Seeking true sustainability
Dear Editor:The Core Beliefs Community Meetings are today, July 19. Unresolved questions come to mind about the process – what is meant by “absolutely open to anyone” as the public notice states? Who can attend and possibly influence Aspen’s future? Full- and part-time Aspenities, Pitkin County voters, valleywide visitors? Seems like we’re adding layers of complexity to an already challenging process. As I read through notes from these meetings (aspenpitkin.org) I noticed one Carbondale resident gave input. Should we all go to Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, or New York and vote our opinions where they might instantly affect policy or the quality of life for those who live there full time?Another loose sail has proved to be the note-taking of the June meetings. Had they audiotaped, which was suggested, there would be a record for detail and accuracy, leaving no doubt what was said.My own comments had several funny mistakes. When asked how construction impacts quality of life, I stated “one project in my neighborhood is carrying over 500 truck loads of dirt to the landfill (1000 round trips). The transcript stated, “500 POUNDS of dirt are being moved.” That’s a vegetable garden. I also said the building frenzy, and people’s appetite for more, bigger, better buildings that push up and out for maximum profitability and comfort eventually smothers our town, planet and natural resources. I said this behavior is “piggy.” It was transcribed as “picky.” Picky pigs?I can’t help but feel these meetings are designed to get input from citizens, make everyone feel validated, though an end game is already in place. Government is a big business, and a big developer. Look at the master plan. A good game of monopoly is being played at City Hall with lots of money in the bank.Council, with staff guidance, bit by bit introduced infill. They threw our zoning codes out the window, bringing waves of variances and amendments. Are we gaining moderate priced lodge beds in town with the new approved projects? Can we experience any quiet, or have a conversation on Main Street? Where are the beautiful historic yards to go with the historic homes? A nice, large, well cared for yard meant as much or more than the house at one time. There are two sayings that come to mind: Take care of your own backyard first, and don’t poop in your nest.Aspen is not a child anymore, but an adult who needs to be careful what it eats. Overindulgence brings obesity and even death. The dictionary says to sustain is to keep in existence; to maintain, to preserve or retain. Europe is much older than we are, and they maintain better quality of life, history, scale with a “less is more” mentality. It will be interesting to see what Wednesday’s questions are. If these meetings don’t reflect the majority of Aspen residents’ vision we should begin again. We can elect people who will vote for honest sustainability.Colleen Collins BurrowsAspen
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Three longtime residents of the lower Roaring Fork Valley talk about the sinking feeling that built Monday and Tuesday as the Grizzly Creek Fire grew. They are hoping the threat to their neighborhoods has passed.