Roses and Thorns | AspenTimes.com

Roses and Thorns

A rose to Aspen Film, whose upcoming Academy Screenings series is loaded with 19 films, all considered contenders for Oscar awards. The films will be screened Dec. 23 through Jan. 2 at the Wheeler Opera House. It's yet another reason Aspen's not just another small town, especially during the holidays.

A thorn to whomever felt the need to steal from one of the shrines on Snowmass ski area. Skis and snowshoes were swiped from the shrine that recognizes Aspen's skiing pioneers. How pathetic is that?

A rose for the Aspen Hope Center's executive director, Michelle Muething, and board president, Sandy Iglehart, who were able to raise the needed funds to keep the suicide-prevention and mental-health facility open. The Hope Center's future appeared dire when it became independent after splitting ways with the Aspen Valley Foundation. But Muething and Iglehart raiseed enough money to keep it solvent for the near future. It's especially important that the Hope Center is open during the holiday and Christmas season, a time in which some people find themselves desolate and lonely.

A thorn to the neighbors at the Common Ground housing complex who are deeply embroiled in a feud over a wide range of silly issues, from dogs that are off-leash to nasty verbal exchanges in the parking lot to bitter feelings over certain unit purchases that occurred more than three years ago. The Common Ground, a 21-unit development at Independence Place near the Hunter Creek trail head, was built some 20 years ago amid a spirit of camaraderie and neighbors working together for the good of all. Today, some of its residents reportedly fear walking down the sidewalk and saying hello to another neighbor because someone from either side of the dispute might try to pull them into the conflict. The matter spilled into Pitkin County Court last week (a restraining-order request that was not resolved) and appears to be headed for District Court (counter-claims and potential lawsuits). This has gone way too far; we would suggest that the opposing parties drop their various legal maneuvers, sit down for coffee and donuts with an open mind and work out their issues like adults.

A rose to Celty Fitterer, the athletic trainer at Aspen High School, and school officials for recognizing the need to educate student-athletes and their parents about the dangerous long-term effects of concussions. The issue has been in the recent spotlight in the professional sports world but awareness should begin at the local level with a focus on youths. Sports-related concussions among athletes 19 and younger have increased by 60 percent over the last decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is a disturbing trend.