Letters to the Editor
Generosity from Clark’s
I would like to thank Clark’s Market for its continued support of Aspen Youth Center through its Cash Saver Program. This wonderful partnership between Clark’s and their customers provides much-needed funding to our community’s nonprofit organizations. $118.50 was raised through the Cash Saver Program, which will support Aspen Youth Center’s free youth programs. Thank you for helping us remain free for all kids!Learn more »
History doesn’t actually repeat itself because time is not rectilinear. It’s circular. We always return to where we drew a line into the nonexistent future (to escape time). Case in point is that (despite our delusions of outpacing history) the U.S. has returned to the regional power it was before World War I. Clipped of wings by the hubris and ignorant belief in the supremacy of weapons systems over human ingenuity, and six decades of war, and the fuller history of manipulating conflicts toward the “national interest” (rapist and pillager) all warrior nations deign to become. The materially richest and most morally bankrupt nation the world has ever seen.
It’s delightful to see how fully our own situation is described in the chronicles of our blame, and yet it saddens the sentient to the core to witness that no one ever learns from this self-generated wisdom. Obama calls Russia a regional power and so is left with posturing along a hardline that blinds us to this fact about ourselves.Learn more »
When did Ted Nugent move to Snowmass Village?
Carl HeckLearn more »
I thank y’all who supported Roderick O’Connor. Your efforts were noble and historical and won’t be forgotten. You did a great job!
Now you and others can project your voices in the Roaring Fork Valley and all the way to Manhattan Island in New York City. You can tell someone there, who is important in your part of America, that he has friends, well wishers and defenders who rise up to the occasion with gratitude, fortitude, dignity and determination.Learn more »
I am wondering why the asbestos situation at the County Clerk and Recorder’s Office was not dealt with a couple years ago when it was found during the remodel of the elections department. Those employees were told to not worry, ignore it and continue to work.
Have they been seen by a doctor? Why now is it a urgent situation?Learn more »
The Bureau of Land Management is in the process of reviewing 65 leases that were admittedly issued illegally. Last year the community surrounding Thompson Divide united to urge the BLM to let the pre-existing leases expire.
The BLM has ignored the interest of the public several times on this issue; where’s our voice? As a student at the Colorado Rocky Mountain School and a local, I have a passion for the outdoors. The stark difference that can be seen between the pristine Thompson Divide and the lands around it that are under oil and gas development struck me. This area is too special to be developed.Learn more »
Will, you recently wrote a letter to the editor that you have not filed income tax returns for 12 years and demanded that someone produce instructions that you may present to your employer that would allow your employer not to withhold income taxes from your pay checks (“Put an end to income taxes,” April 15, Letters, The Aspen Times).
You cited certain sections of the Internal Revenue Code to substantiate your claim that legally you do not have to pay income tax. First and foremost, paying income tax is rooted to the Constitution. The Constitution was amended in 1913 and was legally adopted by more than two-thirds of the state legislatures (42 of the 48, to be exact) to allow Congress to assess income taxes upon citizens. The 16th Amendment states, “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”Learn more »
The Redstone Inn plays a significant role in the lives of those of us who live in and support the historic, cultural and recreational assets of the Crystal River Valley. The Redstone Inn continues to serve as a Crystal Valley center for meetings and activities related to commercial interests, the Coke Oven’s site, the Elk Park development, the preservation of Redstone’s historic qualities and a welcoming meeting site for local groups and civic, nonprofit and governmental agencies throughout the region.
Of course, the 100-plus year-old nationally recognized historic town and facilities need some tender loving care. Perhaps, instead of offering only criticism, one might offer support and ideas for volunteer projects, fundraising and/or grants needed to restore, upgrade and maintain the community and the places we love in Redstone.Learn more »
The Roaring Fork Valley is a special place with more than its share of intelligent, caring and dedicated residents.
