Roses and Thorns
October 21, 2013
• A rose and a thorn to U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez. Tipton was among 87 other House Republicans who joined Democrats last week to end the tea party-fueled madness that caused a 16-day partial shutdown of the federal government. He did the right thing. Our only complaint is that in explaining his decision, he continued to rail against the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as "Obamacare," in a blatant attempt to appease his rural supporters. It appears as though Tipton, whose district includes Aspen, is trying play to both sides.
• A rose goes to the Aspen High School boys cross-country team for claiming yet another regional championship. Coach Chris Keleher is to be commended for keeping the tradition alive and well.
• A rose goes to Mother Nature for the recent snowfall. And to Aspen Skiing Co., there's a bouquet of roses in waiting, should it decide to open one of its four ski areas early.
• A thorn goes to the Denver City Council for even considering an ordinance that would levy fines up to $999 on residents who allow the smell of marijuana smoke to waft from their property. With this type of thinking, what's next? Smell fines for cigar smoke, barbecues and dog poop?
• A rose to the Aspen Chamber Resort Association, for being the only one of several local entities to say, almost immediately, how much it was contributing toward the incentives package to lure Delta Airlines back to the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport. Our point in a previous editorial, however, remains the same: The media shouldn't have to ask about the total worth of such taxpayer-supported incentives or receive the information piecemeal. On the day of such announcements, officials should state the cumulative amount, even if it's a ballpark figure that hasn't been finalized by the decision-makers of the various contributors. And, as an aside, we don't buy the argument that such disclosures would put local tourism efforts at a competitive disadvantage with other winter resorts.