Letters to the Editor

Letter: A personal plea for energy investment

July 28, 2015 — 

This public letter is respectfully written to Lester Crown, owner of Aspen Skiing Co.: History and posterity need you now (not next year, Mr. Crown) to take a global leadership role on climate change.

In his 2009 classic “Getting Green Done,” Auden Schendler wrote,”More than individuals, businesses can influence policy because they carry huge weight with government. And businesses can get things done while waiting for policy change to take place.”

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Letter: Two parties, same garbage

July 28, 2015 — 

Today’s so-called liberals and conservatives advocate different degrees and aspects of the same BS, but advocate it they do!

Michael Galvis

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Letter: Retread Republicans

July 28, 2015 — 

Love him, disagree with him or outright hate him, one thing is for sure: President Barack Obama is no lame duck. This is what happens when there is a thoughtful, intelligent person in the oval office. The man is amazing.

Another amazing thing happened just the other day — on Fox News of all places! There was a Fox contributor gleefully stating that Hillary Clinton is in trouble with the latest polls and that she is a criminal for her email-server problems. After that, this person stated how amazed he was about the depth of the top 16 Republican presidential candidates running in 2016. This poor guy was so excited; he made me laugh so hard. It’s great when Fox News is the comedy channel. Plus, this is mid-2015. Quite a way to go until Election Day.

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Letter: Let the court process play out

July 28, 2015 — 

I think it safe to say we have all done things we are ashamed of or regret later. All too often, those things occurred while consuming alcohol or other substances — especially in this valley known for its substance abuse.

The alleged mantra of the U.S. judicial system is “innocent until proven guilty,” is it not?

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Letter: Dance party was over the top

July 28, 2015 — 

A record crowd of 500 people came out in force July 17 for the best freakin’ dance party in Jazz Aspen Snowmass’ history, celebrating our 25th year in great style befitting the occasion. The spectacular setting, uber-cool lounge look and decor, incredible nonstop dance performance by Nile Rogers and Chic and closing-night jam with bassist and guest DJ Christian McBride — it was a night for the ages that united longtime friends of Jazz Aspen Snowmass with seemingly hundreds of new faces from near and far!

A few special thank-yous to a group of people who made this night the incredible success it was: Bob and Soledad Hurst for allowing us to use their beautiful property; our generous event hosts, Don and Marianne Buchholz, Donald Drapkin and Sue Hostetler, Art and Marcy Falcone, Richard and Kitzia Goodman, Tim LaRose and Lorrie Wright-LaRose, Earl Michie, and Richard and Nancy Rogers; our talented event co-chairs, Rick Crandall and Laura Welch; our great longtime friend and 25 for 25 honorary Chairwoman Kathryn Fleck Peisach; and our new friend and 25 for 25 Committee Chairwoman Kimberly Paige.

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Letter: Music doesn't stop at Thrift Shop

July 28, 2015 — 

Thanks to the Thrift Shop for the up-cycle! They don’t just sell art, they help make it happen.

Ever tried making a mosaic with old CDs? Well, it looks really cool except you need a lot of CDs to cut up and paste. Where, oh where would I find a lot of old compact discs? Why, our very own artists supply store the Thrift Shop of course. These bits of holographic plastic got a new lease on life as decorative bases for the Aspen Ideas Festival logo art installation. You may have seen the stained glass leaf sculptures out in Anderson Park next to JR’s photos. That’s a much better place for all those CDs than the dumpster.

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Letter: Fourth of July concert was un-American

July 28, 2015 — 

Dear Mr. Fletcher (Alan Fletcher, CEO of Aspen Music Associates):

My wife and I want to express our disappointment with the music selections chosen for the July 4 concert at the tent. Since that day we also have heard from several of our friends from the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond who like us had looked forward to a July Fourth patriotic concert based on most of the previous July Fourth concerts at the tent, only to wonder why there was only one patriotic march and that was played during the encore.

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Letter: From oppressed to oppressor

July 28, 2015 — 

In your newspaper on July 2, in the World & Nation section on page 26, there was an article about Israelis protesting attacks by Palestinians. What is Israel’s right-wing government doing about these attacks? The opposite of what the protesters want. Israel, by stealing Palestinian land and violating human rights, provokes more attacks.

