Letter (Aug. 22): It’s time to make some noise | AspenTimes.com

Letter (Aug. 22): It’s time to make some noise



Dear Editor:

Warning: The Aspen Ideal is under attack! This "community of peace" that Walter Paepcke envisioned with opportunities for one's complete life — wherein body, mind and spirit flourish — is being threatened by Natalia Shvachko and Michael Sedoy. In Paepcke's own words, man's complete life in a community of peace was "where he can earn a living, profit by healthy physical recreation, with facilities at hand for his enjoyment of art, music and education."

Granted, the ability to earn a living in this community has been marginalized to the point that, unless born with a platinum spoon in mouth, one generally must work multiple jobs and rely on the affordable-housing program to put a roof over one's head. Families face far greater challenges than trying to sit outside with the windows open in silence.

Shvachko is on the record that she does not feel that music should be part of Paepcke's equation. Based on their actions, she and her husband also apparently do not feel that certain federal laws apply to them, namely the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990. By claiming their right to the "limited common element" of their building, they have denied access of the building to anyone not able to travel up and down a flight of stairs in several leaps and bounds.

The city of Aspen has become so enamored with the couple that it is suing them. The couple have also made the people who live below them exit via the alleyway next to the Dumpsters. It is fair to say the holiday parties in that building most likely never will include all of the tenants.

Of course, if the alley-exiting tenants ever were to have a party, they'd best make sure to keep the music down, for if the music was at a level that any sane and reasonable person would consider appropriate for a festive occasion, then count on a visit from the very apologetic Aspen police.

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It's interesting that the couple can be relied upon for calling to file a noise complaint on any given summer afternoon or night while simultaneously refusing to respond to requests regarding building access for those less fortunate. It is just a thought, but perhaps the Police Department should be instructed to transfer all incoming calls regarding the former to the appropriate city staff to resolve the latter.

Elizabeth Paepcke held a strong view on leisure: "It should concern itself with those things we do to replenish the spirit, such as listening to music, watching good films or theater, taking part in discussions of politics and ideas."

The city of Aspen should create a leisure zone within the downtown core. This leisure zone would allow for greater noise levels until well past midnight and create incentives for businesses to provide leisure opportunities for patrons. This would allow the community to replenish in an appropriate manner, create a sustainable and vibrant nightlife in Aspen, increase tax revenue and finally reduce the number of noise complaints filed, thus fostering leisure.

The "community" of Aspen should create a boycott of the couple. All private businesses retain the right to refuse service to anyone. Someone create a website; the name does not matter, although, because Elizabeth "Pussy" Paepcke, as her grandmother and mother called her, enjoyed a bawdy joke, it is in her honor that I humbly point out that http://www.nomoredouchebagsinaspen.com is available.

All businesses that support the boycott are listed on the site. The community decides to only patronize the businesses participating. Or at the very least, when shopping at an establishment that is not participating, ask the staff why they are not supporting the boycott. This will help foster discussions of politics and ideas, again fostering leisure.

I am just a lowly ski bum, who has cleaned your toilets at night, so I could ski every day. I'm also a musician, sculptor and art handler for some of Aspen's finest homes. My dream is an Aspen that respects the Paepckes' original vision.

Thank you for your time and consideration. Have a great day.

Brian Howard

Aspen