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Plenty of guilt to go around

Aspen Times writer

Dear Editor:

Mayor Klanderud and her citizen group will hopefully be thoughtful in their deliberations on our relationship with Bariloche.

A few points to consider:

– The key question is the character of Bariloche today – not more than half a century ago. Is this a democratic city that rejects the appalling and criminal behavior of its own citizens and those of other nations in the past?

– If we are to single out Bariloche for its past behavior, then what about Chamonix? Can we be certain that no members of the Mallise (the French Gestapo in Vichy, France, that rounded up and murdered Jews) were welcomed there?

– Or Garmisch – can we be certain that no Nazis were ever accepted or harbored in this German city?

– Or Davos – are we confident that no Swiss bankers there were ever involved in the expropriation of Jewish assets?

– Or Shimukappu – is it certain that no perpetrators of the Bataan Death March or the Rape of Nanking ever found welcome in this Japanese city?

It seems the best course in the Sister Cities program is to use the relationship to advance and foster our own ideals of democracy and tolerance. That is hardly accomplished by breaking off relationships based on long past behavior – and if we are to use that standard then we will likely find no Sister Cities at all, since there is plenty of historical guilt to go around.

James DeFrancia

Aspen

Wait for a better idea

Dear Editor:

I think the new Aspen Visitor Center should be at the base of Buttermilk because Buttermilk should be the location of new transit hub for Aspen.

The new transit hub should include (at least) a parking facility and gondola connections to mountains. This is a natural location for a transit center, as this is where four lanes necks down to two, and it is a central location in the community and the ski and trail network. What a great place for visitors/recreators to access the forest.

I am aware that many visitors come to Aspen from the east. I think the Wheeler is OK for that and in-town stragglers.

Buttermilk would also be great location for the U.S. Forest Service visitor center (would a shared center make sense?). Save the money, you’ll want it later for a better idea.

Scott Writer

Old Snowmass

Letter to S’mass council

Dear Editor:

Preparatory to submitting this letter, I called the town clerk’s office for the proper procedure. I was told by a woman in the office that my letter had to be approved by the town manager before it could be released to the individual council members.

As a former council member, I never experienced such a procedure. In my mind, this is an egregious attempt to screen what council members should or should not be entitled to see and read.

Before any preliminary Base Village approvals, I deem it critically important that the village public has an opportunity to see – on site – physical evidence of the projected heights of all buildings, the footprint corners, as the buildings relate to one another, and the auto and pedestrian traffic patterns as they relate internally, and to the rest of the village as a whole.

This, of course, is because the proposed size, heights and impacts are so much larger than our village has ever before experienced. Story poles, balloons or cranes, and actual footprints can help us visualize the magnitude of those impacts.

Within the next month, this should be in place, and times should be set up when staff members are on hand to explain to those interested, as well as possible, the physical nature of the project.

Phil Desmond

Snowmass Village

A little perspective

Dear Editor:

In response to a so-called grotesque cartoon or “use better judgment” letters from April 5 about the cartoon that was shown on March 23.

Even though I did not see the cartoon, I have only been alive for 20 years, and I’ve lived in Aspen for 17 years on and off, and as long as I can remember, the cartoon that appears in The Aspen Times has always has good meaning and reason. It may not have always put a smile on everyone’s faces, but it sure gives you a little perspective on life (be it good or bad).

And so, for those few that complain or disagree, I can only laugh, because if they don’t see or get the truth through the laughter of a cartoon, then they’ll most likely never get it. “The truth hurts whether you hide from it or you just can’t accept it. …”

Michael Lilledal

Snowmass Village

Nordic system a plus for resort

(This letter was originally addressed to local elected officials.)

Dear Editor:

The Aspen Cross Country Center at the Aspen Golf Course has just completed its 20th year of operation. As a result, we have been in a unique position to observe the growth of cross-country ski enthusiasm in our community. Aspen/Snowmass would simply be a different, lesser experience without the intergovernmental agreement that gives life to our unique trail system.

For example, use at the Aspen Golf Course continues to grow with an average of over 100 skiers per day on weekdays and often considerably more on weekends. Throughout the system, people ski for exercise, beauty, to get ready for a 10th Mountain Hut trip, to compete and so much more.

The high school area continues to be used by elementary school classes, after school AVSC classes, the very successful AVSC Nordic team and many Meadowood residents. Because of the new pedestrian bridges, skiers are linking the high school, Marolt, Moore and Aspen Golf Course more than ever.

There is no question that in the past few years, the Snowmass end of the system has been struggling. Unfortunately, but necessarily, trails were limited due to the reconfiguring of the Snowmass Club golf course. With a great deal of work between the Snowmass Club, The Ute Mountaineer, The Aspen Snowmass Nordic Council and Aspen trails coordinator Austin Weiss, a revitalized system of trails has been completed and the result this winter was a large upswing in skier numbers.

Snowmass offers a significant opportunity for growth in visiting skiers because of their strengths in the family market. Our facility experienced solid numbers both from The Snowmass Club and lodge referrals this year. As a consequence, we are convinced that Snowmass has strong market potential for cross-country skiers; we intend to keep our presence there strong.

The reworking of the Snowmass trails and the construction of the pedestrian bridge from Iselin Park to Tiehack has confirmed the Owl Creek Trail’s reputation as one of the very best point-to-point cross-country trails in the country. In fact, I believe that our trail system is in the best condition in its history because of the dedication to quality that you and your staffs have shown. The Ute attempts to match this quality in our own programs to continue what we feel is a legacy of excellence in theAspen/Snowmass experience.

