Letters to the Editor

Letter: A time to celebrate and to mourn

November 24, 2014 — 

A time to celebrate and to mourn

Thanksgiving is both a time to celebrate and a time to mourn. Despite all the confusion and misinformation, there is good news about the harvest feast in 1621, now known as the First Thanksgiving. We Americans have much to celebrate: democracy, separation of church and state, consent of the governed, self-determination and equal and just laws serving the common good. These are the tenets of civil government that arose from the principles and ideals of the Mayflower pilgrims and the Indians they lived among in peace and friendship for 54 years.

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Letter: Grief support around the holidays

November 24, 2014 — 

Grief support around the holidays

Pathfinders will be holding grief and loss support groups throughout the valley this holiday season. The holidays can be a hard time when you’ve lost someone you love. The focus of these grief groups will be to love, remember and honor the ones we lost. We will host groups in Aspen and Carbondale on Monday nights and Rifle on Wednesday nights. We begin this week. The groups are open, so you can come to all of them or just to one. There will be ads in the paper, but please feel free to call me with any questions.

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Letter: It’s the highway, not the bridge

November 23, 2014 — 

It’s the highway, not the bridge

The Colorado Department of Transportation is currently soliciting public comment on the environmental assessment to replace the existing Grand Avenue Bridge in Glenwood Springs with an entirely new and dramatically different structure — a modern marvel of engineering.

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Letter: The community will choose

November 23, 2014 — 

The community will choose

I would like to offer a few thoughts in response to Su Lum’s opinion column in The Aspen Times on Wednesday (“When is a choice not a choice?”). One of the City Council’s top-ten goals is to implement a facility master plan. This plan, led by RNL Architecture and Charles Cunniffe and Associates, identified the four options presented to the council as the best use of our currently held real estate assets to provide solutions to our long-term space requirements. These four options were reduced to two as the result of extensive public input. Even the two remaining options contain so many variables that we are actually looking at probably dozens of possibilities before a final decision is made. Lum’s article is based on a recent article in the Aspen Daily News titled “Future city hall: Community must choose one.” Obviously, at some point, one option must be chosen. It is important to note that the community will do the choosing, not city staff.

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Letter: A worthy mission

November 22, 2014 — 

I want to commend the Hope Center for its recent presentation at the Wheeler Opera House. Dr. Carl Hammerschlag was an excellent choice to highlight the Hope Center’s campaign aimed at erasing mental-health stigma. During his presentation, Hammerschlag avoided dwelling on mental illness and advocated for a biological need to “connect with each other.”

It’s interesting to note that Hammerschlag’s stance on mental health has many similarities to the work of Dr. William Glasser. A true pioneer in the field of psychology, Glasser, the creator of reality therapy and choice theory psychology, has challenged many of the traditional values and beliefs which he referred as the “flat worldview of psychology” embraced by many of his colleagues. Glasser, a board-certified life member of the American Psychiatric Association, practiced private counseling for 32 years. While working with his clients, Glasser utilized reality therapy. This model of intervention is based on choice theory — a belief system that explains how and why we behave.

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Letter: Keep the huge buildings out

November 22, 2014 — 

What a pleasure to read about the city wishing to consolidate into one or two buildings. Wow, imagine our quaint town, where it doesn’t take more than a few minutes to walk the one to three blocks between buildings and offices. Sure, it’s a pain for us residents, as well.

Our quaint town ­— cannot wait to see the 70,000-square-foot behemoth you wish to build — may even bring in a Costco.

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Hartley: Top 5 reasons not to marry Charles Manson

November 21, 2014 — 

Have you heard about this woman who’s going to marry Charles Manson? No, seriously, some 26-year-old woman originally from Illinois got a marriage license and is reportedly all set to marry one of America’s most infamous criminals in December. I don’t know the woman personally, so I don’t want to come right out and call her stupid, but let’s be realistic: Few people have ever done anything stupider.

