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Aspen Times Roses and Thorns

A rose goes to Michael Bloomberg for showing that while you can buy an election in Pitkin County, it won’t get you a desk at the White House but maybe a seat at the White House Tavern.

The multi-billionaire and now ex-presidential candidate drew 1,434 votes, good enough for a 30% showing and barely tops among Democratic hopefuls on the county ballot aiming to dethrone President Trump in the November election. Bernie Sanders trailed Bloomberg by just four votes in Pitkin County, and Joe Biden lagged by 136 votes.

After he announced he would seek the Democratic nomination, Bloomberg instantly became the flavor of the day in the historically sized Democratic field of candidates. Yet the bloom, so to speak, came off the rose following his abysmal debate performances and the flap over his stop-and-frisk measures while mayor of New York.

Yet nearly 1 in 3 voters in Pitkin County, at least on the days leading up to Super Tuesday and on the day itself, were willing to overlook his nondisclosure agreements with former female employees his racist policies when he was the mayor of New York, and his lack of clear thinking on the debate stage.

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Let’s hope the local electorate gets it right when it really counts — in the November elections.

Roses to Aspen Skiing Co. and its sister organization Alterra Mountain Co. for realizing there was a problem with overcrowding on the slopes of the Aspen and Snowmass ski areas on many weekends during the heart of the season, in part due to Ikon Pass use.

Thorns to Skico and Alterra for the selected solution. They jacked up the price of the Ikon Base Pass by $150 for skiers and snowboarders who want to continue to ski Aspen-Snowmass and Jackson Hole up to five times per season. Instead, there should be reduced access to the slopes to three days collectively at Aspen-Snowmass’ four ski areas and three days to Jackson Hole under the regular price. By spiking the price they are sending a message that overcrowding is acceptable, as long as you pay the price.

Roses to a 50-year-old gentleman from Jackson who made the trip down for the Power of Four skimo race last weekend, then hung around to ski (most likely on an Ikon Pass.) We didn’t catch his name but ran into him Wednesday morning skinning up Tiehack. While stripping off skins at the top of the West Buttermilk lift, the guy reported he loved his visit and the competition. He said he feared before the Power of Four that he might come in last. Lo and behold, he came in dead last. He didn’t care. He loved the experienced. That’s the spirit! For us mere mortals, it’s not about win, place or draw, it’s about showing up.

A thorn goes to the real estate companies that place their open house signs in the right-of-way on sidewalks. They are starting to get pretty brazen about it. On a recent morning, a woman placed two signs at the corner of Cooper Avenue and Orignal on the City Market side as a pedestrian was approaching. She put both signs right smack dab in the middle of the curb cut where people walk onto the sidewalk. It’s hard enough to walk around town on the icy roads without the selling-out Aspen signs blocking you. Where does the sense of entitlement end?

A thorn goes to Aspen City Councilman Skippy Mesirow and his Instagram post over the weekend, complaining that he had to read hundreds of pages of memorandums in advance of Monday and Tuesday’s work sessions while it was so beautiful out and he had a ticket to Telluride. “I hope you guys are appreciating us,” he wrote. It’s pretty hard to do that when he’s guilting his constituents about the work he signed up to do as part of his civic responsibility as an elected official.


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