Letters to the Editor
A recreation management area is right for our community, wilderness
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There are companies that take tourists to the top of Vail Pass in a van— from both sides, Summit County and Vail — then let them coast back down on a bike. That’s fine; it’s more of an amusement park ride than a workout, but I don’t begrudge visitors from the lower levels of our planet the thrill of flying down The Pass.
But as one of the many riders in the area who does actually climb both sides of The Pass on my bike before reaping the reward of a fast descent, I do begrudge the poor level of instruction tourists get from some of the drivers and guides who set them free to make their way to the bottom. Three times in a single day this month, I came close to a collision because no one had told these downhill riders the “rules of the road”… or, no one had told them loud enough… or, no one had told them twice!Learn more »
Angels on Quandary Peak
Yesterday I was hiking to Quandary Peak with my family ... our first 14er attempt. We were all in awe of the beauty and grandeur of the summit view. Pristine is all I could say! But I was overwhelmed to observe the best of the human spirit on our descent.Learn more »
Ayn Rand Republicans on the Colorado ballot
“The goal of the ‘liberals’—as it emerges from the record of the past decades—was to smuggle this country into welfare statism by means of single, concrete, specific measures, enlarging the power of the government a step at a time, never permitting these steps to be summed up into principles, never permitting their direction to be identified or the basic issue to be named. Thus statism was to come, not by vote or by violence, but by slow rot—by a long process of evasion and epistemological corruption, leading to a fait accompli.” – Ayn RandLearn more »
Republicans policies play out in Kansas
To butress the letter by Andrew Cohen’s July 17 letter regarding Kim McGahey’s “rose colored view” of the Republican Party, one need only look east to Kansas. Governor Brownback embracing the philosophies of the right wing party and the Koch brothers is ruining the Kansas economy. Thus far losing the state revenue, closing schools and hurting hospitals and more. His underfunding of education has led to the federal government stepping in to remedy the situation. At least 100 Republicans have vowed to support the Democratic candidate for Governor where the polls show Brownback trailing badly and threatening to turn Kansas Democratic. Brownbacks right wing philosophies of cutting taxes has backfired badly. Offering a no tax policy to any new business entering Kansas, the result was many larger companies have applied to be taxed as small companies giving the Governor a false sense of growth and revenue losses.Learn more »
Preventing clear-cutting has been a 30-year mistake
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I am writing in response to the opinion of Kim McGahey in the July 12 paper.
His article was full of “truthiness” as described by a brilliant conservative commentator. So many points are absurdly incorrect as to make one wonder where he is making up his facts from. He states the Republican party is an open/big tent party, citing a few women and minority candidates as proofs of this. Currently Republicans are 89% white compared to 60% of Democrats. Only 5% of all blacks consider themselves Republicans as opposed to 64% for Democrats. Hispanics are 13% Republican vs 32% Democratic.Learn more »
Recently, as I was crossing the street on my way to work as usual, I almost got run over by a man on his bicycle. Bikes are certainly not out of the ordinary in Breckenridge, but what got me was that the man yelled at me as if it was my fault. I would like to remind all those happy bikers out there that as stated on the Town of Breckenridge website, “Both bicyclists and motorists are expected to follow the Colorado state traffic rules and regulations within Town limits.” And yes, that means stopping at stop signs, or at least slowing down to look for cars and pedestrians. So to the cranky bicyclist, you might want to re-read your driver’s ed manual.
Susan HarrisonLearn more »
For many years, I’ve walked my pooch along the peaceful path that winds through wildflowers and soul-soothing views, known as the Tenderfoot Trail. Tonight my heart grows heavy with the realization that construction of 21 miles of dirt bike/ATV trails behind the Tenderfoot Trail, on Tenderfoot Mountain, is to commence in the coming days. While I can tolerate the buzz of motors and my walks in the woods will continue, my concern is for the effects on the elk herd that make Tenderfoot Mountain its home as well as the general destruction of forest that is inevitable.