The woman, whose given name is Afton Burton, claims she became smitten with Manson 10 years ago after reading about his environmental leanings. I’m guessing she must have skimmed the first part of his bio — the part that talks about all the murders and whatnot — and did a poor job of gleaning information from it. It’s pretty impressive that anyone could read up on Manson and come away thinking, “Oh, he’s an environmentalist.”

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Letter: Keep fighting the good fight

November 20, 2014 — 

Keep fighting the good fight

OK neighbors, after attending the first presentation of the planned development of the new hotel (named “Base”) to the Historical Preservation Committee that is proposed for the land where the Conoco gas station now sits, I have struggled with this proposal and its implications. Why should I care whether this project is hugely inappropriate for this site with its massive scale and height? Why would it bother me if it asks for forgiveness from our rules? Are these rules and zoning so sacred that they should compromise or eliminate the chance for a perceived benefit to the city?

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Letter: Our town needs this

November 20, 2014 — 

Our town needs this

As someone who grew up in Aspen and has lived here for a number of years as an adult, I just want to encourage the City Council to get behind the Power House of Aspen proposal and get that place into action. Our community desperately needs it. We know we don’t need another brewery here nor another movie studio, and as nice as a science center would be, we already have scientists and thinkers speaking at the Aspen Institute frequently, as well as at the Aspen Physics Center, which also has great programming for children.

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Letter: There are better places for city offices

November 19, 2014 — 

There are better places for city offices

The city of Aspen is looking at the Rio Grande Building to serve as temporary offices for possibly the engineering department or planning department (presently in the old Armory Building), while the city plans a 70,000-square-foot building to house all of its offices in a new civic center. We feel that since this would be only temporary housing, that there are other city locations and sites in town which should be used before eliminating the current community uses in the Rio Grande Building.

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Letter: Thanks to veterans

November 19, 2014 — 

Dear Veterans,

Over the Veterans Day weekend, I was just thinking about how lucky I am to be free and have the life I have. I thought why? Why am I not scared of being bombed the next day or why is someone not trying to tear me away from my family. Then, I thought that it is because of the veterans that have served for my country, and everyday I am grateful for your service. On Veterans Day, our teacher reminded us of the special role our veterans play in America and I was inspired to write this letter on behalf of our school. Thank you for your service to our country. Everyone should be thankful to all of you who have fought in any war or have helped our country in any way. We are so grateful that we live in this glorious country and feel safe because of your commitment and love for our nation.

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Letter: Attention, Aspen newcomers

November 19, 2014 — 

Are you new to town? Homemade spaghetti and meatballs will be served at St. Mary Catholic Church’s Welcome To Aspen dinner Nov. 20, from 6 to 8 p.m.

A special invitation to all new Aspen Skiing Co. workers! We welcome you and appreciate what you do for the Aspen and Snowmass Village community. What better way to make connections and new friends than over a meal. St. Mary is located on Main Street between Galena and Hunter streets. We look forward to meeting you!

Kim Baillargeon

Aspen Village

Letter: World goodwill, recycling

November 18, 2014 — 

World goodwill and recycling go together like peanut butter and chocolate, like love and commitment, like peas and carrots, like clean air and health, like cold nights and hot chocolate, like Bert and Ernie, like warm sand and bare feet, like grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.

Tom Mooney


Letter: Red dust isn’t new

November 18, 2014 — 

Mike Kaplan’s reference to the red dust that causes early snowmelt as stated in the Nov. 14 Aspen Times (“Aspen Skiing Co. stays full speed ahead on climate change issues”) is erroneous. Many years before Kaplan arrived in Aspen and the Crown family purchased Aspen Sking Co., the red dust came at various times of the year, depending on which direction the wind was blowing. I remember 1965 as being a very red year, late into spring. I don’t know if Kaplan had ever heard of Aspen at that time. For him to blame the gas wells and associated ground disturbance for this dust is ludicrous. The gas developers spend a lot of money remediating the effects of dust pollution. Their well platforms are watered several times per day, and their roads are prepared with road base and screened rock.

