Printed letters, August 14, 2011

As someone who has really enjoyed skiing at Powderhorn almost every year since it first opened, I want to congratulate and say thank you to Andy Daly and his fellow investors. Powderhorn, while not perfect, is truly a treasure and we are very lucky to have such a fun place so close to home.

It is so fun that, although I have skied all but five of Colorado’s ski areas and have skied in Idaho, Utah and Wyoming, I have not skied anywhere but Powderhorn the last six years.

An editorial congratulating the new owners listed several improvements that The Daily Sentinel hoped would be made. Chief among them were improvements in the lifts. I agree the lifts can be tedious, but high-speed lifts are not the solution. Powderhorn is simply too small to bear the extra traffic and the result would be Copper Mountain-boilerplate on all the groomed runs and no powder left by 11 a.m. on the ungroomed runs or the trees. In addition, high-speed lifts require a lot of maintenance that will drive up costs. Higher lift prices and poorer quality skiing — no thanks.

I’m sure the new owners want to have a successful and profitable Powderhorn, as do I. If they do well, maybe I can get in another 25 years of fun on a very fine, small ski area. With that in mind and a little humor as well, I’d like to suggest a no-cost way to increase the number of skiers at Powderhorn.

Instead of the daily snow report touting 6 inches of snow in the last 24 hours, change it to say we’ve saved and created 12 inches of snow in the last 24 hours. It sounds better and of course no one could challenge what can’t be measured. It’s worked for a president, why not a ski area?

Good luck to Andy Daly and Powderhorn, I can’t wait until they open.


Grand Junction

Congress should eliminate Highway Administration

Recently, attention has been focused on the federal gas tax and the necessity of having that tax. The truth is that there no longer is a need for the Federal Highway Administration, whose current chief function is to pass tax money collected from the taxpayers back to the various state highway departments.

The federal gas tax should be eliminated and we should leave it up to the states to increase state taxes enough to make up the difference. This would reduce the federal budget by $40 billion and reduce the size of one federal agency. The feds would no longer be able to threaten the loss of highway dollars because of some non-highway violations. At most, the Highway Adminstration would become a minor agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation, overseeing some necessary small programs.

The Highway Administration provided a needed service in the early days of highway history, developing standards, leading research and coordinating activities of the various state departments, up to the completion of the interstate system. Since then, it’s primary responsibility has been to pass money back to taxpayers from whom it was collected.

State departments of transportation are professional, well-staffed and able to take care of their programs. This waste of money needs to be stopped.



Safety, compassion needed for dealing with homeless

In response to columnist Jim Spehar’s question posed in his July 19 column, “Compassion or condemnation?”: We need safety, compassion and balanced policies from our city.

First and foremost, this needs to be about safety — safety for our children and for those of us who want to enjoy our public spaces. But I don’t feel safe.

Last October, pregnant at the time, I was running on the riverfront trail with my 3-year old beside me on her scooter when, out of nowhere, we were blocked on both sides by intoxicated transients. We froze, while these two men had a shouting match in front of my 3-year-old, and we tried to escape without getting harmed. Talk about scary. I haven’t been back to the riverfront trail since and the recent article mentioning the riverside encampment of 60–80 transients has reaffirmed that decision.

Second, this needs to be about compassion for our neighbors who need it most. Many of us in the community support our outreach organizations for this very reason. Personally, I gave a warm coat last winter to a homeless man during a storm. I later saw that same man outside of Redlands Liquor with a bottle of alcohol standing near another homeless man wearing the jacket, which he had obviously traded for booze. Not everyone wants help.

Finally, this issue requires us all to show some common sense and pursue balanced policies from our city. We should build on the good work the HOT team is doing and ask our non-profits to continue to play a role in the solution, but enforcement of our laws and ordinances absolutely must play a role. Otherwise, the message is that lawless behavior is acceptable.

Safety. Compassion. Balance. That’s what we’re asking.


Grand Junction


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