Letters to the Editor

Letter: Park will bring more tourism

March 30, 2015 — 

Park will bring more tourism

Dear Town of Basalt staff, residents and council:

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Letter: The courage to stand up for us

March 30, 2015 — 

The courage to stand up for us

Basalt Mayor Jacque Whitsitt should be congratulated for having the courage to stand up for residents against big money and over-development in recommending a park for downtown Basalt. Hats off to you, Ms. Jacque.

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Letter: Science Center searches for alternative site

March 30, 2015 — 

Science Center searches for alternative site

On behalf of the board and staff of the Aspen Science Center, I write to express our thanks to the many friends, supporters, educators, parents and children who supported our recent effort to convince the Aspen City Council to lease to the science center the Old Power House. We are especially grateful to Charles Cunniffe and Will Young of Charles Cunniffee Architects for the inspired work they did on our proposal.

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March 30, 2015 — 

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March 30, 2015 — 

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Letter: Oil transport is a recipe for disaster

March 30, 2015 — 

Oil transport is a recipe for disaster

Thank you, Mr. President, for your veto of the Keystone pipeline. Without proper environmental reports, the veto could save us from train wrecks, river pollution and more. There are now thousands of miles of pipelines, trains and trucks transporting oil for future disasters. Do we really need more?

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Letter: Thanks for the donation

March 30, 2015 — 

Thanks for the donation

The ladies of the Thrift Shop of Aspen would like to publicly thank Don and Sue Edmonds, who own Bristlecone Sports in Willits. Last week, the shop received an incredibly generous and thoughtful gift of new clothing from their store. The merchandise that was left from their sale racks was a tremendous windfall for our customers and, in turn, our grantees. The success of the thrift shop depends entirely on donations from community members.

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Letter: Park is right choice for Basalt

March 30, 2015 — 

Park is right choice for Basalt

Regarding Basalt: Wild is good. Are we that shortsighted to be even considering trading what would arguably be the most magnificent and spectacular river park in the valley for the promise of more tax revenue? In a town awash in tax revenue from the Willits and Whole Foods bonanza, why is this even a serious debate? Wake up, Basalt residents and developers, and realize that preserving the river-park experience to its fullest is absolutely, positively in the best interests of everyone.

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Letter: Hillary is a real presidential contender

March 30, 2015 — 

Hillary is a real presidential contender

This is in response to Glenn Beaton’s venomous and offensive op-ed (“Hillary’s Missing Organ,” The Aspen Times, Commentary, March 29), in which he bashes Hillary Clinton while proclaiming himself gender-unbiased. Mr. Beaton, your words belie a profound gender discrimination, starting with the statement that Clinton is angling to become the “First President Without a Penis,” as if any woman would refer to herself in this way. My, what a man-centric viewpoint. Rather, I imagine Hillary responding to the call of duty we the people are putting her up to (and rather reluctantly, knowing what she is up against) to become the first woman (completely whole and not missing any parts, thank you) presidential candidate.

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Letter: Step up to combat climate-change deniers

March 30, 2015 — 

Step up to combat climate-change deniers

Thank you for Scott Condon’s excellent summary of Naomi Oreske’s research in “Merchants of Doubt” and the film based on it (“Film digs into climate-change denial,” The Aspen Times, March 27). My husband, a retired research mathematician, couldn’t read more than a chapter of Oreske’s book; it was too upsetting for him to contemplate former research physicists intentionally deceiving the public for political purposes and economic gain.

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Poop problems in Aspen? Really?

March 30, 2015 — 

We like to make fun of our Aspen problems — too much sunshine, not enough powder, tough decisions about which world-class cultural event to attend when more than one are scheduled on a single night — but dog poop? Seriously?

Last week, the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails senior ranger, John Armstrong, called The Aspen Times to tell us about a new campaign on Smuggler Mountain. “There’s no poop fairy,” he said, borrowing from a popular dog-poop enforcement campaign in Jefferson County.

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Letter: Mayor opposes hotel on park

March 29, 2015 — 

Mayor opposes hotel on park

I was so pleased Basalt’s mayor, Jacque Whitsett, went on record opposing the building of a hotel on our park site. What jumps out at me was Lowe’s reluctance to build a hotel unless the Rocky Mountain Institute could guarantee them so many rooms. Now they are back, wanting to increase the height plus a substantial amount of condos to help offset the cost of building the hotel. The condos they are pricing, which will be higher after completion, suggest to me they would be for part-time residences. Does that help the community? I’m not sure this site would ever be good for a hotel. Is this the only place for a hotel in town?

