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¿Tu no hablas Espanol?

Aspen Times writer

Dear Editor:

Your article of April 6 on Bariloche brought a cynical smile to my face. The article states that Alberto Gabriel Icare, the mayor of Bariloche, sent a letter to Mayor Klanderud in Spanish.

As an Argentinean, what language should he have written in? The article went on to say that city officials here in Aspen “have been working on the translation.” Working on the translation?! Spanish is the most taught language in the Aspen middle and high schools. The teachers, one would think, are fluent. CMC offers a range of courses in Spanish. The teachers there, too, should be fluent Spanish speakers. The Spanish speaking population of the valley is considerable.

From all these choices, can the city not find qualified translators to translate a simple letter rapidly? Give me a break: working on the translation! As a translator myself, (French/English) I know that the translation of a letter is no difficult matter and offers no great challenge. Is this incident, once again, merely symbolic of the state of language teaching and learning in this country?

Douglas Rintell

Carbondale

Here we go again

Dear Editor:

Here we go again. April 6 and Wagner Park is closed to people and pets.

I’ll bet the park will again be closed during the pleasant spring months as the city of Aspen bends over for the Food and Wine Fest in June. Two months of park preparation for four days of hobnobbing on green grass that destroys the surface for everyone else for the entire summer. We need accountability from Food and Wine to restore the park post haste after they tear it up in June.

Mike Trecker

Aspen

Because of Kids First …

Dear Editor:

My wife and I are thankful every day that we get to live and work in the Roaring Fork Valley. Ever-mounting obstacles make it increasingly difficult to have a career and a family here. Thankfully, past decisions by Aspen voters have shown that this environment values young, working families that help it stay vibrant and authentic.

It’s unfortunate, Mr. Marolt, that you believe your kids didn’t benefit from the childcare tax (“Roger This,” Aspen Times, April 2). But maybe you should ask the families of the 40 infants, toddlers and preschoolers at Roaring Fork Kids if Kids First and the tax dollars that fund them have done “nothing.”

Because of Kids First, my wife and I can keep our jobs. Because of Kids First, I feel secure and confident in the daycare my two young kids attend. Because of Kids First, our friends were able to have quality daycare despite having dramatically reduced wages due to local layoffs. Because of Kids First, this community is special.

I understand your point about protecting those dollars from erroneous use. Your understanding of what those tax dollars have delivered, however, is surprisingly misguided.

Tim Braun

El Jebel

Democratic caucus April 13

Dear Editor:

The Pitkin County caucuses are scheduled for Tuesday, April 13.

Usually, a caucus location is organized for each precinct in the county, and some of those in town are well-attended, while those in the outlying areas are not.

Since this is a particularly important and interesting election year with the presidential race, the Senate race, with a primary in Colorado, and three well-qualified Democrats

running in the congressional primary, we n see Letters on page A12

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decided to schedule something special.

All the precinct caucuses will meet at the same location: Together at the Common House, 701 Independence Ave., in Aspen. A potluck dinner will be held at 6 p.m., followed by voting at 7.

Voters must qualify and sign in to vote, as in all elections, and state law requires the vote to start at 7:00. Participants will divide into precincts and begin voting promptly at 7:00.

For those wishing to run for delegate to the Democratic National Convention, offer issues for the platform, vote in the primary election and other matters, you must attend your caucus. Join us for good food and to discuss what is going on politically around the state and the country. We look forward to seeing you there.

For more information, call Camilla Auger at 242-366-0244, evenings East Coast time, or Shawn Ufer at 379-9794.

Camilla Auger

chair, Pitkin County Democratic Party

Here’s to re-defeating Bush

Dear Editor:

Like rats jumping off a sinking ship, the number of prominent Bush-bashers grows daily. Richard Clarke (former counter-terror chief) reminds us, not only has Boy-Bush’s post-9/11 strategy (namely the Iraq fiasco) been an unmitigated disaster, his pre-9/11 policies were just as dangerously inept.

As recent testimony (9/11 commission) indicates, the bright-lights of this administration (Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld) adhered to the Cold War paradigm of danger fostered and originating solely from nation-states, and unfortunately, looked away from a globalized liquid al-Qaida (a non-state player). Their irrational obsession with Iraq obviously undercut any effort on the larger and more pressing concern of 21st-century terror.

