The Aspen Times editorial: We’re handing out roses and thorns
Rose: To Jack Frey, owner of the Butcher’s Block on South Spring Street, for throwing a block party Sunday to celebrate the meat and gourmet market’s 40th anniversary. Frey, his staff and volunteers grilled and served more than 1,000 pounds of meat and seafood, free of charge, to an estimated 2,000 people between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The lines were extremely long, but the food was well worth the wait, and residents enjoyed mingling with one another amid warm weather and sunny skies. The organizers, restaurants and caterers that participate in the annual Mac and Cheese Fest and Soupskol events should take a cue from Frey and consider providing larger portions when those events come back around in September and January.
Thorn: To former and current mayoral candidate Maurice Emmer, for announcing his mayoral candidacy for 2015 before the 2013 election has been decided. We understand Emmer’s frustration in the wake of the May 7 election: He ran third, failing to make the runoff, and was met with criticism from other mayoral hopefuls on the right who believe he “tea partied” them by entering the race late and taking away votes that likely would have gone to them. But announcing his bid for a mayor’s race that won’t be held for two years reeked of sour grapes and sarcasm, rather than what he thought was a savvy political move, and was far removed from the congenial and classy face that the Republican Emmer put on during the campaign. Aside from that, we’re a bit tired of the endless campaigning that goes on for Aspen’s mayoral seat, even in the “off” election years (such as 2010 and 2012), and wish the Election Commission and City Council would look more closely at increasing the terms from two years to three or four years.
Rose: To financial supporters of the Aspen Community School, for donating enough money toward a matching fund that secured a $4.2 million state grant that will go a long way toward helping the school build its much-needed new campus. Two weeks before the April 30 deadline to raise the necessary $4.9 million to match the grant, the kindergarten-through-eighth-grade Woody Creek charter school was $1 million short. That the school and its fundraising team were able to raise that much money in such a short amount of time was no small feat.
Rose: To James Ontko and Ricardo Massolini, who became the first couple to be granted a civil union in Pitkin County on May 1, the first day that Colorado’s Civil Union Act went into effect. The Snowmass Village men tied the knot in high style, wearing Christian Dior suits and ties for the ceremony at the county Clerk and Recorder’s Office, followed by a champagne breakfast at the St. Regis in Aspen. Congrats, guys.
Thorn: To young voters (those younger than 40) who skipped Aspen’s municipal election despite the many avenues available to them to vote, including an early-voting period and mail-in ballot access. Only an estimated 13 percent of the voters in the recent election were younger than 40. A word to the “kids” — offseason vacations and not knowing where your precinct is located are lousy excuses for failing to participate in the democratic process. Your vote counts, and you should exercise your right to cast a ballot and make a difference.