However, it is not yet free of two plagues that vex the human race: domestic violence and sexual assault.Learn more »
To Dan MacEachen, Dan Phillips, Kathy McGowan, the Snowmass Village mayor, the Snowmass Town Council, The Aspen Times and Aspen Daily News:
In view of the fact that a plea agreement has not been reached in the Dan MacEachen (Krabloonik) court proceedings, and a trial date has been set for October 8 to 10, will the Town of Snowmass Village continue to stand by and do nothing to make sure rules and regulations are being followed for the welfare of the Krabloonik dogs for more than six months of offseason? Or will the Town of Snowmass Village follow through with the promised “robust public process?”Learn more »
It’s about rights, not hypocrisy
In her latest column, Melanie Sturm defends Hobby Lobby’s owners against the government (“Who’s imposing their values on whom?”, April 10, The Aspen Times). She takes their side, as they fight the recent mandate to provide certain forms of birth control in their employee health plan. She is certainly right to do this. But she shouldn’t have to.Learn more »
Letter: Look in the mirror, liberalsApril 17, 2014 —
Look in the mirror, liberals
I have held my tongue for way too long and put up with the verbal discharge from the likes of Carl Heck and others regarding their disdain for previous presidents — all while symbolically massaging the nether regions of the current idiot at the helm.
Wake up, Carl and the like! This joke of a president is easily the most unqualified, classless, dangerous and straight-up dishonest in decades. Every time you submit your drivel for the masses, you expose your ignorance to all. It takes some real stones for an Obama supporter to criticize anyone for anything!
This administration — across the board — will undoubtedly go down as one of the worst in history. It gets nauseating hearing comments about disrespecting the office of the president just for questioning this idiot’s decisions and ignorance when the most significant disrespect to the office has been brought on by Obama himself. Transparency, my arse — not only can you not locate a smidgon of it from these unconscionable liberals ... they resign, hide, deny, stonewall, plead the Fifth and on and on. Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Holder, Sebelius, Lerner reads like a self-righteous human nightmare to this nation and our democracy.
Because of this spineless community organizer, dumb party and current crew, we are no longer admired, respected or feared, but rather laughed at around the globe. Congratulations for setting this country back decades, libtards.
Letter: Incumbent seeks re-election to Carbondale fire districtApril 17, 2014 —
Incumbent seeks re-election to Carbondale fire district
I am running for re-election to the Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection Board of Directors. I was a volunteer firefighter/emergency medical technician for 25 years (retired) and have been on the Carbondale fire board for 20 years. In that time, we have accomplished a number of projects that make this district safer for the residents, including construction of Station 4 (Westbank), Station 5 (Missouri Heights), Station 2 (Redstone) remodel and add residences, added residences to Station 4, Upgraded Station 1 operations building and added residences for first responders and a maintenance facility, constructed the headquarters/training building, continually upgraded ambulances and fire vehicles, started prevention programs in schools, AED and CPR programs, increased training for volunteers/staff, upgraded to a paramedic level ambulance service and lowered the ISO rating from a 7-9 to a 5-5, saving taxpayers millions of dollars in insurance premiums, just to name a few. We have maintained a mostly volunteer department to save money.
All of these were accomplished with voter support. Every election has passed over the last 20 years with the exception of November 2013, and we heard the taxpayers loud and clear. They wanted less fire taxes then we asked for and wanted a sunset provision. We have started a Citizen Advisory Committee that will meet and educate themselves on our operation and make recommendations to us for the future. We look forward to their input.
Revenues have dropped by over 40 percent in the past several years. We have been working to maintain the paramedic level EMS service and the 5-5 ISO rating for the district. We do not believe that the citizens of the district want to step backwards in services.
In a comparison of area fire districts, the Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District’s budget, salaries and expenditures are basically in the middle of the pack. You don’t hear complaints about the district’s services. We are one of the most well-respected small fire districts in the state! For $295 a year on a $500,000 home, you get the best EMS and fire services possible, and that is what it is all about. The Carbondale and Rural Fire Protection District exists for your health and safety. If you have questions, feel free to ask.
I would appreciate your vote of confidence.
Letter: Alternative energy: don’t rule out anythingApril 17, 2014 —
Letter: Love your communityApril 16, 2014 —
In honor of the community’s overwhelming generosity with donations and funding as well as our Big Buddies who support, encourage and guide the youth in our community, we at the Buddy Program are very happy to announce our new Love Your Community initiative.
