Letters to the Editor

Letter: Here’s your chance, Glenwood

August 21, 2014 — 

Here’s your chance, Glenwood

Glenwood Springs needs an elevated Highway 82, running parallel with the east side of the Roaring Fork River from the Grand/Glen Avenue “Y,” over a new Colorado River bridge, to a reconstructed I-70 interchange. It’s been several years since the last cost estimate, but it was floating around in the neighborhood of $200 million.

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Letter: Arm them with iPads

August 21, 2014 — 

Arm them with iPads

Being attracted to the ongoing differences of opinions concerning the iPads/tortoise display at the Aspen Art Museum has prompted me to offer up a somewhat obvious solution. With a firm belief in the inherent beauty of compromise, as a believer in artistic adventure, I propose the iPads be worn by the employees of the art museum. My intuition foresees excellent PR salvage and unforeseen artistic potential!

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Letter: Random two-wheeled thoughts

August 21, 2014 — 

Random two-wheeled thoughts

So the circus came to town again and left just as quickly, what a blast! Every person who lives in Aspen I spoke to thoroughly enjoyed the whole show, and can’t wait for next year’s event.

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Letter: Aspen’s reputation is stained

August 20, 2014 — 

Italy, the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, many states of the U.S. — at a quick glance these are some of the places whose people are speaking out against the tortoise “exhibit” at the Aspen Art Museum. Some comments include “shocked this happened in Aspen ... associated with respect for nature” and “so grossly Aspen.”

The art museum is rebranding Aspen worldwide with this inhumane travesty. This tortoise “exhibit” is slated to continue until Oct. 5. I ask the city of Aspen to use all influence possible to stop this stain upon the name of Aspen and try to save our reputation or what is left of it. Please review the more than 3,000 comments on the petition at Change.org, and give thought to this question: “Is this how we want our Aspen to be perceived on the world stage?”

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Letter: Basalt as a cultural mecca

August 20, 2014 — 

To take advantage of the unique opportunities offered in Basalt with its river project, you need to think big! Not big in size but big in ideas.

For example, look at the Operahaus and Festspiele in Erl Tirol, Bregenz, Austria, or closer, Santa Fe, New Mexico. They all transformed a small town in a very positive way. In comparison, Basalt is way ahead; it has all the ingredients to create a gourmet meal. Maybe one of Aspen’s billionaires would want to put his name in lights on an internationally recognized Operahaus and performing-arts center and thus into immortality with the added attraction of a sculpture garden along the river.

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Letter: Not all support development in Basalt

August 20, 2014 — 

As a longtime Basaltine, I have participated in many citizen committees convened to gather public input with the same result as the recent community project regarding the Pan and Fork property. The Basalt town staff went ahead, generally disregarding the public’s ideas, with planners, developers and managers.

In my opinion, it would be wonderful to take advantage of the natural spring and utilize that area as additional wetlands, keeping the view plane open. It’s quite wonderful having the expanse of river open along Two Rivers Road.

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Letter: Museum greenbacks

August 20, 2014 — 

Along with iPads strapped to turtles, why not strap cash to the backs of museum founders and let them roam on all fours through the building?

John Rothchild

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Letter: In the weeds

August 20, 2014 — 

Where’s the Forest Service weed management? On Basalt Mountain, nowhere! Fields on Basalt Mountain, on and off the beaten track, are choked with thistle.

There is no evidence of invasive-weed control, probably for years. A sickening, disgraceful situation no matter what — lack of funds or manpower.

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Letter: Turtle ad is misleading

August 20, 2014 — 

I am a resident of Snowmass Village and want to enlighten you on the counterproductive full-page ads Andrew Sabin is putting in the newspaper.

Just an FYI: The latest ad was false information. That is a box turtle. Not a tortoise. I’m assuming he knows that considering he is involved in the Turtle Conservancy. Also, I’m assuming he knows the tortoises in the Aspen Art Museum are rescue tortoises, which makes me surprised that he would not support the effort of the artist, although I understand not all people are supporters of the art world.

