Gray days for Jay
Whats probably even more annoying than Sue Grays endless self-congratulatory mantra of how much she weeps for Iraq (today, anyway tomorrow she could be crying over the release of a half-million people from gulags in North Korea) is watching her try to wax poetic despair in lieu of defending her proposition that the Baathists are preferable to Bush: Ohhhhhh, as a recent convert to those who have compassion for humanity, I can only hope that Iraqis will learn to live without electricity and clean water and decide its not so bad being terrorized by an oil corporatist colonial America who has yet to awaken from its egoistic slumber. With heavy heart, I can only hope. I can only hope. Huh? The best advice I can give is this: If you cant keep up with the discussion, blame it on the altitude and dont join in at all.Jay PateSnowmass VillageWilderness and recreation hurt by Fee DemoDear Editor:Kudos to Pitkin County for taking a stand against the U.S. Forest Services Fee Demo program.You might expect the county to support the program, since user fees help pay for summertime bus service to the Maroon Bells, as well as maintenance of tourist facilities at Maroon Lake. But the drawbacks of this pay to play funding system far outweigh its meager benefits.In effect, Washington is starving the Forest Service of funding and then telling it to make up the difference by collecting user fees. This is a slippery slope that will inexorably lead to the commercialization, privatization and commoditization of our public lands to the serious detriment of the public and of the ecological health of the lands themselves.Public lands belong to everyone. The Forest Service cant justify charging us to use our own undeveloped lands its own surveys show this so, if it is under pressure to raise money through fees, it will have a strong incentive to develop its lands with otherwise unnecessary facilities and activities that it can charge for. And with their budgets tied to fee income, local districts will be motivated to produce more recreation product to earn more fees. Short-term revenue decisions will eclipse long-term management of the forest. Next stop: Disneyland.Sound unlikely? The fee demonstration program was created by legislation drafted by an organization called the American Recreation Coalition, whose members include snowmobile and RV manufacturers, hotel and motel associations, and yes, the Walt Disney Company. These companies see big profit potential in public lands.User fees dont even solve the Forest Services financial problems, and they may make them worse. The more facilities the agency builds, the more reliant it becomes on fees to cover their maintenance. Thats exactly what were already seeing in the Maroon Valley. Having built its fancy Flintstone toilets at Maroon Lake, the Forest Service now claims it needs user fees to clean them.The Wilderness Workshop has long maintained that the solution to this problem is for Washington to fund the Forest Service adequately so that local managers dont have to hold a bake sale, in effect, to clean the toilets.Sloan ShoemakerWilderness WorkshopAspenLitter after litter, until deathDear Editor:A program on NBC revealed the connection between pet stores that sell puppies and the puppy mill industry. I am still haunted by thousands of dogs, many with health problems, living in unforgivable neglect and bred to exhaustion. Forget strengthening laws to regulate puppy mills. These laws are rarely enforced. I cannot imagine an animal held its entire life in a tiny cage, only to breed litter after litter, until death.Each year, puppy mills and pet stores are breeding and selling thousands of puppies for profit. At the same time, millions of dogs are killed in our nations shelters, costing us tax dollars. It doesnt take a genius to realize that something is very wrong! What is the solution? I will do my part by never buying an animal from a pet store. I will not support the greed of puppy mills and pet shops which contribute to so much animal suffering and death. My family and friends are also letting pet stores know that we will not shop there, as long as they sell puppies.Instead, I urge you, readers, to save a life and adopt your next dog from a local shelter, humane society or animal rescue group.Dasha BelkovaAspenAspen saves FoxyDear Editor: Just about the time when I really get fed up with the local bickering and petty politics in our little town, something happens to bring me back to remembering why I have lived here so long and how lucky we are to have such great neighbors. Friday, my beloved little dog, Foxy, got away from me and bolted out into the street and was hit by an unsuspecting motorist. My banker, Kurt Adam, sitting in his corner office at Community Banks was watching us and saw the accident happen and immediately dropped his phone and ran for the street. The motorist jumped from his car and all three of us gave chase, as the sweetest dog in the world took off up Mill Street in a terrified sprint. We could not begin to keep up with this little dog with a broken leg. The motorist left his car behind in the middle of the street to try and rescue the dog, and felt as bad as I did. Soon we had a call that the dog was at Zeles in the arms of another good neighbor known only as Amy, who had wrapped the frightened dog in her jacket and was comforting her. Another bystander by the name of Della offered to take my traumatized dog and me to the animal hospital, using her cell phone to alert the doctors we were coming. The motorist, Kurt, Amy, Della, and Zeles all interrupted what ever else was happening in their lives at that moment to help a neighbor and his little dog in distress. That just does not happen in Normal City, USA. Our sincere appreciation and heartfelt thanks go to all those who did what comes naturally by neighbors in our town. To the driver of the car that hit Foxy (know herein as the motorist), Foxy will make a complete recovery in time, thanks to the skillful hands of the Aspen Animal Hospital. I could see the hurt on your face, and I hope you will not in any way hold yourself responsible. It was not your fault. Thanks, good neighbors.Jack, Pam, and Foxy StanfordAspenTo advance civilizationTo the Editor:What a pleasant morning surprise, as I spent my very early morning hours at UCLAs Charles E. Young Research Library, to discover by accident, over the Internet, The Aspen Times article, I want my Emzy TV (Feb. 24) by reporter Steve Benson.It was always my intent when my public access television program, Caviar & Class, began with strong support from polo players and Beverly Hills that Aspen would acquire the caviar viewer taste. It just took longer than I planned, as Caviar & Class maintained its anchorage in Los Angeles and New York.I salute Aspen art star Patricia Bukur, Aspenite Oralia Lopez, GrassRoots Television, the Roaring Fork Polo Club, The Veazy Group and others in the Roaring Fork Valley who contributed in small and big ways to manifest Caviar & Class, now in Aspen, Los Angeles and New York.I earnestly look forward to great support from the Aspen and Roaring Fork Valley socioeconomic constituency in the elite business, financial, cultural, political, scholastic and government sectors to join the Caviar & Class vanguard as in September 1993, when then-Beverly Hills Mayor Maxwell Hillary Salter supported my efforts when I went before the televised Beverly Hills City Council asking Beverly Hills to join the polo crowd in my efforts.Copies of Caviar & Class are in Buckingham Palace and in possession of the King of Rwanda and the foreign governments of France, Germany, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.Aspen art star Patricia Bukur in the 21st century joined the stellar Caviar & Class vanguard as we in the Roaring Fork Valley move forward despite intrigue, treachery and treason from seen and unseen enemies.To watch a rerun of any Caviar & Class show reveals much more knowledge to the keen mind that was missed during a prior Caviar & Class watching. We awaken beyond the ordinary knowledge and perception to advance civilization.Thank you for providing the opportunity to join at least 2.1 million Los Angeles and New York television viewers to enjoy the chance to watch Caviar & Class simply by turning on your television at your home or office. May you continue in the “Caviar & Class” endeavor.Emzy Veazy III, Esq.Aspen and Beverly Hills
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