Letters to the Editor

Letter: Polluting the water

August 29, 2016 — 

Mayor Steve Skadron deserves kudos for informing a presidential candidate about Aspen’s efforts and reputation for climate change.

Unfortunately, there is a glaring, significant, hypocritical incongruence that Aspen continues to carry out.

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Letter: Clean up your campaign

August 29, 2016 — 

As former Carbondale elected officials with a combined tenure of 24 years of serving our town on the Board of Trustees, we recognize that polarizing issues and controversies arise, especially during campaign season. While nominating petitions to seek the open mayor seat are not yet due, one candidate has taken it upon himself to make his feelings known. We would like to take this opportunity to address Ed Cortez’s recent letter to the editor.

It goes without saying that Carbondale is a unique and treasured place that is filled with residents, workers and visitors who truly care about one another and the health, safety and welfare of the community. Recent reported assaults on two women have rightfully stirred conversation and calls to action regarding safety. We are confident that our leadership on the Board of Trustees will work with town staff to implement appropriate measures in response.

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Letter: Thanks for the support

August 29, 2016 — 

MotherLode Volleyball Productions wants to thank, in advance, all of the lodges, restaurants and retail establishments that help to make the annual MotherLode Volleyball Classic one of Aspen’s longest consecutively running events. This year’s 44th annual MotherLode Volleyball Classic is shaping up to be one of the best in recent years. From the Coed Open and Masters divisions on Friday to the Men’s and Women’s Open divisions held all through Labor Day weekend, this year’s ’Lode is loaded with talent. Makes for great spectating. But it wouldn’t be possible without community support. Thank you!

Leon Fell

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Letter: Does Obama really want TPP as part of his legacy?

August 28, 2016 — 

Why does Barack Obama want the Trans-Pacific Partnership? And why does he want it fast-tracked?

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is supported by big business as way to more easily move manufacturing jobs to countries where wages are low. While our valley doesn’t have much in the way of manufacturing jobs, most of us know family or friends who have lost jobs as a result of their employer moving the jobs to low-wage countries. The Trans-Pacific Partnership has a rather bizarre component; it sets up a process where corporations can sue governments that take actions that they feel may cost them “future potential” profits. Not only could they sue, but also the action would take place in an international court made up of nonelected judges.

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Letter: Lasting memories

August 28, 2016 — 

It’s with great sadness that I’ve learned of the passing of my old buddy Jerry Morris on July 20. A great, dry wit. An incredibly gifted guitarist. A really solid friend whom I shared so many good times with in our Aspen days from the ’70s and ’80s.

As with many fine artists, Jerry was at times troubled with his path in life and reflective on what might have been. For a long time, Jerry carried a tremendous burden about the 1980 death of his ex-wife Ellen Pokress in a plane crash on Maroon Pass. Years spent in the meat grinder of Hollywood and the clubs on Sunset slowly steered Jerry back to his roots in Omaha, Nebraska, and a far more stable, inner peace.

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Letter: The Devil's Dictionary, 2016 edition

August 28, 2016 — 

Here, in time for the election season, are a few updated entries from Ambrose Bierce’s classic lexicon:

Vote, n.: The instrument and symbol of a free person’s power to make a fool of oneself and a wreck of one’s country. It was to spare its members such folly that the Colorado GOP did not permit them to vote in a presidential primary this year.

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Letter: Now hiring

August 28, 2016 — 

In response to Chip Nealy’s Aug. 25 letter to the editor (“Joke of the day,” The Aspen Times):

Are you looking for work? I do believe we are hiring people to come screw in light bulbs up here in grand old Aspen. Kisses!

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Letter: Back-to-school food

August 28, 2016 — 

With the new school year starting, parents’ to-do lists are now filled with shopping for school clothes, school supplies and school food. That’s right — school food!

In past years, our nation’s schools were used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a dumping ground for surplus meat and dairy commodities. It is neither a surprise nor coincidence that one-third of our children have become overweight or obese. Such dietary mistakes at an early age become lifelong addictions, raising their risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

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Letter: Thoughts for Basalt's Town Council

August 28, 2016 — 

I truly hope I am off base, but it would appear that by some combination of willful purpose and insidious craft, Basalt’s Town Council has allowed or created a highly intolerable working environment for Mike Scanlon, our town manager, now tragically departed!