Kudos to Skico for all of its efforts to remediate its own dust problems, but I feel that more effort on the company’s part on the Little Annie access to Aspen Mountain would benefit the dust problem on Aspen Mountain. Likewise on Snowmass Mountain, where I fail to see any dust mitigation.

And of course, as I have spent countless hours hauling gravel and rock to the gas wells in western Colorado and eastern Utah, I fail to see any red rock that would cause Skico’s loathed red dust near the wells. Perhaps it is hard to distinguish color from the altitude of an airplane. It seems to me that a lot of Utah’s treeless landscape is red sandstone, which is prone to dust.

James A. Wingers


Letter: Let’s pledge our allegiance

November 18, 2014 — 

Years ago, the Pledge of Allegiance was recited in every classroom in every school. Yet today, it is not as widespread. And I find this to be concerning. People believe that it is not necessary or simply impractical, but I believe that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance today in our schools would be very advantageous. The pledge would remind us of our roots and also let us be grateful for what our country has given us.

I am a student at Basalt High School, and until very recently, we didn’t have the Pledge of Allegiance. I remember we had it in elementary school, but we didn’t say it once in middle school. And until just this year, it was not recited in high school, either. Although it is being recited now, it made me realize a problem: that the Pledge of Allegiance is not nearly as widespread as it should be.

People have one major issue with the pledge that keeps it from being in our schools — one little phrase, “under God.” Although that has slight religious connotation, I don’t believe it is that much at all. Certainly not enough to keep it from our schools. People have the right to be concerned over this phrase, especially if an atheist family is sending their child to public schools. Although this is true, the phrase is not as staggering as people make it out to be.

Little-known fact: Students are not required by law to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance; it is completely optional. If a student has such an issue with the pledge, they do not have to stand. Furthermore, the phrase “under God” does not specify a certain God nor imply a much deeper meaning. Not only is the pledge optional, but it does not promote or favor any religion.

Frankly, our nation’s youth deserves the pledge. I don’t know when it became such a controversial idea to be proud of one’s country, but it needs to stop here. It is a good thing to remember where one comes from and the country they call home; the pledge would be a way to do this each and every morning. And if a child is so completely against saying it, they don’t have to. So I ask, what is keeping the pledge from our schools and away from our nation’s youth?

Clayton Montgomery

Basalt High School

Letter: ‘Don’t try to re-do Aspen’

November 17, 2014 — 

The area near the river in Basalt could be special. It could have a kayak park, a brew pub and cheap lodging like a hostel. Don’t try to redo aspen. Think a funky personality (more like Crested Butte) and lots of messy vitality. Since Willits will get the bulk of the shoppers, Old Town needs to have something different. A riverside park for children to play, dogs to walk and concerts to be held. Don’t think “build” — think “create.” This area can never be reclaimed once developed.

Denise Handrich

Old Snowmass

Letter: Turning the tide of the healthcare industry

November 17, 2014 — 

I continue to be amazed that we have yearly checkups for dreaded diagnosable diseases but no assessment of the basic essential nutrients and components to build the immune system to keep it strong, thus resisting antibiotic-resistant viruses. To find the weakest link in the chain and fortify it nutritionally is a major factor in optimal health. The assessments are available (created by NASA in the 1950s and ’60s, when America was striving to beat the Russians with the first human in space) but rarely used. Is it because to do so would not provide the coins to the coffers of the large pharmaceutical companies, HMOs and major insurance companies? I think that we all know the answer. If anyone can find the solutions for the community of Aspen, it will be Jon Peacock and his inquisitive mind and the expertise of his team. Their results could turn the tide of the health care industry for an improved quality of life and lowered health care costs for the entire nation.

May this be done for the best and highest good of all.

