dotComments: Paepcke/Resnick flap provokes online readers
August 19, 2006
The proposed renaming of what has long been known as the Paepcke Auditorium has provoked online readers of The Aspen Times.Articles on an online poll regarding plans to call the auditorium, located within The Aspen Institute’s Paepcke Building, the Resnick Auditorium in recognition of a $4 million donation to upgrade the facility from Stewart and Lynda Resnick, generated plenty of comment at http://www.aspentimes.com. A sampling:• I doubt there can be any guarantee, in perpetuity, that any building or edifice will retain the name it now has. Especially in Aspen where the almighty dollar rules. If an individual or family puts up enough money, I’m certain Paepcke Park could be renamed – how do you like the ring of “Resnick Park”?• In their lifetime, the Resnicks could not come close to giving what Walter and Elizabeth Paepcke gave and continue to give to the Aspen community. Thanks to Lynda and Stewart for their 4 mil renovation pledge, but no thanks.• Changing the name would be a little like changing the name of the “Statue of Liberty”! Bad PR idea and in very bad taste.• The Resnicks strongly opposed Stillwater affordable housing, to the point of filing a lawsuit against the project, costing the taxpayers (money to defend the suit) and several years of delaying this broadly supported and critically needed housing for locals. And we want to name an long time Aspen institution after these notorious NIMBYS? Some of us remember this great disservice to the community and would never reward such incredibly insensitive behavior. Can they buy back the respect of the community? Apparently so …• I wish the Resnicks would graciously decline the offer to have their name embedded.• The Paepckes created the Aspen Institute and nurtured it throughout their lives. How dare we even consider erasing their name from this legacy. History is forged when people make contributions and commitments on many levels – not solely the financial level. Please, let’s not sell out.• • • •The recent upgrading of airport security measures also elicited comment from online readers. Said one:So now we have terrorists attacking us with soft drinks detonated by cell phone transmission?Are we supposed to actually believe that or is this just a test to see how stupid we are?I don’t think Wile E. Coyote ever came up with such a ridiculous scheme!So what’s next, toxic ringtones downloaded via captured satellite?Forgive me for my skepticism … but that’s absurd. • • • •News that Aspen Valley Hospital and the Cleveland Clinic are pursuing an affiliation (and AVH’s financial reserves) prompted this reader observation:$22 Million cash balance, huh? Here’s a thought: why not take that 22 Mil and use it to build another hospital, so that there is true competition and the cost of medical care would be dictated by market forces instead of the monopoly that AVH now has. The leading cause of bankruptcy in the U.S. is medical care, and it is likely that 50% of Aspen’s residents do not have insurance and so have no access to medical care. Did these gentlemen discuss the possibility of righting this situation as they jetted to and fro in this private jet? Doubtful …• • • •Regarding the $82 peak pass of a lift ticket at Aspen/Snowmass this winter, one reader had this to say:I lived in Aspen from mid 70s to mid 80s and remember well the screams including from myself about a $20 lift ticket. We were told, “a movie costs about half that and only provides about 2 hours of entertainment, but a $20 lift ticket is good for all day.” Well, the movie is still about half of $20 and the lift ticket is WHAT?• • • •And finally, on the topic of work on the Rio Grande Trail in the midvalley, where trail use versus wildlife impacts has generated considerable debate, on reader offered this, in part:It’s reasonable to expect that any deer or elk using the area of the Rio Grande trail might be somewhat less accustomed to humans, but it’s a stretch to believe that their survival would be threatened by people simply using a trail on foot, bicycle, or cross-country skis. This is particularly true because (a) the deer or elk have plenty of area adjacent to the trail to move into to avoid people, and (b) the deer or elk will likely be in dense cover during most of the day when people are using the trail.I would further add that closure of riparian areas to protect eagles from being disturbed is also silly. Again, eagles adopt quite readily to human presence as long as people are not deliberately harassing them.Banning dogs from the Rio Grande trail to protect wildlife makes sense. Banning people doesn’t.• • • •Readers at http://www.aspentimes.com may weigh in on any article, anonymously if they wish, by clicking on Comments at the top of the article. Comments appear as they were posted, without correction or editing.