LETTERS

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YAMPA FOURTHPlease correct me if I'm wrong. My understanding is the Steamboat Pilot serves all of Routt County.

Yampa is a small town in Routt County. Unlike the larger cities in this county, we only have one town-sponsored holiday that includes the whole community.

Yampa is a small town of fewer than 500 people, yet we swell to about 1,500 for the Fourth of July. I find it very sad that the Pilot did not have time to give us any coverage for this very special day, either before or after.

We have a committee that spends many hours to plan a smooth-running holiday and many other participate. The parade marshals this year were longtime South Routt residents Jack and Wanda Redmond.

The morning started off with a pancake breakfast at the Yampa Ladies Aid Hall. This was a benefit for youth organizations. Sandy deGanahl headed up the workers.

The parade included children, floats, horses, antique carriages, bikes and a band. Ron Nielsen played his calliope. We gave 10 trophies and second- and third-place ribbons to the participants.

Dick Palmer and Jim Woodcock line up the parade and keep it running smoothly.

For years, we had no band in our parade. Nora Phillips, seeing a need for this, has volunteered her time and energy the past few years, and with many good-spirited players, young and old, we boast a great band.

Following the parade, we served a barbecue lunch at the Yampa Elementary School grounds. We appreciate the South Routt School District letting us use this area.

Tom Yackey heads up the lunch, with great volunteer help. The lunch is our main income for the celebration. This pays for trophies, game supplies and our fireworks display at the park. We accept donations but do not solicit them.

Connie Sigler and her helpers lead the afternoon games and races. They include all ages and include an egg toss and a tug of war.

Community members from all of South Routt set up booths to help their nonprofit groups. The Handy Lads and Lasses has sold pop for the last 15 years.

This year, the Fourth of July Committee sponsored the pie booth. Pam Montoya chaired this project with all proceeds going to a benefit for a young girl with cancer, Liana Martin. Folks from all over Routt County donated homemade pies to make this benefit a success.

Monty Younglund leads up the afternoon horse polo. This event takes place on Moffat Avenue in Yampa. We have men's and women's teams that are larger each year. There is even an old-fashioned horse race.

At dark, Yampa volunteer firefighters sponsor the fireworks on the hill. We are proud of the display and many come to watch.

I have subscribed to the Pilot since moving to Yampa in 1977. Sometimes I wonder why.

Linda Yackey

Yampa Fourth of July Committee

SPECIAL INTERESTRegarding the petition against impact fees, I suspect many residents believe that special interest/lobbyists are limited to state and federal bureaucracy, but it appears that the same tactics are in play in our own backyard.

I have been told that more than 250 persons are involved in the listing and sale of real estate in Steamboat Springs. If this is true, their personal income may be affected and the real estate special interests must fight back. What a sad, sobering situation.

Walt Robinson

Steamboat Springs

KIDS AND COURTESYLast week while shopping downtown on a busy Friday afternoon, my husband and I were walking in the 800 block of Lincoln when two teen-age girls on bikes, each with a large dog on a leash, proceeded to ride down the sidewalk that was bustling with shoppers.

The first girl made it safely past us, but the second, in trying to pass my husband on her bike with the dog, ran directly into him. He was uninjured, but the girl didn't apologize and in spite of our "reminding'' her that bicycles are not permitted on the sidewalk, she got right back on the bike and continued riding.

Needless to say, I was furious, wondering why kids today don't seem to respect anything or anyone. It seems to be an epidemic, regardless of whether our teens are on bikes, snowboards or skateboards or driving cars, they just don't seem to care about anyone else.

Then, I remembered another event that had happened just five minutes prior to the bicycle episode, easily forgotten because it wasn't as dramatic.

We had gone to Go-Fer to get a cold drink and arrived at the door at the same time as two teen-agers who appeared to be brothers. The older opened the door, went in and let the door go behind him. The younger teen took the door and held it open for me.

Kids seem to learn more from their peers than from the grown-ups, so maybe, just maybe, this young man will be a better teacher than the girls on the bikes. We can only hope.

Terry Lyons

Steamboat Springs

HEART IN THE PARKIt is heartening to know there are still caring, generous people here in Steamboat Springs.

This was evident at Art in the Park.

Many thanks to the library for letting the United Methodist Women set up a booth on the lawn to sell raffle tickets for the beautiful quilt they made.

All the money goes to mission work, most of it in Routt County.

Also many thanks to Bob and Bert Rundell for taking a booth at Art in the Park so that seniors had a place to sell their crafts.

Betty Leipold

Steamboat Springs

IMPACT ADIt is disturbing to see public money spent by the city of Steamboat Springs on a full-page advertisement advocating impact fees. The ad purports to explain council's imposition of this tax.

The first question asks why affordable housing is not getting some of the money, with the answer being that the city's outside expert had problems with its legality. Wrong answer. The real answer is to impose a tax like this one without the vote of the people, the city must walk a fine line. However, if an impact fee were approved by the voters, its proceeds certainly could be used for affordable housing or whatever the voters approved. Being in business locally, I struggle daily with employee housing issues. Only a few of our 55 full-time employees live in Steamboat Springs. If their dream is to live closer to work, they are twice disenfranchised the impact fee makes a home cost $5,000 more and they can't afford to live here so they can't vote.

I am not a developer, although to satisfy some business needs, I have built some warehouses, ACZ's laboratory and the facility that now houses Waste Management. I have been trying for several years to build employee housing. Planning constraints, taxes and now impact fees are barriers. That is why I helped collect signatures to take the impact fee issue to the voters.

To our City Council: Voters are smart enough to approve or reject new taxes after an open community debate. Skirting the voters with gimmicks such as a bond disguised as a lease, a tax masquerading as a fee, and other inventions is insulting. If the people say 'no' to new taxes, it could be because we don't want them, not because we are not intelligent enough to know what is good for us and can't be trusted to express ourselves at the poll.

Les A. Liman

Steamboat Springs

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