Letters to the Editor

Miller: In Summit County, the herald angels keep quiet

December 19, 2014 — 

This is now my third Christmas season living in Summit County, my second living in Breckenridge. It is a great place to live, but there is one thing this time of year that really bothers me: the lack of Christmas music. Where I’m from in East Tennessee, there is a radio station that plays nothing but Christmas music starting on Thanksgiving Day and continuing through Christmas. The other radio stations there will at least mix in Christmas songs with their non-holiday playlist. Every store you go to will be playing the sounds of the season. But here in Summit County, I hear hardly any Christmas music. In fact, I don’t think I’ve heard a single Christmas song on the radio yet this season. I also have not heard any holiday music at Breckenridge Ski Resort, where I work on weekends; instead, they’re just playing pop/rock or reggae. I think the only time I have heard Christmas music this season is occasionally while shopping. I don’t know about anyone else here in Summit County, but to me, Christmas just isn’t the same without the music, and I would like to encourage the local radio stations, resorts, and stores to play some, at least once in a while this holiday season.

Rachel Miller

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Fields: Questions on the Summit Cove Loop project

December 16, 2014 — 

I attended the Summit Cove Loop project open house recently and was disappointed that there wasn’t much of a Q and A. It is my understanding that the proposed improvements will be paid with surplus tax funds; however, I overheard a road and bridge employee who stated that each property owner would be assessed for new culverts, once for a single culvert and twice for two culverts in circle driveways. He remarked that this would be necessary to upgrade existing culverts to support the new roadway. I did not have the opportunity to ask questions about this.

I am opposed to making forced upgrades to my culverts. I am concerned about the funding for this project and want to see full transparency now. I oppose the project if I will be expected to provide funding in this way.

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Munoz: Morgan Liddick can’t be serious

December 16, 2014 — 

I suggest the SDN print a disclaimer with Liddick’s column, something akin to those issued with some newspaper horoscopes: “For entertainment purposes only.” Morgan Liddick is a laughable and often predictable self-parody of the self-proclaimed, proud conservative, full of bombast and hyperbole, hypocrisy and double-speak with a penchant for labels and partisan politics — Red v. Blue unless we add White, then there’s flag-waving and chants of “My Country Right or Wrong”; and don’t forget to drop some Latin or French clichés for snob appeal. Such a disclaimer might prevent some readers like Mr. David Gray (Dec. 11 letter) from being deluded into thinking that “Liddick makes more sense than most of the other columnists featured . . .”

Liddick’s July 9 column, “Get back to immigration basics” is a good example of nonsense, e pluribus unum.

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Nitka: No legal marijuana on Main Street empowers the black market

December 11, 2014 — 

It is baffling that members of the local community feel that kicking a legal business out of downtown will keep marijuana off of Main Street. Years ago I would walk down Main Street and would be approached by countless black-market dealers and asked if I wanted to buy weed. As general manager of Breckenridge Cannabis Club (BCC), I take pride and make it a goal to put all black-market dealers out of business. These dealers aren’t paying taxes, carding your kids or having their facilities inspected. They are operating in an unsafe manner where no one benefits but them.

Eleven months ago when BCC went recreational, we learned some things. There is demand for marijuana in Breckenridge, especially on Main Street. The town is expecting to collect $1,000,000 in marijuana taxes this year, $790,000 of that will be used as scholarships for local preschoolers. The majority of those taxes are coming from the shop on Main Street, removing that shop will significantly lower tax collections.

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Gray: Liddick helps balance out a left leaning opinion page

December 11, 2014 — 

Re: Brian Hanly’s Dec. 9 letter, wherein he complains about being subjected to the “strident writing style of Morgan Liddick.” Very typical — Hanly seems to want to control speech he doesn’t agree with. Just don’t read it, Brian. Leave the rest of us alone; we’re adults. Three observations: 75 percent of the opinion in the Summit Daily leans left, already; Liddick seems to speak for the majority who recently voted to change our political trajectory; and, lastly, Liddick usually makes more sense than most of the other columnists featured in our newspaper.

David Gray

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Power: Don’t let embezzlement happen to your — control your cash

December 10, 2014 — 

I read about the recent spate of thefts of cash with some dismay. As CPAs we learn early in school how to control cash and prevent these things from happening. Control over cash is not rocket science. If you google “Control Over Cash” over 143 million articles are available.

