By Allen Best
Vice president Pence
passes GOP hat in Aspen
ASPEN, Colo. — The Aspen Times found out about a Republican fundraiser featuring Vice President Michael Pence in a very roundabout way.
The executive chef of the Caribou Club had been arrested and charged with assaulting his female friend. In his advisement before a district court judge last Friday, the chef said he needed to show up Monday to cook for the vice president and hence needed to stay out of jail. His request was approved after he posted bond.
Political fundraisers are not unusual in Aspen, even those on behalf of Republicans. Pitkin County gave almost 25% of its votes to the Trump-Pence ticket in 2016 and, of course, it does have some high rollers.
Before the event, Bob Jenkins of Pitkin County Republicans said he expected about 25 couples to attend Monday’s $35,000-per-couple VIP reception.
The fundraiser was indeed held at the Caribou Club, which is owned by two gay men. Pence, both in Congress and as a governor of Indiana, repeatedly opposed efforts to legalize gay marriage and other measures meant to improve the lives of gays and lesbians.
Environmental groups blast
OK of e-bikes on Banff trails
BANFF, Alberta — Parks Canada has decided to allow pedal-assisted e-bikes on some of the trails open to other bicycles in Banff National Park. At least two environmental organizations oppose the move, saying the greater speed, range and relative silence of the e-bikes will lead to increased visitor-wildlife conflicts and degradation of wilderness values.
“The new policy will allow motorized bicycles in the backcountry capable of going faster than the current [approximately 20 mph] speed limit on Banff Avenue,” commented the Bow Valley Naturalists and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.
Jasper National Park also recently announced that it would allow e-bikes on some trails as part of a pilot project. The same has occurred in the Lake Louise Yoho Kootenay Field Unit of Parks Canada.
In Whistler, the municipal council has agreed to permit Class 1 e-bikes on the town’s paved Valley Trail network.
Whistler had a significant contingent of people who wanted no e-bikes on any of the bike trails anywhere. But proponent Linda McGaw commented that for some people, pedal-assisted e-bikes have been an absolute godsend.
“I speak of the disabled or semi-disabled riders who thought they had enjoyed their last-ever bike ride, and then this wonderful invention came along and they are able to get out and about on two wheels again,” she wrote.
Whitefish woman wins big
judgment in neo-Nazi case
WHITEFISH, Mont. — Aided by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a woman in Whitefish last week received a $14 million judgment against the publisher of a neo-Nazi website.
Starting in 2016, Andrew Anglin’s Daily Stormer had published 30 articles urging his followers to launch a “troll storm” against Jewish real estate agent Tanya Gersh. Gersh, her husband and then 12-year-old son received more than 700 harassing messages in a five-month span before the lawsuit was filed.
The campaign escalated into early 2017 when Anglin planned an armed march in Whitefish that he threatened would end at Gersh’s home. In promoting the march, he superimposed a photo of Gersh and several others on the front gate of the Auschwitz concentration camp, according to a press release issued by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The march never happened.
The Whitefish Pilot reported that Gersh stated: “This lawsuit has always been about stopping others from enduring the terror I continue to live through at the hands of a neo-Nazi and his followers, and I wanted to make sure that this never happens to anyone else.”