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Reed: Unworthy of second term

In this November’s congressional election, you have a choice. A vote to re-elect Lauren Boebert is a vote for cruelty, fascism, Christian jihadism and the undermining of our democracy.

She really is that bad. In her one, short term, she’s consistently pushed an extreme agenda that’s the political extension of the Jan. 6 insurrection. She will double down if re-elected.

She talks a good game about the U.S. Constitution but would happily shred it to remain in power. Her interpretations are so extreme that she actually believes that the Second Amendment empowers citizens to overthrow their own government. Consider the implications of that.

Don’t give this person another term. Just don’t do it.

Dave Reed


Chacos: Do I hang onto Halloween when I’m the only one?

I’m in the garage looking for the bin labeled, Halloween, when I’m told, “It’s way too soon to bring out the skeletons and spider webs.” I try to defend my enthusiasm for the ghoulish tchotchkes that have been buried away for a year, but my youngest child walks out before I can respond. With sweat dripping down my back because the sun still suffocates this time of year, I wonder when everyone in my family turned into such autumnal killjoys.

The distance between my family and me grows the rest of September because of comments like, “Bobbing for apples is gross” and “I never realized trick-or-treating is for little kids.” I’m gutted for the harvest festivals we’ll no longer attend together, searching for the perfect pumpkin, and doubt there will be late night negotiating for peanut-butter cups after we’ve turned off the porch lights on Halloween night.

The schism becomes the size of the San Andreas Fault when no one wants to shop for costumes at the mall or spend an evening with me at the 13th Floor Haunted House in Denver. My heart for Halloween sinks since those events ushered in a time for silly mischief. My children are growing up and turning into prototypes of my husband. He thinks dressing up as a taco is childish and my pranks outdated.

Not one to let sentimentality overcome me, I recommit to my favorite season and double down my efforts to hang onto a holiday with few formal customs and expectations. Like a classic horror movie, I wait for a nondescript moment one night under a new moon to surprise my unimpressed children and exploit their fears.

“We’re going to The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park on Halloween weekend!” Then, I maximize the effect by adding, “I’ve reserved room 237 for the family.”

This feels too easy because no one initially cares about the hotel, the room number or even the idea of a family weekend without cell service. The dim-witted teenagers have been caught off-guard, too consumed in their daily lives to know what’s happening. 

As expected, the children finally unite against me, their protagonist, arguing why this family activity will be “stupid” and “lame.” Their logic continually runs into dead-ends, one more incoherent than the next.

My husband finally asks, “Do I have to go, too?” and I slash him on the spot. He sits in awkward silence for the remainder of the evening, and the kids continue to flail about in the background.

Despite staying one step ahead of the gang, nostalgia seeps through my veins. I yearn for the Halloween of yesteryear. I miss holding hands with a tiny ghost and walking the neighborhood showing off our zombie made from a month’s worth of toilet paper. I look through old photos carving pumpkins with friends, wipe away a tear and bring out the holiday bucket of bloody body parts anyway.

I make the kids watch “The Shining,” Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s classic novel of the same name. My children find the movie slow and “kinda boring” because kids these days couldn’t identify superior suspense if their mom walks them through a hedge maze on Halloween weekend to find it.  

As October approaches, I hold onto my outdated holiday rituals and finally get permission to decorate the house in garish ways. The decorations no longer scare my children. I realize it’s time to say goodbye to how we celebrated Halloween when they were little, or I need to buy real organs and learn to operate a chainsaw.

Eventually, my children will piece together the importance of family rituals and togetherness, like I do with the smell of candle-lit pumpkin on a crisp autumn night. And, when they ask why I still hang onto Halloween, I will peer my head through a white door, give a sideways smile and say nothing, or maybe, I’ll slur, “Hereee’s Johnny!”– 

Andrea Chacos lives in Carbondale, balancing work and happily raising three children with her husband. She strives to dodge curveballs life likes to throw with a bit of passion, humor and some flair. She can be reached at http://www.andreachacos.com.

Mill: Continuing a legacy

Here’s why Joe DiSalvo will always be my sheriff and why he should always be yours. 

I have been here since 1960, enjoying the special lifestyle that this valley offers to every member of our community. Sometime back, unbeknownst to me, one of my family members had an issue with the law. Out of the blue, Joey came to me and presented a thoughtful and caring solution that not only solved my family’s problem, but also instilled a respect for the role of law enforcement in our valley.

