With Junee Kirk gone, who’ll carry the torch? | AspenTimes.com

With Junee Kirk gone, who’ll carry the torch?

The recent death of long-time Aspenite Junee Kirk got me thinking about how few people remain that carry that "spicy, frisky, gritty" passion about what makes Aspen unique.

For years Junee, and others like her, have held local politicians' feet to the fire about growth and the best uses of our taxpayer dollars.

How will Aspen evolve without the likes of Junee, Dwight Shellman, Dottie Fox and Harry Truscott, to name a few? Yes, they would drive us crazy with their notions of what was right and wrong for Aspen. Sometimes we agreed with them. Sometimes we didn't. Who is going to carry the torch for growth control, open space and wilderness protection?

I've overheard a few of Aspen's younger leaders say they don't understand why we're not converting some of our open space into employee-housing developments! Yikes!

The development of the midvalley El Jebel/Willits Area is a case in point. Who would have imagined that El Jebel would become the Littleton of the Roaring Fork Valley? There's even a brown cloud developing over Willits! Is there a Junee in Eagle County?! If so, help!

With the likes of Junee and Dwight holding the torch, we dared to do things differently. I fear that without the likes of them we'll become just like everybody else.

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I feel adrift with the loss of Junee and feel the weight of responsibility she leaves on all of us to protect the town and valley that we love.

Pat Bingham

Carbondale