Protect our assets |

Protect our assets

Dear Editor:This letter refers to Aspen’s Referendum 2A. I urge you to vote yes and repeal the new visitor center. Parking more police cars in green space and taking trees down is not what will bring more guests. Please consider your thinking carefully.Buildings do not entice people to a place. What does is beautiful surroundings, clean air and respected residents, who in turn are sincerely friendly to visitors. The current obsession with more building has contributed hugely to the deterioration of our quality of life. One German body oil company claims that the amount of oxygen in our air has dropped from 31 percent to 19 percent. Industry, including construction has contributed vastly to this.I biked the other day from my apartment on the Rio Grande Trail to the Aspen Club. It is generally a 20-minute ride, taking it easy. I did a counting test in seconds. In midmorning, during the offseason, guess the longest amount of time in which I did not either breathe toxic fumes or hear loud noises of engines (traffic and construction)? The longest quiet time was 52 seconds on part of the Ute Trail. And during the club class, because a diesel truck stayed parked by the air intake exhausts, we breathed fumes.The current ACRA offices are in a good location. The windows need to be cleaned and the spaces need to be made nicer inside. Besides, the city has already gone back on its word in a nearby building, which was funded under the guise of being for the community. The top floor of the former youth center has already been turned into carpeted office space that is rarely used. Before, it was a lovely room with a wooden dance floor where classes, rehearsals and events delighted many people. It was a crime to carpet that floor and keep the community out. The only available dance room now is in very poor shape with little light or ventilation in the Red Brick.Please don’t contribute to another mistake. We need to care for each other, put money into humanistic cultural projects and stop destroying the very air we depend upon for our lives. I have lived here for more than 25 years and represented the unusual humanistic attributes of Aspen to thousands in international public events and broadcasts. Vote yes on 2A. The mountains and our natural climate are our singular most important physical assets. Let’s protect them.Sarah PlettsAspen