My husband and son have enjoyed many years of dirt-biking in many different places in Colorado and we know that there is constant conflict between human use and wildlife protection whenever recreational paths are proposed. While toys with motors aren’t my thing, I can respect those who enjoy them and so ... I humbly and respectfully ask all those who are planning on using the Tenderfoot Mountain trails to please, as far as possible, leave no trace, keep a respectful distance from animals, appreciate the amazing gift we have in Tenderfoot Mountain — it’s a special place.Learn more »
Re: “Lake Hill housing bill heads to White House for signature,” by Joe Moylan, July 11:
The Lake Hill Administrative Site Affordable Housing Act is long overdue and appears to be great news for the people of Summit County, especially those who work so hard to make this community great but can’t afford to live here. However, contrary to the tone of the article, I do not see this as a tremendous legislative accomplishment by Sens. Udall and Bennet and U.S. Rep. Polis. The House of Representatives unanimously passed the legislation. The Senate unanimously passed the legislation. Three squirrels probably could have gotten this legislation passed.Learn more »
Protect winter from climate change
Summit County businesses and ski resorts were fortunate this last ski season. Strong snowfall in the Rockies and drought around the country steered record numbers of skiers to our shops and slopes. Many Colorado mountain communities, including Breckenridge, posted record sales-tax revenue for this past ski season.Learn more »
Dupuy misunderstands basic facts of Hobby Lobby case
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Montezuma flood brought out the best in us
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Every year when the mercury rises, canine companions are at risk for heatstroke or death when their guardians make the mistake of leaving them in a parked car. Animals can sustain brain damage or even die in as little as 15 minutes. Staying cool is extra tough for dogs because they can only reduce their internal temperature by panting and sweating through their paw pads.
Parked cars are fast-acting deathtraps for dogs: On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to between 100 and 120 degrees in mere minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes.Learn more »
Re: “Serving up a big helping of Second Amendment,” Monday, June 30:
I wonder what happens at Shooters when a customer complains about the food or the service or doesn’t leave a big enough tip. More importantly, I have to wonder what brand of Christianity Lauren Boebert embraces. Not the brand that Jesus Christ lived and died for, that’s for sure.Learn more »
Because Tina Dupuy seems to live and write in a fantasy world with little connection with reality, I seldom read her column. However, Wednesday she wrote on such an important subject that I read it and felt her false statements should be countered with factual information. First, she states that the Supreme Court’s ruling means that Hobby Lobby will “deny working women of childbearing age birth control coverage though the company’s insurance plan.” In fact, 16 of the 20 methods of birth control required by the Affordable Care Act still will be covered. Prior to the ACA, Hobby Lobby voluntarily covered birth control prescriptions. When (Hobby Lobby owners) the Greens learned that four such methods terminated new human life rather than prevent conception, they concluded they could not in good conscience provide these four. All other forms of birth control are still provided by their insurance. The non-covered prescriptions are not denied them and may be filled at the employee’s expense.
Second, this conviction, while religious for the Greens, is not limited to Evangelical Christians or just those with religious objections. Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Anglicans, Muslims and others who recognize science, also reject them, knowing that at fertilization a new human life has begun and is terminated, not prevented, by these four methods.Learn more »
Twenty five years ago on July 4, 1989, I convinced my good friend Bill Gorham to climb up Peak 1 from Frisco to put an American Flag on the summit. I was 16 years old and he was 15. We had no hiking poles, vans for hiking shoes, garbage bags for rain jackets, duffel bags as backpacks. We carried our water in emptied out 2 liter Coke bottles, a huge walkie talkie which we used to communicate to our parents on the hour (as it was before the age of cell phones) and I was carrying an American flag and a small bag of cement.
