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Simon: Need two ways in

It’s time to act, and stop discussing and studying. The entrance to Aspen is a nightmare. And, if the existing bridge goes, you might as well close the city.

The only feasible solution is to construct a road through the Marolt Open Space. It could be two ways, or one way in using the existing roads as a two-lane, one-way out. And, berming would preserve the beautiful views.

Start doing the engineering. (And, as a bonus, parking and employee housing could be added).

Eric Simon

Snowmass Village

Lewis: Traf-icky, traf-ucky

Hmm, what words rhyme with imbecile?
Let’s see: dumb bell, go to hell, criminal 
Unforgivable, inexplicable, unthinkable
Despicable — and best of all — reciprocal

The time has come to reciprocate
To reject all responsible for Aspen’s Traffic-Gate
To make them forever wait and wait 
To ensure they, too, are way past late

Welcome to Aspen’s No Ideas Festival
Where everyone’s stuck in traffic hell 
And commuters from too far away
Drive all night to work all day

But there is a positive side
I learned Russian on one long ride
Then read Crime and Punishment 
A story about Aspen’s government

By then I’d crawled ahead from Owl Creek
In traffic squeezed cheek to cheek
All the way to the ABC
So long I stopped thrice to pee

Retail revenues are way, way down
No one wants to crawl into town
Oh, whatever happened to common sense?
(It left — could not afford the rents)

Who is responsible for this?
What morons must voters dismiss?
This really was a bridge too far
Go to hell, whoever you are!

Greg Lewis

Snowmass Village

Heck: Want ad

“Law firm needed, South Florida. Fees deferred until later. Contact Mara a Lago business office”

Carl Heck


Perlman: Foresight at Aspen Airport?

On Sept. 12, my husband and I were flying from Denver to Aspen on United 5597. We were scheduled to depart Denver at 7:02 p.m. with wheels down in Aspen at 7:53.

The plane was just about to take off when we came to a sudden stop. Our pilot announced that our flight was cancelled as the “landing lights at Aspen Airport were not functioning.”

Seriously? Is Aspen Airport not prepared for this type of situation? No backup system? Approximately 56 passengers were inconvenienced. We overheard passengers stating that they would be missing morning meetings, having to cancel patients, parents who needed to get home, teachers who would miss school.

And, four other later flights were cancelled — that’s over 220 folks inconvenienced and the associated substantial economic consequences. 

We completely recognize that safety is foremost but really have no idea how Aspen airport can operate without a backup system. Is the cost of a backu-lighting system so prohibitive versus looking at the human and economic exponential impacts of all those who had to scramble that evening to make alternative plans?

Bryna Perlman


Emmer: Very funny

Regarding Maggie Kromer’s Sept. 21 letter: The cartoon was funny, but not nearly as funny as your letter.

Maurice Emmer


Trane: Thanks for making Ruggerfest great this year

On behalf of the Gentlemen of Aspen Rugby Club and the North American rugby community, I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Aspen residents and visitors for contributing to our success during the 54th Aspen Ruggerfest.

Judging by the size of the crowds (and bears), the entertainment on hand was agreeable to all. The final on Sunday afternoon was an epic event and one for the ages! 

A special thanks goes out to the city of Aspen employees, especially Ryan Dew, the city’s turf specialist, for playing a huge role in getting the fields ready and maintaining them to provide a professional-grade surface for all to compete on.

A highlight for the Gentlemen of Aspen was to have Mayor Torre speak so enthusiastically to the teams about Ruggerfest and be present at the winners ceremony.

In featuring high school rugby at this year’s event, we continue to invest in and nurture rugby for youngsters. Keep on the lookout for the spring Junior Gents’ rugby season!

In our quest to provide an even better 55th event next year, we are keen to receive feedback on how to improve Ruggerfest and reduce any negative impacts to the community, as we seek to partner with everyone to provide a first-class and fun event.

Join us for Ruggerfest 55 next year for a long weekend of rugby, cow-tipping, and 8-foot gorillas — some of these antics you just cannot make up!