Jan Barton Hamilton

Dietitian and certified nutrition specialist at American College of Nutrition and president and CEO of Nutritional Biomedicine, Aspen

Letter: Thanks to the ladies of the Thrift Shop of Aspen

November 17, 2014 — 

On behalf of the Aspen Hall of Fame Board, we want to thank you for your generous grant. We are a nonprofit organization and your donation helps us to fulfill our mission to recognize and honor those individuals who have had a significant and lasting impact on the Aspen/Snowmass communities. The grant is applied toward producing videos about each inductee that are then made available to the public at the Pitkin County Public Library, Aspen Historical Society and Grassroots TV, thereby adding to the archival video history of our community.

Again, thank you ladies of the Thrift Shop of Aspen for all you do for us and the entire Aspen and Roaring Fork community.

The board of directors, Aspen Hall of Fame

Lorna Petersen, President

Letter: Why I love Casey Owens

November 17, 2014 — 

Imagine how honored I felt when Lt. Col. Dick Merritt asked me to say a few words on behalf of Casey Owens at the 239th Marine birthday ceremony last week.

As terrified as I am of public speaking, I somehow mustered up the courage to share a few thoughts.

After the beautiful Veterans Day ceremony and Rick Carroll’s front-page article about the Marine Corps birthday in The Aspen Times, several people asked me why I didn’t get up and speak, and they were curious as to what I had said at the ceremony the day before.

Plain and simple, I chickened out.

First and foremost, let me give you a little history. Casey joined the Marine Corps shortly following 9/11 — he was very young and very dedicated. Being injured on his second tour on Sept. 20, 2004, squelched his dream of being a career Marine. Keep in mind also that his emotional development was arrested at the young age of 22.

Among other obstacles, Casey took it upon himself to overcome the roadblocks that faced him. However, Casey took every opportunity that came his way to make the best of the precarious situation he was dealt.

Growing up in Houston, never having snow as part of his childhood, is a perfect example of his relentless desire to show the world what he was capable of. Casey was afforded the chance to learn how to ski and was rewarded by being a part of Challenge Aspen. Anyone who had the luxury of skiing with him knows what I’m talking about!

Three and a half years ago, Casey posed the question, “Why do you love me so much?”

I replied, “Is that a rhetorical or ridiculous question?”

Shortly thereafter, I went to my baby-sitting job. After tucking the kids into bed, I thought about his question and asked myself why I love him so much. To me the answer was obvious, and it was imperative that I let him know.

So I took out my iPad and started to type.

I love you because: You make me feel safe / You always watch my back / You put up with me / You listen to my woes / You give me solid advice

I love you because: You confide in me / You are not afraid to cry in front of me

I love you because: You fought for our country and our freedom / You gave me an awareness of the reality of war

I love you because: You are honest / You are loyal / You are faithful / You are so very brave / You are courageous / You are compassionate

I love you because: You are good hang time / You insist I watch movies I never thought I would like / You watch chick flicks with me / You are so good at Wheel of Fortune / You turned me on to music I now appreciate

I love you because: You have the coolest dog

And speaking of the most amazing dog — I was honored to accompany Harold back to America’s VetDogs in New York, where Valerie is retraining him to be reassigned to another very fortunate veteran.

By the way, the relationship between Casey and Harold was the love affair of the century.

In conclusion, I sent Casey the email of why I loved him so much, and when I asked him if I answered his question, Casey said, “Yes.”

Carole Gunther Cottrell


Guest column: Our children deserve better

November 16, 2014 — 

Standardized testing happens for one reason only: Parents allow their children to be excessively tested. If parents, students and teachers refuse to participate, schools will have to replace these expensive tests with meaningful instruction and practical, low-cost, old-fashioned assessments based on essay writing, math skill sheets and oral reading fluency. The protest movement is growing, and your voice needs to be heard.

There are myriad problems with the new Common Core standards across all grade levels K-12. The new standards leapt a full grade level in many cases. A seventh-grade child now has a full year gap in math-instruction expectations. It’s impossible for any child to skip huge chunks of linear math instruction and be expected to succeed in that subject. The school districts knew about this impending train wreck, yet they did nothing to phase these standards in slowly and sensibly. At lower grade levels, some standards aren’t even developmentally appropriate.

