Letters to the Editor

Letter: A great party

February 27, 2015 — 

I wanted to tell everyone how pleased we were with the turnout of the Captain’s Club party Feb. 20 at the Aspen Youth Center! The Aspen High School students were so thankful to us for having the party for them and were excited for a place to go after the hockey game to hang out with their friends — eat, dance, sing karaoke and play games. We had more than 150 kids attend. That’s actually one-quarter of the student body!

I also wanted to send a big thank-you to all of the board members of the Valley Partnership for Drug Prevention; our parent chaperones (Sarah, Lori, Dan, Chris and Sherrill); the Captain’s Club Kids; the Aspen Recreation Center staff; the Aspen Youth Center staff; the Aspen High School staff; the “winning” Aspen hockey team, athletic staff and director; the Police Department; the Sheriff’s Office; and especially Sue Smedstad, who singlehandedly fed all of these kids (OK, she had a little help from Domino’s) thank you Domino’s!

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Letter: A federally controlled Internet

February 27, 2015 — 

The steadily increasing creep of the power and willingness on the part of regulating agencies to unilaterally act in a fashion that essentially results in de facto governance and control of our lives has reached an alarming milestone with the Federal Communications Commission’s recent passing of the so-called “net neutrality” rules. Formerly it was our elected representatives to state and federal legislatures who enacted the laws that govern commerce and other aspects of our lives. We are experiencing a total sea change to this former notion, and the implications pose a frightening threat to the supreme right we all must hold dear: liberty.

In the current example, we are led to believe (as usual) that the FCC’s good intentions are what matter, not the practical implications of its new and radical regulations. Once again, keep in mind that the FCC commissioners who set forth these new regulations are not elected by you and me in a direct sense. For that matter, the people comprising the various regulating agencies, departments, bureaus, commissions and boards behind the onslaught of new regulations set forth under the current administration from all directions (the Environmental Protection Agency, Health and Human Services, the Transportation Security Administration, etc.) are all drafted by unelected officials.

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Letter: Protect Canyonlands

February 27, 2015 — 

President Barack Obama deserves deep thanks for proclaiming Browns Canyon as a national monument. Browns Canyon has been appreciated as a tapestry of recreation and nature woven together in its beautiful setting. It has long been enjoyed by those of us in the Roaring Fork Valley, and its protection is overdue.

Hopefully the president will now turn his attention to an area on this side of the Continental Divide with similar values on a larger and more diverse scale — Greater Canyonlands, the spectacular wildlands that surround Canyonlands National Park.

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Letter: A girls hockey powerhouse

February 26, 2015 — 

Wow, thanks to The Aspen Times for a great article on Aspen girls hockey (“Aspen Junior Hockey girls skate into new era,” Sports, The Aspen Times, Feb. 25).

Did you know:

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Skadron: Upward we go

February 26, 2015 — 

Upward we go

I am pleased to announce the city of Aspen is moving forward with its goal to work toward creating an uphill economy with our first event this weekend. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in Aspen Gondola Plaza we will have uphill equipment demos, a dedicated uphill lane on the mountain, a ski swap benefitting Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club and a free raffle to win a full alpine touring setup. From 4 to 5 p.m. at the Ute Mountaineer we are offering a free short movie about Aspen’s uphill history and a talk by Blase Reardon, of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, about backcountry travel and safety. These events are in celebration of what an active uphill economy can mean for Aspen. The city is partnering with top companies in the field, including Dynafit, La Sportiva and Scarpa, who all will offer demos. What I am most excited about is an industry dinner that I have organized to have a formal meeting with government representatives and top executives in the field to discuss the future of this burgeoning segment of our economy.

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Letter: A great basketball season

February 26, 2015 — 

The 2015 Instructional Basketball League season is winding down, and Basalt Recreation would like to send a thank-you to all the people who made this a fun and successful season. Our coaches make the season special for all the players by making the game fun and teaching fundamentals and awesome sportsmanship. It is a pleasure to work with these talented individuals. Thank you to Scott Garcia, Steve Clettenberg, Broc Brown, Ryan Beckman, Doug Olson, Robert Peters, Luis Yllanes, Peter Dolan, Mike Geiser, Jake Wirkler, Ryan Mylott, Tim Bauer, Debbie Reardon, Karen Baxter, Gregg Adams, Ben Allen, Patrick Barill, Rulbe Alvarado, Martin Alvarado, Bree Lindsey, Bob Daniel, Mitch Levy and Garrett Reuss. Thank you to all our fantastic referees. Thank you to the parents who attended the games and cheered on the teams. Thank you to our sponsors for your continued support. Thank you to the other valley recreation departments for your help in making this a great season. Finally, thank you to all our young players who made this a fun season to be in the gymnasiums watching your dedication to the sport, to the team and to your coaches.

