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Funding, conservation for Colorado’s waterways need to remain priority

Funding, conservation for Colorado’s waterways need to remain priority

We’ve long known the importance of rivers in the larger picture of the ecological chain. And we are seeing locally that our rivers are being stressed by warm temperatures and drought. Despite some good snow years, the West has actually been in a sustained drought for nearly 20 years.

Looking at water recreation and its importance, new numbers released reinforce what we know — recreation in Colorado’s rivers and waters is important business for the state. A recent study shows nearly $19 billion in annual economic impact from people recreating on or near Colorado’s rivers.

Our local rivers are part of the Colorado mainstem system and in that system alone $3.8 billion was generated last year with 2.7 million people participating in river and water related recreation in this basin. The recreation economy is a major driver of our state and local economy.

With so many communities like ours depending on our rivers for ecological balance, water supply and recreation it is critical for us to take measures to turn these effects of climate change around.

We must do all we can to support conservation and efficiency measures at every level — personal, local, municipal, agricultural and in cities and in rural areas alike. Leaders at the state understand this and we have a great “Colorado Water Plan.” With COVID-19’s effects on the state economy, the water plan stands to lose ground in funding. As state leaders advocate for federal stimulus dollars we need to ensure that some of that funding goes to support healthy rivers and water infrastructure projects that will help many get back to work to maintain our waterways.

Bob Wade

Aspen

Stand should sell Bibles and flags not fireworks

Stand should sell Bibles, flags not fireworks

Each year around this time Mr. Ray Cordova brings explosives to the consistently and distressingly hot and dry Roaring Fork Valley for profit. While doing so he boldly indicates, in very large letters, his alleged allegiance to another Prophet, Jesus. Given the danger to life and property that his product poses to the valley it seems clear which “profit/prophet” has earned most of Mr. Cordova’s allegiance.

Since Richard Miller showed us recently just how easy it is to incinerate large portions of land, wildlife and structures (2018 Lake Christine Fire), perhaps Mr. Cordova could sell Bibles instead of bombs and flags instead of fireworks.

There is no shortage of people wrapping themselves in religion and patriotism for personal gain these days, so Mr. Cordova doesn’t stand out in that regard. What is salient about Mr. Cordova (and his fireworks stand), however, is that his pose and his product is an immediate danger to the rest of us.

Bill Parish

Carbondale

Reach out to a veteran this Fourth of July to say thanks

Reach out to a veteran on Fourth of July to say thanks

This July 4 is the 244th anniversary of our country’s independence. As the celebration begins we should take a moment to salute the men and women who have defended our freedom.

From the beginning, all put their lives on hold, and some gave their lives, to maintain the freedoms we hold dear. They have protected the principles we hold so very important as Americans. Each new test we face as a country can be met because of the rights guaranteed by them.

New challenges face us today that prevent the community from recognizing our veterans in the annual parade down Aspen’s Main Street and around town.

If you see someone you know is a veteran, please give them a shout or a wave of appreciation. Or just pause to offer thoughts of gratitude to all for what they did. We owe them so much.

Happy Fourth of July.

Hugh Roberts

USAF Vietnam

Valley Veterans Parade Committee

Wearing a mask shows humility, kindness, community

Wearing a mask shows humility, kindness, community

This was shared with me by a customer in Chequers yesterday.

I wear my mask while in public for 3 reasons:

1. Humility: I don’t know if I have COVID as it is clear that people can spread the disease before they have symptoms.

2. Kindness: I don’t know if the person I am near has a kid battling cancer, or cares for their elderly mom. While I might be fine, they might not.

3. Community: I want my community to thrive, businesses to stay open, employees to stay healthy.

Keeping a lid on COVID helps us all!

Becky Dumeresque

Aspen

Colson’s liberal columns go to the extreme

Colson’s liberal columns go to the extreme

John Colson is a fine writer. It is clear from his opinions that he is a liberal voice, possibly the liberal voice, of The Aspen Times. Is there a conservative voice to provide an opposing narrative? A few days ago he wrote (New Normal) expressing concerns for bare-faced wanderers.

Yet my experieince in business and dining areas masks are commonplace, enforced, hiking not so much with no one around. He said little in the past about protestors and rioters irresponsibility, masks included. He clearly is anti the “pro-Donald Trump” crowd creating so-called controversies.

What about the Democrats ignoring running and protecting a nation? He enjoys invectives, like “right-wing nut base” or the “pathetically ignorant swath “ critical of opposing thoughts as if he is a scientist. Oh well, when reading Colson “I guess it’s just another day” of bile boiling from the caldron of a biased opinionist, facts or truth aside.

Tom Balderston

Snowmass

Basalt SWA needs to go to the dogs

In light of CPW’s unpopular unilateral decision to require anyone setting foot on state-owned lands to have a hunting or fishing license (“New law requres license to visit state lands”, June 30, 2020), I’d love to know what the point of the Basalt SWA is in the first place.

