Letters to the Editor

Tracy: Udall fights to protect our natural environment

October 23, 2014 — 

I am writing to strongly urge support for US Senator Mark Udall’s re-election. Senator Udall has done much for Colorado and Summit County during his years of public service. He has focused on what’s most important to Coloradans – protection of our natural environment, preservation of the health of our forests (only a few short years ago we thought we would completely lose our lodgepole forest), strengthening our economy, and protection of our civil rights by fighting to limit the power of the National Security Agency to spy on US citizens. These are only a few of the many issues on which Senator Udall has worked so hard for us. His goal has always been to do what’s right for Coloradans, using an ethical and collaborative approach. His opponent on the other hand has demonstrated that he will say and do anything for power, including being untruthful about a federal personhood bill he is sponsoring. Please vote for Senator Udall in this very important race.

Emily Tracy

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Aragon: Cory Gardner is too partisan to represent Colorado’s interests

October 23, 2014 — 

When I read the endorsement of Cory Gardner by the Denver Post, I realized that partisanship does not stop in Washington. It is also apparent in the Denver Post’s endorsements in the editorial pages. Cory Gardner has voted with the most partisan members in the U. S. House of Representatives from the time he was elected Colorado’s U. S Representative.

1. He voted to replace Medicare as we know it by providing vouchers to seniors to buy their own medical coverage through private insurance companies.

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Carlson: Keep Millie Hamner as Summit County’s state representative

October 23, 2014 — 

I am writing to urge voters to continue to support Millie Hamner as our state representative for House District 61.

As an advocate for public education, I know it is imperative that we have knowledgeable legislators making the decisions that impact our kids and our schools.

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Lienemann: I liked my healthcare plan, Mr. Udall, and, no, I couldn’t keep it

October 23, 2014 — 

I am one of the 335,500 Coloradans receiving the “Dear John” health insurance cancellation letter that Obama and Udall, who pushed Obamacare, said couldn’t happen because if you liked your policy you could keep it. My cancelled policy stipulated I would bear the initial $10,000 in medical costs, then a 50% copay would be in effect for the next $7,500.00 in costs. My total out of pocket (OOP) was $13,750.00. I chose this very large OOP because I have good family medical history, drink very little and have never smoked. Barring a catastrophic injury, I was very likely never going to spend anything on medical care and my rates were under $3,000 a year.

So why did my insurance company drop me? Obama care thinks my deductible is too high to be affordable, so it cut my plan. Udall approved plans would decrease my OOP to between $6,000 to $6,350.00. This large reduction of $7,000 OOP sounds great doesn’t it? Guess what happened to my premium. It went from under $3,000 per year up to between $8781.48 and $9,167.28 depending on the plan (an increase of 305%).

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Payne: Informed decisions will lead to Republican votes

October 23, 2014 — 

Do you feel safe and prosperous? Are your children proud to be American? How confident are you that they will have opportunities and success in their pursuit of happiness? Pull out that ballot and make an informed decision. Help us take our country and our state back! President Obama said this week that Senate candidates in key races (Colorado) are “folks who vote with me, who are strong supporters and allies of me.” We need leaders who do more than inspire blind followers. A vote for Cory Gardner is critical to regain the balance of power and reverse the damage to our safety, security and economy that Harry Reid and our president have triggered. Let’s thank Gov. Hickenlooper for giving it a college try and elect Bob Beauprez, an experienced legislator with the skills to influence, challenge and engage the state legislators, building collaboration between the parties. Let’s replace our local representative, Millie Hamner, who fell into formation with her fellow Democrats and her benefactor, Michael Bloomberg, disregarding the will of the people she claims to represent (re: SB213 & Amendment 66). We don’t need puppets as politicians! We need leaders whose credibility, passion, guts, communication, problem solving, listening skills and moral compasses guide their decision making. They are on the ballot, and they are Republicans. Review their websites, interviews, debate performances, positions, ratings and records (try votesmart.org). Seek out accurate information about our candidates and make informed decisions. It’s time for leaders, not followers.

Garnett Payne

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Kleckner: A Democrat’s eye view of a Summit County ballot

October 23, 2014 — 

As Election Day nears, we are asked to make a group decision on four issues that will shape the future of Colorado. Should education be partially funded by casinos? Should we pay more taxes for services? Should we redefine embryos and unborn children as “persons”? Should we require food producers to label food with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) similarly to organic labeling?