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Letter: Turtles could have planned race better

August 20, 2014 — 

I was going to submit a rather enraged piece I wrote while sitting on the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority bus for two hours during my arduous journey from Rubey Park to the intercept lot Monday evening.

I have since had time to process the 120 minutes of my life that was wasted because of the city’s complete lack of planning and disregard for its local residents — and I’ve decided what I think would be a fair retribution:

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Letter: Fishbone’s performance was offensive and vulgar

August 19, 2014 — 

Fishbone’s performance was offensive and vulgar

Thursday night I attended the finale show of the Snowmass concerts on Fanny Hill to see Fishbone play. I expected a fun evening as I have seen them play several times in the past when I lived in California.

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Letter: The two-wheeled kings of the road

August 19, 2014 — 

The two-wheeled kings of the road

Comrades: We drivers have a problem. Bikers have the “right of way” at all intersections. They can go through stop and yield signs with impunity. As you approach an intersection with no stop sign, you better stop. Why? The road bikers are “king of the road.” They, by Aspen law, can go flying through a stop sign when you don’t have to stop. Furthermore, you are to stay at least three feet from a road biker, even though a paved path is five feet away. So, comrades, if you hit a biker going through a stop sign, it is your fault because you violated the three-foot rule.

Is this getting crazy or what? A road biker, even though there is a million-dollar path within five feet, can force you off the road. Comrades, don’t forget the three-foot rule.

Sometimes road bikers are two and three abreast when there is a path five feet away. You may have to go at their pace or drive off the road. They are the “kings.”

This is getting more crazy. I urge road bikers to have a number on their back so they can be reported to the police for endangering themselves and others by not using nearby bike paths.

Richard Goodwin

Snowmass Village

Thank you from the Langley family

August 19, 2014 — 

Thank you from the Langley family

To all of Mackenzie’s friends and supporters:

Thank you, Aspen! On June 23 at 1:30 in the morning, we received the telephone call we hope and pray that none of you ever receives.

Our precious 16-old-daughter, Mackenzie, had been in an automobile accident on Castle Creek Road. We were directed to the emergency room at Aspen Valley Hospital. Five minutes later, we were at the emergency room. We were not able to see Mackenzie, as the physicians were stabilizing her for a Flight for Life helicopter trip to Denver. For the next 20 minutes, which felt like 20 hours, we anxiously waited. We were finally able to see Mackenzie for about 45 seconds as they were transiting her to the helicopter. Seeing our baby so broken and beat up was heart-wrenching. The vacant look on her face was frightening.

There was no prognosis, and there was no room for Darnell to ride along with our daughter. We embarked on the longest drive of our lives. We did not know what we would learn when we got to Children’s Hospital in Denver. When we arrived, we learned that Mackenzie had six broken vertebrae, multiple skull and facial fractures and a broken jaw. There was damage to her brain. We were just happy that she was alive!

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the valleywide community for the authentic and sincere love that has been manifested to our family. We have been overwhelmed by the prayers, support and generosity that you have given us. Thank you for the bake sales, car washes, lemonade stands, rides, T-shirts, meals, flowers, accommodations and hugs. Thank you for taking the time to drive to Denver and visit us. Thank you to all of the local faith communities for your prayers and petitions to the Lord our God for our Mackenzie. Thank you to the fundraisers who organized the benefit at Crossroads Church and Aspen Junior Hockey for its support and dedication of the 3-on-3 Tournament to Mackenzie. Your love and generosity have brought us to tears. We are most richly blessed to live among you and to be the beneficiaries of your love and support.

Mackenzie is currently in Craig Hospital in Denver; her release date is in late September. At this time she is paralyzed below her waist and does not have use of her legs. The physicians are predicting a full recovery of her brain, which already seems to be functioning normally. We are elated that she is back with us and are grateful to God for her healing. We continue to hope and pray for a full recovery of her body. God answers prayers; please continue to pray for Mackenzie.

Words cannot adequately express our gratitude and love for each and every one of you. We are humbled by your generosity and grateful for your support. We remain hopeful and optimistic that Mackenzie will play soccer and hockey again. We are eagerly looking forward to our next family ski day. In addition to prayers of petition for Mackenzie’s recovery, we daily offer prayers of gratitude and thanksgiving for all of you for supporting us through this most difficult time.

