Letters to the Editor

Letter: A parking solution

June 30, 2015 — 

Editor’s note: The following letter originally was addressed to the members of the Aspen City Council.

1. If anyone is aware of Aspen’s parking problem, it is you!

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Letter: Quite a ride through Aspen's history

June 30, 2015 — 

As summer and tourists arrive in our town, I’d like to suggest a wonderful venue to get away from the heat and the crowds. The Aspen Historical Society is having a truly fascinating, funny and informative exhibit at their headquarters in one of the last remaining grand old homes here at 620 Bleeker St.

The Exhibit is called “Bests Firsts and Worsts: Aspen in Objects.” Take a stroll through Aspen history, its artifacts and the most entertaining set of docents one could ask for. The hearty, colorful, fascinating, historical, complimentary magazine you get at the end is worth far more than the modest admission, $6, I think (free for members).

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Letter: Let's work together to preserve North Star Preserve

June 30, 2015 — 

As longtime residents east of Aspen in the North Star area, we have witnessed significant changes in the use of the Roaring Fork River. What was once a peaceful waterway is now the conduit for hundreds of floaters who come through daily on various crafts: paddle boards, canoes, flimsy rafts, inner tubes and even an occasional pool toy. Coolers sometimes have their own floating device. This is interesting because the open-container law only applies to people who occupy navigable crafts, which does not include inner tubes.

When sitting in a stationary position, like on our porch, the impact of floaters becomes vividly clear. The cacophony builds throughout the day and hits a crescendo around 2 in the afternoon. Often, we hear revellers at the put-in, long before we see them. Yells fill the air fueled by shock when the bikini or shorts-clad adventurers meet the frigid water. This may be accentuated by blustery curse words sometimes repeated ad nauseum. Powerful speakers frequently blast music, accentuating the party atmosphere..

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Letter: Markers between path bridge and tent bride?

June 30, 2015 — 

As one who is often on the Rio Grande Trail, I was taken aback a few days ago to see height poles within a few feet of the fence, just to the north of the path — between the bridge that goes to the Meadows and the bridge that leads to the tent. Today, I noticed a survey boundary marker on the river side of the path. Is there a house going up there? If so, it will change the whole character of that area.

Andrea Stryer

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Letter: Help the bears as a community

June 29, 2015 — 

I was so saddened and discouraged — once again — to read in both local papers on June 26 that a bear will probably be euthanized because it broke into a tent near Ruedi Reservoir on June 24 and bit a man on the arm (“Bear bites man at Ruedi campground,” The Aspen Times).

It appears that food and other scented items were in the tent, but far worse, there were apparently coolers of food and freshly caught fish as well as trash that the bear rummaged through before it even continued on to the tent. As Perry Will, area wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, stated, “Bears are very smart and inquisitive” — and, I will add, usually hungry! This bear was doing what comes naturally, and now it may be killed for it.

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Letter: Working for those at the top

June 29, 2015 — 

People can’t seem to grasp that whether they vote Republican or Democrat, they get almost exactly the same thing. One party, two heads. All this campaigning is just a monkey show to divert the voters. You live in a corporate police state. The economy and the government are run by the bankers for their benefit, not yours.

All the hundreds of trillions in global debt are debts only to those who have to pay them. To those at the top of the pyramid who hold title to all that debt, they are assets. They want them paid off with interest by you, or you face bankruptcy and ruin.

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Letter: Rules for riding

June 29, 2015 — 

Dear Aspen,

The bicyclists in our area continue to amaze me with their disregard for others. Fast cyclists should be riding on roads single file and following the rules of the road. That means riding with traffic, staying in their lane, obeying traffic signs and signaling intention. If you want to ride fast, stay off the multi-use paths.

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Letter: Thanks to Thrift Shop and Aspen Public Radio

June 28, 2015 — 

Thanks to Thrift Shop and Aspen Public Radio

There are many nonprofit organizations in the Roaring Fork Valley that deliver important and even essential services to our fellow residents. Two stand out because they do so much to help other nonprofits.

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Letter: A beautiful garden experience

June 28, 2015 — 

What’s up in the Aspen art scene and garden-landscaping world?

The answer is so very simple. Go check the Little Nell’s Poolside Living Floral Wall! Also, if it’s pointed out to you, you will discover there’s also the Grace Kelly Garden and other subset gardens poolside.

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Letter: Matrimonial hypocrisy

June 28, 2015 — 

If Donald Trump hates immigrants so much, why did he marry two of them?

Carl Heck

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Letter: In lieu and variances

June 27, 2015 — 

All too often I read stories in the local papers where developers are getting variances or are paying a fee in lieu of development requirements; affordable-housing units, parking, height limits, lot size limits, etc.

Does Aspen and the valley need more rental beds? Absolutely! More employee housing? Certainly! More parking? You know it — especially if you’re a commuter!

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Letter: Let the North secede

June 27, 2015 — 

The recent storm of words over the flying of the Confederate battle flag in South Carolina has caused me to rethink my position on the Civil War and, much to my dismay, on President Abraham Lincoln. My now counter-factual feeling about the Civil War is that it should never have been fought.