Methinks any war started on a lie (WMD or Gulf of Tonkin) is a bad war. Simply, our foreign policy should be, if you have to lie, it’s not worth our blood and treasure (600 U.S. dead and 18,000 med/evacs in Iraq).

Unfortunately, Uncurious George, while an able politician, just isn’t very smart. Dubya said, following 9/11, he wanted to do something “big.” Well, certainly his screw-up in Iraq will go down as the biggest foreign policy mistake in our history.

As democracy triumphed over bad policy in Spain, so to will ours over this Texas fraud.

Here’s to re-defeating Bush. See ya on the ridge.

Ben Newell

Aspen

Only a matter of time

Dear Editor:

While everyone else appears to have given up trying to prove me wrong, Jay Pate continues his frantic attempt to invalidate my points by assassinating my character. Pate’s latest accusation is that my “sin is … a callous indifference evidenced by, among other things, a sudden interest in the plight of Iraqis precisely at the point of Hussein’s demise.”

His assumption that I am a recent convert to activism is correct. Until two-and-a-half years ago, I was guilty of the attitude that what went on outside of the United States didn’t concern me. Like most Americans, I was ignorant of the suffering of the Iraqi people under the economic sanctions and Saddam’s totalitarian regime. Nor did I know anything about U.S. foreign policy and its effects on the lives of people the world over.

Then came 9/11 and I wondered what the United States had done to merit that horrendous attack, so I immediately set about finding out what my country had been up to. My research led me to the conclusion that U.S. foreign policies had created a lot of anger and hatred, particularly in Arab lands, where our support of Israel and brutal regimes such as that of Saddam Hussein, the Shah of Iran, and even the Taliban had contributed to the suffering of countless Middle East civilians. It turns out that 9/11 was a direct result of U.S. meddling in the Middle East.

When the Bush administration started talking about “pre-emptively” attacking Iraq, I saw it as another tremendous policy blunder that would bring more terror raining down on American soil. My initial motivation in becoming a peace activist was not to save Iraq from attack by the United States, but to prevent another terrorist attack on America.

As events in Israel/Palestine have shown, using force against terrorism is futile and only leads to more violence. It’s far preferable to eliminate terrorism by changing dangerous policies that lead to hatred and anger, than to try to combat it with bullets and missiles.

Jay’s objection to my assertion that “war is not the answer” takes the form of the old “what about Hitler” cliche. First of all, killing people and blowing things up are an asinine way of resolving conflict, even when faced with so-called “undeterrables.” Second, as I’ve already shown, in the case of Iraq, George Bush was behaving more like Hitler than Hussein. Perhaps if the German citizens had been more aware of the policies and practices of their government, they would have protested Hitler’s pre-emptive war doctrine and prevented World War II. Anyway, the point is moot, because we will never know whether Hitler or Hussein could have been deterred by non-violent means.

The way I see it, the war on Iraq accomplished nothing but creating more terror and violence in the world. It’s only a matter of time before the United States experiences another terrorist attack. With the destructive invasion and brutal occupation of Iraq, the Bush administration virtually guaranteed it.

Sue Gray

Carbondale

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Lucky to have AVH

Dear Editor:

(This letter was originally addressed to Orthopaedic Associates.)

On Feb. 24, 2004, I was skiing at Buttermilk when I fell and injured my leg. I was immediately transferred to Aspen Valley Hospital, where it was discovered that I broke both my tibia and fibula in numerous places.

As I was going through the process of the emergency room, X-rays and CAT scans, the one thing I kept hearing was how lucky I was that Dr. Mark Purnell was the surgeon on duty that evening, and that he was the best orthopedic surgeon at the hospital.

Surgery took three hours, and I was a patient at Aspen Valley Hospital for three days. I am now five weeks into recovery, and both my doctor in Watsonville and my physical therapist agree that the reason I am doing so well is that I truly had a great surgeon and incredible care from the hospital.

I would like to thank Dr. Purnell and Dr. Hamby for everything that they did for me. I know this injury will take time to heal, but without these wonderful doctors, it would take much longer.

I would also like to thank the staff, especially my nurses at Aspen Valley Hospital – they were absolutely wonderful under the circumstances.

I felt that it was important for me to take the time to write this letter, in the hope that it will remind the local residents just how fortunate they are to have this type of facility and personnel available to them.

Patricia Kulich

Watsonville, Calif.


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