This website is being remodeled again, so everything's jumbled. Plus our
press, which we bought years ago in Oklahoma City and hauled to Aspen, is
being rebuilt with parts scattered from hell to breakfast all over the office.
It's been so long since we've put anything on the streets, I'll be amazed
if the press works. So no phone calls please now unless you have money for
me and/or good news. And keep in mind that Im a recovering jerk.
TEXAS NATIVE KAREN DAY,
One of Karen's larger interior design
projects was Marolt Ranch for the City of Aspen, which houses 300 employees.
She was born & raised in the oilfields around Midland, Texas, and was a real estate developer in Houston. See link below for photos.
KEEP SCROLLING WAY BELOW THE CHAOS OF STORIES UPLOADED FROM ASPEN FREE PRESS STREET EDITIONS TO WHAT'S BEEN WRITTEN IN OTHER PUBLICATIONS ABOUT "ASPEN'S WORST NEWSPAPER" SINCE ITS WOBBLY INCEPTION IN THE THIRD PARKED CAR FROM THE CORNER AT MAIN AND MONARCH IN 1982.
JUNE 11, 2006 UPDATE - - ATTENTION ASPEN FREE PRESS READERS. Be proud! You can always tell Aspen Free Press readers by the way they move their lips when they read! Anyway, here's the announcement: Don't look for the Aspen Free Press on the streets until late summer and even then only sparingly. Publisher Sterling Greenwood is applying for Social Security and will be cutting back his schedule. He has entered a food abuse rebab clinic situated in the mountains of Central Mexico near the village of Tesquisquiappan (don't even try to pronounce it). Greenwood, who enjoys "the challenge of the uncertain," which Mexico affords, carries 160 pounds on a 5'11" frame and hopes to be L.A.-homeless-victim thin at 145 pounds when he completes the center's stringent food abuse therapy program -- daily injections of a centuries-old Chinese herbal concoction laced with ma juang ie ephedra, a substance now banned for use as an appetite suppressant in the U.S because it costs the junk food industry big $$$$ annually in unsold product. (Didn't 300,000 Americans die prematurely of obesity-related afflictions last year? And, do you ever wonder why any substances, once they're shown to curb food appetites, become increasingly difficult to get?) "In Aspen," Greenwood says, "the only sin is being fat and I don't want to take any chances."
"Besides," he continues, "I have prostate cancer and my Uncle Clarence always said that to beat cancer you have to starve the bastard. You sure as hell don't hand-feed it like a pet. Treat it like visiting in-laws. Don't keep anything around they liketo eat." Greenwood emphasizes that he is not a health care professional, but "just a patient stumbling around in this goat dance," so readers with prostate cancer or any other kind of cancer for that matter should be advised to consult their physicians before acting on any information gleaned here. And the beat rolls on . . . .
HUNTER THOMPSON FUNERAL CANNON BLAST -- A PRIVATE SERVICE AT OWL FARM. KEEP SCROLLING FOR ASPEN FREE PRESS PHOTO.
BULLETINS -- NOTHING SO FAR TODAY, THANKFULLY, , KEEP CHECKING.
MOVIES TONIGHT -- NO MOVIE REVIEWS TODAY. BESIDES, . THIS IS THE KIND OF DAY TO SIT UNDER A TIN ROOF, EAT PIMENTO CHEESE SANDWICHES AND EAT SNOW ICE CREAM.
BEST BUYS -- HO HUM.THERE ARE SOME SUPER DEALS IN ASPEN ON RESTYLANE INJECTIONS.AND SOME SPECIALS ARE EXPECTED SOON, TOO, ON CAVERJET INJECTIONS. KEEP CHECKING HERE FOR UPDATES. CAVERJET TO VIAGRA IS LIKE A LEAR JET TO A VOLKS. BUT BE CAREFUL. YOU MAY WIND UP AT THE EMERGENCY ROOM AT ASPEN VALLEY HOSPITAL, PLEADING WITH DOCS TO "PLEASE JUST MAKE IT GO BACK DOWN." DISCLAIMER: WE ARE NOT HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS AT THE ASPEN FREE PRESS, BUT WE DO UNDERSTAND A MAN'S PAIN WHEN HIS MALE MEMBER GETS SO STIFF THAT IT'S NECESSARY HE BE STRAPPED TO THE CEILING OF HIS BATHROOM WHEN HE PEES IN ORDER TO HIT THE COMMODE.. BEFORE ACTING ON ANY MEDICAL INFO HERE, CHECK WITH YOUR PHYSICIAN.
KOBE TRIAL STIMULATES EAGLE/VAIL ECONOMY
(uploaded from street edition 10/16/03)
BY STERLING GREENWOOD
EAGLE, CO., Oct. 16, 2003 -- He went out fast, but not fast enough. There was a lunch break in Kobe's prelim and cat-quick Dan Abrams of MSNBC lurched for the courtroom door. He was first out of the courthouse, but ut Fox's Rita Cosby, at near to a gallop in spiked heels, overtook him and me both once outside on the straight-away. With her apparent heft, Cosby could have slung the compact Abrams over her shoulder and still kept on truckin' in this insane foot-race to get out the news.
Abrams is the MSNBC newscaster covering the Kobe case. He'd been madly scribbling notes all through the hearing.
Then, in a flash, after he gets to the MSNBC tent, he alights on an elevated makeshift stage. Notebook in hand, Abrams goes on the air delivering an extemporaneous account of the morning's courtroom drama. What the TV viewer can't se is the MSNBC crew in the background. They look like a bunch of grunges -- bottles and other gunk litter the various tables out of view of the camera as Abrams does his thing on national TV. In fact if you could see Abrams below the waist, you'd know he was wearing faded jeans under that fancy blazer.
That's the way it is in all the tents for media bigshots and commentators.
There are TV news tents everywhere from seemingly everywhere. If somebody threw in a ferris wheel and and some bumper cars, this place would look like a carnival. Or a county fair where you go from tent to tent and sample homemade pies and cakes, on of which will get a blue ribbon. Across the road is a big lot jammed with satellite dishes aimed at the heavens, suggesting nothing so much as one of those eerie outer space flicks of the fifties. The Vail Daily is 62 pages today, plus four multi-page color inserts. Wow! Eagle/Vail is booming. The Vail Daily is owned by the same Reno, Nev., concern that owns the Aspen Times which has 36 pages today. If only the Aspen Daily News and the Aspen Free Press didn't exist, maybe the Times would be larger.
In downtown Eagle, at a grill which reminds me of Aspen's Red Onion, the boisterous news hounds at the next table order a pitcher.
"God bless the pharmacy," one yells, holding up a glass of beer. "Here's to Rush!"
There's a sign in the window, "Welcome Hunters." Does that mean us?
Much later I find myself in the courtroom alone. The drama is over for now. The curtain is closed. I am in an empty opera house. Some of the players are getting vague and unreal. No matter. I'll file reports again from Eagle/Vail next week. But, let me leave you with this one thought: Marcia Clark is a helluva lot sexier in person than on TV. AND THE BEAT ROLLS ON . . . .
YO ARROYO! PART 2
uploaded from street edition 9/19/03
BY STERLING GREENWOOD 9/19/2003
I FIND CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY CHIP MCCRORY IN HIS OFFICE ON MAIN.
I TOSS ONTO HIS DESK A MULTI-PAGE PORTION OF THE NCIC RAP-SHEET, DATED 07/25/01, OF PITKIN COUNTY JAIL INMATE MARTIN ARROYO.
MCCRORY, FORMERLY CHIEF DEPUTY DA IN ASPEN, RIFLES THROUGH IT, LOOKING AT ALL THE CASES LISTED, INCLUDING TWO FOR HEROIN AND ONE FOR ROBBERY WHICH DREW A SIX-YEAR PRISON SENTENCE IN TEXAS.
'IT COULD BE A DIFFERENT MARTIN ARROYO,' HE SAYS.
IT IS A DIFFERENT MARTIN ARROYO. OR RATHER A LOT OF DIFFERENT GUYS WITH THE NAME MARTIN ARROYO.
AND NOTHING ON THESE PAGES ANYWAY -- WHICH WERE THE ONLY ONES PROVIDED ME BY ARROYO -- APPLIES TO THE MARTIN ARROYO WHO IS NOW LOCKED UP ON RECENT DOMESTIC CHARGES INVOLVING AN ASPEN WOMAN AS THE ALLEGED VICTIM.
NAMES LIKE 'MARTIN,' AND 'ARROYO,' AREN'T UNUSUAL, SAYS MCCRORY, AND WHEN YOU PUT THEM TOGETHER INTO THE CRIMINAL DATA BANK, ALONG WITH A DATE OF BIRTH, "MATHEMATICALLY THERE'S GOING TO BE A LOT OF THEM," HE SAYS, "LOTS OF TIMES A FINGERPRINT COMPARISON DOESN'T GET DONE." MCCRORY ADDS, "IT EVEN COULD BE A DIFFERENT MARTIN ARROYO AND THE FINGERPRINTS MATCH UP."
AT THE JAIL, I INTERVIEW ARROYO. HE'S BI-LINGUAL AND HAS BECOME SOMETHING OF A JAILHOUSE LAWYER. HE RESISTS BEING REPRESENTED BY THE PUBLIC DEFENDER -- WHOM HE REFERS TO AS 'WRONGWAY' CONWAY -- IN HIS PENDING DOMESTIC CASE. AND THE ERRONEOUS RAP-SHEET RESTS AT THE HEART OF HIS INTRANSIGENCE.
ARROYO SAYS HE HAD MISDEMEANORS, BUT NO FELONY CONVICTIONS PRIOR TO A DOMESTIC BLOWUP WITH HIS THEN GIRLFRIEND AT NEWCASTLE IN JULY OF 2001. INITIALLY MISDEMEANOR CHARGES WERE FILED AGAINST HIM IN THE MATTER; HE GOT FREE ON A $1,500 BOND, HE SAYS, AND WAS DETERMINED, HE SAYS, TO FIGHT THE CHARGES IN COURT. HE GOT A JOB AND A PLACE TO LIVE IN GLENWOOD SRINGS, HE SAYS, BUT WAS INFORMED LATER THAT HIS BOND HAD BEEN REVOKED. THE DA, APPARENTLY, HAD FILED NEW FELONY CHARGES IN THE WAKE OF A FOLLOWUP POLICE INTERVIEW WITH THE GIRLFRIEND WHO TOLD THEM OF AN EARLIER INCIDENT INVOLVING ALLEGED MENACING BY ARROYO WITH A FIRE EXTINGUISHER.
ARROYO WAS RE-ARRESTED AND COULDN'T MAKE THE NEW FELONY BAIL OF $6,000, HE SAYS. HE FIGURES THE DA WANTED HIM IN JAIL WHERE HE WOULD BE FORCED TO COP A PLEA IN ORDER TO GET OUT. ONCE IN JAIL, ARROYO SAYS, HE WENT BEFORE A JUDGE AND ASKED FOR A BOND REDUCTION. THE JUDGE SAID NO.
"I KNEW SOMETHING WAS WRONG WHEN THE JUDGE SAID I HAD A FAILURE TO APPEAR IN MONTE VISTA, AND I'D NEVER BEEN TO MONTE VISTA," HE SAYS. "I WAS IGNORANT AND DIDN'T KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON OR WHAT TO ASK."
ARROYO SAYS PUBLIC DEFENDER JAMES CONWAY ENCOURAGED HIM TO SIGN A PLEA BARGAIN WHICH WOULD INCLUDE A GUILTY PLEA TO FELONY MENACING (WITH A FIRE EXTINGUISHER) PLUS A DEFERRED JAIL SENTENCE AND PROBATION. (EFFORTS TO REACH CONWAY FOR THIS SERIES HAVE BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL).
"I FELT LIKE I COULD BEAT THE CHARGES," ARROYO SAYS, "BUT I DIDN'T WANT TO SPEND SEVERAL MONTHS IN JAIL WAITING FOR THE TRIAL SO I SIGNED. I NEVER SAW THE NCIC (FLAWED) PRINTOUT. I NEVER KNEW IT EXISTED."
MCCRORY SAYS, "THE FIRST THING YOU DO AS A DEFENSE ATTORNEY, YOU GET THAT (RAP-SHEET) FROM THE DA AND TALK TO YOUR CLIENT. THE FIRST THING YOU WANT TO KNOW IS WHAT YOUR CLIENT'S DONE. IF THE DA DIDN'T PROVIDE IT (THE RAP-SHEET), IT'S A DISCOVERY VIOLATION."
THEORIZING THAT THE PUBLIC DEFENDER, CONWAY, SAW THE FLAWED RAP-SHEET, MCCRORY SAYS, "IF THERE HAD BEEN TWO PRIOR FELONY CONVICTIONS (AS THE RAP-SHEET INDICATED), A DEFERRED SENTENCE PLEA-BARGAIN WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD DEAL." HE EXPLAINS THAT A CONVICTION AT TRIAL UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES WOULD HAVE MEANT A STIFF PRISON SENTENCE WITH NO PROBATION UNLESS THE DA AGREED.
A YEAR OR SO LATER, AFTER ANOTHER BLOWUP AT NEWCASTLE WITH THE SAME GIRLFRIEND, ARROYO FACED FELONY MENACING CHARGES AGAIN. THIS TIME THE WEAPON ALLEGEDLY WAS A CLAW HAMMER. ARROYO RETAINED PRIVATE ATTORNEY KATHY GOUDY WHO CONFIRMED TO THIS NEWSPAPER THAT ARROYO'S 7/25/01 RAP-WHEET HAD BEEN IN ERROR. ARROYO SAYS HE LEARNED OF THE FLAWED NCIC PRINTOUT FROM HER.
A JURY ACQUITTED HIM OF FIVE OF THE SIX NEWSCASTLE CHARGES, INCLUDING THE FELONY MENACING (WITH A CLAW HAMMER). HE WAS CONVICTED OF A MISDEMEANOR -- HARASSMENT -- 'INSULTS, TAUNTS AND CHALLENGES.' BUT THE CONVICTION WAS A PROBATION VIOLATION BASED ON ARROYO'S EARLIER PLEA-BARGAIN, AND HE WENT BACK TO JAIL IN GLENWOOD SPRINGS, BUT NOT BEFORE HIS THROAT ALLEGEDLY GOT SLASHED IN AN UNRELATED ALLEGED MURDER ATTEMPT. (PART 3 SOON)
late-breaking bulletin -- aspen furrier kathy denson 'not guilty' 8/25/03
BY STERLING GREENWOOD
EAGLE, CO., 8/22/03 -- Writer Jack Kerouac followed Denver speed freak Neal Cassady everywhere, taking notes.
Coast to Coast they roamed. And even into Mexico.
The novel, "On the road," resulted.
It depicted Cassady as a Dionysian. . . a jazz lover with an oil-burner drug habit, who drove fast and talked faster, a veritable heart-break kid for a series of women scattered from hell to breakfast like so many pieces of discarded tissue paper.
In "On the Road," Kerouac invested Cassady's wild-man traits into the fictional character Dean Moriarty. Sometimes on the pair's low-roller trips, Kerouac and Cassady hitch-hiked. Sometimes they'd contract to drive somebody's car cross-coutry. And sometimes Cassady would hot-wire a car in Denver for a drive into the Rockies to spend time in towns like Aspen and Black Hawk.
I couldn't keep Cassady out of my mind this morning as I sat in the austere Eagle County courtroom and listened to murder trial testimony recounting the life of drug-addled Texas pretty boy Gerald Cody Boyd, who wandered into the Rockies, leaving a trail of broken female hearts, only to wind up with his own heart broken -- by a bullet from a 44-caliber black powder revolver -- after he showed up coked up at a former girlfriend's ranch "to pick up something he forgot," the saying goes, "and it ran flat-assed over him.
Enter criminal defense attorney Scott Robinson, representing Kathy Denson, wealthy owner of the Draggin A Ranch, plus several fur stores in Aspen and Vail, now on trial for alleged second degree murder in connection with the shooting death of Cody Boyd in her ranch home. She could get 16 to 48 years.
The last time I covered one of attorney Scott Robinson's trials was a decade or so ago in Denver where he defended James King, a former Denver police officer accused of killing a slew of security guards at a bank there and making of with tens of thousands of dollars in a robbery known as the "Father's Day Massacre."
King, also a former security guard at the bank himself, didn't have an alibi, in my dim recollection of the trial, other than that he was driving around Denver looking for his chess club meeting, apparently unaware that his club had disbanded two years earlier. There were bank tellers at the trial who had told cops they could identify King as the robber but, under skillful cross examination by Robinson, seemed to change their minds. Robinson exuded the image of your ideal next door neighbor, with JFK hair and youthfulness. He seemed to be on nobody's side, not even his client's. His attitude seemed to convey, "I just want to get to the bottom of this and see what really happened. Let's all put our heads together and figure it out." Within the first ten minutes Robinson had the members of the jury sewed up, so far as gaining their trust. It was suposed to be an "open and shut case," against King. But King never even took the stand and Robinson walked him out of there a free man after the jury returned a "not guilty," verdict.
One of DA's prosecuting King, in what may have been a post-trial
breakdown, was nabbed a few days later for allegedly trying to steal a
vacuum cleaner from Sears. I don't know the outcome of the prosecutor's
predicament. He may have retained attorney Scott Robinson and got off.
Or the whole thing about the vacuum may have been a big misunderstanding.
Whatever, at least the Denver prosecutor made it through all of King's
trial, which is more than I can say right now for Eagle Deputy DA, Greg
Crittenden, himself pitted against attorney Scott Robinson in the prosecution
of Kathy Denson here. As I sit typing this in the Denny's parking lot
at Avon, where I spent last night, I've just learned that Deputy DA Crittenden
has suffered a seizure this morning, and that closing statements in the
trial, which were scheduled to commence today, have been postponed until
Kathy Denson is pleading self-defense in the trial. She also has testified that Cody (who has described himself on occasion as a hit man) told Kathy he would kill her son if she didn't give him $300,000.
The day before the murder, Cody who was then living with Monique Seebacher, approached Kathy for money to open a pawn shop, according to Kathy's testimony. He also needed Kathy's gun safe, she said. He wanted her to give him "Dimples," the Peterbilt truck she had bought for his use. He intimated that someone needed to help him buy a house in Vail, Kathy testified. "I didn't want to fund the things he wanted to do," Kathy said. The next day, the day of the shooting, Cody arrived uninvited, according to Kathy. The two argued as they sat at a glass top antler table in Kathy's house. The gun, an antique replica revolver, sat on the table.
"Is your son's life worth $300,000?" Cody asked Cathy, according to her testimony.
She described the scene: "Cody pushed me back, the rolled back and tipped over the plant. I grabbed the gun. Mitchell, (a family friend) called. Kathy told him, "It's OK," and I hung up the phone. "I set the gun down. Cody grabbed it. I grabbed it out of his hand." Said Cody, "You're going to hurt yourself with this." He walked away, then came toward her. "If you won't give me the money, then we'll start with you first," he said. Those were his last words. She fired one shot.
"I thought he would kill me if I didn't shoot him," she said. "He was falling backwards and backwards, farther and farther. I thought he was faking. I meant to pull the trigger, I meant to shoot him, but I didn't mean to kill him. I remember him dead everyday."
When Gerald Cody Boyd's mother, Mary Jo Boyd, took the stand several days earlier, she said about her son, "He loved the ladies and the ladies loved him. She said Cody had told her once he was a "hit man," but she figured it was the "tequila talking. She described him as even-tempered "like his father," but that drugs broke up his second marriage. . .that he was a long-haul trucker and he started taking pills to stay awake in order to make deliveries on schedule. "He hated the drugs," she said. "He was afraid that without them he would lose his job." She said he told her once that he had some grass he wasn't going to smoke because Willie Nelson gave it to him. She also said he played guitar and jammed one day in her Austin home with a dark-haired man whom she later learned was Jerry Garcia.
How long was Cody divorced the second time? "Not long," she said, "the next wife, Debbie, lived across the street. Mary Jo Boyd said Cody had known and liked Debbie since fifth grade. On page 1 of today's issue Debbie Griffith is pictured. Debbie married movie actress Melanie Griffith's father after she and Cody divorced. Debbie, who was married to Cody nearly ten years, testified that Cody never exhibited violent behavior with her, even though she had once filed a restraining order on him. Debbie has filed a suit against Kathy (also pictured on pg. 1) on behalf of Cody's and her daughter, Callie, age 12. In another photo on pg 1 is Monique Seebacher, Cody's girlfriend at the time he and Kathy were breaking up. Monique was also an employee of Kathy's at one of the fur stores (and resides in a condo owned by Kathy) but Kathy fired her after the shooting. Monique gave Cody a $1,000 gold chain. Kathy gave Cody $100,000 cash, a $5,500 Rolex watch, a $600 ring, several guns and a place to live. In closing, concerning Cody's appeal to women, this excerpt from "On the Road," comes to mind:
". . . . . . because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes 'Awww!'"
KEEP SCROLLING FOR ARCHIVES STORIES SINCE 1982, ABOUT THE ASPEN FREE PRESS, WHICH APPEARED IN ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, THE NEW YORK TIMES, COWBOYS&INDIANS, ASPEN THE MAGAZINE ETC.
. MARTIN ARROYO RESISTED HELPING DA PROSECUTE THE ATTORNEY DONALD BRANSON ON CHARGES OF FIRST-DEGREE ATTEMPTED MURDER AND FIRST DEGREE ASSAULT.
BY STERLING GREENWOOD (6/4/03)
IN THE DAYS AND WEEKS FOLLOWING THE ALLEGED KNIFE ATTEMPT ON THE LIFE MARTIN ARROYO, LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES REMAINED UNABLE TO SECURE ARROYO'S COOPERATION IN THE PROSECUTION OF THE DEFENDANT, ATTORNEY DONALD E BRANSON.
THE PROSECUTION NEEDED A BLOOD SAMPLE FROM ARROYO TO COMPARE TO THE BLOOD FOUND AT THE ALLEGED CRIME SCENE, A REMOTE AREA OUTDOORS NEAR OLD SNOWMASS.
AND AT ONE POINT, JOE DISALVO, PITKIN COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT CHIEF INVESTIGATOR, PONDERED RETRIEVING FROM HIS OFFICE WASTE BASKET A BLOODY THROW-AWAY NAPKIN INTO WHICH ARROYO HAD BLOWN HIS NOSE.
ALL THIS CAME OUT THIS MORNING, JUNE 4, 2003, IN A COURTHOUSE HEARING BEFORE JAMES BOYD ON A MOTION BY DEFENSE ATTORNEY GARY LOZOW TO DISQUALIFY THE NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE WHICH OVERSEES DEPUTY DAs IN PITKIN, RIO BLANCO AND GARFIELD COUNTIES.
