Dear Editor:I am writing this because the citizens of this valley deserve an apology. My name is Justino Ochoa and last summer, July 27, 2006, to be exact, I assaulted a member of our community. That assault took place after a Thursday night concert at a Snowmass Village bus stop.A lot of you were, and probably still are, upset by my actions. I must have taken away your sense of safety, trust in others, and peace of mind. Be assured that I am as distressed by my actions as you are and no harm shall come to anyone by my hand again.I have always tried to focus on helping others both in the workplace and in day to day life, and feel a huge disconnect between what I have done and who I am. In addition to coming to terms with this on my conscience, I have faced many legal ramifications and will for years to come. I am telling you this not because my punishment wipes the slate clean, but hopefully to assure you that, even if you doubt my integrity, you might trust that further legal consequences would prevent me from doing anything like this again.I am truly sorry for bringing an element of violence into our community. Many of us have made this our home, in large part, because it provides such a positive, fun-loving atmosphere where we don’t have to fear for our safety. I value this community as much as anyone, and hate to think that my actions have changed that for some of you. Thank you for your time and, hopefully, your consideration of my apology.Justino OchoaCarbondale
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Warm and dry conditions to start the winter have kept all but the higher elevation slopes free of snow. That is expected to change by the end of the week and the avalanche hazard could start to climb, according to Colorado Avalanche Information Center.