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Letters to the editor

Aspen Times writer

Fed up with UnitedDear Editor:I have attached a letter which I recently sent to United Airlines (reprinted below).I am convinced that one of the major reasons that tourism in Aspen is “not what it was” is the ability of people who want to visit Aspen is severely compromised by the problem of flying into Aspen. Since United Airlines is the only choice for most of them, I view United as “the problem.”I fly from and into Aspen 70 or more times per year, and I hear more complaints from passengers regarding this “leg” than on any other that I fly. I hear “I will never fly into Aspen again” on almost every flight I make. It is a true disaster. I don’t have much choice since I live here, but tourists have many choices and they are choosing other destinations than Aspen.I am certainly not an aviation expert, so I don’t have the answer, except to attract a carrier such as Frontier to Aspen. I invite your readers with more knowledge than I to contact me if I can be of any assistance in furthering such a goal.I believe that United Airlines will not exist as we know it within a year and therefore we (Aspen officials) should be planning for such a demise.James FrenchAspenDear United Customer Relations:I fly numerous times each year on business and pleasure. I spent $17,222 last year and $8,161 so far this year on United flights.Last year your service (both operationally and personnel) had vastly improved from previous years, when your treatment of passengers (at least in my experience) was arrogant and indifferent. Obviously the problems United experienced led to such improvement.This year my experience with United has deteriorated to pre-2003 levels. Your service from Denver/Aspen is nothing short of a disaster. Many of your airport personnel are rude and when there are problems (which always can occur to anyone) they outright lie.I could write in detail, but I have given up on United. Since I live in Aspen, I am somewhat of a captive customer, but I am now willing to drive to Denver – 3.5 hours or Grand Junction, 2.5 hours – so I do not have to fly United.Very truly yours,James FrenchCongress can help – reallyDear Editor:Last year, I decided that, since my 18-year-old dog had passed away, now I would like to go see some other countries. I applied for a passport at the post office. The post office staff helped me get my driver’s license, birth certificate and passport photo together and sent to the Seattle Passport Agency. The Seattle Passport Agency sent me a letter requesting more stuff to identify me with – I sent them more stuff, bills, old leases, and they sent me the same darn letter again. So I went to my hometown, out of state, and got my school transcripts with county seals on them and pictures of me on my high-school wrestling team and sent this and more documents to them. Again they sent me the same letter, requesting more stuff. At this point, it was seven months after I applied and still no passport, so I stopped sending more stuff and they finally returned everything except my birth certificate and my son’s original birth certificate (which they never did return).So I went to Congressman McInnis’ office and his assistant, Holly, was very helpful. I had to order another birth certificate. Then, with just the basics that I had originally submitted, a copy of my Colorado driver’s license, a birth certificate and a passport photo, Holly intervened on my behalf and voilà – about six weeks later I received my passport.I just wanted to say thanks to Congressman McInnis’ office. While the Seattle Passport Agency was treating me like a terrorist suspect, Holly treated me as a citizen and a member of the Colorado community. There is a lot more that a congressman offers to their community than just being in Washington, legislating, and this story is a testament to the great asset their office is to this community. I’ll bet there are a lot of ways this office helps our community. Robert WrightGlenwood SpringsSustainable AspenDear Editor:(This letter was originally addressed to Mayor Helen Klanderud.)We read with great interest of the city of Aspen’s proposal to supplement a greater portion of its energy supply with renewable wind energy. We strongly applaud and support this initiative.It is our desire for all of our offices (there are seven across the United States) to utilize 100 percent renewable energy within the next four years. We hope that in the near future, the city of Aspen will offer a program similar to the one offered by Holy Cross Energy, where customers are given the option of having 100 percent of their electricity provided by renewable energy sources. Please let us know if we can assist you in this effort. Design Workshop is currently in the process of registering our offices at 120 E. Main St. in hopes of becoming the second building in Aspen (after the Sundeck) to be LEED-certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. Having a renewable energy option available would assist us in attaining that goal.Again, we applaud your efforts to continue Aspen’s leadership in the area of sustainable design and development.Kurt Culbertsonchairman/CEODesign Workshop Inc.


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