BRANSON HAS PLEADED NOT GUILTY TO CHARGES HE SLICED ARROYO'S THROAT WITH A KNIFE IN AN ATTEMPT TO MURDER HIM THIS PAST APRIL 9.
GIVING TESTIMONY TODAY, DISALVO SAID THE PROSECUTION NEEDED ARROYO'S BLOOD FOR A COMPARISON OF BLOOD FOUND AT THE SCENE AND ON BRANSON.
WHEN ARROYO MISSED HIS SCHEDULED APPOINTMENT FOR BLOOD TO BE DRAWN, DISALVO SAID, "I CONTACTED MR. ARROYO AND ASKED HIM WHY HE DIDN'T SHOW UP."
"DID YOU CALL HIM TO CHANGE HIS MIND?" LOZOW ASKED.
"YES," SAID DISALVO. "HIS GENERAL COOPERATION WAS IMPORTANT TO THE FUTURE OF THE CASE."
"YOU KNEW ARROYO WAS A RECALCITRANT OR RETICENT WITNESS," LOZOW SAID. "YOU HAD TOLD MR. WILLS (DEPUTY DA LAWSON WILLS)?
"ON APRIL 23, YOU RECEIVED A CALL FROM MR. ARROYO THAT HE WASN'T GOING TO GIVE BLOOD OR COOPERATE?" ASKED LAZOW.
"OVER THE COURSE OF THE PAST TEN DAYS HE HAD CHANGED HIS MIND SEVERAL TIMES," DISALVO RESPONDED.
"DID YOU CALL MR. WILLS ABOUT THE BLOODY TISSUE EPISODE?" LOZOW SAID.
"I TALKED WITH HIM FACE TO FACE," DISALVO REPLIED.
"WILLS WAS DIRECTLY INVOLVED WITH PRELIMINARY ISSUES IN THE CASE?" LOZOW SAID.
"THIS WAS IDEA SHARING OR BRAIN-STORMING," REPLIED DISALVO.
ONE DEFENSE THEME THIS MORNING WAS TO SUGGEST THAT ARROYO ACQUIESCED TO A BLOOD TEST APRIL 30 ONLY AFTER BEING THREATENED WITH LOSS OF 'VICTIMS COMPENSATION MONEY,' IF HE REFUSED TO COOPERATE.
"HE (ARROYO) NEGOTIATED WITH YOU," LOZOW SAID TO DISALVO.
"YES," DISALVO AGREED.
"YOU TOLD MR. WILLS?"
"POSSIBILY," SAID DISALVO.
DEPUTY DA LAWSON WILLS THIS MORNING ELICITED TESTIMONY FROM DISALVO TO THE EFFECT THAT ARROYO DIDN'T WANT TO GET BLOOD DRAWN BECAUSE HE HAS HAD A LONG-STANDING FEAR OF NEEDLES SINCE CHILDHOOD.
ARROYO LOOKS LIKE A MOVIE STAR, WITH A DEEP RESONANT VOICE. HE OUGHT TO BE IN HOLLYWOOD DOING SCREEN TESTS INSTEAD OF BEING MIRED IN THESE GRIM PROCEEDINGS.
ARROYO, AFTER BEING SWORN IN TO TESTIFY, DEPICTS ATTORNEY BRANSON AS ONE WHO RAN UP BILLS AT EX-WIFE PAMELA BRANSON'S HOUSE, WHERE ARROYO RESIDES. ARROYO'S VICTIM'S COMP MONEY -- SOME $1,600 -- WENT FOR PAYING BILLS THAT BRANSON RAN UP, HE SAYS.
"DON (BRANSON) HAD BORROWED A LOT OF MONEY, AND A LOT OF BILLS WEREN'T PAID," ARROYO SAID.
"YOU PAID THEM," DEPUTY DA WILLS SAID.
"YES," REPLIED ARROYO, "CAME OUT OF MY POCKET. HE'S RIPPED OFF QUITE A FEW PEOPLE WILLING TO TESTIFY."
ARROYO, IN WHAT INITIALLY APPEARED TO BE AN APPARENT CONTRADICTION OF DISALVO'S EARLIER TESTIMONY, SAID HE HAD NEVER FEARED BRANSON. WHEN QUESTIONED FURTHER BY WILLS, ARROYO INDICATED THAT PAMELA BRANSON, WITH WHOM HE RESIDES, , HAD FEARED FOR HER LIFE.
"YOU HAD FEAR FOR MRS. BRANSON," WILLS SAID.
"YES I DID," SAID ARROYO.
SOME QUESTIONING OF ARROYO BY LOZOW FOLLOWS:
"YOU HAVE TWICE BEEN PROSECUTED BY A DA IN GLENWOOD SPRINGS?"
"YES," SAID ARROYO.
"SHE SAID YOU WERE A LIAR. IS THAT CORRECT?"
"OBJECTION," SAID WILLS. "I DOUBT SHE USED THAT WORD."
"OVERRULED," SAID JUDGE BOYD. "THE WITNESS IS GIVING HIS IMPRESSION."
"WAS SHE SAYING TO THE COURT THAT YOU SHOULD BE INCARCERATED," LOZOW CONTINUED.
"CHECK THE TRANSCRIPT," SAID ARROYO.
"DO YOU KNOW MR. WILLS AND MISS LACEY WORK FOR THE SAME BOSS?"
"I DON'T KNOW WHO WORKS FOR WHO," SAID ARROYO.
"DID YOU TALK WITH DISALVO ON AN ALMOST DAILY BASIS?"
"I DON'T KNOW IF I TALKED TO HIM ON A DAILY BASIS. I DIDN'T JOT IT DOWN -- AS TO THE DAY, HOUR, MINUTE."
"WAS HE CALLING YOU FAIRLY FREQUENTLY?"
"WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER FAIRLY FREQUENTLY?"
"HOW MANY TIMES DID YOU TALK WITH MR. WILLS THE FIRST WEEK AFTER THE ASSAULT?"
"I DON'T RECALL."
"DID YOU TELL MR. WILLS YOU DIDN'T WANT TO COOPERATE?"
"I DON'T RECALL."
"DO YOU REMEMBER WHAT YOU TALKED TO MR. WILLS ABOUT?"
"HAVE YOU TALKED WITH MR. WILLS ON THE PHONE?"
"YOU GOT MONEY FROM VICTIM'S COMPENSATION. BEFORE OR AFTER THE BLOOD TEST?"
DEPUTY DAs IN PITKIN COUNTY, SUCH AS LAWSON WILLS, WORK UNDER SUPERVISION OF THE NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY, MAC MYERS OF GLENWOOD SPRINGS WHO IS ELECTED.
ARROYO IS SCHEDULED TO BE SENTENCED IN GLENWOOD SPRINGS JUNE 12, ON A FELONY MENACING CONVICTION, APPARENTLY UNRELATED TO THESE ASPEN PROCEEDINGS IN WHICH ARROYO IS THE ALLEGED VICTIM AND CRUCIAL TO THE DA's CASE AGAINST DONALD BRANSON.
IT'S THE CONTENTION OF BRANSON'S DEFENSE ATTORNEY, GARY LOZOW, THAT THERE IS A CONFLICT OF INTEREST FOR DEPUTY DAs IN THE NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT TO BE PROMOTING ARROYO AS AN INNOCENT VICTIM IN THE CASE AGAINST BRANSON -- WHO, IF FOUND GUILTY, COULD RECEIVE A PRISON SENTENCE OF UP TO FORTY-EIGHT YEARS --ALL THE WHILE CASTING ASPERSIONS ON ARROYO'S CREDIBILITY IN THE GLENWOOD SPRINGS CASE.
EVEN THOUGH THE CASES INVOLVE DIFFERENT DEPUTY PROSECUTING ATTORNEYS OPERATING IN DIFFERENT OFFICES OF THE DISTRICT, THE DEPUTY PROSECUTORS HAVE TWO THINGS IN COMMON, THE DEFENSE THEORIZES -- BOTH GET THEIR PAYCHECKS FROM THE SAME PLACE AND THEY HAVE THE SAME BOSS, MAC MYERS.
DEPUTY DA LAWSON WILLS VEHEMENTLY DISAGREES. HE CONTENDS THE OFFICES IN GLENWOOD AND ASPEN OPERATE IN EFFECT AUTONOMOUSLY. JUDGE BOYD IS EXPECTED TO DECIDE THE MATTER LATER THIS MONTH.
STROKE VICTIM BLAMES 'THE PILL' IN ASPEN TRIAL BY STERLING GREENWOOD 5/28/03
I GRAB A 35-CENT SENIOR COKE AT MCDONALD'S, THEN RUN TO THE COURTHOUSE FOR THE PRELIMINARY HEARING OF DONALD BRANSON. HE'S THE ALLEGED KNIFE-WIELDING LAWYER ACCUSED OF TRYING TO MURDER THE BOYFRIEND OF HIS EX-WIFE WHOM FUGITIVE DOUG MICHALOWSKY GAVE AN ASPEN HOUSE TO BEFORE HE WENT ON THE LAM, BUT THAT'S ANOTHER STORY.
ON THE STAIRS AT THE COURTHOUSE, I BUMP INTO A PLEASANT GUY IN A NICE SUIT. "HAS IT STARTED?" I GASP.
"THERE'S A TRIAL GOING ON, IF THAT'S WHAT YOU MEAN," HE REPLIES. I RUSH INTO COURT TO SIT IN THE FIRST PEW. NO OTHER SPECTATORS, YET. NO BRANSON. HE'S A 6'5" POOR MAN'S WILLIAM HURT, HARD TO MISS. NO DEPUTY DA LAWSON WILLS, EITHER.
WHAT'S GOING ON?
A GLAMOROUS WOMAN WITH CASCADING STREAKED BLONDE HAIR SITS AT THE 'DEFENSE' TABLE. SHE'S WEARING A DARK PANTS SUIT, ALL BUSINESS. MUST BE BRANSON'S LAWYER. THEN THE GUY I TALKED WITH ON THE STAIRS COMES IN TO SIT NEXT TO HER. IT TURNS OUT HE'S DR. LAWRENCE R. MENCONI AND HE'S A DEFENDANT, ALONG WITH ASPEN CENTER FOR WOMEN'S HEALTH; AND I'M NOT AT BRANSON'S PRELIM. I'M IN THE MIDDLE OF A FULL-BLOWN MEDICAL MALPRACTICE TRIAL.
THE HEAVY COURTROOM DOOR OPENS AGAIN AND THEY ROLL IN THIS WOMAN IN A SQUEAKY WHEEL CHAIR AND PARK HER AT THE PLAINTIFF'S TABLE WITH HER ASPEN ATTORNEY, MARTIN FREEMAN.
LATER IN THESE PROCEEDINGS I SEE HER EXTEND HER FINGERS TO INTERMINGLE WITH FREEMAN'S.
HER NAME IS COLLEEN DALY. SHE'S CLAIMING SHE TOOK SOME BIRTH CONTROL PILLS AND HAS BEEN IN A WHEEL CHAIR DUE TO A STROKE BECAUSE OF IT FOR THE PAST FIVE YEARS.
SOMETIME DURING ALL THIS, THE DEFENSE LAWYER IN THE PANTS SUIT TELLS ME HER NAME IS LISA LEASURE. SHE'S WITH THE DENVER FIRM OF COOPER AND CLOUGH. THERE ARE A LOT OF MEDICAL TERMS BEING BANDIED ABOUT -- LIKE "ABSOLUTE CONTRA-INDICATIONS" -- IN THIS ROOM TODAY. I DIVIDE MY TIME BETWEEN THIS TRIAL AND BRANSON'S PRELIM WHICH I EVENTUALLY FIND DOWNSTAIRS.
BRANSON'S ATTORNEY GARY LOZOW WANTS TO DISQUALIFY THE DA. HE SAYS HE'S GOING TO FILE A MOTION TO THAT EFFECT. IT SEEMS BRANSON'S ALLEGED VICTIM, MARTIN ARROYO, WHO HAS ACCUSED BRANSON OF COMING UP BEHIND HIM WITH A KNIFE AND CUTTING HIS THROAT, IS GOING TO BE SENTENCED HIMSELF SOON ON A FELONY MENACING CONVICTION BEING HANDLED BY THE NINTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE THAT IS IS PROSECUTING BRANSON.
BRANSON'S LAWYER DOESN'T LIKE IT THAT THE DA'S OFFICE WILL BE DESCRIBING ARROYO AS A BADASS IN ONE CASE, WHILE PROMOTING ARROYO AS AN INNOCENT VICTIM IN THE CASE AGAINST BRANSON.
BRANSON'S LAWYER IS ALSO PISSED BECAUSE ARROYO'S ATTENDING PHYSICIAN, IN THE WAKE OF THE ALLEGED KNIFE INCIDENT IN A REMOTE AREA OUTDOORS NEAR OLD SNOWMASS, WON'T TALK TO DEFENSE INVESTIGATOR DAVE OLMSTED IN CONNECTION WITH ARROYO'S ALLEGED "SERIOUS BODILY INJURY." BRANSON'S LAWYER WANTS ARROY'S PHYSICIAN TO ELABORATE. ARROYO DIDN'T CHOOSE TO GO DIRECTLY TO ASPEN VALLEY HOSPITAL AFTER THE ALLEGED KNIFING BY BRANSON, BUT INSTEAD WENT FIRST TO THE HOME OF BRANSON'S EX-WIFE PAMELA BRANSON, AT 1230 COOPER AVE., WHERE BRANSON ALSO RESIDED.
DEPUTY DA LAWSON WILLS SAYS ARROYO'S PHYSICIAN WILL BE INTRODUCED AT TRIAL AS AN EXPERT IN FORENSIC MEDICINE AND WILL SHOW THAT THE ALLEGED ATTACK ON ARROYO CAME FROM BEHIND, LEAVING HIM WITH A SLICED THROAT. WILLS SAYS THE PHYSICIAN'S REFUSAL TO SPEAK WITH BRANSON'S INVESTIGATOR IS HIS "RIGHT," THOUGH WILLS SAYS HE ENCOURAGES ALL OF HIS WITNESSES TO TALK TO BOTH SIDES. NOT CONCEDING AN IOTA ON ANY ISSUE WITH THE DEFENSE, WILLS SAYS THE DOC'S TESTIMONY WILL DEAL WITH MORE THAN THE DEFINITION OF "SERIOUS BODILY INJURY." A NEW LAW IS IN EFFECT THAT MAKES DOCS SQUEAMISH ABOUT DISCUSSING THEIR PATIENTS' MEDICAL HISTORY, AND ARROYO'S PHYSICIAN DID NOT FEEL HE HAD SUFFICIENT CLEARANCE FROM ARROYO TO DISCUSS ARROYO MEDICALLY WITH INVESTIGATOR DAVE OLMSTED. INVESTIGATING FOR THE DA IS JOE DISALVO. IT LOOKS LIKE JUDGE JAMES BOYD WILL GRANT A CONTINUANCE HERE.
MEANWHILE BACK AT THE MEDICAL MALPRACTICE TRIAL, SOME SCATTERSHOT SNATCHES FOLLOW:
-- FREEMAN SAYS DALY WAS ON ORAL BIRTH CONTROL PILLS AS A TEENAGER, BUT "THEY GAVE HER MIGRAINES."
--JUDGE THOMAS OSSALA SAYS, "YOU KNOW HOW YOU USED TO GO TO THE RESTROOM AT A GAS STATION AND THEY'D GIVE YOU A KEY WITH A BIG THING ATTACHED TO IT SO YOU WOULDN'T DRIVE OFF WITH IT? THAT'S WHY I WANT BINDERS ON THESE EXHIBITS.
-- I ALSO HEAR THE FETCHING ATTORNEY LISA LEASURE ASK TERESA ON THE STAND IF SHE OWNS FIFTY PERCENT OF THE STOCK OF ASPEN CENTER FOR WOMEN'S HEALTH.
-- I SEE A MEMBER OF THE FIVE-WOMAN, TWO-MAN JURY TAKE A SWIG OF BOTTLED WATER.
-- IN REFERENCE TO ALL THE COMPLICATED MEDICAL TERMS, I HEAR JUDGE OSSALA SAY, "THE JURY DOES NOT GET EVERYTHING BOTH ORALLY AND IN WRITING. IT'S ONE OR THE OTHER."
-- I HEAR ATTORNEY FREEMAN SAY TO TERESA HALL ON THE STAND, "WILL YOU PLEASE READ PARAGRAPH 5 TO YOURSELF."
-- THERE'S A BIG SCREEN IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOM FOR SLIDES OF MEDICAL RECORDS AND OTHER TRIAL-RELATED DATA. THE BATTLE SEEMS TO BE JUST HOW MUCH OF ALL THIS THE JURY IS GOING TO UNDERSTAND.
-- THEN FREEMAN ASKS ABOUT SOME BIRTH CONTROL PILLS AT ASPEN CENTER FOR WOMEN'S HEALTH: "DO YOU RECALL THEY WERE MARKED 'SAMPLE NOT FOR SALE?'"
-- I HEAR LEASURE ASK HALL, "IS THERE A MESSAGE FROM JUNE OF '98 THAT DALY CALLED TO ASK WHEN TO START TAKING HER BIRTH CONTROL PILLS?" HALL ANSWERS, "NO." LEASURE CONTINUES, "IS THERE AN OVERHEAD CUPBOARD WHERE SAMPLES ARE KEPT?" THEN LEASURE HOLDS OUT TO HALL A PACKAGE OF BIRTH CONTROL PILLS. "DO YOU RECOGNIZE THIS PACKAGE?" LEASURE ENTERS THE PACKAGE AS EXHIBIT B-2. THE NAME OF THE MEDICATION IS ORTHO-TRICYCLEN.
-- FREEMAN TO JUDGE OSSALA, "IS EVERYTHING IN THAT PACKAGE ADMITTED AS EVIDENCE?"
-- "THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION," RESPONDS THE JUDGE.
-- "I'D LIKE TO OPEN THAT PACKAGE AND SEE WHAT'S IN IT," FREEMAN SAYS.
JUDGE OSSALA RECESSES THE JURY. HE TURNS HIS GAZE TO ALL THE LAWYERS IN THIS GOAT DANCE. A JUMBLED ACCOUNT OF WHAT HE SAYS FOLLOWS:
-- "WE ARE PLAYING OUT KING LEAR WHEN THE ACTORS ARE IMPROVISING TO IMPROVE THEIR LINES."
-- "I DIDN'T FALL OFF A TURNIP TRUCK."
--"I WANT A BETTER HANDLING OF EXHIBITS."
--"I'M WORKING WITH A VERY SHORT STICK
--"SOMEBODY'S GOING TO HAVE TO ACCEPT THE CUSTODY OF EXHIBITS."
--"YES, YOU CAN CUT THE PACKAGE OPEN."
GOT PROSTATE CANCER QUESTIONS? GO TO www.psa-rising.com
TEXAS ATTORNEY DON BRANSON, ACCUSED OF TRYING TO MURDER THE BOYFRIEND OF HIS EX-WIFE WHOM FUGITIVE DOUG MICHALOWSKI GAVE AN ASPEN HOUSE TO BEFORE HE WENT ON THE LAM, WAS ARRESTED FOR ALLEGED BAIL VIOLATION.. CONFUSED? IF SO, READ TODAY'S STREET EDITION OF THE ASPEN FREE PRESS. 6/13/03
BY STERLING GREENWOOD 6/13/03
Twenty four hours a day somebody is running, somebody else is trying to catch him Raymond Chandler.
I knew we'd won when we got that last bigot seated on the jury. Racehorse Haynes
There was a big commotion on the Mill Street Mall outside. They had Texas attorney Donald Branson, all six feet, five inches of him in cuffs as revelers at the food and wine thing looked on in stunned disbelief. It was at that point that I gave up my marathon haggling with the Discover Card people. I phoned attorney Paul Taddune who loves to represent clients in credit card bill disputes. He loves it about like Donald Branson, accused of trying to murder his ex-wife's boyfriend, liked being shackled yesterday in the midst of families with kids frolicking about on the mall.
"They're filming a TV series here," an onlooker commented.
"Do you owe $6,000, Attorney Taddune asked me me on the phone.
"Not that much," I said. "And if I do, there's no way in hell I can pay it."
Taddune agreed to give them a call and from then the Discover Card bill began falling. First to $4,492.76. Then to $3,200. . .just to get me out of their lives.
MEANWHILE, BACK TO BRANSON, far more interesting.
In telephone interviews with the Aspen Free Press, Martin Arroyo said that attorney Donald Branson had prepared a will for his ex-wife, Pamela Branson, to sign. According to Arroyo, Pamela signed the will, which was notarized at Holland and Hart , on April 8, one day before a knife-wielding Donald Branson allegedly attempted to slash Arroyo's throat in a remote area outdoors near Old Snowmass. The will, according to Arroyo, leaves Pamela's house to Donald Branson's son by a previous marriage. More later, there's somebody weird at my door.