Thank you, Aspen, and God bless you.

Kyle, Coby, Carlyn, Mackenzie, Quinn, Darnell and Bob Langley


Letter: Why isn’t the art museum listening?

August 19, 2014 — 

Why isn’t the art museum listening?

In 1999, the National Atomic Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico, added “atomic bomb earrings” to their gift shop. One earring was a depiction of “Fat Man,” the other, “Little Boy,” the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945.

When the earrings were seen on the museum’s website by some Japanese visitors, the discovery resulted in the city of Hiroshima sending a formal protest. The earrings were removed.

I see the current flap about the iPads-on-tortoises exhibit at the Aspen Art Museum as a similar situation. The outrage isn’t about harm to the tortoises, it’s about mockery of life. People are angry because the art piece, like the earrings, trivializes life in favor of a snicker. Some might consider it “cute,” but some also considered the earrings “cute.” The point, however, is that even if harm isn’t being done to the tortoises, harm can be inflicted upon people’s feelings, their sensibilities.

Of course, that’s exactly what art is supposed to do: Make people feel things. But a person would have a choice about being humiliated in a performance art piece in order to manipulate the feelings of those watching; the tortoises have no choice in this “mock turtle” display. Therein lies the debasing of life that so outrages those witnessing it.

The museum in New Mexico responded to a city’s outrage. Why is it that our own city’s outrage doesn’t matter?

Les Helton


Letter: Aspen is fortunate to have museum

August 19, 2014 — 

Aspen is fortunate to have museum

I moved out of Aspen 41 years ago and have only come back maybe 25 times since. I live in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and really love the art scene.

It seems to me like a bunch of people are bitching a lot about the new Aspen Art Museum. I was lucky enough to be there at opening night and had a really great time! The turtles seemed happy, healthy and taken care of. The large letters in the front of the building were tasteful, clean and temporary. The acoustics where the pianos were placed were amazing. The art was nice.

The best thing I enjoyed was the rooftop view and service. I am just a regular Joe and felt like anyone could go and enjoy that amazing, world-class public space! I have never heard so much complaining about an art space in my entire existence. Sure, change is hard, but at least it isn’t another private, wealthy residence. I cannot wait to go back and order a latte and chill with that amazing view and check on the turtles and enjoy some art!

Most towns do not have anything close to what you all have, so stop complaining about it and at least check it out.

Miles Knudson

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Letter: Art is calling for me

August 19, 2014 — 

Art is calling for me

It’s as if a giant $45 million Longaberger basket fell from the sky. And breathed out ... gobbling up 20-some parking spots. Spots sacrificed (ostensibly) on the altars of aesthetics and the greater good.

For most of the naysayers, this will be enough to obviate the need to actually go inside the new Aspen Art Museum. If you do venture inside, most of the exhibits might remind you of art that can also be found in the public library’s basement. Another sacrifice. This was probably a good thing.

I could now focus on the white wall with a single black square on it. For me it was an artistic interpretation of the “end of the tunnel.” Like some chaotic theory, being close to this “piece” opened up a plethora of choices. Choices of interpretation and inspiration. Suddenly the turtles were no longer the victims of man’s cruelty to animals, but rather messengers from one of humankind’s possible futures, temporarily sacrificing their dignity to give all of this planet’s animals a voice. Are we hearing the animals?

One floor down from the turtles was a fascinating exhibit of ultra low-cost structures made of paper tubing. For the cost of a single iPad, an area roughly the size of the whole museum building’s footprint could be covered with shelter. Are we hearing the world’s poorest peoples?

Looking out through the thin hedge of the Aspen Art Museum’s exoskeleton, one can see the town of Aspen and its surroundings. In a few weeks the lattice-like view will be changed and charged with bright yellows, oranges and reds. In a few more weeks we can add splashes of white to the palette. Maybe the basket will be like Sopris and look better with some snow on it.

If art can serve to wake us up through interpretation and inspiration, then the new Aspen Art Museum is not a sacrifice, but a success.

