| AspenTimes.com

Remove political signage along highway

A consideration for future elections: that Pitkin County enforce and remove political signage, of all party affiliations, placed along Highway 82. In memory of Bugsy Barnard, famous for cutting down billboards in the

Valley, and Dwight Shellman, who along with Joe Edwards and Michael Kinsley, as Pitkin County commissioners, made billboards illegal in Pitkin County, I would hope that we could stand up for their legacy and remove all

political signage placed along Highway 82. These are essentially billboards and most prevalent near Twining Flats and the dump turnoff. Perhaps Pitkin County staff can coordinate with CDOT on a plan in advance of another

contentious election in 2020.

In a recent letter to the editor, Ann Mullins praised local firefighters and advocated for the property tax question. I would remind Ann that while local firefighters made a valiant stand at the El Jebel Mobile Home Park and in Missouri Heights to save homes, it was the federal fire management teams (particularly those under the leadership of Shane Greer and Team Black), hot shot and hand crews, slurry and helicopter pilots who saved Basalt,

El Jebel and the Frying Pan's collective bacon. As someone who has had a brother in the fire service and fire management for almost 25 years, I hope that we can always remember to thank these brave men and women who put their lives on the line in our service. We should thank and acknowledge them and pray for the men and women now on the fire lines on the horrific and deadly wildfires in California. We should also lobby our elected leaders, most especially the president and Congress, to acknowledge the impacts and severity of climate change on our planet and our country and to take meaningful steps to combat it or we should elect those who will.

Lisa Markalunas


Lift 1A plan brings corridor into 21st century

I would like to show my support for the Lift 1A ski corridor. I think between Gorsuch House and the Browns, they have done everything that was asked of them to come up with a complete and thoughtful plan for 1A.

As a local that was born and raised here, I recall riding the original Lift 1 single chair and wishing there would someday be a new chair there. Then came the double. Now I am looking forward to a chair that would bring 1A into the 21st century.

I love skiing the 1A side of the mountain; for me it has the best terrain. Aspen is a ski town, and when mining died there was nothing here. Thanks to some people who had a vision, Aspen was put on the map — one of the premier ski resorts in the world, and I have skied most all of them. Now we have people who have a vision for 1A and I look forward to seeing their vision come true. I would also love to see World Cup skiing return to Aspen

on a regular yearly stop, as I would hope City Council does. Let's not forget Aspen is a ski town.

David Stapleton


“Big River” a worthwhile performance

The Aspen Community Theatre did it again! Marisa Post, Rita Hunter, et al, rose to the challenge and presented "Big River" in all its glory. What a gift to see Broadway in Aspen.

The show continues Thursday and Friday nights with a matinee on Sunday. Go and enjoy.

Ruth Harrison


Get a bingo and win

Turkey bingo roll is back!

Aspen Elks Lodge #224, open to the public.

Saturday, Nov. 17, starting at 6 p.m.

Come play bingo and win a ham, turkey or steak.

Kitchen will be open, serving burgers, chicken sandwiches, etc.

Kelly Beal


Capitalism never sleeps

I noticed U.S. mail trucks out delivering on Veterans Day even though the Post Office was closed, and so I asked a postal employee why they were working on Veterans Day, a national holiday. Apparently, capitalist titan Amazon never sleeps and thus U.S. postal employees were tasked with delivering the many Amazon packages that now flood the world market.

Jeff Bezos' parents, members of the Aspen elite, should be proud of raising such a well-functioning (and well-clad) capitalist that knows that the lights are always on in the factories, shipping yards, purchasing sites and working-class kitchens.

Sean Elias

Glenwood Springs

Aspen Thrift Shop announces grant recipients

Every month volunteers of the Aspen Thrift Shop meet to continue to accomplish our mission: to make grants to non-profit organizations in the Roaring Fork Valley. We are grateful to community members who continue to support our efforts by donating and purchasing gently used clothing and household items. For the month of November, we are pleased to announce the following recipients:

Alpine Legal Services

Aspen Institute: Bauhaus 100

Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club (AVSC)


Growing Years Preschool

Marshall Direct Fund

Roaring Fork School Health Centers

Seniors Independent

Shining Stars Foundation

The Buddy Program

The Hope Center

Thunder River Theater Company

Valley Settlement

Respectfully submitted,

The Ladies of the Aspen Thrift Shop


Bears Ears monument deserves protection

I am adamant that the Bears Ears National Monument be restored, to the full breadth and width, given in 2016 by President Obama's Proclamation 9558 on Dec. 28, 2016.

Trumps proclamation 9681 on Dec. 4, 2017, has not been empowered by the Antiquities Act of 1906 or by section 320301 of Title 54, United States Code cited on page 58085, 4th paragraph, neither law gives the president the power to dissolve National Monuments.