Dorothy Howard

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Letter: To ski or not to ski

February 26, 2015 — 

Let’s face it: Skiing is a dangerous activity, much more so than your average person’s everyday life. Wherever you live, if you are fortunate enough to have a safe and warm house to stay in, there are many inherent dangers as soon as you step out your front door — driving down the highway, walking down the street, competing in sports — but they are really nothing compared with going at speed downhill on pair of skis or a snowboard. The absolute thrill of the possibility of complete failure of control and its consequences are really why we do it. When you get to a high level in this sport, you pretty much understand that at almost any moment when you are going fast or on a super-steep slope or skiing in the backcountry, death is a definite possibility.

If you are a real skier, you realize that when you walk out that door to go up, you really may not make it back. It is a chance that you take, but what is life worth if you are not willing to go for the gusto every now and then?

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Letter: Don’t clear a path for war

February 26, 2015 — 

The brutal murders, child recruitment, sexual enslavement of women and girls and other violence perpetrated by the Islamic State are sickening, and I believe the U.S. must respond. However, we must not act in ways that fuel more violence.

President Barack Obama recently sent a proposal to Congress that would authorize his expanding war against the Islamic State. Another broad authorization for war without geographical boundaries that leaves the door open for waging war against nearly anyone is a bad idea.

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Letter: Poor service at the post office

February 26, 2015 — 

Poor service at the post office

I read the article about staffing issues at the Aspen post office and how the issues with what’s going wrong are “Aspen problems.” As a local here in Aspen, I also work full time and live in employee housing. Yes, the housing market is tough, and it costs a lot to live here, but how is that in any way our fault? It sounds like the post office is trying once again to defend itself due to high customer-service complaints. Now, I’m not saying all the post office workers are bad, because I know many who are great people and care about this community. I am saying you have some bad apples who continually show bad customer service daily, and after how many postmasters, the issue still exists. I no longer go to the Aspen post office; instead, I drive to Snowmass. It’s such a different vibe there. I never have anyone throwing forms at me, snapping for no reason or tossing my fragile packages to the nearest bin or excessive wait times. If you’re treated badly as a customer, why would you ever want to work for a company like that? I wouldn’t.

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Letter: Nutrition panel tells all

February 26, 2015 — 

Nutrition panel tells all

The U.S. Advisory Panel on Dietary Guidelines has finally mustered the courage to recommend that Americans eat fewer meat and dairy products, and not just to lower our risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and obesity but also because it slows the rate of climate change, which has its own devastating consequences.

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Letter: Tibetan monks coming to Aspen area

February 26, 2015 — 

It is my pleasure to share with you that the Gaden Shartse Tibetan monks will be in the Aspen area this year from mid-June to mid-July. We are so fortunate to receive the blessing of their presence for a whole month.

The Gaden Shartse Sacred Earth and Healing Arts tour has been visiting the Aspen area since 1969. The tour was created by His Holiness the Dali Lama in an effort to preserve and share their culture and arts with the world and was brought to Aspen originally by John Denver.

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Letter: Grateful for snow, snow crews

February 26, 2015 — 

What a great snow storm! Twenty-two inches and more on the way. We want to take a moment to publicly congratulate and thank Aspen Skiing Co. for their dedication and commitment to maintaining excellent skiing and snowboarding conditions during the past several weeks.

Hats off to the groomers, trail crews and ski patrol for all they do. Their efforts allowed visitors and locals alike to enjoy world-class skiing under blue skies and warm temperatures. And, although many of us locals prefer storm after endless storm, many of our out-of-town guests were thrilled with the spring-like conditions.

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Letter: A global gamble

February 26, 2015 — 

I love the headline “Manufactured Crisis” (The Aspen Times, Commentary, Feb. 24). It is more telling than even the deep-thinking letter writer Michael Galvis realizes. While his view of the cyclical nature of the universe and planet are pretty much agreed upon, his concepts of time and scale are woefully uninformed. Think about this information readily available online or at the library. The Earth is 4.6 billion years old. If we scale that to 46 years, humanity would have been on the planet for four hours. The industrial revolution began one minute ago. In that time, we have destroyed more than 50 percent of the world’s forests (the planet’s lungs) and we have released trillions of tons of stored hydrocarbons (poisonous gases in the form of fossil fuels, previously sealed under the ground) into the atmosphere. An almost unanimous number of our best scientists agree that this is indeed a “manufactured crisis.” The root of the word means “handmade” — i.e., made by man. Perhaps a meteor, solar flare or other cyclical calamity will take us out in the distant future, as Mike surmises, but the odds of us snuffing ourselves out before then, purely by the intransigent ignorance of man, are quite high if we don’t evolve beyond the limited vision of Galvis and others who seem prepared to take a very big risk with our planet’s future. Insurance actuaries and Las Vegas oddsmakers would not be so foolish.

