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Aspen voters dump recycling expansion

Abigail Eagye and Joel Stonington
Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times
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ASPEN – By a vote of 1,518 to 1,145, Aspen voters defeated Referendum 2C, which would have paved the way for a new recycle center next to a skate park, where the city’s recycling containers currently sit.”I’m shocked and thrilled,” said activist Toni Kronberg, who led the opposition to the measure. “I think people are going to be really happy with how wonderful it’s gong to turn out.”

The City Council already gave land-use and rezoning approvals for the project. Following the council’s approval, however, Kronberg circulated a petition for a referendum opposing the decision. Defeating the measure only nullifies the ordinance, however. It doesn’t implement any different plans for the space next to the skatepark where the bins currently sit.Kronberg said she supports recycling efforts, but she would like to see the school district and the Aspen Skiing Co. “step up to the plate” with drop-off points at the school and the Buttermilk parking lot.In another high profile race, Bob Braudis handily won the race for Pitkin County sheriff, defeating challenger Rick Magnuson by a 9-to-1 margin in Tuesday’s election.

Magnuson’s left-field challenge to a 20-year incumbent garnered national attention for issues regarding nearly everything but law enforcement. Though Magnuson’s art took a significant portion of the attention, he also questioned Braudis’ commitment to arresting drunken drivers and Braudis’ stance toward drugs and drug dealers.”I felt a healthy level of competition,” said Braudis, who campaigned extensively during the past two months. “I never viewed Rick’s challenge as a slam-dunk. Having an opponent generated a lot of juice and enthusiasm that I haven’t been able to savor for 20 years. The contest gave me a chance to educate and be educated.”Not many of Pitkin County’s residents voted for Magnuson, and though both Aspen newspapers commended him for raising some important issues, he did not receive an endorsement.

“Everybody loves our sheriff,” said longtime local, Nancy Scheinkman, after voting Tuesday night. “I don’t think Rick Magnuson ever had a chance, but I like his gumption.””[Magnuson] brought up issues without any factual basis,” Braudis said, after being asked if the race would spurn change. “Rick would have done himself credit by backing off on fictional statistics.”The statistics in question were just one of many issues heating up Pitkin County’s race for sheriff. After Magnuson used undercover means to reveal Braudis attended an alcohol treatment clinic, the race was on.

Magnuson’s video of himself masturbating in the desert made national news, and soon after, another art project, where he mailed letters to Osama Bin Laden at fictional U.S. addresses also hit the spotlight. “I can’t distance myself from art,” said Magnuson, on Tuesday. “I tried to in this race, unsuccessfully. I tried to bring up real issues. But people were continually distracted by art projects, which ultimately hurt. I didn’t bring that stuff up.”Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado


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