An exercise in futility
(This letter was originally addressed to the Aspen City Council)Dear Editor:Do any of you have kids?Have you ever seen them in the same room as a candy vending machine?Every time I take my 4- and 6-year-old for gymnastics at the Red Brick Building, it is an exhausting battle. They stand and drool on the glass, I get harassed to within an inch of my life to provide coins. They can hardly concentrate in class when they see someone actually purchase something, for want of seeing what they got, or imagining the possibility that they may share.Is this what a community children’s gymnasium is supposed to do? Dangle candy and snacks they don’t need, and then they turn into horrible monsters when I tell them no? It’s enough to make me want to give up gymnastics.I am told that the vending machines “provide revenue” for the Red Brick. Well gee, are we that poor as a community that the Red Brick is in danger of closing for the loss of that revenue?Can we at LEAST move the offending machines to the other entryway of the Red Brick (where the nonprofits are), where the kids aren’t staring at it them whole time? That way, consenting adults can make choices to go and purchase something if they desire some sugar or beverage, but we separate the children from the irresistibility of the situation.I am not alone in this. All of the parents who sit and wait for the kids to finish are harassed by this, and everyone I have spoken to wishes them gone. They are not a service, they are a disservice to the health of the kids, the sanity of the parents, and contradict everything we are trying to do to encourage health and fitness in our children.And no, just offering some more “healthy” alternatives is NOT the solution … getting the machines out of sight IS.P.S.: Feel free to raise rates $1 per activity to compensate for your loss of revenue. I’d rather pay extra and have nice, healthy kids than to go through that torture again and again.Rebecca DriscollAspen
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A majority of users of the popular Red Hill Recreation Area north of Carbondale say they would be OK with closing the trails during the muddiest times of the year.