With this new initiative, we are asking Little Buddies to participate in community service at least twice per year. Whether Little Buddies’ service is through random acts of kindness or through formal projects with outside agencies, the Love Your Community initiative is the Buddy Program’s way of teaching Little Buddies the importance of giving their time and effort for the sake of giving alone — the payment being the joy of living in a wonderful community.
As part of this initiative, and in order to gain momentum and awareness of it, we will be having a fun gathering of Little Buddies, parents and Big Buddies at 9 a.m. Saturday at two locations: The Buddy Program office at the Red Brick Center for the Arts and on the lawn of the Basalt Buddy Program office at Basalt Elementary School. We will be serving morning snacks, organizing, raising awareness and then sending the kids on their way to work. If you feel that you have something to give to this opportunity, such as a story about volunteerism to motivate and inspire this group of future volunteers or any other type of contribution, please contact Sarah Evans at the Buddy Program.
We are counting on community, family and Big Buddy support with this new initiative through role modeling and encouraging children to look for opportunities for random acts of kindness such as picking up trash on a trail or riverside or helping a community member in need with a chore or meal. Little Buddies may wish to complete a formal project through a local organization. We have volunteer opportunities listed on our website, BuddyProgram.org, so anyone can check out specific volunteer needs that different local organizations may have.
On behalf of the Little Buddies whose lives are changed by the work we do at the Buddy Program and the Buddy Program staff, thank you to this community that continues to show such overwhelming generosity and support. Without the spirit of volunteerism that is so great in the Roaring Fork Valley, the Buddy Program would not be able to continue our work. Thank you.
Senior program coordinator and case manager, the Buddy Program
Letter: Stick with incumbents in Basalt fire electionApril 16, 2014 —
As a Basalt resident for many years, I have seen the Basalt and Rural Fire Protection District evolve from a single-station organization with one full-time, paid employee to a highly professional, state-of-the-art fire department.
The changes have been pretty substantial over the past 15 years or so, which in turn have enabled the district to become one of the premiere fire departments in the state. This is due, in part, to the efforts of the incumbent district board members with their forethought and vision guiding the department through these tough economic times.
I urge everyone to vote for the incumbents, Robert Woods, Ed VanWalraven, John Young and Leroy Duroux.
Letter: A reasonable request for SnowmassApril 16, 2014 —
I was recently misquoted in The Aspen Times as well as in the Snowmass Sun as having stated that Snowmass Village requests “equal” media exposure with Aspen from the USA Pro Challenge. Not only is this incorrect reporting, but it would be a foolish request of the organizers.
My comments were that the Snowmass Tourism Board wants assurance that there will be “some” coverage that highlights Snowmass Village as a place distinct from Aspen, yet as an integral part of the overall Aspen-Snowmass experience.
Snowmass Village is contributing about a fourth of the total asked from the local organizers. This seems to be justifiable for our town in light of the international reach of this truly special event. Our ask in return is some targeted exposure for Snowmass Village as the race winds through, while fully understanding that the highlight is the start/finish in downtown Aspen, and the overall benefit is to the upper valley and the Aspen-Snowmass brand.
Letter: It’s time to discuss affordable housingApril 16, 2014 —
Glenn Beaton’s April 13 column on “Aspen’s sacred cows (affordable housing) of corporate welfare” brings up the need for discussion on the need for continued building of affordable housing and how it subsidizes businesses.
A study reported on Daily Kos finds that Walmart could pay its workers a living wage without having to raise prices significantly. Maybe local businesses could do the same and not have to build affordable housing? Also, what happens when all the retired folks currently living in affordable housing die or move on to senior housing?
Letter: Good dog, bad journalismApril 16, 2014 —
Regarding Lucy the dog: As a friend of friendly Lucy and her owner, I can’t believe that this dog can be such a focus of attention on your newspaper. I know you are capable of meaningful journalism!
San Antonio, Texas
Letter: Related looks out for the future of SnowmassApril 16, 2014 —
Johnny Boyd’s letter to the editor on April 11 rings true because so many small businesses have been devastated over the past five years during what were tough economic times for everyone, landlords included (“Short-term profits, long-term resent,” Letters, The Aspen Times).
But while Johnny’s letter is high on emotion, it is low on facts, especially facts about Related Colorado. What is true is that a majority of Related Colorado’s tenants had their leases adjusted in order to keep these small businesses open, and each and every adjustment that was made came with cooperative and open discussions and a focus on effective problem solving.