How these organizations allowed this to happen is a moot point. How one of the organizations allowed the thief to steal twice is beyond my comprehension.

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Grimm: Has anyone considered the implications of reducing access to marijuana?

December 10, 2014 — 

Regarding marijuana on Main, there’s been significant talk in terms of “what’s the harm in waiting”? In “proceeding cautiously”? I then ask, has anyone actually considered what that harm is?

There’s a reason the majority of retail businesses are located in the downtown core. Retail businesses in this town depend on tourist dollars to survive. If you force the dispensaries to all compete outside of that core, I fear that you are going to force them into some more aggressive marketing to draw business to their stores. Without the benefit of location to draw in a tourist, you’re likely to end up with marketing schemes that ultimately put marijuana more in the face of our tourists than if the stores were simply located on Main Street in the first place.

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Morrison: Browns Canyon deserves National Monument statu

December 9, 2014 — 

Browns Canyon is a grand candidate for a National Monument. A ecstatically popular rafting site, with award winning cold-water fishing, avian habitat, hiking, backpacking, climbing, and more. Who would not want it to be protected for generations. It is a very important winter range for animals, and a place for people to find a connection with the wilderness. Most people, according to polls, support the idea of a Browns Canyon National Monument, and it even has bipartisan political support. The community is calling for it, let us all make it a reality.

Edward Richardson Morrison

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Hanley: Liddick’s too loud

December 9, 2014 — 

It is indeed unfortunate for readers of the Summit Daily to be subjected week after week to the strident writing style of Morgan Liddick. In light of the seemingly ever-growing and complex issues that face our nation today both domestically and abroad, it would be helpful to have fair-minded writers representing all political persuasions. Conservative positions are not enhanced by Morgan Liddick’s combative and over-simplistic presentation.

Brian Hanly

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Del Toro: Summit County shalt not embezzle

December 9, 2014 — 

Good work financial crimes investigators! Sheriff’s Department bags a BOGO - “Arrest an embezzler, arrest another embezzler for free!” Polich gets arrested for allegedly pilfering $160,000 from his HOA, and Sue Frank of Summit Association of Realtors get arrested for allegedly writing seven fraudulent checks for $415,000. Instead, here’s a novel idea — work for your money.

Here’s another thought. Why has SAR charged the maximum fee allowed by law to become a Realtor and enroll in MLS for the last 20-plus years. Seriously, a non-profit section 501(c)(6) organization with $1,400,000 in assets. To cover a handful of employees and a dumpy office in Dillon? In my book, that’s one-point-four million dollars of services that were never provided to the business people who paid that organization.

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Faust: Breckenridge marijuana fears unfounded

December 5, 2014 — 

Over the past couple of weeks numerous letters to the editor have been submitted regarding the special advisory election this Tuesday regarding allowing retail marijuana stores to continue to operate on Main Street. Nearly all of the letters have been opposing continued operation, and they generally fit into two categories. First, that allowing retail marijuana stores on Main Street would lead to increased consumption of marijuana by minors because it would normalize it. Second, that it would hurt Breckenridge’s family appeal and would lead to decreases in tourism revenue.

There is no evidence to support either of those predictions. However, the idea that legalization will lead to increases in use is relatively easily dispelled. Preliminary data from the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey (a joint collaboration several government entities) has shown that since recreational marijuana was legalized in Colorado, teen usage has actually decreased.

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O’Neill: Liddick distorts the facts to fit his views

December 5, 2014 — 

I realize that Morgan Liddick has the right, perhaps even the responsibility, to express his very narrow and biased beliefs. What I don’t understand is why the Summit Daily News gives him a weekly, high profile opportunity to do so. His views are certainly far to the right of the average Summit County resident, and while I would agree that it is a good thing to have exposure to all sides of an issue, what is the benefit to having Liddick discuss issues in the Summit Daily week after week with only Liddick distorted information presented? The title of his last inflammatory opinion piece, “...facts be damned”, very much describes all of his opinion pieces, where any facts not supportive of his views are conveniently damned and ignored, never discussed or considered.

Greg O’Neill

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Spady: Separating outcomes and reforms in education

December 4, 2014 — 

I was both delighted and dismayed to see John Young’s December 3 column in the SDN about outcomes, learning and reform.

