dotComments: Death of a bookstore; Kole returns
Aspentimes.com readers were vocal as usual this week, mourning the loss of Basalts bookstore, pondering the mayoral candidacy of Andrew Kole, and mulling the local chambers stance against a bill be floated in Washington, D.C.The March 3 story about the pending closing of Town Center Booksellers in Basalt evoked some sadness.Chimed in one reader:Sad day, great bookstore. Ive done my part buying weekly and ordering books there when I could have gotten them on Amazon. I guess well have to go to the new library now. I would rather have used the small business store however. Nice people and great programs.Another wrote:Sad to see. Now I suppose some POS real estate time seller will try to move in. Or maybe a Bulgari jewelry store…equally useless!On March 5, the Times reported about the 21,000-square-foot, $11 million library that will go up in Basalt. The story was a follow-up to the closing of towns only bookstore, and prompted ObamaRepublican to write:This great, its going to be like a college library only better. I have one question, will second home owners be allowed to use it or are we not allowed? Can Exxon reserve time in the conference room or is it only for friends of the earth?That comment drew this response:ObamaRepublican as far as I know second homeowners have always been allowed to check out books at the library. You only have to show some kind of proof that you live here, like a utility bill. In fact even people who dont own property (like renters) can check out books!Koles announcement thats hes running for Aspen mayor in the spring election sparked some thoughts online.Andrew does not appear to have much in the way of a life: Hes at every P&Z/City Council/COWOP meeting going. When hes not there, hes sitting in one of three coffee shops bloviating.The funny thing is, Andrew and MIck are actually quite alike. Both seem allergic to entertaining others points of view. One person spoke up for Kole.Andrew is a fine candidate a concerned citizen and a will be a far better Mayor than our current one. Listen to his ideas. He is a serious well meaning individual who is willing to fight the tired socialist Mick machine and is not scared of the mayors enemies list. Mick must go !enough of class warfare. We need everyone. Time for a change. Support Andre Kole for mayor.Reader Lurper suggested Kole might bring some humor to local politics. This should make for great comic relief! Who ever said Comedy Fest pulled out of town? No one, however, was laughing about a letter written by Debbie Braun, president of the Aspen Chamber Resort Association, and Susan Hamley, director of the Snowmass Tourism Office. The two chamber leaders wrote a letter asking readers to sign an online petition speaking out against legislation that would take away federal bailout money from companies that host out-of-town gatherings.Reader stopthegreednow suggested that the chambers stance puts profits ahead of ethics. Shouldnt this community think about whether it is appropriate to host businesses that engage in wasteful spending at the cost of the taxpayer and the shareholder? Is it really appropriate for Aspens marketing arm, paid for by taxpayer dollars, to say we dont care where the money comes from? This letter is rather shocking for its lack of Aspen values.Wrote another:Im all for general tourism…especially the kind we had two decades ago…but I cant support CEOs and the like bringing their entourage to Aspen on the shoulders of shareholders and taxpayers. For too long the idle rich just breezed in, acting like all of the workers at their respective lodges or restaurants should drop what theyre doing and genuflect. Im thoroughly disgusted at what I see and read every day regarding the $$ top executives managed to skim…RIGHT BEFORE THEIR COMPANY TANKS…so as far as Im concerned they can stay away.Reader dawnataspen blamed the declining local economy on The Aspen Times. Susan, you need to address this issue with our own Times staff who just killed the restaurant business in Aspen by yelling about lunches at tax payers expense. Next, they will go after out of town travel to meetings, just watch. Stuff like that doesnt help our economy, it just gets people stirred up and hurts the tourist businesses.And another observer said the letter was right on. Great letter. Most people dont realize that this issue is further damaging the economy in communities that rely on traveler/tourist dollars. I am signing the petition.
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High Points: Now I don’t want to be an apologist for the Aspen Skiing Company, but to me $199 to ski the crown jewel of American skiing during the height of what is traditionally the busiest time of year is a total bargain.