skadron and Aaron Huckstep for taking on the Power of Four and Elk Mountains Grand Traverse endurance races this season. What a perfect year for a political ski-town alliance to bring attention to climate change.
On the midwinter morning of the Power of Four, it is pouring in downtown Aspen. In Carbondale, 14 days in February were significantly above average temperature, with highs in the upper 40s for two solid weeks at the end of the month. The historic snowfall early in the month has nearly disappeared from the ground, with three weeks left before the official change of seasons.
We all know, of course, that climate is not weather, and that weather can be erratic irrespective of climatic changes. However, NASA scientist James Jansen describes a “climate dice” effect: The probabilities of a hot, average or cold month by historical standards are about equal, or a die with two red faces, two white, and two blue. But after decades of steady global warming, the probability of an above-average month, season or year is about four faces red (hotter than average), one white (average), and one blue (colder than average). As a teacher, I look at my elementary school students playing at recess and realize they have no concept of what the baseline climate of their own home region is. Then it dawns on me: Neither do I! The last colder-than-average month globally occurred in February 1985, a year before I was born.
So thank you to the mountain mayors for skiing through the rain Saturday to bring our attention to the wacky climate dice we are rolling. It is my hope that neither leaders nor residents will lose hope. There is much that we can do and have done already: move to renewable energy, increase efficiency, participate in the sharing economy and wake up to what truly makes us happy, so we don’t waste resources on what doesn’t. All those decisions will become more profitable when carbon is priced appropriately, to internalize some of its external costs.
A local chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby is working on just that, in a push for federal carbon fee and dividend legislation. We hope Mayor Skadron, Mayor Huckstep and other local officials will lend their support as we work with Rep. Tipton and Sens. Udall and Bennet to pass a nonpartisan, revenue-neutral, free-market mechanism to price carbon in Congress.
Most importantly, our group is beginning to enjoy breakthroughs in our personal and political power, realizing that we can indeed build the world we want to see. To join us, please contact us at email@example.com.
Letter: Keep pushing, SnowmassMarch 4, 2014 —
Keep pushing, Snowmass
Snowmass sales tax levels are the best they ever have been, and the town is poised to have another record-breaking summer by hosting some of the largest group events that Snowmass has ever seen. The black cloud that had previously lingered over Snowmass Village has lifted, and there is a great future of vibrancy and lively family activity fun ahead of us. Now is not the time to stop forward progress in Base Village.
Related Colorado made a substantial investment and settled ownership of Base Village in 2012, all of which has helped to stabilize the Snowmass real estate market, and commerce in general in Snowmass Village. The sale of over 60 condominiums at the Viceroy Snowmass Residences in the past year proves that people want to spend their free time here, and have decided to Snowmass their primary ski and summer destination.
In last year’s town survey, moving forward and completing Base Village was one of the community’s leading desire for both full-time and part-time residents. The responsibility for moving the process forward falls on both the developer and the town of Snowmass Village and its citizens.
It is in best interest of the community to move forward and complete Base Village in a timely fashion so that Snowmass gets the new public and private infrastructure it requires to remain competitive. Now is the time for Snowmass Village Town Council to support and facilitate the forward progress in Base Village. Our local economic recovery and overall viability require it in order to secure our place among the best ski resorts in North America.
Letter: Calling all bandwagon DemsMarch 4, 2014 —
Calling all bandwagon Dems
Listen up, all you bandwagon Democrats who packed Rio Grande meeting room for the 2008 Pitkin County caucus and haven’t been active since. I’ll tell you why you should attend today’s (Tuesday) Democratic caucus at Colorado Mountain College to participate at the grass-roots level of our republican government.
A Republican form of government is one in which the people are represented. The purpose of a political party is to win elections by selecting and supporting candidates. A precinct captain is semantically equivalent to a county delegate at the state assembly, which chooses and supports candidates for state and federal offices.
Without the rock-star appeal of Obama, it’s easy to forget that off-year elections are just as important. The current Democratic control both houses of the Colorado legislature and governorship is precarious. There are some state legislatures that rejected Obamacare. Any state administration can use the layers of discretionary power inherent in all bureaucracies to delay execution of policy from above. Colorado is lucky.
Our state senator, Gail Schwartz (Senate District 5) and Millie Hamner (House District 61) and Millie’s predecessor Roger Wilson mastered the arcane procedures and negotiations that determine if any bill has a chance of becoming law. As our representatives, they try to give us what we want; as politicians, they have to negotiate as much of our desires as is possible. Without much television advertising, they (especially Gail) have driven many thousands of miles to meet and greets their constituents.