ASPEN, Colo. -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice joins the Aspen Music Festival and School and the Aspen Institute in an afternoon of "Words and Music," Saturday, August 2, at 3 pm in the Benedict Music Tent. The event will begin with a conversation between Secretary Rice and Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience. Afterwards, Secretary Rice will be joined by current Aspen Music Festival and School music students to perform two chamber music works. Says Secretary Rice, "I am honored to have been invited to return to the Aspen Music Festival and School, and I am looking forward to performing with the students. The Aspen Music Festival and School gives musicians the opportunity to learn and cultivate their talents in one of the most inspirational settings in our country. As a musician and educator myself, I value the vision of this institution, and I am excited to take part in this year's festival." Performed first will be the first movement of DvorakÕs Piano Quintet in A major, B. 155, op. 81 and to follow will be the 2nd movement of BrahmsÕ Piano Quintet in F minor, op. 34. Secretary Rice has said publicly that her favorite composer is Brahms. Secretary Rice began piano lessons with her grandmother when she was three and remains a devoted amateur player, maintaining an active chamber group in Washington D.C. She attended the Aspen Music Festival and School as a 17-year-old student pianist and consequently decided a career in music was not in her future. Secretary Rice went on to earn her PhD from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University Denver. As professor of political science, she has been on the Stanford faculty since 1981 and has won two of the highest teaching honors -- the 1984 Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 1993 School of Humanities and Sciences Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching. Her books include Germany Unified and Europe Transformed (1995) with Philip Zelikow, The Gorbachev Era (1986) with Alexander Dallin, and Uncertain Allegiance: The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Army (1984). She also has authored numerous articles on Soviet and East European foreign and defense policy. In June 1999, she completed a six-year tenure as StanfordÕs provost, during which she was the institutionÕs chief budget and academic officer. From 1989 through March 1991, Secretary Rice served in the first Bush Administration as director, and then senior director, of Soviet and East European affairs in the National Security Council, and a special assistant to the president for national security affairs. Secretary Rice became Secretary of State on January 26, 2005. Prior to this, she was Assistant to President George W. Bush for National Security Affairs, commonly referred to as the National Security Advisor, since January 2001. The event will take place on Saturday, August 2 at 3 pm in the Benedict Music Tent. Tickets are $60 and $30 and are available at the AMFS box offices at Harris Concert Hall or the Wheeler Opera House, or by calling 970-925-9042 or visiting www.aspenmusicfestival.com. The Aspen Institute mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: 1) Seminars, which help participants reflect on what they think makes a good society, thereby deepening knowledge, broadening perspectives and enhancing their capacity to solve the problems leaders face. 2) Young-leader fellowships around the globe, which bring a selected class of proven leaders together for an intense multi-year program and commitment. The fellows become better leaders and apply their skills to significant challenges. 3) Policy programs, which serve as nonpartisan forums for analysis, consensus building, and problem solving on a wide variety of issues. 4) Public conferences and events, which provide a commons for people to share ideas. The Institute is based in Washington, DC and Aspen, Colorado and has an international network of partners. The Aspen Music Festival and School is the United StatesÕ premier classical music festival, led by music director David Zinman and presenting more than 350 musical events during its nine-week summer season in Aspen, including orchestra concerts, opera, chamber music, lectures, and children's events. The institution draws top classical musicians from around the world to this charming Colorado mountain retreat for an unparalleled combination of performances and music education. More than 25 percent of events are free and seating on the David Karetsky Music Lawn and in the Music Garden is always free. Next summer the festival will celebrate its 60th anniversary. The AMFS has five orchestras composed of top professionals and music students, many already beginning their professional careers. Hailing from 40 states and 40 countries, the 750 students begin vying for a spot as early as October of the previous year. Renowned alumni include violinists Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, Cho-Liang Lin, Robert McDuffie, Midori, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Gil Shaham; pianists Ingrid Fliter, Orli Shaham and Joyce Yang; conductors Marin Alsop, James Conlon, James Levine and Leonard Slatkin; composers William Bolcom, Philip Glass, Bright Sheng and Joan Tower; vocalists RenŽe Fleming and Dawn Upshaw; cellists Lynn Harrell and Alisa Weilerstein; performer Peter Schickele; and bassist Edgar Meyer. ###
Unrelated case snags DA's star witness against attorney Don Branson
UPDATE: BRANSON MAKES BAIL 5/7/03
By Sterling Greenwood, 4/25/03
Alleged knife victim Martin Arroyo whose crucial testimony could send attorney Donald Branson to prison for forty-eight years on attempted murder and assault charges, was himself sentenced to sixty days jail and six months probation yesterday in an unrelated Glenwood Springs case.
Arroyo, 37, who police say suffered a sliced throat by a knife-wielding Branson in a grisly incident which unfolded in a remote area outdoors near Old Snowmass on April 9, will face more sentencing still in Glenwood Springs, June 12, on a felony menacing conviction in yet another case. read entire story...
UPCOMING: WHERE IS DOUGLAS MICHALOWSKI? MEET MARTIN
ARROYO, BORN IN BROOKLYN AND REARED ON LONG ISLAND.
UPCOMING -- MORE NEWS ON PAMELA PHILLIPS.
BUMPERWATCH -- KEEP ASPEN WEIRD
MAY 19, 2009 -- The movie, "The Solist," is playing at the Isis in Aspen and guess what! The real-life character depicted in the flick -- Nathaniel Ayers -- and played by Jamie Foxx used to attend Aspen Music School. See an Aspen Free Press street edition.
APRIL 9, 2009 -- HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN! Wells Fargo predicts a record $3 billion first quarter profit. DOW up 200 pts this morning. Banks and credit unions raked in more than $40 billion last year in overdraft fees. Wells Fargo has received $25 billion in bailout bucks, but a Wells Fargo officer told the Aspen Free Press yesterday, "We didn't ask for bailout money.. We had to take it.." It's a complicated story.
April 8, 2009 -- A distraught local woman complains that bank card overdraft fees of $35 a pop for "nickel and dime" purchases depleted her bank account of funds from a Social Security direct deposit. The name of the woman may surprise you. She was gratified when the bank refunded half of the penalty money it had withdrawn.
Banks claim that covering debit card overdrafts is a "special service," for customers. According to USA Today,, this "special service" represented a multi-billion-dollar bonanza for banks and credit unions last year. The Center for Responsible Lending is looking into the matter and so is the Federal Reserve. . And the Fed has found that even conscientious bank customers have trouble understanding "precisely when a deposit will be made available," says USA Today. But let's say you don't want this "special service," because you don't want to deal with the aggravation of overdraft fees. Let's say you'd rather have your debit card withdrawal rejected when you don't have sufficient funds than have your account in the red. `. Can you opt out of the "special service?" Stay tuned
APRIL 5, 2009 -- Allman Bros, Doobie Bros. and Drive By Truckers to highlight Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Festival, Sept. 4-6. Others to perform include Franti, Black Eyed Peas and Citizen Cope. And the beat rolls on. . .
APRIL 1, 2009 -- GRAND JURY TO PROBE CARBON MONOXIDE DEATHS of the Lofgren family, which occurred at a house just outside of Aspen on Popcorn Lane over Thanksgiving. Much more on this. Look for a special Aspen Free Press street edition.
APRIL 7, 2007 - DA to Landin Smith: "We're going to ride you out of this valley, Shane. We're going to rough you up, put you on a horse and ride you out of this valley." Words to that effect.
MARCH 11, 2009 -- I skipped Starbucks this morning. Instead I took the money I was going to spend there and bought four shares of Citigroup instead.
MARCH 9, 2009 -- ASPEN AREA REAL ESTATE SALES HIT $100 MILLION PLUS, according to figures of Land Title Aspen. Some $115,836,999 million changed hands for Aspen and Pitkin county real estate this past January, down from the $127,200,000 in Jan. '08. The average residential sales price for Aspen itself in Jan. '09 was $4,978,838, with the average price per sq. ft. at $1,257.46.
FEB. 26, 2009 -- DOW closed down 88.81 points to 7182.08
FEB.25, 2009 -- MID-DAY DOW 7,195.86 DOWN 155
FEB. 24, 2009 -- President Barack Obama addressed a joint session of Congress tonight and what did he say? He said the U.S. would come out of the current economic recession stronger than before. Yea! I mean who expected the guy to say, "Hey, we're fucked! This sucker is going down." He did chide banks for unscrupulous lending practices, thankfully. And he hit consumers, too, for buying stuff they couldn't pay for. What he didn't say was whether he was going to bail out delinquent consumers along with the banks. He didn't point out clearly enough that our so-called "robust," economy of the past sixteen years -- the one that everyone hopes will re-appear tomorrow --was not so robust at all. In fact it was ill. Thanks to the willy/nilly proliferation of credit cards, our wonder economy of the Clinton and Bush administrations was 70 percent consumer driven. Consumers bought and bought and bought, but they didn't pay for much. . You could even buy a new home for nothing down, thanks to Dubya's policies. . Of course home prices and prices of everything else went through the roof, and the construction industry boomed and the resort industry boomed and everything boomed, to say nothing of banks and credit card companies. And Dubya got re-elected. Who's going to dump a President in a time of plenty, right? But a problem loomed: Who could keep up with their doggone payments what with the sky-high interest rates charged by banks and mortgage companies and credit card companies? Those banks with the sky-high rates are the ones we bailed late in Dubya's second term because for some reason -- duh! -- there started being a lot of loan defaults. . Dubya had already signed a bill into law that put an interest rate ceiling on loans at 30 percent. That's still way, way too high a rate for long-term money if you really expect the borrower to pay you back. When I was growing up in Texas in the fifties, there was a ten percent ceiling on interest rates. It was there to hold down the number of defaults. Anything higher than ten percent was considered usurious. Branch banks also were against the law, in an effort by state government to prevent any one bank from becoming "too big to fail." Now those Texas policies of old are beginning to make sense. I wish President Obama had said tonight, , "Prices have been too high. They're coming down for a while."
UPCOMING IN THE ASPEN FREE PRESS: A SERIES "RESEARCHING OBAMA'S MAMA" BY STERLING GREENWOOD.who travels to West Texas to the small town where Stanley Ann Dunham attended third and fourth grades at Hawkins Elementary School. Her teachers will be the focus of interviews in the series along with the girls in her Happy Bluebirds group, her neighborhood playmates she built treehouses with on hot summer days and the members of her Sunday school class at First United Methodist Church where her father, Stanley Armour Dunham, was baptized soon after the family arrived in town in 1951. Stay tuned.
FEB. 24, 2009 -- Stocks rebounded today, the Dow being up more than 200 points after its precipitous slide yesterday to 1997, levels. There were fears the DOW would close under 7,000 today, but that didn't happen. I rummaged through a storage trunk today to pick a random 2002 street edition of the Aspen Free Press. The June 21, 2002 issue showed the DOW at 9,332, roughly 2000 points higher than where the DOW closed today, give or take a hundred points or so. Anyway, this guy Bernanke's statement that the recession would be over this year spurred today's market upswing. Or at least kept it from going off a cliff. Gosh! Isn't Beranke the same guy who's been behind all the milti-billion-dollar bank bailouts that thus far haven't worked? .One gets the impression from TV that politicos watch the DOW all day and when it goes down they rush to get on TV in an effort to talk it back up. More later.
FEB. 20, 2009 -- Stocks took another plunge today, the DOW falling 100.28 points, the lowest it's been in six years.
Stimulants and Credit Cards by Sterling Greenwood President Obama is in Denver today, Tuesday Feb. 17, 2009, to sign the economic stimulus bill. And I just learned that this girl we called "Ann," in my elementary school at a small town in Texas went on to become Barack Obama's mother. Okay, it's hard for me to believe, too. I'm staring at Ann's fourth grade picture in stunned disbelief as I write this. Both Ann and I attended Hawkins. She was a year ahead of me. Her name was Stanley Ann Dunham, but I don't remember too many kids calling her "Stanley". Maybe the name "Stanley" for a girl stuck in the throat. lCome to think of it, no one much called me Sterling either, not after first grade when kids laughed every day during roll call as "Sterling" got called out. I would have traded names with any boy in the school except maybe for Harvey Elwood Luedtke who insisted on being called "Butch." More on all this later.
KEEP SCROLLING WAY BELOW THE CHAOS OF STORIES UPLOADED FROM ASPEN FREE PRESS STREET EDITIONS TO WHAT'S BEEN WRITTEN IN OTHER PUBLICATIONS ABOUT "ASPEN'S WORST NEWSPAPER" SINCE ITS WOBBLY INCEPTION IN THE THIRD PARKED CAR FROM THE CORNER AT MAIN AND MONARCH IN 1982.
MUST-SEE MOVIE -- Barry Levinson's "What Just Happened" starring Robert DeNiro, Sean Penn, Kristen Stewart and Bruce Willis. Soundtrack includes Citizen Cope.
TODAY'S BUMPER STICKER: KEEP ASPEN WEIRD
GOOGLE IT DEPT -- UP TO OUR EYEBALLS, a book by James Lardner, Jose Garcia, Cindy Zeldin and Tamara Draut.
.FEB. 7, 2009 -- ARE WE THE GOOD GERMANS OF THE NEW CENTURY? BY STERLING GREENWOOD -- I'm not referring to U.S. police state tactics set in motion over the past eight years such as secret police for spying on U.S. citizens,, wiretaps without a court order, torture of prisoners etc. -- all the stuff we were taught to recoil from in the land of the free and the home of the brave. . Seriously would John Wayne do any of that? Just kidding about John Wayne, okay? What I'm referring to is Germany's past efforts to print its way out of economic doldrums kind of like the U.S is starting to do now with the bailout. Excuse me, they're calling it an "economic recovery stimulus," now. So what's the big deal about the trillion-dollar U.S. deficit? If the U.S. gives away a trillion bucks and doesn't get the money back by taxing citizens, where does the money come from? That's easy. We just print the stuff. The Fed has enough paper, ink and printing presses to print a trillion dollars in less time than it takes a metro daily to run off a first edition. But let's back to the Germans. They flooded the market with marks in the early part of the last century, according to John Lanchester's piece in the Feb. 2, New Yorker subtitled, "When central bankers rescued, then ruined, the world." In 1914, Lanchester writes, a dollar could be traded for 4.2 marks. In 1922, the dollar was worth 190 marks. Then, by the end of 1922, it was a whopping 7,600 marks to the dollar. In 1923 it took 630 billion marks to get a dollar. And a loaf of bread cost the Germans 140 billion marks. I wonder if sometime in the U.S. we'll be taking a billion dollars to the grocery in wheelbarrows for a loaf of bread. Remember the Arab oil embargo of the late seventies? Saudis were tired of exporting oil to us in exchange for pieces of paper we had -- presto -- just turned into dollars in the back room. And the beat rolls on . . .,
I got an email from firstname.lastname@example.org wanting me to write write a letter of complaint about "illegals," getting tax rebates as part of the economic recovery package. I wrote wrote back the following to the patriot --"I hate to be the one to break this to you but, for all practical purposes ,there are no U.S. borders and there are no illegal aliens in the U.S. It's just that no one wants to say it outloud. You're not in 1955, anymore than Dorothy was in Kansas. I suggest you get on a new soapbox with another message, one that has a chance. Maybe you can come out against steroids in professional sports. Or, better yet, more drug urine tests for show pigs being entered in 4-H livestock events."
UPCOMING FEB. 17 --Aspen Public Radio is presenting NPR senior foreign correspondent Anne Garrels and senior foreign editor Loren Jenkins in conversation at the Given Institute at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 17th. Among other things, they'll discuss NPR's coverage - including Garrels' current work - in the Gaza Strip and Jersusalem. Fifteen dollar tickets are available now at the Wheeler Box Office and will be on sale at the Given on the evening of the event. Local students with ID receive free admission. More information is available online at aspenpublicradio.org or by calling 920-9000. .
JAN 19, 2009 --"HEY, AMERICA FEELS KIND OF COOL AGAIN INAUGURAL GALA" -- It's a Rock the Vote concert at 930 Club in DC, with performances by the Beastie Boys, Sheryl Crow and Citizen Cope aka Clarence Greenwood. Music to start at 9pm.
DEC. 25, 2008 -- I stumbled down to City Market and, en route, bumped into Mariah Carey and her husband on Cooper. A classic "Aspen Moment." They were standing in the entrance of Joan somebody's jewelry store. Or was that yesterday? I've been in a fog since M.D. Anderson. More later. SG
STEWART NUSBAUMER IN ASPEN. Is he vacationing or working on a story? Stay tuned. 12/6/08
Hunter S.. Thompson Friends Say Hollywood Hijacked his 'funeral' By Sterling Greenwood
SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE THE NEW YORK TIMES
ASSISTED LIVING IN MEXICO DALLAS MORNING NEWS
CADMIUM, CONTAINED IN STREET-DE-ICER MAG CHLORIDE, LINKED TO HUMAN CANCER By Sterling Greenwood
TODAY'S QUOTE (Sunday Dec. 7, 2008)-- An Aspenite, who warmly extends a hand, usually is sinking. (Aspen Free Press)
NOV. 18, 2008 -- I haven't seen my cousin, Eddie Lee Copeland, since our Uncle Clarence's funeral in Texas, but if I go to M.D. Anderson in Houston for cancer treatment I'll look him up. Eddie gave me a trumpet once and I played it along with a sax in a teen band in the fifties. I also tried to sing like Gene Vincent. 'WELLLLL, I WANNA, WANNA, LOTTA LOTTA LOVIN . . ." My folks started getting nervous about my growing enthusiasm for "the life," of a professional musician. They were kind of weirded too about my ducktails. So my Aunt Odessa took me to Shreveport to visit my cousin Eddie Lee Copeland in hopes it would "straighten me out." Eddie picked us up at the train depot, driving a tattered rag-top, flat-head eight Ford. He was wearing a scruffy black leather jacket and his hair was longer than mine. Really cool, I thought. Eddie could play any musical instrument. Just hearing him run scales on a trumpet, sax or even a piano knocked me out. Right off, I saw I could never be as good a musician as my cousin no matter how hard I practiced. And as good as Eddie Lee Copeland was, he wasn't even famous. He was a big deal in Shreveport, but I'd never seen him on national TV or anything. Anyway when I got back home in west Texas, I started cutting back on my sax, and piano playing. I never was all that good on trumpet in the first place. I think I decided to become a professional golfer or something equally far-fetched. Eddie Lee went on to become a NASA scientist. He designed one of engines on a moon rocket. He's retired now, but still has a band -- Ed Copeland and The Spiffingtons. On New Year's Eve they play for a big dance in Houston at the Petroleum Club. I want to be there. Eddie has had one heart attack already. I hope hanging out with me won't bring on another. SG
P.S. (INSTEAD OF EDDIE LEE, ANOTHER COUSIN BECAME MY MENTOR. . COUSIN FAYE AKA DR. FAYETTE COPELAND, FOR WHOM THE JOURNALISM BUILDING AT UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA,-- COPELAND HALL,-- IS NAMED, WROTE A BOOK "KENDALL OF THE PICAYUNE" ABOUT NEW ORLEANS AND ITS NEWSPAPER CLICK HERE FOR MORE).
NOV. 14, 2008 -- Don't expect many new posts from me here until I get a prostate cancer recurrence under control. It seems the cancer has metastasized to the spinal cord. When this happens, it can make walking -- something I used to do a lot of while distributing the yellow rag -- difficult. My psa shot up 200 pts to 705 in a month's time and one morning I woke up unable to feel my feet. I mean I stepped on them, ran hot water on them, nothing! Really weird sensation. . Anyway I went to the ER at AVH and the doc there agreed with me that it wasn't normal not to have any feeling in my feet. He ordered a CT Scan and a couple of MRIs for me at AVH, then sent me to Denver as an emergency case. And wouldn't you know that the CT Scan , which revealed the compression of my spine by the pc met, also turned up yet another apparently unrelated cancer mass in my chest. I knew I should have smoked filter tips when I was a smoker decades ago. Anyway, In Denver, I got radiation to the thoracic region of the spine, vertebrae #11t to be specific, in order to relieve pressure on a spinal nerve, created by the met. Now I can walk okay, but not so well as before and sometimes I need a cane. Maybe all this will improve but it looks like surgery and chemo and probably more radiation for me before this ordeal is over if it ever is. . Right now, as I write this, I'm riding shotgun in a Jeep traveling 90 mph on I-70 headed God knows where, but I'll be back. Adios for now, .Sterling Greenwood
ASPEN DAILY NEWS EARLY DAYS RECALLED
BY STERLING GREENWOOD 7/1/08
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE ASPEN DAILY NEWS ON ITS 30th ANNIVERSARY.
I REMEMBER ASKING FRIENDS HERE, WHEN I ARRIVED TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS AGO, IF THERE WERE A LOCAL DAILY NEWSPAPER.
"NO, JUST A WEEKLY," THEY SAID. "THE ASPEN TIMES."
I LOOKED IN THE YELLOW PAGES OF THE ASPEN PHONE BOOK UNDER "NEWSPAPERS" AND SAW LISTED THE ASPEN DAILY NEWS.
HOW COULD MY FRIENDS THEN NOT BE AWARE OF A DAILY NEWSPAPER IN THEIR TOWN? (I'm getting too tired to finish this piece with fresh material, so I'll just substitute from here on with the stuff I wrote on the Aspen Daily News 25th anniversary, uploaded from an Aspen Free Press street edition (see link below). The editor of the Daily News on its 25th birthday was Rick Carroll who is managing editor of the Aspen Times now. The Daily News general manager then was Greg Nebel. David Cook is listed as Daily News publisher now, with Dave Danforth still "owner and mascot." Troy Hooper is current Daily News editor.) read entire story...
7/25/08 BULLETIN -- JOHN MCCAIN TO MEET WITH DALAI LAMA TODAY IN ASPEN PRIVATE RESIDENCE. STAY TUNED
7/22/08Obama is in Jordan today and the King of Jordan and his retinue are in Aspen. Hmmm. "He waved to me," one woman on Main Street told Aspen Free Press this morning. 7/22/08 WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. The king made it to Jordan in time to meet with Obama today. It was Monday when King Abdullah waved to the woman probably on his way out of town. She told us about it today. I've got her name and everything if anyone doubts me on this. Okay here's what Aspen locals are pissed about. King Abdullah and his motorcade went to the Isis Sunday night and the motorcade remained out front of the theater, idling for hours while the king and his family were inside seeing a flick.
TODAY'S QUOTE -- "The Aspen Free Press, locals say, best reflects the town's spirit." Rocky Mountain News '80s feature that keyed on Aspen's three newspapers.
. CADIUM IN STREET DE-ICER MAGNESIUM CHLORIDE LINKED TO HUMAN CANCER. By Sterling Greenwood (See link below)
TODAY'S DALAI LAMA QUOTE -- Crazy Carl Spackler, played by Bill Murray in the movie Caddyshack, says, " So I jump ship in Hong Kong and make my way over to Tibet, and I get on as a looper at a course over in the Himalayas. A looper, you know, a caddy, a looper, a jock. So, I tell them I'm a pro jock, and who do you think they give me? The Dalai Lama, himself. Twelfth son of the Lama. The flowing robes, the grace, bald... striking. So, I'm on the first tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and whacks one - big hitter, the Lama - long, into a ten-thousand foot crevasse, right at the base of this glacier. Do you know what the Lama says? Gunga galunga... gunga, gunga-galunga. So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, 'Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.' And he says, 'Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.' So I got that goin' for me, which is nice."
Look for a special Dalai Lama street edition from the Aspen Free Press. There may be one.
DALAI LAMA ASPEN TICKETS-- Two available for July 26 lecture in the tent. Contact email@example.com or phone 970-319-4606. One guy called from overseas to offer $1,000 per ticket if he could only wait to pay until thirty minutes before the 10am lecture. That's when his flight into town is supposed to arrive, he said. WOW! One of the greatest things about living in Aspen is that you can get into some really bizarre conversations with the most interesting strangers.
JULY 19, 2008 -- NO FACELIFT FOR WOODY PAIGE By Sterling Greenwood -- Paige looks so young to me on his ESPN show that I contacted him to see if he'd had cosmetic surgery. Paige and I both started out in "big city" journalism in Memphis at The Commercial Appeal, a morning Scripps-Howard newspaper. We covered night police ie street violence in the wake of the Martin Luther King assassination. "No, I haven't had a face lift," Paige told me, "but I get ask about it a lot." But back to Memphis, Paige eventually got transferred to sports and I started writing a music column "Memphis Beat," for the Scripps-Howard afternoon rag and covering rock concerts and even the world premier of the movie "Woodstock." I remember particularly a lead Woody put on a baseball story one rainy Memphis day, which sent editors climbing the walls: "It wasn't a good day for baseball," he wrote. It was a day to sit under a tin roof and eat pimento cheese sandwiches."
