Roses and Thorns | AspenTimes.com

Roses and Thorns

A rose: The Aspen Choral Society. After the death of founder Ray Adams, they could have easily gone quiet. Instead they returned this past week with their 36th annual performances of Handel's Messiah.

A thorn: The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority. During its fall decision-making cycle didn't approve tax credits for a low-income rental-housing project in Basalt. The Denver Catholic Archdiocese needs the incentive — the credits would be sold to investors to raise money for construction ­— to move forward with the affordable-housing initiative. The archdiocese still is committed to the project and plans to reapply for the credits in the spring.

A rose: Mother Nature. A rose goes to Mother Nature for dropping enough snow to set the stage for possibly one of the best ski and snowboard seasons in recent memory. Locals have it good no matter what the weather and on-mountain conditions, but the past few years were not encouraging. This season could be one for the ages.

A thorn: The Ice Age Discovery Committee, which is said to be moving at a "glacial speed" on programming for the Ice Age Discovery Center in Snowmass Village. Earlier this month, the Town Council discussed the situation and expressed disappointment with the slow progress, also pointing out the committee's failure to establish nonprofit status, which is key to the project's success. The council approved $21,000 in April to hire a part-time executive director for the center, but the person who was hired has been busy with other commitments. It's a shame that the momentum that followed the Snowmastodon discovery in 2010 has been lost.

Roses: This weekend's hundreds of participants in the Summit for Life uphill race. And another rose goes to Aspen resident and Olympic bronze medalist, Chris Klug, who puts on the race to benefit his foundation, which promotes organ- and tissue-donor awareness. The various weekend events of Summit for Life, including Saturday night's uphill, are expected to raise $140,000 for the Chris Klug Foundation, Klug said.