Fred Dick

Snowmass Village

Letter: The real ‘nutcases’ of global warming

August 18, 2014 — 

To be denigrated by our former President Jimmy Carter as a “nutcase” because I disagree with his position on human-caused global warming is discouraging (“Carter talks environment, women’s rights in Aspen,” Aug. 13, The Aspen Times).

But my judgment is solid and is based on an evaluation of the totality of the data. For the analysis of the issue from some of the world’s most distinguished scientists, go to www.climateconference.heartland.org. The real data contradict the ignorant “consensus” that human emission of carbon dioxide is the driver of weather and climate. You will then find out who the real “nutcases” are.

Martin Hertzberg

Copper Mountain

Letter: Aspen Times should move

August 18, 2014 — 

The Aspen Times Aug. 15 editorial (“Lodge order a blow to Aspen’s charm,” Commentary, The Aspen Times) opined that the Aspen City Council erred by adopting the lodging-incentive ordinance. I agree that was a mistake. But whereas The Aspen Times wants to stop progress in Aspen and keep things just the way they are (or were at some unspecified idyllic time in the past), I don’t think the city has gone far enough to permit developments that will attract and satisfy the visitors on which our economy depends.

While The Aspen Times was penning its nostalgic op-ed piece, I was reading the local papers. Items like the report that in public comment Dave Perry reported the views of an Australian tour operator (anyone happen to notice how much we rely on Aussies ‘in the winter?). That tour operator considers Aspen overpriced for the quality of the available amenities. Or the report about the comments of Mark Harmon, founder of Auberge Resorts. He said that Aspen is losing market share, not keeping up with its competition.

To emphasize its point, I expect to see The Aspen Times abandon its shiny new digs with the modern equipment and the comfortable working conditions so it can return to the drafty, creaky but oh so “Aspen” building it occupied for 100 years on Main Street. Or is it only bad policy for other business enterprises in town to be permitted to keep up with “The Times”?

Maurice Emmer


Letter: Bigger buildings aren’t the will of the people

August 18, 2014 — 

Elected officials supposedly act in such a way as to reflect the will of the people. It is hard to imagine that, given a vote, the will of the people in this town would be to allow the continued construction of ever-larger buildings, further eroding the unique and small-town atmosphere that was once Aspen.

Everett Peirce


Letter: A work of art?

August 18, 2014 — 

If the letters outside the Aspen “Art” Museum are not a violation of the city’s sign code because they qualify as a “work of art,” then who is to stop me from putting gigantic letters outside my home and calling that “art,” as well?

I would ask Dr. Mitchell, who has to look at the monster basket daily, to put the sixth and 21st letters (over sided of course) outside his office building in the name of “freedom of speech.”

Catharine Cross


Letter: Resolving conflict in Aspen

August 18, 2014 — 

In our town of state-of-the-art facilities, do you realize that there is no mediation room where people can go in an unbiased environment to find common ground, resolve conflict and reconcile? If we had a venue of this nature, would Nancy Pfister be alive today? Would the two men who had a dispute over a dog have found a way to understand each other’s views and not shoot at each other?

When you look at the CEOs and world leaders within the city limits of Aspen and Pitkin County, per square foot, we probably hold the highest IQs per capita in the world. Could something so simple as a venue for mediation work in our community? What if we try it?

This letter is to ask our brilliant and compassionate city attorney, the City Council and county commissioners, with the teamwork of all, to develop a plan as soon as possible. We can be the healthiest city in America.

We can do it.

Jan Hamilton


Kudos and Kindness

August 17, 2014 — 

A great day for science in Aspen

If you missed the Science Street Fair in Paepcke Park on Aug. 10, well, I’m terribly sorry. It only comes around once a year, and it’s truly phenomenal!

