Summit Daily letters: A case against Summit County shut-downs
September 15, 2016
Defense bill rider an attack on endangered species
I totally agree with Garett Reppenhagen's Sept. 11 article on the sage-grouse rider some are trying to attach to the National Defense Authorization Act. This provision has nothing to do with national security or military readiness and should not be included in a critical defense bill. The Department of Defense, the Army, the Navy and the Air Force have all stated that sage-grouse conservation efforts will not undermine military readiness, so why are some members of Congress ignoring the experts and continuing to pursue this frivolous endeavor? My fellow Coloradans and I care deeply about wildlife and our natural environment and we do not want the NDAA being misused to support an agenda which may result in the sage-grouse being driven to extinction.
There have been over 125 attacks on the Endangered Species Act in Congress since 2015, and this is yet one more attempt. We need to start protecting our iconic wildlife now from these unwarranted attacks before it is too late. As the popular bumper sticker reads: Extinction is Forever!
Taking a knee
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Mike Littwin offered a brave column on Sunday pointing out the inconsistencies of those critical of Colin Kaepernick's pre-season protests. It forced me to confront my own ambivalence on the issue.
I was at Thursday's Bronco game (yes, Trevor Siemian is for real!) and found myself unwillingly scanning the sidelines during the rather bad rendition of the National Anthem, hoping that I wouldn't see any of my beloved Broncos kneeling or sitting. Brandon Marshall blew that.
But after listening to Marshall's patient, articulate explanation and reading Littwin's column this morning, I realize that Marshall's kneeling is not that much different than my own increasing aversion to chest thumping patriotism from people who know little of duty or sacrifice or the history of our country. Marshall just has more guts than I do and a much bigger platform.
In an election year offering a choice between a reincarnation of the Ugly American and the epitome of intellectual snobbery, we need more Brandon Marshalls, not less. Confronting our country's flaws is not unpatriotic, it's our duty.
A case against Summit shutdowns
I'm in agreement with local Barb Bond and tourist Dante Langston (Summit Daily Sept 13). Shutting down Summit County for races, triathlons, etc. may be a bit unrealistic for locals and tourists alike. I urge the county and towns to rethink how this affects others and if there is a different way to accommodate the athletes — a few who were local friends and they did great! I was lucky enough to be at my church's retreat in Winter Park last weekend for the triathlon closures, but on July 9, I and many out of town (and out of country) guests were inconvenienced as no warning was given at all when a race closed up Summit Cove for a few hours, until law enforcement came to the rescue. We had a wedding in River Run that day and had all sorts of set-up to do beforehand, and on return to get ready for the wedding, we could not get to my home from Highway 6 into Summit Cove. Complete chaos forced me to park on the highway and call my neighbors (Barb and Keith Bond) to come get me on Summit Drive, where I ran to. Even more ridiculous, my 80-year-old mother in town for the special occasion had to walk out to the highway from Cove Boulevard and get picked up by my nephew staying in Keystone to get her to her hair appointment in Keystone. Swan Mountain Road and Summit Cove are just too populated to close unless of course there is a true emergency. My hope is that town and county officials can come up with a different route for these racers that doesn't close the entrance to our neighborhoods.
Vail Resorts realities in Breck
Stop poking the bear. Breckenridge is the town and resort that it is because of Vail Resorts. Vail Resorts is the largest employer in Breckenridge. The town council convinced voters to tax day lift tickets at Breckenridge with a guaranteed $3.5 million to the town from Vail Resorts for a parking structure. Did anyone think a corporation would take a $3.5 million hit to their bottom line without passing those costs onto their customers? Now town council has come up with roundabouts and heated sidewalks to improve traffic flow, putting a parking structure on the far back burner. If I were the CEO of Vail Resorts and I had just added Park City and Whistler Blackcomb to my portfolio, I would "clean up" Breckenridge Ski Resort, adding a much-needed brand-new restaurant, sell off non-ski related property and put Breck on the market. Start working with a great corporate partner! They more than pay their fair share.
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