Birds and Burlingame
Burlingame, herons and the proposed Grace Church in Emma all garnered comment from online readers of The Aspen Times last week.A June 3 guest opinion, Explaining Burlingame, by Aspen City Manager Steve Barwick, elicited several responses, including this:Barwick says look at the facts. Facts are city staff omitted $25 million of typical & known development costs from a document that influenced a public vote. The misrepresentation grossly distorted the economics, & may have influenced many design decisions. The enormity of the error & review of facts points directly to inept, incompetent staff work. Excuses such as language error clarify that certain senior city staff have no concept of professional integrity or fiduciary responsibilty.There was also this, regarding an election brochure that didnt disclose the full costs of the housing project:The Mayor promised us an investigation by an indedpendent person to get the answer to the brochure mystery and who did it. Who is doing that investigation and when will the results be available?For the birdsWhether or not herons left their nests near Rock Bottom Ranch because they were bothered by trail users once the Rio Grande Trail in that area reopened this spring is uncertain, but one reader expressed hope the trail closure wont be extended in deference to the birds:I hope everyone will read this article in its entirety before deciding taking sides on the trail opening. Only when the reader arrives at paragraph 11, do you find that humans arent necessarily responsible for the herons departure. The second to last paragraph reads.The good news, he said, is that great blue herons are thriving in the Roaring Fork Valley. Keep the trail opening as is, please.Said another:Exactly! It would be interesting to see if there has been any analysis of the heron population as a whole in the Roaring Fork Valley. Relying on the emotional outburts of overly concerned homeowner is not ususually great science.Do no harmA June 6 Aspen Times editorial, Bowing to Graces pressure, regarding Pitkin Countys settlement of a lawsuit over the proposed Grace Church in Emma, prompted this from a reader:The church edifice will not be anywhere near 15,000 square feet.The 15,000 allowance is for the total of the buildings that will be constructed, including a separate home for the minister/preacher, and other structures.Journalists who pen editorials should take an oath similar to the one medial doctors do: First, do no harm.Misrepresenting the facts does harm.This reader also touched on the church plan, in response to a letter to the editor:Michael Owsley and Jack Hatfield will NOT be getting my vote when they are up for re-election this fall.Instead of making good on their promise to uphold the Countys zoning laws, they approved paving over EMMA farmland with asphalt and allowed the Music School to rezone without providing any affordable housing.Imagine thatOn the other hand, one reader applauded county commissioners for paying attention to the results of a survey regarding what initiatives the public might be willing to fund through a tax increase and which they wont:Gosh, imagine that: Pitco Commissioners are actually listening to the voters! Thanks!Plastic hags?The Aspen Times online poll (its on the website through today), regarding a ban on plastic bags at local supermarkets, prompted this suggestion:It might also be nice if we could ban plastic surgery at the same time. Less trash and more available housing. A win/win methinks.Countering the drivelAddison Gardners June 3 column, Outcomes cant be legislated, elicited a number of comments, including this one:Addison,It is a pleasure having you in this community. It is refreshing to read your columns amid most of the other left wing drivel. Thanks to the Aspen Times for allowing you to write for us.Greenbacks for green energyFinally, a June 6 article on the role of renewable energy sources in the face of mounting costs (Holy Cross faces tough decisions) spurred this comment:I didnt get the survey and I dont wont more green energy if it means my bill will go up! Im already paying my fair share in taxes and then some. Why dont we produce more clean burning natural gas. Its abundant around here and is clean almost green? Readers may comment on any article at aspentimes.com, anonymously if they wish, by clicking on Comments at the top of the article. Comments printed here appear as they were posted, without editing or correction.