Letters to the Editor

Letter: Bombs away

September 18, 2014 — 

If Republican John McCain were president now, we would be bombing seven different countries in the Middle East.

Carl Heck

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Letter: Foxy news lady

September 18, 2014 — 

Don’t think I’ve gone off my rocker, but I watch Fox News sometimes. I need to know what my political enemies are up to. They criticize President Obama for everything and blame the world’s problems on him. I heard a rumor that Fox News thinks he is going to the bathroom too often when he should be solving problems.

The one thing I do like on Fox News is “The Five.” There is always a beautiful woman sitting at the table corner with beautiful long legs and high heels. She is told to rock or swing her legs in a sexy way.

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Letter: Head games

September 18, 2014 — 

Mr. So-Called President, are you going to use a 7-iron on the fourth or use the Delta Force to stop the chopping-off of heads?

David Olexsak

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Letter: Pick a winner

September 18, 2014 — 

National, state and local elections are coming upon us once again. We get to elect our own liars, psychos, drunks, pickpockets, sock-puppets and want-to-be tyrants.

What a country!

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Letter: Writer misportrayed Jews, anti-Semitism

September 18, 2014 — 

In his Sept. 10 letter to the editor (“Breeding anti-Semitism,” The Aspen Times), Sean Elias unfairly responded to Rabbi David Segal’s commentary on the rise of anti-Semitism (“On anti-Semitism, from Aspen,” Commentary, Sept. 6). He not only mischaracterized Segal’s statements, but also he employed age-old canards about Jews that reflect bias.

Elias falsely accused Segal of equating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism and appallingly called this the “Jewish race card.” Legitimate criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism, and notably, Segal never claimed that it was. Elias’ argument is a red herring and represents a feeble attempt to undermine a serious discussion about anti-Semitism.

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Letter: Retailers deserve a greater voice

September 18, 2014 — 

I wonder if it would be permissible for a member of the business community to comment on a recent editorial (“Retailers shouldn’t dictate their competition,” Commentary, Sept. 12, page A13 located next to the advertisement by Pierre/Famille). There are several reasons why I believe the assertions are unworthy of The Aspen Times.

1) The two people who made comments to the City Council were but the merest fraction of the business community (as was indicated to reporter Karl Herchenroeder). Those who did speak simply wanted the business community as a whole to have a chance at a later date to come before the council. For the editorial writer now to weigh in upon this topic with the intention of precluding a hearing on this issue is premature in addition to being undemocratic. Let the business community, not I, and certainly not the editorial writer, speak on it first. Such public discussion should be encouraged, not discouraged, by The Aspen Times.

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Letter: Cheney? Really?

September 17, 2014 — 

A buddy forwarded a news clip (which I assumed was a parody) with Cheney being interviewed as an “expert” on the Iraq war. Really? That’s like asking the arsonist who started an out-of-control forest fire how we should extinguish it.

Who’s next? Bush? Rumsfeld? Rice? This is why I don’t have a TV.

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Letter: Aspen needs to pony up for Glenwood bridge

September 17, 2014 — 

The impending reconstruction of the Grand Avenue Bridge in Glenwood poses a serious economic threat to the Roaring Fork Valley and Aspen. The Colorado Department of Transportation and Glenwood Springs have asked Aspen and Pitkin County to contribute to the project.

The view from Aspen seems to be, “Why should we pay?” This is the wrong response. All residents in the valley should ask, “How much do we need to pay to get the project completed very quickly, optimally at the speed the Twin Tunnels were rebuilt?” Problems associated with the project could crush the Roaring Fork Valley’s economy. Put differently, two years of congestion will be fabulous for Vail and Vail Resorts.

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Letter: Won’t kill but will grill

September 17, 2014 — 

So, my tree-hugging, bunny-loving friend tore me up. She said, “How could I be happy that hunting season is here? How could I murder an elk? I would like a tenderloin or back strap, though.” Eh? She gonna get up at 4 a.m. and slog a few miles uphill? Gonna help gut, process and carry it out? Think not. Stick to your packaged-denial ribeye. Nice leather boots she wears, though.