Greg Poschman

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Letter: The barking dog

February 26, 2015 — 

The Mick Ireland gang now demands supremacy for its ballot initiative, trying to bury by invective the reasonable code amendment proposed by the City Council. The council’s alternative provides a modicum of flexibility on land-use applications as opposed to subjecting all variances to a public vote. What is the apt metaphor for this recklessness whipped up by Ireland: the Charge of the Light Brigade or the barking dog chasing the car? Let’s stick with the barking dog. Query: What happens when the barking dog catches the car (i.e., the Ireland initiative passes)?

This proposed charter amendment is extreme in that it strips all discretion from the council. Recall sequestration, which was deemed so pernicious that it would never be invoked by Congress; now it smothers the federal budget. Hey barking dog, what certainty exists that once the dust settles and Aspen has a land-use code reflecting a collective vision, the voters will repeal your “solution”? How long will Aspen function with a City Council powerless on land-use applications?

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Letter: Thrift Shop opens doors to health in Woody Creek

February 26, 2015 — 

The Neighborhood Clinic of the Woody Creek Community Center would like to thank the hardworking volunteers of the Thrift Shop of Aspen for its recent grant award.

This amazing group of women has been supporting nonprofits throughout the Roaring Fork Valley for more than 65 years with more than $6.5 million in grant money. In addition to the value of the financial support, this group contributes to the power of nonprofits by listening to them, acknowledging them and encouraging them throughout the grant process and beyond.

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Letter: Learn some Aspen history

February 24, 2015 — 

Jeanne McGovern did a wonderful job of bringing the Ski History Tour to life on the pages of this week’s Aspen Times Weekly. What a great reminder that even if you’ve lived here for years, there’s always hidden history to be discovered around us.

If you’re thinking about taking the Ski History Tour, it’s free with your lift ticket. Meet ambassador Jane Click at the mid-mountain hut on Aspen Highlands on Mondays at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and fifth-generation Aspenite Tony Vagneur at the top of Aspen Mountain on Fridays at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Our Historic Pub Tour has been so popular that we’re thinking of adding a second day, but right now it’s only on Thursdays at 3:30 p.m. and meets at the Red Onion.

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Letter: Keep on writing

February 24, 2015 — 

Keep on writing

Note to self: Don’t write long letters to local papers, as no one reads them.

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Letter: Highlands Bowl honors legacies

February 24, 2015 — 

Highlands Bowl honors legacies

Roger Marot (rhymes with “dolt”) seems to think I’m basing my argument on a surveyor’s spike. I’m not. I’m refering to the two commerative plaques on Aspen Highlands that refer to the the Highlands Bowl as the “Highlands Bowl.” The fact that he doesen’t even know where on Highlands these are shows he has the awareness of a desktop stapler.

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Letter: A manufactured crisis

February 23, 2015 — 

A manufactured crisis

In my humble opinion, when the Earth’s temperature fluctuations are looked upon from a perspective of millions of years, it is clear that there are periods of very cold, such as the ice ages, and periods of very warm, such as the dinosaur ages. And it is very clear that during those periods of time, human beings were not contributing to any great degree of those climate changes — unless one wishes to make the argument that human flatulence was or is a factor.

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Letter: Consenting adulthood kills the comparisons

February 22, 2015 — 

Consenting adulthood kills the comparisons

Thank you, Ms. Hubbell, for your letter to the editor on my humor column “Two Score and 10 Shades of Grey,” which was a review, of sorts, of the movie “50 Shades of Grey” (“Violence Is Not Sexy,” Letters to the Editor, The Aspen Times, Feb. 20).

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Letter: A singular explanation

February 22, 2015 — 

A singular explanation

So, Lo Semple relies on a brass spike driven into the ground 30 years ago by a government surveyor that says “Highlands Peak” on it as proof the name of the bowl below it is also “Highlands” with an “s.”

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Letter: Thanks for supporting high school sports

February 22, 2015 — 

Thanks for supporting high school sports

A heartfelt thank-you to Basalt-area restaurants who donated food for our final home basketball games of the season. We are grateful to Scottie’s, Bella Mia, El Korita, Smoke Modern Barbecue and Brick Pony Pub for giving the Basalt High School Booster Club such amazing food items (from clam chowder to barbecue to quesadillas) to sell at our concessions booth.

