Top 5 stories on SummitDaily.com, week of March 18
Editor’s note: Social Call is compiled from comments on stories posted to the Summit Daily’s Facebook page.
“Summit might learn from Denver’s unending jail problems : millions of dollars/year settled on avoidable, tragic, senseless personal tragedies. Why not act with sense, compassion, reason?” — John Westcott, on “Family of deceased inmate sues Summit County Sheriff’s Office, citing ‘shameful history’ of ignoring medical needs”
“Which pharma executives or pain mgmt doctors will be executed first? If prescribed opioids are the ‘root’ of the crisis, why focus on a plant?” — Debbie Vance, on “Sessions’ latest memo pushes prosecutors to seek death penalty against big drug dealers. That could include legal marijuana business owners”
“The dog had a microchip with accurate information. She essentially stole the dog. Shame on her. Why is this case ongoing?” — Cindy P. Ball, on “Steamboat woman turns over custody of embattled husky Sitka”
“Instead of wrecking a park and building more structures maybe Frisco should buy a few of the empty units around the county and use those instead. Win win for everyone. We cannot keep building.” — Jacob Deneault, on “Frisco residents resist ballot measure that would authorize workforce housing on ‘pocket park’”
“This must be the most support I’ve ever seen for a quasi park hardly used while we are seeing major expansion in Frisco of parks and rec with the bike path system, marina, skate park (I could go on). I believe it was considered the best option to make more housing available quickly which there is a clear need for. Looks to me like a great location for a family to live in Frisco. I’ll put my vote in and hope for the best.” — Chris Logan, on “Frisco residents resist ballot measure that would authorize workforce housing on ‘pocket park’”
“What a fantastically inefficient use of land! Main St. is PREMIUM real estate. The same affordable housing could be offered at a lower cost, or more housing at the same cost, by selling this lot and using the proceeds and construction funds to build or purchase units somewhere besides Main St. As an added bonus, there would be less street parking pressure and the units would be less noisy for residents!” — Aaron Parmet, on “Frisco residents resist ballot measure that would authorize workforce housing on ‘pocket park’”
“There are thousands upon thousands of National Forest in Summit County I doubt a little lot in “downtown” will be missed while helping our workforce with housing.” — Kevin Evans, on “Frisco residents resist ballot measure that would authorize workforce housing on ‘pocket park’”
Editor’s note: Stories in this list received the most page views on SummitDaily.com for the past week.
Klaus Wolter, a climate scientist with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences in Boulder, spoke March 15 at an event titled “What will Summit County’s winters be like in 2050.” Wolter, who has studied climate data in Colorado for almost three decades, said Summit County will still be a premiere skiing destination in 2050, but there will be changes, including shorter winters and less snow. The world is getting warmer, he said, and even if humans begin to rein in carbon emissions, the damage is already done. For Colorado, the temperature rise has been even more significant.
“2017 is the warmest year on record in Colorado in the last 120 years,” Wolter said. “Since the 1910s and 20s, Colorado has warmed up more than the rest of the country or the world.”
Last week, a half-dozen people gathered with signs in front of the Frisco Post Office to protest Ballot Question 2B , which would effectively strip the old community center lot on Third Avenue of its “pocket park” designation, allowing the town to build at least a dozen affordable housing units there. The measure stems from a recommendation by the Frisco Housing Task Force, an advisory body that identified the lot as one of the town’s best options for quickly building affordable housing. But the residents who oppose the measure argue the town shouldn’t give up one of its last open spaces for workforce housing when it has other potential build sites available —including the empty Sabatini lot across the street.
“The bigger issue is this is our only community center,” said homeowner Steve Beck. “Once it’s gone it’s gone, and it’s right in the pedestrian corridor of town… there are dozens of things it could be used for.”
A new report from Evolve Vacation Rental Network, a Denver-based company that manages vacation rentals, shows just how much money these properties can generate in Summit County. Its reports detail the annual revenues generated — for example, the owner of a nice, five-bedroom home in Summit can see up to $100,000 or more as a short-term vacation rental. There are plenty of other considerations, however, directly tied to supply and demand and not all properties are created equal.
“Another way to look at that,” said Brian Becker, senior vice president of marketing for Evolve, “is that a five-bedroom unit in Frisco is going to command less than a five-bedroom, ski-in, ski-out unit in Breckenridge.”
Breckenridge town officials are pushing forward with a project to build a 400-space structure at Tiger Dredge and F Lot, as some residents continue to voice concerns. Some who live in the area cite current traffic congestion and traffic noise on Park Avenue as reasons to be opposed to the project. Addressing some of those concerns, town manager Rick Holman has offered details of the town’s plan to ease traffic congestion, such as construction of a new roundabout at South Park Avenue and Village Road, other pedestrian improvements and moves designed to reduce the average number of daily trips in and out of F Lot, such as the elimination of free parking. He reassures that Breckenridge has been working on this project for at least the last three years, a traffic plan is included as part of it.
The family of a woman who died after an in-custody suicide attempt in 2016 filed suit on Wednesday against the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, claiming jail staff ignored the woman’s signs of distress, failed to provide her medication and showed “deliberate indifference” to her safety. Jacqueline Bickford, 31, died in a hospital in April 2016 after hanging herself in her cell. The lawsuit claims her death fits a pattern of misconduct at the jail, including another death in 2013 and a serious assault the year before.
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