In a matter of weeks, if not before, hundreds of attack ads will start running against U.S. Sen. Mark Udall to demonize his environmentalism as job-killing activism. The same thing will be done to vulnerable Democratic legislators. The state party will provide the generalship to defend them.
I’ve long since forgiven Obama for not being another FDR or the LBJ because they had huge majorities in both houses of Congress and he doesn’t. I’ll give Obama credit for pedaling as fast as he can.”
At the state level, we Democrats have to defend the power we have. We need activists. County caucuses are the grass-roots of state politics. Precinct captains direct the boots on the ground that will work phone banks and do door-to-door canvassing during election season. Doing that is more fun, at least to me, than spending the same time watching TV sports. Getting out there and knocking on doors is a great way to expand your consciousness of being a citizen.
Don’t miss today’s caucus. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 970-379-0033.
Letter: A smart approach to Hotel AspenMarch 3, 2014 —
“Does Aspen really want to save its classic lodges?” This is a question that is facing our City Council right now. The question that is facing lodge owners is, “Do lodge owners want to be lodge hoteliers or real estate developers?”
Tying the use of lodge properties to an incentive of free-market housing, rather than incentives for better uses of the lodges, has created a condition of “the tail wagging the dog.” This is extremely deleterious to our lodges. The rental of large, free-market houses to pack with large groups is in direct conflict with lodges and does not encourage patronizing of local restaurants/bars, etc.
Before any further action is taken on our lodges, these lodge incentives should be immediately rethought and rewritten. If the need is for Hotel Aspen to gain nine additional small rooms and upgrade the existing 45, this can be done more financially efficient and environmentally LEEDs correct by affirming the entire property for the lodge use.
The historic Main Street side of Hotel Aspen should be preserved and renovated as is and additional units built in a contextual design using the remainder of the property available. With minimum demolition, maximum use of this amenity preserved, with the excellent reviews from its existing clientele and with a re-branding renovation of the Hotel Aspen, this lodge could be financed, upgraded and preserved without risk to the owners or the community.
Sherrie S. Cutler
Letter: A call for neighborly designMarch 3, 2014 —
I attended the Aspen City Council meeting on Feb. 24. After listening to the pros and cons, I feel that the major complaint with the Hotel Aspen proposal is the increased height.
Yes, we need moderately priced rooms in Aspen. Owning a hotel myself, with 300 square foot rooms, I know that size works and is satisfactory for a couple with one or two children. The square footage of the three buildings on Bleeker Street is too much for the area and not fair to the neighbors; the size, including the height, should be reduced. The buildings will be here forever and should not annoy the neighbors.
I would prefer a more Victorian or Western look; it adds to the charm of Aspen and is one of the reasons tourist come here. I was in my late 30s when I first came here from Long Island, N.Y., and found the Western and Victorian look pleasing; a wonderful change from Long Island and NYC. The comment that young people enjoy the modern look is not necessarily true; young people also have taste.
The developers may need a few extra years to make a profit to do the job correctly. I know — it took me many years to recap my investment, but I don’t have any complaining neighbors.
Letter: Preserving Miss BergMarch 2, 2014 —
Regarding Su Lum’s memories of Louise Berg, I have some of my own (“Miss Berg’s House,” Commentary, Feb. 26, The Aspen Times).
In my first years here as a music student and festival worker, other crew members and I used to get a kick out of George Madsen’s interviews with Miss Berg. She had this little chirpy voice and spoke in short gaspy sentences. She always sounded like every sentence would be her last.
Just as amazing were her memories of an Aspen that seemed like a foreign country — a land of saloons and miners. The tapes, which have been rumored to be in the hands of the Historical Society for years, are very fragile things. Assuming they still exist, they are priceless and need to be preserved and restored. What happens to the tapes is very simple. The acetate base shrinks, and the glue that binds the oxide coating to it begins to flake off.
These interviews, as stated by Su Lum, were a revelation, and they should be heard today. At one point I asked KAJX to look into rebroadcasting them. To date, though, nothing has come of it. Heck, I don’t even know if they exist at all.
Letter: Are the United States’ drone attacks justified?March 2, 2014 —
Ted Hess’ Feb. 26 letter in The Aspen Times (“Due process doesn’t apply to drone attacks”) indicates he supports U.S. drone strikes without due process based on the U.S. being at “war.”