This oppression of Palestinians, which is constantly criticized by the U.N. and the international community, is responsible for a new wave of anti-Semitism around the world.

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Letter: Hardly an achievement

July 28, 2015 — 

Stefan Edlis and I often disagree but are mutually respectful. With respect, I disagree with Stefan’s characterization of the Iran deal as “our president’s extraordinary achievement (“Criticism of Iran deal is political,” July 24, letters, The Aspen Times). Unless, of course, by “achievement” Stefan means an “achievement” in self congratulation.

The comedian Jackie Mason summed it up well. The New York City Health Department can inspect a restaurant kitchen in New York City anywhere anytime without notice. In contrast, the Iranians can stall inspections of their nuclear program almost at will. We are safer from a tainted tuna sandwich than we are from Iranian nukes.

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Letter: Crowded by design

July 28, 2015 — 

Problem: Traffic.

Aspen’s Solutions:

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Roses and Thorns

July 26, 2015 — 

Thorns to the Colorado Department of Transportation for undertaking a major paving project in Aspen during the height of summer season. We understand the need to get going while the weather is favorable, and Highway 82 west of the roundabout and east of Seventh Street desperately need some new asphalt. Nevertheless, a little planning would have gone a long way. The occupancy projections for Aspen show business dropping off drastically during the second half of August.

Roses go to the Pitkin County sheriff’s deputies who patrol Castle Creek Road and courteously remind road cyclists to ride single file in a safe fashion.

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Letter: Energy-efficient codes are city priority

July 26, 2015 — 

Regarding Mr. Wickes’ letter “Write energy efficiency into building codes” of the July 22 Aspen Times, we couldn’t agree more on the significance of energy efficiency. Still, there are a few points to clarify. The Aspen Municipal Code reflects the need for energy efficiency as it does adopt the International Energy Conservation Code, which is developed and supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and used throughout the country as a standard for buildings and building systems. The DOE estimates that the administration and enforcement of modern energy code provisions save U.S. citizens and businesses billions of dollars every year in electric, gas and water bills.

Aspen and Pitkin County energy codes pioneered the Renewable Energy Mitigation Program which has stimulated the production of on-site renewable energy through photovoltaics, solar hot water systems, and ground source heat pumps. These systems are encouraged to be installed to offset the energy use for snowmelt, spa, and pool installations. Homeowner and business on-site renewables are not limited to offsetting only installations. They are allowed to install beyond the offset or outside of the program. If the homeowner or business chooses not to offset their snowmelt, spa, or pool installation, payments are collected for the Community Office of Resource Efficiency. CORE is an environmental nonprofit that offers rebates and grants for energy efficient projects and on-site renewables. In 2007, REMP won the Innovations in American Government Award from Harvard and is a model to other governments throughout the country.

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Letter: We're gonna need a bigger backpack

July 26, 2015 — 

When I discovered that the Forest Service had decreed that bear canisters are now required to enter the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, and being the law-abiding citizen that I am, I acquired one. Is anyone at the USFS aware of how large these things are? I could take a bath in it. I could pack enough rice to cross the Himalayas (are there bears there?). If Shamu needs a vacation tank ...

You’d imagine a bunch of guys and gals who spend all their time huffing it through the woods would have noticed that the bear canister is a fantasy for a backpacker who has spent years fine-tuning real estate for every last cubic centimeter of pack space.

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Letter: More action is needed

July 26, 2015 — 

It is clear that we have some philanthropists in the valley who make a difference. It is also obvious that many of the great minds in the world meet here, talk about what is wrong with the world and do nothing, or very little happens to improve the world’s condition.

It is time for every entity that professes to want to change a situation to state their goals and clarify what has been done to meet their objective.

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Letter: Aspen's terrible traffic

July 26, 2015 — 

If one has a clogged artery, it can, and usually will, lead to health and heart problems! The artery leading into Aspen’s heart is clogged.

