Letters to the Editor

Letter: Balko and Nagle for AVH

April 28, 2016 — 

We would like to remind everyone that there is an (only) mail-in election happening this offseason. Every registered voter within the hospital district should have received a ballot in the mail by now. They are due back no later than May 5. If you have any questions on the election or where to obtain a ballot, please reach out to Amy Trubiroha Wells at 970-544-1261 or trubirhora@aspenhospital.org.

We take our hat off to the existing Aspen Valley Hospital board members, with a special note of thanks to Dr. Barry Mink for his years of service on the board. While all seven of the fine community members would do a solid job to fill the two seats up this spring, we would like to offer our unconditional support for Dr. Greg Balko and to allow Dr. Mindy Nagle to extend her service on the board.

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Letter: The beauty of 1A

April 28, 2016 — 

Great column about the Lift 1A area by Mr. Lo Semple in last Saturday’s Aspen Daily News (“Lift 1A and metamorphosis”). I agree with him that despite the opinions of certain members of FIS and officers of Aspen Skiing Co., this area really isn’t broken and shouldn’t be fixed.

On the contrary, I think it should be preserved as a monument to the history of skiing in Aspen. I love everything about this area from parking and walking up the hill to the funky locker room/restroom building to the great skiing on this side of the mountain and, yes, even the lift itself.

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Letter: Let's be the solution

April 28, 2016 — 

Something recently has been troubling me. The criticisms in the Aspen Power Plant debate have become personal, going so far as to impugn the personal integrity of David Cook and others. There simply is no place in our town for personal attacks as they undermine what makes Aspen so very special: our sense of community and trust.

Let’s review David Cook. David grew up with nothing handed to him. He earned everything with grit, determination and a firm commitment to the American ideal. As luxury chains have displaced local businesses, David has committed himself to entrepreneurship, building channel 82, a local media company broadcasting Aspen to the world while hiring local employees and paying local taxes. More than that, David is a devoted father to a wonderful daughter who is being educated in our local school system. He and his wife give back — leading nonprofits and community initiatives from Aspen Cares to Jazz Aspen Snowmass, the Historical Society to Aspen NextGen. David is kind, wise, adventurous, athletic and a loyal friend. He is the guy you call first. And he shows up. He embodies the Give First mentality and heart-centered existence that we so value in this town.

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Letter: Clean up Crown Mountain Park

April 28, 2016 — 

Seeing all the smiling faces of those running for the Crown Mountain Park board in Wednesday’s edition (“Four enter race for 2 Crown Mountain seats,” The Aspen Times, April 27), how about you get your gloves on and pick up the massive dog poop at the park, especially poop from the folks living in the adjacent apartments who let their dogs run wild? The poop has been there for months! You’ll get my vote! And enforce the $500 fine, please!

Also commit to demanding that the people who host the kids Tough Mudder pack out that disgusting mud they left all over the place one or two years ago I’m still enjoying it today. Disgusting! Yuck, yuck, yuck! They packed it in — pack it out! Come and show your commitment to the park and I’ll vote for you! Not holding my breath, though. Sadly, no one really cares.

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Letter: Comments on the hospital

April 28, 2016 — 

I am one of the candidates seeking membership to the Aspen Valley Hospital board.

However, I am writing as an Aspenite and hope that whoever is elected to the board understands that a strong CEO is of the utmost importance to the long-term health of our hospital.

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Letter: Thanks to Skico

April 28, 2016 — 

Editor’s note: The following letter was originally addressed to Aspen Skiing Co. President and CEO Mike Kaplan.

Dear Mike,

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Letter: No to donor names at schools

April 27, 2016 — 

Su Lum’s column, “The Reese’s Pieces school district” on March 30, was fantastic.

Would anybody want to name the public schools Reese’s Pieces or Trump Schools?

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Letter: Marketing tips for Snowmass

April 27, 2016 — 

We see the Snowmass Village group sales director job is calling for a genius to interview and secure the gig.

I’d consider entertaining the interview only if the Vill will commit to only chunking up solid business deals and visitor purchasing strategies that minimize the dollar flows to nearly zero for Aspen.

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Letter: Fluoride equals poison

April 27, 2016 — 

I like a good story or fairy tale as much as anyone. However, when you repeatedly hear the same story, you have to come to the realization of whether the story is true or false.