David Olexsak

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Letter: Don’t weigh down your kids

September 17, 2014 — 

It is that time of year when the children have returned to school, and some of them look like they are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders. Look no further than their backpacks to understand why some of them are feeling that way.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that approximately 14,000 children are treated for backpack injuries per year. Approximately 5,000 children visit emergency rooms for injuries related to backpacks.

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Letter: Let’s help one of our own

September 17, 2014 — 

The story of Justin Vassar and his accident near Capitol Peak rose up in me this morning (“Fund started for climber’s hospital bills,” Sept. 16, The Aspen Times).

This is one great kid. Teaching at the kids’ division at Buttermilk and coaching for Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club, he has become a stellar example of someone giving back after college (Williams). A great example of the kind of instructor/coach we need in this valley for our youth.

Learn more »

Letter: It’s time to reel in the carpetbaggers

September 17, 2014 — 

While I appreciate the positive reporting by Karl Herchenroeder of my presentation to the Aspen City Council on Sept. 9, regarding the proliferation of outside “pop-up” vendors competing with “12-month-a-year” local businesses, the editorial “Retailers shouldn’t dictate their competition” (Sept. 12, The Aspen Times) attempts to simplify this complex issue and is wrong in its premise that the City Council would be “setting a precedent” to disallow this type of business activity in Aspen.

In fact, the City Council has already set a precedent of “dictating” what businesses can and can’t be in the downtown core by scuttling the barbecue festival after pressure from local restaurants that were affected by the loss of business during a three-day period. In addition, both Mayor Steve Skadron and Councilman Adam Frisch commented on the issue of food trucks being prohibited from setting up in the downtown core in order to protect the local restaurant community.

To suggest that this type of legislation would inhibit an out-of-town street performer or a child’s lemonade stand from setting up shop downtown as relevant examples trivializes the overall problem and is simply ridiculous. Other than “Lemonade Day” sponsored by The Buddy Program, I would doubt that a pop-up lemonade stand would be allowed on downtown sidewalks or the pedestrian malls. Other than music students, I have never seen any street performers (local or out-of-town!), so I don’t know if the zoning prevents this or not.

The increase in out-of-town, pop-up businesses coming to Aspen during high-season weeks to sell their wares has gotten out of hand. These businesses are “leaking” millions of dollars of sales away from local businesses and not necessarily contributing significantly to the sales tax base of our town. Moreover, some of these businesses are using false or misleading advertising, breaking sign codes with “blimp trucks” or pop-up real estate-style ad boards set up throughout town and selling works that are dubious and often misrepresented to potential buyers. Are these the kind of businesses we want our visitors to Aspen to experience while they are here?

If “Aspen consumers should be afforded as many (retail) choices as possible,” then why are there limits on how large a retail space can be in the downtown core? I believe it is to prevent “big box” or large retailers from coming to town and changing our small-town character as well as creating an unfair advantage for the local businesses that work hard to survive in a seasonal market.

I realize that there are always going to be “carpetbaggers” who come to affluent tourist towns to “skim the cream” off the top during high-season weeks and that it would be difficult to prevent this sort of business activity from happening all the time. However, in the past 10 years, certain businesses have essentially set up shop here throughout the entire season by renting hotel space several times per month, thereby never paying annual expenses, providing employment with benefits to locals or contributing to our local charities. Whether these businesses are required to report accurate sales tax collection reports is another issue, as well.

Finally, it should be noted that some of these businesses — “Seized Assets Sales,” the Art and Antique Fair or Art Aspen — do a formidable amount of full-page, color advertising in both newspapers and local magazines. From that standpoint, I can see why the local media would be less than interested in seeing these businesses go away. I urge the City Council and local government to continue to explore the appropriateness and legality of these businesses and whether they are a benefit to our economy and the character of our town.

Albert Sanford

Owner, Galerie Maximillian

Aspen

Letter: Cory Gardner’s flip service

September 16, 2014 — 

Republican candidate Cory Gardner flip-flops on issues as often as the wind changes in Colorado.

Carl Heck

Aspen

Letter: A carbon tax we can all support

September 16, 2014 — 

We appreciated Peter Jaycox’s letter responding to Citizens Climate Lobby’s ongoing efforts (“Climate change is big business,” Sept. 10, The Aspen Times).

We would like to take the opportunity to clarify a few points of confusion so that this important discussion can continue to be based on accurate information.

