I see Open Space Ranger John Armstrong is in the news again. I’ve been taking note of his exploits over the past few months, and his overbearing Nazi-like actions have finally reached the critical mass required to get me to write my first-ever letter to the editor.
John first came to my notice when he knocked on my door one evening last winter and said that he had received a report from some unnamed person that two dogs had been off leash on the trail and had ended up in my yard, and that if it happened again, there would be a ticket. People (and their dogs) go through my yard all the time to get to the bike path. The report was not that the dogs had caused any problems. John did not see them. And yet he thought it appropriate to threaten to ticket me. (How would you feel if the sheriff knocked on your door and said someone reported a driver with a car like yours speeding on Highway 82 and turning onto your street and that if it happened again, you’d be ticketed?)
Other news articles that have caught my attention include one about John flagging hundreds of dog poop piles on the Arbany Kittle Trail, and one article in which John was quoted as saying that if you are walking your pet on one of the few trails that do permit off-leash dogs, and Fido wanders behind you or stops to sniff something while you continue on, you are subject to ticketing because your dog is behind you, and not in your direct line of sight.
And now, how his heart must be atwitter! He has issued tickets and warrants may be served! (Aspen Daily News 5/29/09, “Dog scofflaws may be headed for deep doo-doo”) It is my understanding that John was asked to leave the Pitkin County sheriff’s department because he was not a good fit with the community. In a word, he was overzealous. But now he has found a home as an open space ranger, and by God, he WILL enforce the letter of the law without regard for common sense.
Could we please get rid of this Nazi?
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
It’s that time of year — hikers and mountain bikers must be aware that seasonal closures are taking effect on multiple trails in the area today for the winter for the benefit of wildlife.