25-50-90 Years Ago | AspenTimes.com
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25-50-90 Years Ago

Sara Garton
In 1917 Judge J.W. Deane of Aspen lobbied the Colorado State Highway Department and the Legislature to complete a road over Independence Pass. It's a group effort in 1922 to turn this car around on a section of new road on the west side of the Pass. (Courtesy Aspen Historical Society)
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Several months are missing from the microfilm of our newspapers 100 years ago. These news stories are from the 1917 Aspen Democrat Times, as The Aspen Times and The Aspen Democrat merged in 1909. We will run excerpts from newspapers 90 years ago until the microfilm picks up again in June 1907. Forward-thinking in transportation was evident 90 years ago, as stated in this letter to the editor “Cap” Dailey from Judge J,W, Deane, published in the Aspen Democrat Times.It was very gratifying today when Harold W. Clark and I went together to the highway people at their office, and we presented all the reasons for urging the early completion of our [Independence Pass – see photo] road. …The board agreed on the motion of Mr. Curtis to give us all the aid that shall be possible. I asked them for especial consideration not for any sentimental reasons but as a matter of justice, not first of all because of tourist interest, but that we may open our resources and take our proper place as producers of even greater wealth than in our old best days and pointed out that this lone delay in building and the little use of the built portions made deterioration an important item, that no road goes to destruction like the little-used road.Also called attention to the design of other sections to build into and connect with our road and that they were not warranted in going to such cost without certainty of knowledge as to construction of the Independence Pass route.I am invited at Colorado Springs on the 14th to present, as one of three speakers at the Chamber of Commerce lunch, “The opportunities of Pitkin County with reference to the enlistment of Colorado Springs capitol.” At the convention of Pike’s Peak local I am to speak on “Pending Legislation.” …I have drawn a House resolution to be concurred in by the Senate and have given that to Mr. Mishou who will introduce it Monday and promises to push it.We ought to begin to get ready to drive for the government to make the Pike’s Peak Ocean-to-Ocean route a great government highway with a tunnel thru the range.

Following the Roch Cup and FIS races, some competitors generously shared some tips with the next generation of skiers, the paper wrote.

Members of the Aspen Junior Ski Team were the luckiest young skiers in the country on Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 27, when they had one present and two former world champions to coach them. Skiing with the youngsters that afternoon were Triple 1956 Olympic titlist Tony Sailer, 1954 FIS Champion Stein Eriksen [see photo] and pre-World War II champ Friedl Pfeifer. In their efforts to show their young charges that fastest way to take slalom gates, Sailer and Eriksen powered their way down the short practice course with the same determination they normally display in a championship race. For nearly a year the paper reported that the municipal water supply had failed several state water-quality tests, and Aspen’s privately owned, antiquated water works needed an overhaul.Climaxing several months of controversy and discussion, the question of a new, municipally owned water system came before the electors of Aspen last Tuesday, March 5, and was defeated [by two votes]. …The special election was called by the City Council as a result of pressure on the city brought by the Colorado State Department of Public Health, which had declared the existing system inadequate and the water unsafe. …Since defeat of the acquisition plan prevents the city from complying with the Health Department’s ultimatum, and since [Aspen Water Co. owner Fred] Hendy in the past has refused to comply with the Health Department’s requests to improve his facilities, the future of Aspen’s water system is now in doubt.

After publishing an image of a Playboy photo shoot in Aspen on the front page of paper, the Readers Speak column was filled with letters of protest the next week , March 4, 1982. An example:Dear Editor:How unfortunate that you chose to feature on the front of The Aspen Times a full-page picture of a young woman posing partially undressed for Playboy magazine.How particularly ironic that the picture should be on the front of our local paper during the weekend when great women athletes from around the world were here skiing in the World Cup races.Not only would the picture of one of the women ski racers have been more palatable to those of us who care deeply about the image of women in the media, but it would have been more timely and more newsworthy.Perhaps you are taking your cue from the Winternational officials themselves, who scheduled the “Opening Ceremonies” four days after the women’s race had taken place!Sincerely yours,Katharine ThalbergAspen


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