What benefit do valley residents get from it being a state wildlife area rather than USFS or BLM land? How much does that designation cost state taxpayers?

As far as I can tell, there’s no reason for the Basalt SWA to even exist. Let’s get rid of it entirely (even if the gun range has to stay) and allow people to hike there with their dogs. The argument that it’s so overused that fees have to be charged to mange the crowds is ludicrous.

Get rid of it already.

Todd Hartley

Basalt

Hey, cyclists, a little heads up would be nice

Hey, cyclists, a little heads up would be nice

There seems to be a new game for cyclists using the Rio Grande Trail. It is called :Scare the unsuspecting pedestrian then yell at them for being in the way.” Last I looked pedestrians have right of way on this trail — maybe these cyclists are simply going too fast to read the signs?

When I ride my bike on the trail I see many pedestrians who may be walking their dogs, listening to music, pushing baby strollers, chatting, etc. Because it is the rule and also I do not want a collision I always:

1. SLOW DOWN;

2. Alert the pedestrian(s) by ringing my bike bell;

3. Call out if they still seem unaware of my approach;

4. Stop if necessary;

5. Thank them as I pass.

When I am walking my leashed dog there will always be at least one cyclist who silently approaches from behind at maximum speed then yells at me while heading into the distance. Believe me, if I know you are coming I will get off the trail if need be as I do not want myself or my dog injured! Just please let me know that you are approaching.

Bronwyna Anglin

Basalt

Time for CD3 Republicans to back Boebert

Time for CD3 Republicans to back Boebert

A message to the establishment Republicans who didn’t support Lauren Boebert: She won. She’s your candidate. She’s going to need a lot of help to prevent the CD3 seat from going Democrat. Donate generously your time and money to her general election campaign.

Maurice Emmer

Aspen

OrthoAspen team is better fit for our community

OrthoAspen team is better fit for our community

Orthopedic procedures represent a surprisingly large percentage of all health care expenses in the U.S. and are a significant source of revenue for Aspen Valley Hospital.

Recently, The Steadman Clinic decided to establish a satellite office at Willits. That fact clearly resonated with the number crunchers at Aspen Valley Hospital, since it inevitably meant serious competition for orthopedic revenues.

Steadman’s expansion meant that AVH could no longer support the long-time economic model of OrthoAspen, while losing potential patients to a nearby Steadman competitor.

My experience with the spinal staff at Steadman in Vail was the opposite of my experience at OrthoAspen. My appointment was three hours later than scheduled. I was then evaluated by an assistant, resulting in more delays. The spinal specialist finally appeared with several medical interns in tow. Clearly, the spinal doctor was eminently qualified; however, I felt like I was in a medical factory versus a doctor’s office with personal care.

In my visits to OrthoAspen concerning my spine, knees or neck, my doctors were always on time and gave excellent advice and treatment on a much more personal level.

This development should be of serious concern to all Aspen/Snowmass residents and tourists needing orthopedic treatment. This development is not about you receiving better care, as Dave Ressler would have you believe (“a win-win opportunity”). This development sadly is all about the money.

Robert Morris

Aspen

Let it slide? How about, ‘Stick to the Task!’?

Let it slide? How about, ‘Stick to the Task!’?

Someone must be joking. I mean, really, “Let it slide.” Let what slide? My absurdly high Aspen utility bill? “Honey, have we paid the electric bill?” “No, dear, let it slide.” Did someone get paid for this slogan? Was this one of those matters where the City Council appointed a committee which went into executive groups, returning with what is, at best, mediocrity? This is life and death. This is life-long lung damage.

Oh, we’re adding, “Keep Aspen Open, Keep Aspen Safe!” That explains everything. Keep what “open” – the stores? The bars? The only establishment being kept open with this slogan is The Aspen Valley Hospital.

I suggest a simpler verbiage. A direct, in your face, if you do not get it, I have a right to both explain and repeat it to you. “Stick to the Task, Wear a Mask!” Our city manager was quoted, “We’ve been pretty casual about this … now we’re saying wear a mask.” No, you’re not. You’re saying, “Keep Aspen Open.” And, while you were “casual” so as not to offend tourists, who knows how many individuals were infected. I want a slogan that when I encounter an individual not wearing a mask I can shout a simple, not insulting, not confrontational slogan, “STICK TO THE TASK!!” They would understand. Can you imagine the confused look in their eyes when instead I say, shout, “Let it Slide?”

Mask less individuals, or worse, those that wear their mask around their neck, would not view my suggestion as an insult. Rather, I would think if they “STICK TO THE TASK,” they would suddenly see themselves as part of the Aspen solution, part of the Aspen team. Together, doing your part, we, Aspen can accomplish the “task” which of course is defeating this insidious virus.

“Let it slide.” Please be serious. It means nothing. Defeat the virus, “Stick to the Task/Wear a Mask!!”

Jeffrey D.J. Kallenberg

Aspen