Rather than simply enforcing the letter of the law, Joey and his office have continued a law enforcement mentality begun by Dick Kienast and fostered by Joey’s mentor and sponsor, Bob Braudis. This enduring history of informed and tempered policing has provided our community with sensical policies that encourage harmony among the residents and a fitting and nurturing atmosphere in which to raise our families.

Why change the very fabric of this long tradition of friendly and enlightened law enforcement we have come to expect?

That is why I’m voting for Sheriff Joe DiSalvo and why I think you should, as well.

Andy Mill


High Points: Richard Carter introduces Herbert Bayer


We live in a place where there are a number of things that meet that description. Start with our world-class ski mountain that has been near the top of the list of great skiing venues since 1951 when the FIS World Cup was held on Aspen Mountain. Or, how about the wine list at the Little Nell Hotel, which annually receives Grand Awards from Wine Spectator as one of the 100 or so best wine lists on the planet? Then, there is the renowned Aspen Music Festival that draws top talent from, yes, around the world.

And, that’s just the beginning of our embarrassment of riches. 

Now, add to that list the recently opened Resnick Center for Herbert Bayer Studies over at the Aspen Institute. This new gallery is a world-class gem that celebrates the life and works of legendary artist, designer, architect, thinker and innovator Herbert Bayer, who was instrumental in the development of modern Aspen. 

Bayer — who came to the community in 1946 at the behest of philanthropist Walter Paepcke and his wife, Elizabeth — was a leading figure in the Bauhaus Movement of design that became influential in the early 1900s in Germany and resonates to this day. During his three-decade tenure here, through the 1970s, he created a design template for Aspen crafting the plans for the Aspen Institute, renovating both the Wheeler Opera House and the Hotel Jerome and building the original Sundeck hut atop Aspen Mountain, amongst a number of significant projects. 

This week it was announced that renowned local artist, and one of the founders of the original Aspen Art Museum, Richard Carter will be conducting monthly tours of the current exhibition at the Bayer Center: Herbert Bayer An Introduction.

Carter, who is just coming off a successful exhibition of his most recent works at Basalt’s Art Base, is uniquely qualified to share the works of Bayer, because, well, he worked with the Bauhaus artist as his studio assistant in the early 1970s. “I’m looking forward to guiding visitors through the Bayer Center by sharing personal stories and anecdotes that will give people an insight not only into his work, but him as a person and artist.” 

Next Wednesday, Oct. 5, at 3 p.m., and on the first Wednesdays of the following four months  (Nov. 2, Dec. 7, Jan. 4, and Feb. 1) Carter will lead registered guests (sign up at www.thebayercenter.org) on 60-minute tours through the exhibition that was organized by Bernard Jazzar, curator of the Lynda and Stewart Resnick Collection.

Best of all, these tours are offered free of charge to those who register. The exhibit, arranged chronologically through 13 galleries, is the first major retrospective of Bayer’s work since 1973 and and is built upon an assembly of over 150 paintings, drawings, gouaches and watercolors, complemented by tapestry, sculpture, publications, works on paper, ephemera and historical photographs. Nowhere else in the world will patrons be able to experience a retrospective of this sort except at the newly constructed exhibition space on the campus of the Aspen Institute.

Carter, whose own work has been presented in 50 solo exhibitions and 60 group shows since 1968 when he first began working in Aspen, is intimately familiar with the pieces in the show as he primarily worked with Bayer on his painting projects. In the announcement of the Carter-led tours, Lissa Ballinger, acting director of the Resnick Center for Herbert Bayer Studies said, “We are grateful that Richard Carter is offering this opportunity for the community to hear his unique perspective of the artwork and the working methods of Bayer.”

World-class. Only in Aspen.

Harvey: A party-line state representative

Don’t be fooled by letter writers claiming state Rep. Perry Will has done a good job representing our region. He has been a party line voter with the Republicans every year he has been in the state legislature.

He has no business representing rural and resort communities. For instance, he consistently voted against measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in buildings, transit and oil and gas drilling. And, he voted against a bill to help the state cope with the fentanyl crisis.

Elizabeth Velasco is the right choice for our district. She is a strong advocate for the environment and understands the need to take real action to protect our public lands and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. She has worked hard over the years to make our communities better places to live.

Once in the legislature, she will continue her work to support community-based programs in health care, education and social services.
Please join me in voting for Elizabeth Valesco for House District 57. 

Allyn Harvey


Clayton: High-flying experience

Aspen community: What a wonderful summer it’s been, as we’ve persevered through the continued COVID situation!