First, Citizens Climate Lobby is primarily a volunteer organization. All of us donate our time to the effort and are not staff nor paid in any way for our efforts.

Secondly, under the “carbon fee and dividend” policy that Citizens Climate Lobby advocates, all revenues collected from the fee on carbon fuels are paid equally to all American households; the dividend doesn’t favor any particular income bracket. Two-thirds of Americans will find that their real income actually grows over time under the carbon fee and dividend plan.

A carbon tax we can all support.

As Jaycox’s letter affirms, this is counterintuitive to the old paradigm that says that the economy and the environment can’t improve together. Under fee and dividend, protecting the environment will actually improve our economy thanks to increased and localized consumer spending due to the dividend.

Finally, Jaycox rightly introduces the important issue of methane, which is indeed a highly potent greenhouse gas. Here in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, and in other natural-gas-producing regions, a correctly set fee on methane based on the amount of carbon dioxide with equivalent heat-trapping potential could reduce fugitive emissions at wellheads.

Jaycox hints at bigger cultural shifts that mean putting a price on carbon would lead to more innovation to turn waste into fuel and to use resources efficiently and elegantly. We, too, look forward to unleashing the brilliant ideas of American engineers, inventors and everyday folk. Taxing what we want less of (fossil fuels) is the classical, conservative economic approach to promoting innovation toward the solutions we want.

It’s scary to admit that 7 billion human beings could be disrupting the earth’s natural cycles. The climate has indeed been both warmer and cooler than the present time many times in the past 4 billion years, but never has it changed so quickly when so many human beings depended on its stability and predictability.

If 95 percent of climate scientists are wrong and we create a healthier middle class, clean up our air and reduce geopolitical conflict over fossil-fuel resources worldwide, who is going to complain?

Barb Coddington, Michael Gorman, Lucy Kessler, Sarah Morehouse, Amelia Potvin, Dave Reed and Peter Westcott

Volunteers

Citizens Climate Lobby, Roaring Fork chapter

Letter: Here’s a way to feed the bears

September 16, 2014 — 

The Pauline S. Schneegas Wildlife Foundation in Silt is rehabbing 15 bears — 14 cubs and one big, mean mama. In readying them for hibernation, the foundation is feeding these eating machines around 20,000 calories a day in fruit, berries and dry dog food.

The foundation has the fruit and berries covered but could use help rounding up the dry dog food. To the rescue again is the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office. The good folks at the Pitkin County Jail are collecting donations of unopened bags of dog food between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. any day of the week through Sept. 26. There will be a bin just inside the jail where you can leave the dog food.

You may park your car in the roundabout by the jail while making a donation. If you need help carrying the bagged dog food, please go to the window inside the jail and ask for assistance.

Another way to help is to send a tax-deductible monetary donation to PSSWF, 5945 County Road 346, Silt, CO 81652.

Since 1984, the Wildlife Foundation has rehabilitated and released to the wild more than 6,000 animals that were orphaned, injured or starving when brought to the foundation. If the foundation were not here to help, all these thousands of wild animals would have been euthanized or faced a sure and often slow and painful death in the wild.

Thanks from all the furry and feathered critters.

Lindsay Smith

Volunteer, Pauline S. Schneegas Wildlife Foundation

Aspen

Letter: Countering Beaton’s column

September 16, 2014 — 

Glenn Beaton invokes Rick Santorum from 2012 (“Are Dems anti-science?”, commentary, Sept. 14, The Aspen Times). Instead of name calling, here is where I will be contesting the valley’s resident Fox bot.

• Anti-vaxers are as fringe on both sides of the aisle.

• GMOs: Show me any long-term study of the effects of GMOs. Two decades ago, the Food and Drug Administration granted GMOs the status “generally regarded as safe,” meaning they had no obligation to conduct long-term safety studies. Neonics, which are pesticides used on crops, use less amounts (which is good) but the Ministry of Health in Argentina linked these GMO crops and neonics to large increases in cancer rates around the vicinity of said crops.

The “golden rice” (you know, that “nutritious food that alleviates world hunger” you spout about) concocted for “less developed” countries was scrapped as it was causing blindness because it lacked essential vitamin A.

