Aspen Times Roses and Thorns |

Aspen Times Roses and Thorns

• Roses go to the Aspen Police Department for introducing a wildlife harassment ordinance and City Council for approving it and upping the fines on people who think it’s cute to chase bears around town trying to get a selfie.

Instead of the recommended $100, $250 and $500 fine structure, council agreed this week to match what the penalties are for not securing trash properly. For the first offense, it’s $250, the second is $500 and the third is $999, along with an appearance in municipal court.

We were saddened that it has come to this, the impetus of which came last fall when a group of gawkers surrounded a bear and her cubs in a tree on the Hyman Avenue mall for days. Despite warnings and pleas from APD’s community resource officers to stay away, a woman and her child chased the bears when they came down and they got separated.

And thorns to those who prompt new laws because of their ignorant behavior.

• Roses to Dick Merritt and Dan Glidden, with a strong supporting cast, for organizing the Memorial Day Observance for the past three decades. The event has grown from one that attracted a handful of veterans to one that had widespread support from between 150 and 200 people Monday. It was encouraging to see people of all ages attending the event.

• A thorn goes to the guy at the Snowmass Club fitness center yelling into his phone on what one only can presume to be a business call while he was walking uphill on the treadmill. The only thing less enjoyable than sweating on a Stairmaster for 30 minutes is listening to a stranger’s phone conversation at the same time.

• Roses to Manny Diaz and his wife, Mod, the entrepreneurs who opened Mod Thai House in Basalt. They are operating in the small space that was home for several years to Hot Momma’s (which moved to a larger space in the adjacent Midland Mall). We had our first chance to try lunch at Mod’s the other day and thought it was money well spent.

• Thorns to the well-dressed man who stuffed into a napkin enough goodies from Paradise Bakery’s sample plate to amount to a box of items. We’re all for a sample or two, but c’mon, dude.

• Thorns go the Pitkin County Library because of the sprinklers in the front of the building that are watering the sidewalk.

The city of Aspen is under stage one water restrictions, which asks residents to curb use by 10 percent. It’s mandatory for the municipal government’s public properties.
We are heading into a serious drought season, so every ounce of water that can be conserved ought to be. Government needs to lead by example.

• Aspen High School graduating senior Hannah Small deserves a rose for helping The Aspen Times’ photographer identify students in photos taken for the paper all year. As she leaves for college this fall she will be missed, but we are thankful she was able to help our staff all year to enhance our captions on deadline.

Have a rose or a thorn? Send them to