For me, Amendment 68 and Summit County’s measure 1A are an issue of financial responsibility. The state of Colorado is responsible for educating its children, and education has been underfunded for years. Do we want to depend upon gambling to educate our children? Shall we expand gambling again for roads? I do not want Colorado to become another Las Vegas with gambling machines everywhere.

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Pacot: Colorado conservative candidates offer clear alternative

October 21, 2014 — 

You can vote for the current governor, who really can’t make up his mind about anything and totally own those decisions (Hickenlooper), or a man that’s stated far more clearly his positions and will honor our freedoms and won’t torture families when the judicial system has had its say (Beauprez).

You can vote for the current U.S. Senator that’s voted against energy independence and American sovereignty (Udall) or a man that’s for an all-of-the-above energy strategy and preserving our nation’s ability to decide its fate, not the United Nations (Gardner).

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Leaders from Vail, Aspen, Crested Butte and Breckenridge endorse Udall

October 21, 2014 — 

We are writing this letter in positive support of Sen. Mark Udall.

As a leading member of the U.S. Senate, Mark Udall has been a tireless champion for Colorado. He has continuously reached across the aisle and is widely known as a model of bipartisanship. But he is now in one of the toughest and most contentious re-election battles in the nation, largely due to the millions of out-of-state dollars that have poured into Colorado in an effort to influence our election. As Coloradans, we need to stand up and say NO to the extreme non-Colorado billionaires who are trying to tear down Sen. Udall. We will not be bought. Although his list of accomplishments for our state is a long one, we have chosen to outline for you some of the reasons he deserves our vote. This election is not a typical mid-term election. The stakes are very, very high. Please consider supporting Sen. Udall in his continued love and service to our beautiful state. Vote!

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Eason: Vote yes on proposition to labelfoods containing GMOs

October 21, 2014 — 

It just asks for what over 90 percent of people polled say they support — the clear labeling of genetically engineered crops and derived ingredients that have made their way into our food supply.

Most processed food that you can buy at the grocery store contains some form of GMO (genetically modified organism) ingredient, such as corn starch, high-fructose corn syrup, canola oil or sugar from sugar beets, among others.

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Candelmo: Distorted debate in U.S. Senate race

October 21, 2014 — 

In Mike Littwin’s column in the Oct 18 Summit Daily News, he states that during the debate, Udall and Gardner were asked “if either could recall voting for a candidate from the opposite party.”

On the home page of the Colorado Independent online, Littwin says “Cory Gardner said he never voted for a Democrat”.

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Caughey: Whether you’re an elephant or donkey, grow thicker skin

October 21, 2014 — 

What a hoot! Julie Charneskie (letter to the editor, October 15 Summit Daily), obviously a Democrat, was “shocked and offended” by Debra Irvine’s political ad in your October 11 edition. I went back and looked at that ad. What was so offensive? Pointing out how Rep. Hamner votes on important issues? Don’t all candidates who are running against incumbents do that? What “negativity and cruelty” does the ad employ? I could find no untruths or misstatements in it. Hamner should be proud of her voting record and willing to defend it. I find it particularly strange that a Democrat would find the ad “offensive” when one considers the history of Democratic political tactics in virtually every election (pushing Grannie over a cliff and the like). Come on, Ms. Charneskie, it is you and not Debra Irvine, that needs to stay out of politics. You could not handle it.

C.W. Caughey

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McArthur and Orlosky: Lake Dillon Theater has a dream production

October 21, 2014 — 

If you haven’t already seen it, our own Lake Dillon Theater’s “The Mountain Top” is truly a mountain top experience. The superb acting of Harvy Blanks and Kim Staunton made us laugh, made us cry and made us think! This young playwright, Katori Hall, wasn’t even born when Martin Luther King was assassinated, yet she gives great insight, imagining his his struggles and humanity the night before he was killed. We can’t picture a better production anywhere, and at such a great price, you can’t afford to miss it. We’ve continued to be impressed by our local theater’s outstanding talent, and this play exceeded all our expectations! Congratulations, LDTC...you did it again!

Jean McArthur and Ed Orlosky

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Chodkowski: Summit County ballot item is crucial for quality healthcare

October 17, 2014 — 

I’m writing to explain my strong support of Summit County Referred Measure 1A, which would provide critical support for our community’s emergency services.