As we approach the off-season, we kick off the start of many charitable events that bring us all together, initiating change for the causes that we hold close to our hearts. 

This Saturday, the Aspen Flight Academy (AFA) is organizing its annual fundraiser. Recently, we’ve all experienced the unpredictability of travel, as getting to and from Aspen might as well be like traveling to the moon. There is a genuine need for additional pilots, so excuses for canceled and limited flights can occur less often.

Hence, why I am writing to The Aspen Times editor now. Not only do I want my travels to be less stressful, but I also stand for all that the AFA offers. 

The academy empowers youth and adults to learn about the joys and responsibilities of flying, providing students with classroom/flight training needed to pilot aircraft. AFA is a flight-training-school nonprofit organization that allows students to become certified pilots.

It also offers an elective course with the help of the Aspen School District and the AFA. You heard me right. How cool is this?

Of course, this is another expensive sport/hobby/activity in our valley, yet I acknowledge that scholarships are essential to make this happen. I commend the AFA for all their efforts to work and raise money, so that all are included in this dream of flying sky high. 

I encourage you to attend this event and/or consider investing in AFA’s mission, so that students continue to have the opportunity to take flight. 

I’ll be at the hangar on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3p.m., and I hope you will, too!

Taylor Clayton


Preusch: Allow change to take shape

To all the people of Pitkin County: I am asking for your support of Michael Buglione to make him our next sheriff. 

I have known him for many years and appreciate his level of leadership and professionalism in dealing with tough decisions and situations. He is always calm and respectful of all parties involved. Having lived in Pitkin County for the past 60-plus years, I feel he is the right person to take over the office of sheriff. 

So, join me in voting for Michael Buglione, and let’s allow change to take shape. You won’t be disappointed.

Chris Preusch


Veazy III: Another worry

The U.S., state and local governments never built vast networks of A-bomb shelters for our American population to survive a nuclear war like the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China did for their people. Our designated bomb shelters were not even real bomb shelters.  

The U.S. government and Americans at-large should re-awaken to the fear of few us surviving nuclear blasts. If such a horror happens, the Russian and Chinese people lose a less percentage of their citizens than our country. This is a mathematical fact.  

I never forgot 1961 or other currents events before and after that particular year. Neither should others.

The U.S. government and all Americans should fear a Putin nuclear threat because who will be saved in our country without mutual population destruction?

I do recall the autumn of 1961. So should you.

Emzy Veazy III


Kohl: We can do better for bears

After attending the most recent public meeting about bears in our community, we hope that there are three resolves that community members and visitors to our community will be willing to make:

  1. Change the focus of the dialogue from blaming others (people and organizations) to developing momentum for each of us to commit to change our social behaviors with respect to trash and artificial food lures. We have power and control over our personal decisions and we can be pro-active and protect the wildlife that we are lucky enough to live around.
  2. That as a community, we will each support the work done by local governments and agencies tasked to protect us. That means we follow local ordinances meant to keep us safe and accept any negative consequences of our poor behavior. It might also mean that we help, perhaps gently teach our visitors why we want to abide by local ordinances and avoid negative human-bear interactions.
  3. That as individuals our personal actions become more aligned to BearAware educational suggestions. If you don’t know, ask. If you are learning, share with others so that they can know. If you are already a “pro,” volunteer your time, energy and/or resources to grassroot efforts like RoaringForkBears.org (we are locals with boots on the ground) that are working to make a difference.

With a little effort we can live in harmony with all the wildlife that surrounds us in the community. Our knowledge is power and can be used to co-exist peacefully with our beautiful bears.

Daniela Kohl


Ward: Ain’t broke so no need to ‘fix’

Reading all the commentary on how we are “losing Aspen” made me reflect on the crucial ingredients that create the rich bouillabaisse that is our community.

Certain names immediately come to mind: George Stranahan, John McBride, the Marolts, HST, Connie Harvey, Seth and the Animal Shelter, Dottie Fox, Mike Kaplan, Bob Braudis and his worthy apprentice, Joe DiSalvo.

These guys and gals carry the DNA of the Aspen we are trying to save. DiSalvo is maintaining the (I believe) enlightened peaceful path that Bob carved out, while other counties were doubling down on “law ’n’ order” bully-boy tactics.

Both have taken heat over the years for being too “Aspen.” Well, damn right, and that’s why I will be voting for Joe. He is part of what makes our community unique — and worth saving.

Kevin P. Ward