The amount of classroom time consumed by testing and test prep is staggering. In the Roaring Fork School District, our children lose a whopping 72 days (almost half a school year) just in physically taking the tests from third to 10th grade. Test prep wastes even more of their precious learning time.

Common Core is hugely expensive, requiring technology upgrades and expensive textbook purchases. Two years ago, the school district threw away the reading curriculum taxpayers had paid hundreds of thousands dollars for — it pitched these good-condition books in the trash because they weren’t “aligned” with the new tests.

The tests are not actionable in a meaningful way. No one gets to see the actual graded tests, so they have no way of knowing what content areas they are deficient in. Imagine how much more valuable our accountability system could be if “tests” were actually no-cost essays that students wrote to demonstrate they could connect the dots of literature, history and science? What if they got low-cost paper math-proficiency worksheets to test their math knowledge? And how about reading tests where children read a passage out loud, one-on-one with a teacher, who can extrapolate the students’ strengths and weaknesses?

Standardized tests cause real emotional harm to children of all ages. This cannot be stressed enough. Children’s love of learning is being purposely extinguished by the very institution that is supposed to ignite that spark. Moms have told me their kids are so stressed about these tests they can’t sleep, they throw up before the tests and they are worried that their teachers will be fired if they don’t perform well. No child should be subjected to this.

So, what can you do about this? It’s time for a little civil disobedience. We can stop this nonsense right here in our local communities and, in turn, inspire other families across the nation to do the same. This week, email your principal, the school superintendent and the school board president (jmaloy@aspenk12.net and skwills@comcast.net for the Aspen School District; dsirko@rfschools.com and dbiggs@vvh.org for the Roaring Fork School District). Tell them you oppose testing and that you do not give permission for your child to be subjected to any standardized tests this school year. (There are numerous tests given throughout the year; this isn’t only happening in the spring — it’s a monthly occurrence). Tell them your child will not be going to the computer lab to spend hours learning how to use the newest testing software. Tell them you want your child to have meaningful, teacher-created assessments that are integrated into regular classroom instruction. Email your teachers, and tell them the same thing. Reassure your teachers that you will stand with them when they refuse to administer the tests (as teachers all across the U.S. are now emboldened to do). Sign up for the free newsletter at www.unitedoptout.com. Send an email to the Colorado Legislature’s Standards and Assessments Task Force at 1202taskforcefeedback@gmail.com.

Our children deserve better. Do your part, and create the change.

Letter: Thanks for a great season

November 16, 2014 — 

Thanks for a great season

We would like to thank the Aspen Elks Lodge No. 224, Blair Elliot and the Aspen Parks Department, Ron Morehead, Keith Bulicz and the Aspen Recreation Department, all of their coaches, Dale Strode (sports editor for The Aspen Times) and anyone else who makes our football program happen.

We had another great season.

Aspen Elks Lodge No. 224 — you rock!

Ron Morehead, thanks again.

Michael and Judd Gurtman


Letter: Proposals are all inferior

November 15, 2014 — 

Proposals are all inferior

The report of the committee evaluating proposals for the old power plant building indicates that all have serious deficiencies and fall well short of the ambitious goal set by council. While there is sure to be a lot of advocacy coming from the proposers, there is no need to rush to judgment given the questions that have been fairly raised by the committee.

Rather than commit now to any long-term sub-standard project (involving a potentially very expensive renovation and subsidies), the City Council should resist the pressure to choose and simply reject all of the proposals. It has reserved to itself the right to seek another direction different from any proposal. The city is better served by council taking its time and re-evaluating a more appropriate future use of the structure.

It may well be that the best and most cost-effective use is to renovate the facility as a new executive office building for council with improved meeting space, thus allowing the present city hall building to be likewise renovated for city departments. That would save the taxpayers at least the cost ($300,000 to 600,000) of a commercial kitchen and could by consolidation save in rents now paid for commercial space.