Along the way, Related has been able to build lasting and productive relationships with our tenants, both large and small; names like Scott, David, Eddie, Barb, Steve, Heather, Derek, Ron, Joshua, Duke, Jason, Mak, Andrew and Houston, among others — locals working to build something positive here for the future.
Regarding Village Market, we sincerely respect their ownership and management team, and it was only after careful consideration of the long-term visions proposed by the two respected local operators that Clark’s Market was selected. When Snowmass residents stop by the new Clark’s Express in Base Village to see and shop, they will see firsthand this new vision and get a sense for what is to come at the Snowmass Center.
President, Related Colorado
Letter: Make drunk driving a felonyApril 15, 2014 —
Make drunk driving a felony
My kids have no cousins. I have no nieces nor nephews. Nor brother. All because of a drunk driver — who got off with a light sentence. Whose lives are destroyed?
I agree with Sheldon Fingerman (“Not having felony DUI bill will destroy lives,” letters, April 13, Aspen Daily News) and all those who understand that DUI is a felony, and those convicted must be kept off the roads.
Letter: Put an end to income taxesApril 15, 2014 —
Put an end to income taxes
For the past 12 years, I have publicly refused to file an income tax return. Nevertheless, I ski surrounded by peaks soaring to heaven, while praying to remain free from chains.
Along with prayer, I entrust my freedom to the most concise, unambiguous law I am aware of that proves there is no law that requires a citizen to file an income tax return. One explicit law, among many laws, that would compel a jury to see the light and proclaim “Income tax is history!” So here it is, in all its glory, the end of income tax, my stay-out-of-jail card and an open invitation to peaceful revolution.
It is the definition of a “withholding agent.” Four succinct sections undeniably proclaim that a citizen is not required to have income tax withheld from his or her paycheck. Thus income tax, a house of cards that is integral to tyranny, collapses. The charade of “voluntary compliance” … revealed to an awakened nation.
Whereas, the Internal Revenue Code defines a “withholding agent” at IRC 7701(a)(16) which states: “The term ‘withholding agent’ means any person required to deduct and withhold any tax under the provisions of Sections 1441, 1442, 1443 and 1461.” The first three sections apply to withholding tax from nonresident aliens and foreign corporations, while section 1461 simply makes the agent responsible for the taxes collected.
Therefore, as I am neither a nonresident alien nor am I a foreign corporation, my employer is not required to withhold income tax from my paycheck and since I no longer choose to volunteer, I submit this letter and demand the appropriate form/instructions, based on the above definition, i.e. the law of this land, which I can then present to my employer to legally halt having income tax withheld from my paycheck.
Thanks, (signed) Informed Citizen
By simply obeying the law, we can peacefully and legally refuse to sustain the massively corrupt, out-of-control corporate/police state that is maliciously oppressing our lives, our liberty and our pursuit of happiness.
Letter: A kind canine, Lucy isApril 15, 2014 —
A kind canine, Lucy is
I have known Lucy the beagle for over eight years and her owner Renee for 20 years. Lucy is a good dog and means no harm to anyone.
I have two small Norfolk terriers that have stayed with Renee and Lucy and had no problems. In addition, I have witnessed Lucy to be a kind dog and friendly to both adults and children alike.
It seems pointless to write a negative article about a dog that is a great companion to her owner Renee and a nice dog in general.
Focus on more important stories, please.
Letter: Basalt not recycle friendlyApril 15, 2014 —
Basalt not recycle friendly
To the town of Basalt: Congratulations for shutting down the recycling program for the working people in the Basalt community. Not only does it require more driving to use the recycle center, you created hours that make it virtually impossible for those of us who do work to use the facility.
Bsalt To top that off, it’s closed on weekends! Maybe where you came from, Mr. Scanlon, you did not have recycling and don’t believe in it, but that doesn’t fly in this community.
Your pathetic excuse that the recycle center was used by some people for dumping there garbage is weak at best and as you and I know you have eliminated most of that problem by kicking out the people across the street. You owe this community an explanation!
Letter: Hydro double-talk flows from City HallApril 14, 2014 —
The Aspen hydro project has reappeared.
