Ups and downs in recent events | AspenTimes.com

Ups and downs in recent events

Aspen, CO Colorado

Looking around town the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen and read about a few things that have made us proud of where we live and others that made us cringe.

Today, The Aspen Times editorial page serves up a few slices of what’s good and what’s bad about life in this mountain town, and beyond. Here goes:

– A thumbs up goes to the Aspen School District for its performance in the Colorado Student Assessment Program tests, which were released last week. We don’t believe in putting too much stock in these results, but it is indisputable that they are a good barometer of a school’s progress. In Aspen schools, the number of students testing at or above grade level in reading, writing and math beats the state average every time.

– To the City Market patrons who abandon their grocery carts around town, a big thumbs down. It’s one thing to walk to the supermarket to avoid the hassles of parking ” and be politically correct by doing so. But it’s quite another to “borrow” a cart from the grocery store and leave it on the mall, in front of a condo or wherever else may be convenient. These offenders should be run out of town ” in a shopping cart, of course. We imagine the folks straggling home after 2 a.m. would be glad to push them.

– To the Russians who are making Aspen their home, we issue a thumbs up. After all, where would our slumping real estate economy be without them? On Wednesday, Eugene Shvidler forked out $14.5 million for a Two Creeks home. And earlier this year, his business chum, Roman Abramovich, bought a home on Wildcat Ridge for $36.4 million. Both are members of Forbes magazine’s richest people list, and both are co-founders of the Russian oil trader Runicom. Perhaps they would like to spread their wings and buy the Burlingame Ranch project?

– Mr. Brooks Mims Talton III, you get a thumbs down for your behavior on the night of July 29, 2007. Talton, of Oklahoma, recently hatched a plea deal with prosecutors for his actions that night, when he punched a High Mountain Taxi cab driver and then drove away in the vehicle. Talton aptly played the “I was too hammered to remember what I did” defense. It apparently worked. Prosecutors dropped charges of motor vehicle theft, driving under the influence and misdemeanor assault in exchange for a guilty plea to driving while ability impaired and misdemeanor harassment. We can only wonder what would have happened if the defendant’s name was Jose Gomez.

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– Three local women ” Amanda Boxtel, Leah Roland and Kasie Burtard ” get three thumbs up. The trio recently returned from India after getting embryonic stem-cell injections for their spinal injuries. This week they all reported that their conditions are showing marked improvement, and they thanked valley residents for helping fund their two-month treatments. In turn, they deserve praise for the inspiration they have provided and for proving that the old cliche “anything is possible” is indeed true.

– Knowing that anything is possible, we did not expect Brett Favre to actually announce he’s coming out of retirement. For that classless act, we give the newly anointed New York Jets quarterback a thumbs down ” along with ESPN for covering this event more than Marilyn Marks has written about Burlingame.

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