Free enterprise vs. Aspen red tape
The fortunes of the Aspen Brewing Company and its debate with the city of Aspen regarding how much beer it should be able to serve patrons in its tasting room was among many topics that caught the attention of online readers of The Aspen Times last week.City regulation of the brewery, which has yet to open, prompted this suggestion from one reader:Unbelievable. Come on down to Basalt, Aspen Brewing Company. Well welcome you with open arms, less pompous attitude and you can run your business as you envision it. We still believe in free enterprise down here.Countered another:clearly the zone district says no bars & restaurants ! hello.But, there was also this:I wonder if this is why Flying Dog Brewery left Aspen years ago? Too many restrictions on their operations?Aspen Brewing should help add to the overall draw to the city. Craft beers are quickly becoming as stylish as fine wines. Having a fine local product to showcase should be in everyone’s best interest.Id hate to see red tape get in the way of the spirit of entrepreneurship. Rules were madeThe Aspen Times report on a Marine veteran who faces the loss of his affordable housing unit in Aspen (hes a double amputee who served in Iraq, but his income exceeds the limit placed on his housing unit), also elicited comment. Said one reader:This man is an American hero and a complete asset to our community. This should not even be in question.If it is a total review of everyone in similar housing and an audit must be done.In response to a Times editorial on the situation, there was this:I am truly amazed that Mr. Owens handicap cannot be taken into account and that his income is the only issue being looked at in this review. I agree that the rules cannot be broken for anything as a dangerous precedent will be set. I shudder to think of any law suits that may appear then too.So, as a community, what can we do? Lets not kick this vet out until we can get him another place to live. We can do this. We can have fund raising events, outfit a house, condo or apartment to accomodate his handicap and whatever else needs to happen for him. If a portion of my tax dollars can go to Africa to help those people in need, then some of my disposable income can help a fellow American who served our country. How about it Aspen, can we do something for this man? If we can take care of others in the world, which is a good thing to do, can’t we dig a little deeper and take care of one of our own?Where theres a shack, theres smokeAn online report on a Forest Service crackdown on illegal smoke shacks at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, where some skiers were busted for smoking marijuana, attracted plenty of interest.Responded one reader:The feds cant find Osama Bin Laden but they’re going to search thru our mountains and forests in search of these little smoke shakes. Sorry, but this really seems to be a waste of time.Agreed another:The forest service keeps making cuts due to limited resources. This seems like a terrible waste of resources, time, and tax payers money. Give me a break!Advised yet another:THESE SHACK DUMMIES SHOULD LEARN TO EAT BROWNIES.A Forest Service officials observation that the builders of the shacks sometimes damage the trees in the vicinity sparked this retort:Tree damage? As if ski resorts are good for the forestAnd, there was this:We will rebuild!!Be preparedThe report on two local backcountry skiers who wound up spending the night in a blizzard after losing their way on Richmond Ridge, and making their way to safety the following day, elicited this comment:Yeah, no sleeping bags, they were training for a race… I just impressed that they had a compass and a lighter. I would have had a cotton White Snake T-shirt a doobie and a Red Bull. Spot Messenger is a GPS locator that transmits and SOS signal, sends an alert e mail or sends a message that says: were ok. Its light and cheap(less than $200) and $100 a year. Keeps the wife from bitching at you any more than is necessary. Course you will have to step outside the bar for it to get any reception.A putrid hangover?NASCAR racing, the topic of Times columnist Paul Andersen on Monday, Feb. 25, garnered comment, including this:Yes, ESPN and FOX do consider NASCAR a sport because it combines the physical strength of poker and the basic brain function of curling.However, as the author correctly pines, NASCAR IS a putrid hangover from the 20th century US automotive wunderkind, and as such, these internal combustion afficianados have destroyed much of the fiber of society, more asphalt, traffic jams and soot filled air for all!Among the responses:Spectator sports, by definition, dont require physical prowess or brain-power.How much strength is required for NFL fans to hold their couches down, guzzle beer, and watch obese men wrestle over a pigskin each Sunday?Yet, football remains an immensely popular sport.Ditto any televised sport: Fans watch, passively, from their homes or the stands.Driving a race car at speeds in excess of 200 mph demands great skill, physical conditioning, and mental acuity.Youd be far more likely to successfully field a kick-off and survive an attempt at running it back against the Patriots special-teams squad than you’d be likely to complete a lap, at-speed, in a stock car.Trust me: Your anti-NASCA prejudice is more a reflection of your cultural biases and ignorance than anything else.Its certainly not informed by fact. Readers at http://www.aspentimes.com may comment on any article, anonymously if they wish, by clicking on Comments at the top of the article. Comments reprinted here appear as they were written, without editing or correction.
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