“If you stop 10 people on the street and ask, ‘Why is traffic bad in Aspen?’ they will all give you a different answer. That, to me, tells me that as a community, we don’t have great data,” said Ashley Perl, the Canary Initiative director. (“Aspen vehicle traffic sees steady increase,” The Aspen Times, July 20). She continued, “(The city needs) to hear from the community that it’s a priority for them, as well. ... We’re going to really have to hear from people and engage on a pretty deep level.”

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Letter: Start implementing traffic solutions

July 25, 2015 — 

Are the inmates running the asylum? The City Council gets bogged down in insignificant matters while ignoring the critical issue of traffic congestion. The time has long passed to address the abominable traffic problems entering and leaving Aspen. The traffic delays resulting in hundreds of cars and trucks crawling into and out of town daily — resulting in excessive exhaust pollution, loss of productivity and extraordinary waste of time — must be addressed. It is time for the City Council and the Colorado Department of Transportation to get proactive on this urgent issue with creative solutions. I offer the following ideas for consideration: 1) Build a large parking garage outside town with continuous public transportation to and from town, which would keep many vehicles out of town and not circling in town looking for parking; 2) Expand the pedestrian-only streets to adjacent streets; 3) Widen Highway 82 to four lanes between Owl Creek Road and Main Street.

Paul Rudnick

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Letter: A marathon thank-you note

July 25, 2015 — 

A huge thank you to all the volunteers who made the Aspen Valley Marathon a great success. To include the following: Ali Miller, Alli Freed, Allison Patillo, Amanda Wagner, Amity Brereton-Preis, Anders Weiss, Angela Vichick, Anne Adams, Aracelli Delgadillo, Ashley McGee, Aspen CrossFit, Aspen High School, Aspen Youth Center, Austin Weiss, Belle Richardson, Ben Mallory, Ben Marbach, Bill Billings, Blake Graves, Brad Seng, Brandi Smythe, Cara Haugen, Cathy Roger, Cece Beck, Challenge Aspen, Cheryl Dziedzic, Chris Keleher, Christian Curatolo, Christinana Villano, Christine Stom, Claus, Colleen O’Neil, Coloradough, Dallas Blaney, David Cook, David Guest, Deb Gravelle, Diana Spicer, Donna Wilcox, Donni Cochran, Elaine Crowley, Elder Morales, Elder Serano, Elsie Weiss, Emily Burr, Erica DeLos Santos, Fitness 1211, Gena Hatcher, Geno, Georgie Davenport, Gilles Cote, Ging Guiliani, Glenwood CrossFit, Glenwood Sweets and Wine Vault, Gwen Carew, Hans Schneider, Independence Run and Hike, Jami De Bold, Janet Gordon, Jay Engstrom, Jaywalker Lodge, Jeff Lauckhart, Jeff M​c​Mahan, Jenni Perterson, Jennifer Lauckhart, Jenny George, Jimmy Udvich, Joan Valentine, Joanne Harrison, Johanna Williams, John Armstrong, John Baker, John Pulman, John Sjulin, Jordan Fields, Juilia Spencer, Karen Zavala, Kate Phillips, Katie Reeves, Katie Stookesberry, Kathy Bender, Kathy Haber, Kelli Newlon, Kelly Braun, Kelsey Fitzgerald, Kevin O’Driscoll, Kimmie Sandbach, Kip of Conundrum Catering, Kristina Sappenfield, Kylee Schuler, Kylie Richardson, Laurie Stone, Libby Pettit, Linda Spada Magill, Lynn Bayko, Lynn Whitmer, Maggie Musch, Mark Hogan, Martin Suthren, Matt Brymer, May Selby, Michaela Idhammar, Michelle Martin, Mike Bower, Mike Kraemer, Miranda Pingree, Natalia Plascencia, Nathaly Olmedo, Natural Grocers, Ned O’Sullivan, Nick Ketpura, Patrick Kennedy, Perri Mickles, Pete D’Andre, Peter Krieger, Rebecca Mallory, Rebecca Weiss, Rob Skillman, Ryan Helm, Sabrina Butt, Sam Howland Sam Louras, Sarah Anderson, Sean Van Horn, Sheldon Hoelken, Stephanie Thurston, Tamas Kovas, Timmy Harris, The Aspen Clinic, The Ute Mountaineer, US Bank, Vitality for Life and Will Fisher ...

