1986: Voters say ‘no-no’ on 4-lane entrance
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. Voters say ‘no-no’ on 4-lane entrance”There will never be a four-lane highway in this valley.”The prediction came from Planning Office Director Alan Richman as he watched the results tallied at the Clerk’s office on election night, Tuesday, August 12, following the primary.Richman’s reaction came from witnessing the defeat of both entrance proposals for State Highway 82, known notoriously as “Killer 82” by those who drive it frequently. The fact that voters turned down plans to run a proposed four-lane version of the killer into Aspen came as a relief to some and as a rueful disappointment to others. According to Aspen Mayor Bill Stirling, the vote indicates a lack of willingness for Aspen residents to bring a four-lane highway down Main Street. While most voters recognize the limitations of Highway 82 as a down valley conduct for commuting employees and car-driving tourists, they nonetheless were reluctant to concede to the pressures of the automobile by opening the entrance of town to more traffic and perhaps higher speeds. “The people really spoke definitively,” said Stirling the day after the election. “The people of Aspen fundamentally don’t want a four-lane coming into town. That’s how I felt. I voted no-no also.”Voters were offered a choice on the ballot of two entrance proposals. One was the existing alignment that zig-zags its way through two right angle turns. The other was a straight alignment that would bypass those turns and bring the highway in line with Main Street.The existing alignment option failed by a large 603-213 margin. The straight shot failed by only 10 votes 421-411.Stirling explained that he had worked to develop a third highway option, one that would funnel the four-lane into two lanes at the City’s boundaries, but that due to council’s wishes, he was unable to introduce it on the ballot. Stirling will push for that option at an August 25 meeting of the City Council, adding that generous turnout lanes and “eased up curves” would become part of the plan.”The four-lane is not an appropriate way to enter Aspen,” said Stirling. “I’m not in favor of using open space for a highway.”Apparently, neither were the voters. The issue will go back to the drawing board and perhaps appear on a November ballot as a redrawn proposal. (August 1986)
An Aspen Hall of Fame is being established by the Aspen Skiing Company in conjunction with it’s 40th Anniversary of Skiing Celebration to be held Jan 5 through 10.Purpose of the Hall of Fame is to recognize those in Aspen who have contributed to the arts and humanities, to government, and to the ski industry.A nominating committee is being formed for the Hall of Fame. The committee will nominate and vote on four inductees to be honored during the 40th celebration.This year two inductees will be chosen from the ski industry. In subsequent years there will be three inductees; one from the arts, one from the government and one from the ski industry.Says Jeannette Darnauer, chairperson of the 40th Anniversary of Skiing, “The Hall of Fame will be the beginning of a cooperative and proves allowing the Aspen Skiing company and community to pay tribute to those who have made it possible for us to enjoy the Aspen experience”.Aspen’s first Hall of Fame inductees will be formerly presented with their honors at a Hall of Fame banquet on Friday, Jan 9, at 8 p.m. at the Snowmass Conference Center.Members of the Hall of Fame committee include:n Miggs and Dick Durrance – They stood in line together for the first ride up Chair #1 On Aspen Mountain in 1946. Dick Durrance was the nation’s top ski racer in the late 1930s and early 40s and is a well known cinematographer.- Bill Hodges – The first president of the Aspen Skiing Corporation and long time Denver attorney.- Joanne Lyon – Owner of the Joanne Lyon Gallery in Aspen and member of the Aspen Fine Art Dealers Association.- Ruth Kevan – President of the Snowmass Repertory Theatre owner of Chez Grandmere restaurant in Snowmass Village.- Craig Ward – Former member of the united States Nordic Ski Team and founder of the Aspen/ Snowmass Nordic Council.- Stuart Mace – Owner of Toklat at Ashcroft. Best known for his dog sled operation at Ashcroft during the 1950s and 1960s.- Eve Homeyer – Former Mayor of Aspen, chairperson of the Roaring Fork Transit Agency Board, chairperson of the Wheeler Opera House board, and development director of Aspen Valley Hospital.- Steve Knowlton – Member of the 10th Mountain Division, former ski racer and former owner of the Golden Horn, one of Aspens first nightclubs.- Mary Apple – Former director of Ballet Aspen.- Andy Mill – Former member of the US Alpine Ski Team. Competed on the downhill team in the 1980 Lake Placid Olympic. Co-producer and host of his own ski television show.- Jim Chaffin – President of the Snowmass Company.- Nancy VanDomelen – Former President of the Aspen School Board. Former director of the Wildwood School.- Jeannatte Darnauer – Public Relations director of Aspen Skiing Company and 40th Anniversary of Ski Chairperson.- Sue Smedstad – Vice President / Administration at Aspen Skiing Company.- Peter Guy – Owner of Steak Pit Restaurant, former member of Pitkin County Planning and Zoning Commission. – Ruth White – Philanthropist, active supporter of the Aspen Ski Club and Aspen Historical Society. (October, 1986)
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Many members of the community wrote to laud the former Skico executive and city councilman for his friendship, dedication to family and community-minded spirit over more than two decades in Aspen.