Roses & Thorns (March 26, 2021): Cheers to our student-athlete Skiers; jeers to the college kid trying to be a skier |

Roses & Thorns (March 26, 2021): Cheers to our student-athlete Skiers; jeers to the college kid trying to be a skier

Aspen Times staff

A couple of dozen roses go to our Aspen High students who represented well and again won state championships in boys and girls skiing, which combines Nordic and alpine scores. No pressure when your school nickname is the Skiers. Roses also to to freshman Chase Kelly who won the boys individual alpine title. And props to the girls swim team, who had to wait out the Denver storm earlier this month and with titles in the 200-medley relay — Kayla Tehrani, Lilly Huggard, Emily Kinney and Bennett Jones —and Tehrani, who won the 3A state championship in the 100 butterfly.

Thorns to Basalt town government for not having the Basalt River Park project shovel-ready much earlier this winter. A development firm closed on the purchase of the property west of downtown Basalt in mid-November, and the town simultaneously closed on 1 acre to add to the riverside park. The town should have had a request for bids package ready the next day. Instead, here we are four months later still waiting to depart the starting gate. This winter was so mild that a substantial amount of the park grading could have been accomplished as well as substantial infrastructure work.

Roses to the 200-plus volunteers who for the past year have helped Aspen Family Connections and Food Bank of the Rockies with their weekly mobile food distribution to those struggling because of the pandemic. Every week, without fail, volunteers and the AFC crew have distributed food from the parking lots of Aspen public schools, Buttermilk Ski Area, Aspen Chapel and the Aspen Golf Course. Last week they passed the 10,500-mark of households served since the pandemic hit. That’s just outstanding. Roses to all who have helped in this cause.

Roses to the good people of Emma for working through a problem, painful as it was. Neighbors got up in arms, while holding their noses, over a hemp field along Emma Road in a rural area with a good number of homes. They took their beef to the Pitkin County commissioners, which set new review criteria for hemp cultivation. Meanwhile, the grower with the field in question voluntarily offered to avoid planting this year, restoring the peace. Now that we think of it, maybe a few thorns as well for all involved for not working through the issues earlier. The episode creates a sinking feeling that as property values soar and aging Emma residents cash out, we’re going to see the area gentrified. The next complaint to the county will be over the odor created by cows and horses.

Thorn to the out-of-control college “skier” who took out one of our staffers during a recent NCAA Tournament Saturday at Snowmass. Why is that important? Dude was wearing a Duke basketball jersey as his skiing attire. The Dukie went full yard sale underneath the Big Burn lift, and luckily, no one was hurt. Our suggestion to him and his buddy in the Auburn windbreaker: Get off the Burn and go back to Fanny Hill and work on your form.

A rose to Francie Jacober for hitting the ground running this year as a rookie Pitkin County commissioner. Newly elected officials typically look like a deer in the headlights and take a year or more to contribute to public discourse in a meaningful way. Jacober hasn’t appeared rattled by her new responsibilities and brings insights to the meetings.

Have a rose or a thorn? Send them to with the subject line as: Roses & Thorns.

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