As Brent Gardner-Smith’s article (March 24, Aspen Daily News) points out, statements that city staff made to the City Council concerning the proposed Castle Creek hydroelectric plant are very different from what staff has told the public and the federal government. On Feb. 10, staff told City Council in very plain terms that they are not moving forward with the Castle Creek hydroelectric plant.
This is the complete opposite of what city staff is telling the local media and the federal government. To the public and the feds, city staff has stated, “Without question, both activities (related to the hydro plant) are key to the hydro project’s progress.” Clearly, city staff is in fact moving the hydro plant forward and reporting this progress to the public and feds, despite the people’s vote telling them not to.
Recently, Amory Lovins wrote a 33-page report, unasked, giving his opinion as to the effectiveness of this hydro project. “It’s clear to me, as long it’s seemed to many, that the Castle Creek Hydroelectric Plant is economically unsound.” Lovins said. “The (Castle Creek Energy Center’s) total cost could make it the costliest hydro plant ever built. There are attractive opportunities to achieve your energy goals with less cost, risk, and controversy.”
Let’s move forward together to find real solutions, not looks-good-on-paper solutions that are, in reality, totally inadequate. And let’s protect and honor the stewardship of our streams.
Letter: The nature of the beastApril 14, 2014 —
Woody Allen purportedly said that “Ninety-eight percent of life is showing up.” Down here at the grass roots, it is important to show local opposition to Thompson Divide by showing up with letters to the editor and speaking on public TV and radio. Publicity can change the political climate. Sometimes, we can lose, as we shall see below.
Every level of government has some degree of discretionary power. The industry lobbying firms have deep connections to all officials and legislators who can tilt the evidence either way. The corporations can afford to wait for a favorable political climate. Their law firms never sleep at crafting more pro-business phrasing of regulations and, farther upstream, legislation. The story below illustrates the nature of the beasts that we lovers of the wilderness have to fight.
I am an enrolled member of the White Earth Band of Minnesota Chippewa Indians on my mother’s side. My father was enrolled in the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. The Bad River Band is about to become a poster child of industry rolling over local opposition. My young second cousin, Philomena Kebec, is a lawyer for the Bad River Band.
The situation was reported in The New York Times (March 29), “The Fight for Wisconsin’s Soul,” by Dan Kaufman. If you go online, you can paste this address and read the 2,000 word article itself on The New York Times website: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/30/opinion/sunday/the-fight-for-wisconsins-soul.html?_r=0.
A corporation called Gogebic Taconite has been preparing for a decade to spend $1.5 billion to develop a huge, open-pit iron mine in the headwaters of the Bad River. Gogebic Taconite’s political moment arrived with Gov. Scott Walker’s survival of a huge recall movement in 2012, despite a protest movement that was the nation’s largest since the Vietnam War.
Below is an appetizer from Dan Kaufman’s report:
“Gov. Scott Walker signed legislation last year granting GTac astonishing latitude that allows the company to fill in pristine streams and ponds with mine waste. It eliminates a public hearing that had been mandated before the issuing of a permit, which required the company to testify, under oath, that the project had complied with all environmental standards. It allows GTac to pay taxes solely on profit, not on the amount of ore removed, raising the possibility that the communities affected by the mine’s impact on the area’s roads and schools would receive only token compensation.”
The struggle for Thompson Divide is part of a generations-long struggle between the preservationists and those who would rape the land. Here in Colorado, the wider public will be affected; in Wisconsin, a small Indian reservation will be the victim. It shows what industry will do if it can.
Let’s be the mouse that roars. To learn when and where to show up to help save Thompson Divide, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Letter: Local hospitals lacking critical servicesApril 14, 2014 —
After reading about Pepper Gomes’ need for a kidney as well as Bruno Kerchenwitz’s dialysis dilemma, it’s most likely that there are many more people in our valley that need a new kidney.
Lee Loeschen, a longtime local, also discovered that his kidneys are shutting down. He is not on dialysis, yet, but dreads that in the future, he will have to endure that four hour round-trip drive to Grand Junction and back at least three times a week. It is hard to believe that from Vail to Rifle, including the Roaring Fork Valley, hospitals feel it is not in their best interest (money) to have a dialysis clinic.