The International Journal Of Biological Sciences linked Monsanto genetically modified corn to organ damage. And significantly, 60 countries have banned GMOs altogether.

As far as marijuana is concerned, you actually prove in your argument that weed is in fact “no worse than alcohol.” Alcohol kills more than 100,000 people a year. Weed kills — wait for it — zero. Check drugwarfacts.org for tallies.

Alcohol and weed (and sugar for that matter) are indeed addictive, yes. And weed does in fact affect the neurological system, like alcohol. But alcohol singularly may increase breast/esophagus/liver/throat cancer. It may increase fatty liver disease, alcohol hepatitis and cirrhosis. Plus, alcohol increases risk of miscarriage, pre-term birth and stillbirth.

Hope you’re not “angry with me for reciting these facts.”

Marci Michelle

Snowmass Village

Letter: Let a new council decide on Related

September 15, 2014 — 

On my way home from the Related community outreach meeting, I had an idea. Why don’t we ask the now “lame-duck council” (three out of five may be gone) to extend the deadline for the current vested-rights decision until after the upcoming election. This will allow Related to present a more complete plan and also will keep its momentum going, which they say they want, and more importantly, allow the voters a chance to pick a council they want to lead us through this critical time.

Related gets to keep its momentum, and the community will be able to see more specifics on what is planned and vote for the candidates who hold their similar goals.

Mike Sura

Snowmass Village

Letter: Day of Giving needs your support

September 15, 2014 — 

We are writing to let our town know that the third annual Day of Giving will be Oct. 4 at St. Mary Catholic Church in Aspen. This event means so much to our valley. It’s a chance for people to go through their closets and homes and feel good about giving their gently used clothing/goods for those in our valley who are in need.

The past two years, we have witnessed hundreds of people come through the doors of the church and find coats and sweaters and house goods for their homes. We have families tell us that this event enables them to clothe their children and themselves properly for the coming winter.

We are always looking for people who would like to volunteer the days before the event to set up as well as on the Day of Giving. If you are interested in volunteering, please email Allison Daily (allison@pathfinders

forcancer.org).

If you have clothing or goods to donate, please drop them off at Alpine Bank in Snowmass Village or Aspen or at Susie’s Resale at Willits or Aspen. You also can email Allison to arrange a pickup. Any local stores, we would love any donations! If you would like to donate money (that we use to purchase gas cards and grocery cards for the people who come), please make the checks out to St. Mary Catholic Church, 533 E. Main St., Aspen, CO 81611. If you know someone who lives downvalley who wants to come but can’t afford gas or bus money, please let us know, and we will provide that for them. We want everyone who could use support to receive it.

Thank you!

Laurie Murray, Susan Harvey, Monica McKay, Cathy Lenyo, Cassia Boyd, Maria Sanchez and Allison Daily

Letter: A misplaced thorn

September 15, 2014 — 

Regarding the thorn for the city of Aspen Golf Course (“Roses and Thorns,” Commentary, Sept. 8, The Aspen Times):

I understand it must be hard for golfers not to be able to play their game on a couple of days over the golf season. But I take exception to a thorn being given to the third annual Adult/Junior Tournament. The course was only closed for two hours on that afternoon for the tournament; it was open before and after. (Once all of the foursomes passed around the first hole, the course reopened behind them.)

This tournament is the brainchild of my husband, Dominic Lanese. He started this tournament to give kids a chance to get out there on the course for a fun-filled day with an adult and a friend. If anyone wanted to play, they could have found a young friend to play with and joined; everyone is welcome (even some Vail friends come over).

We had 24 groups this year; next year, instead of being upset the course is closed for a couple of hours on a Sunday, get a young friend and join. You get to play golf, a young kid gets to play golf, and everyone is happy.

Emily Lanese

Aspen

Letter: Act now on climate change

September 15, 2014 — 

On Sept. 23 in New York City, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is hosting the Climate Summit. It is an opportunity for all U.N. member states as well as finance, business, civil society and local leaders from public and private sectors to come together and advance climate action to reduce emissions and strengthen climate resilience.

Two days earlier, the People’s Climate March will take place in New York. Thousands of people from around the world will line the streets to let our leader know that we can no longer turn a blind eye to the crisis. Thousands will join together to voice our demands for an economy that works for people and the planet, a world that is safe from the horrors of climate change and a world with good jobs, clean air and water and healthy communities.

