Letters to the Editor

April 15, 2014 — 

Voice your forest concerns

Trail users: Troubled by massive clear-cuts you may see happening while hiking, biking and dog walking Tenmile Range trails this summer? So are many others.

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Brown: Nature is improving our forests; don’t interfere

April 13, 2014 — 

You’ve probably heard it said that our current forest-fire risk is the result of suppressing fires, allowing fuel build up. You probably also remember the fear when the recent pine-bark-beetle infestation hit that all the trees would die and we would be at great risk of fire. As it turned out, here in Summit County, far fewer trees died than anticipated. And once the needles dropped from the trees that did die, the fire risk dropped dramatically, probably to less than that from live trees.

So, we still have beautiful forests. Sure, there are a lot of dead trees, but as you travel our wonderful trails, you’ll still revel in the beauty. And, wherever you do notice dead trees, you’ll also notice young trees underneath. Some are lodgepoles, but many are fir or aspen or a mix. Could it be that nature did a little thinning job on our same-age, single-species lodgepole stands? Can we now expect these stands to evolve into mixed-age, mixed-species forests far less susceptible to future insect infestations and even more beautiful?

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Gray: John assumes too much about abortion protesters

April 9, 2014 — 

John Young assumes too much

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Boller: Who gains from clear-cutting?

April 5, 2014 — 

Regarding your articles about planned clear-cutting and all the excellent letters about it, we cannot understand why the Forest Service would want to move forward with the Ophir Mountain plan. The planned cuts along the Peaks and upper Gold Hill Trails and on Ophir Mountain are all far from existing development. They would provide minimal, if any fire mitigation to any homeowners. On the other hand, they would destroy beautiful forests—not as many trees died as expected—and wonderful trails, the soul of Summit County.

When something doesn’t make sense, you are suppose to follow the dollars. These are not lucrative timber sales that will bring revenue to the Forest Service. They are “stewardship” projects that require spending taxpayer dollars. They will not bring jobs to Summit County. The contractor is from Hotchkiss and the wood—in essence, those taxpayer dollars and the beauty and recreation that do bring money to the county—will be burned in Gypsum.

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Wagon: A argument against Breckenridge businesses’ open-door policy

April 2, 2014 — 

A recent Summit County article points out that the county commissioners and some town officials want to encourage energy conservation by turning off inessential lighting during a one-hour event. A much more obvious way to save energy is to close the front door of a home or business during the winter. Homeowners know to do this. But many shops in Breckenridge do the exact opposite, leaving their doors open — wide open — to make it easier for people to come in, with no regard to the outside temperature. While this behavior is no doubt the result of the owner’s cost-benefit analysis of fuel consumption vs. customer encouragement that comes down in favor of using more fuel (and the resulting contribution to pollution), and a private citizen has every right to do this, one might hope that the town council and citizens of Breckenridge (and possibly the Breckenridge Resort Chamber) might be able to exert some pressure to let the stores know that many people disapprove of this wasteful practice.

Stan Wagon

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Letters for support for Breckenridge and Dillon town council races

March 31, 2014 — 

BRECKENRIDGE TOWN COUNCIL ELECTION

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Letters of support for Dillon mayoral race and Breckenridge Town Council

March 31, 2014 — 

Dillon Mayoral Race

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Letters supporting Kevin Burns for Dillon mayor

March 28, 2014 — 

Letters of for Dillon mayor

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Klug: Elect Doug Roessel for Dillon mayor

March 26, 2014 — 

I am encouraging Dillon voters to elect Doug Roessel as mayor on April 1.

I like Kevin Burns and consider him a friend, but Doug is the better candidate for two reasons. First, Doug has experience in corporate America and is a successful entrepreneur in Dillon. In contrast, Kevin has no business or executive experience that I am aware of. Dillon needs a successful businessman like Doug leading the way.

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Hodge: Elect Doug Roessel for Dillon mayor

March 26, 2014 — 

As a friend and as a fellow small-business man in the Dillon town core area, I would like to encourage the residents of Dillon to consider Mr. Roessel for Dillon mayor in next week’s elections.

Mr. Roessel has the maturity, the business and government experience and the desire to serve in this important position. As a resident of Dillon, he understands the issues (i.e., parking) that homeowners are facing on an ongoing basis. As a businessman, he is very much aware of the concerns that small businesses have, particularly the issue of revitalizing the core business district.

