Bears, bullets and busts
Aspen, CO ColoradoThe actions of a Pitkin County sheriffs deputy during a high-speed chase and Aspens bears were but two of the topics that gave online readers of The Aspen Times plenty of fodder for comment.In fact, plenty of last weeks news generated online comment, including the hot-button topic of illegal immigration.Give the guy a medalDeputy Brad Gibson, suspended for a week after he fired off a rifle shot at the tire of a stolen pickup truck while police were engaged in a lengthy chase, garnered plenty of support for his action among readers. The man ultimately arrested in the chase is facing multiple charges and reportedly confessed to police that he was high on meth at the time.Wrote on reader:Give the guy a break he shot out a front tire not the guys head. What if he (the perp) hit a family on Owl Creek then what? I think with meth you better just get them off of the road anyway you can, for safety? Give the poor officer a meddal not this.There was also this:Deputy Gibson did not use Deadly Force against the suspect. He shot the vehicles tire, not the suspect, big difference. The suspect was obviously a danger to the community, and Deputy Gibson made a quick (and effective) decision to slow him down, in violation of a policy written by people not in harm’s way. Deputies who have blatantly broken the law around here have faced less discipline than Deputy Gibson, who did the right thing, but violated policy. And we wonder why crime is on the rise? Thanks, Deputy Gibson, for serving and protecting. We cant bear itAn Aug. 2 letter to the editor urging government to take action against errant black bears pillaging neighborhoods earned several comments (incidentally, wildlife officials killed two Aspen bears last week).Offered one reader:Kevin Wright and the DOW works as hard as anyone when dealing with this issue. However, they have very little enforcement capabilities. If youw want action, go to the city and ask them to beef up the consequences for residents leaving out trash, bird feeders, etcetera. Please don’t white wash your blame over all governement agencies; at least one of them is working diligently to protect you and the bears.But there was also this:The bears were around before your precious subdivision.Deal with it or move.Our report on the Colorado Division of Wildlifes first bear euthanization of the week prompted this observation:One less marauding bear should improve real estate sales in that area.Rounding up illegalsAn online report about Colorado State Patrol troopers who have been trained and empowered to detain suspected illegal immigrants, and who arrested 48 people on that suspicion during traffic stops on Interstate 70 last week, garnered plenty of comment, some of it lauditory. An example:Good work Gents!!!Lets round em up in the Roaring Fork Valley.Said another:Its a GREAT day in AMERICA!But, offered another:Drop in the bucket…this report is a P.R. stunt. The stranded car would have been picked up anyway. The others were just unlucky that day. Theyll have to try again next week. A pitifully transparent report…and the rest of you fell for it.Duh!Who wants to serve?The Aug. 2 report, Civic participation waning in Aspen, elicited several theories from readers on why citizens may be reluctant to sign up for service on the Aspen City Councils advisory boards.For example, there was this response:If the city council didnt routinely dismiss the decisions made by these various boards then they might have more people willing to sit. I cant imagine anything more frustrating then to spend hours and hours reviewing projects just to have the heros question your thinking. I think its called respect.Countered another reader:City council should overturn more P&Z votes, not fewer. While on P&Z Steve Skadron voted for a number of monster projects that are the symbols of the construction nightmare Aspen is currently facing including converting a popular local restaurant, the Chart House, into timeshare units, converting a popular moderate priced hotel, the Limelite, into a colossal development of high end free market residences and high end rental rooms and he even voted for a well-connected rich mans swimming pool overlooking an Aspen treasure, ACES. Steve voted for an extra floor on the Jerome Hotel to provide the short term speculative owners millions in value upon flipping the property to new owners with a history of timesharing and as a P&Z member he voted for the Lodge at Aspen Mountain. City Council should be overturning more of these votes that are replacing Aspen the community with Aspen the world class resort. Readers may comment on any article at http://www.aspentimes.com, anonymously if they wish, by clicking on Comments at the top of the article. Comments published here are reprinted without editing or correction.
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