Roses and Thorns: Sen. Gardner gets a little of each; midvalley governments make thorny decisions | AspenTimes.com

Roses and Thorns: Sen. Gardner gets a little of each; midvalley governments make thorny decisions

• Roses to Sen. Cory Gardner for making public appearances in Aspen earlier this week, while fully aware that he’d be asked about President Trump and gun control in the aftermath of last weekend’s massacres in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso.

But the first-term senator, who is up for re-election in 2020, also gets some thorns for his tone deafness regarding today’s climate of hostility, divisiveness and violence. Gardner refused to waver, during a public appearance at Chabad Jewish Community Center, on his position on gun control, citing its Constitutional merits.

The NRA supports Gardner, which unfortunately explains, at least partly, his refusal to budge on gun control. It also explains the Yuma Republican’s lack of spine in the face of a real, unmanufactured crisis, as the blood of innocents spills in America’s churches, schools, malls, festivals and entertainment venues.

It’s all about party politics for Gardner, who re-affirmed his loyalty to Donald Trump by dodging an audience member’s question about why he would not stand up to the president’s enabling of racism and bigotry in today’s America. Thorns, and big prickly ones, for Sen. Cory Gardner on those fronts.

• Thorns to elected officials in Basalt and Eagle County for making big decisions that will adversely affect traffic and parking in the midvalley for years to come.

The Basalt Town Council’s approach to parking at the booming Willits Town Center has been to stuff 12 pounds of potatoes into a 10-pound sack. The town government is going to be forced to enforce timed parking to get out of the mess it has created by surrendering public spaces to private development. It’s another case of development not paying for the full impacts.

Across Highway 82 at the Tree Farm, infrastructure work is cranking away and the first phase of residential development is around the corner. The Eagle County Commissioners’ approval of the project will add a substantial number of vehicle trips to midvalley streets that are already overburdened at certain times of the day.

• Roses to Aspen’s City Parks and Rec crews for continually keeping the town looking great. They are the unsung stars of summer, buzzing around like busy bees making our postcard town look even more, um, post-cardy.

• Thorns to the overpriced and underwhelming headhunters for City Manager for not giving the crop of candidates the full interview process before selecting the top four. We’re now down to three and here’s hoping they are of quality and not just well-titled bureaucrats.

Thorns to a group of paddleboarders who allegedly floated down North Star at 3:30 a.m. playing music, but also preemptive thorns to local officials if they overreact and try to limit everyone else’s fun.

Have a rose or a thorn? Send them to letters@aspentimes.com.


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