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Your Letters

In reply to a letter printed in the Aspen Times Jan. 10 by Blanca O’Leary:

1. You say preventive care is free. Really? Since when?

2. To quote you: “Just days after the new Congress convened, House Republicans will vote on a bill to repeal health insurance reform – without debate, without hearings, and without discussion.” What I would like to know is where have you been for the last two years? The president and the Democratic Congress/Senate have tried to explain this bill ad infinitum, and still the majority of Americans want it repealed and replaced. Could it be because it is more than 2,000 pages, and nobody understands most of it – with the exception of lawyers. Give me a break.

3. I think the American people spoke loudly and clearly on Nov. 4. Stop spending, get your fiscal house in order, create jobs, repeal the health care bill, etc. And if Congress and the Senate do not get off their respective duffs and do something about the mess this country is in, vote them out of office in November 2012, including the president.

Chris Burkholder


Regarding the article on Jan. 7 “Attorneys look into … Silt Mesa injury claims,” did anyone besides me see this coming? First, the signs and complaints, then the unsubstantiated medical claims by a certain person who shall remain nameless (but whose initials are, coincidentally, B.S.). Just goes to show you that if you raise enough of a stink you’re bound to attract some flies.

Just when Mr. Colson seemed to be getting it right in the other two of three front pagers, he had to throw in a quote by the aforementioned B.S. about her relief at having “big guns” behind her. These are the kind of big guns that make me almost support gun control.

So, this is what it comes down to: Lawyers extort the energy companies to pay the whiners to shut up and go away. They missed out on potential gas royalty payments, so they want a slice of the pie. If I were the energy resource companies, I would “stick to my guns” and not dole out a penny to undeserving leeches and their liars.

The fact that these attorneys were successful in getting money from Uncle Sam to help the families of true heroes after a national crisis has no correlation to the current Garfield County situation. How much of the $800 million did the law firm keep, rather than dispersing it to those who truly deserve it?

I want to be clear that I support holding the energy companies’ feet to the fire to do their job in as clean and safe a manner as possible, but not holding a gun to their head. They have the legal right to pursue gas exploration and production, as well as the responsibility to minimize deleterious impacts on the community and environment.

Mr. Colson’s second article of that edition, and in the Jan. 11 paper show that when community members and energy companies work together, a consensus can be reached. Also nice to hear from other voices in Battlement not represented by the “concerned citizens.”

Let’s encourage more communication, and leave the “big guns” at home.

Dan McQueen

New Castle

SkiCo does many wonderful things; but the issue is not that. It is what it does not do.

Fact: Lester Crown gave $1 million to the United Way’s Tocqueville Society, which works to “promote a living wage for healthy families.”

Which means: a tax deduction from this donation that would have gone to the American people? Building roads and shared infrastructure is a good image here.

He sits as a trustee on a really big important select club of peers located here in town: The Aspen Institute. Being called out on it in Aspen every Christmas for hypocrisy (they’re handing out literature on Durant after 3 p.m. everyday? What? They’re picketing the Ideas Festival again?) perhaps, he also cares about what people think?

I need to raise a family in the valley. I prefer to have one job, and the industry takes advantage of its lowest paid workerbees.

And therein lies all the rub.

The Snowmass Sun said it more succinctly: economic injustice.

Lee Mulcahy


Roaring Fork High School is holding an open house at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 19. I urge anyone with any interest to check it out.

When my older son was in eighth grade, we looked at several schools, among them Aspen High. Teddy (Benge) was ski racing at the time, and the location would have helped in getting to practices; and I had been reading about the International Baccalaureate program.

Yet I am so glad he is where he is: at Roaring Fork.

The school has a great spirit. Its principal, Cliff Colia, knows the name and believes in the potential of every student in his halls. He is visible at just about every event, including away ones (half the time he is not only there, he’s driven the bus). The assistant principal, Barbara Mason, is respected and relied upon. My husband and I have another eighth-grader now and this time are not looking anywhere else.

Students can study to whatever difficulty level they choose, taking honors, Advanced Placement and college classes. Last year Teddy took a college-credit law school course taught by respected attorneys who brought in experience of local cases. He has a sterling lineup of teachers, a match for teachers at any private school; I am not the only parent to say that. He has a diverse group of friends, a great gift to any young person, and is welcomed into their homes. Jill Knaus, longtime Spanish teacher, will tell you how Latino and Anglo students have come together and help each other in her classes.

From ninth grade, Teddy has wanted to go to everything at Roaring Fork, from games to the talent show or even to help scare kids at the Haunted House. When the girls’ volleyball team became district champions and played in Denver, busloads of kids traveled to support them, creating the loudest cheering section.

Long ago when my sister approached first grade, my mother asked our pediatrician which was the best school. He said, “The best school is the nearest one.”

If you can’t make the open house, try a basketball game.

Alison Osius


There is more than one God.

Following the National Championship college football game, winning coach Gene Chizik declared that they were blessed and that God had been with them during the football game. I thought it odd that the Supreme Being, the creator of all things including the universe, was an Auburn football fan. As opposed to an Oregon fan, a school in a politically blue, and therefore (in some minds) a Godless state.

I noticed that the Auburn team was composed of a majority of black players (68 percent in the team photo) and comes from the state of Alabama, where the population is only 26 percent black. Looking closer, the black portion of the Auburn student body is only 8 percent.

It occurs to me that their God was also a pretty savvy recruiter. Not only did he secure the services of the 6-foot-6-inch, 250-pound Heisman winning quarterback, but also probably the best defensive lineman in college football at 6 feet 5 inches and 300 pounds. (Except for a recruiting scandal where the quarterback was going to be paid more than a hundred large, he would have played at another college.) Both of these players are also black.

Therefore, not only does the Auburn team most likely have their own god of football, but there is a very good chance he is black. Not such a wild idea; the first humans were black, and according to Genesis, God made man in his own image.

President Obama is forever asking for God to bless America. Would a one and only God ignore all the other people and countries in the world? Probably not. There must be a special USA god.

Having just one God, and then demanding that he is only “our” God, is really not very productive. The more the merrier; that’s the way it was in the good old days – you know, about 4,000 years ago.

Patrick Hunter


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