Our adventure began in Frisco in Mountain Side, hiking up the trail towards Masontown. From Masontown, instead of taking the trail from Mount Royal, which we had no idea existed, we climbed directly up Mount Victoria’s avalanche path. It was extremely steep and tough going as every step resulted in a few inches of sliding back down. Once we reached the wind-torn summit of Mount Victoria, it was much easier, but still a long trek over to the rocky hills and multiple false summits up to the top of Peak 1.Learn more »
When times get tough, people come together and you really learn what a community is made of. A small flood wreaked havoc on Montezuma Road. The damage was significant. What happened next was unbelievable. Many county entities quickly got to work to solve a myriad of problems. The sheriff’s department was on the scene to coordinate this nightmare. Summit County Road and Bridge had their equipment up the road in a flash. There were many people behind the scenes trying to figure out solutions, such as where to put a temporary bridge and how to get one here quickly. Phone lines were repaired. The new mayor of Montezuma was thrown into the deep end and came up swimming! Lines of communication were formed. Landowners were consulted and agreements were made. Traffic plans were in place. The Red Cross sheltered some folks. The Summit Stage drivers were angels of mercy, helping cart bicycles, groceries, and residents while offering additional shuttles whenever possible. The BOCC, Thad Knoll, and Aaron Byrne from the Summit County Landfill have been working with us to combat some logistical issues for our Montezuma business. Key to the Rockies provided us with a refuge for our family.
We just wanted to say thanks. Many people worked very long hours to get us back to our homes. There is still a lot of work to do. We really appreciate all your efforts.Learn more »
I think we would all agree that the bike paths in beautiful Summit County are a treasure. The Vail Pass section that was recently repaved is particularly challenging and fun to ride. Many thanks to those who keep our bike paths so well maintained. While riding up this week, my husband and I witnessed another crash where a child with a gash in their chin had to be rescued by an ambulance. I passed this child riding down with his family and noticed immediately that his bike was too large and he was having difficulty controlling it on the steep and winding downhill curves. There were also the usual frightened novice riders of all ages trying to negotiate the steep, narrow sections on their rented bikes. This letter is not meant to criticize the small companies that are trying to capitalize on the Vail Pass bike path, but an attempt to start a dialogue that might make the riding experience safer for all riders, of all abilities. !
Advertising that the Vail Pass path is “ easy, downhill riding for the whole family” is misinformation. Sections of that path are steep, technical, and scary for the novice rider. Cyclists going up the path are also at great risk when the rider coming down does not stay on the right side of the path or loses control of their bike. The shuttle companies should take the safety of all riders seriously. Safety has always been good business.Learn more »
Each week many, if not most, of our neighborhoods are serviced by two or three competing trash companies. These are all good companies that have arrived at a profitable share. Each one of them driving the same streets week after week. And basically charging the same rate. As a result, thousands of unnecessary diesel truck miles are being driven each year in this county. And since most companies normally come on different days of the week, our streets are lined with trash and recycling containers on as many as three days out of seven.
Does this make sense to anyone?Learn more »
Re: “Sky-high rent in the Summit,” June 18:
A full article on why it is pricey to rent in Summit County and no mention of 1) Price manipulation of market values/for sale prices by real estate agents and their high commissions? 2) Disparity between property estimator valuations and property tax valuations? 3) High fees and residual profits by mortgage bankers? 4) High fees of title companies? 5) High cost of property and yard maintenance by local service companies? 6) High HOA dues? Why not write an article on how these services compare in price with other comparable communities, ultimately inflating costs for owners and resulting in those higher rents? Or should property owners just charge less for renters to live in their property than it actually costs to own, operate and repair?Learn more »
CDOT dog rescue
Kudos to the CDOT worker who found our dog up by the Eisenhower Tunnel and also to the Frisco Animal Shelter. Bella jumped out of my nephew’s car without him knowing until he arrived here in Leadville. The CDOT worker (I wish I knew his name) found her and cared for her until he could take her to the shelter. From there, the caring people took excellent care of her until we could pick her up. We are so thankful that there are such caring people surrounding our mountain towns! I didn’t get names of the employees at the animal shelter, but we just want to thank you all for caring for Bella. You all are awesome.Learn more »
I want to send a huge thank you to Summit County Road and Bridge for its efficient and professional handling of the Montezuma Road washout. Contrary to a quote in last week’s paper, road and bridge crews were working on the problems prior to the washout, during the washout, immediately afterwards and consistently for the past two weeks.
A walking bridge was in place within two days and a temporary driving bridge within four days. Impressive. Did you know you could borrow a bridge from another county?Learn more »
Thank you for the Summit Daily’s Saturday, June 14, article, headlined “In Summit, trees fall, sparks fly,” letting us know at least some of what the Forest Service is up to. Otherwise, we might not know until we encountered jagged stumps, slash dumps and mountains of chips across trails through what used to be beautiful forest. My inquiry about the status of planned cutting projects elicited a response of, “Any future requests for information will need to go through the Freedom of Information Act process.” Federal bureaucracy at its finest.
