Roses and Thorns

Roses go to Aspen’s Gretchen Bleiler and Alex Ferreira for their performances at the Winter X Games.

This was Bleiler’s final X Games, and she’s been a great ambassador for her sport — in particular the snowboarding superpipe competition — and Aspen and Snowmass, as well. She carved out a remarkable career, winning four gold medals in the X Games and taking a silver at the Olympic Games in Turin, Italy, in 2006. While Bleiler, 33, didn’t medal this past week, she still remained a crowd favorite.

Ferreira, 19, claimed a bronze medal in the men’s ski superpipe at the X Games, after falling into a sixth-place hole after his first runs.

Here’s wishing both Bleiler and Ferreira continued success in whatever they pursue.

Thorns to Mariner Real Estate Management and the town of Basalt for failing to figure out who is responsible for shoveling the sidewalk along Harris Street, a main artery into Willits Town Center. It’s been several days since the midvalley has received snow and the foot traffic has beat the fluff into ice on the Harris Street sidewalk, which intersects with the popular Willits Lane pedestrian trail. The sidewalk is rapidly reaching the state of being treacherous. Both Willits and Basalt claim to be pedestrian friendly. They need to walk the walk (or, in this case, shovel it) rather than just talk the talk.

A rose to whoever is responsible for the music mix at The Meatball Shack. Instead of an exclusive diet of ambient or electronic sounds, The Meatball Shack floats all kinds of styles from bluegrass to classic rock to EDM — onto the Mill Street mall. Anticipating what might be playing as you walk past is a nice little everyday treat.

The X Games bring so many good things to Aspen: exposure, youthful energy, business, etc. The local governments, business community and Aspen Skiing Co. do all that they can to make this an enjoyable experience for all. But we’d be remiss to not give a crown of thorns to the litter bugs who infested this town over the weekend, strewing beer bottles, cigarettes and other trash along the pedestrian paths and streets of Aspen. For some, the bike path that runs from the Aspen Business Center to Cemetery Lane was nothing more than a place to leave behind a PBR can or pack of smokes. We realize that this behavior wasn’t representative of the entire crowd that came to Aspen for the X Games, but it stunk nonetheless.