I have a modest proposal. I say let the North now secede from the South. Let the United States of America include all of the states except South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina and the Oklahoma and Arizona Territories. Let these states go.

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Letter: Obamanos Hillary y Julian Castro por 2016!

June 27, 2015 — 

The Republicans just lost the White House in the 2016 presidential election. Maybe not in one day, but the SCOTUS decision on Obamacare does not help them. Not one bit. The Democrats have the opportunity to bury those lofty hopes right this minute. Let’s face it.

The Republicans take care of business. Only if it helps them, though. This is a government for the people by the people. Obamacare is for the people and the common good. It also is good for insurance companies. So let’s go, go, go and don’t let up. Let the Republicans try to explain to the common person exactly how they did not help out. How they tried to squash a great idea. Also get on them for wanting to privatize and ruin Social Security, Medicare, the prison system and even terrible school-lunch programs and the education system. For today though, start with this huge, ground-shattering win.

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Letter: Runoffs impact on open space

June 27, 2015 — 

Now that the full effects of the spring runoff on the Roaring Fork River are on display in downtown Basalt, I have a few observations and questions.

Although there may be several acres of designated open/park space between the Rocky Mountain Institute, Midland Avenue and the Roaring Fork River, the bulk of that space is in a flood plain. The actual usable/active park open space available as a town community park is not all that substantial. As I write this letter, the Roaring Fork River is surging over the riverbank and into the park area like a giant spillway. I urge everyone to go see for yourself.

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Letter: No dogs on couches, service animals or not

June 26, 2015 — 

No dogs on couches, service animals or not

It appears Mr. Lustig’s “service dog” is only of legitimate and legal service status in the state of California.

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Letter: Stop putting fluoride in our water

June 26, 2015 — 

Mayor Steve Skadron co-authored a column where he supports the new clean-water rule. If this is an official position by the city of Aspen then I applaud this action.

It should be noted that if this is an official position, then Aspen finds itself in a very incongruent and hypocritical position. Aspen has mandated that it put a very serious and dangerous neurotoxin, fluorosilicic acid, into its drinking water. The people at the Water Department must wear hazmat suits and the packages that this material comes in has a skull and crossbones (the poison symbol) on it.

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Letter: Help adult language learners

June 24, 2015 — 

It is an unforgettable honor for me to have served on the founding board of English in Action. Since the ’90s, I’ve watched as the organization has changed the lives of many adults and their families in our community. Still today, we operate on a shoestring, utilizing all resources to the max in order to deliver the most services to our community.

In my years working with English in Action, both as a board member and as a tutor, I was constantly amazed at the difference two people can make in each other’s lives. The miracle of sharing language and culture one on one is the highest level of communication, commitment and respect. It brings the humanity of two cultures struggling to understand each other right to your kitchen table — literally. English in Action also provides an opportunity to discover how your learning partner came to be in our midvalley. My student and her 4-year-old son walked from South America to escape the unlivable and unsafe situation they were in. Their courageous journey allowed them to join us here, where safety, shelter and food are taken for granted. And the journey is not over. Language is the next hurdle and is the reason I continue to support the work of English in Action.

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Letter: Town should pay

June 24, 2015 — 

To answer Basalt Town Manager Mike Scanlon, the town of Basalt should pay the $25,000! (“Debate intensifies over Basalt breach,” The Aspen Times, June 24.)

If indeed the design “worked about the way we expected,” then the contractor was simply following plans designed by the town and should not be liable for the cost of washed-away topsoil and gravel. Or did a design firm for Lowe Enterprises design the rock retainer?

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Letter: Keep it civil

June 24, 2015 — 

Recently one of the longtime locals who were gathering signatures for the Base2 petition was verbally harassed and abused in front of City Market. Petitions are available outside City Market every day from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This senior lady was simply exercising her constitutionally protected rights. Yet she was brought almost to tears by a man who disagreed with her. I am sure this could not have been someone connected with Mark Hunt’s organization, as I know Hunt is a gentleman who would not countenance such a thing.

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Letter: History will be kind to Jimmy Carter

June 24, 2015 — 

No question: Within 100 years or maybe much less, Jimmy Carter will be celebrated as the equivalent of a Protestant/evangelical saint. History will recognize his genuine accomplishment of delicately balancing the imperatives of faith with public policy. In time, we will realize that the tenor of our present partisan comments is simply a symptom of a passing affliction of hyperpolarized acrimony. Events will surely arise that will cause many more of us to behave like adults.

In time, many more of us also will honor real human progress rather than ingrained biases and cherished political ideologies.

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Letter: Clients direct development projects

June 24, 2015 — 

Editor’s note: The following reference to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was a result of an editing error at The Aspen Times and not a mistake by the writer of the cited letter.

In his letter of June 14, Gerry Terwilliger cites the ownership of the property as being the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“Something fishy in Basalt,” The Aspen Times).