My delight stemmed from John’s candid critique on what is passing for educational “reform” in the US these days. In the name of high standards, guaranteeing America’s economic future, guaranteeing students’ career success, and countless other misleading slogans, the public has been seduced into believing that today’s “one size fits all into a narrow test score box” approach to improving learning and education is good for all. Parents, educators, researchers and students by the millions know that this is not true. But they don’t pull the strings of political power in Washington, DC, or in Denver for that matter.

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Sodergren: Family marketing has created the Breckenridge we love today

December 4, 2014 — 

I’ve lived in Breckenridge 35 years. I object to marijuana on Main Street because of the huge risk to our family destination business. About 30 years ago we charged our town council with becoming a “World Class Resort.” About the same time the National Ski Area Association at their annual convention recommended that ski-area owners/operators should market to families to “grow the sport.” The president of NSAA repeated this plea at a Breckenridge Resort Chamber Quarterly Breakfast. The BRC and Breckenridge Ski Area worked together marketing to families. The resulting formula worked! Breckenridge has become #1 in the nation for skier days.

During this same time, Aspen ignored the plea and marketed to their traditional “jet-set” market. After years of stagnant growth, compared to rapid growth of areas that marketed to families, Aspen realized they goofed. They tried to capture this family market; but they were behind in the race. It took 10-15 years to establish themselves as a family-destination business. If marijuana on Main Street backfires on our family marketing, it may take 10-15 years to recapture. Consequences could be huge!

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Thoughtful Marijuana citizens group: Take it slow and vote no on marijuana on Main Street

December 4, 2014 — 

Since the Breckenridge Town Council has asked through the upcoming special election if we want recreational marijuana on Main Street we have an answer — no. As a group of parents, children, teens, business owners, athletes and every day citizens who make this town thrive, we do not want this to be the image and brand of our charming historic town and Main Street.

While there is every chance for a downside and backlash from the visitors we have spent the so many years courting, there is little potential upside from this experiment. To play it safe we would rather we found other locations served by public transportation and resort shuttles for them to do their brisk and legal business.

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Tackaberry: Let the free market rule on the Breckenridge marijuana issue

December 2, 2014 — 

I was quite surprised to read Bob Gordman’s recent post in the Summit Daily. I know Bob well and have always considered him a strong capitalist and free marketer. However, I believe he has lost his way a bit regarding the emotional pot-store-on-Main-Street issue.

He ask about “a large number of pot shops on Main Street.” I’m not sure how Bob knows whether there will be a large number, a small number or, for that matter, a medium number of these shops on Main Street; and, what are these numbers? Do we currently have a “large number” of t-shirt shops, realtors and bars? Is that the large number of which Bob speaks? He also refers to this as an “experiment.” I reckon that in the beginning any retail shop on Main Street was an “experiment”.

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Casey: Vote no in Breckenridge marijuana advisory election

December 2, 2014 — 

I am disturbed by the divisive nature of the debate over whether marijuana should be sold from retail establishments in the core of Breckenridge. The Town Council made the decision to allow our residents the opportunity to vote and be heard as to whether we feel the sale of marijuana on Main Street and in the historic district is in the best interests of the town. Let’s have the vote, accept the results, and get on with equally or more important issues that impact our community.

For the last 37 years, I have been privileged to call Breckenridge my home. During that time, residents have worked together to create a place of community that offers citizens and visitors the opportunity to experience the beauty of the mountains along with our cultural and recreational amenities. That community includes those who work here and have retired here, non-profit organizations, volunteers, families and more. These are the people who have been willing to play a role in making Breckenridge a sustainable and amazing place to live. Our town’s essence and brand reflect this sense of community.

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Carlson: Youth, marijuana and the ‘vacation mentality’

November 27, 2014 — 

There is quite a bit of debate as to whether our community and our visitors are ready for an increase of marijuana on Main St. in Breckenridge. However, there is no doubt in my mind that the youth in our community are not yet ready for the increased exposure and visibility. Colorado has not yet had a chance to catch up to the legalization of marijuana in terms of educating our youth about particularly harmful effects on adolescent brains, or even implementing responsible packaging standards.

Surveys have shown that our local kids, as a group, have a significantly lower “perception of harm” than the state average regarding marijuana. In other words, many Summit County kids already have a much more casual attitude towards marijuana than their peers across the state. As parents who choose to raise our kids in a Colorado resort town where there the “vacation mentality” is common, we are responsible for educating our kids about making good choices. Increasing the exposure by bringing it to the town core will also increase their perceived acceptance.