. CADIUM IN STREET DE-ICER MAGNESIUM CHLORIDE LINKED TO HUMAN CANCER. (See link below)
Larkin Harris got shot decades ago by an APD officer. Only thing to save him was his belt buckle. The police bullet bounced off the thing. More on this later.
JULY 16, 2007 -- TODAY'S QUOTE: "Perhaps more than any other small town, the whole world comes to Aspen." Michael Flanagin
JUNE 12, 2007 -- TODAY'S QUOTE: "Sometimes back then I got so damn desperate I'd go out into my own neighborhood and panhandle." Henry Miller
BUMPER STICKER: KEEP ASPEN WEIRD
CADIUM IN STREET DE-ICER MAGNESIUM CHLORIDE LINKED TO HUMAN CANCER. (See link below)
UPCOMING -- TB -- HOW WIDESPREAD IS IT IN COLORADO? STAY TUNED FOR A MULTI-PART ASPEN FREE PRESS SERIES.
MAY 24, 2007 -- TODAY'S QUOTE: "There ain't no clean way to make $100 million bucks. Maybe the head man thinks his hands are clean but somewhere along the line guys got pushed to the wall, nice little businesses got the ground cut from under them and had to sell out for nickels, decent people lost their jobs, stocks got rigged on the market, proxies got bought up like a pennyweight of gold, and the five per centers and the big law firms got paid hundred-grand fees for beating some law the people wanted but the rich guys didn't." Raymond Chandler in "The Long Goodbye."
APRIL 27, 2007 -- Nationally-renowned artist Tom Benton, who also was an architect and sometime law enforcement officer during his more than forty years of residence in Aspen, died today of cancer. Tom had also co-published the one-sheet newspaper, The Aspen Wallposter, for a time with friends including the late gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson. More on Tom Benton later.
APRIL 23, 2007 -- Today a quarter-century ago we published the first issue of the Aspen Free Press. Back then, I was living in a car parked behind a gas station downtown and showering at the Aspen Athletic Club. A disbarred attorney, resided in the vehicle adjacent to mine. In one of the first political campaigns covered by the Aspen Free Press, Bill Stirling, a political novice, ran for mayor. He bought a full-page ad in the Aspen Free Press which began, "This is my only ad." And, indeed it was. But this same ad also appeared in the Aspen Daily News and the Aspen Times. Stirling won the mayoral election in a landslide against several better-known candidates, two of whom were serving terms on Aspen City Council at the time.. . . .Stirling went on to be re-elected at least twice and is considered one of Aspen's most popular mayors ever. Or at least in recent history. Stirling was mayor when the "straight-shot," concept was first introduced as a possible new entrance to Aspen, designed to supplant our current s-curves entrance which has a small-town feel. Stirling's eyes got wide when he saw a drawing of the proposed straight-shot now called the preferred alternative. Seemingly incredulous, Mayor Stirling pointed to the drawing, "It looks like a speedway," he said. The controversy-riddled entrance to Aspen issue remains an unresolved hot topic still, but the s-curves live on so far. And the beat, as it must, rolls on.
BULLETIN 4/6/07--Disregard the drivel below about the Aspen mayoral election because there's a brand-new candidate now to run against Torre, Mick Ireland and Tim Semrau. Her name is Bonnie Behrend. Stay tuned.
TODAY'S QUOTE 4/5/07: I ate between battles, I slept among murderers, I was careless in loving and I looked upon nature without patience. Thus the time passed which was given me on earth.-- BRECHT
THE ASPEN MAYORAL ELECTION BY STERLING GREENWOOD 4/5/07
I'm disappointed that both Mick Ireland and Tim Semrau are running for mayor of Aspen. They will split the straight-shot vote; then Councilman Torre, God forbid, a small town entrance proponent, could carry the day.
With both Tim and Mick wanting to be mayor, neither may win and we risk losing a huge new entrance development ie the "straight-shot" at the edge of town.
And sadly, too, I fear there are precious few straight-shot votes to split.
In the last entrance to Aspen election four or five years ago, despite valliant efforts by both Mick and Tim to sell us the straight-shot, only some twenty percent of registered Aspen voters came out for the thing.
Even county voters balked at the straight-shot proposal,, preferring to retain those silly s-curves.
And the s-curvers weren't gracious in victory either.
Some got ugly about it all, yelling out quotes from the late Dr. Hunter S. Thompson like, "THERE IS SOME SHIT WE JUST WON'T EAT!"
But worst of all, Colorado construction interests missed a $60-$80 million public money gravy train.
Just think how glum Haliburton might feel financially now if we hadn't gone to Iraq and they'd missed their bonanza -- then figure that's akin to how the big road construction concerns DID feel when they were poised to build us that spiffy new grownup entrance into Aspen with tunnelsr and all and then we went and voted the whole mess down, sinking the straight-shot like a led zeppelin.
We've got to get real in Aspen, wake up and smell the coffee!
The curves must go.
There must be another election.
With our puny s-curves entrance, Aspen will never actualize its potential to bloom into an industrialized city like Detroit, that is our destiny.
You ever see a giant tractor-trailer rig struggle to negotiate our s-curves?
It takes the hulking thing fifteen to twenty minutes to shudder and screech and lurch through. Plus a driver with the patience of Job. And cops have to halt traffic in both directions during this truck opera because when the big rigs turn through the curves they need room to veer into oncoming lanes.
Reminds me of my aunt Mozelle trying to twist into her girdle, rest her soul.
Anyway, I love my new "S-CURVES SUCK" bumper sticker. And here's a motto suggestion for all of us who want the straight-shot: "THERE IS SOME SHIT WE MUST EAT." C'mon guys, let's do it for Mick and Tim -- win a new entrance for Aspen, I mean.
No matter which of the three candidates gets to be mayor.
From Aspen Free Press street edition archives. HUNTER S. THOMPSON SHOOTS SELF TO DEATH THIS AFTERNOON -- ASPEN, Co., (Feb. 20, 2005) -- The Aspen Free Press published a late bulletin "extra," street edition today informing Aspen locals that gonzo writer Hunter S. Thompson, 67,had shot himself to death in the kitchen of his farm home at nearby Woody Creek. Click here for more. Aspen Free Press ----Page 1 | Page 2. WE GOT HUNTER'S AGE WRONG IN THE FIRST PRESS RUN. HE WAS 67, NOT 65.
SATURDAY, MARCH 31, 2007 -- I'm sitting on a barstool at the Red Onion, typing this. The place is jammed and there's a line outside waiting to get in. There is so much noise I can't hear myself think. I just interviewed a woman here at the bar who said she operates an Aspen shelter for overfed cats. Maybe I didn't understand her correctly what with the band cranking up "Mustang Sally," and all. Got to run! More later.
FRIDAY FEB. 9, 2007 -- This "preferred alternative" entrance proposal sounds a whole lot like the thing Aspen voters defeated by about 300 votes in the last entrance election three or four years ago. Only then it was called the "modified direct," or some such. But no matter the handle, locals pretty much called it what it was -- the "straight shot." Anyway, all this talk now of a "preferred alternative" route into town with its gravy train for road construction interests has spurred a rallying of those in favor of leaving Aspen's s-curves entrance alone. Die-hard s-curvers don't want the "preferred alternative," any more than they wanted the "modified direct." Their attitude brings to mind words of the late Dr. Hunter S. Thompson years back when successfully battling airport runway expansion: "There is SOME shit we just won't eat." And the beat rolls on . . .
FRIDAY JAN. 19, 2007 -- Brad and Angelina in Aspen? Well, not now but maybe last week? The Aspen Free Press is checking out an unconfirmed tip received this morning at Starbucks that the couple not only was here last week, but plans to spend more time in Aspen in the future. Maybe they'll dash up from New Orleans on weekends. Stay tuned!
SUNDAY JAN. 14 -- Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Just saw the guy on Cooper strolling down that sidewalk in front of the Aspen Square, close to where photograhers chased J-Lo the week before Christmas and right across from Mezaluna where Nicole Simpson met Kato Kaelin here in 1992. Jerry Jones was one of the few people we saw on the streets this morning. He was with a woman in a long mink coat. And the beat rolls on . . .
By Sterling Greenwood
Today is Jan. 8, Elvis's birthday. Below is an excerpt about Elvis from my novel in progress, "No-Problem Bridge and The Aspen Free Press."
". . . . Or when I was thirteen and saw Elvis in Wichita Falls before they cleaned him up and he tore into "Baby Let's Play House," in a wild fit of hiccups like somebody possessed, raving in tongues -- WUP, BABYBABYBABY HIC, BABYBABY HIC --and the bass player flailed the strings of a giant gold-colored fiddle, and in one fluid move sank to his back, pulling the 6-ft.-high instrument over on top of him, and he started humping the thing during his solo like it was a woman -- THUMPA,THUMPA,THUMPA,THUMPA --and I thought the roof of the auditorium would lift off its hinges and into the heavens from sheer teen hysteria."
Jan. 1, 2007
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! It was fantastic on Ajax today.
OFF THE TANGENT: What follows in is an "open letter" to Francilynn Singleton, which was previously published in the Aspen Times.
Ms. Singleton, I'm sorry you don't like the Aspen newspapers. You were off the mark, though, linking the Aspen Times with O.J. coverage. It was the Aspen Free Press which broke the "O.J. in Aspen" story. The Aspen Daily News did a next-day followup.
As editor and publisher of the Aspen Free Press, I ran the O.J. story because when a famous personality comes to our town, whom much of the public feels got by with a double homicide, it's news. In your letter to the Times, you wrote, "Today in Aspen, O.J. and you are warmly received. The president, howewver, would not be treated as well." I disagree, Ms. Singleton. We at the Aspen Free Press drew criticism from Bush bashers when we published a special inauguration issue featuring photos of our President's boyhood home in Midland, Tx. Much of the public apparently feels President Bush stole the 2,000 election and that people are dying every day now as a result. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, though, the election wasn't stolen.
And, according to a jury, O.J. didn't murder anyone. Both President Bush and O.J. are innocent in the eyes of the law and we are a nation of laws.
SWITCHING GEARS TO SADDAM HUSSEIN. Some questions from the media to public officials are ticklish and require tact by a journalist when presented. But that doesn't mean difficult questions should never be asked, right? In Hunter's words, "After all we are professionals." Anyway, here's today's question that you will never hear on "Meet the Press:"
Now that the former president of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, has been convicted and put to death for his part in the killing of 148 Shiite men and boys in the town of Dujail in 1981, is there any chance that former U.S. President Bill Clinton will be tried for his part in the killing of 74 Branch Davidian men, women and children in the town of Waco in 1993?
*Except in the unlikely event Congress ever comprises a majoriy of Branch Davidians.
TODAY'S BUMPER STICKER -- KEEP ASPEN WEIRD
TODAY'S QUOTE: "My life was no life. It was sort of a long, confused drive." Larry McMurty in his novel, "All My Friends Are Going to be Strangers."
And the beat rolls on . . .
TOUTS DEPT -- No way anyone's going to sleep through the new album of RCA pop recording artist Citizen Cope. Entitled "Every Waking Moment," the new record got released Sept. 12. Our favorite cut on the CD-- "Brother Lee."
The second anniversary of Hunter's death is coming up soon. Meanwhile, below is a link to the "extra" the Aspen Free Press published the day Hunter died.
HUNTER S. THOMPSON SHOOTS SELF TO DEATH THIS AFTERNOON -- ASPEN, Co., (Feb. 20, 2005) -- The Aspen Free Press published a late bulletin "extra," street edition today informing Aspen locals that gonzo writer Hunter S. Thompson, 65,had shot himself to death in the kitchen of his farm home at nearby Woody Creek. Click here for more. Aspen Free Press ----Page 1 | Page 2 The Aspen Free Press wouldn't have had the story about Hunter alone on the streets, but we're the only Aspen newspaper with a local in-house press. The other Aspen rags print out of town. The Aspen Free Press can get late-breaking news out in less than twenty minutes! But in a scramble to get out the Thompson "extra," we got Hunter's age wrong in first press run. The error, which we regret, was corrected in subsequent runs, but our mistake got picked up online unfortunately and thirty minutes later we were getting phone calls from as far away as London concerning verification of Hunter's age. Hunter was 67, not 65 as we initially reported. Sterling Greenwood, who received Aspen the Magazine's "Hunter S. Thompson Student Journalism Award" in the "Best of Aspen" category wrote the story.
THURSDAY, JULY 6, 2006 -- We're hoping for a candlelight vigil for Ken Lay, with Karl Rove, who is in town for an ideas festival, giving the eulogy. Next week Michael Milken arrives in Aspen.
LATE BREAKING BULLETIN 7/5/06-- Ken Lay or somebody dies early today in Aspen Valley Hospital after massive heart attack.
MONDAY JULY 3, 2006 -- RUMOR ON THE SUNNY STREETS OF ASPEN THIS MORNING: BILL CLINTON AND KARL ROVE ARRIVED IN TOWN TOGETHER. REALLY? STAY TUNED! WE'LL FIND OUT! WE DO KNOW THIS MUCH. BOTH CLINTON AND ROVE ARE SCHEDULED TO SPEAK AT THE ASPEN IDEAS FESTIVAL which kicks off tonight and The Aspen Free Press will be there. We wonder if Rove will be, though. We figured he'd be in Mexico about now helping officials down there steal a presidential election "in the interest of national security." The Free Press has covered Clinton in his previous trips to Aspen (see "With Bill Clinton in the Hippie Years" below). And remember that time Bubba visited Aspen when he was President and someone festooned a banner across the road into town, "INHALE TO THE CHIEF."Aspen Free Press publisher Sterling Greenwood wrote about that incident in Vanity Fair. But, back to the Aspen Ideas Festival. Others scheduled to speak include Wolf Blitzer, Colin Powell, Queen Noor, Katie Couric, many many more, blah, blah, blah. . If the Aspen Ideas Festival had any balls it would throw a wildcard into the mix such as that screwball Dr. Ward Churchill, just to liven things up, maybe get a real dialogue going. "I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Who made that remark? Nobody in Congress today, we'd bet. Meanwhile, is trouble brewing over the estate of the late Dr. Hunter S. Thompson? Deborah Fuller who used to work for Hunter claims she is due $100k and some locals say she deserves it. The Aspen Free Press broke the news of Thompson's alleged suicide on the streets of Aspen with an "Extra," edition Feb. 20, 2005. Copies of that collector edition have sold for as high as $800, we've been told. Horseshit! Have a safe 4th! And the beat rolls on.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALICE GREENWOOD who just received a degree in strategic communication from the journalism school at University of Kansas, Lawrence.
TODAY'S QUOTE: An Aspenite who warmly extends a hand usually is sinking. Aspen Free Press.
TODAY'S BUMPER WATCH: FOOD ABUSE KILLS 300,000 AMERICANS ANNUALLY.
IT'S ALL A WORD GAME 6/12/06
BY STERLING GREENWOOD
Feds now are pushing journalists to incorrectly describe illegal immigrants simply as "immigrants."
I guess the Bush administration is embarrassed about all these people called "illegals," seemingly being everywhere on TV, running around loose on President Bush's watch, particularly in light of the emphasis on increased warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens "in the interest of national security."
Or maybe President Bush fears his political base may get the notion that while we've been invading Iraq we ourselves got invaded.
Before going into Iraq, President Bush only rarely if at all described the worrisome nuclear arsenal in North Korea as "weapons of mass destruction." The chilling "WMD" designation pertained mostly to Iraq, remember?
It's all a word game.
Are the undocumented residents in the U.S. to be crudely dubbed "illegal aliens" or just improperly referred to as "immigrants," implying legal status?
Is there "civil war" in Iraq now or just an "insurgency?"
One thing's for sure. It's silly to even discuss deporting ten to twenty millions of the undocumented here, no matter how they're called. Such an attempt would result in "civil war," or at least one hell of an "insurgency. They're here, more are coming, live with it.
And the beat rolls on . . .
SENATE PASSES IMMIGRATION BILL -- The measure includes a provision for illegal immigrants in the U.S., for more than two years to become guest workers and register with the Selective Service in the event of a military draft. Others, who have been here less than two years, would return to their countries of origin for processing back to the U.S.. The House of Representatives has already passed a bill calling for deportation of all illegals, estimated to number between 11 and 20 millions. For more click on your TV. If you don't have a TV, , there's some stolen ones making the rounds for peanuts. See Ralph Don who lives in the bicycle locker next to the bus depot.
LOST IN A DENVER IMMIGRATION MARCH, 50,000 JAM STREETS.
Part nine of an eleven-part Aspen Free Press illegal immigration series 4/10/06
by Sterling Greenwood
I don't mind President Bush's warrantless wiretap policy. (This is a lie)
Or that feds can now probe my library records. (Another lie).
Nor do I mind taking off my shoes to be searched when boarding at commercial airlines. (Liar, liar, pants on fire).
Or even Homeland Security's monitoring my purchases of over-the-counter cold medications. (Sure).
It's all for our nation's security. Right? (With three-fourths of Americans fat, aren't several hundred thousand of us more likely to die of food abuse next year than from terrorism?)
But several months ago I bought low-cost cancer meds in Mexico and my Jeep got searched coming back into the U.S. (This is true)
I got through okay, but started feeling like a fool just a short time later on seeing illegals crossing the Rio Grande into the U.S., seemingly easy as pie. (Strange is a more accurate description of how i felt)
Illegal immigration doesn't bother me, though. I'm an open borders advocate. (True)
I enjoy the border's "no one's minding the store," ambiance. Reminds me of Aspen decades ago. (True)
And I never even think about our porous U.S. borders except when I'm being demeaned by a search at one, ostensibly "in the interest of national security."
The words of Ben Franklin come to mind: "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
And the beat, as it must, rolls on . . . .
Most illegals are from Mexico, Central America and Brazil, according to The Denver Post citing Border Patrol data, but others caught trying to enter the U.S. between 2002-05 came from "countries of interest." They include Iranians (95), Iraqis (74), Pakistanis (660), Syrians (52), Yemenis (40), Egyptians (106), Lebanesse (91) and Saudis (13). Non-Mexican illegal immigrants caught coming from Mexico, according to the Post, include Pakistanis (113), Egyptians (41), Jordanians (55), Iranians (39), Iraqis (22), Yemenis (15) and Saudis (13). For every illegal caught, according to the Border Patrol, another two or three get through.
Part 10 soon in a street edition.
OFF THE TANGENT -- There's two-year waiting list now in Aspen to take the course on how to develop your own eating disorder, a bulimic affliction which enables so many movie stars to stay thin. . Just a one-year wait though for how to contract wasting disease. Our latest poll indicates nine out of ten Aspenites fear gaining weight more than terrorism.
And the beat rolls on. . .
WINTER QUOTE -- "My dad, he starts a family in a new town about every six years. This isn't so much like a family as it's like he sets up a franchise." This jewel comes from the novel "Fight Club." Fantastic tome, not really about what the title may indicate. G-G-GOOD GAWD THERE'S A LOT OF SNOW OUTSIDE. Have you looked? Took me thirty minutes to dig out my Jeep parked over on Monarch. It would have taken longer if the guy living in his car parked next to my Jeep hadn't helped. Thanks Charlie! Meanwhile another quote comes to mind. This one from Susan B. Anthony. "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." And the beat rolls on in Aspen, Co., -- City Council meeting at 5. And don't forget to pick up today's street edition of the Aspen Free Press for our special snow ice cream recipe dubbed "depression ice cream" in the south -- fresh snow, whipping cream, vanilla and lots and lots of sugar. Uhmmmm, good! Tastes like homemade. Seriously. Later. SJG
March 10, 2006-- There are 37,869 registered voters in the 9th Judicial District. Some 6,734 -- less than twenty percent --voted to recall DA Colleen Truden. But that's all it took because voter turnout sucked. Wag the Dog. She's been recalled. Today the answering machine at the Aspen Free Press offices says "Food abuse arrests, DA recalls and other pissing contests are our news focus."
Having blown into Aspen in 1980 after a divorce., Sterling Greenwood, a former investigative reporter/columnist for Scripps-Howard in Memphis, covered Hunter S. Thompson's 1981 DUI hearing for Scripps-Howard's Denver newspaper, the Rocky Mountain News. Click here for story.. Greenwood also worked for the Aspen Daily News during this period, variously as a contributor, distributor, associate editor and editor. Eventually, he saved enough to move out of his car and into an apartment building occupied by a host of other social marginals, many of whom he had met at the courthouse while covering their criminal trials. . And the beat rolls on
FOR ARTICLES WRITTEN ABOUT THE "ASPEN'S WORST NEWSPAPER" IN DENVER NEWSPAPERS AND IN ASPEN MAGAZINE, JUST KEEP SCROLLING . FOR COMMENTS ABOUT THE ASPEN FREE PRESS AND ITS PUBLISHER IN THE NEW YORK TIMES SEE "ASPEN'S INNER GONZO," IE SCROLL UP IN THE FAR LEFT COLUMN.
TOUTS -- 10/24/05 -For a sizzling, erotic romp through Key West, shot through with mystery and intrigue, read "Metro Girl," a novel by Janet Evanovitch. click here
GETTING ALL THE GOOD BREAKDOWNS DEPT. -- PICTURE THIS: YOUR LONGTIME FRIEND WHO IS A PSYCHIATRIST TELLS YOU YOU'RE NOT JUST SOME SICK TWIST AFFLICTED WITH PARANOIA. . . THAT YOU HAVE VERY REAL ENEMIES WHO HAVE EVEN C-C-CONTACTED HIM! YIKES! THAT'S . . . WELL. . . WHEN YOUR HEARTACHES BEGIN! STAY TUNED FOR ONE BIZARRE STORY! HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND AND MINIMIZE MULTI-TASKING! THE BEAT ROLLS ON . . . .10/21/05
OCT. 8, 2005 -- Today's Aspen Free Press quote: "The most stolen item in all of criminal history has been public money." Jimmy Breslin. Scroll past the chaos of stories uploaded from street editions to see what's been written about "Aspen's Worst Newspaper," in other publications over the decades.
SEPT 30, 2005 -- Do recall the name of the female movie star who stripped, then got into a hot tub with Jack Nicholson in "About Schmidt?" Well she's in Aspen. Just saw her fifteen minutes ago walking past Under Armour toward Boogie's. Hint: Her last name is Bates. And the beat rolls on. . .
