Bears, Obama and Friedman are the talk of the community |

Bears, Obama and Friedman are the talk of the community

Readers had plenty to comment on last week – from a story about the Aspen Institute’s fine for not securing its bearproof trash bins, to Paul Andersen’s column about Tom Friedman’s monster home, to a report that Barack Obama is the top presidential fundraiser in the Aspen area.Ignoring the bearsKevin Wright of the state Division of Wildlife said that while Aspen appears committed to reducing its contribution global warming, the same can’t be said about its commitment to wildlife issues.Many Aspen residents and business aren’t complying with rules that require them to secure their trash in bearproof containers. One of the offenders, Wright said, was the Aspen Institute, which Wright fined $50 earlier this month during its Aspen Ideas Festival. Some readers thought the penalty should have been harsher. A fine for the Aspen Institute? How about red tagging them? You can’t put away your garbage, you get shut down, as simple as that. How bloody ironic that they host all these alleged great thinkers to discuss huge global problems, but they can’t even take out the trash effectively. Aspen in a nutshell if you ask me. Wrote another reader: The Aspen Institute should be ashamed. Everyone knows by now — perhaps fines should be $1,000 for private homes and $10,000 for businesses? Also: wake up call to tourists from urban areas (paging: Dallas, LA, Miami!) that will put fish out to attract a bear just so they can see a bear in Aspen.’ They are the first idiots to call 911 when that bear returns, night after night and eventually breaks in when there is nothing left outside for him anymore. If you want to build a mansion in our beautiful town, respect what attracted you first — and that is that it’s smack-dab in the middle of the wilderness! Otherwise, stay in urbania!A green world Paul Andersen’s column on the homes of green activists Tom Friedman and Al Gore struck a nerve with readers as well. Offered one reader:Paul Andersen has hit it on the head — Tom Friedman is the human embodiment of an environmental contradiction, just as the entire town of Aspen embodies the ultimate community contradiction on all matters environmental.Said another:I wonder how much fuel was consumed by Friedman on the private jet he flew here for Ideas Fest?Aspen loves ObamaA report last week that Barrack Obama is raising more money in Aspen than other presidential candidates inspired a few to comment.Political campaign contributions are all about money – so much money – what ever happened the idea that conspicuous consumption was akin to sin?Another opined:Obama is taking a lot of money from the Crown family, owners of the Aspen Skiing Company and – guess what? – General Dynamics Corporation. And what is the business of General Dynamics? They build weapons, weapons that are used to kill human beings. They are war profiteers and are making a bundle from the debacle in Iraq. So Obama’s contributions are stained with the blood of thousands, maybe millions. Geez…how do these people sleep at night? I would not vote for Obama based solely on this.Transient dead And finally, a reader offered a terse reaction to the news that a homeless man had been found dead under a bridge last week. Aspen you need to search your soul. Very sad.Speak up!Readers may weigh in on any article at, anonymously if they wish, by clicking on “Comments” at the top of the article. Comments reprinted here appear as they were posted, without editing or correction.

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