Why not in our backyard? | AspenTimes.com

Why not in our backyard?

Dear Editor:

I was disappointed that Roger Marolt, a longtime local whose roots go back to early Aspen, would not appreciate Aspen’s hydroelectric heritage (“A monument to construction, a detriment to rivers,” Opinion, Oct. 12, The Aspen Times).

Roger’s dad, Max, worked with me on “the flume gang” when we were “young bucks” in high school. The flumes supplied water to the hydroelectric plant on Castle Creek. Our jobs were part time and only in the summer, but did we ever have fun working on the wood flumes, supplying water to the power plant.

Max went on to become famous, as an international ski racer, while I spent time as the plant operator at the old Castle Creek Power House. Both of us have a long family history in Aspen. Roger continues his family’s tradition in skiing and community involvement. I am proud to call him a friend, and both of us, as longtime Aspenites, want to protect our Aspen streams. However, I am disappointed that Roger does not recognize the benefits of the clean and renewable energy that will be generated by the restoration of the Castle Creek Power Plant.

Roger, why would you not want Aspen to be a leader in clean energy? You mention solar in Death Valley and wind in Denmark. But no hydropower in Colorado! Why not? Why not in our backyard?

Should the grid fail, how do you plan to get the power from West Texas? Be it a weather event or an act of man, the cord to the grid can be pulled. So Roger, keep your flashlight handy!

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You infer that clean hydro will be detrimental to our streams. This is an assertion that is without any basis in fact or historic documentation. Roger, having operated the Castle Creek Power Plant, I can assure you that we did not deplete the streams and your dad and I caught some very big trout in both the Thomas Reservoir and the “tail race”

discharge of the Castle Creek Power Plant.

As you know, Roger, the Aspen Skiing Co. has made lots of snow with water diverted from both Castle and Maroon creeks over these many years. A very nice amenity for our Aspen skiers and visitors, especially in a poor snow year! So, Roger This! – “Think globally and act locally!” and vote “yes” on 2C !

Jim Markalunas

Aspen