SEPT. 27, 2005
WOULD-BE BUILDERS AND OTHERS HOPEFUL OF BENEFITTING FINANCIALLY FROM CONSTRUCTION OF A PROPOSED STRAIGHT-SHOT ENTRANCE INTO ASPEN REMAIN HUNGRY FOR THEIR $80 MILLION PAYDAY WHICH IS WHAT SUCH A PROJECT HAS BEEN ESTIMATED TO COST. BUT ASPEN LOCALS PUT UP A ROADBLOCK TO THESE DREAMS AND VOTED TO DEFEAT THE STRAIGHT SHOT PROPOSAL AND RETAIN ASPEN'S SMALL-TOWN S-CURVES ENTRANCE BY A 56 PERCENT TO 44 PERCENT MARGIN. STRAIGHT-SHOT PROPONENTS DREW ONLY ABOUT 22 PERCENT OF THE TOTAL REGISTERED VOTE, BUT THE ISSUE PROBABLY WILL REMAIN UNDER OUR NOSES UNTIL WE VOTE ON IT AGAIN - NOBODY WALKS AWAY QUIETLY FROM $80 MILLION.- CLICK HERE FOR STORY .THE ASPEN TIMES, OWNED BY A NEWSPAPER CHAIN HEADQUARTERED IN RENO, NEVADA, ENDORSED THE STRAIGHT-SHOT. AFTER ALL, WHY WOULD A BIG NEWSPAPER CHAIN BUY INTO A TOWN IT DIDN'T EXPECT TO BOOM? THE LOCALLY-OWNED ASPEN DAILY NEWS, ENDORSED THE S-CURVES. THE ASPEN FREE PRESS, ALSO LOCALLY OWNED, NEVER ENDORSES OR CONDEMNS DICK AS A MATTER OF POLICY. SPEAKING OF MONEY DEPT. --, OUR CHARGE FOR NOT PRINTING NAMES IN CONNECTION WITH LOCAL DRUNK DRIVING ARRESTS HAS JUST JUMPED FROM $75 TO $100 PER NAME EFFECTIVE OCT. 16, 2005-- SAME DAY THE NEW BANKRUPTCY LAW KICKS IN. AND THE BEAT ROLLS ON . . .
LATE-BREAKING 9/21/05 -- San Francisco 49'ers lineman Thomas Herrion, who weighed more than 300 pounds, died of heart disease. Some health quacks claim heart disease in an overweight person should be attributed to "food abuse." Herrion died in Denver after a pre-season game with the Broncos. No ephedra or anything else weird was detected in the post-mortem report so maybe he was just too fat for football. Ephedra got banned after an overweight baseball player with an enlarged heart died last year while working out in the heat. Ephedra, shown medically to combat obesity, is derived from the herb ma huang, Ephedra was detected in the baseball player's autopsy but docs declined to link the appetite depressant to the death.
Dr. Thompson will be missed- The Aspen Free Press published a Hunter S. Thompson 'EXTRA' edition when Hunter died on 2/20/05 -- the only Aspen newspaper with the story on the street that Sunday (click below). Apres skiers slumped on barstools read the story in stunned disbelief. Tourists descended on Aspen Free Press distribution points in a frenzy for copies like so many hungry birds at winter feeders. In a mad scramble to get out this special edition which included two press runs, we put Hunter's date of birth at 7/18/39 which is incorrect. The date came from Paul Perry's biography, "Fear and Loathing,, The Strange and Terrible Saga of Hunter S. Thompson," which has the year wrong in our copy of the book anyway. The date we should have run is 7/18/37. Hunter was 67 when he died, not 65 as stated in the our 'extra.' The Aspen Free Press regrets the error which got corrected for Monday's street edtion. And the beat rolls on . . .
HUNTER S. THOMPSON SHOOTS SELF TO DEATH TODAY -- ASPEN, Co., (Feb. 20, 2005) -- Bulletin! "Extra" street edition. Gonzo writer Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, 65, shot himself to death this afternoon in the kitchen of his farm home near this Rocky Mountain resort town. Click here for more. Aspen Free Press ----Page 1 | Page 2
Dr. Thompson spent the afternoon of his last birthday celebrating with two longtime friends -- John Van Ness, a neighbor and criminal defense attorney who represents NORML, and Ed Bradley of CBS's "60 Minutes," who resides in Aspen part-time. You may recall the Aspen Free Press's stumblebum coverage of Ed Bradley's wedding last summer. You also may recall that several years ago -- when Dr. Thompson got cited for trying to shoot a golf ball with a shotgun -- he was playing golf with Ed. VANNESS HAD YET TO RECEIVE A FORMAL WRITTEN INVITATION TO HUNTER'S SENDOFF LATE SATURDAY AFTERNOON. SO IF YOU'RE A LOCAL AND HAVEN'T RECEIVED ONE EITHER YOU'RE IN GOOD COMPANY. VANNESS WAS TOLD BY ANITA THOMPSON HE SHOULD ATTEND, THOUGH.
". . . . Or when I saw Elvis in Wichita Falls before they cleaned him up and he tore into "Baby Let's Play House," in a wild fit of hiccups like somebody possessed, raving in tongues -- WUP, BABYBABYBABY HIC, BABYBABY HIC --and the bass player flailed the strings of a giant gold-colored fiddle, and in one fluid move sank to his back, pulling the 6-ft.-high instrument over on top of him, and he started humping the thing during his solo like it was a woman -- THUMPA,THUMPA,THUMPA,THUMPA --and I thought the roof of the auditorium would lift off its hinges and into the heavens from sheer teen hysteria."
AUG 15, 2005-- A SMALL GROUP OF US LISTENED TO THOMAS FRIEDMAN'S ANIMATED RAP ABOUT HIS LATEST TOME, 'THE WORLD IS FLAT'' AT EXPLORE BOOKSELLERS THE OTHER NIGHT. I DON'T KNOW WHETHER THE BOOK'S ANY GOOD, BUT I BOUGHT A COPY JUST BECAUSE OF OF FRIEDMAN'S CONTAGIOUS ENTHUSIASM. EXPLORE BOOKSELLERS, HOUSED IN AN OLD VICTORIAN ON MAIN, HAS A COFFEE HOUSE/HEALTH RESTAURANT UPSTAIRS AND IS OWNED BY. KATHERINE THALBERG, DAUGHTER OF THE LATE IRVING THALBERG. I'VE MET A LOT OF FAMOUS PEOPLE AT EXPLORE OVER THE YEARS, THANKS TO KATHERINE, MOST MEMORABLE, ERICA JONG WHO WROTE 'FEAR OF FLYING.' WOW!
WITH BILL CLINTON IN THE 'HIPPIE' YEARS 7/25/03. "BUBBA'S" ASPEN VACATION STARTS NEXT WEEK
BY STERLING GREENWOOD (uploaded from Aspen Free Press street edition.)
I opened Time magazine to the politics section and there she was.
It was a color photo of a beautiful blonde, captioned "Who Is Marsha Scott?"
I nearly fell out of bed.
This was in the late nineties, during the Clinton and Monica goat dance, and Marsha was described in Time as Clinton's "girlfriend from his hippie days," now "Deputy Assistant to the President."
I hurried onto the internet to access "Marsha Scott."
There was a blizzard of references:
-- The Deposition of Marsha Scott.
-- Ex-campaign Chief David Watkins says Marsha Scott is Clinton's White House Mistress, a power in Washington.
-- All the President's Women, Marsha Scott.
-- Scott Marsha, The Secret Life of Bill Clinton.
-- Marsha Scott, The Last White House Staff Member to See Vince Foster Alive.
-- Marsha Scott, Chief of Presidential Correspondence.
-- Marsha Scott, Chief of Staff in the Presidential Personnel Office.
Reading through all this internet stuff, I didn't know what to believe. I saw stories about Marsha chairing meetings in Bill's absence, her attending Vince Foster's funeral with the President.
Who is Marsha Scott?
I thought to myself, "Hell, I know Marsha Scott. Or I used to anyway. And I'd wondered at times what happened to her.
I stayed at Marsha Scott's in DC decades ago, when I covered anti-war riots at the University of Maryland for a Scripps-Howard newspaper in Memphis, where I was based. My previous "out of town," assignment had been the world premiere of the movie "Woodstock," in Miami.
That week in DC included dinners with Marsha and "attending," the riot where overturned charred police vehicles littered the Maryland campus -- a Fellini movie somehow run amok.
I had met Marsha during my college years when visiting a roommate from Arkansas. I also crossed paths there with names like Jim Guy Tucker, Jack Tom Friar, Chet "The Jet" Storthz, John Findley, Poindextar and countless others, maybe even Bill Clinton I wondered.
Jim Guy Tucker had such a zeal, both political and journalistic that he smuggled himself into Tucker Prison Farm as an inmate and later penned a series of newspaper articles exposing that Arkansas penal institution for the toilet it was.
Tucker was going to be President someday, we thought. And so did everyone else in Arkansas then, it seemed, except maybe Bill Clinton. As it turned out Tucker succeeded Clinton as governor or Arkansas before somehow getting snagged, too, in the Whitewater controversy.
Anyway, I had spent a lot of time in Little Rock, so I phoned up Marsha Scott, whom I had met there, when I went to DC as a journalist. She was an aide to U.S. Senator William Fulbright from Arkansas, the most outspoken dove on the Vietnam War in congress.
There were swirls of people in and out at Marsha's when I stayed there. . Articulate, animated, exciting people who lived and breathed politics. Lots of longhairs.
I left the Arkansans long enough to attend a steeple chase in Virginia. At a party on a guy's farm after the race, I asked the owner what he raised. "Anything I can smoke," he said.
I drove back to DC that night full of whiskey, one eye closed to avoid seeing double
As much fun as the Virginia party was, I missed the Arkansas crowd.
Most political types bored me back then, but they didn't.
They were sophisticated hell-raisers, wild and fun-loving -- to say nothing of idealistic.
I actually had withdrawal when I left them in DC.
I can understand how news types get addicted to living in our nation's capital where you feel like you're in the world's nerve center and nothing really happens anyplace else even when it does. Like driving by the White House the night of the Kent State Massacre to see Dan Rather there on the lawn in a floodlight, giving his report on President Nixon's reaction to the deaths of the Kent State student war protesters cut down by National Guard troops.
Anyway, after I saw Marsha's Scott's photo in Time, I got in touch with her through a reporter for The Washington Post.
She wrote me a letter on White House stationery, and we've continued an email correspondence since.
"Did I ever meet Clinton?" I asked Marsha. "I don't know," she said. "When he's in Aspen, go up and introduce yourself." I never have. But next week, if I see Clinton strolling on the mall downtown or something, I just may.
I can tell him about having breakfast with Monica Lewinsky at Main Street Bakery a couple of years ago.
Or about interviewing Vernon, Tx., native Ken Starr two weeks ago at The Aspen Institute.
I can ask "Bubba" how gratified he must feel to have had such capable and loyal staffers, like Marsha Scott, who stood by him through "High Noon."
Probably, though, I'll ask whether he gets PSA tests. . Anybody who loves pussy like he's been reported to is bound to have a lot of testosterone which starts turning into prostate-cancer-fueling dihydrosterone as men get into their fifties. Anyone want to try and guess former President Clinton's current PSA score?
"Inhale to the Chief."
Nominated for Quote of the Year, is a statement made by Texas Congressman Dick Armey when asked, "If you had been in President Clinton's place would you have resigned?"
Armey's reply: "If I had been in the President's place I would not have gotten the chance to resign. I would have been lying in a pool of my own blood and listening to my wife ask, 'How do you reload this son of a bitch?'"
FOR ARTICLES WRITTEN ABOUT THE ASPEN'S WORST NEWSPAPER" IN DENVER NEWSPAPERS AND IN ASPEN MAGAZINE, JUST KEEP ON SCROLLING DOWN. FOR COMMENTS ABOUT THE ASPEN FREE PRESS AND ITS PUBLISHER IN THE NEW YORK TIMES SEE "ASPEN'S INNER GONZO," IE SCROLL UP IN THE FAR LEFT COLUMN.
UPLOADED FROM ASPEN FREE PRESS STREET EDITION 2/5/05
AARON RALSTON, TRIBUTE TO ONE ARM -- BY STERLING GREENWOOD -- I was reared by an uncle who lost an arm in a cotton gin accident. His name was Clarence.
I named my son after him. With one arm, uncle Clarence built my daughter a playhouse, complete with hardwood floors, a tin roof and grownup windows and doors. He taught my son how to fish.
During the depression, before I was born, uncle Clarence's cotton gin got destroyed by fire. The insurance company refused to pay. They went to court. Uncle Clarence's lawyer told him he could bolster his case by fudging on a report -- in effect falsely claiming that a gin manager was on the premises when the fire started. Uncle Clarence said, "If you can't win it without lyin', just drop it." Leon Douglas told me that story back when he was Texas State Prosecutor. He said, "I'd take that man's word on anything," Uncle Clarence told the truth and won his lawsuit.
When I left Aspen in the late eighties for a time, it was because my uncle was sick. I wrote a column in the Aspen Free Press about it then which began, "I drove a long way from the Rockies this week to an ugly place to watch a man die." My son and I took shifts and stayed with uncle Clarence in his hospital room. "What is that old man to you two?" a nurse asked us, indignant at our criticism of his care. We couldn't have begun to explain.
The first time I came to Aspen it was because my uncle and my aunt Odessa,brought me. I was five. We came because they were worried about a runaway relative, another aunt, who had moved to Colorado and married some guy from Montana, who nobody knew, then became a Bahai. There was a dirt road to Aspen over Independence Pass then -- euphemistically dubbed a short-cut. And it was scary, even in summer. We were in a new Buick which uncle Clarence had bought for my aunt as a surprise after her hemorrhoid operation. My aunt tried not to appear nervous going over Independence on that skittering, rutted road, more suited to goats than to Buicks with slip-o-matic Dynaflow transmissions.
There were hairpin turns through cloud banks and no guardrails. And at really high elevations the Buick nearly got bogged in snow. From my back window perch, I peered over the road's edge into a bottomless fog. We inched along, never seeing another human. I sensed somebody had read the map wrong but kept my mouth shut. Uncle Clarence, thankfully, had both hands then, and he kept them locked to the steering wheel. He kept his narrow-brimmed Open Road Stetson pulled low over his eyes while an unlighted Roi Tan cigar bobbed up and down in his mouth like Groucho Marx. When I told him I smelled something burning, he said it was just the brakes and for me to be quiet and not look out the window if I didn't want to get scared.
Once in Aspen, it was a whole different world. There were tourists everywhere. I got to go swimming in a sunny pool somewhere downtown. I think it was where the nightclub Double Diamond is now. If so, somebody built a building on top of the old pool and rock bands now play in the deep end. What's now Boogie's was a bowling alley, with kids about my size hand-setting the pins. I don't remember much else except the weather was mercifully cool compared to Texas summers.
Losing an arm put uncle Clarence in a decline for a time. He got depressed, started drinking mornings. He sold his cotton gin and cottonseed delinting plant on the Red River. He suffered for a time from "phantom limb syndrome." I think that's what it's called. He could still feel the part of his right arm he had lost as if it were still connected to his body. It would itch and everything, nearly driving him crazy. One time, after his cattle got rustled, he got so upset he started trembling, and he had never been the trembly type. I had to grab him by the shoulders and pull him to me for him to get calm.
After about two years, he got used to one arm, and became his old self...and even better in some ways. He developed an expanded perception, it seemed. For instance, when my son would go into the livingroom and plunk on the piano, I hardly noticed it. The two-armed Clarence wouldn't have noticed it either. But one-armed, he told me, "I think that child wants to play the piano."
"No way," came my response. Piano had been forced on me for five years as a child and I still had nightmares about riding my bicycle over to this scary white-haired woman's house early mornings before school. I'd arrive sleepy-eyed with frozen fingers -- unable to run the scales in synch with her metronome. Later as part of a teen dance band, I got where I could play nearly any musical instrument I picked up, but to this day I recoil from the piano.
After college, I got married and when we had a son I wanted to name him after uncle Clarence. My wife, back then, was all for it but she didn't want him to be called "Clarence." She said it sounded like he was a chauffeur. So we called him "Cope," an abbreviation for his middle name, Copeland. I called him "Cope," anyway. His mother preferred "Copey. After uncle Clarence died of aplastic anemia, my son grieved more than any of us. He started going by the name "Clarence." The other night when I saw him perform on the CBS Late Late Show with Craig Kilbourne, playing and singing the music he wrote, I wished like everything that uncle Clarence and aunt Odessa were alive. When my son's Dreamworks CD, "Citizen Cope," came out I took one out to the lonely dust-blown cemetery in Texas where they are buried and played it beside their graves. I yelled into the wind, "Sis, Dah, this is Copeeeee singing."
"Tribute to One Arm" is written for mountain climber Aaron Ralston, who used a knife to cut off his arm in order to get out from an 800-pound boulder. This column also is written for Aron's family and for uncle Clarence, aunt Odessa, and in special remembrance of my pianist mother, Lois Copeland Greenwood.
The Housing Board story below, "Millionaire Aspen Employees Occupy Government-Subsidized Housing" is the first installment in an occasional Aspen Free Press series. The original version of the updated story below appeared in our street edition on Feb. 8, 2003.
ASPEN EMPLOYEE HOUSING CHEATS WHO ILLEGALLY OWN LOCAL FREE MARKET REAL ESTATE, TOO -- GET AMNESTY -- BY STERLING GREENWOOD -- Since the Aspen/Pitkin County Housing Authority (APCHA) started dealing in affordable employee housing more than twenty years ago, a rule has been in effect barring owner/occupants of this affordable, government-subsidized housing from also owning local free-market residences (the average price of an Aspen free market home runs some $2.7 million). Why then, was an amnesty (ie exemption) extended to certain violators of this guideline? An amnesty which renders a huge free market real estate windfall to the non-compliant. In effect the amnesty allows owner/occupants of deed-restricted employee housing to also own at the same time posh free market Aspen residences which they theoretically can rent out for a king's ransom to the new dumb? Confused? So are we. Please read on.. FROM THE OFFICIAL 1996, ASPEN/PITKIN COUNTY AFFORDABLE HOUSING GUIDELINES THIS IS THE WAY THE AMNESTY GOT PHRASED. . . "NOTE: PERSONS OWNING IMPROVED RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY (MEANING FREE MARKET, ACCORDING TO CINDY CHRISTENSEN, OPERATIONS MANAGER OF THE HOUSING OFFICE) RESIDING IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING PRIOR TO MAY 1, 1994, WILL BE ALLOWED TO RETAIN OWNERSHIP OF THAT RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY AND STILL BE ELIGIBLE TO RESIDE IN (and own, according to Cindy) AFFORDABLE HOUSING." PLEASE READ ON. . . . .The telephone rang at twenty to seven this morning in my room at the Cortina. I reached for the thing without looking at it. A girl's voice said, "This is me. Remember?" I shook loose a Winston from a pack on the floor. "Yes," I said. There was silence at the other end of the line. Then she started talking. "Don't say my name, just listen. I've left a page from the APCHA guidelines taped under a table at the Red Onion. The first table on the right after you get inside. In that first circular booth. Go over there now and get it. The cleanup crew might let you in. Then please contact Cindy Christensen at the housing office for an interpretation. I'm not sure, but I think. . . that because a housing board member screwed up . . .I'm home free."
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN?" I said. Her voice quavered. "You,'ve been to my condo in town where I live?," she said. "You've also been to my house here that I rent out to tourists? You've never seen my other condo which I rent out, too." "So what" I said. "Well, the condo where I live is employee housing and I'm not supposed to own local free market dwellings, too." There was a click and she was gone. I tucked the cell phone into a pocket of a parka hung on the bed post, then sat up on the side of the bed and stared out the window for a minute or two. I stood up and finished the drink left from last night. I'd slept in my clothes so all I needed to do was grab the parka and my laptop and step outside to greet the day. It was ten below. I walked down Main and got into the second taxi in front of the Jerome. "McDonald's," I said. That's where I am now, with my computer, putting together today's edition of the Aspen Free Press, "Aspen's Worst Newspaper," The Red Onion won't open until 11:30. There's a guy there, too, named Tom who may give me grief for scraping around under one of their tables.
But 11:30am does roll around and, suffice it to say, I do manage to get the document taped under the table. And it looks familiar. I check my notes from several months back. Hmmm. It seems I've already talked with Cindy Christensen about this so-called "amnesty" clause. Just never got around to running anything on it. According to Cindy, there was this APCHA board member who realized that he was out of compliance for owning and residing in affordable housing while also owning free market housing at the same time. This was in the mid-nineties just before the APCHA board went after the employee housing unit of Barney Oldfield because Barney allegedly failed to work enough hours a week. Barney, in response to the charge, said he'd been convalescing from ski injuries. But back to the APCHA board member who should have had his butt out of the government-subsidized housing program. The board didn't do anything. Well, the board did quietly write into its guidelines then a clause which allowed the board member to keep both his free market and his employee housing. It's an amnesty clause, as it were, to include all employee housing owner/occupants at the time, who, on the sly, owned free market before May 1, 1994. This time frame covers my female caller. The one who phoned early this morning. , And I know now what she meant exclaiming, ". . . . I'm home free." All these years she's lived a nightmare of being discovered. Why did she not know about the so-called amnesty? Because like a lot of locals in employee housing she doesn't read the literature sent by APCHA. The '96 APCHA guidlines comprise 29 pages. Anyway, today's edition of the Aspen Free Press, is the first time ever that the amnesty clause has appeared in the public prints locally. Even Attorney David Myler, who represents Cathleen Tripodi, (a Bush apointee) whom the Housing Board ordered to sell her deed-restricted ie employee housing because of allegedly spending too much time away from Aspen, seemed surprised. "I think they're singling out my client to be the poster child of housing violations," Myler told the Aspen Free Press. He said he may appeal the APCHA board's ruling. "We haven't seen the written order so it's premature." In case you're interested in knowing the identiy of the APCHA board member who "screwed up," and got all this rolling, , phone up Cindy Christensen at the Housing office, 970-920-5050. She never told me his name. .(To be continued)
THIS NEWSPAPER IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF THE REV. FOREST K. WHITWORTH --- DR. ANDREW EDDINGTON --- LENNY BRUCE -- DR. ROLAND JONES
DIET MAY REVERSE PROSTATE CANCER. CLICK ABOVE for this Newsweek story.