Maggy DeWolf and the Nick DeWolf Foundation make it possible to bring in world-class science stage shows along with presenters from as far as Caltech’s Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory in Louisiana and as local as the beautiful hawk from Aspen Center for Environmental Studies and the fusion reactor built by local boy Tanner Oates. Our staff and volunteer crew (many from Rocky Mountain Institute) helped entertained the huge crowd that filled the park during the all-day event. It was wow! Other supporters included Mike and Becky Murry, the Thrift Shop of Aspen, the city of Aspen and continual support from our national Science Council. Frias Property helped with housing some of our mad scientists — I hope they kept the flaming bubbles outside! The Limelight helped with our kickoff party, and Johnny’s helped with lunch — thanks!

I hope all the exhibitors and my staff and volunteers realize how grateful I am for their presence during this event. I hope my board realizes how much I appreciate their wives (and them, too). We had a great day!

Jackie Francis

Executive director, Aspen Science Center

Race organizers give thanks

We would like to thank all of the volunteers and sponsors of this year’s Aspen Valley Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K. It would have been impossible to have an outstanding event without your dedicated help. We are truly grateful for your friendly, smiling faces. You are all remarkable.

Thanks go to: The Aspen Clinic and TAC Fit, the town of Basalt, the city of Aspen, Pitkin County Open Space and Trails, David Bach “Always Mountain Time,” Challenge Aspen, the Aspen Hope Center, Clark’s Market, RFTA, Rocky Mountain Leaf Co., City Market, Fitzgerald Landscaping, Smuggler Finishes, Aspen 82, Conundrum Catering, Zeal Optics, Basalt Mini Storage, Taranaki Electric, Iceni Construction, Aspen Brewing Co., US Bank, Colorado Center for Hyperbaric Medicine, 1211 Fitness, Roaring Fork CrossFit, High Country CrossFit, Aspen CrossFit, Defiance Strength and Conditioning, Ute Mountaineer, Independence Run and Hike, Ace Hardware, iOmounts, Zapazoo Inkworks, Bugjam, New York Pizza, Basalt High School, the Wyly Community Art Center, Regen Aspen, Aimee Boyle, Aithan Schneider, Alexis DeVito, Alycia Gillis, Amanda Wagner, Amity Brereton Preis, Andrea Forbes, Armando Ruiz, Audra Schmidt, Audrey Glatz, Austin Weiss, Betsy Hales, Bob Wade, Bryan Bennett, Carol Hughes, Catherine Rohrstaff, Chrissie Mulvanny, Christine Follin, Cindy Bartell, Cody Stover, Dan Blankenship, Dan Bosko, Dana Higbie, David Bach, Deb Hancock, Dee Dee Kieber, Donna Wilcox, Elder Peugnet, Elder Reilly, Emily Knutson, Emma Casson, Houston Cowan, James Lindt, Jami De Bold, Janet Gordon, Janice Cowan, Jeff Wertz, Jenni Petersen, Jerry Hales, Jesse Williams, Jessica Palen, Jocelyn Twight, John Armstrong, John Baker, Josh Bartell, Josh Hall, Kathy Fry, Kathy Haber, Kathy Sydoryk, Katie Parker, Kayla Hall, Kristen Heath, Krysia Schneider, Kyle Piorowsky, Libby Pettit, Linda Spada Magill, Mary Cote, Maurice Fitzgerald, Melanie Hmielowski, Michael Kraemer, Michaela Idehammar, Michelle, Braden and Christopher Muething, Mike Bartell, Mike Bower, Miranda Pingree, Nadia Sanchez, Nancy Pearce, Natalie Ehrlich, Ned Sullivan, Nick Ketpura, Pablo Hanrahan, Pam Mulleavy, Paris DeWind, Paul Muldoon, Peter D’Andrea, PJ Wallace, Rachel Daily, Rafeal Chavez, Randy Christensen,Raphael Chavez, Rebecca Weiss, Renee Mackie, Rob Skillman, Roger Patterson, Roscoe Hancock, Sam Barg, Sam Louras, Sandy Hoelsken, Seton Hall, Sheldon Hoelsken, Sophia Trettenero, Theresa Fritz-Endres and Thompson Bishop.

Organizers, Aspen Valley Marathon

Aspen business delivers professional service

My family and I have lived part time in Aspen for 40 years. We all wear glasses but did not have a regular optician. When I sat on my glasses the other night (I know, clumsy), I knew that I had to find someone who could manipulate my progressive trifocals carefully enough that I could look through the correct portion of the lens for the next couple of weeks until I could get back to my regular optician in New York.