We believe that those people needing a dialysis facility should organize for the purpose of making the medical establishments in the area aware of this critical necessity.
Please email us at email@example.com.
Lee and Linda Loeschen
Letter: A disingenuous position by Hobby LobbyApril 14, 2014 —
Melanie Sturm wrote a column on April 10 regarding Hobby Lobby’s case that is before the Supreme Court (“Who’s imposing their values on whom?”, Commentary, The Aspen Times).
This company does not want to provide contraceptives to their employees due to the owners’ religious beliefs. Sturm’s column omits to provide her readers with what Christian values really means to these business owners. Hobby Lobby has a pension plan that is heavily invested in companies that manufacture contraceptives such as the IUD and the emergency day after pill (both of which they consider as abortion-inducing contraceptive methods). The fact is that the $75 million that they have invested in these companies represents three quarters of their total pension plan. It’s interesting how quickly Christian values take a back seat when it comes to financial gain.
The hypocrisy of Hobby Lobby and other companies who hide behind the Christian values argument is incredible.
Letter: A baseless attack on Lucy the dogApril 12, 2014 —
A baseless attack on Lucy the dog
In response to Jay Maytin’s letter about my dog Lucy, nothing could be further from the truth (“Beware of Lucy,” April 10, The Aspen Times).
People, stop using the newspaper to effect personal grudges. Shame on all of you. Stop hating; we are neighbors in a small community.
Letter: Business advice to live byApril 12, 2014 —
Business advice to live by
Has political year 1978 come to The Aspen Times, Aspen, Pitkin County and the Roaring Fork Valley vis-à-vis the historical flip-flop political platform switcheroo done by both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party in 1978? Oh, call it a zero-sum game trick.
This phenomenon is about the recent published newspaper letter “Class acts” (Carl Heck, Aspen Times, April 5) and “Feds just don’t get it” (Lee Mulcahy, Aspen Times, April 5).
Take Mr. Carl Heck, merchant “par excellence” of stain-glass artwork and of quick wit, with his lumping Mr. Michael Galvis and me together as having “went to the same letter-writing school.”
Could it be Mr. Heck would like to become a more sophisticated man of letters and, also, be able to put more money in his pockets by closing more and bigger sales with more uber affluent prospects and art connoisseurs? I dare say, “Yes!”
Mr. Heck would do his desires well for greater intellectual prowess and greater overflowing pecuniary aggregates justice by selling his merchandise in Los Alamos, N.M., where there are gobs of better educated people and more millionaires than can be found in both combining Aspen and Beverly Hills as one affluent art market.
As for Mr. Lee Mulcahy, although I know you’re not getting soft, do you realize all the benefits from a “two-year extension on 25 oil and gas leases in (the) Thompson Divide.” This includes the common folk, the state of Colorado, the “Aspen Skiing Co. and the billionaire Crowns as well as Sen. Gail Schwartz.”
Without oil and gas revenues to create new jobs and new sources of taxable funds, Colorado has always suffered from great economic booms and busts. In addition, who in Colorado could afford the ever-increasing higher Aspen prices billionaires, millionaires and tourists must confront to financially support the Socialist city of Aspen and its population that spends its earnings instead of saving money and making their bank accounts grow.
Unless you’ve got your mommy and your daddy kicking in their credit cards, their military welfare checks and their vested pension accounts to you, who cares about no gas and oil jobs and petroleum economic stimulating.
Those claiming to be big-time money trustfund beneficiaries in Aspen do appear to be pretty rich money-wise. Think again. They complain about their wages as they promote employee housing and encourage local and county government extortion of real estate developers.
I worked on Rockefeller and Rockefeller associates’ trust securities portfolios, so I know what real substantial monthly trust portfolio beneficiary income should be for rock solid trustfunders claiming in Aspen they’ve got big time trust funds.
Mr. Heck, our very wealthy American atomic scientific community of Los Alamos awaits you. The city has skiing, too.
Mr. Mulcahy, our American ski industry awaits your business wheeling and dealing to increase its skier numbers by at least 10 million, since our present American ski operators can’t do it. They haven’t recaptured the 10 million lost skier numbers from more than a decade ago. You can do it. Get busy now!
Emzy Veazy III
Aspen and Burbank, Calif.