1971:Community cable TV station proposed
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. Aspen residents may be watching regular television coverage of their community by the first of the year, the Aspen Times learned this week. Funds are now being raised to launch a non-commercial community cablevision station called Grass-roots, Network which will be operated by volunteers, the group announced.Plans are to video tape local events, meetings, personalities and films and replay them weekly on cable Channel 12. Canyon Cable has donated the use of the channel to Grass-roots for non-commercial telecasting.John Smith, organizer of Grass-roots, said Channel 12 is to be an experimental station available to everyone in the community.”Most local televisions fails to serve the real needs of the community,” Smith said. “The individual citizen usually isn’t seen or heard on television and he can’t show his films on it. We want to change all that.”Concerning programming, Smith said Grass-roots wants to carry out as many ideas as the people of this town can come up with. ” We also want to carry out some of our own ideas. We want to tape significant portions of governmental meetings – bring the city council meetings to the people.””We also want to show to parents their children at work in the schools. We want to take viewers to inaccessible places: The jail, the top of Capitol Peak, the curtain hanging at Rifle Gap, the Red Onion Bar on Friday night,” Smith said. Grass-roots also plans to tape national news coverage relating to Aspen and replay it on the tape and to show local artists at work. “Most important, we want local people to freely express themselves on Grass-roots,” Smith said. (Nov. 11) McBride says ‘no way’ to SafewayJohn McBride, developer of the Airport Industrial Center west of Aspen, capitulated to public pressure Tuesday and dropped plans for a Safeway market in his development.Safeway had already signed a contract for a 28,000 square foot store, but McBride had not. In a letter announcing his decision, McBride said, “I pass. Safeway shall not build here.”The Airport Center is zoned B-1, which allows a shopping center. There is no limit on the size or number of retail outlets.The Aspen Master Plan, however, favors small, neighborhood shopping centers and public sentiment was strongly against the Safeway project.Regional planner herb Bartel said the only way to stop the construction would be a county zoning amendment limiting the size of retail outlets. That process would take at least 45 days.McBride offered two weeks ago to drop plans for the Safeway store if the county commissioners would agree to ban large supermarkets in other portions of the county. He withdrew his offer last week when the commissioners had not acted. (April 15)Police put damper on chimney caperAspen Police put the damper on a chimney caper at Carl’s Pharmacy Monday morning, May 17, when they arrested Damson Nakaimi in the store’s fireplace.Unable to fly the coop, the budding Santa Claus bandit was cooped in the flue when employees arrived at Carl’s for work.Nakaimi had wedged himself into the base of the chimney some six hours earlier while making an abortive attempt at sliding down the chimney with a bag of tools.He came to rest at a bend in the flue, with his feet dangling down into the second story fireplace, surrounded by merchandise.A salesgirl went to her post upstairs and reported hearing muffled sounds.Investigating, employees discovered a pair of shoes, full, dangling into the store.Asked what he was doing, Nakaimi said, I’m looking for my cat. He went down the chimney and I followed him. He must be down there somewhere.”The cat was never found and perhaps it is as well; Nakaimi never explained what he was going to do to the feline with the creel of tools he was carrying.A crowd of 20-30 people gathered on the street to watch police, lead by Chief Dick Ritchey, pull Nakaimi out of the chimney with a rope.It had all the excitement and suspense of opening a present, only in this case the question was not ‘what is it,’ but ‘who is it?”Emerging from the chimney with arms over his head clutching the rescue rope, Nakaimi looked cold and weak as he was delivered from the chimney’s firm grip into that of the law. (May 20)
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