Kudos and Kindness from Aspen Times readers (March 29, 2020) | AspenTimes.com

Kudos and Kindness from Aspen Times readers (March 29, 2020)

Help our doctors by helping yourselves

Monday, March 30 is National Doctors’ Day.

Aspen Valley Hospital has traditionally taken this opportunity to express appreciation to our physicians and our advanced practice providers in person and with time to spend in fellowship.

In the midst of the COVID-19 healthcare crisis, we are both saddened by the distance we must keep from them, and struck by the fact that the courage and dedication of these professionals is never more in action than right now.

Our physicians stand between their patients and this deadly virus, attending to virus symptoms or whatever else their patients need. They can’t always socially distance themselves from a patient who needs them, who may be contagious without knowing it. And they can’t stay home, either. Rather, they go to work every day—and night—armed with only their courage, skill, experience, and perhaps a stethoscope. We work with physicians every day, and we have the privilege of observing their selfless devotion and ability to remain focused on the patient in front of them in the midst of the chaos of a global pandemic.

We will get through these most trying times, and then we will properly celebrate the enormous contributions our physicians are making to protect us and keep us well. But in the meantime, please join the Aspen Valley Hospital Board of Directors, administration, and staff in thanking our physicians for being there for us when we need them the most.

To our community, please do everything you can to help stop the spread, flatten the curve and protect our most valuable resource – our physicians and healthcare workers who are standing ready to care for you.

Aspen Valley Hospital

Mountain Voices Project urges compassion

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing widespread disruption in our community and threatens our economic, physical, and mental health. Many organizations are stepping up to support our community. However, there is much fear and uncertainty and the last thing families need to be concerned about is the possibility of eviction or foreclosure.

We at Mountain Voices Project (MVP) applaud officials like Attorney General Phil Weiser, who over the weekend, called for a statewide pause on eviction proceedings, stating, “In this emergency, evicting any Coloradan from their home would exacerbate the public health and economic crisis we are fighting together,” and put the decision in the hands of the state’s district judges.

We would like to thank Judge James Berkley Boyd, chief justice of the 9th Judicial District, for his recent order suspending all hearings but those “concerning public safety.” However, we wish to urge Judge Boyd to join the courts of Denver, Mesa, Weld, and Boulder Counties to explicitly declare a moratorium on all eviction proceedings during this emergency.

This clarification will serve to calm our community.

This effort to maintain our community fabric requires forbearance and sustained goodwill from all involved. As such, MVP urges all landlords to commit to not evict tenants and all lenders to suspend foreclosure proceedings during this pandemic.

MVP is a broad-based organization comprising 28 regional institutions including faith-based, educational, and social-impact organizations. When MVP speaks, it speaks with a voice that represents over 15,000 people. We are building relationships among diverse communities, from Parachute to Aspen, for the common good.

With compassion for those who need it most right now.

Mountain Voices Project,Institutional Leaders; Rob Stein, Roaring Fork School District superintendent; Father Bert; St. Stephen Catholic Church; Rabbi Emily Segal, Aspen Jewish Congregation; Bertha Lopez, Madres en Acción; Richard Gonzales, Colorado Mountain College; Ross Brooks, Mountain Family Health Centers; Lara Beaulieu, English In Action; Lori Mueller, Youth Zone; Pastor Jeff Carlson, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church; Jamie Nims, Two Rivers Community School; Michael Hayes, Discover Compass; Pastor Charla Belinski. Snowmass Chapel; Episcopal Partnership of Garfield County; Lindsay Lofaro, Buddy Program; Kyle Crawley, Stepping Stones; Elaine Grossman, Valley Settlement; Cindy Kahn, MANAUS; Pastor Daniel Self, The Orchard; Audrey Hazelton, Glenwood Springs Elementary School; Paul Freeman, Glenwood Springs High School; Cecilia Rios, La Esperanza de Emily; Rev. Laurie Bushbaum, Two Rivers Unitarian Universalists; Gail Schwartz, Habitat for Humanity Roaring Fork Valley; Niki Delson,Carbondale Age-Friendly Community Initiative

The perks of cross-country skiing

I would like to sincerely thank John Wilcox of Ashcroft Ski Touring and the city of Aspen for continuing to groom the cross-country trails so beautifully, and also the Aspen Skiing Co. for allowing us to skin up the ski mountains, and even providing some fresh corduroy for our pleasure. Thanks also goes to Aspen-Snowmass Nordic Council.

Getting exercise outdoors in our beautiful mountains and socially interacting — at a distance — at the same time, has made this time of coronavirus not just bearable, but a time where I feel intense gratitude to be here.

Katherine McMillan


Open space purchase is welcome news

The good news reported March 26 in The Aspen Times article regarding the potential purchase of 406 acres by Pitkin County Open Space was wonderfully uplifting. The Thompson Divide Ranch is right in the heart of the Thompson Divide area that our communities have been working to preserve for over a decade. While our focus has been on the 220,000 acres of federal lands in the Divide, this purchase of 406 acres for open space protection is so welcome. Wildlife habitat, especially these elk calving grounds, are valuable to the whole Divide ecosystem. The Thompson Divide Coalition appreciates and supports your efforts to help preserve this special land. Thank you, Pitkin County and Great Outdoors Colorado, for proposing this purchase.

Judy Fox-Perry

Thompson Divide Coaliton


Severson support helps students reach goals

Thank you to Mark and Maddie Severson and the Severson Foundation for supporting Aspen Mountain Guide School at Aspen High School. Your generous support allowed students to have an unprecedented educational experience in testing for their PSIA Level 1 Ski Instructor certification. Your foundation’s visionary support helped my students develop and attain skills they never could have in a conventional classroom. Thank you for making a difference in my students’ education and career goals.

Brent Maiolo

Aspen High School

Deep gratitude for Wilcox, Ashcroft

This letter is a huge note of thanks to John Wilcox, owner of the Ashcroft Cross Country Ski Area and the Pine Creek Cookhouse. John’s kind and generous gesture of keeping the ski trails maintained after the Aspen Skiing Co.’s closure was a blessing and a delight. Especially in this unprecedented time and in this valley where we lean mightily toward outdoor activity, many of us don’t quite know what to do with ourselves these days.

We have enjoyed the Ashcroft trails for decades. Our kids and many of their friends have worked or do work there. Ashcroft and the Pine Creek Cookhouse have long been a unique, enormous gift in this valley — but never more so than these past few weeks. We thank you for that, Mr. Wilcox. Please know how deeply your generosity has been appreciated, how much we have enjoyed your valley, and how very grateful we are.

Wolf and Nancy Gensch


As village of Snowmass residents “sheltered in place,” we have taken to daily uphilling on the trails of Snowmass. We are grateful that you and your team have chosen to support the growing community of people seeking exercise and recreation in the safety of our mountains during these difficult times.

The selective grooming operation has enhanced our experience and demonstrated your commitment to one of your most important constituencies — the many diehard outdoor enthusiasts.

You are creating tremendous goodwill, which will benefit Aspen Skiing Co. for many years to come.

Ed Mettelman and Carol Ricci

Snowmass Village