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Letter: Winning an ongoing battle

June 23, 2015 — 

In June 21’s column, Glenn Beaton asserted that racism is no longer — that last week’s South Carolina shooting is an anachronism (“Black like me,” Commentary, The Aspen Times). On June 22, letter writer Miles Knudson wrote that Beaton missed a few things and that things are getting worse (“Racism very much alive,” Letters to the Editor, The Aspen Times). Both had a point, and both reached unwarranted conclusions.

Overt race discrimination is illegal. We have a black president. Black legislators and mayors are not uncommon. There have been and are black governors, Cabinet secretaries and Supreme Court justices. Black NFL quarterbacks have become unremarkable. The Rachel Dolezal fiasco demonstrated that in some instances blackness may even be perceived to confer advantages worth exploiting. These past two centuries of hard-won changes from slavery to present conditions are not chopped liver.

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Letter: Snowmass Ski School has lost more than just three ski pros

June 23, 2015 — 

Our little ski school at Snowmass is a tight-knit group, making our three losses in the past 10 days even tougher. Karl Severson, just 16, then Chase Bowlby, only 32, and now Jerry Young, age 60. Each died differently, but they all will be remembered and grieved by those of us left behind.

“Curls” is the word that comes to mind when I think of Karl. Little Karl grew up among the ski instructors, and we all loved seeing that head full of curls skiing circles around us by age 7. His parents, Mark and Maddie, also ski pros, lived for Karl, and we are fortunate that they shared him with us. Karl was such a joy to see on the mountain and in our locker room.

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Letter: Sign the petition

June 23, 2015 — 

Dear city of Aspen voters,

If you have concerns about the proposed Base2 project next to Carl’s Pharmacy, you might consider signing the petition that will bring this issue to a public vote. We should all have a say regarding this. To have someone bring the petition to you, contact ward.hauenstein@gmail.com.

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Letter: Don't make downtown Basalt another Willits

June 23, 2015 — 

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

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Letter: God, politics and nature

June 23, 2015 — 

Please be seated, children; it is time for class to begin.

First, we shall present four words (and their definitions) from the American Heritage Dictionary:

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Letter: Bulb-out on Galena and Hopkins

June 23, 2015 — 

You may have noticed some new planters and temporary tape marking a wider curb on the corners of Galena and Hopkins. This experimental bulb-out is part of the Rethink the Street project. One of the City Council’s top 10 goals is geared toward making downtown Aspen more pedestrian friendly. Specifically, the goal is to have staff perform an assessment of city streets against best practices that prioritizes pedestrian access and safety and emphasizes the overall enjoyment and well-being for residents and guests.

Curb bulb-outs are a traffic-calming measure, primarily used to extend sidewalks, reduce the crossing distance for pedestrians and allow drivers and pedestrians to see one another better. They are meant to create a safer, calmer intersection and also provide an opportunity to create green, creative spaces. What you see at Galena and Hopkins is a temporary outline of what a bulb-out could look like and, more importantly, achieve at this busy corner where observers have noted drivers often run stop signs and some pedestrians report they feel unsafe. We are looking at the concept, not the design.

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Letter: Take responsibility for your actions

June 22, 2015 — 

I can’t believe Christine Tinner had the nerve to say to Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely that she “didn’t kill anyone” so why should she have to sit through more rehabilitation programs like MADD. It’s clear she doesn’t think she did anything wrong.

Give us a break, Christine! You never were sentenced to any jail time for killing a young girl who had her whole future in front of her, nor did you even have to take an alcohol or drug test the night you killed Meleyna Kistner. As far as I’m concerned, you got off scot-free.

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Letter: Fossil fuel's time has passed

June 22, 2015 — 

It’s time to read the writing on the wall. Like the steam engine, horse and buggy, witchcraft, etc., it is time for coal, oil and gas to become obsolete or, may I say, not needed. To me, fossil-fuel use is as dangerous as it gets. It is the cause of global warming, which may destroy our “spaceship earth.”

The producers of fossil fuels, the cause of global warming, can switch to products that use the free energy given to us by the universe — solar for heat and electricity and rivers and oceans for energy. More money can be made by using free, non-carbon fuel.

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Letter: Support indoor tennis

June 22, 2015 — 

Many thanks to the generous volunteers and donors who are making a spectacular impact in bringing year-round tennis to the valley. A new facility in El Jebel will include after-school programs and youth tennis events, and its indoor courts will provide midvalley high schools a place for girls and boys teams to practice and play. Of course, the facility also will welcome adult play and tournaments. The nonprofit Advantage Indoor Tennis group already has raised about half the $1.1 million needed to build the facility. The Crown Mountain Park District will provide operating funds, and no taxpayer money is involved or will be sought. Valley residents are invited to a fundraiser, generously hosted by Portfolio Aspen Properties and sponsored by several local companies, to be held at the St. Regis Hotel from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on June 30. Individual tickets for $75 or two for $100 can be purchased at the door or at www.indoortennisevent.com. All donations are welcome, are tax-deductible and will help support a great cause.

Robert Hubbell

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