We are sorry if we missed anyone in this letter and want to thank you again for your kindness and for giving up your free time to make this special event possible. We couldn’t have done it without you!

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Letter: Thirteen suggestions to end gridlock

July 25, 2015 — 

1. Roaring Fork Transportation Authority representatives should meet all aircraft arriving in Aspen, private and commercial, and direct passengers and crew to the luxurious quarter-million-dollar bus stop so they can ride a fast, fun and frequent bus into town.

2. Homeowners up Castle Creek, Maroon Creek, Red Mountain and on Highway 82 toward Difficult should be instructed to ride their bikes into town and leave their cars at home. They should, however, have the option of carpooling with their neighbors.

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Letter: A stellar performance

July 25, 2015 — 

I want to thank Mercedes Bass and the Aspen Music Festival for bringing the brilliant tenor Vittorio Grigolo to perform at the Benedict Music Tent on Thursday evening. Grigolo, who is an opera superstar in Europe, played to a partially filled tent, yet his enthusiasm for his craft and his showmanship was not diminished.

He performed as if he was singing before 20,000 adoring, swooning fans. I would not have thought it possible that a solo unamplified voice could fill the tent (and our hearts) with such power and pure tone. The frequent comparisons of Vittorio Grigolo with such greats as Enrico Caruso and Luciano Pavarotti are certainly not exaggerations.

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Letter: A great column

July 25, 2015 — 

Dear Glenn Beaton,

This is my first time writing to the paper in any capacity, though sometimes I scream at the paper. Literally.

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Letter: Unequal preservation effort at North Star

July 25, 2015 — 

Why is it that people can use North Star “Preserve” to land with their parachutes and hang gliders or have parties, wade the river and float kayaks and paddleboards, but I am forbidden to set up my painting easel beside the public walkway?

I agreed with the ranger who asked me to move; I want to preserve North Star. To save it, we must “lock it up.” But it seems that is impossible, owing to the hunger of the human imagination.

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Letter: Thanks to Dr. Dolginow

July 24, 2015 — 

So many members of this community have been blessed to have had Dr. Scott Dolginow as their veterinarian over the past 27 years. Having been a client of the Aspen Animal Hospital for almost all of those 27 years, I can attest to the skill, compassion and expertise he brought to all of us and our animals. He is a true community treasure and will be greatly missed at the Aspen Animal Hospital. It is obvious that his expertise, wisdom and compassion were an integral part of the lives of so many who had pets under his care. He is an outstanding veterinarian and a wonderful human being. Thank you, Scott, for your service and dedication to this community.

Lisa Markalunas

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Letter: A balance of wilderness and culture

July 24, 2015 — 

Each summer in the Roaring Fork Valley, I find myself torn between whether to get out in our vast mountains or catch the neverending supply of music and activities in town. Usually I run myself ragged trying to do both.

Fortunately, this year there’s happy medium. It’s called Wildfest, and it’s the perfect blend of wildness and culture. Wilderness Workshop’s signature summer event takes place Aug. 1 on the grounds of one of Old Snowmass’ finest ranches — The Other Side Ranch, dating back to the 1800s. Located up East Sopris Creek, the ranch includes a historic barn, open meadows with spectacular views of the Elk Mountains and lots of furry friends. It is the perfect setting for live music, local food, workshops and fun for the whole family.

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Letter: Stop caving in to developers

July 24, 2015 — 

Aspen City Council,

First, I want to thank you for the enormous amount of time you give serving this town — assuredly without sufficient remuneration.

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Letter: McCain the hero, Trump the buffoon

July 24, 2015 — 

Donald Trump, in insulting Sen. John McCain, demonstrated that he has no concept whatsoever of the essential element of heroism.

McCain is a hero for refusing release from prison as a prisoner of war ahead of others incarcerated longer — in short, putting others and their interests before himself.

