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Letters from Snowmass

Limited options for Aspen Entrance

Let’s face it: Aspen is a full-grown city. It is not limited to its residents. Every day, hoards of residents, visitors, tourists, and workers come into and out of the city. Every day, there is unacceptable traffic congestion. Every day, there is lots of talk about the entrance to Aspen. And, every day, nothing is done about it.

Whether you like it or not, Aspen is like an island, surrounded by mountains, rivers, and conditions that severely limit the area where roads can be built to a small strip along on the western border. And, existing housing basically further restricts any access. So, practically, there are only two feasible alternatives: the existing bridge and s-curves or a new road going straight into Aspen over the Marolt space. That’s it, like it or not.

And, the fact is the existing entrance is just not workable. The bridge is old and needs replacement. The S-curves are simply not acceptable. If we were starting from scratch, there is no way an s-curve entrance would ever have been chosen.



From a practical standpoint, the only viable solution is the straight shot — whether you like it or not. So, let’s stop the useless discussions and start the process to accomplish that.

Eric Simon




Snowmass Village

Snow Ball Gala works for good

We were excited to read your coverage of the upcoming Snow Ball Gala. Our daughter, Avey O’Doherty, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) at age 2 and underwent close to three years of treatment. Avey benefited from the kind of research supported by the Snow Ball — she participated in a study to roll back the toxicity of treatment while maintaining excellent ALL outcomes. 

Today, Avey’s a healthy seventh grader at Aspen Middle School, AVSC Big Mountain skier, committed Aspen Lacrosse Club defender, writer, singer, and loving big sister. Our family’s pediatric cancer journey crystalized our priorities, motivating our 2017 move to Aspen in search of the best possible quality of life for our girls. 

We appreciate your reporting as well as the Snow Ball organizers’ work. Perhaps Avey’s story can offer a glimmer of hope to other families facing cancer. 

Alycia Steinberg

Snowmass Village

Thanks for looking out for me

To the good Samaritan in the Jeep who followed me off 82 into the AABC gas station to let me know that my “very good pair of gloves” had flown off the top of my car around Mountain Rescue: You were right in assessing that they were good gloves (They were), and you were correct in assuming that I would gladly go back and get them (I did).

Your random act of kindness made my day. It also made me feel, just for a moment, something even more gratifying — that maybe we are still a ski town, with locals looking out for each other! Thanks for everything!

Kevin P. Ward

Snowmass

Not a single-issue candidate

With the news of Tracy Sutton running for mayor getting out, it’s not surprising the short-term rental and residential-development conversations have already been thrown in the dialogue as a dig to her candidacy. 

She has a deep-seated passion for the city of Aspen, the small business owners, the locals, and all the like — not just the career she’s held for over 30 years. 

It’s time for a change, and there’s nothing wrong with that!

Sara Sealey

Snowmass

A fabulous place to live, even with problems

Just read Don Roger’s column today. As a 72 year old (among the first of Boomers), I have to say that I profoundly … agree (!) with your observations. Even guffawed as I flushed a bit with self-recognition. Ha ha ha ha. We Boomers are incurably inflexible. About everything. Not just the perceived “lost soul” of Aspen.

I have been coming to Aspen since 1983, and, six-plus years ago, I retired in the area. As admittedly codgeristic as I have become, the Aspen that I see these days is nearly the same as the one I saw when first visiting 40 years ago.

I just don’t notice (well, maybe a little) the changes. I do regret the loss of local joints (e.g. the Red Onion, Johnny Maguire’s, Shooters), and I do think traffic has worsened. But, the quaint, mining-era buildings are still incredibly charming, the airport is still very manageable, people who work and/or live nearby are incredibly open, positive and engaging, and the view of Ajax bearing down on the core is, well, nothing short of spectacular. (To say nothing of other views in the area!)

In my 40s, I came upon a “people in the street” column in the Sunday Aspen Times. Locals were asked to comment on how Aspen might be improved. Their responses floored me, they were SO negative. And, they were not Boomers in their later years.

I was a Snowmass ski ambassador for a few years after my retirement. So, I had to be there by Thanksgiving, opening day at Ajax. Although I was 66-69, I could hardly contain my joy at skiing a mere 100 or so acres on Thanksgiving Day. That joy is still here. And, even on some too dry ski days, I found the attitudes of visitors’ exemplary.

This is just a fabulous place to live. Thanks for your column.

Esteban “Steve” Ferrer

Snowmass Village