Letters to the Editor

Joyce: At Breckenridge Ski Resort, two crashes and two very different reactions

January 31, 2015 — 

What are the chances that a husband and wife would be crashed into on the same slope on the same run? My wife and I started out on Centennial run on Peak 10 at Breckenridge.

I was about 50 yards downhill from the starting area when I heard a strange noise and looked at my skis and saw a snowboard about 12 inches from my skies and closing fast. The next thing I knew I was on my back on the snow with my head facing downhill. The boarder who hit me never even stopped to see if I was injured. I hope he felt macho that he put a 73-year-old skier on his back. Fortunately, I was not hurt.

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Animal abuse story sparks strong Summit Daily News reader reaction

January 29, 2015 — 

Editor’s note: We recently received two letters responding to a Jan. 9 article looking into why a Summit County animal control officer resigned in protest and how that resignation sparked changes within the department. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but we believe the letters misrepresent the article we published to such an extent that a detailed response is necessary to set the record straight. Please read that response after the letters. We also urge you to go back and read the story in question at http://bit.ly/1zVoRcy.

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Karl: Frisco mayor’s comment on marijuana and ski racers misses the mark

January 17, 2015 — 

Frisco mayor’s comment on marijuana and ski racers misses the mark

In your paper, Frisco’s Mayor Wilkinson offered to give $100 for finding a ski racer that does not smoke pot. No matter how “off the cuff” this comment may have been, it will cost him nearly $20,000 from Team Summit Colorado, alone. We would love the opportunity to line up and introduce our 200+ ski racers at the next town council meeting. Team Summit Colorado athletes, coaches and parents work hard to achieve our mission of “Elevating Youth through Winter Sports” and our athletes abide by our code of conduct, which prohibits the use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs. These dedicated and hard-working individuals deserve better from the mayor and from The Summit Daily News.

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Birklebach: Yes we can afford to educate our populace

January 16, 2015 — 

We can afford to educate our populace

In a Jan. 13 article, Morgan Liddick indicated the U.S. cannot afford to help students with tuition for a community college education. Yes, we can! Year-end forecasts indicate that the budget deficit has come down from over 10 percent of GDP, to about -3 percent in 2014 and should be balanced or show a small surplus by 2016. (Remember, the last time we had a budget surplus, a Clinton was president.) The U.S. deficits are going away, because we no longer have to pay for Bush’s two wars and the mistakes and costs of Bush’s Great Recession.

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Miller: Who’s Morgan Liddick calling lazy?

January 15, 2015 — 

Who’s Liddick calling lazy?

Morgan Liddick’s most recent opinion piece, “The president promises, we pay up” (Jan. 13), is insulting in so many ways. The opinions he expresses are both callous and ignorant.

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Powell: Left out in the cold by Summit Stage

January 8, 2015 — 

On Saturday, Jan. 3, I and many others tried to catch the Stage from Copper Mountain at 4:30 p.m. The weather was miserable. The traffic on I-70 could be seen at a stand still. I called the Stage office. I asked when the next bus would arrive at Copper and was told in 10 minutes. I waited a half hour. Another person called and was told they didn’t know when a bus would arrive. Many of us left to get a bite to eat.

A friend called me and said that the bus arrived at 5:30 and had departed. I called the Stage at 5:40 and asked when the next bus would arrive now that traffic was moving. I was told 10 minutes. Two friends and I went to the bus stop and stood in 15 degrees cold. At 6:05, someone called the Stage and asked when the bus would arrive. They were told 10 minutes. At 6:30, a young woman at the stop called. She said, “I know the roads are bad. I know you can’t control the traffic. But I’m standing here freezing. Please just tell me when the bus is coming. I don’t care if it is two hours late; you can’t control that. But at least tell me when it is coming. I can go inside and not freeze to death.” She was put on hold for a minute and then told the next bus would not arrive until 7 p.m. We all left to get warm.