In the estimation of many, it’s an immeasurable loss to Basalt’s future and an equally immeasurable loss of public confidence in the Town Council’s ability to manage issues wisely.

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Letter: Strong connections

August 28, 2016 — 

The strength of our community showed its true aspen glow this weekend at Aspen Strong’s third annual Hike Hope Heal. The money raised goes directly to the Mental Health Fund, which allows Roaring Fork Valley residents to access financial support for mental-health services from licensed professionals.

Early Saturday morning, the sun rose over Herron Park just as Arielle Vandershuit of Strikingly Fit led our group in a free warm-up yoga session. The golden light and crispness in the air reflected the beauty of our surroundings. The smiles and chatter that filled the park reflected the moods and spirits lifted from this community event. As we headed out for an invigorating hike, I was struck by the camaraderie and support that hikers developed with one another up Smuggler Mountain. Everyone appeared stronger and happier with each step.

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Letter: It's time for action by Carbondale leaders

August 26, 2016 — 

I happened to be at the Aug. 23 Carbondale trustees meeting for my own purpose when I walked into the Trustee Chamber and was surprised to see 20 to 30 extremely upset women protesting the lack of action by Mayor Pro-Tem Dan Richardson and the Board of Trustees in reference to recent assaults on women walking at night.

After comments from most who attended and myself on this issue, Richardson’s response was, “There is nothing the town can do about this tonight.” In my opinion, and in the opinion of most of the women present, this was not satisfactory.

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Letter: An agnostic meets with the Prophets of Dawn

August 26, 2016 — 

This morning at the edge of a meadow, I witnessed a gathering of crows. Maybe 50 of them. They may or may not have formed a murder, for I do not know how many crows a murder makes. Nor do I know if the gathering was premeditated or simply committed in an act of passion. To be honest, I don’t even know if they were crows.

I confess: I cannot tell a raven from a crow. I do not apologize for this. For what does my ignorance matter? As long as they can distinguish each from the other, then all is right with the world.

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Letter: Good vibes

August 25, 2016 — 

Dear fearless and fabulous and truly wonderful Shakti Shala family,

Wow! It’s been quite the summer! I can’t even write another word without saying oh my God — thank you, thank you, to each and every one of you, for all of your support, participation and highly positive attitudes and the heart you give and bring to the Shala. This place has really come to be a wonderful home for so many of us — thank you to all of you who have helped shape it to be what it is.

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Letter: Support local athletes

August 25, 2016 — 

The sports for the Aspen Skiers are back in full swing starting Saturday morning at 10 a.m. with varsity soccer and at noon with junior varsity, Sept. 9 with football and Tuesday at 6 p.m. with soccer. These are all home games.

Please come out and support your Aspen Skiers. Hope to see everyone at the games. Good luck this season.

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Letter: Dems are all talk

August 25, 2016 — 

I find it strangely amusing that the Democrat Party, with all its talk about being the party of diversity and inclusion, could only field a couple of old white people for the office of president.

Meanwhile, the GOP, which the left calls “racist” and “haters,” had blacks, Latinos, whites, men and women as candidates.

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Letter: Joke of the day

August 25, 2016 — 

I read the article about Aspenites being thrown out of their gathering place (The Aspen Times, Aug. 25). I live in New Castle, so what they do with the Armory building is none of my business. I just wanted to mention that they got the answer to the riddle wrong. The correct answer to the question “How many Aspenites does it take to screw in a light bulb?” is “One.” They just hold up the light bulb, and the world spins around them.

Chip Nealy

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Letter: The long and short of it

August 24, 2016 — 

Just when I thought the presidential campaign could not get any more bizarre, it did.

Some of my friends tell me they do not read my letters because they are too long. I will try to be more like Carl Heck or Ruth Harrison, but this is a convoluted mess. Vladimir Putin-led Russia is asserting itself as the major player in the Middle East. Putin illegally inserted Russia in Crimea. Putin does not tolerate political opposition. It is shocking to me that Donald Trump wants to buddy up with Putin. Trump has encouraged the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton’s State Department emails and release them. The Russians (allegedly) hacked the Democratic National Committee’s emails; are Trump’s fingerprints on this? OK, enough — Putin and his Russians wear black hats.