On Yelp, Optical Options on East Durant got good comments, so my son and I went over there. While we waited a very short time, the owner, Tim Donovan, helped a gentleman with his own eyeglass emergency and refused to take any payment.

Then it was my turn. Tim looked at my glasses and listened to my speculation that if he couldn’t get the trifocals back to their original orientation perhaps he could transfer my sunglasses’ lenses to another frame. After casually doing some prestidigitation, he said, “Put them on.” The glasses were fixed! As he had done with the previous customer, he charged me nothing for his time and even added with genuine concern that my son and I should be careful about putting on our sunglasses before going outside into the bright sunshine.

This was an extremely positive experience. I highly recommend Tim and Optical Options. His treatment of two eyeglass accidents in a row was gentlemanly and classy!

Betty Wallach

New York City and Aspen

Anonymous donor delights Thrift Shop

On behalf of the Wednesday B volunteers at the Aspen Thrift Shop, I’d like to express our sincere thanks to the anonymous gentleman who brought us a hot lunch and dessert! We were quite surprised and delighted to receive such a wonderful treat. It really made our day more enjoyable and productive. Not having to concern ourselves with going out to get lunch left us with more time to sort and sell donations in order to raise money, which is donated back to our community. Your thoughtful and kind gesture was heartwarming and very much appreciated by all of us!

Joanne Post

Snowmass Village

Snowmass community gives Project 18 a boost

Project 18 at Snowmass Chapel just wrapped up a summer jam-packed with activities for kids in the valley, and it would not have been possible without the generosity of so many! Camp SMashBox hosted 176 campers this summer during four weeks of crazy fun, including two overnight excursions! In addition, we road tripped with a group of 15 high school students to Southern California for “Surf and Serve,” a week of service and volunteering at a variety of locations, and still another group of awesome high schoolers planned and hosted the second annual Kindergarten Readiness Camp for 13 incoming students!

Without the support and generosity of our community, it simply wouldn’t be possible for us to offer these programs. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the town of Snowmass and Related/Snowmass Hospitality for their generous grants, which impacted the lives of more than 200 Roaring Fork Valley kids and beyond. Project 18 helps families raise kids with character and integrity, and we create experiences for kids to lead extraordinary lives. Thank you to all our donors for making this possible!

Charla Belinski and Adam and Kara Gilbert

Project 18, Snowmass Chapel

Basalt rec climbs with Aspen experts

Basalt Recreation recently had the opportunity to show local kids the pleasures of rock climbing. We would like to thank the following people for helping to make our experience a memorable one. Thanks to the Aspen Recreation Center for providing us with a great climbing wall to get used to the experience. Thank you to Jeremy Graham at the Red Brick for letting us monkey around at your amazing bouldering wall.

Thank you to Todd Reeves, Karen Sahn and Dirk Bockelmann at Aspen Expeditions for taking us up the pass to really learn about the techniques and camaraderie of climbing. We live in such a beautiful place, and to have all of these great amenities made it a great experience for all of us.

Dorothy Howard

Basalt Recreation Department

Letter: Managing Gaza

August 16, 2014 — 

How sad. More than 1,800 Palestinians in Gaza killed and 2,000 children. How sad. Israel will nail a tack with a sledgehammer. Here is what most Jews won’t talk about. Israel lives in the shadow of the Holocaust and 1,500 years of persecution.

However, as a Jew, I see no justification for the shelling of schools and other non-military targets. Yes, 2.800 rockets have been fired to date. But, they are crude and hove no guidance system. It’s like throwing a rock.

Hamas wants the Israeli blockade modified to permit food and other humanitarian goods to come in. Israel says “no” because weapons and rockets also will be smuggled.

I suggest an international group be formed to supervise and inspect all goods going into Gaza with American and Israeli participation.

If that fails, then they should go back to war. How sad.