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Letter: Letter to Mayor Whitsett

March 29, 2015 — 

Letter to Mayor Whitsett

Editor’s note: The following letter originally was sent to Basalt Mayor Jacque Whitsett.

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Letter: Why we need a carbon tax

March 28, 2015 — 

Why we need a carbon tax

For those who missed the showing of the award-winning documentary “Merchants of Doubt,” which exposes the fossil-fuel industry’s clandestinely-funded, multi-million dollar climate-denial operation, you can see the full version on YouTube. You’ll see how coal-and-oil industry fronts like Heartland “Institute” and their denier-for-hire fake “scientists” and spin doctors provide pseudoscience to the right-wing media, filled with distortions and lies about global warming and climate change that many conservatives believe to be true.

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Letter: Carbondale is looking lovely these days compared with ...

March 27, 2015 — 

Councilwoman Ann Mullins cited four projects within the past year that “have been approved with no variances.” (The Aspen Times, “Council record debated at town hall gathering,” March 26.)

Variance: (n) an amount of difference or change. — Merriam-Webster

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Letter: What about education?

March 27, 2015 — 

While I took a jab at the Aspen City Council last week regarding its decision for a brewery over a science center for the future use of the old Art Museum space, I feel that I must admonish the entire Roar Fork Valley in its priorities regarding vacated public buildings and properties as well as a very real disparity in local spending on facilities for physical activities versus spending on facilities for mental activities.

I mean, good grief! Carbondale must have a “Dance Mafia” in that three of the most recently vacated public properties in town (two schools and the old library) all have dance facilities, with the old library being substantially a dedicated dance facility. (I am not anti-dance, though to be honest I do find it to be more gender specific with more limited use than say a facility that could have housed a nature, science and history museum.)

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Letter: Build a straight-shot into Aspen

March 27, 2015 — 

Jeffrey Evans is right-on in his March 23 column (Entrance to Aspen is our self-inflicted wound,” The Aspen Times). I have said numerous times that some of Aspen’s VIP visitors or second-home owners are going to have a medical emergency and not be able to get medical help because of the congestion in and out of Aspen. When that happens, minds will surely change. Not to mention the possibility of a bus or truck doing damage to the bridge, making it unusable. And imagine how much more convenient it would be for the worker bees getting to work.

Lets avoid these potential problems and do the right thing: straight shot into Aspen on a wide, new bridge.

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Letter: Wonder about climate science debate?

March 26, 2015 — 

Wonder about climate science debate?

If you’ve ever wondered why there seems to be so much debate about climate science among your friends, even though scientists overwhelmingly agree that warming is human-caused, you should attend the free screening of “Merchants of Doubt” at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Wheeler Opera House. It’s a film about the history of science denial and who funds it. The reception afterward, with food and drinks, is free, thanks to Aspen Center for Environmental Studies’ Catto Speaker Series, Protect Our Winters, Participant Media and Aspen Skiing Co.

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Letter: A great tradition

March 26, 2015 — 

A great tradition

I noticed that Aspen Skiing Co. just held its annual employee-recognition party.

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Letter: Be the mayor you were elected to be

March 26, 2015 — 

Be the mayor you were elected to be

I read, with dismay, the article about Mayor Jacque Whitsitt’s objection to the community plan for development along the river in Basalt. The community has worked in a process to express what it desires and what it feels would revitalize Basalt. That is a process, presumably where give-and-take occurs, and no one gets everything they want. Now we are down the road in that process, and the mayor disagrees and wants something completely different? Poor leadership at best; sabotage of her own process at best. I agree we don’t need high-end housing nor employee housing on the river, but that can be negotiated with the developers. Some housing still may be necessary to get the other amenities we want. It feels like the mayor is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Open space, while very important, will not boost the vitality of the town alone. I believe we are preserving plenty, and we need the hotel and other amenities as requested by the community and proposed by the developer. Please reconsider your stance, madame mayor. Be the leader you were elected to be, and facilitate a dialog that represents the majority, not just yours.

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Letter: Basalt, a river town with a development problem

March 26, 2015 — 

Basalt, a river town with a development problem

Thank you, Jacque Whitsitt, for taking a stand. I urge the town leaders to have vision, be strong and make the tough but right decision about development along the Roaring Fork River. We have plenty of beautifully designed buildings sitting unoccupied. The riverfront needs to be the riverfront. Please remember who you are and why we live here. Can’t we figure out a way to buy the remaining 2.4 acres of land? The development plan along the river should be no more development.

