Summit Daily letters: Colorado ski laws favor reckless snow-thugs
January 10, 2017
Ski laws favor reckless snow-thugs
I read, with interest, the letters from Rabbi Schwartzman and John Palsedge in the Summit Daily News recently.
This is the 5th year for us late 60s ski visitors and we love the entire area and its people… except for those few, rude and dangerous snow-thugs.
There is clearly a problem but it is not simply out of control boarders/skiers.
My experience suggests that Colorado and ski company laws/rules may actually encourage some to assume they are "bullet-proof" from resort rules and to actually encourage colliders to run away when they hit someone on the slopes.
Two years ago, at Breckenridge, a twenty-something boarder and his friend were racing down the slope next to a copse of trees that ended at the wide catwalk folks use to get from one run to another.
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Moving fast and not able to see beyond the trees, one nailed a 50ish skier in our group — big time!
The boarder also crashed and landed near me, got up, looked uphill, turned and appeared to be getting ready to take off.
I skied over, put my arm around his shoulder and told him he wasn't going anywhere until we saw to the man he hit.
Almost immediately, two ski patrollers arrived and checked to see if the downed victim was seriously injured.
He didn't seem to need immediate medical attention.
They then skied down to the two boarders and me.
The boarders told the ski patrollers I had restrained the guilty boarder, which I had.
Then things got real frosty.
They asked if the boarder wanted to press charges.
The boarder seemed familiar with the process and used lingo like "he assaulted me!" and "the skier was skiing too fast and hit me".
Luckily the rest of the group arrived to dispute his story but the focus remained on me, the "assault" perp.
For many reasons, the boarders chose not to charge me, but the ski patroller told me I had violated the law and they were prepared to escort me down the hill to be processed for arrest.
I've since found out this is correct state law.
Other ski patrollers have told me they are not allowed to even pursue violent hit-and-runners, much less restrain one who would run.
Sadly, too many of the potential snow-thugs know the rules.
And few, if any, of the rest of us realize the chance of catching the runners is almost nil.
They know if they stick around, they may be arrested and penalized and there is almost no chance of getting caught if they run.
The current system rewards those who hit and run.
This is easily fixable.
It's up to the lawmakers and the ski companies to protect us, not the bad guys.
Norton Shores, MI
Convince congressman to vote again EPA nominee
There is still time! Before the. Jan 18 Senate hearing, call or write Senator Bennet and Senator Gardner to reject Scott Pruitt's appointment as the Director of the Environmental Protection Agency. Why? It's true that Mr. Pruitt passed the federal ethics committee review yesterday based upon required financial documents he needed to submit. It is also true that citizens of our community, state and world are having some serious concerns about his background.
The main mission of the EPA is "to protect human health and the environment. EPA's purpose is to ensure that: all Americans are protected from significant risks to human health and the environment where they live, learn and work. How can anyone feel protected by a man who is suing the very agency he will lead? How can anyone not be suspicious of a man who in his political career has accepted $300,000 campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry and openly admits that the "climate change debate is far from settled."
If you are feeling a bit unhealthy about this nomination, please, I urge you to contact your senators and tell them to reject Scott Pruitt's nomination.
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