Roses and thorns | AspenTimes.com

Roses and thorns

A rose to Adam McCabe, former U.S. Marine, Purple Heart Recipient and Iraq Combat Veteran. He spoke in Aspen on Veterans Day in support of Purple Star Veterans & Families, which helps vets cope with their return home. After suffering through his own homecoming, he has made the issue his life's work.

A thorn to the situation surrounding the possible closure of Taqueria el Nopal restaurant in Basalt. A new agreement between the Basalt Town Council and the Rocky Mountain Institute might shorten the amount of time before the popular restaurant is evicted. On Tuesday, the council updated an agreement to sell the land on which the restaurant sits so that the institute can build a new office and conference facility. One councilwoman expressed concern that the agreement could create a scenario in which the restaurant, which has a month-to-month lease, is evicted and the building demolished with the institute not starting construction for several years. That would be a shame. The Roaring Fork Valley can ill afford to lose another affordable eatery.

The rose goes to state lawmakers who are seeking to increase the minimum fine — from $500 to $2,000 — for truckers who attempt to drive over Independence Pass. Signs warn drivers of tractor-trailers that it's against the law to use the narrow pass, but that hasn't always stopped those who prefer the shortcut in lieu of using Highway 82 via Glenwood Springs. And the thorn goes to the truckers who attempt the difficult feat, often getting stuck on a narrow curve and tying up traffic in both directions for long stretches of time.

A rose to Mother Nature for dropping six inches of snow on Friday and an estimated 10 more on Saturday on Aspen Mountain. The fresh powder was a welcome sight to skiers and snowboarders who flocked to the ski area over the weekend, which was the kick-off to the 2013-14 winter ski season.