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Roses and Thorns

Roses to the U.S. Forest Service for trying to head off a disaster with moose at Maroon Lake. For some reason, people see a bear and they know they better keep their distance and be wary. That instinct fails them when they see a moose. Wildlife experts say moose are big animals that are ticked easily. They are solitary creatures that don’t like getting disturbed. The Forest Service has closed scenic trails around Maroon Lake this summer when people have come too close to moose, in some cases triggering charges. Sure people are disappointed with the closures, but that’s apparently what it is going to take to achieve education on the issue.

Thorns to the Aspen City Council for passing a rule that allows bicyclists to yield rather than stop at stop signs in the city. We’re all for cycling, but we’ve seen first-hand how careless many cyclists can be — particularly youngsters here for the music school. One of our brood was driving to work Wednesday when he turned off of Main onto Aspen Street to search for a place to park for a couple of hours. He saw a teenaged girl clipping along on a townie bike on Hopkins Avenue. He was paying attention and she was not. The girl, ear buds firmly implanted, was oblivious to her stop sign on Hopkins and was going to blow through the intersection. She flinched at the last second when she realized a car was coming. The car stopped; she proceeded. As it turns out, it was probably fortunate the girl moving west to east wasn’t going to stop, forcing the driver to take action. A young man going west on Hopkins also was going to blow through the same intersection and probably was going to collide with the car, had it not stopped. Despite the council’s good intentions, the yield-at-stop-signs rule only reinforces to some cyclists that they don’t have to be wary at intersections, even when they have the stop sign.

A thorn to whomever is responsible for maintaining the Icee frozen-drink machine at the Local’s Store on Main Street. The dispensary for the most popular flavor, a brown cola, never seems to work very well. The drink flows slowly or not at all on most days. The other two flavors, blue and strawberry concoctions, always flow just fine. We’ve asked the clerks what’s wrong with the cola dispensary — it doesn’t appear to be frozen — and they just shrug their shoulders as if they don’t know or care to deal with it. How difficult can it be to maintain an Icee machine? Perhaps the store owners should consider ditching the Icee machine in favor of similar treats such as Slurpee or (egads!) slushie.


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