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Kunst: Not as a clear-cut as the Forest Service says

January 6, 2015 — 

Howard Brown’s recent criticism of the U.S. Forest Service’s clear cut/slash pile burning of Summit County’s beetle kill is spot on. His proposed solution to abandon burning in favor of chipping debris and scattering chips to cut down on noxious weeds and flammable tall grasses is far too practical for U.S. Forest Service consideration. This is a typical government approach to problem solving: devise a plan and stick to it notwithstanding community suggestions for more practical, common sense solutions. It would be appreciated if the forest service would write and explain why it has not or will not consider chipping as an alternate solution to burning slash. Don’t hold your breath waiting for an explanation.

I have attended two programs hosted by Summit’s Forest Health Task Force to learn why the forest service has adopted clear cutting as the only solution to beetle kill fire mitigation. Granted, the dead lodge poles need to be cleared, but live fir, spruce and aspen need not become victims of the indiscriminate logging machines that can clear an area quickly and cheaply. Sadly, the forest service provided no direct explanation but offered false denials to many questions; i.e., “the contractors don’t cut fir and spruce.”

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Wood: Mankind is our business

January 6, 2015 — 

Recently, Ken Gansmann of Silverthorne asks what it is that left leaning contributors to the Summit Daily, who he views as critical of his community values, would have him do differently. It’s a question that deserves an answer.

Mostly, these left leaning columnists are addressing issues of fairness, equality and stewardship within our society. They are questioning whether the principles upon which our country is founded are being applied fairly and wisely, not just to the majority or those in power but to individuals and the less advantaged as well. They are inviting us to eschew quick and easy answers and to think beyond our own personal experience and comfort zone; in essence to not believe everything we think. To listen to the left leaning columnists is to know that:

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Gansmann: Questions for the Summit Daily left

January 1, 2015 — 

Questions for the Summit Daily left

Our parents were there for us and guiding us when we were young. Many of us:

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Mulcahy: More corporate responsibility in the mountains in 2015

December 29, 2014 — 

Giant corporations like Vail Resorts bring vast improvements to the infrastructure of our mountain communities, but we as citizens must continue to encourage these corporations to act in the best interest of all, including their workers.

What is not known by many guests is that in the full day $750 plus private lessons given by the Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone Ski Schools, some of the instructors teaching the lessons make less than $100 working a full day.

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Piller: Breckenridge sends mixed messages this holiday season

December 24, 2014 — 

I was walking by the main square in Breckenridge today and noticed that there’s a modest-sized menorah there, with a sign wishing everyone a Happy Hanukkah on behalf of the Chabad congregation. Given the vast number of Christmas decorations in town, including an enormous and beautifully lit Christmas tree not 30 feet away, I thought this was very sweet. Then I saw a sign dangling from the menorah, stating that “This display does not constitute an endorsement by the Town of Breckenridge of any religion or religious doctrine.”

Excuse me? You don’t have to be Jewish to be offended by this sign. In addition to the aforementioned Christmas tree, Breckenridge has green foliage and red bows all over the place, and none of those Christmas decorations has a disclaimer from the town.

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O’Neill: Violence against women not a liberal media creation

December 24, 2014 — 

Morgan Liddick’s latest diatribe once again focuses primarily on race and the “liberal media,” while ignoring the seriousness of the underlying issue; rape and violence against women. After many disparaging comments aimed at the University of Virginia, the UVA school president and the state of Virginia’s attorney general, Liddick takes aim at the University of Colorado and asks readers to visit one of the school’s web pages (www.colorado.edu/studentaffairs/sexual-misconduct) as proof of CU’s liberal corruption. I visited the CU web page and, in part, this is what I found:

“Members of the University of Colorado community, guests and visitors have the right to be free from sexual violence. All members of the campus community are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that does not infringe upon the rights of others. We believe in a zero tolerance policy for gender-based misconduct. When an allegation of misconduct is brought to administration’s attention, and a respondent is found to have violated this policy, serious sanctions will be used to reasonably ensure that such actions are never repeated.”

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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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