The lawsuits, when fully heard, brought forward by the Sovereign Nations of the Ute Mountain Tribe, Navajo Nation, Uintah Ouray Tribes, Hopi Nation and Zuni tribes should put that point to rest.

These are also the tribes that put together the management plan for the Bears Ears Monument that is meant to protect their antiquities.

Five tribes, local citizens, state agencies and four federal agencies participated in a 6-year-long public process to discuss how to best manage this huge area that is full of fragile indigenous antiquities.

Then, in less than a year, with no more than a sophomoric rewrite of Obama's 9558 proclamation, Trump dissolved it. No discussions with the five tribes, local citizens, state agencies and four federal agencies that participated in the 6-years-long public process were held. Trump just cut the heart out of the local economy, ancient history and proper protections for our national treasure in the Bears Ears area with only four, weak WHEREAS's.

The premise put forward on page 85082 paragraph 3, that the area was not plotted as the smallest area that needed protecting, can only be said by someone who is unfamiliar with the richness of antiquities and vastness of the area.

Though it may be true that, according to the 1st WHEREAS on page 58085, the OBJECTS are protected, the sacred areas are not protected, unless under monument protection.

The 2nd WHEREAS postulates, with no proof, that this deletion is in the public interest. I would hypothesis the opposite, that the monument would preserve the antiquities treasure, improve the local economy, grant a more cohesive protection to the Bears Ears antiquities and preserve the trust of the tens of thousands of people that worked to make it a monument.

In summary:

The president does not have the authority to dissolve a monument.

The original monument is an appropriate size due to the richness it protects.

Even though the objects are protected in a mish mash-way, the areas are not protected, unless as a monument.

There was no public process with the 5 tribes or other agencies and stakeholders prior to the dissolution.

The trust with the people has been broken.

John Hoffman


Freak show

Celebrations of the iconic Hunter Thompson's "Freak Kingdom" by Timothy Denevi provide another opportunity for identity politics to work their magic. Our two-party system and shape-shifting propagandized illusion of political intent will allow many Democrats to reassemble with others sharing and identifying with Thompson who supported President John F. Kennedy in opposing the war of the age and taxpayer-funded Federal Reserve debt machine that the present day Democratic party base cogs unwittingly support with explosions of sentimental exuberance.

Mark Kwiecienski


Aspen Community Theatre hits the high notes with ‘Big River’

In 1986, our family went to the rededication of the Statue of Liberty in New York City. We remember many things about that trip, including the massive fireworks display marking the occasion. But what we all remember, and talk about the most, was seeing "Big River" on Broadway. The story and the music are mental and emotional keepers. So, what a delight it was to take our son and his family to see Aspen Community Theatre's production of "Big River" right here at home. Thank you, ACT, for the unwavering high bar you hold — for the immeasurable labor of love you gift the community with each year with your autumn musical presentations. They're all great — we love them, we keep the programs to read about each participant, we hum the music, we rerun scenes in our minds and feel them in our hearts. Really, we do.

Once again, the costumes were beyond perfect, the set stunning and believable. The singing, dancing, acting — as always — over the top. Directing, conducting, producing, lighting, sound, special effects — how can a community theater pull this off year after year after year?

We join the community in extending our gratitude to one of the most precious jewels Aspen has: Aspen Community Theatre. Thanks, Ritie.

Nancy and Wolf Gensch

Snowmass Village

Skico justified in taking over Gwyn’s

With regard to all of the heartburn and angry comments regarding the Aspen Skiing Co. taking over the operations at Gwyn's, I indeed find such to be over the top. In case anyone needs reminding, the Skico is not a 501c3. I don't hear the angry voices thanking them for increasing the snowmaking at the areas during this past offseason, which, by the way, is expensive. Likewise, I see three major sources of revenue that are available on a daily basis. Ski tickets, ski school and restaurant sales. Mega-passes have changed the competitive environment for all ski mountain operators. They would be derelict not to capture all of the sources of revenue that are available, including the newly remodeled Alpine Springs restaurant building. My guess is that the anger isn't about missing the food. I sort of think it's to be about longtime friends, and I get that. However, if I was sitting in the current operator's shoes, I wouldn't want all of this stuff going on, as they may be worked into the Skico's plans. And, if I was sitting in the Skico shoes, my sympathy level might decrease proportionately with the level of grief. I hope that Snowmass Town Council listens to the apparent restraint coming from Tom Goode and Bill Madsen. They recognize that it isn't the town's business and that change is often tough. Thank you, gentlemen. As for the mayor denigrating the food and discussing interference with the change, those are comments that I hope she regrets. I would. Skico is being a prudent operator. And a darn good one at that. All of that is good for the Aspen skiing community. I hope everyone takes a chill.

Richard Simpson

Dallas and Aspen