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Your Letters

Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

As I am a retired police officer I like to follow and read articles about law enforcement issues in our valley and have been following the story regarding the recent DEA apprehensions in Aspen and Pitkin County.

Everyone knows that Aspen and Pitkin County have liberal views and policies regarding the drug issue, but while reading a follow-up article about this ongoing issue on May 26 I read (and I quote), “It’s also an issue of upholding the community’s values of not wanting undercover investigations conducted here.”

Hmmm, am I the only one who thinks this is a major faux pas (definition: “a violation of accepted social norms”)?

Let’s also look at the definition of the word “values.” The Douglas Harper online Etymology Dictionary defines this word as “principles or standards.”

So by the statement on May 26 a normal person such as myself would understand this comment to mean, “The community of Aspen and Pitkin County accepts drug usage as a social norm as it applies to their principles and standards.”

This is nuts, no community wants cocaine and cocaine dealers around selling death to our children.

The Aspen PD and Pitkin County Sheriff’s Department are mad about not being notified prior to the arrest citing safety issues. Well, the DEA also has to be concerned with safety issues for its officers.

I refuse to believe that the statement on the 26 reflects the views of the general public in Pitkin County. I applaud the DEA and Trident officers for performing these difficult and dangerous operations apprehending drug dealers. These officers are the true definitions of “community values.”

Raymond Vath

Glenwood Springs

The issue regarding the Post Independent’s temporarily suspended online comments is not one of censorship, but whether or not to resume the policy of allowing the authors of those comments to remain anonymous.

This newspaper’s letters section provides an important public forum of ideas where contributors such as Stan Rachesky, Craig Chisesi and Bruno Kirchenwitz have the guts to sign their names to their own (albeit sometimes extreme) opinions. The online comments, on the other hand, had all too often degenerated into a cesspool of erroneous, racist and borderline-libelous diatribes contributed by those too cowardly to take responsibility for their own words.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees us the right to free speech, even if our words are hateful, half-baked or flat out crazy. The Supreme Court has also found on several occasions that anonymous speech is protected, and rightly so in the case of whistleblowers who risk their careers to expose government or corporate wrongdoing.

But this newspaper has no obligation to pander to the lowest among us by continuing to publish the anonymous rants of those too chicken-hearted to step out of the shadows and identify themselves.

Russ Arensman

Glenwood Springs

What a tribute to Emily Johnson written by Rachel Becker. Seems like out of a tragedy, something wonderful has happened for your community. I surely hope the soccer tournament will be a successful event for many years.

Thank you for such an uplifting article. May God bless.

Betty Wilson

Cottonwood, Ariz.

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