Greed, ethics and great injustice
Aspen, CO ColoradoThe Whole Foods flare-up in Basalt and Mayor-Elect Mick Irelands vow to not accept freebies like a pass to the upcoming Aspen Food & Wine Magazine Classic both spurred comment from online readers of The Aspen Times last week.So did a letter to the editor from a formal local who has moved to Breckenridge, where he found the housing situation a little bit easier.On the topic of the Whole Foods, which is coming to Willits in West Basalt, readers had plenty to say about Willits developer Michael Lipkins claim that, in order to facilitate the deal with the natural grocer, more residence space needed to be added to the project. (A Whole Foods representative, however, said the grocer wasnt pushing for the changes to the development.)Said one reader:Just what I thought… Mike and his pards are greedy! Bottom line! Use Whole Foods as an excuse and we can make another $50 Million! I can hear them now! When is enough enough? The thing is already too ugly, too big and too out of character for the valley. Stop them cold! Stop them now!Responded another: I think he should be given a chance to respond before he is crucified…although I do think the projet is ugly.There was also this:This proposal is greed dressed in the guys of public improvements. This project is already too dense! There are already too many issues that havent been addressed like traffic control, more cars, more people, more carbon dioxide, more infrastructure needed and the list goes on… The parking areas are HUGE! The buildings are too HIGH! Willits Town Centre is completely out of character with the surrounding neighborhoods and rural feel of the area. Basalt Town Council should be very careful approving any further improvements to this site and they shouldnt listen to threats from Whole Foods! With the whole world going green, WTC is a complete hypocrisy! Affordable employee housing? What a joke! You call $1 Million Dollar lofts affordable?!And someone else had this to say:What,the town of Basalt being held hostage for Whole Foods to be able to sell their goods? It sure sounds like a blackmail scheme to me. I hope the town council has the guts to deny and bend to these type of tactics/concessions. Mayor-elect Irelands decision to turn down a free Food & Wine pass elected this response:oh come on MICK enjoy it and revel a little ….would love to hear you make a toast at FOOD & WINE ! please ! expand your spokesman for the community and accept some of these passes.But, there was also this:Yeah! Ethics are back in town! Bill Feests June 7 letter to the editor, Goodbye Aspen, Hello Breckenridge, regarding his decision to leave Aspen with his family after fighting to stay here for 13 years, elicited several online comments, including this one:This is sad. Not only for your housing issue but your wifes citizen status issue. To think how honest you two have been and then read how the illegals will get to stay here……We need to stand up and fight for change.Said another, in part:I recently was kicked out of my housing through the hospital after nine years of dedicated service. (i also have a full time position on the ambulance service, and have been an aspen highlands ski patroller for 17 years and an aspen mountain ranger for 3 years). The hospital has term limits on their available housing, and once those limits are up you are out on the street. Even if you can show you have been applying for housing through the housing office, no extensions are given and no moves to other available housing within the hospital are permitted. They see it as providing other employees with an opportunity, i see it as punishment for being unlucky in housing lotteries. When i asked about moving to other available housing units within the hospital i was told (and i quote) we don’t owe you a thing.I am sorry to see bill freest have to move and i think the housing office did him and the rest of us a great injustice.From another reader came this excerpt:The price and availability of employee housing is just one of the many symptoms of this Big city American attitude to little gems like Aspen. The sad part is things will only get worse.But, there was also this:The people who live in Aspen, now, and the people who are clamoring to live there, soon, deserve their fate.Aspen is a Mecca for people who never quite walk the talk, and the deteriorating quality of life theyre experiencing is a natural consequence of who they are, inside; its not a function of their decaying physical surroundings, the traffic problems, the pushiness, the congestion, the commercialism, etc. Aspen is in decline, because the quality of its residents is in decline.Aspen is that rare book, that can absolutely be judged by its cover. Finally, a June 8 article about property values in the Roaring Fork Valley portion of Eagle County spurred this reader observation:The whole roaring fork valley needs to be redrawn so it is in Pitkin county. Why Vail is benefiting from RFV ecomony is a travesty. Readers may weigh in on any article at aspentimes.com, anonymously if they wish, by clicking on Comment at the top of the article. Comments reprinted here appear as they were printed, without editing or correction.
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