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Koenig: Support for Kevin Burns for Dillon mayor

March 26, 2014 — 

With the upcoming election in the town of Dillon I would like to offer my support and recommendation for Kevin Burns for mayor. As a business owner in town, I have had the experience of seeing Kevin lending an ear to the needs of Dillon businesses while maintaining an honest concern to the needs of the residents. His desire to do right by the citizens of Dillon is the most sincere attitude I have seen in someone seeking an elected office. I feel that both the citizens and businesses of Dillon would benefit from Kevin Burns being elected mayor.

Gary Koenig

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Dillon mayoral election letters of support

March 26, 2014 — 

Editor’s note: The Summit Daily News received two letters in support for Doug Roessell. One letter writer, however, did not include his last name. We did not receive any letters in support of Roessell’s opponent Kevin Burns. We did, however, receive a letter from Burns himself, which is published below.

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Breckenridge Town Council candidates draw letters of support

March 26, 2014 — 

Editor’s note: Below are all of the letters submitted to the Summit Daily New regarding the Breckenridge Town Council race. In total, we received four letters for John Ebright, one for Elizabeth Lawrence, three for Mark Burke, three for Eric Buck and four for Erin Gigliello. The letters have been edited to avoid repetition for brevity.

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Kryshak: Breckenridge Ski Resort’s summer expansion would create visual pollution

March 15, 2014 — 

I wholeheartedly support Leigh Girvin’s comments in the March 13 Summit Daily against the proposed Breckenridge Ski Resort Peak 8 summer activity expansion.

The proposal has a physical impact on our beautiful above tree-line environment as well and equally disturbing will be the visual pollution these structures/scaring will create. Breckenridge Ski Resort prided itself on the location and design of their above tree-line lifts. And, now they are proposing to deface the same above tree-line environment they so proudly said they would protect if their prior expansions were approved. We need to hold them to their prior promises.

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Powell: Daylight saving time makes little sense in ski resort areas

March 15, 2014 — 

Again, daylight saving time arrived in the midst of ski season. The resorts open at 8:30 a.m. to rock hard slopes since it is really 7:30 “sun” time. Just as the spring snow starts to soften nicely, the resorts close at 4 p.m. when it is really 3 p.m. “sun” time. Wouldn’t it be great if the resorts changed times when daylight saving time starts to 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.? We could enjoy the soft spring snow for an hour longer. Who would complain? The workers who get an extra hour of sleep? The guests who can enjoy more evening entertainment not having to rise as early? The Front Rangers who have an extra hour to drive up? We are not going to get the nation to change the date of DST, but I wish that the resorts would consider changing their hours. If you agree, please contact the resort of your choice.

Jim Powell

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Gervin: Protect Breckenridge’s Peak 8 from Vail Resorts’ summer expansion plans

March 13, 2014 — 

How many readers have an image of Peak 8 in their collection? I’m willing to bet that most Breckenridge residents, many Summit County people, and thousands of vacationers own a photo or two of that beautiful and iconic peak that forms a backdrop to the Town of Breckenridge and the Upper Blue River Valley. Painters, photographers and other artists have captured its sublime image for years.

Now imagine what Peak 8 will look like with 50-60 platforms and towers for canopy tours, zip lines, challenge courses, and an observation tower. Imagine miles of cable strung between platforms gleaming in the sun like holiday lights strewn across the mountain. Picture the penetrations of the forest canopy for platforms and towers. Visualize the miles of new roads across Peak 8 to service these activities and the 15 miles of downhill mountain biking trails that will be 6’ wide with bermed and banked turns zig-zagging down Peak 8.

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Skinner: Vail Resorts limiting its liability with smoke shacks

March 12, 2014 — 

I have the pleasure of skiing here several times each season, and enjoy my morning Summit Daily News. I read the article about Vail Resorts destroying the smoke shacks built on US Forest Service land under their lease. Recently, I read the follow-up letter from Chris Hoover.

As a skier and occasional smoker, I appreciate Chris’s point about the relative safety of THC impaired skiers. Much like the pot-impaired driver (who is typically going exactly the speed limit and in the center of his lane) I find myself skiing in a less aggressive and more thoughtful manner when I’m buzzed. I just don’t see the danger. Alcohol is far more dangerous in a skier’s bloodstream than THC.

