Letters to the Editor

Blue River votes on Ruby Place skirt democratic process (letter)

March 28, 2015 — 

More back and forth about Blue River

I read Rich Holcroft’s article in the Summit Daily (March 25) about the Ruby Placer development, and now I understand why the town of Blue River has attempted to sidestep the democratic process clearly outlined in the Colorado municipal statutes, which allow the petition and referendum process on enacted ordinances. I must be one of those residents from another town (unincorporated Summit County 300 feet from the project), who is trying to start a referendum petition, and who claims there has been no public process. This is patently false. I have attended four of the five public hearings on the matter since last year, and am shameful to have missed the fourth meeting. The referendum process is not new. Blue River rejected three petitions for a referendum vote on the matter last year, which is anything but recent. The temporary and permanent injunctions granted by Judge Thompson against the town’s annexation of the property covered the rejection of the petitions, Public Case # 14CV030217. It is Blue River that has made a farce of the public process by declaring an emergency ordinance after three meetings last year, and again after two meetings this year. The developer’s attorney revealed at the meeting on March 17 that the town has employed emergency ordinances often, and gave several examples. Obviously, they have learned from Mr. Holcroft’s tenure as a board member and mayor pro tem from 2006 to April 2014 that such civil liberties detailed in the law should be ignored and suppressed.

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Taking the Summit out of Summit Historical Society (letter)

March 27, 2015 — 

As a former president of the Summit Historical Society, I am incensed over the giveaway of society properties and artifacts to the Town of Breckenridge. SHS was robbed — of its properties and countless artifacts and of its mission.

SHS stands for Summit Historical Society. Since Frisco has its own historical society and the Breckenridge properties are now under town control, SHS doesn’t represent the county any longer; its name and mission should be changed to reflect what it does cover — Dillon and Montezuma. Perhaps better handling of those properties would be achieved if SHS disbanded and either the Towns of Dillon and Montezuma took over their management or interested/concerned parties established a new historical society.

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Colorado bill funding contraception would save state money (letter)

March 27, 2015 — 

As a long time local resident and one who is committed to sensible state budget and finance, I fully support the passage of HB 1194 to fund access to long-acting reversible contraception in Colorado as a part of family planning. For the past six years Colorado has provided this type of funding. It has been shown that for every $1 spent by the state in birth control we have saved almost $6 in Medicaid funding. That can only be a benefit to every one of us.

Another huge benefit is keeping young women in high school and college, and the avoidance of unintended pregnancies does just that. This not only reduces Medicaid payments, but also welfare cases and additionally puts more self-sufficient educated women into the workforce which aids their families across the state.

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Vail Resorts ski instructors should make more money (letter)

March 24, 2015 — 

I am hearing from young, 10-year and 20-year instructors who are saying they no longer can afford to teach skiing and snowboarding because of the low pay. The low pay has a profound effect on the longevity of the professional instructors. Living in the Vail Valley today, for example, the costs have gone up considerably — rent, food, gas and anything else you buy. Many instructors are living downvalley, where the affordable housing is better, but the transportation costs are much higher. The last time instructors caught up on pay, many years ago, was when Adam Aron was the Vail Resorts CEO.

Instructors, like a lot of other employees at the resort, are very important people. Instructors are front-line people who deal directly with guests. At any given time there are probably 300 instructors on the mountain with at least 500 guests. A lot of direct contact with guests, and they also ride up the lift with other guests as well. This year guests are well aware of the low pay that instructors receive. As one guest said, “ I am paying huge dollars for a professional, not a servant’s wage.” It is impossible to be a No. 1 resort, a No. 1 snow-sport school, when the wages are so low.

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Big dogs, little dogs unleash the same stink (letter)

March 20, 2015 — 

To echo “Dog dos and don’ts”, the recent letter from Rick Galgas, my thoughts exactly, and I simply just don’t get why the owners of small dogs rarely ever, mostly never pick up after their little yappers? Some do, and I thank you, but you are a vast minority, from the sights and smells on the rec path. And not all little dogs are yappers, but all of them are poopers, after all. At mentally cringeing (and cursing a bit) when seeing their little but no less offensive dumps left behind, If I have an extra bag I will pick up theirs too, along with that of my 62 pound dog. Every time I always wonder why these particular dog owners think their little dog’s poop is just fine to leave? Do they think it’s too small to matter? It does. Do they think it doesn’t stink as much? It does. Are they really brain-dead about the effects of leaving dog poop behind? I really don’t get it. It would be good to see Professor Joanne Stolen’s great column on this problem printed again for the benefit of those who don’t pick up their dog’s poop, but it’s doubtful they would read it.

Nancy Morey

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Summit Historical Society sale kept a secret (letter)

March 20, 2015 — 

I was dismayed by the story in the SDN about the recent sale to the Town of Breckenridge of the three properties owned by the Summit Historical Society (SHS).

First, because of the secrecy connected to the sale. As a former Treasurer and Vice President until last August, I and most other members of the Society were not notified of any negotiations. I can only assume that those who might oppose the sale were deliberately kept from knowledge of the negotiations. According to the story, the sale was not presented to the board until last November and the confidentiality agreement they all signed kept them from speaking out at that time. Also, the notice to “valued members” was not communicated until it was too late to oppose the sale. Certain members were not sent the notice at all. This should not happen in a volunteer organization.

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Summit County dog owners aren't doing their part with poop (letter)

March 16, 2015 — 

Does it take Quandary the Goat to knock some common sense into Summit dog owners? As a Breckenridge Heritage Alliance Tour Guide and daily hiker who also is a dog owner, I am puzzled by the high percentage of residents who fail to pick up after their dogs. At the beginning of every tour, especially in popular French Gulch, I feel it necessary to advise guests to be careful where they step due to dog waste on trails. This is not a great introduction to hiking in Summit County. Probably less than half of the dog hikers I encounter “carry out” and most, no doubt, are locals. This problem is rampant on all of the popular hiking trails in the area particularly Boreas Pass, Sapphire Point, McCullough Gulch, etc..and yes, even in town. I simply just don’t get it.

Dog owners, please reconsider your decision not to pick up after your dog and doing your part to keep Summit County beautiful. If you don’t you should be ashamed of yourself and, dare I say, would consider you not the good and responsible dog owner you probably think you are.

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Summit Daily publicizes awful atrocities (letter)

March 14, 2015 — 

I was so saddened for the victims of Sky Wodraska to have their recent events so graphically publicized in the Summit Daily in a March 13 story. These kids are so so young and innocent and vulnerable. I’m sure some students in the community are well-aware of these victims’ names and the identity of the poor girls. Aren’t those juveniles involved suffering enough right now? Can’t they get the help they need now without your publicizing the awful attrocities of what they so very recently endured?

Elizabeth S. Anderson

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Mike Littwin is unbalanced indeed (letter)

March 14, 2015 — 

Re: Mike Littwin’s diatribe against “Bumbling Republican Senators,” published on March 12. As your tagline clearly states, Mr. Littwin, you are “unbalanced.” You start with an idealogical position, then fashion an argument to support it. I would offer this perspective. I’d call the Senators “clever.” They are stating that two can play the “bully card.” You seem to start with the premise that Iran is trustworthy. I believe the people of that country are; however, the clique that runs the place are thugs. Kind of like the thugs who run North Korea, Mike. We tried trusting them; how’d that work out? Four nuclear weapons, that’s how. The difference is, North Korea is isolated. Iran has been stirring up viscousness in its neighborhood for 30 years. This “go it alone” president is simply over his head. He’s the bumbler, Mike. Just look at how he has handled deteriorating race relations in this country. He has been anything but presidential. He had a historic chance, and he blew it. How sad.

David Gray

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Don't believe what you've heard about millennials (letter)

March 12, 2015 — 

I want to share a great day in Breckenridge my wife and I just enjoyed. We have lived here nearly 40 years and love the outdoors and recreation but sometimes forget what a great community we live in. We travel a lot and experience many places where doing the minimum is considered service; human interaction and caring is not required.

We walked around Main St. doing our window shopping and stopped in the French Bakery for a latte and a beignet. The young lady there was a joy with a smile and a kind word. As we headed home we stopped at City Market for a few items. Naturally we shopped for the club card specials. At the checkout we got chatting with the nice young gentleman working the register and I forgot to input my club card. He could have thought “what a dumb old man forgetting to input his card,” or perhaps “just a tourist without a card”. Instead it was, “do you have a club card sir? You saved $8 with your club card, thanks for shopping with us.” I felt he genuinely cared.

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Remember to responsibly dispose of pharmaceuticals (letter)

March 11, 2015 — 

Most Summit Daily News readers are likely aware of Summit County’s upcoming electronics recycling and pharmaceuticals drop-off event taking place on March 14. And you’ve probably heard about the important water quality benefits of keeping medications out of our landfill and wastewater systems.

What you may not know is how impactful these collection events can be in the prevention of prescription drug abuse – a problem that is particularly acute here in Colorado. In 2012-13, Colorado ranked 12th in the nation in self-reported nonmedical use of opioid painkillers, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. And painkiller overdoses are responsible for 300 Colorado deaths per year; nationally, more people die from prescription drug overdoses than from car accidents or overdoses of street drugs.

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Maryland Creek development goes against Silverthorne grain (letter)

March 10, 2015 — 

In response to the front page article in the March 5 edition of the paper, I would like to ask the Silverthorne Town Council how the Town of Silverthorne and its citizens will benefit from the increased density proposed by Tom Everist, because all I see are disadvantages. I don’t know what you all do for a living, so what do you personally have to gain from this increase? Please be honest here because as stated “rural residential allows a maximum density of 1 unit per 20 acres or 1 unit per 17.5 acres if subdivided through county rural land use subdivision regulations.” The Silverthorne Town Council declined to participate in a free transfer of density program supplied by the county commissioners and thus seem to have their own agenda. Who do you represent? This also goes against the town master plan of a “feathered transition” to rural lands. Let alone the identifications from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife and the Colorado Hunting Atlas who propose the project site as a “high moose and mule deer area.” Imagine the traffic problems increasing, especially during bad weather and peak times of which we constantly hear about on the radio daily.

I encourage all Town of Silverthorne citizens, Summit Daily News reporters and 9 News to come on Wednesday and express your wishes to hold the town council to their democratic duties for what will likely be a lively discussion.

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Hillary Clinton's secret email a threat to national security (letter)

March 10, 2015 — 

The issue that is not being discussed regarding Hillary Clinton’s use of a private system during her time as Secretary of State is the issue of the handling of sensitive classified information. There is no way that a Secretary of State could use a private system and be in compliance with established government regulations regarding the handling of classified information. Most of any Secretary’s communications regarding ongoing diplomatic negotiations and a host of other issues would be highly classified. Not only that but the computers in the classified system must be armored to prevent electronic leakage. We are replete with examples of careers of senior personnel in government who have been disgraced and have faced criminal charges for the mishandling of sensitive classified information. At issue here is the extreme lack of judgement that permitted a Secretary of State to ignore the rules for several years. However popular Clinton may be as the likely female candidate for President, her arrogance, secrecy and lack of judgement cannot be dismissed. Further, because the numbers of emails are unknown and Clinton aides have already conducted triage we may never know the full extent of what sensitive classified information may have been at risk. Clinton, like any other government official that totally ignores the rules should face the established criminal charges. What of a presidential race if she is a convicted felon?

Bob Phillipson

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Evil at center of debate over war with the Islamic State (letter)

March 4, 2015 — 

Re: “Time for a real conversation about war,” by Jason Stanford (Feb. 25).

I, like Jason Stanford, would like to have the next presidential candidates, as well as our current president and Congress, have a real conversation with the American electorate. However, instead of just talking about war, let’s expand it to a conversation about evil, a word the media rarely uses. The word, I understand, is controversial. For the sake of brevity, I would hope that anyone who is aware of the ISIS activity in the Middle East these days would have no problem classifying their activities as evil.

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Michael Reagan's worldview lacks empathy (letter)

March 3, 2015 — 

I am responding to the Michael Reagan column calling anyone who doesn’t think like he does as dumb and dumber. So what is wrong with looking for reasons for problems such as Islamic extremism instead of shooting first and asking questions later. I think it’s forward thinking to try and help people who are living such a terrible life that they would risk it to be a part of something, anything. I don’t believe our president wants to put away all our military actions to find jobs for people who obviously need them, but it’s another way of approaching a problem and we need more thinking outside the box. For instance, I believe the war on drugs we fight putting users in jail and running around the world trying to abolish drugs does not work and we should spend our money on helping people find ways to live a good life that doesn’t want or need drugs, such as good job training, and good rehabilitation for all not just the rich. Just calling people dumb makes you sound dumber Michael Reagan.

Rose Wentzell

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Munoz: No to Keystone XL and unwarranted slur (letter)

February 26, 2015 — 

Re. Lorenzo Del Toro’s letter to the editor, Feb. 19:

Despite Mr. Del Toro’s ability to calculate figures into the billions, in reality he has added 2 + 2 and gotten 5, a simple but not surprising error considering he was probably “seeing red” (maybe brown) and could not think straight.

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Summit Historical Society shocked by murder-suicide involving member (letter)

February 19, 2015 — 

Needless to say, the Summit Historical Society and its board were shocked and saddened by the recent tragedy involving Jim and Dorthe (Dorda) McNaul. Those of us in the society and on its board who knew Jim as a friend and colleague saw him as a very different person, a person that we would like to share with the public and as a comfort to his family.

Jim was a very active, positive, dedicated, and well-liked member of the society and served as its vice-president and president in 2004-05 and 2005-06 respectively. He was passionate about the preservation, maintenance, and restoration of all of the society’s historical sites and other property throughout Summit County.

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Recent Summit County gun deaths show needs for increased regulations (letter)

February 19, 2015 — 

It is sad to see that Summit County is participating in the epidemic. No, not the measles epidemic where most people, even Morgan Liddick, are realizing that vaccination is an important public health measure that protects not only the individual but the community in general. The epidemic I am talking about is that of guns being used to harm others. You earlier showed Jim McNaul showing off his pistol at the Summit County shooting range. Is a gun that will later be used as a murder weapon a matter of pride? No. Gun ownership, like the privilege of driving a car, needs to be regulated so that only individuals who have a real need for such weapons, perhaps hunters and surely police, can own them.It needs to be regulated so that only individuals who can prove that they know how to keep guns safe and out of the hands of angry people and children can own them. If driver’s licenses can be strictly regulated—also a public health measure, just like the measles vaccine—why cannot guns receive the same treatment?

Peggy Neville

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Summit County Coroner objects to use of photos in murder-suicide coverage (letter)

February 19, 2015 — 

I am writing to express my concern and disappointment at the photographs that accompanied the McNaul story on February 14. It is my opinion that the photos were in extremely poor taste and inappropriate for print given the facts of the case.

This has been a devastating event for the family and friends of Jim and Dorthe McNaul. I do not see the value in contributing to their pain by publishing said photographs. I would urge you and the Summit Daily News staff to please use caution in the future when dealing with very personal and sensitive matters in a small, close knit community such as ours.

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The 20-20 fallacy on weapons of mass destruction and Iraq (letter)

February 19, 2015 — 

Re: the “Chopper whopper dwarfed by the Iraq lie” article by John Young.

Mr. Young’s article would have you believe that U.S. citizens were “lied to” to accept the USA invasion of Iraq. Mr. Young bases his conclusion on the fact that no weapons of mass destruction were ever found in Iraq after the U.S. invasion and occupation and that is certainly true. What he doesn’t tell you is what the situation on the ground was at that time the invasion was being considered. So let me bring you up to date on some events that were happening the time.

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Linking Keystone pipeline to immigration debate (letter)

February 19, 2015 — 

Folks, the “Music has Died,” courtesy of President Obama. This guy says “Yes We Can!” to 5 million illegal immigrants, but “No We Can’t” to Canadian shale-oil and tight sands formations. “Yes!” to tax-evaders from South-of-the-Border, but “No!” to Canadian crude?

The “No We Can’t” represents Obama’s promise to veto the Keystone XL pipeline. This drives up the cost of shale/tight-sands “plays” in the Bakken/Exchaw Formations, Williston Basin shale, Shaunavon, Lower Viking, and Spyglass Formations in Saskatchewan and North Dakota. With the recent “Dump-the-Pumps” strategy by Saudi Arabia, Brent and WTI crude prices have gone sub-$40. Without the Keystone XL, this make these shale plays economically unviable to continue drilling. Bear in mind, there are at least two “Super-Giant” fields that need this pipeline, where a “Super-Giant Field” is defined as technically and economically recoverable amounts of refinery-grade crude in excess of five billion barrels. But, Obama says “No!” hence there goes the “Economically Recoverable” requirement to develop.

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Krane: Summit County GOP chairman's Obama rant misses bigger picture

February 12, 2015 — 

Reading Kim McGahey’s rant about the “imperial presidency” (Wednesday, Feb. 11) made me realize that as chairman of the Summit County Republican Party, he’s taken an oath to completely forget about the eight years of “ineptitude presidency” preceding Obama, and to brush aside the narrow-minded, constipated flow of opposition from his party to our current president. Don’t forget, it was (Republican Sen.) Mitch McConnell who brazenly crowed in 2008 that anything and everything must be done to make this president a one-term president. Honestly, reading McGahey’s piece was like reading some C+ high school essay by John Wilkes Booth.

On the left half of the page, Leigh Girvin had so many more important things to say about spending money (not), the environment and truly honoring our legacy of land use for the unabated policy of rape and pillage which it has been.

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Colorado's unvaccinated won't just stay home

February 12, 2015 — 

Morgan Liddick’s column of Feb. 10, “Civil liberties, measles and vaccines,” accurately reflects the problems related to the current under-vaccination for measles in the U.S. and especially in Colorado. However, in his last two paragraphs, he argues against mandated vaccination and proposes a voluntary decision of unvaccinated individuals to “remain home.” This is unrealistic for several reasons and will afford little protection from spreading the disease. (1) Since individuals with measles are asymptomatic for the first several days of their illness, they will have no reason to stay at home, but are highly infectious at that stage. (2) We know that many people with symptoms of the flu continue to go to work and school, thereby exposing others, although they are advised to stay at home. Similarly, people with milder symptoms of other infectious diseases, such as measles, will not avoid going out into the public. (3) Even if unvaccinated children are prevented from attending school, there are plenty of other ways they come in contact with others to spread the infection (such as visiting Disneyland). As pointed out in Liddick’s column, vaccination has had a dramatic effect in reducing deaths from these childhood illnesses. Medical science has given us the answers for how to best protect the children in our communities from these illnesses. But it requires participation from all of us.

Dr. Peter C. Raich

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Summit County's free electronics recycling event a hit (letter)

February 10, 2015 — 

We would like to extend our tremendous thanks to the residents of Summit County, who turned out in amazing numbers during our community’s inaugural free electronics recycling and pharmaceuticals collection event on Jan. 31, made possible by voters who approved Summit County Measure 1A in November.

Total numbers on the collected items are still being tallied, but we do know that more than 600 vehicles came through the Summit Stage Bus Barn to drop off old televisions, computers, phones, medications and supplements. By keeping these items out of our landfill and wastewater systems, our community has scored a major victory for local lakes, rivers and streams.

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An imperial president: An overview of the Obama presidency (column)

February 10, 2015 — 

After seven years, do you think you are getting the truth from the Obama administration? Do you think their lies are adversely influencing federal public policy? Do you think the American people are being represented honestly by this president? I would submit several examples that indicate the wool continues to be pulled over our collective eyes.

This imperial president is acting more like a dictator than a duly elected public servant. He complains constantly that he can’t wait for the legislative branch of our government to deliberate and compromise as the Constitutional process created by the Founders requires. But despite his public claim that he does not have the right to act unilaterally, he privately proceeded to govern by fiat when he arbitrarily awarded amnesty by executive order to illegal immigrants under 30 years old and again when he recently proposed blanket amnesty to illegal immigrants by executive order.

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'Cannabis prohibition is the devil's law' (letter)

February 10, 2015 — 

It’s disappointing but not unexpected, reading past Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, believes re-legalizing cannabis in Colorado is “stupid.”

As a cannabis prohibitionist, Bloomberg used dubious stop and frisk methods to arrest more citizens for pot than any mayor in the world, all while possession of cannabis in NYC is decriminalized. Possessing cannabis in NYC is an infraction similar to a parking ticket, not leading to arrest while displaying cannabis in public is still a misdemeanor. Bloomberg’s police would ask if a suspect had cannabis in their possession and if they said yes, their policy was to have the suspect empty their pocket. Once cannabis was then viewed in public due to police request, they would make an arrest. Minorities paid the price of Bloomberg’s scheme at alarmingly disproportionate rates than the general public.

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M. John Fayhee: The carbonated origins of Frisco's Spontaneous Combustion

February 9, 2015 — 

Spontaneous praise

I want to thank Krista Driscoll for the flattering story regarding the history of the Spontaneous Combustion community bonfire in Frisco. When Ms. Driscoll was interviewing me via phone, I vaguely remembered that the seed of the idea was germinated over adult beverages at Tuscato. Tom Fricke of KYSL radio told me he thought that seed was germinated over adult beverages at the Blue Spruce. Rick and Judy Amico told me they seem to remember it was the Moose Jaw. What can I say? The idea of a community bonfire in Frisco was born in some bar or, more likely, numerous bars along Main Street.

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Girvin: Breckenridge's endangered Reiling Dredge should die a dignified death

February 9, 2015 — 

I am one of those citizens who believes that we should let the Reiling Dredge die a dignified death and rust in peace in the grave she dug herself. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Nothing lasts forever and any preservation efforts, like a face lift on an aging Hollywood celebrity, will merely delay the inevitable.

Rather than preserving the Reiling Dredge as a “reminder of humans’ potential harmful environmental impacts,” let’s show how nature can reclaim from the devastation caused by decades of gold dredge destruction. Nature is reclaiming the Reiling Dredge and pond today. The old dredge is slowly decaying into her basin. Willows, mosses and other water loving plants are re-inhabiting the shores of the pond. Water bugs skim across the surface of the still waters and bats hunt the abundant insects that find a home around the small lake.

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Hage: Liddick takes on Girl Scouts? Seriously?

February 4, 2015 — 

Re: Morgan Liddick’s Feb. 3 column:

Great timing for Liddick! Just when Girl Scout cookie sales begin (Feb. 8) he trashes the girls’ efforts by gratuitously misrepresenting how sales work and how the proceeds are used. Each troop decides as a group how much money they want to earn, how many boxes they need to sell to earn that much and how to use the money they earn so they all can partake. It is a wonderful individual and teamwork learning experience for the girls. My grand-daughter’s troop just returned from a snowshoeing overnight hut trip which they planned and earned with their cookie money and which was free to the Girl Scouts and their mothers. Last year they went on an overnight river raft trip. The fictitious story of “Allie” is completely bogus and had nothing to do with the Girl Scouts, the cookie sales or the point he was attempting to make.

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Chisholm: Right to life versus a right to die

February 4, 2015 — 

It is amazing how euphemism (making something bad sound good) can change the meaning of life-and-death issues into polite exchanges between “extreme conservatives” and “enlightened progressives.” This may be a case in point especially in the issue of euthanasia and physician assisted suicide (Colorado House Bill 1135, “right to die”). This legislation is being pushed by a political agenda espousing the culture of death over our unique American Declaration of Independence of the individual vs. the state with its God-given right to life.

Why would a physician with a lifetime of the privilege of professional medical training and the gifts and talents to heal and ameliorate suffering want the burden of assisting in deliberately taking the life of another human in the name of compassion and a bogus “right to die”? Would this not be the act of killing using the euphemism of “physician assisted suicide”? Would we want “our doctor” to assist in this practice and also be the medical protector of our lives and the lives of our family?

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