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Letter: Paradise lost with Base2 project

July 24, 2015 — 

Over the past several weeks there have been many comments and articles written both for and against the Base2 lodge. We own directly behind the Conoco station and will be directly impacted by the oversized building proposed for that lot.

We bought in Aspen several years ago with plans on remodeling and spending more time out here as our children leave home. We bought into the Aspen dream and all that pertains to it. My husband and I would have never bought 117 N. Monarch St. had we known there was a potential for a building to be built that is over twice size of what variances allow. The proposed building has no on-site parking, and I am concerned that my three parking spaces will be used by hotel guests or vendors, the sunlight that won’t reach my back yard, and the noise from a building that has little setbacks intruding on what we thought was our little piece of West End paradise.

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Letter: Reckless disregard on Frying Pan Road

July 24, 2015 — 

I’m not sure which of the following growing problems are worse, folks who drive way too fast up and down Frying Pan Road or cyclists who zip in and out of traffic, do not follow traffic laws or signal their intentions like motorists are required to do.

For the folks who on a daily basis seem to floor it as soon as they pass the barber shop in Basalt and seem to be attempting to set the land-speed record on the Frying Pan, the following are inevitable:

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Letter: Criticism of Iran deal is political

July 24, 2015 — 

The next 60 days will bring an avalanche of attacks on the Iran agreement. The main criticism, though not explicitly stated, is essentially that we should not engage diplomatically with the enemy of Israel. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, representing the majority of the American Jewish community, has committed $40 million to get Congress to reject the agreement. I do not predict the outcome, but if this succeeds, the rest of the world might wonder about the level of influence this organization can apply to control our government’s actions.

Success would demolish a multiyear effort by the six leading world nations to resolve a conflict we ourselves generated many years ago when we foisted the Shah of Iran on its people.

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Letter: The Iran deal

July 24, 2015 — 

Is it the time right for the Iran nuke deal? TV debates fill the screen, pro and con. Is this favorable for America? The consensus is saying “no.” The Barack Obama legacy is on the table, but does that matter? Iran sees Obama, many feel, as a weak president who wants this agreement desperately. Secretary of State John Kerry was commanded to do as necessary to finalize a transaction. Promises have been disregarded to accomplish the end seen today. An example is the any time, any hour inspection requirements reduced to 24 days’ notice. What must be weighed is security for America and its friends. Iran was looking out for itself but not necessarily the youth of that nation seeking greater freedom. The purpose of the sanctions was to provide hope to those wanting a change in how they are governed. When the sanctions are lifted, and there will be no turning back, those hopes will be dashed. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei still shouts, “Death to America.” He recognizes this nuclear-abatement deal makes him stronger, giving Iran increased stature in the world. This agreement will also, with items now included to allow Russia to sell ballistic missiles to Iran, begin a new conventional-weapons competition.

After 2016, the world expects a stronger and less dovish president. Most candidates running, except possibly one, will take a harder line against the habits of the Islamists. Knowing this, the Iranian leaders prefer to strike a deal now. If Obama delayed such that the horizon of a new day with a new president was visible, many feel the Iranians would soften and acquiesce to requests making more sense for the free world, to include Israel. The chorus of politically correct voices is suggesting the Iran deal will enable powers in the region to relax, if just for 10 or 15 years. Obama’s penchant of ignoring Congress portends he actually knows better. Sidestepping Congress, preferring the United Nations, a liberal, progressive, Democratic president ignored the Republicans as well as the House and Senate Democrats. Why ignore your friends at home unless they are only friends if they do as you want?

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Letter: Dangerous candy

July 23, 2015 — 

I was in the Fourth of July Parade driving my 1976 convertible. Two pickup trucks ahead of me with kids were driven in a reckless way. They swerved back and forth so the kids could throw candy. There were hundreds of pieces of candy all over the road. And, of course with some parents’ approval, the kids ran right in front of me to pick up stuff. Candy is banned, but not enforced. Maybe next year there will be more safety.

If you want to give out candy, follow the parade by walking on the sidewalk and give candy to the kids safely.

Richard Goodwin

Snowmass

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