The Aspen Times: Roses and thorns |

The Aspen Times: Roses and thorns

Roses to the Colorado Department of Transportation paving crews for their recent work on the Independence Pass road. Special kudos to the courteous flagging crews and truck drivers, who cheerfully accommodated the numerous bicyclists riding the pass during the traffic stops for the repaving project. Total pros.

Thorns to full-time residents, part-time residents and visitors who insist on putting kitchen garbage and trash in recycling bins in Aspen. Instant bear issues caused by thoughtless humans.

Roses to the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails program as well as the city of Aspen Recreation Department for teaming with the Forest Service to get the Hummingbird Traverse Trail built. It makes a nice addition to the Smuggler/Hunter Creek Valley/Red Mountain trail network. Way to get ’er done.

Roses to the Forest Service and Colorado Parks and Wildlife for taking a sensible approach to a tough problem with the bears at Crater Lake. They really aren’t bad bears; they just learned to capitalize on the sloppy habits of humans. The agencies fully realized this and are trying to retrain the bruins. Wildlife officers planned to hold their ground to stay close enough to use a Taser on the bears should they wander into campsites looking for food. The idea is to give them a good shock and make them wary of camps. That’s a heck of a lot better than just writing the bears off as nuisances and killing them. We will keep our fingers crossed that the conditioning works.

A rose to Theatre Aspen for its return to staging serious drama with “Other Desert Cities.” The taut, supremely acted play (running through Aug. 22) packs a wallop and has made for a well-rounded summer of theater in the tent in a season that offers something for everyone.

Thorns go to Snowmass Town Councilman Chris Jacobson, but not because of the criminal allegations against him. Rather, Jacobson gets thorns for the opus he read at Aug. 3’s council meeting telling Mayor Markey Butler to disclose her relationships with Related, Aspen Skiing Co. and other entities that have both made contributions to the nonprofit Butler runs, HomeCare & Hospice of the Valley. Jacobson might have a point, but the timing of his attack smacks of sour grapes. A recall petition has been validated against him in the wake of the charges that he drove drunk and later went ballistic in his jail cell, allegedly committing as much as $15,000 in damage to public property. It was a classic case of deflection by Jacobson, who appears to be going out with all guns blazing — unless he survives the recall against him.

Roses go to the Rotary Club volunteers and others who sold ducks and entries to the Ducky Derby, which was held Saturday in Aspen. Money raised from the event goes toward valley youth, ranging from scholarships to youth organizations.

Roses to the Aspen and St. Louis police departments, and all emergency agencies involved, for quickly and safely apprehending the suspect in the pot-shop hammer burglary.

Thorns to EKS Events and Elizabeth Slossberg not only for blatantly ignoring the advice of the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails ranger but for her apparent lack of concern with regard to taking care of a preserve in her town. It’s one thing when visitors don’t care, but it’s another when locals don’t.

Thorns to the Aspen Art Museum for using large amounts of public space for its Art Crush fundraiser and making it almost impossible for one to get to the free, public library. The art museum has an overly large private space in which to have its fundraisers.

A thorn to the Hillary Clinton campaign for forcing Pitkin County taxpayers to pay $5,000 for security at her private campaign-fundraising function outside Aspen earlier this week.

A rose to the Aspen community for coming together to support a Colorado Springs family who lost a father and husband and a son and brother to a tragic carbon monoxide poisoning event in the Maroon Bells wilderness last month.

A thorn to Christine Tinner of Basalt, who last week finally gave up her objections to paying restitution to the family of the 21-year-old woman she killed after crossing the centerline on Highway 133 in August 2014.