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Letter: Rock bottom in the midvalley

August 24, 2016 — 

The Basalt town government is completely dysfunctional. The divisiveness is palpable and getting worse. The flames are stoked by the mayor and her faction. There’s not a cooler head to prevail this side of Willits. Well, maybe one. Auden Schendler, we appeal to your reasonableness. This is rock bottom; please help your constituents rebuild faith in their derailed government. I’m fairly certain I’m not the only one deeply troubled and saddened that it came to this. It didn’t have to. Mike Scanlon, I didn’t know you well, but I speak for many in saying that you will be missed.

Paul Noto

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Letter: Watch out for scam

August 24, 2016 — 

Over the past two weeks, the Aspen High School Booster Club together with the Student Athletic Leadership Team has been working on the fall athletic-schedule poster.

While contacting past advertisers, it came to our attention that local businesses are being targeted by solicitors who are scammers. These callers represent themselves as being from Aspen High School, but they are not. They also make it seem as though the money they are asking for will benefit the Aspen School District, but it will not. Only the Booster Club and the Student Athletic Leadership Team will create an athletic-schedule poster for each sports season.

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Letter: Colorado no slam dunk for Clinton

August 24, 2016 — 

I attended the Aspen Public Radio event at Paepcke Auditorium with Kevin Rudin from National Public Radio hosting the respective state party chairs from the Democratic and Republican parties. Colorado’s Democratic Chairman Rick Palacio kept saying that 90 percent of Bernie Sanders supporters, especially those who are millennials, are planning to vote for Hillary Clinton.

I don’t know what millennials and Bernie supporters he’s speaking with, but they sure aren’t the ones I talk to around Carbondale and Aspen. Most of those I know are voting for the Green Party candidate, the Libertarian Party candidate or none of the above. A few are even considering Donald Trump. Not a one has said they will vote for Hillary.

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Letter: Housing hubbub

August 24, 2016 — 

In the latest comical city of Aspen overreach, the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority’s lawyers have demanded more than $64,000 for future rent and legal fees on a self-built house — before appeal of the forced house sale can proceed. Meanwhile, the housing authority has refused to allow rental of any rooms. (Note: Taxes are current and have never been late.)

If you’re confused, you’re not alone. True to its M.O., the housing authority’s attorney firm is meeting with the the authority’s board behind closed doors in “executive” session Sept. 6 while refusing to allow the defendant (me) to speak at the public meeting.

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Letter: Billionaires fear Trump

August 24, 2016 — 

Have you taken clear note with mind-boggling astonishment how quite a few billionaires even with so-called conservative credentials are very scared of lone-wolf billionaire Donald Trump and his Trump billionaire mentality? Funny how they include the archconservative Koch brothers, too.

Now, let’s see — we have billionaires, peasant millionaires, aliens, weirdos, Hollyweird celebrities and the rest of the rodents flying scared over the cuckoo’s nest about Trump. They must fear a Trump presidency putting them on skid row in Los Angeles pushing shopping carts and sleeping in cardboard boxes on the streets of rapidly gentrifying downtown Los Angeles.

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Letter: Community center next to the Wheeler

August 24, 2016 — 

The risks surrounding the choice to relocate City Hall and the future use of the Armory boil down to three things:

1) Will moving City Hall out of a historic building and into a new building on the periphery of the downtown core negatively impact the small-town character of Aspen?

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Letter: Don't put it on the taxpayers

August 23, 2016 — 

A small group of locals is pressuring the City Council to turn the Armory building (current City Hall) into a community center. This group seems sure it could raise the money and it would not cost the city a dime.

What this small group is not telling us is that after abandoning the Armory, the city would build a brand-new City Hall for $50 million on our public open space at Rio Grande Park. It is not telling us that we would lose that public open space where residents and tourists now enjoy views of the mountains, Shakespeare in the Park and just being outdoors. Besides, we need open space around our iconic 19th-century structures, like the courhouse, to preserve our small-town feel. These structures should not be crowded into one monolithic government consortium, a “Taj Mahal.”

