Aspen Times Roses and Thorns (Jan. 11, 2019)

Thorns, or maybe more appropriately, lumps of coal, to some of the people on both sides of the Crystal Valley Trail issue who have gone overboard by turning debate into blood sport. Similar to what has been happening at the Aspen School District, the debate has reflected the national political spectacle recently where people are plain and simply intolerant of anyone who doesn’t share their views — and rushes to vilify them. Some trail opponents have taken to claiming that trail supporters aren’t true environmentalists — the “I’m-greener-than-you-are approach.” Some trail supporters have called their foes’ motives into question, accusing them of playing the wildlife card when their real concern is protecting their private property. There’s plenty of debate on the costs and benefits of the plan. Stick to those and don’t make it personal.

Roses to Steve and April Carver, business owners in Glenwood Springs, for stepping up to save the famed Redstone Castle from a slow demise. A recent screening of the Rocky Mountain PBS documentary “Jewel of Redstone” drove home the monumental task the Carvers took on when they purchased the castle and why their work is so important. They are offering public tours and operating the castle as a boutique hotel with 10 guest suites.

Thorns to Aspen resident Ivan Lustig for using internet aliases from the Pitkin County Library to disparage a downtown pet shop with false remarks. Lustig denies he is the troll identified in a lawsuit against him. But the evidence doesn’t lie — such as the phone number associated with one of Lustig’s online aliases is identical to Lustig’s home number. It will be interesting to see how the First Amendment plays out in this case. Opinions expressed online or anywhere else, generally speaking, should never be repressed. But stating something as fact when one knows it to be wrong, all in a bid to damage a business because it fired you, is poor form; and using fake profiles to achieve that mission is indisputably cowardly.