The person telling the story also plays an important role. You may expect a different outcome to your story if you have Jack the Ripper or Grandma telling the story.

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Letter: We can do better

April 27, 2016 — 

We can do better

In America, we are stuck with arrogant Democrats and/or complicit Republicans. Both parties politics/policies have helped/are helping to destroy our country.

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Letter: Lane's selflessness knows no bounds

April 27, 2016 — 

My name is Ryan Parrott and I feel particularly passionate about the difficulties facing burn survivors, as I served for eight years in the United States Navy as a SEAL and have been burned due to a roadside bomb.

I started a nonprofit a few years ago to help burn survivors, and a man named Ace Lane, a fellow burn survivor, stepped up to the plate, reflecting on his own injuries and committed to helping us grow. From an awareness perspective, to funding our efforts through his own personal giving, to hosting events benefiting my organization, he has been a pinnacle mentor to me and supporter to our growth and ability to help other burn survivors and their families.

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Letter: Science Center looking for space

April 27, 2016 — 

The Aspen Science Center would like to thank the community and especially Mark Hunt for making our STEAM Room at the Crystal Palace such a smashing success!

Over the 17 days that we were open to the public, we had more than 1,200 individuals through our doors for over 1,600 visits (all free of charge), accommodated 14 field trips covering more than 500 youth, and hosted several birthday parties, fundraisers, speaker series and other community events. This is just a small example of what the science center can do when we have a venue from which to operate, even if temporary.

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Letter: Re-elect Robert Hubbell

April 27, 2016 — 

While I was the executive director of the Crown Mountain Park and Recreation District, I was privileged to get to know Robert Hubbell very well.

He tirelessly volunteered his time, extensive knowledge, passion and equipment to improving the park and overall district. Robert is an extremely gifted leader and driven person who wanted the best for the district — especially for the district staff’s well-being and success. He would stop by the office several times a week just to check on how things were going and if there was anything he could help with. He is a very caring person.

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Letter: Whatever happened to logic?

April 26, 2016 — 

Let’s assume that the Aspen City Council erred in who they awarded the prized Old Power House building (former Aspen Art Museum) because they didn’t consider that the R-30 zoning would not allow for some of the proposed uses for the building like the events business and Aspen Brewing Co. They could have said, “Whoops, we made a mistake, so we’ll keep the incubator and allow one of the other applicants, like the Science Center, to share the space and thereby avoid all conflicts with the neighborhood and Theatre Aspen.” Reasonable approach, wouldn’t you say?

Here’s where the plot thickens: Isn’t it coincidental that the city just went back some 20 years and conveniently discovered another zoning for the property which would allow the city to move forward with the brewery and vents proposal? And isn’t it quite unconventional that City Attorney Jim True interprets the new zoning findings to allow a commercial brewery and vents component that could host evening soirees for X Games parties, weddings and other conflicting residential uses, as “appropriately considered an accessory use to the nonprofit.”

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Letter: Roundabout cost shifting

April 26, 2016 — 

An Aspen Times article recently stated, “Related is required to build both roundabouts, although the town contributed $800,000 toward the larger one. That project is expected to cost $4.3 million” (“Snowmass readies for two new roundabouts,” April 21).

Actually, Related and the town shifted these costs to Base Village property owners via the 2006 intergovernmental agreement via General Improvement District and Metro district’s taxes. Here is the quote that does that: “And the parties (the town and developer) agreed to cooperate in causing the General Improvement District to reimburse the town and developer for all costs ... with Metro now expected to issue bonds in place of the GID”

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Letter: Art Base is an invaluable community asset

April 26, 2016 — 

On April 8, I was given the opportunity to have my first solo art show, Mechanical Love Stories, at the Art Base Annex in Basalt. It was all due to the support and confidence of The Art Base committee, its staff and patrons, who all share the common mission of seeking out upcoming, as well as established local artists. I am thankful for their open-mindedness to the “untraditional” and to allow artist a viable platform to showcase our work.

Their view and dedication to art, artists and students of art is exactly what our community needs and is focused in the right direction in order to see fresh, new creativity. The entire team was great to work with and I will continue to be and always will be a huge fan of The Art Base!

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Letter: Don't let the housing authority win

April 24, 2016 — 

I’m writing about the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority’s latest overreach.

