Roses and Thorns, the best and worst of Aspen
• Roses — and thorns — to the two guys wearing the American flag one-piece ski suits on Aspen Mountain on Saturday. Roses for their patriotism and their desire to honor the flag. Thorns simply because those ski suits were ugggggly. They looked like a reject outfit for Captain America.
• Thorns to the Colorado Department of Transportation for ongoing failure to adequately address a dangerous situation on westbound Highway 82 through Snowmass Canyon. Snow is plowed off the road onto the shoulder and against concrete barriers on the east end of the canyon in the downvalley-bound lanes. The water from melting snow covers the travel lanes. The water turns to glaze ice when the canyon gets shaded by mid-afternoon. The situation catches many drivers unaware, particularly on bluebird days when they let their guard down. There were two single-vehicle crashes between mile marker 28 and 29 Tuesday and another one Wednesday, when a woman’s vehicle hit the ice, lost control, flipped over the barrier and rolled twice before stopping just shy of the Roaring Fork River. She was fortunate to escape serious injury. It’s probably too late to do anything about the design of the banked curves that send melting water into the travel lanes. However, CDOT crews should make it a priority after storms to remove the piled snow that is creating the problems.
• Roses to the Circle of Friends for the Winterskol bingo at the Pitkin County Library on Sunday. From the little ones to the elderly participants, all ages were represented at this gathering. Taster’s Pizza provided some of the food, and roses also go to the volunteers who made this happen. A good time was had by all.
• A thorn to the gentleman on the gondola last week spouting off that snowboarders shouldn’t be allowed on Aspen Mountain. We’re all here to have fun and enjoy ourselves and share this beautiful place, no need for an attitude like that.
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• Roses to Gary Tennenbaum for a short, heartfelt appeal for everyone in the political arena in Basalt to chill out. While acting as mayor pro tem recently, Tennenbaum urged residents to make a fresh start in the new year after intense political debate and all-out bickering in 2016. The town had a contentious race for mayor in April and a campaign over a tax question in November that devolved into personal attacks. Piled on top was a lawsuit by the town against a resident and a lawsuit by a different resident against the town, both over public records issues. Tennenbuam noted that all residents are working for a better Basalt, so they should put aside their differences. Well said. Town politics doesn’t have to resemble the reality-TV show “Survivor.”
• Thorns to the locals who go to City Market during apres ski. Not because they know better to go then, but because they complain about how busy it is at that time of the day. Hello?
• A rose for the contractor on the Basalt underpass project for repainting the lines for the traffic lanes at and near the intersection with Basalt Avenue. A recent thorn for not spending the money on the restripping erroneously inflated the price of the project. It’s $7 million.
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