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Brown: Say no to Summit County briar patches

March 11, 2014 — 

As you hike, bike, or ski around Summit County, you will occasionally run across patches of small trees. They are lush and green, but all the same size and very dense; and I couldn’t imagine anyone liking them. Forest Service people told me that these doghair lodgepole regenerated from 1980s clearcuts of the last pine-beetle epidemic and that indeed someone does like them. It turns out snowshoe hares (read Br’er Rabbit) do well in dense doghair (read Briar Patch). And because lynx eat snowshoe hares, the Forest Service (read Br’er Fox) cannot thin doghair.

Now, under the Ophir Plan, Br’er Fox is clearcutting 1,500 acres expressly to regenerate lodgepole pine—the shallow-rooted, insect-prone trees that we have now because of extensive clearcutting in the 1930s. Many of those 1,500 acres are along some of our finest trails, including the Peaks Trail and the Colorado Trail up Gold Hill. So, instead of great trails, this is what you will get: 5-10 years of clearcut wasteland, followed by 20-30 years of briar patch, followed by skinny, still dense, monoculture lodgepole that 60-80 years from now will be big enough to interest pine-beetles again, to start the cycle over.

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Cacace: The changing facts of Ophir Mountain clear-cutting

March 8, 2014 — 

Thank you for publishing Summit County historian Mary Ellen Gilliland’s thoughtful article on the need for change to the planned Ophir Mountain clear-cuts.

John Maynard Keynes famously replied to criticism that he had changed his views on monetary policy by saying, “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?”

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Vaine: Health reform in Summit County just getting started

March 6, 2014 — 

As a resident of Summit County for over 20 years, I care immensely about how this community is faring, and what we can do to make it better. As CEO of the Summit Community Care Clinic, I also care immensely about the health of the community and what we can do to improve our health care system.

I am proud to be a part of a community that has made a commitment to both these things, and is approaching change in a collaborative, committed way. The health of our community is a top priority, and the community as a whole has been leading the way in health reform.

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Hoover: Vail Resorts clings to old marijuana misconceptions

March 5, 2014 — 

Wow, what a sad state of affairs we evidently live in when a corporation like Vail Resorts feels it has to flex its muscles by blowing up some shacks that are hidden and well off the beaten path of any of the tourists on any given mountain on any given day. The reality is that Vail Resorts has probably known about these “smoke shacks” for a much longer time then they are admitting to. I say this as an avid border who has ridden on every Vail Resort mountain in Colorado, and one who has ridden “sober” and “high” hundreds of times on those mountains with out any incidents or accidents ever. I say this because I have been in many smoke shacks and they are not easy to find unless you are a local and unless you have the inside knowledge that only locals have.

The infamous “Leo’s” was obviously not built in days, or even weeks. The reality is, it took multiple seasons to build. I say this because I was witness to its multi tiered evolutions over several seasons. Hence the Ski Patrol had to have been aware of it, given the thousands of “sweeps” they make each season.

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Hill: Summit County yankee takes on a redcoat

March 4, 2014 — 

Re: J.S. Melton’s recent letter, ‘Summit Daily News descends into marijuana madness.’

Melton writers: “I think I speak for a lot of people…each time [I open] up your rag…I don’t wonder at questions I am asked over here in the United Kingdom…none of you care what type of image you are projecting…I read your paper for entertainment, for something mindless that makes no matter.”

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Campbell: Postal Service in Breckenridge lacks service

March 2, 2014 — 

The U.S. Postal Service in Breckenridge appears to be a shambles. We arrived on vacation to Grand Timber Lodge on Saturday and discovered our U.S. cell phone was no longer valid because we had not used it for just over 12 months. T Mobile customer services bent over backwards and agreed to send us a new SIM card. It was shipped out overnight from Seattle and we were notified it was delivered to the Breckenridge PO at 12:50 p.m. on Monday, addressed to the GTL PO Box number. Someone at the PO would have signed for it but it has now apparently disappeared and despite attempts by GTL and ourselves to find it we are now leaving three days later with no SIM card. During our investigations we were told parcels had taken up to a month to be delivered and many other horror stories like items simply being returned to the sender for no apparent reason. We would never use the service again, but we wonder why the people of Breckenridge don’t demand a root and branch overhaul of their postal service.