As someone who has spent more than 25 years in health care, nearly a decade of that in Summit County, I’m intimately familiar with the challenges our community faces in ensuring that people receive the care they need and deserve when they’re at their most vulnerable. External financial pressures, a new regulatory landscape and wide seasonal swings in demand put our care-delivery systems to the test as we strive to provide high-quality, cost-effective emergency services to our residents and visitors.

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Roberts: Vote yes on 1A to ensure quality emergency services

October 17, 2014 — 

I am writing to voice my support for Summit County’s Referred Measure 1A. Our economy must have a modern, functional 911 dispatch center and ambulance service to thrive. Our visitors, customers and families deserve to have these basic services. Our first responders, who risk their lives to help us in time of need, deserve to have a modern communications system that allows them to do their job safely. Think about the effect on our tourist economy of a highly publicized failure in our emergency services, a failure like what we have seen in Dallas.

When existing funding sources dry up we have to find other ways to fund these emergency services — services for all of us. We all know about the changes to our health care system and the construction of the hospital that have been noted for the decline in ambulance fee revenues. We also know that our county tax bill has gone down over 20 percent due in recent years due to a state law, the TABOR amendment.

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Fisher: Open borders make Breck vulnerable to Ebola outbreak

October 17, 2014 — 

I am very much concerned about Ebola reaching Breckenridge! Because we are an international resort, people fly here from everywhere — including Africa! Why, therefore, have our government leaders not stopped all flights from Africa? When our officials are asked to do this — to protect, we the American people — they respond with nonsensical reasons. To me this smells of a “stand down” operation to simply allow threats to enter our openly porous borders. Please contact our congresspeople and local politicians to apply pressure to please stop all airfare from Africa immediately. This is not racism, but common sense and our leaders’ duty to stop all threats, foreign and domestic.

Cooke Fisher

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Hill: Pouring cold coffee on my morning newspaper

October 16, 2014 — 

A mountain lion was killed on Vail Pass and someone took home the road-kill as Colorado Parks and Wildlife allows people to do. Hungry anyone?

The Daily Mail – what would we do without the charade of political opinions coinciding with the venomous pre-election banter of incessant character assassination in the media? We need more than just bumper stickers platitudes and attacks on Hammer that betray lack of ideas, we need a forward-thinking leader. Shallow or what?

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Schenk: Vote yes on Summit County’s ballot initiative 1A

October 16, 2014 — 

I support ballot measure 1A, because it improves water quality. Unfortunately, our local water is not as clean as it appears at first glance. Summit’s rich mining history has led to water contamination that still exists to this day. If passed, 1A will help clean up toxic chemicals at old mine sites. In addition, 1A funding will allow free resident recycling of electronics and household hazardous wastes (like paint, household cleaners and pesticides). Please vote yes on 1A to improve Summit County’s water quality.

Jennifer Schenk

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Samuels: Summit County’s ballot item 1A too vague for your vote

October 16, 2014 — 

I am urging a no vote against measure 1a. This measure is just too vague and would possibly leave the county open to litigation. Reading the measure, it would run for 8 years. The initial levy would be 2.417 mils. Where I live in Ruby Ranch, my current Summit County mill levy is 12.879 according to Summit County’s web site. Are there mill levy’s expiring this year or not? If this is an 8-year levy, how come some of the areas for spending the money are items that would be with us forever, such as ambulance and water?

For the 911 upgrades, are we really at end of life on our current system? Are our neighboring counties ahead or behind us right now in capabilities? Are we doing a total upgrade in one shot, or are we buying it piece by piece over 8 years and ending up with a mess? My understanding is we are right now more capable than our neighbors, so I question the need for upgrades

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Carlson: Re-elect Millie Hamner as Summit County’s state representative

October 16, 2014 — 

I am writing to urge voters to continue to support Millie Hamner as our state representative for House District 61.

As an advocate for public education, I know it is imperative that we have knowledgeable legislators making the decisions that impact our kids and our schools.

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Irvine: I stand by my criticisms of Millie Hamner’s record

October 16, 2014 — 

Re: Julie Charneskie’s Oct. 15 letter to the editor.

It is no surprise that Julie Charneskie speaks so negatively about me. I know her as the former campaign manager of my opponent, Millie Hamner, and a former officer for Summit County Democrats.