Neil B. Siegel


Letter: Drilling companies work hard to reduce environmental impacts

November 15, 2014 — 

Drilling companies work hard to reduce environmental impacts

I find some of Mike Kaplan’s recent comments in Friday’s Aspen Times story “Skico pushes ahead on climate” a bit disturbing. I believe Aspen Skiing Co. provides a wonderful service to our community and is a primary reason Aspen has become a place that we all desire to live. I understand his desire to promote being good stewards of the land and green energy. The article quotes Kaplan saying, “(D)rill pads pocked the land the entire way between Aspen and Salt Lake.” Couldn’t someone flying over Aspen and Snowmass say the same thing about having tens of thousands of trees destroyed to cut ski runs into a pristine forest next to the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness area? He went on to say there should be incentives to make drillers consolidate pads and reduce dust. These comments lead me to believe that he knows very little about what efforts drilling companies have done to reduce their impacts on the environment. I think you would be very surprised at what lengths these companies have gone to reduce their impacts. Did you know that WPX Energy is using nearly 100 percent recycled water in their hydraulic fracturing operations near Parachute? Did you know that they are laying pipe from the water reclamation facility to their completion sites, so that they can reduce the amount of truck traffic to well sites? Do you know that drilling companies are drilling up to 32 wells per pad in the Piceance Basin? Do you know that drilling companies are moving to dual-fuel rigs to use “off gas” and LNG in place of diesel to further lower their emissions? It is a great thing to want to reduce your company’s carbon footprint. It is, however, disingenuous to discuss another industry’s shortcomings without giving them credit for the steps they are taking to be better stewards of the land. Have you been to a drilling site lately, or ever? I think you might actually be impressed at the strides the industry has taken to lessen their impacts and I would be happy to arrange the opportunity for you to see it firsthand. Before your next trip to Washington, it might be beneficial to actually know what drilling companies are currently doing to reduce their impacts on the environment.

Ari B. Chaney

Snowmass Village

Letter: Thanks for supporting the Buddy Program

November 15, 2014 — 

Thanks for supporting the Buddy Program

On Nov. 5, Big and Little Buddies, along with other special guests, gathered at the beautiful Caribou Club to enjoy our annual celebration dinner. From face painting and a chocolate fountain to dancing and special recognitions, the night was a huge success and it would not have been possible without the generosity of the Caribou Club. For the past four years, the Caribou Club has graciously hosted our annual dinner and we could not ask for a more fun place to hold our event! Thank you to Richard Edwards and Billy Stolz and the entire Caribou Club management and staff for making this evening so memorable.

The Buddy Program announced the recipient of our awards: The Hero Award went to Charlie Hopton, the Angel Award went to Jim Fifield and Helen DeFrance, the Golden Lemon Award went to Ryan Larkin and the Golden Carabiner Award went to Karen and Nathan Sandler and Dirk Bockelman with Aspen Expeditions. In addition, we acknowledged Mona Look-Mazza’s amazing service to our board of directors and, most importantly, we recognized the time and energy that each Big Buddy gives to their Little Buddy — the commitment of these amazing volunteers makes our program so special. Thank you.

As the Buddy Program continues to empower youth through mentoring experiences in order to achieve their full potential, we recognize we could not do it without the support and commitment from our community.


Soledad Lowe

Community program director, the Buddy Program

Letter: Ex-Skico employee milked the system

November 14, 2014 — 

I consider myself a liberal. That said, the Aspen Skiing Co. loss to the Cherretts for their bankruptcy blew me away. Hmmm. A $500,000 loan, a starting salary of $300,000, a signing bonus of $75,000 and participation in an incentive plan for additional compensation. And they still own a home in Jackson Hole, which can’t be a small asset.

“Paul (Cherrett) hoped that (his Colorado residence) would appreciate in value so that when it was sold, the Cherretts would realize a profit,” according to the bankruptcy court’s ruling (“Skico loses bankruptcy fight with ex-exec,” Nov. 13, The Aspen Times). That later “evaporated.” All of us in the Roaring Fork Valley lost money over the past years. Maybe we should all file for bankruptcy. For me, I think the bankruptcy laws should be changed.

Shame on you, Paul, but congratulations for milking the system.