The article covered three amazingly, apparently separate events: (1) previously unreported May 30 USFS contractor initiation of clear-cutting near the three main trails from Iron Springs into the Ophir Mountain area; (2) a June 10 USFS announcement that a contractor had already initiated three additional clear-cuts; and (3) a May 29 meeting at which six USFS officials shockingly never once mentioned to 80 concerned citizens the new cuts to begin the next day.Learn more »
Government is very kind and generous to us. It gives us food stamps to cash in at the grocery store; serves our children food in school; takes care of our children in day care; provides us with health care; provides us with transportation; provides us with affordable housing; etc; etc;etc. Now we discover some of us are so selfish that we show our ingratitude by providing our own housing by camping in the woods by-passing government’s helping hand!
Suppose we all started to provide our own food and shelter and picked up nurturing our own children on our own initiative like those folks living in the forest. What possible good could come from that? This country could return to a self sufficient society free to choose how it wants to live, or this country could continue down a path of dependency on a government which will inevitably become more and more oppressive with the many regulations and restrictions required to sustain the “free” stuff it now provides.Learn more »
Years ago in the ’70s when Breckenridge was a sleepy mountain town with $10 lift tickets, I lived there for a summer in high school with my best friend. We worked in Keystone as maids, driving over Swan Mountain Road twice a day. We opened our first bank accounts and climbed in the mountains on weekends. I’m not sure I realized how blessed I was to experience the Colorado High Country for an entire summer.
After 17 years in the vast concrete jungle of Los Angeles after college, with wall-to-wall people, smog and a distinct shortage of cool mountain air, I returned home to Colorado.Learn more »
High-density Blue River development not a good fit for community
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Volunteers help make fire evacuation exercise a success
Summit County Animal Control & Shelter would like to thank all the volunteers who came to help with our fire evacuation exercise we had on May 31. They got to the shelter at the crack of dawn — thanks to Abbey’s Coffee for the coffee as it was a very early start for our pre-evacuation meeting. We then dispersed into our teams. The receptionist team was the first to handle all the incoming calls of the distressed public (acting of course) to evacuate their pets from the Peak 7 neighborhood. The calls flooded in!Learn more »
Don’t feed the fox
A few days ago on the front page of the Summit Daily there was a photo of a fox carrying a hamburger bun. This fox did not accidentally snag that; it was probably offered to him. Those of you who feed foxes are selfish, and we know who you are. “Your” fox waits outside your home every day for the hot dogs, dog food or whatever you feed him. You are selfish because you want to see your fox every day, and everyone in every neighborhood knows who is doing this. Please stop feeding the wildlife. They need to survive on their own, and they can do that and thrive here in the mountains.Learn more »
Re: Howard Brown’s May 27 letter to the editor.
I can understand Mr. Brown’s emotional attachment to a place in time. Because the forest is a living organism that lives and dies by the rules of nature, not by what we want, it will not look the same to your grandchildren. As a forester I had been taught to look hundreds of years into the future so as to visualize the new invigorated forest that would follow cutting. This was by way of looking at stands along a continuum from young to old. By mimicking natural disasters (beetle infestations and fires) through cutting, we can keep a forest in its prime and continue to provide renewable products continuously. I worked on the Dillon Ranger District in 1983 during one of the periodic infestations of the mountain pine beetle. After the beetle made its initial attack, we attempted to treat it, after the fact (unsuccessfully) using various methods. We did, however, clear-cut Lake Hill adjacent to Interstate 70 between the scenic overlook and the Silverthorne exit on the southeast side of the road. This stand was a mix of lodgepole and aspen that within about 10 years of cutting provided an excellent area for Christmas tree harvest, helping to thin the stand. At the same time the new stand provided many benefits to various wildlife and especially young vigorous trees, providing a major source of oxygen for the local area. If you look at the adjacent stands of trees you will see this now 30-year-old stand is by far the healthiest around. I would take the time to look at what is the long-term goal is for the area, before I condemn the strategy to achieve it.Learn more »