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Letter: The Poo Fairy

March 26, 2015 — 

The Poo Fairy

The Open Space and Trails board members I’ve talked to have been amenable to considering more off-leash areas and trails, but it seems pretty clear that we dog owners are collectively blowing it. I’m sure John Armstrong is right, that even the vigilant among us can do a better job. After yesterday’s media treatment, any new proposals for leash-free doggie areas could meet with a real s--- storm from the righteous canine-challenged.

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Letter: Our democracy at work

March 26, 2015 — 

Our democracy at work

On behalf of the hardworking staff at Aspen Public Radio, I’d like to say thanks to Michael Kinsley, Bill Stirling, Ann Mullins, Marcella Lawson and Michael Behrendt for serving on the panel that spoke at the Town Hall meeting at Belly Up on Wednesday for the moderated discussion on Referendum 1, which would require voter approval of development projects seeking certain variances in Aspen.

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Letter: "Interpretation"

March 26, 2015 — 

“Interpretation”

If you take nothing else away from Wednesday’s “Keep Aspen, Aspen” Aspen Public Radio town-hall meeting, keep that one word in mind: interpretation.

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Letter: What a wonderful, caring community we all live in

March 25, 2015 — 

Our family is so excited since we have been fortunate enough to have been selected for a Habitat for Humanity home. And thank you to the 80 people who attended the groundbreaking ceremony March 10. What a wonderful proclamation Basalt Mayor Jacque Whitsitt read celebrating the upcoming homebuilding project that the town has asked Habitat for Humanity to help make a reality.

Our soon-to-be-new home that our family will help build is scheduled be completed at the end or this year or early next year. We are so very happy and relieved that soon we will have a home where we can truly settle down.

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Letter: Grateful for a laugh

March 25, 2015 — 

I’d like to give kudos to all who take the time to make us laugh. I’m talking about the Lo Semples, the Princess, Roger Marolt, etc. We can get so darned serious around here! There’s nothing better than sipping a cup of coffee in the wee hours of the morning before work and laughing out loud at the antics of Lo and Roger on the mountain (always Highlands and Loge to me!). Thank you, clever ones, for helping to lighten things up on a regular basis.

Pat Bingham

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Letter: Poop problem getting worse

March 25, 2015 — 

I enjoyed reading the front-page article in the newspaper this week about dog poop on Smuggler (“Trails dept.: “There’s not a poop fairy,” The Aspen Times, March 24). I have had the pleasure of hiking one of our local jewels now with dogs for 30 years (usually 12 months a year), and I too have noticed the sad, egregious (whatever that means) habit of people leaving their poop bags on the trail — more and more in recent years. People, please take your s--- with you. If you think you will remember to pick it up on the way down, obviously you are wrong, which is obvious by the amount of bags on the trail. Whether it’s because your realtor calls you on your phone, you are checking out how much snow is on the golf course or you are grooving to your tunes, most people forget to pick up the doo-doo. I realize the bags are biodegradable, but that doesn’t mean they will vaporize within 30 minutes!

I took four dogs from the Lacet pack up there today — Loki, Molly, Papa and Max — and by the deck, I had about 10 pounds of extra luggage in my pockets, great for the quad muscles and the abs, too!

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Letter: Making Aspen more walkable

March 24, 2015 — 

Aspen can be a busy place for a small mountain town. There are all sorts of users sharing and crossing our streets, including pedestrians, automobiles, bicyclists, dogs, delivery personnel, waste haulers and more. Amidst all this activity, pedestrians and bicyclists may feel the most vulnerable to the dangers of the crowded roads and crosswalks. Motorists driving through the downtown core also are likely to feel the challenges of navigating through a multi-use space.

As a community, we cherish the environment and our historic character, but our streets and sidewalks could serve all users better if we can envision how they can work for everyone more safely, efficiently and creatively. As it is now, we sometimes find ourselves avoiding them and a lot of our public right of ways are left underutilized.

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Letter: Fools for meat

March 24, 2015 — 

With April Fools’ Day just around the corner, it appears that the meat, egg and dairy industries have been playing us for fools all year round.

Their more remarkable hoaxes include “California’s happy cows,” “Free-range chickens” and “Humane slaughter.” All lies.

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Letter: Reckless abandon

March 23, 2015 — 

Reckless abandon

On Friday, my husband was struck by another person while skiing down lower North American in front of Bonnie’s restaurant deck on Aspen Mountain. My husband was knocked unconscious, and the other skier did not stop. Witnesses described the skier as male wearing a white jacket and black goggles. If anyone knows who that person is or can give us information to his identity, please call the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office at 970-920-5300 and ask for Badge 74. There is a reward for information leading to this person’s arrest.

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