Colleen Scissors


Letter: Channeling Kipling

November 14, 2014 — 

Thinking on the “should we allow people to repair and renovate their property, aka lodging-initiative vs. no-growth wars” concept brought Kipling to mind.

“We had a kettle; we let it leak: / Our not repairing made it worse. / We haven’t had any tea for a week ... / The bottom is out of the Universe!”

Ziska Childs


Letter: Watch the Dems squirm

November 13, 2014 — 

The recent revelations of “Obamacare architect” Dr. Jonathan Gruber are just the cat’s pajamas! Finally the liberal “intelligencia” put it simply enough that even an Obama supporter can decipher it: We can’t really tell you the truth because the bill won’t pass, and you are too stupid to understand the importance of passing the bill. Once again, you have been played. Now it’ll be amusing to watch the White House and the mainstream media try to spin this.

Let’s imagine some possibilities:

1. The good doctor was misquoted and/or taken out of context.

2. You didn’t really see or hear what you saw and heard.

3. It’s not entirely clear yet, but we believe the Bush administration had something to do with it.

4) Now, now, don’t worry your pretty little head; it’s just those evil Republicans trying to “invent” another scandal.

Rich Wontor


Letter: True colors from the Aspen community

November 13, 2014 — 

What an amazing turnout Nov. 6 at the Limelight Hotel! It was a benefit for our local nordic athletes on the U.S. Ski Team, Noah Hoffman and Michael Ward. Their families, their coaches and the U.S. Ski Team are so grateful for the huge community support and financial backing that were so prevalent that night.

The wonderful outpouring of community support was also beautiful to see in that the large gathering was not there to celebrate a marriage or to mourn the passing of a local hero — it was there to be with other friends. People were sharing stories with other locals, and in many instances, people were slapping backs and hands because they had not seen their friends in a long time.

In this day and age of rush, rush, rush, emails, faxes and technologically imposed deadlines, it was a true joy to see people relaxing over beer and pizza. Many did not want the night to end!

When those two men are in Europe, at the World Cup and Nordic World Championship races, surrounded by screaming fans of cross-country racing and nordic combined, they will know that there are hundreds of fans here in this little resort of Aspen urging them on, as well.

Craig and Becky Ward


Letter: Advice to Obama

November 13, 2014 — 

1. When it comes to Congress, don’t take a vase of flowers to a gunfight.

2. Refer to John Boehner as “boy.” Running the U.S. House of Representatives is a man’s (or woman’s) job. He’s not up to it. For example: “It seems like there is a boy running the House.” This is turning the obvious racism on its head.

3. If the “boys” in the House want to vote for impeachment, use the immortal words of George W. Bush: “Bring it on!” This is nothing less than a modern-day lynching.

4. Write no more paychecks for the Supreme Court. Shut it down. There are five people on that court who are so blatantly partisan, they should be impeached. No court has been more “activist.” It ignores precedent at the same time it says it will defend precedent. We should all ignore the court. It has no power of enforcement. There is a big bundle of money on the scales of justice — on the right side.

5. You are in office because people voted for you. A lot of those folks are minorities. The statistics show that minorities are doing worse now than when you took office. You owe ’em. Get ’er done. The only way to beat this Congress is to go to the people. And don’t forget the misguided Republican voters who need as much help as the rest.

6. Put away the golf clubs. You’ll have plenty of time to play golf two years from now. It’s now or never.

If anybody thinks this is good advice, clip this out and send it to the White House. In fact, send it to anybody who might listen and/or do something.

Patrick Hunter


Letter: Thrift Shop gives back

November 13, 2014 — 

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 November we are pleased to announce the following recipients:

Basalt Middle School Wrestling

AES-AMS School Cafeteria Composting

Aspen to Parachute Dental Health Alliance

Pitkin County Senior Services

Aspen Junior Hockey

Holiday Baskets

The Cottage Preschool

Independence Pass Foundation

Ellen Walbert

PR Committee, Thrift Shop of Aspen

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