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Letters – March 11, 2021

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Plan A please
I write this letter to provide input and concerns about the plans to improve the 8th Street Corridor. I have owned a home on 8th Street for 25 years and grew up in the same house from the time my parents had it built in the 1960s. For me, and many others who live on our street, there is compromise in Plan A, with six foot and improved sidewalks, whereas nine foot sidewalks and one-side-of-the-street parking presents little, and that is why we oppose Plan B.
Over the years, traffic has been of mounting concern. Speeding, large truck use, and resident parking have increased on the street every year. I myself have interest in these issues being addressed.
In regard to the current proposal, there has been ample feedback from 8th Street residents. Personally, I have attended two town Zoom meetings, completed the town’s survey about the project, walked (and driven) the two plans that have been proposed and met with Kevin Schorzman from Public Works. I’ve had numerous conversations with neighbors and passersby strolling along 8th Street — who more often than not stop to chat.
From my observation, most of the public supports Plan A. I am aware of other 8th Street residents collecting signatures in support of this plan. People living on 8th Street should have a say about what happens in front of their homes, especially if that involves building into their properties.
I also heard most of the citizens present at the recent Zoom meeting expressing support for Plan A. The multitude of conversations I’ve had with folks on 8th Street have trended the same way. Furthermore, it’s apparent from the town’s own survey that most people support parking on both sides of the street.
I support Plan A largely because it preserves parking on both sides of the street. Our neighborhood is made up of working class people and they rely on parking near their homes, especially during the evening hours. Many of the homes you see on 8th Street have multiple units, housing more than one family. Where will residents park if half of the spaces are taken away? Is there a plan for this we’re not aware of?
Thank you for considering my input regarding the proposed project. Much time and money has been spent on it planning, but I ask that you please consider suggestions from the residents whose lives will be impacted by your decision.
Jillene Rector

Ascendigo success
On behalf of Ascendigo Autism Services, we wish to share our deep gratitude for those who helped make our 10th annual Ascendigo Blue Aspen fundraising event a great success!
This year’s event was presented via livestream over Presidents’ Day weekend from the iconic Hotel Jerome. During these unprecedented times, we were unable to safely host the hundreds of guests who normally attend our lively event at the Hotel Jerome. That said, we are forever grateful to the ardent supporters who participated this year in true-blue fashion.
Ascendigo Blue Aspen has become one of Aspen’s premier charity events, helping to raise critical funding for the life-changing services and experiences we offer to more than 200 autistic individuals each year. With a mission to elevate the spectrum by empowering people, inspiring lives, and shattering expectations, Ascendigo’s ability to deliver on this mission depends heavily on the generosity of the Roaring Fork Valley community.
We thank you for always welcoming and accepting our participants for who they are and the important role they play in our community. You help by providing culturally enriching activities, jobs, volunteer opportunities and many other supports to our clients.
Special thanks to Sentient Jet, Rolls Royce Motor Cars, The Aspen Times, Aspen Magazine, Hotel Jerome, Aspen Skiing Company, The Little Nell Hotel Group, Aspen Eventworks and the many other sponsors and donors who contributed to the success of Ascendigo Blue Aspen 2021.
With some optimism, we look forward to returning next year with a spirited, in-person Ascendigo Blue Aspen 2022. Please mark your calendars for Feb. 19, 2022. We look forward to seeing you there!
Peter Bell
President & CEO
Ascendigo Autism Services

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I have experienced a few interactions with Michael Francisco and enjoyed his genteel, soft-spoken presence. He is very polite. The story in the Feb. 25 edition of The Sopris Sun tells me about “living while being Black” in Carbondale and the shaky nature of “innocent until proven guilty.” On a report of an employee at the fuel center “feeling uncomfortable” due to alleged behavior, Michael was taken to the floor at City Market and handcuffed. In the days before militarized policing in America, Michael would have completed his purchase and have been contacted outside the store. Chief Wilson failed in his goal to get Francisco to leave the store without instigating an arrest. Citizens of Carbondale realize that heavy-handed, modern American policing can/will happen to you. This incident is an example of current police training in America.
Richard Vottero

Rosie and Sophie

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A tortoiseshell cat
The only thing better is
Two tortoiseshell cats

JM Jesse
Glenwood Springs

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Community safety
I’d like to add my voice to those speaking out about the arrest of Michael Francisco. I worked with Michael for a long time. He is a gentle person, with a laid back sense of humor.
I would suggest that the whole incident might have been mitigated by calm and directed intervention on the part of law enforcement. By all accounts, Michael was not “armed and dangerous,” but one might think so, based on the manner in which he was arrested.
Let’s keep our lines of communication open. Community safety is for everyone.
Karen Tafejian

Joe’s been in office 30 days and gas is up 30 cents a gallon. Coincidence or a new meaning for “unity?” Our schools stay closed despite the CDC’s OK to open safely. Joe’s promoting “unity” with the teachers’ unions by following their “science.” Are Big Tech monopolies using “community” or “communist” standards to censor our free speech in the name of “unity?” Heeding Joe’s call for unity, the media is no longer giving daily COVID death totals, unemployment stats, checking facts or tallying lies. Ain’t unity peachy?
Bruno Kirchenwitz

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Fun and fruitful
SISU 29 was a great success! The fundraiser for the Mount Sopris Nordic Council looked a lot different this year. Due to the pandemic, it would have been inappropriate to have the large gathering where we all rally together. SISU was held over two weekends and through that week which gave locals plenty of time to add many kilometers to the beloved skiathon. “Ski your social distance” was this year’s mantra.
We knew it was going to be a good week when, early the first morning, a woman with a purple wig, wild ruffled clothing and a gold sparkly face was one of the first to don her skis! She went on to ski 25 kilometers almost every day of the skiathon.
SISU is Finnish for that intangible grit and determination, strength and persistence, when facing hardship and challenge. It is innately a Finnish trait. It can also often translate into “terrible weather!” This year’s event saw a range of snow and weather conditions, most of it good. Trail conditions were great thanks to the Spring Gulch grooming crew.
Many devotees of Spring Gulch found sponsors to fund their skiing, dollar per kilometer. This greatly leveraged their contributions which go 100% toward the daily cost of the $500 that it takes to operate your cross country ski area in the heart of Thompson Divide. Spring Gulch is a not-for-profit volunteer organization that is funded by donations only.
Our community is proud of Spring Gulch and Spring Gulch applauds everyone who participated and contributed to the Ski for SISU 29th Annual Skiathon. Congratulate the winners below!
Total kilometers (Women): Beth Johnson (211), Susy Ellison (168), Helen Carlsen (112.5). Total kilometers (Men): David Kodama (237.3), Danny Sullivan (104.1), Franz Froehlicher (101), Michael Scher (100.5), Kirk Robinson (100). Total kilometers (Youth): Burton Smith (83), Reed Russell (71), Juniper Anderson (57), Sadie Silcox (50.3), Sean Passmore (44, pulled by dad!).
Sponsored pledges: Cara Agran ($670), Laurie Stone ($522), Donna Riley ($450), Reed Russell ($253), Gabriella Sutro ($236), Julie and Andre Wille ($240), Greg Fitzpatrick ($250).
John Armstrong
Mount Sopris Nordic Council

Tags: #8th Street #Ascendigo Blue #policing