Catching up on letters on many topics
Don’t cry for me, Carbondale
“Gee … Malibu is so beautiful. I want to live here!”
“Golly … Pebble Beach is so beautiful. I want to live here!”
“Man… Aspen is so beautiful. I want to live here!”
Are you Roaring Fork-bound or live here already? Well, you better have money – and a lot of it. If you don’t have a lot of money, you will need to get over the fact that just because you want to live in the middle of paradise doesn’t mean that you can or deserve to live here. Just like Aspen, Pebble Beach and Malibu, you can’t live in the middle of paradise unless you got money.
You should also anticipate that you will need more money just to stay here as time moves on. Just look at the valley’s history: tiny little “shacks” in Aspen eventually were assessed (tax-wise) to be worth $600K, $800K, $1+ million (sounds familiar, right Carbondale?). The mainstream longtime local Aspen homeowners were forced “downstream” due to the tax assessments and mansions replaced the “shacks.” I lived in Boulder for years and saw the whole community change from the funky to the rich, because the funky could not afford the property or taxes anymore – so I know what I am talking about. Carbondale is funky right now – but not for very much longer. Trust me.
The local phrase here is “The billionaires kicked the millionaires out of Aspen.” This same trend is moving downvalley with no stop in sight. Basalt is already a done deal. Carbondale is next, then Glenwood. There is no stopping it due to limitations on habitable space. They might build “affordable” small units here and there – but these units will eventually cost a lot of money. Just look at the price of a studio in Aspen — it’s not affordable by any means.
With that said, let’s get one more thing straight: It is not the taxpayer’s responsibility to create affordable housing. It is the responsibility of the individual who wants to live in (the middle of) paradise to earn the right to live in the middle of paradise.
People with jobs who do not earn enough to live directly in the middle of paradise should realize that they still can experience paradise – but they will have to live a bit outside of the middle and possibly drive a bit to get to the middle of paradise and experience all it has to offer.
That’s just how the world works – and the Roaring Fork Valley shouldn’t be any different. Unfortunately, the school bill passed and worker bees are now helping pay for teachers to live here. I guess if we need a cop or a firefighter, we either get killed or burned because – I guess – they are not as important as teachers.
I think I already got burned. So did a lot of other taxpayers who said no to subsidized teacher housing via tax increases.
Don’t recall McClung
We are writing to praise the current mayor of Parachute, Roy McClung, and urge people to vote no on the recall attempt on him, among others. We feel that he has done more for the town of Parachute than many realize. We feel that the approval of marijuana stores in the town of Parachute was a stroke of genius.
After having been through many years of oil and natural gas booms and busts, we finally may have a source of income free of oil and natural gas. Regardless of his personal feelings of marijuana, he was able to see the validity of inserting a money-making option into the town free from boom and bust. Travelers now have a reason to get off the highway in a sleepy little old dusty town for more than gas and cigarettes. For the first time, we are more than just a speck on the map.
As far as the town entering into the business of marijuana, we have been in the alcohol business for a great many years. The issue was raised of children being exposed to the drug by having it in town. They are being exposed to a much worse legal drug every single day, as we currently have three liquor stores in town and numerous restaurants that serve alcohol, not to mention at least five convenience stores that sell alcohol, also.
No, Mr. McClung has not injured our town, his town. He has, in fact only tried to help it out of a bad place. He was born and raised here, his mother was born and raised here, his grandfather was born and raised here and his great-grandfather homesteaded here in the 1800s. He is certainly not trying to bring this town down. He is, in fact, trying to give it a reason to survive.
Marjorie Knight, Leta McDaniel
Unfair concussion commentary
I read with disappointment Josh Carney’s commentary piece from March 21. From the information given, the focus seemed to be on the need for rule changes at they pertain to high school football. What is most upsetting is how you have discounted the efforts that our hospitals, schools, school districts and football coaches have done to make the sport of football safer for our student-athletes.
Our coaches have repeatedly reinforced safe tackling techniques and have limited the amount of contact time during the week in an effort to prevent injuries.
The Roaring Fork School District, in cooperation with Valley View Hospital, has employed full-time Certified Athletic Trainers at GSHS, RFHS and BHS. Aspen Valley Hospital has a certified trainer at AHS. Grand River Hospital has trainers at CRHS, RHS and GVHS; and Steadman Hawkins provides trainers at EVHS and BMHS. The certified trainers at GSHS, RFHS and BHS perform baseline concussion testing on all contact sport student-athletes and have concussion protocols in place to ensure proper recognition and care of our student athletes if they become injured. Our return-to-play protocols are rigorous and help ensure that the student athlete returns to participation as safely as possible. Furthermore, our coaching and medical staffs are continually educating ourselves in the most current practices.
While I respect a person’s right to his/her opinion, you have succumbed to the paranoia of a situation without backing it up with warranted research and an understanding of what is happening in your own valley. I would implore you in the future to consider your whole audience and the impact that such a misguided opinion has on the people you were hired to report on.
Marni Barton, Ryan Erickson, Kristin Whitley, Celty Fritterer, Mike McCann
Certified Athletic Trainers
Editor’s note: We disagree that Sports Editor Carney’s column succumbed to paranoia and underscore the key point: “Now is the time for empathy when it comes to football — for the authorities trying to create rules to make it safer, for big-time players who step away, for families that choose not to participate.”
Move Basalt ahead
How many of you, like me, spent countless hours at the Basalt Regional Library or Town Hall reviewing plans, sketches, options for the redevelopment of the Pan & Fork property?
How much tax money was spent on staff time, professional assistance (though at a hugely discounted rate as they, too, want to see Basalt thrive) preparing those presentations over and over again? How many of you cast your opinion either by ballot or by voice? And what became of that consensus?
Nothing, as it didn’t align with what our elected “representative” wanted. So here we are with a vacant piece of property which shows exactly the state of our town — stagnant.
I want a true representative at the helm. I want Rick Stevens for my mayor. He will make sure our town becomes all it can and should be. He does not have a personal agenda but an understanding of government by and for the people. How many of you will return your ballot and vote for Rick Stevens?
Do you want tourists like locusts?
In Tuesday’s Aspen Times, the headline reads, “City looks at slamming brakes on development.”
Is the Town of Basalt smart enough to learn from the mistakes of Aspen? Do we think that such out-of-control development won’t happen in Basalt? Does development that takes away the last remaining riverfront/open space bring the kind of vitality that builds lasting community relationships, or does it create a town where tourists come through like locusts?
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