Crime, bad behavior are connected |

Crime, bad behavior are connected

Dear Editor:Paulette Perkins (letters, Aug. 14) worries that Aspen will soon be plagued with crime and bad behavior, a concern shared by all communities in this valley. There is a proven cause and effect connection between these two plagues.When Rudy Giuliani first became mayor of a crime-besieged New York and instituted a policy of arrest for nuisance crimes, he was accused of focusing on the trivial instead of the serious. Giuliani contended that addressing infractions that were minor but harmed the city’s quality-of-life would discourage the commission of major crimes. That is exactly what happened there, and it is what should be happening here when it comes to violating municipal ordinances about noise levels and urinating in public; and state laws about the number of persons permitted to reside in single residences.It is not only a matter of addressing infractions, but of supporting behavior standards consistent with this culture’s traditions. We are too passive about protecting the kind of public life we value. Stores and family restaurants could put up bilingual signs reminding parents to keep an eye on their children and an ear on the noise volume.I stopped driving several years ago because it was unnerving to navigate a car through unsupervised toddlers playing in the streets of the park in which I live. A neighbor planned to move when her son got his driver’s license. We felt helpless. Now we have a manager who has posted, and is enforcing, rules about child supervision and other pertinent matters. The result is a safer environment for the children, and one in which the prevailing standards of behavior reflect those of typical U.S. communities.Judith KingGlenwood Springs