Fleming Trane

President, Aspen Rugby Club

Fornell: Right for the job

To all my friends of Aspen and Pitkin County, I would just like to communicate that to have a sheriff like Joe DiSalvo is a total privilege. He is an individual of quality, integrity and committed to his task as our sheriff.

We have all called on him to manage situations, which could have gotten out of control. So many of us have been able count on him at any time with his availability and desire to assist us through situations we have all had to deal with.

Joe has been there for all of us. His unique ability to listen to and deal with issues through his peaceful negotiations and towards resolutions of conflict has made him the go-to guy for all of us and the management of our upper valley and wonderful life.

No need to look at his record. There is no opposition that can question that. His work speaks for itself. If you haven’t needed his assistance, we have all certainly heard stories of our friends who have. His ability to calmly and peacefully deal with situations that could have easily gotten out of control has facilitated resolutions for so many. His desire to make and keep calm is the norm. We’re lucky.

Among his many efforts to be a front man for peace, one situation stands out for me. An unfortunate situation was brought to the forefront of our valley. Lee Mulcahy had a tough time, and our sheriff, Joe DiSalvo, managed, dealt with him and disarmed a situation that could have easily been national news. Instead, Joe recognized everyone’s situation and caused a calm and peaceful solution that almost no one believed could have been resolved.

Bitter adversaries and hired henchmen should fall on deaf ears. If all a person can do as an opponent is try and poke holes at a person’s friends and associates, they have fallen to the lowest common denominator. Joe has never done that, and he never will.

During 37 years of service, Joe has dealt with X Games, G7 summits, presidential visits, crazy person bombings and all that any sheriff could possibly think of and beyond. If I had to be in a difficult and challenging situation, I could only hope that Joe, who is always available for us all, would be in my court.

I vote Joe DiSalvo, and I encourage everyone to do so as well.

Peter Fornell


Gentry: Thank you Aspen Elks Lodge

Our Aspen Girl Scout Troop 15014 are the recipients of Elks Lodge 224 sponsorship. Through the Elks’ generous sponsorship, we have been able to give girls in our local community opportunities to grow courageous and strong through a wide variety of enriching experiences.

This summer, we were able to send girls to Girl Scout camp, where they built skills and confidence in the great outdoors while learning about leadership and self-confidence. And, we have been able to provide badge earning experiences, skill building and community service projects in a wide variety of fields here in our hometown.

We are grateful to the Elks for their sponsorship, and all that they do for the Aspen Girl Scouts, and other youth programs that they support in our community.

Heather Merritt Gentry


Ledesma: Band-aid fix of jail costly

With the elections fast approaching in November, both Joe Disalvo and Michael Buglione make valid points about the current state of the Pitkin County Jail. And, a good point that both of these individuals make is that the jail is not safe for inmates and deputies in its current state.

Buglione believes that “the current jail can be ­remodeled to accommodate the small population safely.” In theory, his approach sounds like it can save taxpayers money. However, this is far from the truth. The fact is that the average lifespan of a jail building is only 30 years.

The current jail was built in 1984, making it 38 years old. Buglione proposes a costly band-aid fix that will need to be addressed in a few years. This will end up costing the taxpayers more money in the long run.

The jail will need extensive remodeling that will cost millions and take years to complete just to have inmates housed in an outdated, unsafe building that will need to be replaced anyway. At the moment, we cannot even accommodate our present needs.

Aspen sees over 1.5 million visitors per year. This is the equivalent of San Diego’s population making a trip to Aspen every year. This trend is set to continue growing. The choice is evident when looking at current needs and our future ones. 

Ricardo Ledesma


Munoz: Sheriff works hard for us

Hello, I’m writing this letter to support current Sheriff Joe DiSalvo. I met him when I began working for the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office about a year and a half ago.

During this time working for the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office, I have nothing but respect and the outmost gratitude for everything the sheriff and the department have done for me.

I recently had a kidney transplant, and the support I received was just unbelievable. Every interaction I have had with the sheriff has been pleasant, and he always made me feel more than just an employee.

He is a very dedicated person to the community, the county and also his staff. He works very hard to provide us with everything we need to keep us safe at our jobs and also to bring solutions to the problems we face here at Pitkin County.

Moises Munoz