Roses and Thorns |

Roses and Thorns

Either a batch of roses or a crown of thorns will be going to the collective crowd in town for the X Games this weekend.

As the winter-sports spotlight shines on Buttermilk Ski Area, we’ll see the usual bombardment of youth in Aspen the weekend before the Super Bowl. Their presence alone, while not even for a week, makes Aspen look less like an exclusive retirement community and more like a hopping ski town. And that’s pretty cool.

Yet it can get a bit thorny when some of them — not all, mind you — are not minding themselves, getting sloppy drunk with fake IDs. That usually means a number of minor-in-possession citations handed out to them, giving our local justice system a robust docket of offenders in the ensuing weeks. There’s also their seemingly willful ignorance of litter laws, but nothing shocking there.

Youthful discretions can be part of life. Just take it easy out there and respect all that Aspen has to offer — we’d like to see you return (with a clean local record) and get some Aspen Times roses.

A rose goes to Local’s Corner and its owners, the Haisfields, for keeping intact the things we hold dear about small towns: Air. Free air. The air compressor at the Conoco gas station on Main Street went bye-bye once the place closed to make way for redevelopment. But fortunately Local’s Corner has put a free air hose in the alley behind the convenience store. The air is free. Use it!

A thorn goes to construction workers, Pitkin County officials and law enforcement officials for ignoring the no-parking in a fire lane. For unknown reasons, the crews working on the renovation of the courthouse feel above the law and often line their trucks along the north side of the alley in Galena Plaza. Right across from sheriff’s deputy vehicles and on top of the roof of a parking garage, no less. It’s a tight spot in there and we’d hate to see an emergency in the nearby library or jail that would prevent emergency vehicles from getting access. Time to park it somewhere else, guys.

A rose for all the 60-plus people who raised nearly $3,000 to help Michael Costello replace his gear after his backpack was stolen. Costello lives outdoors, and is familiar to many as the man with the long, gray beard who can be spotted hanging out in the downtown area. Thanks to the community’s generosity, Costello was able to restock on all the gear needed to survive the winter — and he even got a haircut.