A SPECIAL THANKS TO THE ASPEN DAILY NEWS FOR COMPING OUR BREAST CANCER RESEARCH ADS
CADMIUM -- CONTAINED IN THE STREET DE-ICER MAGNESIUM CHLORIDE -- LINKED TO HUMAN CANCER
BY STERLING GREENWOOD
Cadmium, contained in the street de-icer magnesium magnesium chloride, is a human carcinogen, according to the Tenth Annual Report of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. There is no safe level of cadmium -- a soft, silver-white metal -- upgraded from "Reasonably Anticipated to be a Human Carcinogen" to "Known to be a Human Carcinogen." Cadmium has been linked to both breast cancer and prostate cancer. It has a polmonary toxicity and cause lung cancer. Cadmium is the principal killer in cigarette smoke. According to a summary chapter from the Toxicological Profile for Cadmium released by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), "Most of the cadmium that enters your body goes to your kidney and liver and can remain there for many years." The report goes on to say that cadmium can enter your body from the food you eat, the water you drink, from particles attached to the air (noteworthy: An Aspen Times series on mag chloride said Aspen air has elevated levels of both cadmium and arsenic) or from breathing cigarette smoke. Dr. Stephen Strum, found of the Prostate Cancer Research Institute (PCRI) in Marina del Rey, Ca., told the Aspen Free Press. "Cadmium is definitely associated with prostate cancer risk." When told that Aspen had used the street de-icer magnesium chloride containing both cadmium and arsenic, he said, "This is certainly cause for alarm."
In 1982 a medical study showed that the cadmium levels found in tissue of removed prostate tumors were eight times greater than the cadmium levels in normal prostate tissue. Another study found a 25-fold increase in cadmium levels of prostate tumors. A 1997 medical study has found an increased risk for lung cancer in cadmium-exposed workers. "but the association was significant only with the cadmium-exposed workers had also been exposed to arsenic," also contained in the street de-icer magnesium chloride. According to a report by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), "Because of the body's ability to accumulate and store cadmium over long periods of time, the loss of kidney function may evelop even after a reduction or cessation of external cadmium exposure" OSHA goes on to say, "exposure to cadmium causes cancer, kidney dysfunction, reduced pulmonary function, and chronic lung disease indicative of emphysema." Of course these conditions don't occur overnight and most people can't tell by smell or taste that cadmium is present in air or water. . . .water which flows into rivers and streams from roads coated in cadmium-laced magnesium chloride to keep ice melted. Federal guidelines continue to call for less and less cadmium exposure in the workplace, according to OSHA, "because a number of studies of workers suggest an association between occupational cadmium exposures and increased deaths from cancer, most notably prostate cancer." When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, the first question a physician asked me was, "Have you been around cadmium?" I didn't know it then but I had been wading through cadmium in mag chloride applied to the streets of Aspen for several winters. Aspen City Council has an on-again-off-again history with mag chloride. The last winter that I recall the de-icer on local streets to any extent was, for a time, during the winter of 2001. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry says, "There are no good effects from taking in cadmium. Breathing air with high levels of cadmium can severely damage the lungs and may cause death. Breathing air with low levels of cadmium for long periods of time (for years) results in a buildup of cadmium in the kidney and may result in kidney disease." Other effects that could occur after breathing cadmium for a long time, besides cancer, are lung damage and fragile bones. Cancer statistics indicate that the prostate cancer rate in Aspen has been climbing. It seems like a lot of men here, in their late forties and early fifties (young for prostate cancer), are getting it. It's difficult to pinpoint the cause when one gets cancer. Usually it's a multiplicity of factors, including genetic predisposition, age, exposure to environmental carcinogens and general health. And, according to studies, it's not that cadmium necessarily creates prostate cancer from scratch. Most men, as they age, develop prostate tumors, but they are held in check by tumor suppressor genes and remain latent, ie harmless. If these tumor suppressor genes somehow get mutated, a harmless prostate tumor becomes "clinical," ie needing cancer therapy. One tumor suppressor gene is the p-53. Clinical tests indicate that cadmium -- contained in the street de-icer magnesium chloride -- even at non-toxic levels, "impairs p-53 function," not only for prostate cancer but also for lung cancer and some lines of breast cancer.
ASPEN PRINCESS AND THE SKI --THE SAGA OF ALISON BERKLEY
Uploaded from Jan. 23, 2004 street edition
BY STERLING GREEENWOOD
IT WAS COLD IN ASPEN AND THE WIND CAME DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAINS. THE REAL WORLD WAS ALWAYS THERE BUT WE DIDN'T GO TO IT ANYMORE.
I HUNG OUT AT A BREAKFAST JOINT CALLED THE VILLAGE PANTRY AND DRANK COFFEE AND STARED AT THE WAITRESS.
(DON'T WORRY, I'LL GET TO THE PRINCESS -- ALISON BERKLEY --WHO GOT FIRED BY THE ASPEN SKICO AFTER ONE OF HER "THE PRINCESS PALATE" COLUMNS APPEARED IN THE ASPEN TIMES.)
ANYWAY, DOCTOR DEATH SCAVENGED DUMPSTERS IN ALLEYS AROUND TOWN FOR
HIGH-TICKET ITEMS ABANDONED BY RICH FOLKS ON THE MOVE.
NEARLY EVERY NIGHT HE'D STRAGGLE HOME UNDER THE HEFT OF SOMETHING LIKE A STEREO OR COLOR TV OR GOLF CLUBS. I KNOW BECAUSE HE WAS MY NEIGHBOR. WE LIVED IN ADJACENT PARKED CARS BEHIND THE TEXACO STATION AT MAIN AND GALENA DOWNTOWN -- A CAPPUCCINO-FREE ZONE KNOWN THEN AS 'LOCALS CORNER.'
ONE TIME, WHILE POKING ABOUT IN A DUMPSTER NEXT TO MCDONALD'S, HE FOUND A HAND-CRAFTED WEDDING GOWN STIFFLY PERCHED ATOP A MOUNTAIN OF SEE-THROUGH PLASTIC BAGS CONTAINING HAMBURGERS, CHEESEBURGERS, CHICKEN NUGGETS AND BIG MACS THEY DIDN'T SELL THAT DAY. ENOUGH TO FEED ME AND HIM AND TWO DOGS FOR NEARLY A WEEK.
AS FOR THE WEDDING GARB WE HEARD IT CAME FROM A TEXAS HEIRESS WHO PAID $25,000 TO GET IT MADE SOMEWHERE OVERSEAS, PARIS MAYBE; THEN TOSSED IT INTO THE DUMPSTER LIKE A SHOT FROM A WINDOW OF A FAST-MOVING FORD PICKUP AFTER SHE CAME DOWN OFF DRUGS LONG ENOUGH TO SEE IT WAS A WEENIE SHE WAS ABOUT TO MARRY AND THE FIVE-KARAT DIAMOND HE GAVE HER WOULDN'T CUT GLASS.
I ENDED UP WEARING THAT GOWN MYSELF LAST HALLOWEEN.
HELLO AGAIN FROM THE ASPEN FREE PRESS.
THE FOREGOING IS FROM A NOVEL, "NO PROBLEM BRIDGE AND THE ASPEN FREE PRESS" WHICH I WROTE WHILE IN NICOTINE REHAB RECENTLY.
THE WORDS IN TODAY'S ISSUE ARE COMING OUT IN A JUMBLE BECAUSE I HAVEN'T DONE ANY NEWSPAPER WRITING FOR SEVERAL WEEKS. OR HAS IT BEEN MONTHS? I'M STILL IN A NICOTINE WITHDRAWAL FOG.
I HADN'T ACTUALLY SMOKED CIGARETTES FOR AGES WHEN I SUBMITTED TO NIC REHAB. BUT I'D CHEWED THAT STUPID NICOTINE GUM TIL ALL MY FILLINGS CAME OUT, THEN I WENT TO THE NIC PATCHES. I BOUGHT SO MANY BOXES OF THAT STUFF THAT IT GOT EMBARRASSING.
FINALLY, I TOLD RODNEY AND LIDEKE OVER AT RODNEY'S PHARMACY, "I'M NOT BUYING THESE PATCHES TO STOP SMOKING. I'M DOING THEM RECREATIONALLY.
I COULDN'T AFFORD TO GO ANYPLACE FANCY LIKE BETTY FORD'S FOR NICOTINE REHAB SO I JUST GOT SOMEONE TO TIE ME TO A CHAIR AND LOCK ME IN A ROOM FOR THE FIRST THREE DAYS -- NO SHIT -- LIKE KIM NOVAK DID FOR FRANK SINATRA WHEN HE KICKED SMACK IN "MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM." WASN'T THE THEME MUSIC FROM THAT FLICK AWESOME?
OK, THIS COLUMN IS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT ALISON BERKLEY, DESCRIBED BY TROY HOOPER IN THE ASPEN DAILY NEWS, AS A "CHEEKY ASPEN TIMES COLUMNIST," WHO "APPARENTLY WENT TOO FAR LAST WEEK WHEN SHE DETAILED HER PERCEIVED SHORTCOMINGS AS A LOCAL SNOWBOARD INSTRUCTOR, WRITING, AMONG OTHER THINGS, IN HER COLUMN, 'THE PRINCESS'S PALATE' THAT SHE FELT LIKE 'SNOWBOARD WHORE' FOR DRESSING IN RED AND ACCEPTING COLD, HARD CASH FROM SNOWMASS SKI AREA'S 'ULTRA-WEALTHY'" ALISON GOT FIRED BY THE SKICO AFTER THE COLUMN RAN.
IN TROY'S STORY, HE QUOTED A LETTER TO THE ASPEN TIMES WRITTEN BY WEEMS WESTFIELD, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS FOR SKI AND SNOWBOARDING SCHOOLS. TROY WROTE, "WESTFIELD CALLED BERKLEY'S PORTRAYAL OF THE LIFE AND MINDSET OF A SNOWBOARD INSTRUCTOR 'RIDICULOUS.'"
A WORD OF ADVICE NOW TO ALISON AND TO ALL WOMEN WHO WORK FOR TIGHT-ASSED ORGANIZATIONS SUCH AS THE ASPEN SKICO: IF YOU WANT TO DESCRIBE YOURSELF AS FEELING LIKE A SNOWBOARD WHORE, IT'S MORE POLITICALLY CORRECT TO SAY YOU FEEL LIKE A "LOW COST PROVIDER," DOING TOURIST-RELATED SHIT WORK.
WHEN I FIRST CAME TO ASPEN NEARLY TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO I LIVED IN A TRAILER AT SMUGGLER WITH DAVE DANFORTH, PUBLISHER OF THE ASPEN DAILY NEWS, A ONE-SHEET RAG THEN (IT'S GROWN SIGNIFICANTLY SINCE). I WROTE FOR THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND DANFORTH FOR THE DENVER POST AND TOGETHER WE PUT OUT THE ASPEN DAILY NEWS IN A DANK BASEMENT UNDER R-PEA'S PIZZA, NOW PACIFICA.
ANYWAY, DANFORTH AND I WERE ALWAYS GETTING GRIEF FROM LOCAL OFFICIALDOM ABOUT OUR REPORTING. IN ONE STORY A LOCAL WOMAN WAS QUOTED AS SAYING TO AN ASPEN POLICE OFFICER, "I WAS JUST A LITTLE FUCKING DRUNK," WHEN SHE GOT STOPPED FOR ALLEGED DUI.
MEANWHILE, THE DENVER POST AND THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, THEN LOCKED IN A FIERCE CIRCULATION WAR, CONTINUED TO HOUND DANFORTH AND ME FOR MORE AND MORE "CRAZY ASPEN STORIES," WHICH LOCAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TYPES FOUND EMBARRASSING.
TOURISTS APPARENTLY DEEMED OUR IRREVERENT TRIPE APPROPRIATE FOR A SUPPOSED-TO-BE-FUN SKI TOWN BECAUSE THEY TREKKED TO OUR BASEMENT OFFICE IN INCREASING NUMBERS FOR EXTRA COPIES OF "THE NATIONS'S SMALLEST DAILY," OUR CIRCULATION GREW.
ONE- SHEET NEWSPAPERS ARE A TRADITION IN ASPEN. THE FIRST ONE I EVER SAW BEING THE HIGHLY POPULAR MIMEOGRAPHED ASPEN FLYER, PUBLISHED BY PEGGY CLIFFORD, AUTHOR OF "TO ASPEN AND BACK." THE MUCKRAKING FLYER WHICH CAME OUT DAILY EVENTUALLY SOLD TO THE ASPEN TIMES WHICH TURNED IT INTO A WEEKLY PUFF RAG WITH A TRADITIONAL NEWSPAPER FORMAT BEFORE RETIRING IT ALTOGETHER.
MAYBE SOMEDAY THE ASPEN SKICO WILL REALIZE THAT TOURISTS ARE MORE TURNED OFF BY THE PLATOONS OF NOISY HEAVY EQUIPMENT DAILY ATTACKING THE SNOW IN OUR SUPPOSEDLY MOTORIZED-TRAFFIC-FREE MALLS -- A SITUATION WHICH PUTS SMALL CHILDREN AT RISK -- THAN THE RIBALD, IMPUDENT, "TELL IT LIKE IT IS" JOURNALISM PRACTICED BY THE PRINCESS.
AND THE BEAT ROLLS ON .
A 'GENTLEMEN FOR JUSTICE,' LUNCHEON,' WITH DR. HUNTER S. THOMPSON
BY STERLING GREENWOOD (UPLOADED FROM 9/29/03 STREET EDITIONS)
DON'T MISS THE FILM BY WAYNE EWING "BREAKFAST WITH HUNTER" AT THE WHEELER NEXT SATURDAY. A DOCUMENTARY, IT WAS 18 YEARS IN THE MAKING AND FEATURES, IN ADDITION TO DR. THOMPSON, JOHNNY DEPP, P.J. O'ROURKE, RALPH STEADMAN, JOHN CUSACK, AND BENICIO DEL TORO, AMONG OTHERS. IF YOU WANT TO SEE THIS FLICK, GET YOUR TICKETS SOON. THEY WON'T LAST.
IN HIS BOOK, "THE GREAT SHARK HUNT," GONZO JOURNALIST THOMPSON OF NEARBY WOODY CREEK WRITES, "I LIKE TO EAT BREAKFAST ALONE, AND ALMOST NEVER BEFORE NOON; ANYBODY WITH A TERMINALLY JANGLED LIFESTYLE NEEDS AT LEAST ONE PSYCHIC ANCHOR EVERY 24 HOURS AND MINE IS BREAKFAST. IN HONG KONG, DALLAS, OR AT HOME -- AND REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT I HAVE BEEN TO BED -- BREAKFAST IS A PERSONAL RITUAL THAT CAN ONLY BE PROPERLY OBSERVED ALONE, AND IN A SPIRIT OF GENUINE EXCESS. THE FOOD FACTOR SHOULD ALWAYS BE MASSIVE: FOUR BLOODY MARY'S, TWO GRAPEFRUITS, A POT OF COFFEE, RANGOON CREPES, A HALF-POUND OF EITHER SAUSAGE, BACON OR CORNED BEEF HASH WITH DICED CHILIES, A SPANISH OMELETTE OR EGGS BENEDICT, SOMETHING LIKE A SLICE OF KEY LIME PIE, TWO MARGARITAS AND SIX LINES OF THE BEST COCAINE FOR DESSERT. . . RIGHT, AND THERE SHOULD ALSO BE TWO OR THREE NEWSPAPERS, ALL MAIL AND MESSAGES, A TELEPHONE, A NOTEBOOK FOR PLANNING THE NEXT 24 HOURS, AND AT LEAST ONE SOURCE OF GOOD MUSIC. . . ALL OF WHICH SHOULD BE DEALT WITH OUTSIDE, IN THE WARMTH OF A HOT SUN, AND PREFERABLY STONE NAKED."
I FIRST MET DR. THOMPSON IN 1981, COVERING HIS DUI SCRAPE FOR THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS.
WHEN THE DRUNK DRIVING CHARGE WAS DROPPED BECAUSE THE PROSECUTION ADMITTED THERE WAS NO BASIS FOR THE CHARGE, THOMPSON AND I HIT A COUPLE OF BARS EN ROUTE TO WHAT HE CALLED A "GENTLEMEN FOR JUSTICE" LUNCHEON.
BY 4 THAT AFTERNOON, WE WERE NOWHERE NEAR THE LUNCHEON, BUT I WAS SMASHED FROM SO MANY BLOODY MARY'S. IT SEEMED THE BARTENDER SERVED ME ONE EVERY TIME THOMPSON GOT ANOTHER DRINK, WHICH WAS PRETTY OFTEN.
I STAGGERED INTO THE HOTEL JEROME LOBBY AND SQUEEZED INTO ONE OF THOSE OLD PHONE BOOTHS THAT USED TO BE THERE. I CALLED IN MY STORY TO DENVER.
I DON'T REMEMBER WHAT I SAID TO THE DENVER EDITOR, BUT AT THE END OF OUR CONVERSATION, HE SAID "MAN, THIS SOUNDS WEIRD."
IT WAS WEIRD.
AT THE DUI HEARING, BLAINE STOKES, THE DEPUTY DA HERE AT THE TIME, SAID, "THERE WERE NO BLOOD ALCOHOL TESTS MADE, AND NO INCRIMINATING STATEMENTS BY THOMPSON WERE MADE."
STOKES, ACCORDING TO WHAT I WROTE THEN, ATTRIBUTED THOMPSON'S JUNE 21 ARREST TO A DISAGREEMENT BETWEEN THOMPSON AND COLORADO STATE TROOPER BRADFORD BITTERMAN.
"WE FIGURE HE (THOMPSON) DID A HOLLYWOOD STOP AT A STOP SIGN AND THE OFFICER FELT HIS AUTHORITY HAD BEEN CHALLENGED AND ARRESTED HIM," STOKES SAID.
THOMPSON RESPONDED, "NOBODY THAT KNOWS ME WOULD SAY THAT I WOULD RUN A STOP SIGN IN FRONT OF A STATE TROOPER. I DID JUMP OUT OF THE CAR AND START RAVING. I WOULDN'T TAKE ANY ALCOHOL TESTS."
WHAT I WROTE IN THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS THEN WAS THAT THOMPSON CLAIMED HE WAS PROVOKED BY THE TROOPER WHO GOT SO UPSET DURING THE 2AM INCIDENT THAT HE CALLED FOR HELP.
"BITTERMAN (THE TROOPER) LOOKED LIKE HE MIGHT HAVE PLAYED LINEMAN FOR AURORA HIGH," SAID THOMPSON WHO RELUCTANTLY AGREED TO PLEADING GUILTY TO RUNNING A STOP SIGN. DUI CHARGES WERE DROPPED AND THOMPSON PAID A $16 FINE.
BITTERMAN WAS NOT ON HAND TO TESTIFY, HAVING BEEN TRANSFERRED, WE WERE TOLD, DUE TO A BUDGET CUTBACK.
LEAVING THE COURTROOM, THOMPSON TOLD ME THAT HE WAS NEGOTIATING THE SALE OF A BOOK HE WAS WRITING TO BE ENTITLED, "THE ART OF DRIVING."
UP TO THAT TIME, RECORDS INDICATE, THOMPSON HAD NOT BEEN ARRESTED DURING THE FOURTEEN YEARS HE HAD LIVED HERE.
ALL THAT WAS TO CHANGE, HOWEVER.
IN FEBRUARY OF 1990, THOMPSON WAS CHARGED WITH SEXUALLY ASSAULTING A WOMAN WRITER WHO HAD COME TO HIS HOUSE SUPPOSEDLY FOR THE PURPOSE OF INTERVIEWING HIM.
I WAS IN TEXAS THEN, AND DAVE PRICE, WHO WAS EDITOR OF THE ASPEN TIMES PHONED ME FOR A HEADLINE IDEA.
"DA SNAGS THOMPSON IN SEX CASE," CAME MY REPLY AFTER PRICE AND I PUT OUR HEADS TOGETHER. LATER SOME DRUG AND EXPLOSIVES POSSESSION CHARGES WERE ADDED.
THOMPSON'S IDEAS FOR HEADLINES, ACCORDING TO PRICE IN THE TIMES INCLUDED: "LIFESTYLE POLICE RAID HOME OF CRAZED GONZO JOURNALIST;" "ELEVEN-HOUR SEARCH BY SIX TRAINED INVESTIGATORS YIELDS NOTHING BUT CRUMBS."
BUT PROSECUTORS WHO TRIED TO NAIL HIM DROPPED ALL CHARGES IN THE WAKE OF THOMPSON'S SHRILL RHETORIC THAT HE WAS NOT ONLY INNOCENT, BUT ALSO A VICTIM OF BOTH "SELECTIVE MALICIOUS PROSECUTION," AND "UNWARRANTED SEARCH AND SEIZURE." THE PROSECUTION, ACCORDING TO THE TIMES, CITED A "WAVERING WITNESS," AND "NEW FINDINGS." AND A WRITTEN MOTION BY MILT BLAKEY, THE DA THEN, SIMPLY STATED, "THE PEOPLE WOULD BE UNABLE TO ESTABLISH GUILT BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT." SINCE THOMPSON HAD BEEN FACING POSSIBLE LONG-TERM PRISON IF CONVICTED, SUFFICE IT TO SAY THERE WAS PROBABLY ANOTHER "GENTLEMEN FOR JUSTICE," LUNCHEON. IT TOOK ME A WEEK TO THE HANGOVER FROM THE FIRST ONE. AND THE BEAT ROLLS ON. .
ARROYO BACK IN JAIL
FUGITIVE DOUGLAS MICHALOWSKI SIGHTED IN AREA
BY STERLING GREENWOOD
MARTIN ARROYO IS BACK IN JAIL. , THIS TIME FOR ALLEGED HARASSMENT, CRIMINAL MISCHIEF, MENACING AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.
HE WAS ARRESTED LAST NIGHT AFTER A CITY-WIDE MANHUNT WHICH CAME ON THE HEELS OF A SIX-HOUR COURT HEARING WHERE A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY, REPRESENTING ATTORNEY DONALD BRANSON, TRIED TO IMPEACH ARROYO AS A CREDIBLE WITNESS AGAINST BRANSON WHO IS ACCUSED OF ATTEMPTING TO MURDER ARROYO IN A GRISLY KNIFING INCIDENT IN A REMOTE AREA NEAR OLD SNOWMASS LAST APRIL 9. read entire story...
THE ASPEN FREE PRESS SERIES "WHETHER YOU GO TO JAIL FOR DRUGS DEPENDS ON WHOM YOU BUY THEM FROM," starts today in our street edition. Nicotine gets first focus, which docs describe as "every bit as addictive as heroin."
THERE'S A LOCAL HOUSING BOARD CONTROVERSY HEATING UP (SEE "MILLIONAIRE EMPLOYEES," BELOW.) MEANWHILE, THE ASPEN-PITKIN COUNTY HOUSING AUTHORITY HAS GONE TO COURT TO TAKE CATHLEEN TRIPODI'S EMPLOYEE HOUSING UNDER THE GUISE OF FORCING HER TO SELL. IT'S AN UNHEALTHY SITUATION, BRINGING TO MIND FORMER PRESIDENT REAGAN'S DICTUM, 'A GOVERNMENT THAT CAN DO ANYTHING FOR YOU CAN DO ANYTHING TO YOU.'
