An unfair portrayal
My name is John Black. In my 35 years living in the Roaring Fork Valley, I have never written to the local papers, until now. I am dismayed and outraged at the treatment afforded Steve Saunders in the Aspen Daily News.
I do not know Mr. Crohan, Mr. Peltier, Mr. Brooks, or the author of the story, Mr. Hooper. I do know Steve Saunders, and have for 30-plus years, and all of the above have done Steve a huge disservice.
At the time of the incident with Mr. Peltier, Mr. Saunders was pursuing full custody of his son. Steve’s frustration with this process led to some ill-chosen words. The aftermath of this conversation was a homeless school bus driver brandishing a rifle in front of Steve, on school grounds. All Mr. Saunders did in response is what I think most parents would do: He expressed what happened to the sheriff’s department. With the spate of school shootings around this nation, it was his responsibility to do so. The fact that the DA brought this to trial indicates they had concerns as well.
In return for doing his civic duty, Mr. Saunders has had his character assaulted, his honesty questioned, and his reputation demeaned. He had nothing to gain by reporting this incident; he just did what he thought was right.
I know Steve Saunders to be a loving and devoted parent, a hard-working, responsible adult. His word has always been good to me, and he is always willing to help when asked. He has logged uncountable hours for the Elks, and has been a great and loyal friend to many in this valley. This is as unfair a portrayal of anyone I’ve read in my years in Aspen.
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Aspen High School girls soccer coach Chris Ellis could have told you the team would be facing a strong opponent in the first round of the state playoffs well before the bracket was released on Sunday. With only a 16-team field this spring, any squad that found itself among those few had to be solid.