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Letter: Keep an eye on mental health

February 22, 2015 — 

Keep an eye on mental health

I would like for Aspen, Pitkin County and their neighboring environs during the year 2015 to nearly eradicate the costly problems caused by arrested social development, heartaches, suicides and stunted economic growth.

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Letter: Dog rescuer a hero

February 21, 2015 — 

Dog rescuer a hero

Thank you to the driver in the Source Gas truck who stopped to rescue a lost golden retriever from wandering into busy, rush-hour traffic on Highway 82 near El Jebel. Your quick action likely averted a disastrous and tragic outcome for the dog and his human companions. Good Samaritan acts such as this represent the very best of humanity.

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Letter: Leave the S in “Highlands Bowl”

February 21, 2015 — 

Leave the S in “Highlands Bowl”

I felt sad for Roger Marolt and his latest missive about Highlands Bowl. I suggest he go to the two 30-year-old brass plaques at Highlands Ski Area that refer to the bowl as “Highlands Bowl” with a dremmel tool and remove the S’s, if it makes him feel more local. Several years ago, Aspen Skiing Co. grammar police started erroneously calling it “The Highland Bowl” in a feeble attempt to tame the renegade spirit of Highlands — unsuccessfully, I might add. Any local worth their weight in La Cocina enchiladas still calls it “Highlands Bowl.”

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Letter: Misleading points about healthy eating

February 20, 2015 — 

While some good points about sugars in particular were raised in the article by The Aspen Times’ princess writer (“Here we go, Paleo,” Commentary, Feb. 19), there is some information here I think may be misleading.

As a biochemist who studies women’s hormones, I look at epidemiology and diets around the world as it relates to my field.

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Letter: Curious of Jour de Fete landlord’s intentions

February 20, 2015 — 

One wonders if the out-of-town landlord strung Jour de Fete along because he could never get anyone else to rent a space in a war zone for a year and then pull the rug out from under that little locally owned business trying to support two families with young children.

Pat Milligan

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Letter: Thanks to the Thrift Shop of Aspen

February 20, 2015 — 

Basalt High School and the Basalt Regional Library would like to extend a big “thank you” to the Thrift Shop of Aspen for its generous funding of our High School Book Club. The book club is the joint effort between the Basalt High School library and the Basalt Regional Library, in which students will have the opportunity at the Colorado Teen Literature Conference in Denver in April to meet the authors of the books they have been reading. Without the generous support of the Thrift Shop of Aspen, transportation to and from the conference would not be possible. Thank you, Thrift Shop of Aspen!

Basalt High School Book Club

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Letter: Applaud Skico for doing the right thing with helmets

February 20, 2015 — 

It is with great pleasure I read the article “Trauma surgeon says helmets save lives” in Thursday’s Aspen Times. Great credit is due to Aspen Skiing Co. for being a first-class leader in recognizing the need to do the right thing despite the advice of most major ski industry associations to the contrary. It was 13 years ago this week that our mountains took the life of 5-year-old Leonie Arguetty. At 18, she should have been planning her graduation from high school and awaiting word on college applications. Fortunately, Eliot Levmore has that opportunity because of a helmet. For the four weeks between Leonie and Eliot’s ski accidents, our community discussed and debated the idea of making helmets mandatory. A connection made at Denver Children’s Hospital put Eliot’s story and his dented helmet in the national news and made it hard not to do something. Skico then chose to make the first independent step and required helmets on kids, with many ski resorts following its lead. Arguetty’s life, though tragically short, has made a difference — an increase of close to 50 percent in helmet usage! Kudos to Skico for recognizing the need to do the right thing!

Carol Hawk

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Letter: Violence is not sexy

February 20, 2015 — 

For Glenn Beaton (“Two score and 10 shades of grey,” Feb. 15, Commentary, The Aspen Times) to couch “50 Shades of Grey” as merely a “kinky” movie is a travesty. This film is nothing more than “To Catch a Predator” for the big screen. Same young innocent girl as the TV show, but because the predator is well-dressed, successful and wealthy, it must be OK. There’s a contract too, so it must be OK.

How about: Pick on someone your own size, you coward! This sadist (Grey) parading as a sex deviant is as much a coward as the mass shooters who corner the defenseless in classrooms across the country and then open fire. It’s not exactly a fair fight. All the variables have been stacked in favor of the guy with a gun. And Grey is the guy with the gun (and an entire torture chamber, too.)

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