Summit Daily letters: Blue River ticket spoils Summit County vacation
An unwelcome ticket for a Summit County visitor
Does Summit County really want me to visit? That is what I was asking myself after our seven-day visit last week.
We rented a house in Blue River, bought souvenirs, visited Epic Discovery, rented ATVs, ate at many of the restaurants, and even bought groceries at Krogers. All in all, I estimate that we spent about $4,500. Summit County is such a beautiful area. It is a place that I thought my family would return for future vacations–that is, until a Blue River police officer threatened to arrest me.
As an amateur photographer, I thought I’d get a nice picture of my family with a scenic background. I decided that the little lake between Breckenridge and Blue River would make a great background for our portrait. I pulled down to the water and noticed a sign that said, “No Trespassing.” Now, I figured that we had already trespassed and we were only going to be three for four minutes. We weren’t going to put kayaks in the water, fish, or spray paint graffiti, so who is going to care.
Well, apparently one of the residents did care because a Blue River police officer rolled in within a couple minutes. Before I could say anything, he was threatening to arrest me. In the end, he said that he was going to do me a favor and not put me behind bars. Instead, he was only going to fine me $106 dollars.
Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I’m a huge proponent of law enforcement, but this guy seemed to have studied criminal justice at the Barney Fife Academy. I realize that, technically, I broke the law, but where is common sense. In Colorado, it is also illegal to destroy a rock in a state park or fish from the back of a horse. Are these laws enforced?
Are tourists really wanted in Summit County. As far as I could tell, tourism seemed to be the main industry. I am glad that I was able to contribute $4,500 dollars (plus $106) to Summit County’s economy. This will, however, be the first and last trip for my family. I prefer to vacation where I feel wanted. Not where an officer threatens to arrest me for snapping a souvenir photo of my family.
Surprised by poverty
It was with a very heavy heart that I read about food insecurity, poverty and hunger in Summit County. It was inconceivable to me that in Silverthorne alone, over 3,000 residents would be dealing with such issues. In my opinion, every civilised society must be able to afford basic food and shelter to its citizens. Many of us living here are fortunate enough to have plenty. Fate has smiled upon us and now it should be our turn to share. Just as Bible says, “From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required…..”
I am not a permanent resident here. I spend summers here, but I belong to suburbs of Memphis, Tennessee, where we have dealt with food insecurity and poverty collectively as a group. We have a backpack program for the school year and summer harvest program for the summer months for those vulnerable families. The local churches and the area food bank have taken the lead in distribution while we have raised funds for the effort. I would like to start a fund-raising campaign in Summit County to deal with this issue, on a year-round basis. I believe that there is enough goodness out there in the hearts of our summit county residents to meet this problem. Your paper may need to start this campaign and if successfully done, I will donate the first $1,000. I can sit with local officials and share my experience on organizing such effort.
The future of Dillon’s views
The center of the town of Dillon is as tranquil and serene as one could ever wish it to be. One could say that it is dull, run down, unimaginative, and, compared to its sister towns, boring. But note, the town of Dillon has some of the most beautiful views of the Gore Range Mountains in all of Summit County. Some of this may be about to change because of a proposed, four-story condo building that is proposed to be built at La Bonte and Main. Some of those of who live opposite the site are just now waking up to what this project will mean to us.
I, for one, bought my condo at the Lodge at Lake Dillon because of my direct view of Buffalo and Red mountains. Why should the members of the town council care? After all, this doesn’t impact their lives, let alone their mountain views. However, apart from some increased traffic in our immediate area, and possible intrusive, more invasive night lighting; our real consternation is over the proposed height of this structure. For certain, since the height will equal that of Dillon’s bowling alley building, we shall lose some of our view of Buffalo and Red mountains. If so, this most assuredly will lower the values of our units and probably will affect the amount of tax that we eventually will be paying to the town of Dillon and Summit County. If this turns out to be the case, the town of Dillon potentially will stand to lose more tax revenue than it might make from these new twenty-four condo units.
Chateau Claire, Marina Place and the Lodge at Lake Dillon condos are all potentially impacted, especially those whose units face Buffalo and Red Mountains.
When the HOA of the Lodge at Lake Dillon met back in May, the minutes of the meeting show that the Town of Dillon’s representatives did not indicate that anything like this projected condo building was on the horizon. Since then, and without a lot of fan fair, except for a notice in the Summit Daily News that no one seems to have seen, and a letter the Town of Dillon sent out about a public hearing that was held at the Dillon Town Council Chambers on Wednesday, August 2, there has been word that the Dillon Planning and Zoning Commission approved the Dillon Flats Condos project.
This Wednesday there is to be something called “A Community Chat.” It is to take place from 5:30 – 6:30 at the Dillon Town Council Chambers. Just what the agenda will be is anyone’s guess. The notice of this “Chat” appeared in Friday’s Summit Daily (August 4) paper on page 25 with no more details than this. My sincere hope is that we of these condo buildings whose views and property values are potentially at risk will show up en masse. Even if we are denied an opportunity to speak and even if this project is, by now, a “done deal” to the Planning and Zoning Commission; our presence at this meeting will speak volumes.
We may not even have heard about the first meeting and may not have been able to appear at the public hearing, but we can let our elected representatives on the Dillon Town Council know this Wednesday that we don’t approve of what is happening to us. We don’t agree with the process by which any decision may or may not have been made; but, by assembling at this meeting and sharing our thoughts, information and concerns about the future of our town and our properties, we, collectively, may be able to consider next steps.
Rabbi Joel R. Schwartzman
Lucky to have the Care Clinic
In light of all the recent acrimony, controversy, and threat surrounding health care access and affordability, I want to point out that we in Summit County are fortunate to have the Summit Community Care Clinic. SCCC provides medical, dental, and behavioral health services to all, regardless of ability to pay. Now in its 23rd year, we continue to expand our services to meet the growing needs of our local population both at the clinic and through the School Based Health program. We are in the midst of our summer on-line fundraiser and want to encourage donations.
Since over half of the clients served by the clinic are uninsured, and many others who are insured have high, perhaps unaffordable, deductibles, the financial needs of the Clinic are large and are met mostly through the incredible generosity of our community. I, myself, give what I can and volunteer because I feel the strong need to assure access to primary care services across the entire spectrum of services in order to give our fellow citizens optimum health. Without affordable prevention and treatment services of the highest quality, our entire community would be a less desirable home. In fact, the services are so good, I and many of our other Board members choose to go to SCCC for their care. All insurances are accepted.
On line donations are best made either through Facebook.com/summitclinic or Coloradogives.org/sccc. Please join me in assuring the thriving of this Summit County gem of a resource.
Don Parsons, MD
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