Richard Goodwin

Snowmass Village

Letter: Candidate Suppes is wrong about water

August 16, 2014 — 

Republican Senate candidate Don Suppes, of Delta, complained on Aug. 5 in the Snowmass Sun that Denver and the other Front Range water providers supported 2014 Senate Bill 23 because it would have helped them take water from the Western Slope to the Front Range (“Don Suppes: Why I’m running for CO senate,” Commentary). He said that it is “clear that our current politicians intend for us to lose our water rights.”

I testified in favor of the bill before both the Senate and House Agricultural Committees, and followed its progress closely. It simply provided that if ranchers adopted efficient irrigation systems so they could divert less water from the river to their fields, they could donate the diversion savings to the river as environmentally enhancing in-stream flows. It was completely voluntary, and could be reversed at any time.

Suppes has his facts reversed about Senate Bill 23. Denver Water, Aurora and other Front Range water providers opposed Senate Bill 23, since it would have kept water on the Western Slope. Nearly every Republican in the House and Senate opposed it, while nearly every Democrat supported it. When Senate Bill 23 passed, the Front Range water utilities let Governor Hickenlooper know they didn’t like the bill, which I believe is why he vetoed it. People who opposed SB 23 believe it would restrict their ability to sell water rights to the highest bidder, which usually means the biggest cities on the Front Range.

Suppes is running for the state Senate seat in District 5 that Gail Schwartz has held for eight years. We should ask why he has lined up with the Front Range water providers in opposing Senate Bill 23. Senate Bill 23 was good for the Western Slope.

Kerry Donovan is the Democrat candidate for Senate District 5, and she supports SB 23. She’s a Vail Town Council member and runs her family’s ranch near Edwards. If you support leaving more water in rivers to enhance them, support Kerry Donovan.

Ken Ransford


Letter: Aspen’s high-rise art museum

August 15, 2014 — 

Aspen’s high-rise art museum

I have been visiting Aspen annually for over 50 years in the summer for the Aspen Music Festival. I was shocked to observe the new high-rise art museum and its sister building a block away. It has turned a beautiful mountain village into something that with the traffic and all can only remind me of the garment district in New York City. To see a really wonderful and tasteful mountain museum, visit the Powers Art Institute east of Carbondale.

Noyes Rogers

Columbus, Nebraska

Letter: Don’t buy Relate’s pitch

August 15, 2014 — 

Don’t buy Relate’s pitch

Members of the Snowmass Village Town Council:

Many of us have chortled at:

• “The check is in the mail.”

• “I’ll respect you in the morning.”

• “I never inhaled.”

Few Snowmass Village residents have expressed mirth at:

• “I’m from Related and ...”

• “We’re here to help.”

• “We’re really telling the truth now.”

• “We have firm construction plans.”

• “We will imminently complete the round-about, the second Viceroy building, facilitate the relocation of the Anderson Ranch

(http://aspenjournalism.org/2013/12/20/absent-complete-submission-related-shops-alternate-base-village-plan/) and work with SkiCo to build a Limelight equivalent in SMV, etc.”

Please, council members, don’t continue to be wooed by more “absolute” commitments and promises based upon Related’s “Trust Me” scenario.

Please consider not extending Related’s vesting rights until you see, in writing, and agree with, in principal, the “22 construction milestones” and require legally enforceable financial consequences should Related renege again. Our only leverage over Related is the extension of their vesting rights. Related’s continuing mantra of “Trust Me,” must be ignored.

Nancy and Philip Shalen

Snowmass Village

Letter: Museum signs must go

August 15, 2014 — 

Museum signs must go

The museum building is here to stay; nothing we can do about it now. But we can enforce our signage laws and get rid of the huge, hideous signage outside the museum.

No matter what the signage says, it does not fit the building and it does not fit Aspen. No other entity can disregard signage laws; why should the museum be able to ignore them? And please do not tell me that isn’t signage, it’s “art” because if that is art, so are real estate signs.

We spend money to have graphic artists design real estate signs so they are as much art as what is on that building. Stand up to the museum sign Nazis and make them take it down. Don’t let them establish a precedence.

