Roses and Thorns |

Roses and Thorns

Roses go to Aspen Skiing Co. for making spouses of employees eligible for chamber discounts on ski passes. This is a great way to make the mountains more inclusive for local residents.

A crown of thorns goes to drivers who perpetually refuse to use turn signals on Aspen’s streets and byways. Pedestrians are in grave danger.

Roses and a new pair of gloves to Janet Urquhart for wielding a machete for a good cause. Urquhart, who works with Pitkin County Open Space and Trails, took on the thistles that proliferated along the Cozy Line Trail in Sky Mountain Park recently. Urquhart, a former Aspen Times reporter and columnist extraordinaire, described it thus: “A prickly job for a prickly gal.”

Thorns go to local planning company EKS Events, which organized a 67-person float party on the North Star Nature Preserve in complete defiance of county rules that prohibit commercial service on the pristine yet often abused piece of land.

A rose to Ace Lane for opening up his midvalley Tree Farm property for the second annual Aspen Valley Xterra triathlon. Whatever you think of the massive (and massively controversial) development Lane is trying to get approved on his plot, the guy has a heck of a backyard playground. A few hundred off-road triathletes were grateful to swim in his ski lake, bike two laps on 6 miles of his flowing single-track trails and run over the idyllic long wood bridges crossing the water.

Roses to two Aspen-area nonprofits that demonstrated this week how they are trying to make a difference. The Independence Pass Foundation unveiled four interpretative signs it installed with the help of partners at the summit of Independence Pass. For sure, the project isn’t nearly as grand as the foundation’s signature accomplishment of stabilizing and revegetating the top road cut. However, educating people about water diversions and the plants and animals on the high terrain will pay dividends. Meanwhile, Summit 54 is wrapping up its fourth year as the driving force behind the Summer Advantage program for children from low-income families in Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs elementary schools. More than 750 children graduated from a five-week stint of studying math and improving their reading and writing skills Friday.

Roses to the volunteers who stepped up Wednesday and worked on the Government Trail through the Aspen Cycling Club’s Adopt A Trail commitment with Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers. Trail maintenance and brush trimming were done on the upper stretch of the Government Trail on Snowmass Ski Area.