The march already is demonstrating that climate change, once seen as a divisive issue, is becoming a unifying political concern across labor, environment, faith and justice groups, including a small contingency from the Roaring Fork Valley who would like to see it keep snowing in the high country. They will be at the march representing the Citizens Climate Lobby — an organization dedicated to supporting the political will for a stable climate.

If you cannot join us for the People’s Climate March, please come to the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies at 7 p.m. Wednesday for a screening of “Disruption.” This film is dedicated to taking action to address climate change. Or come wave us off on the People’s Climate Train, due to pass through Glenwood Springs at the Amtrak station around 12:10 p.m. Tuesday. Now is the time to act!

Ruthie Brown

Aspen

Kudos and Kindness

September 14, 2014 — 

Thrift Shop helps educate Aspen kids

Aspen Elementary School would like to take this opportunity to thank the Aspen Community Foundation and The Thrift Shop of Aspen for their generous contributions to our summer school program. Through their grants, we were able to offer 32 scholarships to students in the Aspen School District’s elementary school. Their support enhanced our ability to reach out and enrich academic experiences for those qualifying students.

The Aspen Community Foundation and the Thrift Shop of Aspen continue to be avid contributors to the Aspen School District and its students. Through their contributions, Aspen Elementary School is ensuring that students are ready for learning when they enter school each August. Thanks again for the time and consideration you have given in support of educating our children.

Doreen Goldyn, principal

Betsy Ann Anastas, assistant principal

Aspen Elementary School

Doggy Day a woofing success

Last Saturday, Sept. 6, Lucky Day Animal Rescue of Colorado hosted its third annual Doggy Day and Splash pool party at the Aspen Recreation Center. On behalf of Lucky Day Animal Rescue, we want to thank our fantastic supporters: the ARC for opening up the pool and grass area for pups to play and swim, their helpful and accommodating staff, our silent auction donors for their generous support, our canine friends and their humans who came and participated in the fun, and the Roaring Fork Valley community. It was a wonderful event enjoyed by all and we look forward to next year!

The board of Lucky Day Animal Rescue of Colorado

Cadets show colors at Aspen Chabad

Wow! This past weekend we were visited in Aspen at the Aspen Chabad Jewish Center by about a dozen students from the Air Force Academy of Colorado Springs. This was a group of young, delightful, bright and motivated cadets. These men and women, our future leaders, showed us the best side of an America to come. I was thrilled to see what a great job the Air Force Academy is doing. It was inspiring to get a chance to see and hear the really glowing part of America’s future. I wanted to share in this lovely experience. It made me even prouder to be an American. Thanks to the Academy for a job well done. A five-star weekend.

Larry Rosenfield

Aspen

Thrift Shop gives back

Every month volunteers of The Thrift Shop of Aspen meet to continue to accomplish our mission: to make grants to other non-profit organizations in the Roaring Fork Valley. We are grateful to all the community members who continue to support our efforts by donating and purchasing gently used clothing and household items. For the month of September we are pleased to announce the following recipients: Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club, Basalt High School Substance Abuse Program, Blue Lake Preschool, Alpine Legal Services, Huts for Vets, Quality of Life Cancer Project, and Red Brick Arts Adult Programs.

Ellen Walbert

PR Committee, Thrift Shop of Aspen

Realtor saves dog

I ‘d like to commend one of our local Realtors for saving my dog’s life Saturday, Sept. 6. A petite dynamo with strength and bravery plucked my large, scary looking lab German shepherd mix out of a stream where he was caught in an underground culvert and drowning. I don’t know how she did it, but the gods of fate put her there at the exact right moment! I will be grateful forever for her courage. Thank you, Marion Lansburgh!

Betsy Scheinkman Weil

Aspen

Thrift Shop ladies grateful for another meal

The Thrift Shop ladies would like to thank our anonymous lunch provider once again for a delicious meal. We truly appreciate the time and talent taken in preparing such a fabulous feast. We are delighted and grateful

Thrift Shop Monday A team

Letter: Friendly fire

September 14, 2014 — 

Friendly fire

Dear President Obama, “best friends” with the billionaire Crowns, owners of Aspen Skiing Co., General Dynamics and JPMorgan,

More General Dynamics bombs on the hornet’s nest known as the Middle East means we’re just gonna get stung.

