Thursday, January 01, 2009

Freaky s**t

You may have heard on the news that Aspen had a bomb threat yesterday afternoon. I'm not sure how it's playing in Peoria but let me tell you, here in Aspen, on so many levels, it's some freaky s**t.

4 bombs, real incendiary devices, were left around Aspen yesterday afternoon, two at banks and two abandoned in an alley. 16 blocks were evacuated and cordoned off. Due to the fact that Aspen is not much larger than 16 blocks, these devices effectively shut down the city on New Year's Eve. The repercussions will be felt for some time.

At 2:30 pm, employees at Wells Fargo noticed a suspicious package with a note, a "credible" threat, which resulted in the evacuation of the bank. A few minutes later, the same thing occurred at Vectra Bank.

At 2:44 pm, Steve and I were in the ATM foyer of Wells Fargo with about a dozen people. We were making an ATM deposit. The majority of the other people were trying to get in the bank. There were signs on the door stating that the bank would be open until 4:30 pm on New Year's Eve and there was much confusion regarding why the doors to the main lobby were locked and the place was deserted.

There was no one telling us not to be there. There was really no indication that we shouldn't be there. But I had had a similar experience with Wells Fargo in the past. That time, it ended up being a gas leak at a nearby construction site. As I related that story to Steve, he decided that it might be wise to continue on our way.

And so we did. (If we had left it up to me, my nosiness would have kept me there until I was told by the authorities to leave. Not much of a self-preservation reflex there.)

We walked back into (or I should say, around the outskirts of) downtown at about 8:45 pm to see if any of the New Year's Eve activities were taking place. The bonfire at Wagner Park was limping along with a meager turnout but the 8:30 pm fireworks were delayed, then merged with the midnight fireworks which were then canceled in toto.

The evacuation wasn't lifted until early this morning. The whole incident has had a horrible impact on businesses in Aspen. New Year's Eve is one of the biggest days for the restaurants and stores in the downtown core. Restaurants which are struggling this year were looking forward to tens of thousands in food and beverage sales. Servers were looking forward to hundreds of dollars in tips for one night of hard work. Food will be wasted, payrolls might not be made, bills may not be paid.

I know that many people consider Aspen to be the land of the rich and famous but Aspen is really home to thousands of hardworking people trying to scratch out a living and make a life. Many, many of those people are now going to suffer.

All because of some troubled soul, some crank who was thinking god knows what. I've posted his letter to the banks and his note to the Aspen Times below and as far as I'm concerned, they are very disturbing.



1 comment:

Susan said...

CNN's got the story. So did CBS. I suppose by now all the networks do.