Thursday letters: Aspen Public Radio, snow and ice, and retail workers
To the Aspen Public Radio board and listening public
I am writing to voice my disgust and sadness over the recent actions taken by the Aspen Public Radio executive director and any others responsible for the abrupt cancellation of all current music programs and the dismissal of all the hard-working, dedicated and talented volunteer hosts. This is in addition to the decision some time ago to change weekend programming to repeat so many programs, and to now add additional repeats during the week.
My husband and I have supported Aspen Public radio for 25 years, even before moving to the valley 20 years ago. Until a few months ago, we listened almost exclusively to the station, from morning to night. When the weekend duplication of programs began, we stopped listening to KAJX on weekends and began exploring both KDNK and Colorado Public Radio, as well as direct streaming of preferred programs. In our opinion, since the departure of Carolyne Heldman (who did an outstanding job), the station has continually gone down hill to the point where we will cease listening.
We are now “voting” with our hands by turning our dial to those other public radio stations and sources, and with our checkbook — we have cancelled our KAJX Evergreen membership, and will direct our financial support to those stations that value local participation and diversity in programming.
We encourage other listeners who feel as we do, to do the same.
The soul of Aspen Public Radio is being ripped out
I am very disturbed by the changes made by the radio staff at KAJX/KCJX to remove local music programming and replace it with syndicated talk programs such as Fresh Air and international news that you can stream elsewhere. The presenters of Jazz from Aspen (I am a regular listener of Stu’s and Jeannie’s programs) are an amazing group of volunteers and community members. I was also saddened when the Sunday morning “Pass the Mustard Bluegrass” was curtailed last year. I am happy it found a spot at KDNK.
BBC is on every night. Fresh Air is already programmed for early evenings and on weekends. To learn we are losing our music programming for more programming of Fresh Air makes no sense to me. There are other examples such as “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” weekly episodes that are repeated over the weekend.
I did intend to complete the 2019 radio listener survey. It focused too much on delivery formats and was going to take me an hour or more to complete. I don’t remember being asked to rank which programming I preferred. I was saddened when Krista Tibbet’s “On Being” program was removed. I wrote to the station expressing my disappointment and did get a reply, but not a satisfactory response of why it was dropped.
Do we really have to accept this as the final decision? No, not if we decide to withhold contributions during 2020 fundraising. The soul of Aspen Public Radio is being ripped out and KAJX will soon become a very generic radio station on the path it is pursuing.
Thanks to Maddie Vincent of the Aspen Times for her in depth reporting of this community loss.
Don’t expect to have all snow and ice removed
I just want to mention that we live in a mountain town surrounded by ski areas. It always has been a mountain town surrounded by mountains that collect snow and ice.
I choose to live here. If you’re here you obviously do, too. I don’t think anyone can expect all snow and ice to be removed. Come on! I have five joint replacements and in 69 years haven’t had something I can’t handle.
If you choose to live here you need to deal with it, and be prepared, always.
A retail workers lament
Having been a retail worker on and off for years, I’ve come to notice many things about people. Recently, more than ever, it has been a frustrating job because of the way customers behave in the stores they frequent and how badly retail workers are treated. For the most part, society seems to have lost its luster — aka courtesy.
What gives a parent the right to let their child(ren) loose in a store and treat the aisles like a raceway and a playground? — knocking over products, harshly playing with items that won’t be bought (and now are too dirty to sell) is something workers see on a daily basis. Rude brats shouting all over the store and disturbing everyone is nothing folks leave their house for. What happened to manners being taught?
There are many people who treat retail workers as if they are meant to be slaves. There are overly demanding customers that believe they are on this Earth to behave horribly to anyone at a register. Why? Because the workers aren’t rich-wannabes who are pulled tighter than a rubber band? What makes the customer think they can get away with such behavior?
Retail workers are not there to be your babysitter. Retail workers are not there for you to use as a doormat, boot scrape or your verbal punching bag. Customers also have to realize that they need to think. Really. Use your brain when you leave your house. Retail workers are not mind readers, either. Sharpen up America! Sadly, relatable scenes are played out across the country. There are bright spots on some days with customers who are genuine.
All of the above brings me to this — why is it customers always think it’s the retail workers that are rude? Maybe it’s because the previously mentioned items and more have happened day in and day out. Maybe it’s because workers are seriously tired of literally picking up after rude and careless customers. Maybe it’s because retail workers are fed up with low pay and having to act somewhat pleasant to insolent customers.
Maybe it’s because retail workers are just plain fed up.
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