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Martens: Blast Breckenridge’s icy buildup

February 27, 2014 — 

I am a former resident of Breckenridge and Frisco. I currently reside in Golden. I brought my girlfriend to Breckenridge for dinner on Sunday evening. We parked at the parking structure near Lincoln and Main and walked south to Main Street Station for dinner. So many times we had our heads down looking where we were going instead of looking at the stores or restaurants we were passing. There was so much snow and ice built up that many times we had to wait while groups of people passed so we could proceed walking single file. As I write this I wonder how many businesses we passed without giving a thought. How many other people of the thousands to hundreds of thousands of vacationers pass these businesses in the same manner. Heads down, looking for traction and hoping not to slip onto their butts. That is a lot of money these businesses are not receiving as a return on their investment. This also translates to lost tax revenue for the town of Breckenridge.

Where is the enforcement of snow removal from sidewalks? Is there an ordinance? The following is a copy from Golden’s city ordinance:

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Melton: Summit Daily News has descended into marijuana madness

February 27, 2014 — 

Enough weed in our rag

I think I speak for a lot of people, and not just in the states of Colorado or Washington, who are terribly dismayed and angry that each time one opens up your “rag” (and that is exactly what it is), there are pages filled with pot adverts and pot articles that are rammed down the reading public’s throat.

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Gilliland: Summit County historian calls for preservation of Peaks Trail

February 24, 2014 — 

The recent flurry of letters to the Summit Daily News on the impending Frisco to Breckenridge timber clear-cuts makes a clear case for the concern of outdoor lovers. That these cuts take place along the so-popular Peaks Trail causes angst for many. The eyebrow-high slash piles slated to burn and acres of stumps remaining to devastate the beauty of this backcountry forest path has already occurred on heavily-scarred, clear-cut Gold Hill. This makes many shake their heads and ask “What’s happening to my beautiful Summit County?”

As the author of “The Summit Hiker” and “The Vail Hiker,” I enjoy a close connection to the alpine splendor of our beautiful pocket of paradise. Like many residents and visitors, I consider our mountain backyard as a treasure to be cherished, honored and cared for with an attitude of stewardship.

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Pilling: Breckenridge road crew deserves credit for Herculean plow effort

February 19, 2014 — 

Congratulations and thank you to the Town of Breckenridge road crew for their more than two weeks of sustained effort in clearing the roads after back-to-back-to-back heavy snows.

Your 24/7 efforts (with a little help from Mother Nature) have transformed Main St. and most all other roads from 1.5 - 2 lane passageways to full curb-to-curb byways.

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Del Toro: Ain’t no thing but a ‘Double Chicken Wing”

February 19, 2014 — 

I’ve just read a column about Summit County Deputy’s rendering a highly intoxicated man under arrest using the “Double Chicken Wing” technique. Could SDN elaborate on this using diagrams, direct unedited quotes from the arrestee, or even a YouTube video of the dreaded “Double Chicken Wing”?

Personally, when I’ve been arrested, I have experienced the “Makin’ Bacon” Taser-technique, the “Tears in Heaven” high-powered, pepper-spray-technique, the “Yo, Quiero Taco-Bell” technique when being tossed out of fast restaurants after midnight, and even the “Phi-Slama-Jamma” arrest/search technique in years back when marijuana was still illegal.

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Huff: Why Summit County ever got telephones

February 17, 2014 — 

A long time ago the public partnered with telecommunications companies, mostly AT&T’s Bell Systems, and granted them service monopolies for large chunks of the US. This meant that only one company would provide your telecommunications needs and in exchange that company would be required to service rural areas such as Summit County. The larger populations payed all of the cost to wire the smaller populations. The US, by the late 1930s, was the most connected country in the world and that was saying something since we were also one of the most sparsely populated industrialized nations.

The return on investment, protected by monopoly status, allowed AT&T to prosper. Their research facilities, Bell Labs, were the best in the world and along with contracts from the department of defense created powerful patents, the transistor in 1947 for example. While the Bell System had the ability to project digital data across it’s networks, there was not an economic reason to do so. They did not invent the internet.

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Sims: Mountain lingo de-mystified

February 15, 2014 — 

The mountains are chock-full of colloquialisms that often draw blank looks from those unfamiliar with “High Country culture.” That said, numerous members of the Keystone Lodge and Spa staff collaborated on a handy encyclopedia of terms that are thrown around in daily conversation. Enjoy!

• Backcountry booter: a handmade jump that is found outside of ski area boundaries

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