1964: Interstate 70 plans, UFOs, and stolen pianos | AspenTimes.com

1964: Interstate 70 plans, UFOs, and stolen pianos

In celebrating the 125th anniversary of The Aspen Times, we are printing a story or two from each year the newspaper has existed – 125 historical selections in 125 days. This series is in conjunction with the Aspen Historical Society. In a surprise move last week, Glenwood Springs officials released data showing where the giant Interstate Hwy. 70 complex will slash through Glenwood, only 41 miles from Aspen.Two possible routes are being considered. One, called the “high” route, would pass through a residential district along the base of Iron Mountain. The second or “low” route would largely follow the Roaring Fork River through town.Estimates on the cost of the high route total $7,296,000. This included the cost of buying and removing 48 houses along the way.Although the second or low route would cost an extra $2,000,000 for the relocation of D&RG railroad tracks presently on the proposed site, the total cost of the construction is about the same as the first, $7,568,400.According to the Glenwood Springs SAGE, the Highway Committee of the Glenwood Chamber of Commerce is unanimously in favor of the low route. They feel that the removal of the residences necessitated by the high route would cost the city over half a million dollars in actual real estate value.Chamber of Commerce Manager Dave Delaplane indicated that highway officials will hold a public meeting in about 30 days to announce their choice of the two proposed passages.(Feb. 14)

Responding to criticism from Red Onion owner Arnold Senn, a Colorado parole official stated that 70 of 100 parolees makes a successful adjustment to life outside prison walls but that “like other people we have good ones and bad ones.” Senn had registered his complaint when an ex-convict allegedly skipped town owing the co-owner of the restaurant $270. Senn claimed parolees are too interested in making a fast buck.Edward W. Grout, executive director of the Colorado Adult Parole Division, pointed out several incidences of success in adjustment and said in a Denver Post story that the Red Onion’s complaint very definitely is an isolated case. (March 20)

Aspenite Paul Wirth now believes in unidentified flying objects: he watched one through his binoculars for over a minute on Wednesday, Sept, 23.Wirth, his wife Hanna and one child were on a jeep trip over Pearl Pass when the object was sighted.Wirth had stopped the jeep on the dirt road about two miles west of the pass to look at the view and the fall colors.His eyes were attracted to a flicker of brightness in the sky to the north, about one-third of the way above the mountain ridge.In the habit of carrying his binoculars around his neck, and also in the habit of using them to watch planes fly overhead, Wirth lifted them to get the object in view.He saw a round object, “like a full moon: and “colored like a daytime moon,” with vague half-circle markings around the edge, moving as fast or faster than a jet in a southerly direction.As he watched, he told his wife to turn off the jeep to eliminate vibration.The object, which appeared to be very high and as large or larger than a big jet, made a half circle as he watched, first flying south, then curving to the east disappearing over the Pearl Pass ridge toward Aspen.While he watched the object, Wirth’s wife asked to use the glasses too, but he was too fascinated with what he saw to give them up. He had the object in view for over a minute, he told the Aspen Times.Neither Mrs. Wirth nor their son Paul, who was with them, saw the object.A native of Switzerland, Wirth first came to Aspen in 1948. He has been the manager of the Sundeck restaurant at the top of Aspen Mountain for 11 years. He and his wife have five children.Both he and his wife, who helps manage the Sundeck, are considered to be among the most responsible residents of the community. (Sept. 25)

Another Aspen event has made copy for newspapers across the nation.According to Buzz Bainbridge, pubic relations official for the Aspen Skiing Corp., the San Juan, Puerto Rico Star and the Omaha, Neb., Evening World-Herald ran an Aspen article recently.It was documented the fact that three pianos were taken from the Aspen dump. However, the stories failed to mention another important news item: the pianos have been found. (Oct. 16)

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