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Breck for Thoughtful Marijuana says ‘vote no on Main Street’

November 26, 2014 — 

Breck for Thoughtful Marijuana says “vote no on Main Street”

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Rogers: Cannabis Club documentary great exposure for Breckenridge

November 25, 2014 — 

I’d like to thank Stacy Smith for her letter. I’m sure many people have similar questions and concerns.

First let’s dissect ‘legal drug lord’, an overly sensational term the producers chose to get everyone’s attention. Prefacing the term ‘drug lord’ with the word ‘legal’ is somewhat contradictory; In this case, marijuana, like alcohol, is legal, and therefore if one truly believes we are drug lords then the same could be said for the operators of our liquor establishments. We would never have described ourselves as drug lords, but understand its purpose in advertising.

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Chanin: A modest proposal: Think about the children!!!

November 25, 2014 — 

Quick, close up all the pot shops! The hippies from the ’60s are coming in droves. Get out while you still can, man! Money-hungry marijuana smokers will soon be stealing your assets, along with your children’s innocence. They will cause 100 car pileups due to their drug-induced driving habits. These lost souls will walk the streets for days mumbling to themselves, “Dude, where’s my car?” Broken vape pens will line the streets and gutters. Drum circles will start to form and slowly grow larger and larger and interconnect until the entire town is engulfed and becomes, itself, one big drum circle ...

This is our future if we allow pot shops on Main Street, people. Think about it.

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Eastman: Burning on Peak 7

November 25, 2014 — 

I am sitting at home, trying not to cough due to the heavy smoke in the air as U.S. Forest Service contractors have dozens of piles of trees burning around my house. This is the start of the burning of 13,000 piles of trees around the county. As the wood is wet and cold, it burns slowly and inefficiently, with a heavy blue smoke. I photographed some of the firefighters who are igniting piles of trees using chemical accelerants to get them started. The thick smoke causes them to cough with a smoker’s hack while they are doing their work. Everyday exposure to this toxic mix is sure to shorten many of their lives.

What a waste of a valuable resource. So many products could have been made with this lumber, but it was deemed cheaper to burn it. If you are going to burn this beautiful resource that used to line the hill above my house, please do it efficiently and produce power or heat, with minimal pollution. The slow-burn method being used is just filling the air with carbon and other toxins and is leaving ugly black piles in the pristine snow.

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Elliott: Who’s mainstream?

November 25, 2014 — 

In response to the Pam Demma’s letter of Nov. 18, “Marijuana isn’t mainstream enough for Main Street,” I just want to point out that the Colorado Department of Public Health does keep records on Colorado medical marijuana patient demographics. There are no records kept for recreational marijuana use in Colorado.

Pam says, “the average pot shop customer is an under-26-year-old male!”

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Gordman: With marijuana on Main, Breckenridge gets risk but no reward

November 25, 2014 — 

Five marijuana entrepreneurs are asking the business owners, property owners and workers of Breckenridge to fund a grand experiment for them. The experiment is, will having a large number of pot shops on Main Street reduce the number of people who select Breckenridge as their vacation destination? While my experience in advising national companies on brand strategy tells me that overtime it will, I have to admit I can’t be absolutely sure. But neither our marijuana entrepreneurs nor our Town Council can assure the community that it won’t. So where is the logic for 4,500 Breckenridge residents to take a risk so that five people will become rich?

Tourists have the freedom to select a vacation destination that has the greatest appeal to them. The reality is that in the world of vacation destinations Breckenridge has a great deal of competition. While marijuana is legal in Colorado, it is not legal in 46 states. Some people compare marijuana to alcohol and point out how many places you can buy a drink in town. The difference is clear: alcohol is legal in all 50 states; marijuana isn’t.

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Smith: Legal drug lords in Breckenridge?

November 21, 2014 — 

Recently the trailer for “High Profits,” a series created by CNN that focuses on Breckenridge Cannabis Club, was brought to my attention. I have felt frustrated and concerned since I viewed this. I am concerned about any business owner feeling that he has control over any town official, and openly stating he has “swung our council.” The owner/partner also indicated that he intends to become the first “legal drug lord in America.” I do not know about anybody else but “drug lord” to me implies murderer. Is that really the type of businessperson any of us wants in our beautiful mountain town? He also said, “I would have to see five customers to earn what I get from one in the resort towns.” (I am paraphrasing.) Is it necessary to announce on national television that he is gouging our guests? I have been informed the Cannabis Club offers very generous discounts to locals.

