Tarred with the Durango brush; stretched to the max | AspenTimes.com

Tarred with the Durango brush; stretched to the max

Brent Gardner-Smith
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Our weekly review of a media database found Time magazine reporting that the West almost dried up and blew away this summer.

An article entitled “The New Dust Bowl” in the Sept. 16 issue focuses on Durango but may carry a lesson for Aspen.

“An old mining town that once thrived on smelting gold and silver ore, Durango today is following Aspen and Telluride in remodeling itself as a tourist destination and a home for wealthy retirees seeking an outdoor life.

“The small town is quaintly restored, but the economy is sagging. Fires and drought have put an end to much of the hiking and whitewater rafting, restaurants are laying off staff, and many tourists have canceled trips.”

The lesson? But for the grace of God, there goes Aspen.

@ATD Sub heds:Yoga-a-go-go

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@ATD body copy: Aspen’s decision to stretch out and embrace yoga at the elementary school has made news around the world.

The newspaper Wales carried this little item on Sept. 8 under the heading “Church and State.”

“Aspen Elementary School in Colorado has canceled a yoga class because parents fear it might bring religion into the classroom.

“Some mothers and fathers said the chanting that accompanies some yoga techniques created a constitutional issue over the separation of church and state.”

The other local story that made it around the world this week was about the heist of the Johnny McGuire’s pickle, which was found on the high school roof. Given that, we’re waiting for a story somewhere about how Aspen students are now worshiping big green pickles at school.

@ATD Sub heds: Seeking Goldmember, finding Aspen

@ATD body copy: The Canadian press has picked up the story about the Toronto man who was searching online for a copy of the Austin Powers movie “Goldmember” and was startled to find himself inside the city of Aspen employee computer system.

“Network administrator Bernie Jungkind had installed the Kazaa peer-to-peer program on to his computer the day before, unintentionally allowing other users like [James] Pocock to bypass the Aspen system’s fire wall and access confidential information,” reported the Vancouver Sun on Sept. 7.

“Pocock immediately sent an e-mail to Jungkind, as well as the mayor, police chief and others, informing them of the details he had been able to access, which included login names and passwords of the Aspen police department.”

And another Canadian paper, The Guelph (Ontario) Mercury, noted on the same story that “Officials would not say what disciplinary action Jungkind might face but said he will remain in his current position.”

Might we suggest making him watch “Goldmember?” And what position is he currently in?

@ATD Sub heds: Insufferable outside in Aspen

@ATD body copy: Michael C. Lewis hit one off the tee straight at Aspen on Sept. 5 in a report entitled “Golf Fans Winners in Augusta Flap.”

“Now, why any woman would want to join a bunch of chubby old white guys to sprinkle grass in the air and talk about missed putts all day remains a mystery,” Lewis wrote.

“You ever hang out with serious golfers, let alone serious golfers who are filthy rich? You won’t find a more insufferable group outside of the ski lodge in Aspen. I always figured women had more sense than that.”

Well, let’s ask the ones outside the ski lodge …

[Brent Gardner-Smith’s e-mail address is bgs@aspentimes.com]