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Letters to the editor

A moving experienceDear Editor:Id like to thank John Hoepfer and his fellow veterans for bringing The Wall to Aspen, which memorialized those who served and lost their lives in the Vietnam War. This past weekend, Rio Grande Park was a sacred place, one of great sadness, healing and education. Around the clock, John and his fellow veterans patrolled The Wall and comforted those who needed a shoulder to cry on as well as answered questions for our local schoolchildren. It was a powerful and moving experience that many of us will never forget.After witnessing the impact of 58,000-plus names on the wall whose average age was 19, it gave me new appreciation for my friends, family, loved ones and my good fortune to live in beautiful Aspen.Thanks also to the city of Aspen for supporting this event as well as the Veterans of the Navajo Nation.Ed ForanAspenIncredible criteriumDear Editor:If you didnt happen to see the cyclists whizzing around corners in downtown Aspen Sunday [May 23], you missed quite an event. The city of Aspen/Aspen Parks and Recreation and the Aspen Cycling Club held the first downtown criterium in a long while, and it clearly was a huge success. Not only was there thrill-packed racing, but there was also a noisy crowd out to cheer on the racers.The success of the event was largely due to the hard work and enthusiasm of the city of Aspen staffers who came up with the idea. The hordes of volunteers who came out to help keep the streets clear and ensure the safety of the racers were indispensable, and the city of Aspen Roads Department did a fantastic job of blocking and cleaning the streets.Wed also like to thank the Aspen Police Department, Mayor Helen Klanderud, City Council, RFTA, the Aspen Cycling Club Race Crew and volunteers, Orthopedic Associates Dr. Harris, all local merchants and residents who were inconvenienced, and all of the racers (without whom the event would certainly not have happened). We couldnt have done it without all of you!Thanks for a great race!The Aspen Cycling Club boardGreat party, great effortDear Editor:The Basalt High School graduating class of 2004 partied all night thanks to Jane Campbell and Andrea Zoellic. They, and their dedicated group of volunteers, took on the daunting task of organizing and staging the Basalt High School Project Graduation party last Sunday night. This event was one year in the planning, required skill, patience, perseverance and long hours of hard work. People only expend this kind of effort when they care very much Basalt residents, including police, parents, teachers and the business community, care greatly for the safety and quality of life of these young people.Congratulations on your success!Lori GillmanLynn EnglishBHS Project GraduationchairwomenSandwiched between a rock and a hard placeDear Editor:Recently, a questionnaire was sent out to Aspen business owners asking for suggestions on how to revitalize Aspen.One of the questions pertained to sandwich boards and whether or not they would help business. Now there are stationary sandwich boards, which sit out on the sidewalk, and then there are mobile sandwich boards carried by a person.I caught whiffs of a potential situation from the words and actions of sundry city officials last winter, which could lead to 40 10-year-olds carrying cardboard-and-Crayola signs for mom and dad, for a few minutes a week, until they become sick and tired of it, or mortified to death Or, out-of-town businesses, represented by out-of-town carriers and/or deadbeats, who dont even know where Little Annies or the visitors center is located. Of course the people of this town wouldnt tolerate such a mess on the streets, so what happens next? We all get thrown off the streets, and guess who is out of a job after 25 years of service to Aspen, while the kids rejoice they wont have to do that anymore!Personally, I think stationary sandwich boards are a great help to some businesses, like New York Pizza, located upstairs between several little shops on the shady side of the Hyman Mall.As far as mobile sandwich board competition goes, I am not intimidated by another professional sandwich board carrier, whose livelihood depends on performance, results and presentation (I presently have five, new $500 hand-painted boards being put together by an artist who can create museum-quality pieces).I do object to an army of part-timers, who really dont give a damn one way or the other for the same reasons restaurants object to food vendors operating out of trucks across from their restaurants at prime times. Vendors are outlawed.A recently recurring stress-related asthma condition tells me the situation might develop into an issue.Pat Milligan The Sandwich Board LadyAspen


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