It’s great that Aspen helps people have affordable housing, but when the organization intended to help abuses its power we need to stand up to them.

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Letter: Bird-watching treat

April 24, 2016 — 

Roaring Fork Audubon would like to thank Doug and Lois Teegarden for hosting our Earth Day field trip to see all three of the elusive, high-elevation rosy finch species that visit their feeders in the winter and early spring.

What a treat for more than 14 of us to see these as well as 11 other high-elevation specialists that survive our harsh northern winters!

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Letter: Environmentalist impact

April 24, 2016 — 

Hey, Roger Marolt,

You actually may be an environmentalist. When you leave your house, do you leave most of the lights on? Do you leave the thermostat on 78 degrees or higher? Do you get into your F-350 Ford coal roller and drive to work and maybe pick up 2 pounds of groceries on the way home? Peeling out at every stop light and sign on the way?

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Letter: Grateful for community support

April 24, 2016 — 

As a senior at Aspen High School, I wanted to take a moment to thank the Aspen community for its continued unconditional support of Aspen High School students. On April 21, my classmates and I were recipients of more than $380,000 worth of continuing-education scholarships.

The Aspen High School Class of 2016 is competitive, driven, charismatic and humble. All of our educational pursuits would not be possible without the generous support from scholarship sponsors within the Aspen community and Roaring Fork Valley. Thank you for enabling us to continue our dreams and our academic endeavors.

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Letter: In defense of Ace Lane

April 24, 2016 — 

Back in early November, the Roaring Fork Valley Regional Planning Commission voted to recommend denial of Ace Lane’s Tree Farm project in El Jebel. The board voted 6-0 against the project in an advisory vote to the Eagle County commissioners. In the various meetings leading up to the vote and in subsequent conversations, I have heard Ace characterized as an individual motivated by greed, someone out for his own interests and just another developer looking to get rich.

This is not the Ace Lane I know.

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Letter: Divert waste with donations

April 23, 2016 — 

Thank you for the wonderful Earth Day-themed front-page article about the need to spare the landfill, as it is filling up quickly. As Jason Auslander stated, “The biggest source of solid waste is construction and demolition waste.”

At Habitat for Humanity, we’d like to encourage people not to wait for legislation or policy changes to extend the life of our landfills. Everyone can help our community improve sustainability (and build affordable housing simultaneously), as many have already with donations to Habitat‘s ReStores. In the eight years since our ReStores have been in the valley, we’ve already diverted over 1 million pounds of waste from the landfill.

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Letter: Learning an 'action philosophy'

April 23, 2016 — 

Our valley has many opportunities for after-school activities, but there is one that is unique and that few people know about. It is a Korean martial art called soo bahk do. It was founded in 1945, soon after World War II and the the Japanese occupation of Korea ended. Its creation after some of the most traumatic and bloodiest events in history was not a coincidence. Its founder, Hwang Kee, started soo bahk do to improve human relations and promote peace. Our local soo bahk do school, Rocky Mountain Martial Arts (with schools in Aspen, Basalt and New Castle), has adopted a philosophy similar to that of Walter Paepcke when he founded Aspen Skiing Co.: Take people into a place where they have fun, educate them and expose them to new ideas, and send them back out into the world where they are happier and can spread the message of whatever they learned.

In soo bahk do, the fun is learning how to defend yourself, and the message is what it teaches you. Many people in soo bahk do have been training for over 20 years; I’m 11 and have been training for six years. As part of a project for testing for my “cho dan” (similar to a black belt), I collected testimonials from students, parents and teachers to tell my community about what a cool thing soo bahk do is. As one teacher said, “Soo bahk do is not an activity or a club or a gym. It is an action philosophy, a tool that helps me grow. It is confidence, conviction, compassion. It keeps me strong and shows me how to be soft at the same time.” To find out what other teachers, students and their parents have to say about soo bahk do, search “Rocky Mountain Martial Arts” on Facebook.

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April 23, 2016 — 

I get The Aspen Times all the time and I am just amazed that you now have a letter from someone who lives in Aspen that must think President Obama is doing an exceptional job.