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, an independent journalist organization, reports that “from June 2004 through mid-September 2012, available data indicate that drone strikes killed 2,562 to 3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom 474 to 881 were civilians, including 176 children.” The bureau reports that these strikes also injured an additional 1,228 to 1,362 individuals. We see victims referred to as “militants” without much explanation of why they were an imminent threat to the U.S.
The number of “high-level” targets killed is reportedly around 2 percent of casualties. A study showed that 74 percent of Pakistanis now consider the U.S. an enemy. Since there is limited transparency of the drone program, compliance with international law is unknown. The “war on terror” has justified the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Now we have extended it to Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, etc. Are we justified in continuing to kill in 2014 based on events that occurred Sept. 11, 2001? It appears to me that we are flexing our military strength for economic and geopolitical advantages, not to keep Americans safe.
Regarding Jerry Epstein’s Feb. 26 letter in The Aspen Times (“All’s fair”) listing other bombers, I am only accountable for what my government does.
Letter: Intriguing evidence about Pope FrancisMarch 2, 2014 —
The Aspen Times printed my letter about His Holiness Pope Francis on Dec. 29. There is new evidence that the pope’s ancestors were Jewish and left Spain in the 15th century.
A recent article in the Financial Times says, “Jews expelled from Spain ... could now claim Spanish citizenship.” Now, I have, from a reliable source, that Spain knows Pope Francis’ ancestors were Jewish and left Spain for Argentina. By offering citizenship to Jews, Spain can claim that Pope Francis is Spanish — not Argentine. Why? Because there has never been a Spanish pope, until now.
Letter: The possibilities are endlessMarch 1, 2014 —
I quote these words from C3Exchange.org and Aspen Chapel in the spirit of our community and what it has had to deal with recently and in the spirit of bringing us closer to one another.
The function of religion is not to have us believe absurdities but to sort out the meanings of life and to give answers to questions that life presses upon us. Who am I? How should I relate to all other living beings and with the earth itself? Religion asks what is the good, the true and the beautiful and further reminds us of our duty to help create them. Religion prayerfully asks, “How can we live out a faith that is fair, just and loving?”
Imagine a spiritual community that brings people together from many traditions.
Imagine the peace!
Imagine a community that celebrates diversity and differences as strength.
Imagine the justice!
Imagine a community that works toward heaven on earth rather than waiting.
Imagine the honesty!
Imagine a community that invites questions rather than enforcing answers.
Imagine the openness!
Imagine a community that honors inner wisdom and collective imagination.
Imagine the empowerment!
Imagine a community that seeks to be the change it wishes to see in the world.
Imagine the spiritual awakening!
The Aspen Spiritual Center has been created to be a global resource for spiritual understanding. The Aspen Spiritual Center will focus on the important reality of changing social ecology and bring new concepts and practices to touch more and more minds and hearts. These interfaith, interspiritual programs will help us create new pathways to the heart through spiritual reflection, engagement and participation.
The Aspen Spiritual Center will continue, enhance and grow the chapel’s long-standing tradition of hosting year-round seminars and workshops designed to support all people on their spiritual journey.
Letter: Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation remembers Craig SakinMarch 1, 2014 —
It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Craig Sakin. Craig was a respected member of the Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation board of directors. While his tenure in that role officially spanned only a few months, Craig was quickly becoming a trusted adviser, strategist and friend. His wisdom was well beyond his years, and he had a true passion for ensuring that Aspen Valley Hospital continued to provide quality health care services in our community.
Craig served not only on the AVH Foundation board but also as a member of the Capital Campaign Executive Committee. In this capacity he also provided great insight and strategic thinking on how best to move forward, always believing in our ultimate goals and never thinking those goals could not be obtained. He became a true mentor to the staff and a respected voice on the board.
While we remain sorrowful for this great loss, we also acknowledge that we are a better and stronger organization for having known Craig, and we will benefit greatly from his advice and mentoring. He was a great man, and this loss is significant for many. On behalf of the Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation board of directors and the entire AVH family, we offer our sincerest condolences to his wife, Sally, and his two beautiful girls, Lauren and Arden. Our thoughts and prayers remain with you. Craig’s involvement had a significant impact on the organization. His guidance and recommendations are being implemented already, and in his memory, we will continue the forward momentum that he helped launch knowing that this was so meaningful to him.
Dr. Archer Bishop
Chairman of the board, Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation
President and CEO, Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation