Letters to the Editor

Newcomb: The diet of Lent a model for healthy eating (letter)

February 10, 2016 — 

Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent, the 40-day period before Easter, when many Christians abstain from animal foods in remembrance of Jesus’ 40 days of fasting in the desert before launching his ministry.

But meat-free Lent is much more than a symbol of religious devotion to Christ. It helps reduce the risk of chronic disease, environmental degradation and animal abuse. Dozens of medical reports have linked consumption of animal products with elevated risk of heart failure, stroke, cancer and other killer diseases. A 2007 U.N. report named meat production as the largest source of greenhouse gases and water pollution. Undercover investigations have documented farm animals being beaten, caged, crowded, deprived, mutilated and shocked.

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Halpin: A modest proposal for the high alpine (letter)

February 3, 2016 — 

As lifelong advocates for the sanctity of the wilderness, we seriously reviewed John Smith’s recommendation that dogs be leashed on hikes in the high alpine environment (Jan. 29, Summit Daily News) but were disappointed that his rationale was not extrapolated to its logical and necessary conclusion.

Considering the fragility of tundra flora and small mammal psyches, it is obvious that canid pawprints and explorations have some precedents set by the more adept predatory skills of their wild cousins, as well as felines. These beasts exert evolutionary pressure and adaptive behaviors among the wilderness denizens. Juvenile humans, however, are more uncontrollable and louder than most domestic canines, leaving larger impacts than doggies as they tromp the wildflowers and traumatize small mammals with their screeching. The mountain rodents’ only familiarity with intrusive little humanoids would be very occasional encounters with rare Sasquatch offspring; therefore, pika and marmot susceptibility to life-attenuating PTSD is heightened by their lack of experience with this type of disturbance.

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Cassidy: Time to take on traffic, Breckenridge (letter)

February 2, 2016 — 

Being a resident of Breckenridge, for the past 5 years, I have seen this town go through some good and not so good changes. Visitors/tourists coming into town has increased. Let’s not forget about the lack of parking ... it has become so insane!

This town needs to get its act together! For starters, whenever there is an event in town, traffic and parking becomes horrendous. People are parking any and everywhere they damn well please. A perfect example was Saturday, when every mother and their son was in town for the snow sculptures exhibit. Traffic was backed up in all directions, town was congested and there was not a law-enforcement officer to be seen in town controlling this ongoing issue.

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Streicher: The wheels on the bus go round and round for the Little Red Schoolhouse (letter)

February 2, 2016 — 

Little Red Schoolhouse would like to send a huge thank you to the Breckenridge Free Ride Bus Drivers for always being so accommodating and amazingly friendly to the children of Little Red and the community. They always take the time to greet the children, and they’ve also been known to sing along to “Wheels on the Bus.”

The Breck Free Ride allows our children to take part in community events and attractions, as well as visit local museums and parks in the summer! Thanks for all that you do!

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Convy: Thanks to those who helped Kansas woman after Keystone hit-and-run (letter)

February 2, 2016 — 

My wife was seriously injured at Keystone Mountain on Monday, Jan. 18 at approximately 11 a.m. near the intersection of Whipsaw and Spring Dipper, when another skier traveling at a high rate of speed hit her from behind.

The offending skier offered no assistance, showed little concern, collected his skis and poles and left the scene. Not only did it ruin our ski vacation, but it also broke 7 of her ribs and punctured a lung. We wish to acknowledge the outstanding care she received after the incident, first from the Keystone Ski Patrol, then by the staff at the Mountain House Clinic, followed by the doctors, nurses, technicians and other staff at St. Anthony Summit Medical Center, where she spent 4 days in the hospital under their care.

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Smith: Leash your dogs in high alpine environments (letter)

January 28, 2016 — 

Concerning the recent article by Drew Mikita (“Dear Drewbie”), he makes some great suggestions about caring for dogs in the high alpine environment. There are many places to take advantage of letting dogs run free in Summit County. I was disappointed, however, that no mention was made of using leashes on dogs while hiking in the high alpine. As a volunteer for the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative during the summer, we learn how important it is for the plants, wildflowers and small wildlife (Pikas and Marmots mainly) in the high alpine environment to be undisturbed as much as possible. Wildflowers bloom only a few short weeks and one paw can set them back years. The animals have to gather all the food they’ll need to survive the winter during the very short summer season. Even well intentioned dogs terrify them, and if they’re off the leash and running off the trail, chances are excellent they’ll scare small mammals into hiding, perhaps losing a chance to gather crucial winter foods. So we spend much of our volunteer time on the trails educating climbers with dogs off leashes about why they should leash them while hiking, and we sincerely thank those who already have them leashed. We love your furry friends and want them to enjoy this doggie wonderland, but we love the wildlife and wildflowers too, as most hikers do, and they should be able to enjoy their wonderland too. There’s no reason all can’t co-exist peacefully.

John Smith

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McGahey: New free lunch when it comes to healthcare (letter)

January 28, 2016 — 

On Tuesday, I attended the Amendment 69 ColoradoCare public forum in hopes of obtaining accurate information about the ballot issue, but came away disappointed that the proponents are presenting the same deceitful spin for ColoradoCare that caused ObamaCare to be jammed down our throats with backroom bribes on midnight Christmas Eve by a Democratic party supermajority in Congress that did not receive even one bipartisan Republican vote. The American taxpayers and voters have been deprived of an honest healthcare debate since 2008 and these ColoradoCare advocates are trying whitewash the same injustice because they think Coloradans are stupid and will swallow their bait-and-switch lies.

If the public had been allowed to voice their concerns at last night’s tightly controlled forum, I would have asked the proponents why don’t they be honest, have the courage of their convictions and stand up and proudly admit that what they really want in Colorado is socialized medicine, a single-payer universal healthcare system administered by a new central planning state bureaucracy costing $42 billion and paid for by a 15% tax increase on all Colorado residents.

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Giller-Leinwohl: Time for a mountain biking lobby (letter)

January 26, 2016 — 

Time for a mountain biking lobby

First, I would like to commend the Aspen Times and Summit Daily for the article “Area cyclists opposed to national group’s push for bikes in wilderness.” This is a complex issue with important ramifications, and I’d like to add a couple points.

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Tackaberry: ColoradoCare initiative is about more than money (letter)

January 26, 2016 — 

I find it interesting that those of a more rightist bent approach all issues with a money mindset directly out of the gate.

I refer specifically to Debra Irvine’s recent letter to the Summit Daily regarding Amendment 69 (the ColoradoCare initiative) that was all about supposed costs. Not a word about compassion, caring, empathy, etc. ... just money.

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Cardwell: We can't turn our back on world's migrant populations (letter)

January 26, 2016 — 

With the CNN, CBS, FOX and CNBC stories I heard over the past 3 years about Syrian refugees and Mexican immigrants, I thought I had a pretty good handle on the issues. I recently learned a lot more by attending a meeting called Great Decisions.

The current 232 million migrants in the world (50 million in U.S.) is a 300-percent increase from 1960. Migrants leave their country of origin to better their lives. International law states a person has the right to migrate to a different country.

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Clarke: An unduly harsh prison sentence (letter)

January 22, 2016 — 

These were the words printed on a photo of 21-year-old Tyrus Vanmatre on the front page of the Summit Daily on Friday January 8. These chilling words motivated me to not only read the article in its entirety, but follow the related thread in the SDN archives to attempt to get an understanding as to how such a young former Summit High School student could possibly deserve such a horrific and unimaginable sentence. My review of the archives relating to Tyrus’ case indicated that he had made some incredibly stupid decisions, from an alleged “bad acid trip” concluding with an attack of one of his friends with a machete. The friend fought back to defend himself with the incident ending with significant — but not permanent or life threatening — injuries to both young men.

While this was an “incredibly heinous crime” as defined by Fifth Judicial Judge Mark Thompson — and one that certainly merits a significant punishment, how can we simply give up on a young man by delivering a sentence that will guarantee that he will die in prison? Most of us have made many stupid mistakes when we were young — or even not so young, though admittedly most were less violent than that allegedly committed by Tyrus Vanmatre. Don’t we have an obligation to persevere with Tyrus, to work with him toward getting him on a better path through his life and giving him a chance to redeem himself and become a productive contributing member of society? Sentencing him to “Life without parole” will result in completely wasted life in the creation of a hardened criminal with a huge burden on taxpayers by adding to this country’s epidemic of incarceration. Can’t we do something better — for Tyrus and society?

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Reynolds: Silverthorne should retain leaders like Mark Handschmidt (letter)

January 20, 2016 — 

I really admire all the programs and great management evident in my city’s management. But the council must have been asleep at the wheel in letting Mark Handschmidt retire. What an asset! He has initiated many community programs for Silverthorne that have now spread throughout the County.

Having served as a volunteer on more than three police agencies over the last 20 year, Mark really stands out. He is seen as a stable and innovative leader by fellow law enforcement.

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Johnson: Hats off the Breckenridge police (letter)

January 20, 2016 — 

As a part-time resident of Breckenridge for the past 16 years I have never had any interaction with the Breckenridge police until Thursday night. Following the Ullr Fest parade, I approached two officers who are very busy to seek help locating a memory challenged loved one. In spite of having a million other things to do, they could not have been more responsive. In short order a command post was organized and a search implemented. During the search every officer I came in contact with was very reassuring and understanding. The story has a happy ending, but for someone who was cold, lost, and disoriented it could have been far different if not for the prompt action of all the officers involved.

Rocky Johnson

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Irvine: Universal healthcare takes away our freedom of choice (letter)

January 20, 2016 — 

In her letter of 15 January, it is interesting that Dr. Christine Ebert-Santos says that CO Amendment 69 (Universal Healthcare) will take politics out of healthcare, when she personally collected signatures so that it could go on the ballot this November.

If passed, Amendment 69 will double our state budget from $25 billion to $50 billion. This would provide Colorado with a single-payer system. It would eliminate a free market system whereby a person could “shop around.” In addition, companies like Kaiser Permanente (new complex in Frisco), would be put out of business.

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Dr. Christine Ebert-Santos: Amendment 69 takes the politics out of healthcare (letter)

January 15, 2016 — 

I would like to respond to the article on skyrocketing health-care costs by Randy Wyrick (“Colorado lawmakers asked to help with skyrocketing health insurance costs,” Jan. 9).

As Senator Irene Aguilar stated in a meeting we attended last week, “Whoever has the money has the power.” Insurance companies have the money, and, with the threat of mergers between the major companies, they will have more money and more power. Health-care providers and hospitals have very little bargaining power when it comes to how much we are paid. Politicians are influenced by money and won’t vote for measures that are not favorable to the large profits these companies can make. The cost of health insurance will continue to soar.

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Willhite: End of life issues in Colorado (letter)

January 9, 2016 — 

When a dying Coloradan has only months, weeks or days to live and cannot be cured, we should be able to honor their decision to end their pain and suffering and die peacefully at home. Compassionandchoices.org plans to introduce the 2016 Colorado End of Life Options Act. Most Coloradans support a choice for aid in dying and believe we should have the final choice. The Denver Medical Society states, “It is a doctor’s duty to heal but there is a duty to relieve suffering.”

Opponents often deploy misinformation and half truths to frighten people about aid in dying. Oregon’s 18 years tell the real truth. None of the fears opponents have voiced have actually materialized. End of life has improved in large part because of improved dialogue between people, their doctors and caregivers. Hospice use and palliative care has increased. Oregon has the lowest death rate in hospitals, highest at home deaths in the nation and violent suicide among hospice patients has virtually disappeared.

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Sawyer: Picking up after your dog shoud be a 2016 resolution (letter)

January 9, 2016 — 

In days of olde, when women were bold and poo bags not invented, dogs left their load in the middle of the road and went away contented. My wife and I have been privileged to own two super dogs in the 14 years we have lived in Frisco. I will not even pretend that every time in those 14 years, we have picked up every load left on the road, but I will say 99 percent of the time we have carried away our dogs leavings. Mostly our failures were events that took place where retrieval was severely restricted by terrain. I apologize to my fellow citizens for failing to get all of it.

I currently walk our pet twice a day, 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. My path varies to two blocks north or south of Main Street. This year it appears that far too many of Frisco’s citizens and guests are content to let their pets “leave their load in the middle of the road.” We, all of us, take pride in the mountain town of Frisco. It is a mellow, pretty place where folks from all walks of life enjoy the beauty, fun and experiences of living/visiting a small mountain community. I hate the idea that I have to complain that far too many of our citizens and guest do not pick up after their dogs.

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Flitcraft: Second Amendment has a purpose (letter)

January 9, 2016 — 

Thomas Jefferson once said: “What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.” Who are the rulers Jefferson had in mind?

James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” said, “(The Constitution preserves) the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation ... (where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.”

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Woelfel: Kudos to Rep. Polis (letter)

January 2, 2016 — 

I applaud the efforts displayed by U.S Representative Jared Polis for introducing and fostering a bill that would protect roughly 58,000 acres in eastern Eagle and Summit counties. I am especially grateful that 39,000 of those acres may receive Wilderness status. This would ensure that development, mining and needless road building through wildlife habitat are stopped. This bill will help conserve our wilderness which is essential to our environment, future generations and the state’s economy. Without a continued and everlasting effort for preservation our tourist economy and watershed would be at risk.

I recently moved to Colorado from a state where less than one percent of total land area is designated as Wilderness. I moved here for the Rocky Mountains, wildlife, beautiful rivers and a statewide attitude that appreciates and understands how vital these things are. I want Colorado to set a shining example for every other state in this country and I think this bill accomplishes that. I want Colorado to show others that conservation is not something to be traded for in order to gain success but rather it is an irreplaceable part of being successful. I hope action is taken swiftly before developmental concerns threaten the area again.

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Pitman: CDOT too quick to claim success (letter)

January 2, 2016 — 

After reading the article on the I-70 toll road (Dec. 29), I am left to wonder whether CDOT decided to redefine success. It “…sort of helped with the delay” is not exactly a ringing endorsement considering that the traffic density was considerably less than the anticipated maximum. Charging the minimum of $3 per vehicle pretty much validates that the traffic was nowhere near anything considered a high volume.

I am not ready to give the lane thumbs up or down, but it would seem to me that first you define your criteria for success and then assess it over a season’s worth of traffic. Otherwise, one could end up looking rather silly with these early effusive endorsements.

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Hunt: Care trumps policy in an emergency (letter)

January 2, 2016 — 

Re Nic Zador’s Dec. 29 letter criticizing Centura/St. Anthony’s specific (not non existent) contraception policy.

Do your homework and look in the phone book. “...transparent access to contraception and family planning” is available multiple places in the county.

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Newcomb: Resolve to eat more plant-based foods (letter)

January 2, 2016 — 

Must we really resolve to improve our diets or exercise routines in the New Year, in order to increase longevity or improve quality of life?

Unfortunately, gun violence and traffic accidents are still the leading causes of death among young people. Fortunately, however, our fork — yet another deadly weapon — is within our own control. Well over a million of us are killed each year by high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer and other chronic diseases linked to our meat-based diet.

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Zador: Religion and medicine don't mix (letter)

December 29, 2015 — 

While I appreciate Doc PJ’s willingness and creativity to circumvent Centura’s contraception policy, I am deeply disturbed by the situation.

Obstructing transparent access to contraception and family planing creates a climate of misinformation with clearly documented consequences: increased unwanted pregnancies, complications from sub-standard abortions and increased transmission of STIs.

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Maltzman: A family avoids harm after reckless driver runs them off the road (letter)

December 25, 2015 — 

On Tuesday night, we met and were helped by some amazing people. I want them to know how very, very grateful we are.

Due to a reckless driver intent on passing on Highway 9 near the Continental Divide during a blizzard, our SUV crashed down a ravine hitting a tree. To the wonderful couple who spotted my daughter climbing out of the woods and turned around to help us, I am eternally grateful and only regret that, in the trauma, we did not learn your names.

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Martorano: Nickeled and dimed in Breckenridge (letter)

December 25, 2015 — 

Went skiing at Breck this week for the first time this season and to the Vista Haus at the top of Peak 8 for lunch.

Went to get some water to bring to my table. The only cups at the water fountain were the type with pointed ends that cannot stand upright. Asked where the flat-bottomed cups were, was told that Vail resorts has made the decision not to provide them. If their customers want free water at their table, they must buy a cup from the cafeteria for $.30.

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McNeil: Feeling the post office pain (letter)

December 25, 2015 — 

Wow — do I feel the pain!

After spending most of the month of November making numerous calls to a sender and FedEx, I lodged a complaint on the official USPS website. This prompted a call from the Frisco postmaster, who says he is as frustrated as I am (I sincerely doubt that), but that if the shippers (FedEx, UPS) partner with them, they have to observe their procedures, which is physical address and post office box on the same line.

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Brannon: Inconsistent mail service in Summit

December 25, 2015 — 

Though I have owned a place in Summit for many years, I recently moved up here full time. I was warned by neighborly locals that the mail service here leaves much to be desired.

Like other letter writers in the Summit Daily, I, too, have experienced inconsistent mail service. I get packages sent via USPS (so far), but first-class mail is hit or miss. Near as I can tell, based on feedback from friends and companies by phone and email, about one-third of first-class mail is returned to sender. There is no rhyme or reason to it.

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Taylor: Post off in Breckenridge (letter)

December 21, 2015 — 

This is a follow up to the Dec. 19 letter from Daryl Birger regarding the Breckenridge Post Office.

The employees in the Breckenridge Post Office are more arrogant and condescending to their customers than I’ve ever seen in any other business anywhere. How do they continue to get away with it?

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Howard: Why I quit Summit post offices (letter)

December 21, 2015 — 

I can identify with Mr Birger’s letter regarding our post office returning his son’s Christmas package when it was clearly addressed.

Last summer, I received a notice in my mailbox in Silverthorne that I had a package to pick up. I went the next day to get the package and neither Silverthorne nor Dillon post offices could locate it. I called the merchant sender to get tracking info, and they told me the package had been returned to them marked “wrong address” — even though I verified with the sender and the address on the package was correct.

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Littlejohn: A longtime Breck skier gets 'documented' (letter)

December 19, 2015 — 

Well, I had a first on December 14. I got “documented” while skiing in Breckenridge. As a passholder and town resident since 1992, I have great respect for ski patrol and all those who work to keep people safe on the mountain. I am aware being a “Yellow Jacket” is a thankless job and the guys stationed on the runout of Rounders were just “following orders”.

I am concerned, however, that another freak interaction like this could get my pass pulled. A friend and I are riding up the Colorado Chair and see people skiing the runs to viewers right of Spruce and think they look pretty good. We get off the chair and start the traverse towards the T-bar expecting to drop down about half way as we’ve been doing for weeks. It is roped off. So being the law abiding citizens we are, we continue on and ski down Dukes (terrible).

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