Our staff at both centers frequently hears that the opportunity to enjoy cross-country skiing as part of a ski vacation tipped the scales in favor of the Aspen/Snowmass area for many families. It is clear that our Nordic system is an essential piece in the mosaic of activities that our communities offer in order to compete with other winter vacation options. The trails system is not just a great amenity for locals and visitors; we believe it pays its way by bringing people to the valley.n see Letters on page A13

n continued from page A11

I have tried to articulate some of the many things that evidence cross-country skiing is alive and well in Aspen/Snowmass with more public support than ever. We hope that this underscores the need for your continued support in keeping this unique resource available for residents and visitors alike. Thank you for all that you have done to make the Aspen/Snowmass Nordic System what it is today.

Bob Wade

Ute Mountaineer

When we don’t see the truth …

Dear Editor:

I find it strange that when I study the history of cultural conflicts and wars, I eventually find the truths not talked about – the ones hidden in plain view. What’s more disturbing is that after the truths come out, the people remain mute.

If you look back at our country’s armed conflicts, you always find: major mistakes made by our leaders, the disregard for human life, private companies involved in making immoral military decisions and, financially, supporting “legal murder.” And, you always find, 30 or 40 years later, decrepit old men (past leaders) on their death beds trying to “set the record straight” while asking us for forgiveness.

I remember being taught that Hitler was a silly, failed artist, a misfit, a loner, who got caught up in the occult and lucky in politics. What was always “hidden in plain view” and not discussed was that private companies like Ford, elite bankers, and pharmaceutical companies rallied behind and financed Hitler before his rise to fame and during his dictatorship.

I have researched some easily found facts, such as: Our and Allied bombers were ordered not to bomb factories in Germany run by Ford even though they were building motors for German tanks; even Bush’s grandfather was caught selling steel and supplies to Hitler during the war; the same pharmaceutical companies which financially backed Hitler used Jews and POWs as slave labor and as guinea pigs for their drug research; and that the bankers that were involved in pre-World War II planning scooped up all the “war winnings” by producing the war machine and by being at the right place and time when the war bubble burst (reconstruction).

It is amazing to find out that the elite, super-powerful men and their families design problems and chaos, steal the loot, take freedom away from people and still come out looking like our savior to the masses.

When people won’t see the truth hidden in plain sight, chaos and evil will be masked as decency and normalcy.

Cliff Hughes

Glenwood Springs

Bush in over his head

Dear Editor:

Can we survive the next eight months of the “failed Bush administration” without the loss of 600 additional young Americans (or more), the wrecking of our economy and the total loss of world prestige?

Our weak, lightweight, selected president seems to have the worst mind-set of LBJ and Tricky Dickie. He is totally in over his head and incompetent as president, this bloody George.

There is not time to impeach and convict this man (if he is a real man!). We must, we have to, pray that our America is strong enough to survive until we can completely “clean his clock” and send him back to cut brush in Texas!

Taylor Gamblin

Aspen

Thanks, voters

Dear Editor:

At this time I would like to thank the Basalt voters. Thank you to all my family, friends and neighbors who gave me encouragement and support during my campaign. The results of this election prove that community, neighbors, friends and family are important. Basalt is about people working together for the good of the whole.

In order to represent you, it is important to share your ideas and concerns with me, fellow councilors, or town staff. Communication is essential to the success of any representative in government. Thank you for the opportunity to build upon improvements and projects which have been started and expand on the successes that make Basalt the best place to live.

Leroy Duroux

Basalt

Thanks for campaign support

Dear Editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the many supporters of my campaign for Carbondale trustee.

A huge thank you to all who cast a vote for me. Thank you to all who shared encouraging words. It was a true pleasure to talk with so many members of the community. I strongly encourage continued citizen participation and involvement.

I would also like to thank my campaign treasurer and great friend, Susan Keenan. Thank you to all the supporters who walked the neighborhoods with me distributing door n see Letters on page A14n continued from page A13hangers and pamphlets, Kelly Blounts, Tammy Rascon, Susan Keenan, Cheryl Hasselbring, Bruce Hasselbring, Chris Rowberry, Andriane Rowberry, Toni Cerise, Eric Gross and Andy Montoya.

Congratulations to the returning member and four new members of the board of trustees. Carbondale has some hard decisions to make in the near future, and I wish you all good will and the ability to work together for the good of all in the community.

Lorey Esquibel

Carbondale

Hats off to volunteers

Dear Editor:

I wanted to give a special thanks to the incredible volunteers in the seventh annual Elk Mountain Grand Traverse.

For those of us who got to experience it first-hand, the logistics involved in putting on this event are nothing short of amazing. Without the help of the hearty volunteers willing to subject themselves to high-alpine conditions during the wee hours of the night, this event wouldn’t be possible. Your outright enthusiasm in ensuring our safety and success served as an inspiration to us all. In many respects, your efforts matched those of the participants.

I’m sure I speak for all of us when I give my heartfelt thanks to those of you who made this amazing experience a reality!

Deb Nelson

Summit County

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Letters to the Editor should be mailed or hand-delivered to The Aspen Times, 310 E. Main St., Aspen, CO 81611. Or they may be e-mailed to mail@aspentimes.com. All persons e-mailing letters should note in the subject box “Letter to the Editor” so it is easily distinguishable from the junk mail we receive.

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