THEORETICALLY, AN EMPLOYEE HOUSING OWNER, SUCH AS TRIPODI, CAN SPEND HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS IN INTEREST PAYMENTS THROUGH THE YEARS -- A SUM MANY TIMES THE ORIGINAL PURCHASE PRICE OF HER DEED-RESTRICTED HOUSING -- THEN THE HOUSING BOARD CAN GET A LAWYER TO EXAMINE THE FINE PRINT ON HER CONTRACT AND EVICT HER FOR ANY PERCEIVED VIOLATION. SHE WILL NEVER GET HER HARD-EARNED INTEREST MONEY BACK AND BECAUSE OF THE APPRECIATION CAPS SET ON EMPLOYEE HOUSING SHE WON'T BE ABLE TO SELL FOR A SUFFICIENT PRICE TO ENABLE HER TO BUY ANOTHER HOME. SEE MORE TODAY IN OUR STREET EDITION.
LATELY IN THE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR SECTION OF THE ASPEN DAILY NEWS, THERE WAS ONE FROM SHELLIE ROY. SHE SAID, 'THE CURRENT HOUSING BOARD' EXPANSION POLICY TO ALLOW LOCAL BUSINESSES TO PURCHASE RO UNITS FOR THEIR EMPLOYEES IS CONSISTENT WITH THE MISSION OF THE HOUSING AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE HOUSING FOR A LOCAL WORK FORCE." WELL, ANYBODY WHO HAS EVER WORKED FOR A GUY THEY ALSO PAY RENT TO KNOWS THAT THE ARRANGEMENT IS A GREAT WAY TO GET AN EMPLOYEE DOUBLY BY THE BALLS. THE IDEA ISN'T AN ORIGINAL ONE. IN FEUDAL TIMES THERE WERE "EMPLOYEES" WHO WORKED UNDER THIS ARRANGEMENT AND THEY WERE KNOWN AS 'SERFS.' MAYBE SHELLIE ROY OUGHT 'WALK A MILE IN THE SHOES' SHE ENVISIONS FOR ASPEN EMPLOYEES -- MAKE HER HOUSING SUBJECT TO HER EMPLOYMENT AS A PITCO COMMISSIONER. THEN WHEN SHE LEAVES OFFICE SHE WOULD NO LONGER HAVE A PLACE TO LIVE.
MAY 19, 2009 --( The following column initially appeared in an Aspen Free Press street edition on May 4.) LOST IN BELLY UP by Sterling Greenwood -- Hello, again, from "Aspen's Worst Newspaper." Several months ago a cancer met impacted a nerve in my spine. The affliction left me unable to walk, with a PSA of 700 plus. After radiation at CU Hospital in Denver, I wound up at M.D. Anderson Center in Houston. I can walk now, but not so well as before due to nerve damage. I had told myself that if I ever walked again, I'd put out at least one more edition of this wretched yellow rag which I started in 1982 in the backseat of a yellow Cadillac parked behind the gas station at Main and Galena downtown. This is it! Don't expect much. I'm writing now from Belly Up, a basement nightclub, at a "Come and Meet Mayoral Candidate Marilyn Marks" event to which the general public was invited. Free wine, beer and appetizers. Plus big-screen TVs everywhere. But it's haunting here for me. My dearly-departed aunt and uncle, who reared me in rural Texas, and whom I still miss every day, brought me here more than sixty years ago. I don't mean they brought me to Aspen. They brought me HERE, to this basement where I'm sitting now. Only then it wasn't Belly Up. It wasn't even a basement. It was a swimming pool. My aunt and uncle took me swimming right here. The deep end of the old pool is where rock bands now play. And I remember it all so clearly because I'd been stuck in the backseat of our Buick on the road all day, going crazy with boredom and feeling antsy, while my uncle drove and my aunt fretted about his driving and I couldn't wait to get somewhere. ANYWHERE! Swimming that day was the only time I ever saw my aunt in a bathing suit. She'd just got out of a Dallas hospital after a hemorrhoid operation, and my uncle had given her a new lime-green Buick Special, complete with one of those new-fangled Dynaflow slip-o-matic transmissions.
LOOKING BACK to that day in Aspen when I splashed about the pool that evolved into Belly Up, where right now I'm watching Tiger Woods sink a putt on a TV screen big as a picture show's, the furthest thing from my mind was getting married and having children. In later years, though, I did get married several times. And I did have several children. And at Belly Up now, there's a big picture of one of those children, all grown up into a pop recording artist. It's the one I named Clarence after the uncle who drove me across three states to this very hole where I'm sitting now. The picture here in Belly Up of Clarence Greenwood aka Citizen Cope (his middle name is Copeland), hangs among those of other musicians that blanket the walls.. When I think of my checkered marital past, a quote from the novel, "Fight Club," comes to mind: "My dad, he starts a family in a new town about every six years. This isn't so much like a family as it's like he sets up a franchise." (To be continued)
JAN 25, 2009 -- THERE OUGHT TO BE A LAW DEPT. -- BY STERLING GREENWOOD-- Since the consumer-driven U.S. economy is in a downturn now, in large part because too many of us consumers have become tightwads, do you think Congress should pass a law requiring each of us to spend a certain number of dollars monthly for stuff we don't need?
It's apparent now that, unless consumers are overspending -- and paying sky-high credit card rates -- the economy just doesn't sizzle. The fact of the matter is that some of us have become way too frugal. Too frugal to take a deluxe Aspen vacation, too frugal to buy a new $90k Mercedes, , too frugal to take on new credit card debt at 30 percent interest, too frugal to pay down on old credit card debt at 40 percent interest, too frugal to buy a $3 million third home in the Rockies, too frugal to make mortgage payments on the $5 million second home. The list goes on and on but the bottom line is that some of us aren't throwing away our fair share of money these days. A 'consumer-spending' law would equitably spread the responsibility among all of us to waste money in an effort to jack up the economy. Remember what President Bush said just after 9/11 when the stock market seemed headed through the floor? President Bush said, "SHOP."
So long as the U.S. keeps its printing presses oiled, and maintains an ink supply sufficient to print dollars daily, nothing really bad is going to happen to the U.S. economy. And don't be concerned with all the gibberish about trillion-dollar deficits and such. We can print a trillion dollars in less time than it takes a metro daily newspaper to run off a first edition.
JAN. 19, 2009-- MARTIN LUTHER KING IN MEMPHIS-- BY STERLING GREENWOOD
I covered street violence for The Commercial Appeal, a morning rag in Memphis, in the wake of the Martin Luther King assassination.
I hadn't been on staff long when he got shot. It seems like yesterday.
I remember hearing the initial frantic report over the cop radio in the newsroom, that King had been wounded by a sniper and that he was en route to Baptist Hospital. .
We were on deadline for the early edition which went to Mississippi. The metro editor lost his cool when cops stonewalled on releasing info about. King's condition. The editor stood on his desk and screamed. "SOMEBODY'S GOT TO GET IN THAT HOSPITAL."
The older reporters were already nervous about leaving the newsroom even to go home, what with all the sirens wailing plus rampant wild rumors of snipers on buildings.
As a result, those of us in our twenties got sent into maw of racial turbulence downtown. There was a city-wide curfew imposed, but it didn't apply to the press. It was eerie cruising the Lorraine Motel late that night in my ragtop.
DEC.31, 2008 -- ASPEN BOMB SCARE
PREDICTION: BRAD PITT WILL PLAY LONGTIME CONTROVERSIAL ASPEN LOCAL JIM BLANNING IN MOVIE DIRECTED BY BOB RAFELSON. BUT WHO WILL PLAY PROSECUTOR CHIP MCCRORY? WHO WILL PLAY DR. HUNTER S. THOMPSON? THOMPSON WOULD BE ROLLING OVER IN HIS GRAVE ABOUT NOW IF HE WERE IN ONE?
LATE BULLETIN: BOMB SCARE SUSPECT JIM BLANNING SHOOTS SELF; NO STRANGER TO ASPEN, BLANNING GREW UP HERE. HE EVEN HAD A LIFETIME SKI PASS. AND THE NEW YEAR'S EVE EVACUATION OF THE CORE DOWNTOWN IS NOT THE FIRST LOCAL EVACUATION BLANNING HAS INSTIGATED. REMEMBER IN '83 WHEN BLANNING RAN SCREAMING DOWN AJAX THAT "THE MOUNTAIN IS MOVING?" WHAT AN EVACUATION THAT TURNED OUT TO BE! REMEMBER, TOO, IN THE MID-'90s WHEN BLANNING TRIED TO HANG HIMSELF ON THE COURTHOUSE STEPS? SOME PASSING TOURISTS MISCONSTRUED BLANNING'S ANTIC HERE AS LOCAL ENTERTAINMENT. THEN THERE WAS THAT TIME BLANNING CAME INTO THE CANTINA WEARING NOTHING BUT A JOCK STRAP AND A FOOT-LONG DILDO WHICH HE POINTED AT COUNTY COMMISSIONERS GATHERED THERE. AND THE BEAT ROLLS ON . . .
10pm Dec. 31, 2008-- By Sterling Greenwood --There is a "person
of interest" being sought by authorities in the bomb scare. A private
security guard at Cooper and Galena shows me his picture, but I don't
want to run it here unless there are formal charges and that might never
happen because authorities don't know for sure he's involved. "He's
a crazy guy in his seventies, craggy-faced, and he knows dynamite,"
the guard says. "And he's made threats." The guard also says
Aspen is "crawling with FBI now." In the background I hear what
sounds like a bomb exploding. I jump. "That's just a box they're
testing," the guard smiles. You mean a box that might have been a
bomb? a girl asked. The guard nods in the affirmative. "There were
two boxes. The first one didn't go off." At the fire truck situated
at the interesection in front of Boogie's, some tourists are taking each
other's picture standing next to the truck.
The Aspen Free Press got a call this afternoon around 4:30 from Aspen/Pitkin County Government to evacuate offices because of a bomb scare at local banks. I went downstairs to McDonald's for a coke and the place was closed and won't open again until tomorrow because of the bomb threat. I really feel sorry for the tourists paying $15k to $20k PER NIGHT to stay here for the holiday festivities (see this week's Mountain Business Journal). I wonder if they will get some of their money back. A lot of downtown is closed tight as a drum. I walked down Cooper to City Market which was open and grabbed a coke. En route, I saw that Paradise Bakery looked open, but I didn't try to enter the place so I can't be sure. However I could see lots of customers in Bad Billy's and Boogie's. So it's not like a ghost town out there. There are official vehicles like fire trucks flashing lights at intersections to keep people from getting any closer than two blocks of Vectra and Wells Fargo, the two banks involved. My understanding is that businesses within two blocks of these banks were forced to evacuate. I'm going out on foot in a minute to confirm. Already, a report from Aspen Times says the Hotel Jerome Bar, which is closer than two blocks to Wells Fargo is blowin' and goin' as usual so perhaps all businesses aren't complying. Boogie's is just a block from Vectra and doors are wide open there. We're just getting info in bits and pieces. Everything written here is subject to change. Stay cool.
7PM -- I'm ambling down Cooper Mall and run into two couples who seem irked that Takah Sushi is closed due to the evacuation imposed by police. That's what the sign on the door says anyway. "Isn't there another Japanese restaurant near here?" one guy sayss. "This town looks deserted." He's right. Aspen is starting to look like a ghost town. I walk down Cooper toward City Market again. This time there's no doubt about it. Paradise Bakery is closed. And I wanted to get some of their homemade blackberry frozen yogurt too! Bad Billy's two doors down, which had been packed with merry-makers the last time I went by, looked like a tomb. Same with Boogie's. I saw one or two small shops open. I was planning to see the Stones flick tonight at the Wheeler, but it's just a block from Wells Fargo. I'm going to walk over there anyway to check. You can't get anyone on the phone in this town unless you owe them money.I found City Market still full of shoppers. There was this one basket in the frozen food section just sitting there full of ice cream cartons. At first I thought it was a bargain basket. I felt some of the cartons and they were real easy to squeeze. Is this melted ice cream, I wondered. Maybe someone has loaded a basket with ice cream and split. .I told one of the checkout guys about it and left. More coming, stay tuned.
Meanwhile, with evacuees huddling in a local school building, is there going to be a New Year's fireworks display tonight on Aspen Mountain? Sixteen blocks of the core downtown have been evacuated apparently. I'm not supposed to be here typing, but I'm sure as hell not going to spend the night in a school building as one of the evacuees, unless we can use the heated pool at the rec center. A bomb squad from Grand Junction is on the scene now, according to the Aspen Times. Meanwhile I'm going back out and try to get some info that usually available at press conferences. Stay tuned.
IT'S 9:15 PM AND THE ISLEY BROTHERS'S 'SHOUT'" BLARES from a speaker next to the public johns at the juncture of Cooper and Mill malls. Snow is stacked up more than five-feet high on the nearly empty malls and it feels eerie listening to "Shout," as I see red and blue flashing police lights in two directions with streets roped off. In Wagner Park where a dee-jay is playing music, about 50 persons shiver around a big bonfire. There are a few people eating at Pacifica, but Ruth Chris's has more customers than I've ever seen there. It's jammed. Likewise the Little Nell Hotel. "They're turning people away," an officer tells me, "unless you're staying there." The Hotel Jerome Bar is open because it's on the north side of Main and Takah Sushi, Paradise Bakery, Bad Billy's (formerly Cooper Street Pier) ,Boogie's and Mezaluna are closed because they're on the north side of Cooper. Mark Richards is the only store open on Cooper Mall. There are people in there trying on coats. If I want to go to Main, I'm told to go by Aspen Street circumventing the core downtown. More later.
-- QUESTION OF THE DAY:WILL CHIP MCCRORY POLL AS MANY VOTES TOMORROW AS A WRITE-IN CANDIDATE FOR DA AS THE CARTOON CHARACTER SAL A. MANDER DID TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO IN HIS BID FOR THE OFFICE? SAL DID GET THE MOST VOTES IN ASPEN BUT NEVER GOT TO SERVE.
NOV. 4, 2005 -- September proved to be another good month for City of Aspen which took in nearly $3 million from retail sales tax revenues alone. And September is an "off-season" month! City coffers should really overflow as usual when all the tourists with fat wallets hit town in December! Some $33 million in total retail sales were recorded for September. Not bad for a small town with 6,000 residents and no new car dealerships. Hell, there's not even a funeral home here. The Aspen Free Press may start one and call it Apres Death.
1,200 PHANTOM "YES" VOTES? The Aspen Times scooped all of us on this one, even the Aspen Star(click here for more). 11/3?05 Stay tuned. This bizarre story continues to unfold. And the beat rolls on . . .
10/7/05 --Birthday greetings to Alice Bailey Greenwood.
Note to embattled DA Colleen Truden --ES UN CABEZA PESADA QUE LLEVA LA CORONA.
COLLEEN VS THE MACHINE? -- THE INQUISITION-IN-THE MAKING OF "THE PEOPLE'S CHOICE" FOR DA-- COLLEEN TRUDEN -- SEE "WHY DON'T WE ALL GET DRUNK AND BURN HER AT THE STAKE?" EVEN IF DA TRUDEN WEREN'T ABLE TO PROSECUTE HER WAY OUT OF A WET PAPER BAG -- AS HAS BEEN ALLEGED BY SOME WHO WANT HER RECALLED -- WOULD THAT BE SO AWFUL? AREN'T ENOUGH U.S. CITIZENS IN JAIL ALREADY? MORE THAN TWO MILLION AT LAST COUNT. MORE THAN ANY OTHER NATION PER CAPITA. THE U.S. ECONOMY HAS BECOME SO DEPENDENT ON INCARCERATION OF ITS CITIZENS THAT IF -- POOF BY MAGIC -- EVERY ONE US DIRTBAGS STARTED OBEYING OUR DIZZYING ARRAY OF LAWS, (OF WHICH THERE ARE MORE AND MORE WITH EACH LEGISLATIVE SESSION) AUTHORITIES WOULD MAKE JAYWALKING A FELONY IN HOPES OF KEEPING THE JAILS FILLED AND THE NEED ALIVE FOR MORE PRISONS. DO YOU FEEL ANY LESS SAFE WITH COLLEEN IN OFFICE? PREDICTION: IN 50 YEARS, IF CURRENT POPULATION TRENDS CONTINUE, MORE THAN HALF OF ALL U.S RESIDENTS WILL BE EITHER HERE ILLEGALLY AND/OR BEHIND BARS. Es muy verdad! Es un cabeza pesada que lleva la corona. Still, it seems somehow un-American that Colleen can operate "secret police" ie TRIDENT in our valley only because of the measley 2,537 votes she got in the GOP primary. Considering there are 37,869 total voters registered in the 9th Judicial District, Colleen's tally was less than seven percent. What happened was that Colleen's nomination by the GOP was tantamount to election because there was no Democratic opponent. Of course, it's not Colleen's fault that Dems are pussies these days. If Colleen Truden does get recalled, then the only candidate on the ballot for the job -- former Deputy DA Martin Beeson --can become our new DA theoretically with only one vote. But that won't happen because Chip McCrory, himself a former chief deputy DA here and assistant DA under Milt Blakey is a write-in candidate. Don't sell McCrory short just because of his write-in status. A cartoon character was a write-in for DA twenty-five years ago and would have won the election if the State of Colorado had allowed the votes for the cartoon "Salamander" to be counted. Stay tuned! Es un cabeza pesada que lleva la corona. . . .
HUNTER S. THOMPSON --HE STAYED LOOSE AND WEIRD ON THE STREETS -- BUT COPS SURE WANTED TO POP HIM. UPCOMING ASPEN FREE PRESS SPECIAL REPORT COMPARES LIFESTYLES OF THE KING OF GONZO AND THE KING OF ROCK AND ROLL. . . . BOTH SOUTHERN, CLOSE TO SAME AGE WITH AN AFFINITY FOR FIREARMS AND . .
SCROLL PAST UPLOADED STORIES FROM ASPEN FREE PRESS STREET EDITIONS TO WHAT'S BEEN WRITTEN ABOUT 'ASPEN'S WORST NEWSPAPER,' IN OTHER PUBLICATIONS SINCE 1982.
MAY 15, 2005 - I'm off to Texas for off-season, and maybe Mexico, too, for some alternative prostate cancer therapy. I love those garlic communes in the mountains of central Mexico near San Miguel. We'll have this wretched yellow rag on the streets again after off-season, maybe by August 20 when they blast Hunter's cremated remains from a cannon at Owl Farm., or whenever the brain fog lifts. . Meanwhile I hope to have "Sleeping Legal," --completed by then. The 'extra,' we ran the day Hunter died -- last Feb. 20 -- has been uploaded to this column below.
A hand-wringing Burlingame election. A big pay-day for developers. But why did sixty percent of registered Aspen voters stay home? See today's street edition of the Aspen Free Press, "Aspen's Worst Newspaper," founded in the third parked car from the corner at Main and Monarch in 1982.
FOOD ABUSE -- HOW DEADLY IS IT?-- See today's street edition for an update.
PLEASE DISREGARD OUR 'HELP WANTED' AD FOR AN ASSOCIATE EDITOR . THE POSITION HAS BEEN FILLED. THANK YOU.
KEEP SCROLLING TO SEE WHAT'S BEEN WRITTEN IN OTHER PUBLICATIONS ABOUT THE ASPEN FREE PRESS.
FEB 21, 2005 -- THE ASPEN FREE PRESS BROKE THE STORY OF HUNTER S. THOMPSON'S DEATH FROM A SELF-INFLICTED GUNSHOT WOUND, YESTERDAY IN A SAME DAY " EXTRA." . IN THE RUSH, WE GOT HUNTER'S AGE WRONG. WE SAID HE WAS BORN HUNTER STOCKTON THOMPSON IN LOUISVILLE, KY., ON JULY 18, 1939, OUR SOURCE BEING A THOMPSON BIOGRAPHY, "FEAR AND LOATHING AND THE STRANGE AND TERRIBLE SAGA OF HUNTER S. THOMPSON" BY PAUL PERRY. IN FACT, HUNTER WAS BORN JULY 18, 1937. THE ASPEN FREE PRESS REGRETS THE ERROR. FOR 'A GENTLEMEN FOR JUSTICE LUNCHEON WITH DR. HUNTER S. THOMPSON,' IT'S IN THIS COLUMN, BUT SCROLL WAY DOWN.
ACTRESS SANDRA DEE ALSO DIED YESTERDAY FEB 20.
UPLOADED FROM ASPEN FREE PRESS STREET EDITION 1/11/05
Jan 11, 2005 -- O.J. IN ASPEN
BY STERLING GREENWOOD
O.J. Simspon is in Aspen today. It took me nearly a half hour to track him down to the Little Nell Bar and get my photo made with him there. I know, I know, I know! I'll get flack for being pictured with O.J., but journalism is a low trade at best so see today's street edition of the Aspen Free Press for story with a photo. Are we giving O.J. too much coverage? Screw it. Anybody remember Claudine Longet? Nevermind!!! Back to O.J., Whenever somebody, whom much of the public feels got by with a highly-publicized double murder, comes to town, it's news. Did O.J. brutally murder his estranged wife, Nicole, and Ron Goldman? A jury of his peers acquitted him of those charges. And we are a nation of laws.
For that matter, much of the public believes President Bush stole the 2,000 presidential election and that people are dying every day now as a result. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, though, the election wasn't stolen. And we are a nation of laws. The Aspen Free Press will run staff photos of President Bush, his relatives and his boyhood home in Midland, Tx. on inauguration day in a special edition.
The journalist's role is not that of judge and jury, but to convey accurate information to the public -- information that it doesn't already have, but would be interested in. And the Aspen Free Press did that today.
DEC. 31, 2004
'CADMIUM, CONTAINED IN COLORADO ROAD DE-ICER MAGNESIUM CHLORIDE, LINKED TO HUMAN CANCER. SEE TODAY'S STREET EDITION OR SCROLL TO ARCHIVES STORY BELOW.
, - DEATH FROM 21-YEAR OLD WOUND RULED HOMICIDE. See this afternoon's street edition of the Aspen Free Press, "The Roaring Fork Valley's worst newspaper."
A BLATANT TOUT: SIP SOME HAND-MADE ARTISAN WINE FROM WOODY CREEK CELLARS. ASK FOR IT AT ASPEN RESTAURANTS OR CALL KEVIN DOYLE AT 970-923-2253. ALSO YOU CAN TASTE AND EVEN BUY THE STUFF AT GRACY'S ON SUNDAYS.