Endless war and no regulation of Wall Street only benefits your “best friends.”

Lee Mulcahy

Aspen

Letters: What if the Sturmtroopers are wrong?

September 14, 2014 — 

What if the Sturmtroopers are wrong?

Regarding Ms. Sturm’s missive regarding climate change (“Inconvenient truths denied by climate faithful,” commentary, Sept. 10, The Aspen Times).

Is it possible the you and the deniers are wrong, and if you are, what happens to the planet? Think again.

TJ Krest

Basalt

Letter: Sturm’s column was spot on

September 14, 2014 — 

Sturm’s column was spot on

I believe that “climate change” is the biggest scam ever perpetrated on the American public. Your columnist Melanie Sturm zeroed in on the facts in her current article (“Inconvenient truths denied by climate faithful,” Sept. 11, The Aspen Times). She is a spot on intellect, and a word wizard with a knack for describing an issue at a level that everyone can understand without challenging anyone’s ability to understand the subject and yet neither pander nor condescend.

Bravo, Ms. Sturm. You are brilliant; however, I fear she will be ignored by those who worship at the altar of climate change, if she insists on being reasonable, intelligent and factual.

Milo Moran

Spirit Lake, Idaho

Letter: Writer has anti-Semitism down pat

September 14, 2014 — 

Writer has anti-Semitism down pat

This is an attempt to respond to Sean Elias’ letter of Sept. 20 (“Breeding anti-Semitism,” The Aspen Times),which referred to a column by Rabbi David Segal (“On anti-Semitism, from Aspen,” Commentary, Sept. 6). I say “attempt” because it is honestly difficult to know where to begin. Mr. Elias obviously has taken an anti-Semitism 101 course and passed with flying colors.

He begins with an inoffensive sentence agreeing with Rabbi Segal’s call to work against bigotry, etc., but from then on, it is pure anti-Semitism. He begins his diatribe by questioning the rabbi’s views about critics of Israel. The problem, of course, is that the rabbi didn’t even mention that, but it gives Mr. Elias an opportunity to describe Israel in his own terms, all negative, of course.

He goes on to defend a group of campers using hate terms because the Jews were “reserving nature,” and “how does one reserve nature.” I’ll tell you how, Mr. Elias: You pick up the phone or go online to contact the state or national park involved and make a reservation. That “sense of entitlement” that Mr. Elias talks about can be had by almost anyone who follows the rules.

He ends by discussing Jews being the “chosen people” as alluded to in the Bible. He, of course, to make his point, considers it a form of endowing Jews with a feeling of supremacy and enhanced self-worth. By contrast, most Jewish teachers and theologians recognize it as God’s choosing the Jews as the people to make God known to the world.

Throughout Mr. Elias’ letter he enumerates all kind of ways to breed anti-Semitism; I don’t know which ones worked with him (I suspect that he had a head start) but whatever it was, it worked pretty well.

Buster Feldman

Aspen

Letter: Feed your children well

September 13, 2014 — 

With the new school year, parents’ attention is turning to school lunches.

Traditionally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture had used the National School Lunch Program as a dumping ground for surplus meat and dairy commodities. Children consumed animal fat and sugary drinks to the point where one-third have became overweight or obese. Their early dietary flaws became lifelong addictions, raising their risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

In recent years, several state legislatures asked their schools to offer daily vegetarian options, and 64 percent of U.S. school districts now do. Moreover, hundreds of schools and school districts, including Baltimore; Buffalo, New York; Detroit; Houston; Los Angeles; Miami-Dade, Florida; Oakland, California; Philadelphia; and San Diego have implemented Meatless Mondays. A New York City school went all vegetarian last year.

Current USDA school-lunch guidelines, mandated by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, require doubling the servings of fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, less sodium and fat, and meat-free breakfast. The challenge is to get students to eat the healthier foods.

