20-50 Years Ago: Stories of the Times
October 1955Fifty years ago, the hospital board members walked out in protest. The Times published their letter of explanation.The undersigned Trustees of the Hospital have submitted their resignations to the Commissioners, following the action of the Commissioners in rejecting a 3 mill tax levy for 8 years for a new Hospital, and adopting a 1 mill levy for 1 year. …The Commissioners have made a basic policy decision with which we cannot agree. It has been and is our conviction that a new Hospital must be financed first by taxes of the County to which it belongs and second by donations. We feel we cannot conscientiously ask for donations to the Hospital unless the County is doing all it can towards its support. With the 1 mill levy for 1 year, the Commissioners are providing $6500 towards a new Hospital which we estimate will cost $150,000. …We cannot leave our duties with the Hospital without saying that though our building is substandard, our staff is not. No Hospital Trustees anywhere could ask for a finer group.It was a warm and dry autumn 50 years ago, but not too dry to spoil the hunt, as the paper reported,Despite the dry, warm weather and unusual amount of foliage on brush and trees, quite a few hunters have brought home their quarry since the first shots were fired Saturday morning a week ago [Oct. 22]. Elk were downed in the opening days by Stan Belmear, Chuck Hightower, Earl Hightower, Buddy Strong a 6 pointer, Bob Smith a 5 point and Keith Roberts a 4 point. First to bring a buckskin to Beck and Bishop Frozen Food Lockers on Saturday was Wendy Morse, followed in succession by Skip Voorhees, Gordon Scheig, Jack Wall, Bob Colen, Clark Ilgen, Jr., Henry Seivers, Neil Beck, Tom Stapleton, Puck Worden, Jackie Strong, Robert and Lynn Walker, and Mike Newlove.Aspen has some very caring young citizens, as it was reported in both 1955 and 2005.This year will initiate Halloween into a day when children’s thoughts turn to helping others, for instead of the usual trick or treats, all the elementary grades of the Aspen School will go from house to house collecting donations for Care Packages. These young people will carry milk cartons, and everyone is asked to help the less fortunate.
October 1980Can’t anyone take a joke anymore? The paper reported on the latest in the election campaign for district attorney.It started as a joke, but District Attorney Charles Leidner apparently doesn’t think losing Pitkin County to a lizard in the Nov. 4 election would be much fun. …The campaign has turned somewhat serious in recent weeks as Leidner has threatened the lizard (technically he’s a newt) with criminal prosecution if [Aspen Times comic strip character Sal A] Mander files an affidavit certifying himself as a write-in candidate.Leidner hinted the lizard [also] might face charges for having filed a petition earlier this year in an unsuccessful effort to get on the ballot. …Mander’s campaign has been an artistic if not electoral success thus far, and can number among its accomplishments the creation of two original posters, one by artist Tom Benton, a T-shirt and name recognition for the lizard in numerous publications across the country, including The Rocky Mountain News, The Chicago Sun-Times and, possibly, Rolling Stone.While Mander’s managers and staff are publicly predicting heir lizard will bank more than half the votes cast along this stretch of the Roaring Fork River, it’s up to the electorate to decide if the electable lizard should lead Leidner or be sent back to [Chris] Cassatt’s drawing board.The four-laning of “Killer 82” has been a long time comin’ – step by step, mile by mile – and it ain’t done yet! The paper noted 25 years ago,Ideally, the Colorado Department of Highways would like to see Highway 82 widened to four lanes from Carbondale to Wingo Junction, but given the department’s grim financial picture, the project is not feasible at this time, highway officials said Friday.What little money is available for improvements to 82 has been earmarked for engineering studies and rights of way acquisitions for proposed projects like the Basalt bypass and for spot safety improvements, highway officials said. …When asked how long it would take to complete a four-lane project from Carbondale to Aspen if money were no object, [chief engineer for the state highway department Dick] Prosence said a time frame was hard to calculate in view of increasing costs and stationary revenues. He estimated the cost of a four-lane highway at $2 million to $3 million per mile and predicted that with an open checkbook, the highway department could complete about four miles a year. … He said the department recommended … that a “do nothing” alternative from Wingo Junction to Aspen be considered to give county government time to finish a mass transit study. compiled by Sara Garton
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The city of Aspen’s office building is exempt from paying encroachment fees, yet private developers have to now pay $9 a square foot, per month, starting in 2020.