Robin Gorog

Snowmass Village

Letter: Basalt skeptics are out of touch

August 15, 2014 — 

Basalt skeptics are out of touch

Are you tired of our local pundits putting their own spin on issues that they see from 60,000 feet?

Before the economic downturn in 2008, downtown Basalt was a vibrant community with wonderful restaurants surrounded by terrific shops, galleries and professional offices — an evolving community that attracted visitors from up and down the valley. Revenues from all these businesses fed the aspirations and dreams of the residents of the community — whether it was from an increase in property values, increased support for our schools and other public resources, or the exciting viability of our commercial sector. Downtown Basalt was a “happening place.”

The Pan & Fork trailer park continued on its 50- to 60-year deterioration, violating building codes and occupancy rates for dwellings meant for single families and being a major eyesore in the center of our town. Only upon its removal did we realize what a blight it truly was as we uncovered the living conditions that had existed “under our watch.” For all those decades, access to the river in downtown — visual or otherwise — did not exist.

Eighty percent of the voters supported the bond issue that was to support the repair of the tenuous wetlands adjacent to the river, putting the residents of the trailer park at risk and preserving that space as a park for all to enjoy. Those of us who worked so hard to educate our fellow citizens were enthusiastic about recapturing the waterfront, but none of us imagined that the entire parcel would be dedicated to open space. The vast majority of us have remained deeply involved in “the process” to make sure that development of that portion of the property adjacent to Two Rivers Road would respect the scale of the town, public access to the river and support an economic revitalization of the town that lost so much in the last five years. “We” just happens to include not just architects, developers and contractors, who are also real people, but that 80 percent were residents with a real passion to see Basalt grow in a way that preserves its unique character.

We’ve now spent months allowing all citizens to participate in the planning process in a multitude of venues. It only makes sense that we now engage professionals to help interpret our dreams. The Town Council is expected to respect the outcome and support the wishes of the people and not put their own spin on a process that they created! If the pundits had visited all the chat sessions, our working lab in downtown and several open public meetings, they would be more respectful of the process that we’ve chosen to pursue. Go somewhere else to sell your skepticism with inflammatory rhetoric — please!

Steve Chase


Letter: Views are no longer our own

August 14, 2014 — 

Views are no longer our own

The City Council took another step this week in the city of Aspen’s long-standing and ongoing effort to spoil everyone’s view. I mean, really — four-story, 60-foot buildings between Durant Avenue and the mountain? Didn’t anyone point out that the territory south of Durant is already higher in elevation than everywhere else in town?

Now, no matter where you live, the view toward Aspen Mountain will be littered with massive buildings. That bites the big one, no matter how you spin it.

Allyn Harvey


Letter: The real ‘war on women’

August 14, 2014 — 

Richard Goodwin’s personal attack on me in the local press deserves a response. His attack illustrates one of the unfortunate aspects of political discourse today — partisan opinions uninformed by the facts.

Like many Republicans and Democrats, Cory Gardner believes that the federal government has no business subsidizing abortion with taxpayer funds. Americans are deeply divided on the morality of abortion, and the government should not promote through subsidies one side of such a charged issue. However, even in this regard and contrary to the false assertions in recent political ads repeated by Goodwin, Gardner has consistently voted for exceptions when rape, incest or the life of the mother is involved.

Another charge leveled against Gardner in the so-called “war on women” is that he wants to deny women access to birth control. On the contrary, Gardner has sought to remove government restrictions on access to birth-control pills, which currently require a doctor’s prescription. Gardner has proposed removing this requirement so that the expense of seeking a doctor’s OK for this safe and proven method of birth control is not an impediment to obtaining the pill. Under Gardner’s approach, the pill would be just as accessible to adult women as aspirin at the corner drugstore. Mark Udall and his allies, however, oppose this common-sense change and are lying about Gardner’s position on contraception in a shameful attempt to politicize the issue and manipulate women voters.

The focus of the Udall camp in the Senate race is an attempt to distract from the fragile economic state in which so many women find themselves today, in large part as a result of misguided government policies that restrict jobs and opportunity. That is the real “war on women.”

Frieda Wallison

Chairwoman, Pitkin County Republicans, Old Snowmass

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