AND THE BEAT ROLLS ON . . .
By Sterling Greenwood
Thought for the day:
Too bad pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, maker of the pain medication Celebrex linked to heart problems including death, doesn't make appetite-curbing supplements containing ma huang ie ephedra, too. Then ephedra might not have got banned (after, all Celebrex hasn't been) and I'd be twenty pounds lighter. PLEASE SEE RANDOM POLL BELOW
Our answer to George who dropped us a line: What the Texan character named Tony said in "No Problem Bridge and the Aspen Free Press," was this: "She looks like she went after something she forgot and it ran flat-assed over her." We'll run the whole series soon.
Snow everywhere I look on Ajax today. Anyway, here's the Aspen Free Press recipe for snow ice cream, which we started publishing in 1982. Known in the south as "depression ice cream," all you need for it is: a giant bowl of clean snow, whipping cream, vanilla and sugar. Mix it to your individual taste. It really can taste like home-made ice cream.
UPLOADED FROM OCT. 15, 2004
Do the bells of St. Mary's in Aspen peal partisan? Stay tuned!
-Longtime Aspen local Mike McCollum of Garfield & Hecht has a new country and western music cd out "Mike McCollum, Just a Workin' Fool." Read more about it in this afternoon's Aspen Free Press. . Mike ought to write a song "How to Sue a Fool."
IN A RANDOM POLL OF ASPEN VOTERS THE ASPEN FREE PRESS --"ASPEN'S WORST NEWSPAPER"-- FOUND THAT LOCALS OLDER THAN THE MEDIAN AGE OF 38 HERE ARE MORE AFRAID OF WEIGHT GAIN THAN TERRORISM. IN FACT ONE RESPONDENT TO OUR SURVEY, A BUSH SUPPORTER, SAID HE WOULD HAVE VOTED FOR KERRY IF KERRY HAD PROMISED TO LIFT BUSH'S EPHEDRA BAN. THIS ALL SOUNDS CRAZY UNTIL YOU LOOK AT THE NUMBERS. According to a New York Times story some 300,000 U.S. CITIZENS die annually AS A RESULT OF OBESITY. That's nearly a million premature deaths in the three years since 9/11. AND, OF COURSE, THERE'S ALWAYS THAT VANITY FACTOR. READ ALL ABOUT IT IN THIS AFTERNOON'S EDITION OF THE ASPEN FREE PRESS.
OUR NEXT POLL WILL POSE A POLITICAL QUESTION TO TOURISTS ON VACATION IN ASPEN: DO YOU VALUE BEING THIN MORE THAN YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE? WE ALREADY KNOW THAT 10 OUT OF 10 LOCALS VALUE BEING THIN MORE.
CHECK OUT 'FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS,' IF YOU WANT A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF PRESIDENT BUSH. THE FLICK IS ABOUT THE INTENSE FOOTBALL RIVALRY BETWEEN TWO TEXAS TOWNS -- ODESSA AND MIDLAND. "DUBYA" LIVED IN BOTH WEST TEXAS COMMUNITIES AS A YOUTH. . THOUGH THE PRESIDENT DIDN'T PLAY VARSITY FOOTBALL, THE FILM OFFERS A GLIMPSE INTO HIS ENVIRONMENT DURING FORMATIVE YEARS. RETIRED COMMANDER OF U.S. FORCES IN IRAQ, GENERAL TOMMY FRANKS, ALSO GREW UP IN MIDLAND AS DID FIRST LADY LAURA BUSH. ACTOR TOMMY LEE JONES WHO COULD EASILY PLAY THE ROLE OF GENERAL FRANKS IN A MOVIE, ALSO PLAYED FOOTBALL FOR MIDLAND LEE HIGH SCHOOL, AS DID THE GENERAL. DID TOMMY LEE JONES, LAURA BUSH, TOMMY FRANKS AND "DUBYA,' KNOW EACH OTHER AS KIDS? SEE THIS AFTERNOON'S EDITION OF THE ASPEN FREE PRESS. THIS NEWSPAPER'S CO-PUBLISHER KAREN DAY WAS A FOOTBALL CHEERLEADER IN BOTH MIDLAND AND ODESSA GROWING UP. SHE DID KNOW TOMMY FRANKS IN HIGH SCHOOL.
UPLOADED OCT. 20 2004
WHAT ABOUT ALL THESE CONFLICTING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION POLLS THAT DROVE EVERYONE CRAZY DURING THE ELECTION? See this afternoon's edition of the Aspen Free Press for more on this. I remember covering the' 92 Demo primary in Colorado for the Aspen Free Press. Polls had Bill Clinton ahead of Jerry Brown by a whopping ten points the day before the vote. Brown won the primary. I remember the day well. I went to a drive-inn burger joint on 6th Avenue in Denver and ordered my dinner through a clown's mouth. Radio reports indicated Clinton a sure winner. Then I joined a drunken gang of boile-room politicos in the Wazee Lounge who insisted I accompany them to a fuck flick -- "Debbie Does Dallas" -- on Colfax, just for comic relief (believe it or not I'd never seen a porn film). As the movie ended a fat man in a Boy Scout suit, with a transistor wired to his ear, told me Brown won. And the beat rolls on . . . . .
FACT -- THE UNITED STATES HAS FIVE PERCENT OF THE WORLD'S POPULATION, BUT TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF THE WORLD'S PRISONERS.
FACT -- 79 MILLION REGISTERED U.S. VOTERS DIDN'T VOTE IN THE LAST PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.
LOST IN COLORADO -- BY STERLING GREENWOOD -- AUG. 16, 2004 -- ELVIS HAS BEEN DEAD NOW SOME 27 YEARS -- A VICTIM OF FOOD ABUSE -- AND IN THE WORDS OF THE LATE LEWIS GRIZZARD, "I DON'T FEEL SO GOOD MYSELF." Elvis died on this date in Memphis of cholesterol-clogged arteries and obesity. In the final days, the King got so heavy he could barely walk. By then he had even quit sending his jet to Dallas to pickup those two-dozen cheeseburgers he'd eat in one sitting. An Atlanta newspaper columnist, the late Lewis Grizzard, wrote a book "Elvis is Dead and I Don't feel so good Myself." I wrote a book, "No Problem Bridge and the Aspen Free Press," an exercept from which deals with the first time I saw Elvis in 1955. Read it in the column to your left. Have a nice weekend. And the beat rolls on . . . . .
I was in Austin, Tx., when I learned of Elvis's death. The page one banner headline on the Austin American-Statesman read "THE KING IS DEAD." I didn't see so large a type in a newspaper again until 9/11.
Anyway, a year before Elvis died I had bought a new stretched-out yellow Coupe de Ville right off the showroom floor at Krebs Motor Co., in Vernon, Tx., for just $7,500 -- an oil embargo special. Who'd of thought that a year after Elvis died I'd be living in the thing in Aspen where I eventually started the Aspen Free Press in the back seat. -- "Aspen's worst newspaper published in the 3rd parked car from the corner at Main and Monarch." Now I own an office condo downtown right across from Aspen Mountain, but I'm being pushed to sell. Real estate that's just a stone's throw from the swanky St. Regis is too exclusive for a dirt-bag like me. More than $1 billion in real estate changes hands annually in this town of 6,000 residents. Parking space prices will reach $100,000 soon. Read all about it in today's street edition, plus an interview with James Cole, co-author of the definitive book on Elvis's death entitled, appropriately enough, "The Death of Elvis." Of course, Cole may not consent to the interview. I haven't phoned him about it yet, but he's an old college friend and I don't expect any flack.
Over the years, Cole has told me many chilling details about his investigation into Elvis's death. Cole was an investigator for 20/20 and a reporter for the Scripps-Howard newspaper in Memphis -- The Commercial Appeal --where I got my start in big city journalism.in the wake of the King assassination in '68. And the beat rolls on. . .
Meanwhile , , , ,
I've been at an alternative health retreat dubbed 'a garlic commune,' in the mountains of central Mexico nearTesquisqiappan (don't even try to pronounce it), about an hour's drive from San Miguel de Allende'.
I looked peaked and emaciated when I arrived in Mexico for therapy.
"One of the docs there said, 'I think the first thing we'll do is take you off your health food diet.'
It was so hot that hardly anybody wore much clothing. Doctors came around daily to give health lectures, dispense herbal concoctions and administer injections of red stuff I never could pronounce the name of, but which made me feel so gooooooood!
There were evenings when I would wander off down a skittering dusty path to a thatched-roof bar for tequila shots. After a couple, I'd find myself musing lazily, "Gee, I wonder what's going to happen now. . . . .because so far, getting prostate cancer isn't all that bad!! More later.
The above is an excerpt from the novel, "No Problem Bridge and the Aspen Free Press."
CHECK OUT THE ARTICLE -- "WITH BILL CLINTON IN THE HIPPIE YEARS," -- (AT LEFT) WHICH HAS BEEN UPLOADED FROM STREET EDITIONS
HAVING TROUBLE WITH YOUR CONDO ASSOCIATION? ARE YOU A MINORITY-INTEREST OWNER, UNCERTAIN OF YOUR RIGHTS? DO YOU FEEL POWERLESS? A COUPLE OF DENVER LAWYERS TO PHONE ARE JULIE WAGNER AND LYNN JORDON. LYNN WAS ONE OF THE AUTHORS OF THE COLORADO COMMON INTEREST OWNERS ACT (CCIOA). TO GET THEIR PHONE NUMBERS SEE STREET EDITIONS NEXT WEEK.
HAS DON JOHNSON PAID HIS GROCERY BILL AT CLARK'S? SEE AN UPCOMING STREET EDITION? CHECK OUT TODAY'S STREET EDITION!!! YES, IT'S BEEN PAID.
WE WILL COVER KOBE LIKE WE DO EVERYTHING ELSE -- IN RAMBLING, CONFUSING PROSE, SET OFF BY PHOTOS. AND THE BEAT ROLLS ON . . . .
LIKE WITH THE FURRIER TRIAL, I, WE WILL SPEND NIGHTS IN MY JEEP AT THE EAGLE/VAIL DENNY'S PARKING LOT -- FOOD AND RESTROOM FACILITIES 24 HOURS A DAY. YOU CAN'T BEAT IT!
LITTLE-KNOWN-FACT DEPT. -- COKEHEADS HERE WHO WENT THROUGH REHAB HAVE EMERGED COCAINE-FREE BUT ADDICTED TO THE ITALIAN BABY LAXATIVE USED TO CUT THE COCAINE. SO THERE ARE FORMER COKEHEADS ALL OVER TOWN WHO NEED LAXATIVES FOR BOWEL MOVEMENTS. ONE OF COMEDIAN DAVID BRENNER'S FRIENDS ASKED ME TODAY IF HE COULD PASS THIS ON TO DAVID. SURE.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO KATHERINE ODESSA GREENWOOD FEB. 20
MELANIE GRIFFITH LINK SURFACES IN KATHY DENSON MURDER TRIAL --'VICTIM'S' MOTHER TAKES THE STAND
BY STERLING GREENWOOD 8/24/03
EAGLE, CO., -- A MELANIE GRIFFITH LINK SURFACED TODAY IN THE MURDER TRIAL OF WEALTHY FURRIER KATHLEEN (KATHY) DENSON, ACCUSED OF WIELDING AN ANTIQUE BLACK POWDER REVOLVER TO SHOOT TO DEATH HER FORMER BOYFRIEND, GERALD CODY BOYD, IN HER RANCH HOME. SHE IS PLEADING SELF DEFENSE.
CODY BOYD'S MOTHER, MARY JO BOYD, TESTIFIED THAT AFTER CODY AND HIS LAST WIFE, DEBBIE, DIVORCED, DEBBIE THEN MARRIED THE COUPLE'S NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR, THE FATHER OF MOVIE ACTRESS MELANIE GRIFFITH WHO RESIDES PART-TIME IN ASPEN.
MURDER DEFENDANT KATHY DENSON IS ALSO FACING A WRONGFUL DEATH SUIT FILED BY DEBBIE GRIFFITH ON BEHALF OF CODY BOYD'S DAUGHTER, CALLIE. MARY JO BOYD RESIDED IN AUSTIN, TX., SOME SIXTY-THREE YEARS WHERE SHE REARED HER SON. ON THE STAND TODAY, UNDER QUESTIONING BY THE DA, SHE PROJECTED A SALT-OF-THE-EARTH, NO NON-SENSE IMAGE. SHE WAS A STAY-AT-HOME MOTHER, SHE SAID, 'AND HAD THE PRIVILEGE TO RAISE HIM MYSELF.' SHE WAS THE WIFE OF GERALD CODY BOYD SR., FOR TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS BEFORE THE COUPLE DIVORCED. SHE TESTIFIED THAT HER SON, CODY, KEPT NO SECRETS FROM HER.
DID SHE HAVE A TEMPER WHEN CODY WAS GROWING UP?
'I USED TO HAVE A BAD ONE 'TIL I GOT SAVED AND DELIVERED. I'M A CHRISTIAN NOW.
HOW DID HER HUSBAND DEAL WITH HER MOODS?
'HE'D PUT ON HIS BASEBALL CAP AND LEAVE UNTIL I GOT IN A BETTER HUMOR.' SHE SAID CODY BOYD SR., AND HER SON WERE BOTH EASY GOING AND LOW-KEYED.
HOW OLD WAS HER SON, CODY, WHEN HE GOT INTO DRUGS?
'HE WAS 14 OR 15.' HE CAME IN ONE NIGHT WHEN SHE WAS FIXING DINNER, SHE SAID, AND TOLD HER HE WAS GOING TO SMOKE SOME MARIJUANA AND TOLD HER 'IT MAKES ME HUNGRY.' CODY WAS A DJ, SHE SAID AND PLAYED GUITARS AT THE HOUSE. ONE DAY HE PLAYED THERE, SHE SAID WITH A DARK-HAIRED MUSICIAN WHO CODY TOLD HER WAS JERRY GARCIA. AND ONE TIME HE BROUGHT IN SOME MARIJUANA AND SHE SAID, 'GET THAT OUT OF THE HOUSE.' 'I'M NOT GOING TO SMOKE IT EVER,' HE RESPONDED, ACCORDING HER TESTIMONY. 'WILLIE NELSON GAVE IT TO ME.'
HOW OLD WAS CODY WHEN HE FIRST MARRIED?
'HE WAS NINETEEN,' SHE SAID. 'HE MARRIED A GIRL TWENTY-SEVEN-YEARS-OLD, WITH A FIVE-YEAR-OLD BOY.'
HOW LONG DID THE MARRIAGE LAST?
'THREE OR FOUR MONTHS,' SHE SAID.
CODY TOLD HIS MOTHER, ACCORDING TO HER TESTIMONY, 'I'M NOT GOING TO LIVE MY LIFE DUCKING POTS AND PANS.' MARY JO BOYD SAID, 'AND IT WASN'T ANY PLATE. IT WAS PANS. BEFORE CODY AND HIS FIRST WIFE DIVORCED, HIS MOTHER SAID, 'SHE WAS PREGNANT.'
HOW LONG WAS CODY DIVORCED BEFORE HE MARRIED AGAIN?
'A YEAR OR TWO, AND HE MARRIED ANN DITMORE," HIS MOTHER SAID. CODY WAS EMPLOYED AS A TRUCK DRIVER DURING THIS TIME. 'HE LOVED THE LADIES AND THE LADIES LOVED HIM,' HIS MOTHER SAID, BUT WHAT BROKE UP HIS MARRIAGE WITH ANN WASN'T OTHER WOMEN. IT WAS DRUGS. CODY, SHE SAID, DROVE TRUCKS AND HAD TO TAKE PILLS IN ORDER TO STAY AWAKE AND MAKE DEADLINES. HE TOLD HER HE HATED THE STUFF BUT HE COULDN'T STAY EMPLOYED WITHOUT IT.
HOW LONG WAS HE MARRIED TO ANN?
'ABOUT FIVE YEARS.'
HOW LONG DID HE REMAIN UNMARRIED AFTER ANN?
'NOT LONG,' SHE SAID. 'HIS NEXT WIFE, DEBBIE, LIVED ACROSS THE STREET.'
SEE THE REST OF THIS STORY IN TODAY'S STREET EDITION OF THE ASPEN FREE PRESS
WHO TORCHED BACKFLIP BARNEY OLDFIELD'S ASPEN CONDO? READ ON
THE ASPEN VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPT NOW IS SAYING ARSON DESTROYED BARNEY OLDFIELD'S CONDO-- NAW!! THIS MAY COME AS NEWS TO ALL ASPEN LOCALS WHO TAKE THEIR DINNERS IN HIGH CHAIRS. IT WAS AN OPINION VOICED BY THE ASPEN FREE PRESS WEEKS AGO. SEE 'FIRE PROBE YIELDS MARIJUANA' BELOW.
SEE TODAY'S STREET EDITION OF THE ASPEN FREE PRESS --- 'ASPEN'S WORST NEWSPAPER' -- ESTABLISHED 1982, IN THE THIRD PARKED CAR FROM THE CORNER AT MAIN AND MONARCH.
'BACKFLIP' BARNEY OLDFIELD BAILS OUT ON POT CHARGES FILED IN WAKE OF LOCAL FIRE. STORY BELOW
CONDO FIRE PROBE YIELDS MARIJUANA -- 7/2/2003
BY STERLING GREENWOOD
OF ALL THE INTERVIEWS THIS WEEK IN THE WAKE OF A PRE-DAWN FIRE WHICH LEFT RESIDENTS OF AN 18-UNIT ASPEN APARTMENT BUILDING HOMELESS, THERE WASN'T ONE WHERE SOMEONE SAID, "I GRABBED MY PUPPY DOG, MY CAR KEYS AND MY MARIJUANA AND GOT OUT OF THERE."
MAYBE IT DAWNED ON COPS THEN THAT SOME REFUGEE FROM THAT CHARRED PLACE COULD HAVE LEFT SOME WEED.
SOURCES TELL THE ASPEN FREE PRESS THAT INVESTIGATORS MONDAY CONFISCATED A QUANTITY OF GRASS, SOME SCALES AND CASH FROM ONE OF THE CONDOS AT ASPEN VIEW CONDOMINIUMS, 326 MIDLAND, WHERE THE FIRE ERUPTED.
AND A JUDGE SIGNED A WARRANT TUESDAY TO SEARCH A CONDO THERE OWNED AND OCCUPIED BY LOCAL CELEBRITY BARNEY OLDFIELD, 50, AKA 'BACKFLIP BARNEY' THE RETIRING WINNER OF ASPEN SKI SPLASH.
NO CHARGES HAVE BEEN FILED.
(UPDATE -- JULY 3, 03, BARNEY 'BACKFLIP' OLDFIELD WAS CHARGED WITH FELONY POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA AND DISTRIBUTION OF MARIJUANA AS WELL AS POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA. . HE POSTED BAIL OF $8,000, ACCORDING TO HIS ATTORNEY JOHN VAN NESS.)
I went out to the fire site yesterday. They had a dog out there from Denver to smell things. Primarily this dog, a sweet female named Erin, detects signs of arson.
Erin was used courtesy of the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, "because Erin needs experience," one fire official told the Aspen Free Press. Erin smelled "hydrocarbons," whatever that means.
There was a propane-fueled barbeque grill upstairs on a balcony next to a partition. A complaint about the grill, reportedly, was made at the last condo meeting. The grill does not belong to Oldfield, reportedly, nor was it on his section of the balcony.
There was an alarm system put in at a cost of $18,000 last year which reportedly went off a lot when there wasn't a fire, but no one heard a peep out of it when the fire started. THE ALARM DID GO OFF AT ASPEN FIRE DEPT., THOUGH AND FIRE FIGHTERS SHOWED UP AT THE APARTMENT BUILDING TO EVACUATE RESIDENTS. Fire officials by presstime today were at a loss to pinpoint a cause of the fire.
Two condo units were destroyed by the blaze early Monday morning. Others sustained smoke and water damage.
QUESTION: DID THE FIRE ORIGINATE IN OLDFIELD'S CONDO? FIRE OFFICIALS THINK IT STARTED ON OLDFIELD'S BALCONY WHERE SOME TIRES AND CARPETING WERE STORED. OLDFIELD, REPORTEDLY, HAD NOT BEEN ON THE PREMISES FOR TWELVE HOURS PRIOR TO THE ALARM GOING OFF IN TOWN. OLDFIELD, REPORTEDLY, ARRIVED ON THE SCENE AT 4:30AM WHEN THE FIRE WAS IN PROGRESS.
QUESTION: DID SOMEONE TOSS A MATCH UP TO OLDFIELD'S BALCONY WHERE THE TIRES AND CARPETING WERE STORED?
JUST HOW MUCH MARIJUANA WAS FOUND? COPS WON'T SAY. WHAT WAS FOUND LOOKS LIKE "TOAST," ONE OBSERVER AT THE SCENE TOLD THE ASPEN FREE PRESS.
HOW MUCH CASH? COPS WON'T SAY.
THIS APRIL 23, 2005 MARKED THE TWENTY-THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF THE ASPEN FREE PRESS, published uncontinuously since 1982. AND THE BEAT ROLLS ON . . .
www.psa-rising.com IS THE WEBSITE FOR PROSTATE CANCER INFO.
"THE KING OF COOPER
YEA AND WHOOPEE DEPT -- THE S-CURVES ENTRANCE LIVES ON IN ASPEN FOR A WHILE ANYWAY DUE TO A LOPSIDED LOCALS VOTE -- 1,400 TO 1,119 -- WHICH FLEW IN THE FACE OF ENDORSEMENTS FOR A NEW "STRAIGHT SHOT,"ENTRANCE BY THE ASPEN CITY COUNCIL, THE ASPEN TIMES (OWNED BY A CORPORATION BASED IN RENO), THE ROARING FORK TRANSIT AUTHORITY (RAFTA), AND THE ASPEN CHAMBER RESORT ASSOCIATION (ACRA).
ASPEN DAILY NEWS EARLY DAYS RECALLED
BY STERLING GREENWOOD 7/2/03 (uploaded from Aspen Free Press street edition.)
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE ASPEN DAILY NEWS ON ITS TWENTY-FIFTH ANNIVERSARY.
I REMEMBER ASKING FRIENDS HERE, WHEN I ARRIVED TWENTY-THREE YEARS AGO, IF THERE WERE A LOCAL DAILY NEWSPAPER.
"NO, JUST A WEEKLY," THEY SAID. "THE ASPEN TIMES."
I LOOKED IN THE YELLOW PAGES OF THE PHONE BOOK AND SAW LISTED THE ASPEN DAILY NEWS.
HOW COULD MY FRIENDS NOT BE AWARE OF A DAILY NEWSPAPER IN THEIR TOWN? read entire story...