Aspen’s sad comedy
Dear Editor:Aspen has been a tourist attraction for decades. A delightful vacation spot, a haven for hikers, climbers, skiers, skaters, and just a wonderful place to relax. Perhaps that has come to an end.I’m a Coloradan who lives in Boulder County, and a few times a year I visit a friend in Aspen. We hike and hang at the bakery and the Sundeck. I buy gifts for my family. I am a tourist. Never in a million years would I have expected the sad comedy that I am reading about now – as a part of the Aspen motif. However, the drug war that has exploded in Aspen is part and parcel of things that have been taking shape for some time. The City Council that seeks to control visitors and residents who are not the upper crust. The goal seems to be increased revenues for the council. I now need a special permit to park in front of my friend’s house or risk having my truck impounded. There’s trouble with wealthy part-time neighbors over the appearance of his home, which is one of the oldest in town. They are ashamed to live next door to a 40-year Aspenite whose biggest concern is being in shape for his next climb of Pyramid.The council has special forces whose job it is to enforce their rules on parking, the visual appearance of your home, where you leave your bicycle, who’s visiting. Is that what they really want, or do they just want to increase revenues?Is Aspen really suffering from unintended consequences, or is the outcome exactly what they sought? Scare the bejeezus out of the low-ball tourista. I’d rather sleep on the ground than in the phat hotels. Luckily, I get to sleep in a friend’s home. But it’s hard to sleep while having to worry about my truck and its contents. I’m hardly worried about a car theft ring; I am worried about the Aspen government. Is it tyrannical, or just indifferent?Why would the Aspen City Council employ a police chief who threatens citizens and tourists, seeks to “round up the usual suspects,” keeps secrets from the elected sheriff, and then pokes a feather in his own cap at the conclusion of an expensive, unwanted and reasonably unsuccessful raid? Is this Aspen or Detroit?What about Colleen Truden? Is it possible that she knew nothing of these plans and actions? Did the Aspen police keep her in the dark, too? Is it simply coincidence that this raid took place one week before her recall election?If the Aspen City Council continues to support persecution of the non-hoi polloi, they can replace them with DEA agents on a permanent junket. The DHS can pay for hotels, lift tickets and expensive meals. How about an eminent domain action on the Aspen Institute and replace it with a joint DEA-Aspen PD campus that teaches tyranny. The film festival can become the fright festival. The Wheeler can host public floggings. Aspen has a new future, but it isn’t very bright – just like those that condone this insanity.Paul TigerLongmont
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