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Vaine: Summit County’s emergency services deserve voter support

October 16, 2014 — 

As a mother and 22-year resident of Summit County, I am concerned about the future of our community’s emergency services — particularly our ambulance and 911 communications center. Both professionally and personally, I have come to know and admire many of these highly skilled professionals who dedicate themselves to serving us when our safety or health is at stake. But external financial pressures have led to successive rounds of belt-tightening and deferred upgrades to critical equipment, with no relief in sight.

Mobile phones and similar devices have rapidly transformed the ways we communicate, opening up new doors in how we connect with one another. Yet our 911 center isn’t keeping pace. It can’t accept a text message for help. It can’t receive photos from a scene so that first responders are better prepared for the situations they are about to encounter. When our 911 system can’t speak the language that even our kids now use, that worries me. Whether it’s a wildfire, a vehicle pileup on I-70, an act of violence or a medical emergency, I want to know that our 911 call center will have the technology and staff to ensure a swift response.

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Larson: Ballot language on Summit County’s 1A leaves too much to trust

October 16, 2014 — 

There has been quite a bit written about Summit County Referred Measure 1A on next month’s ballot, but no discussion on the actual words of the ballot initiative. It is in the mailing you should have received, and you can see it here on the sample ballot: http://www.co.summit.co.us/DocumentCenter/View/10492.

The actual measure authorizes collection of a tax, and limits what it CAN be spent on. The measure contains no restrictions or limitations on what it WILL be spent on. It also places no limitations on the locations or ownership of any cleanup sites.

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Nordling: 40 years ago a man moved to Breckenridge and had a time

October 16, 2014 — 

Me and Jeffrey Bergeron moved to Breckenridge 40 years ago next week, and for this old barman, The Gold Pan circa 1974 still is the coolest bar ever. There were always a half dozen or so very big dogs hanging around at the front door and not a leash in sight. It had two swinging saloon doors that opened up on an old wood bar pocked with cigarette burns and a few tables with dirty glasses and half-full ashtrays no matter if someone was sitting at them or not. There were two pool tables in the back in use day or night by a jukebox playing country music. One bartender, no matter if there were 10 or 100 people, and if you wanted to get a drink ever you darn well waited quietly for Little John. No cocktail waitresses, just a long-gray-haired, gray-bearded Ron wandering around with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, like a ghost, picking up dirty glasses, if he felt like it. The patrons were a mismatched mélange of old locals, cowboys from Fairplay, guys with long scraggly beards who lived in real wood cabins and some wide-eyed young hippies like me and Berger — all of us there because it was the cheapest bar in town. Everyone got along pretty well, because no one cared what you were doing or how much of it you did, and there were just about no women to rile things up. Occasionally a couple of the guys or dogs would end up in a fight on Main Street, some of the other guys would wander outside to watch and the victor would be dragged off his opponent when the matter was settled before any serious damage was done.

It may be hard for anyone now to imagine that this bar at that time sounds like much fun: not many women, we had no cell phones to keep track of where or what anyone else was doing or what was going on in the world. There was one TV but not much on it, there was no customer service or much happening period when you got down to it. We all just hung around, had some drinks, played pool or not, and talked with each other. But, to paraphrase Mick said in a song that came out six years before we moved to Breck:

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Barr: What exactly does Allen Bacher propose we cut?

October 16, 2014 — 

I read with interest your article on Alan Bacher, who is running for Summit County Commissioner. I would love to see my taxes reduced. What I cannot find, either in your article, or on his web site, to which he referred me when I met him, is any specific information on what he would cut from the county budget to accomplish that. Since he is opposing ballot item 1A, we can conclude he does not support government involvement in public safety. Would he prefer a private ambulance service? And at what cost to its users? I’m sure the private phone companies would like to turn 911 service into a profit-making opportunity. And who needs water quality when we’re at the headwaters of the Blue River, until the mines leak and turn it orange again? If Mr. Bacher would answer these questions, and tell us what else he would like the county to stop supporting, we could make informed decisions about whether to vote for him.

Rhoda Barr

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Charneskie: Debra Irvine’s attacks on Millie Hamner betray a lack of ideas

October 15, 2014 — 

I was shocked and offended at the tone taken by Deb Irvine, Millie Hamner’s opponent for state representative, in her ad in the Oct. 11 issue of the Summit Daily. I believe most Summit County residents would share my reaction. Irvine chose to use negative tactics to sway voters in a county where Hamner’s history of bipartisan collaboration to solve complex problems is highly valued. Irvine’s tactics are overly aggressive, undermining and most importantly show the kind of person we do not want to represent us. She fails to expose her true beliefs to the Summit County voters, perhaps because she knows how offensive they truly are. People deserve to know who she is and what she stands for, but all they hear are her negative criticisms of Hamner.