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Letter: Get realistic numbers on traffic demand, capacity

August 23, 2016 — 

Fixing the Entrance to Aspen is the new old topic of the month. It’s the subject of an Aspen Times editorial on Aug. 19 (“Still seeking an Entrance to Aspen solution”). Local officials are about to spend another half-million dollars “studying” it. Studying is good if the right things are studied.

Road and traffic planning doesn’t exist in a vacuum. People travel into and out of town because they live or work or play here or because they’re going to or coming from Independence Pass. The city should start with a realistic quantitative analysis of such basics as: number of residents and visitors expected to occupy town in each month of the year (both at present and in the future as more development occurs); number of cars just using the pass; number of parking spaces they will need and at what times of day; number who will enter and leave town by bus and by car and at what times of day; and number of occupants the current infrastructure of water, power, sewage, etc., will support.

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Letter: A recall to duty for veterans

August 23, 2016 — 

As a veteran of the United States Air Force, I am thoroughly disappointed with and betrayed by what I see going on in America. The levels of corruption and abuse of power at the highest levels of our national government trouble me. I asked myself what I can possibly do as a veteran to continue to honor the oath I took many years ago to support and defend the Constitution. Recently, I learned about a nationwide effort to rein in the power and jurisdiction of the federal government and return much of this power back to the state governments and to the people — in other words, to rebalance power between the state and federal governments originally intended in the Constitution by America’s Founding Fathers. This nationwide effort, called Convention of States (COS) Project (www.conventionofstates.com), also seeks to require the federal government to operate under a true balanced budget requirement as well as the merits of term limits (total years of service limitation) on members of Congress and federal judges. This is an effort I needed to learn more about, which I eventually did. I am now an active supporter of the COS Project, and I urge all my fellow veterans to take that first step to become educated about this nonpartisan effort. Support for the COS Project by veterans could prove crucial to its success, because we represent the seven percent of Americans who were prepared to give the last measure of devotion in support of our Constitution. In addition to the above web site, inquiries or requests for group presentations about the COS Project can be made tocoloradovets@cosaction.com, or call 719-482-5997. The COS Project offers veterans another call of duty to support and defend the Constitution. May God continue to bless these United States of America!

Ron Scott

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Letter: No danger in doubling lanes

August 23, 2016 — 

Success!

A hard-core Aspen establishment dinosaur finally awoke from his slumber, took the bait and provided us with a really silly statement regarding the Entrance to Aspen. Thanks to Mick Ireland for providing us with this predictable gem: “As one of my friends says, just fix the highway. Easy to understand, commonsensical. Also, a cure worse than the disease.”

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Letter: A first-rate storyteller

August 23, 2016 — 

We first became aware of Luis Alberto Urrea while attending Summer Words and living in Aspen. We were stunned and ecstatic. A few years ago, I had to leave my beloved Aspen for health reasons. Neither Andy nor I could have imagined the splendid gift in store as we have embraced a new culture and a new language after moving to Mexico. Our journey has been framed and enriched by the stories shared by Luis — providing a window into this new culture that we have grown to adore

Andy and I are Luis groupies — we actually have followed him to different venues because he brings us so much pleasure. He never, ever disappoints; he just gets better — every talk, every book or poem we read, every story. This will be our sixth or seventh opportunity to be able to share his delightful world view.

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Letter: Unclear on heroism

August 22, 2016 — 

Donald Trump doesn’t know a war hero when he hears what they have done. Why he would choose to denigrate a Muslim family who lost a son in the Iraq War fighting for America is beyond belief.

Why he doesn’t believe John McCain was a “hero,” in prison for six years and refused freedom because he did not want his countrymen left behind, is beyond belief.

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Letter: Double standard

August 21, 2016 — 

After almost every act of terror, we are told we must not punish or blame all Muslims for the actions of (a few?) terrorists, to which I agree.

Shouldn’t that same courtesy be extended to America’s 115 million legal firearms owners who have committed no acts of terror or crime?

Michael Galvis

Woody Creek

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