Kudos and Kindness from Aspen Times readers (Sept. 20, 2020) | AspenTimes.com

Kudos and Kindness from Aspen Times readers (Sept. 20, 2020)

Pitkin Democrats put up the big (virtual) tent

The Pitkin County Democratic Party is so grateful to the candidates and incumbents who made our 10th Annual (Virtual) Gathering possible! What an impressive group of intelligent, well-spoken, decent people appeared on Zoom for our appreciative audience Tuesday night!

We are delighted that Gov. Jared Polis, former Gov. John Hickenlooper (our terrific candidate for U.S. Senate), Attorney General Phil Weiser, State Treasurer Dave Young, former State Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush (our excellent Congressional District candidate), State Sen. Kerry Donovan (Senate District 5), State Rep. Julie McCluskie (House District 61), Dr. Mayling Simpson (candidate for state board of education), Pitkin County commissioners Steve Child, George Newman and Greg Poschman, and commissioner candidate Francie Jacober all made the time to appear live!

Even while the Senate is in session, Sen. Michael Bennet sent us a lovely, personal video. Secretary of State Jena Griswold, protecting voters every second of every day, sent us a heartfelt video, too, as did former Vice President Joe Biden — our candidate for 46th president of the United States!

We want to thank Paul Dioguardi of Hickory House for extending his kindness to our virtual event attendees, and Jeffrey Riggenbach for allowing us to use his extraordinary photographs in photo montages throughout the evening, some very movingly of departed friends whom we had not seen in a while. Even in this pandemic, we were able to get together over Zoom with friends — so many friends together for one evening — and realize how many extraordinary human beings we have — and can have come Nov. 3 — representing us.

Betty Wallach

Administrative vice-chair/secretary, Pitkin County Democratic Party

Thanks for keeping Aspen and our valley pristine

Thanks to some determined local supporters, not even the global pandemic and local wildfires could derail our annual community clean-up and environmental stewardship event held Aug. 26 on a beautiful clear morning after weeks of heat and smoke.

Our Fifth Annual Pristine Riders Trash Crush community cleanup and environmental stewardship event was a smashing, trash-removing success thanks to our thoughtful caring volunteers and sponsors who made it happen during this challenging time. We’d like to express our deepest gratitude to some special people for supporting our annual litter clean-up along local roadways, including Highway 82 along North Star Nature Preserve and the East of Aspen Trail, lower Maroon Creek Road and Castle Creek Road and Highway 82 to the Aspen Golf Course. Sincere thanks to our determined organizers, including Pristine Riders and Sun Dog Athletics and above all to our hearty volunteers, including Kathleen Albert, Herb Beshar, Susan Capiel, Beth Hagerty, Dave Knittle, Joel Lee, Chris McKelvey, Elizabeth Miller, Erik Skarvan, Tatyana Stevens and Ned Sullivan. And finally our generous sponsors, including Troy Selby and 520 Grill for our volunteer lunch, Cathy Hall and Pitkin County Landfill for our “Trashy Awards,” free disposal and recycling, Samantha Johnston and The Aspen Times for event promotion, Madeline Osberger and Erica Robbie of the Aspen Daily News for event promotion, and Jeff Lewis from CDOT Adopt-A-Hwy for safety and clean-up supplies.

We appreciate our supporters’ efforts in keeping our valley pristine and sharing the message of environmental stewardship to inspire others. When we share the benefits of stewardship, we create the ripple or multiplier effect and that’s powerful. We also greatly appreciate everyone else in the community who actively picks up litter keeping our area and nature pristine and healthy, the way it should be.

Trash Crush organizer Pristine Riders is a recently launched 501(c)(3) nonprofit and is composed of passionate valley cyclists who combine cycling and cleaning up the environment. We advocate for picking up “just one” piece of litter each ride or simply each day. We truly believe that if we all do at least a little for Mother Nature, it would make a big positive difference. Like Pristine Riders on Facebook for more, including how to score a free bike jersey! Let’s keep bending at the waist and picking up the waste keeping the Roaring Fork Valley pristine. Then, let’s share the love!

Erik Skarvan

Executive Director, Pristine Riders

A good deed goes recognized

Please let me say a public thanks to the angel who took my biking jacket with my phone in the back pocket to the Carbondale Police Station. After I realized I lost the jacket out of the elastic strap on my camelback, my husband zoomed back up the bike trail, but couldn’t find it. Little did we know that an angel had picked it up and turned it in. I love the jacket, and hated to lose it, but the thought of losing a cellphone these days is overwhelming.

What a relief it was for the phone to be found. I want to send out a huge thanks to the biking angel who made our world a brighter place. Thank you so much — you rock!

Nancy Gensch