Parents should work with school cafeteria managers to encourage consumption of healthy foods. Initiatives could include student recipe or poster contests, student gardens and/or Meatless Mondays. Detailed guidance is available at www.schoolnutrition.org/schoolmeals, www.fns.usda.gov/cnd, www.pcrm.org/health/healthy-school-lunches and www.vrg.org/family.

Andrew Teller

Aspen

Letter: Lamm hits the right notes on labor, immigration

September 13, 2014 — 

Former Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm’s opinion article in the Aug. 13 Denver Post, “Just whose labor are we protecting?” was bold in its reflection on America’s labor policy. His question: “What policies are best for the American worker?”

A few of his observations: The vast majority of immigrants come because of whom they are related to, not for their skills; low-skilled immigrants reduce wages for low-skilled Americans; our need is for more jobs, not more bodies; and employers love immigrants because they provide subsidized labor. In 2000, the United States had 40 million employment-age workers not in the labor force; today, 92 million are not working. We minimize the number of skilled and talented immigrants by preferring “family unification.” We have been bringing in immigrants more quickly than the economy can provide jobs, thereby hurting American workers. The more people competing for existing jobs, the lower the wages, and any country should owe its first duty to its own poor.

An additional concern he did not address is the massive tax-free, under-the-table, underground economy that has exploded due to illegal immigration.

Lamm is simply asking for a respectful and rational debate on our labor policy. Hopefully those who disagree with the governor will refrain from anger, political correctness and especially name-calling.

Floyd Diemoz

Glenwood Springs

Letter: Carbon taxes are win-win solution

September 13, 2014 — 

Regarding the letter titled “Climate change is big business,” Peter Jaycox wrongly assumes that Amelia Potvin is employed by Citizens’ Climate Lobby (Sept. 10, The Aspen Times).

He is also wrong when he assumes that she and Citizens’ Climate Lobby are promoting an income-redistribution scheme. Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s sole purpose is to empower citizens to lobby their members of Congress for legislation to stabilize the climate. Letters and op-ed articles are written and submitted by volunteers.

If Jaycox would do a little bit of reading about carbon taxes, he would find that Mitt Romney’s economic adviser Greg Mankiw thinks it is the best solution to climate change. Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of State George Schultz and Bush’s Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson recently began advocating for a carbon tax to fight climate change. All former Environmental Protection Agency directors serving Republican presidents are worried about climate change and have urged Congress to enact a carbon tax. In fact, Schultz serves on the board of directors of Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

The Republican Party has rarely been accused of a plan to redistribute wealth to low- and middle-income people. And no one accuses the GOP of participating in a hoax to promote climate-change misinformation. Finally, Holman Jenkins Jr., a member of the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal, has written that a carbon tax is our first best policy option to fight climate change.

Let’s stop arguing about nonsensical ideas that climate change is a hoax. It is not. Let’s start arguing about how to structure a carbon tax and what to do with the revenue collected. Citizens’ Climate Lobby wants it all rebated to the public. Readers should please tell Sen. Mark Udall, Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Scott Tipton what they think Congress should do with the revenue from a national carbon pollution tax: Rebate it to the public, reduce income taxes, fund Social Security, or invest in renewables.

It’s time to decide. Make sure you are properly informed and heard.

Judy Weiss

Brookline, Massachusetts

Letter: Bombing won’t solve the crisis

September 13, 2014 — 

The U.S. fails to listen to the people it deems “terrorists” (al-Qaida, ISIS and Hamas) when it says they exist because the U.S. and Israel kill Arabs/Muslims and take their land.

U.S. politicians need to stop listening to defense contractors and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee lobbyists. The Sept. 1 issue of The New Yorker has a good article, “Friends of Israel,” on how that committee influences members of Congress and makes it clear their careers are doomed if they do not vote to support Israel.

Speaking out against Israel’s human-rights violations has caused de-hiring of professor Steven Salaita at the University of Illinois and forced the resignation of Yale Chaplain Bruce Shipman following his New York Times letter critical of Israel’s war on Gaza.

The Middle East cannot be bombed into peace and stability; it only breeds more radicals and hatred and makes military and weapons contractors richer. Listening and talking with enemies makes more sense.

Cathleen Krahe

Aspen

Letter: What would Sarah do?

September 13, 2014 — 

If Sarah Palin were president, she would immediately order bombing of Syracuse!

Carl Heck

Aspen

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