Reflecting on her Summit Daily advertisement, her debates and her messages throughout the last two of her failed campaigns, I wondered why she would choose negativity and cruelty to try to influence voters. I assume it is because she has no ideas — no path that would ultimately solve our community’s problems. On the other hand, Rep. Millie Hamner has proven that she listens and then acts. She puts the needs of our children first, and most importantly she works across party lines at the Capitol, putting partisanship aside for the good of the communities she represents. Your mail-in ballot is on its way. I strongly urge you to vote for Millie Hamner and to encourage Deb Irvine, should you bump into her at City Market, to do a few things: become a global citizen, care about the rights of all people and most importantly stay out of politics.

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Pitman: Allen Bacher is mired in the past

October 15, 2014 — 

In the Oct. 12 edition of the Summit Daily, Allen Bacher accuses Dan Gibbs of buying into the “liberal progressive ideology.” I view that as something conservatives consider to be a rather derisive term. Is it then fair to say that Mr. Bacher believes in a “conservative regressive ideology?” Personally, I would prefer to elect a government with an eye to the future rather than one mired in the past.

Charles D. Pitman

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Hemingway: Boo on Allen Bacher’s bumpersticker slogans

October 15, 2014 — 

After reading the article on Republican Allen Bacher’s “20/20/20” principle I am left with a lot of questions. You see, Republicans are great at coming up with catchy bumper-sticker slogans, but when asked for specifics it’s crickets. If Mr. Bacher is going to cut 20 percent of the budget, what 20 percent of the county’s services is he planning on cutting? If he cuts 20 percent from emergency services will you be upset if it takes 20 percent longer for them to get to your house while it’s burning down? Is it 20 percent from fire-mitigation programs? Is it shutting down Planned Parenthood, which directly affects women’s health? Is it maintaining roads and snow removal? Wouldn’t that be great for the county’s tourism economy!

Bottom line ... when these guys talk of cutting government and slashing taxes don’t let them off the hook with a silly bumper-sticker slogan. Dig in and ask them what their real goals are. It may just affect your quality of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

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Parsons: Dan Gibbs deserves your vote

October 15, 2014 — 

Dan Gibbs was profiled in Oct. 13 Summit Daily News. He is running for re-election as Summit County commissioner. Though the article was accurate and well written, it did not encompass all of Dan’s contributions to our community. His service in addressing forest health, wildfire protection, Interstate 70 corridor safety and many other improvements to our lives and environment are well documented, but others were not mentioned.

As the chairman of the St. Anthony Summit Medical Center Community Advisory Board, I wish to draw your attention to the major role Dan has played in supporting the county’s health care access and quality through his service on the hospital board. He has assured that the communication link between the county and the hospital is free-flowing. He has been instrumental in securing a recent contract between Summit County government and the hospital to provide various outpatient services at a substantial reduction in out-of-pocket cost to county employees and their dependents. He has worked with the State Insurance Commissioner and other stakeholders to address the high cost of health insurance through the Colorado health exchange. He has supported improvements in early-childhood care and education through the County Departments of Social Services and Public Health. He has taken a lead role in crafting Proposal 1A on this year’s ballot in support of 911 dispatch, ambulance service funding and clean water protection. All of these are vital to sustain our resort community economy as well as the welfare of our full-time and seasonal residents.

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McGahey: An argument for the power of the vote

October 14, 2014 — 

An argument for the power of the vote

We will be receiving our voting ballots in the mail on Oct. 14 and I encourage all of us to become informed voters. Most people limit their political activism to having a beer and bitching about the president and Congress. But I implore you to take it to the next level because our county, our state and our country need you as informed voters now more than ever.

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Summit County kudos

October 10, 2014 — 

Summit County kudos

I recently spent a morning at Breckenridge Montessori as a representative of the Montessori Education Center of the Rockies. You have a gem hiding in plain sight on Main Street! I watched happy children sharing their day with calm, friendly teachers who obviously knew them well. As the children went about their activities I heard stories of the weekend spent with families.

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