My reasoning is Obama has admitted that he has been mostly a president that is in over his head and a party planner that had no credentials. Obama became what the Democrats wanted — someone they could make do anything. He never questioned anyone. His cabinet is made up of Muslims. He has become a Muslim. As Dr. Phil said, you can’t change stupid, Apparently this gentleman doesn’t mind that our country is $18 trillion to $22 trillion in debt. He doesn’t mind that Hillary should be behind bars. The only reason she is not behind bars is because she will implicate Obama in Benghazi. She has had more people gotten rid of.

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Letter: A case For City Hall redevelopment

April 23, 2016 — 

I read with great respect Neil B. Siegel’s letter regarding the need for a plan C on City Hall (Letters, April 19, The Aspen Times). In the past, I have frequently sided with Mr. Siegel on all issues Ireland and the Aspen Art Museum.

In the case of City Hall, I disagree.

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Letter: St. Mary proposal is misguided

April 23, 2016 — 

The call-up of the Historic Preservation Commission’s approval of St. Mary Catholic Church conceptual review will be on the City Council agenda at 5 p.m. Monday in City Council Chambers, basement level of City Hall.

I would like to voice my concern and disagreement with the Historic Preservation Commission’s narrow approval (4-3) of Option B, which moves the proposed pavilion entrance to a new location right on Main Street. Moving this overly modern, glass and steel structure to the most prominent location possible, along Main Street, will serve to block most if not all of the view of the west facade of the historic St. Mary Church building from the street. This approved Option B serves to block the public’s view of both the historic church building and the church lawn that have been an integral component of the site for generations.

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Letter: Shunned by Tipton

April 22, 2016 — 

Our communities have been working for years to engage Congressman Scott Tipton in an effort to conserve valuable public lands in the Thompson Divide area. We’ve sent thousands of letters and emails to his office, but Tipton has ignored our concerns every step of the way.

Tipton has chosen to side with some of his largest campaign contributors — out-of-state oil and gas speculators — over the men and women he was sent to Washington to represent. He’s ignored our calls and our emails, and he’s chosen to move forward without us.

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Letter: Music to our ears

April 22, 2016 — 

There is an extraordinary organization, the Roaring Fork Youth Orchestra, that provides the youth of this valley an opportunity to express themselves and achieve excellence. The program has three levels of string ensembles to accommodate a broad range of ages, skill levels and locations.

Children can study violin, viola, cello and bass. These students rehearse once a week in two locations in the valley.

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Letter: An important hospital election looms

April 22, 2016 — 

I feel that one of the most critical issues facing our city is the future of our district hospital. It is interesting that this important election, being run by Aspen Valley Hospital, has had no organized candidate forum and nothing in either of the newspapers!

Is it possible that our current hospital board doesn’t want new blood on the board?

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Letter: Raising awareness for child abuse

April 21, 2016 — 

Raising awareness for child abuse

April is the time when our nation celebrates Child Abuse Prevention Month. Where there will soon be tulips at Schultz Health and Human Services Building in Aspen, there are now 254 blue and silver pinwheels symbolizing hope and raising awareness to ensure the safety and healthy development of children. Each pinwheel — an uplifting symbol of childhood — represents one child in our community who has been referred to Pitkin and Western Eagle County Child Services for neglect or abuse over the last year.

April’s prevention campaign gives us an opportunity to reflect on how we are doing as a community to support healthy kids and strong families. Child abuse comes in many forms and it takes us all working together to prevent it. The children for whom these pinwheels have been planted had someone looking out for them. That someone lives or works here and recognized a risk or danger to a child and took the first step to getting it addressed. For many children, abuse and neglect will go unattended. As a community, we can support the safety and wellbeing of our children and families by focusing on prevention.

This month and every month we have cause for celebration for our many partners who work together to make a difference in the lives of our parents and children. While our department is charged with keeping kids safe by responding to reports of abuse or neglect, we are excited to work closely with families and our community partners to foster healthy patterns of engagement with children and provide the resources needed. We clearly recognize that prevention programs work when they focus on supporting parents. Most parents struggle at some point and no parent knows everything about raising a child. Knowing where to get help and having a network to lean on can make a difference.

For more information on our many programs working to support healthy families, we invite you to visit www.stopfightingithurts.com. If you suspect abuse or neglect any time, any day,we urge you to call our local 24-hour hotline at 970-429-2047.

Kim DuBoisAdult and Family Services manager

And the Child Welfare Caseworker Team

Pitkin/Western Eagle County

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