Not only am I a business owner near Main Street in Breckenridge, I am also a parent raising two children in this community. It is very unnerving that the community I choose to call my home, raise my children in and have a private practice in (I am a mental health professional) is supporting any type of business that is run by a person who admittedly claims to own our local politicians, refers to himself as a legal drug lord and openly discusses gouging our guests. What is the message we are sending not only to our guests but to our community members. The state of Colorado put the cart before the horse when legalizing marijuana, and this business owner is living proof of why mandates needed to be in place prior to passing the law. Keep drug lords off of Main Street.

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Taylor: Headlines and history lessons

November 19, 2014 — 

Last Friday’s SDN headline — “Peak 8 or Mt. Olympus?”— was quite clever, but unfortunately the putative link between the Olympic games and Mt. Olympus is wrong both geographically and historically. Mt. Olympus (9,573 feet high) is in northern Greece and about 270 kilometers away from the site of the ancient games as Zeus’ eagle flies and even more by car. So the only link is Zeus: he and his fellow Olympian gods resided on the mountain, whereas the ancient Olympics were held in Zeus’ honor at his shrine far to the south in the boonies of the Peloponnesian peninsula.

The games, really agones ‘struggles, contests’, began in 776 BC, the first recorded date in the history of western civilization (we have lists of victors). The venue, which is a magnificent archaeological site, was uninhabited in antiquity, and the modern town exists primarily to lodge and feed tourists and to sell them the usual trinkets. Greece does have a few ski resorts, most notably the one on Mt. Parnassus above Delphi, the home of the god Apollo. There were, of course, never any winter games in the ancient world (they began in 1924).

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Gray: The real message voters sent in the election is one of rejection

November 17, 2014 — 

Re: Ted Thomas’ Nov. 14 letter to the editor, wherein he posits that low turnout was responsible for the latest election results. The president’s attempt at spin was that it was “bad messaging.” My take is that this election did not “favor” Republicans, Mr. Thomas; rather it was a repudiation of the current administration, its policies and its ineptitude. And this before we were exposed to its contempt for “stupid” Americans, as personified by its poster child, Professor Jonathan Gruber, the real architect of “Obamacare.”

I’ve got a better idea. Instead of flimsy excuses, instead of equating dissent with racism, bad intentions or stupidity, let’s actually listen to one another. This president is not good at that, and that’s why he and his minions were rejected. We’ve got real, big problems. Still, this pales compared to 1941. We’re in this together.

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Demma: Marijuana isn’t mainstream enough for Main Street

November 17, 2014 — 

I would rather not have pot shops in my face on Main Street in Breckenridge. Marijuana is not even close to becoming mainstream; the average pot shop customer is an under-26-year-old male! There is nothing beneficial about allowing the shops on Main. Drugs, including marijuana, ruin lives.

Remember what happened in the Haight-Ashbury area of San Francisco — in the late ’60s the drug scene there became very dangerous and people fled.

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Breckenridge Lodging Association against retail marijuana in downtown core

November 14, 2014 — 

The Board of the Breckenridge Lodging Association, on behalf of the majority of our members, believes it is too early to allow retail marijuana locations in our downtown core. As the primary stewards of our guest population, we believe more time should be spent researching the position of our guests, the potential impacts to our brand and the acceptance of marijuana federally, before any action is taken to allow retail sales in the core of town.

As an organization, the BLA echoes the position of “citizens for thoughtful marijuana,” as well as other individuals and businesses, that now is not the right time to allow retail sales on Main Street Breckenridge.

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Crawford: At Frisco Elementary, a Veterans Day to remember

November 14, 2014 — 

As in the past, veterans were once again honored at Frisco Elementary School on Veterans Day this year. Principal Renea Hill, her professional staff, PTSA, parents and students chose to honor the vets in their community.

A program is offered whereby the vets are given the opportunity to visit the classrooms, meet the students, share their military experiences and answer questions from the youngsters. This is followed with a lunch and a general assembly of the student body and their teachers.

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