Ex-‘political antagonist’ a lot of help at school | AspenTimes.com

Ex-‘political antagonist’ a lot of help at school

David Schoenberg directs traffic Friday at Basalt Elementary School. (Charlie Agar/The Aspen Times)

Longtime local David Schoenberg has stepped into the Basalt Elementary School parking lot to help assuage the chaos in the 10 minutes before the first bell.Because the sidewalks in front of the school were ripped out a few months back, kids had to walk on the opposite side of the street from the school and cross at a dangerous bottleneck.”It’s a zoo,” Schoenberg said Friday while waving cars past. “There are too many vehicles pulling in within a period of about 10 minutes.”

Schoenberg noticed the dangerous situation after bringing his 9-year-old son, Noah, to school. And he’s been out in front of the school every morning since school started. Schoenberg had an accident and broke his neck five years ago. A one-time “political antagonist” in Aspen, he admits having mellowed since the accident and said he is happy just being of service in Basalt and has taken his hat out of the political ring.”I used to be an egomaniac, and now I’m just a father.”

The job has been an important part of his physical rehabilitation.”He cares a lot about his son and other people’s kids,” said Juan Carbajal, a community safety officer with the Basalt police.Most days, Carbajal directs traffic along Two Rivers Road with Dave Hoeper, and he said Schoenberg is doing a great job.”It’s just been a wonderful support for our school,” said principal Suzanne Wheeler-Del Piccolo. “He saw a problem, and he began working with us as part of our team to keep students safe.”

Wheeler-Del Piccolo called Schoenberg “amazingly committed” and said many of the school’s parents have praised his work.When construction is complete and there is an additional exit, the traffic during the busy half-hour of school drop-off time will improve, she said. But Schoenberg’s efforts have been vital to making the best of a tough situation.”It’s so much safer now,” Wheeler-Del Piccolo said. “His support has been outstanding.”This is the first in an occasional series featuring Roaring Fork citizens doing selfless service for the community. If you spot someone doing something good, contact Charles Agar at cagar@aspentimes.com. or 429-9144.

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