LETTERS

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FRONT-PAGE NEWSDefinitely front-page news: Oh my Gosh! Developers giving back to the community. And $10,000 at that that has got to be 1/100th of 1 percent of the profit the Temple brothers are going to make on their development. That is so giving of them. They will probably have to go without giving their hired help a raise for the next five years. I bet Catamount Development (locally known as Scabamount) is kicking themselves in the backside right now.

Just think all that P.R. for only $10,000. Plus, it's a tax writeoff.

Mark Pitzer

Steamboat Springs

ARTICLE MISFOCUSEDTom Ross's article "Mountain biker suffers head gash" in (July 21) issue of Steamboat Today was misfocused and one-sided. Fast mountain biking, especially on crowded trails is obviously dangerous. Even more dangerous, however, is riding a bike without a helmet. Ross' one-sentence aside, "He (Elkins) wasn't wearing a helmet," should have been the focus of the article.

If Elkins was really concerned about making a point for trail safety he would have mentioned his own careless bareheadedness in his caution to other riders. Ross should have noted that Elkins' injury was as much his own fault as that of the other rider, because Elkins could have been wearing head protection.

Had Elkins donned a helmet, he may have escaped the collision "relatively uninjured" as did the other helmeted rider. Elkins says, "You shouldn't have to fear death when you go out for an evening ride." Using Steamboat's trails along with other riders is inherently risky, but Elkins acted irresponsibly by not protecting his own head.

Accidents will happen on the trail, no matter how many regulations are imposed.

The picture of Elkins' wound in the paper should be a reminder to those using Steamboat's trails to protect themselves against unforeseen circumstances by always using a helmet even for "nice little rides."

Laura Taylor

Steamboat Springs

'THANK YOU' DUE

Thank you to Elmer Balvanz and the Steamboat Mountain Soccer Tournament Committee and all the volunteers once again for a job well done in hosting the successful tournament last weekend. Thank you even more for publishing an address for the family of Joshua Johnson, who was tragically killed in the car accident, for those of us who were touched enough to want to contact the family. In a time where CD Codes, affordable housing, responsible growth, taxes, funding, allocations and mill levies are taking center stage, this tragic loss of a 12-year-old reminded me what is really most important. Give your kids a big hug tonight, and let's think what our community should really be all about.

Steve Carlson

Steamboat Springs

THANKS, STUDENTSTo the students at Hayden High School (1995-2001):

I was very sad and surprised to hear last week that the Hayden School District's budget could not support my position on the faculty as your social studies teacher. I want to thank all of you for giving me the opportunity to be your teacher. I have learned so much from you and think very highly of all of you. I will cherish my memories of teaching at Hayden High School forever. I especially want to thank those of you who came to the school board meeting and spoke on my behalf. I have always tried to teach my students the importance of having the courage and accepting responsibility for speaking up for one's beliefs. I was both touched and impressed by your public comments. Good luck to all of you and remember you deserve the best education you can find. Go Tigers!

Don Toy

Hayden

Theory incorrect

I just read the "ViewPoint" article in the July 20 issue of Steamboat Today ("The Other Story on Fuel Efficiency," by Jeff Jacoby of The Boston Globe) and was amazed by the proposed theory that fuel efficiency is a killer of thousands of people on our highways. The main premise of the author was if you increase gas mileage then the vehicle is smaller and we will increase the number of deaths on our highways. Conclusion: Bigger vehicles consume more gas and are safer to drive on our highways.

Using this logic what happens when an SUV hits a delivery truck? SUV loses. What happens when a delivery truck hits a dump truck? What happens when a dump truck hits a fully loaded semi truck? You guess? Does this mean we should all go out and buy a semi truck? Where does it end? Or does it?

This sounds like the Cold War where we all lose. Do big SUVs kill people more than smaller vehicles? Are the high bumpers on SUVs the cause of more deaths in lower bumpers?

Who causes traffic accidents? Small vehicles? Big vehicles? SUVs? Or is it people? Are the drivers talking on the cell phone? Are they drunk? Are they arguing with a passenger, or are they just not paying attention? Vehicles don't cause accidents.

Fuel efficiency doesn't kill people. People do!

Why are people using more gas, driving more miles and owning more cars per person? Is it because of the fuel-efficient vehicles? Of course not! It's because we live in the suburbs. Is it because of sprawl? Is it because we don't work and shop and play where we live? Is it because we like our freedom and mobility?

It is not the fuel-efficient car we should be blaming. It is us.

Think of the air pollution caused by driving; the dust, ground ozone and the carbon dioxide-induced extreme weather. Think of those people who have asthma, cardiovascular-respiratory problems caused by difficulty in breathing. Think of those who are sick and miss work because of unfit air they are breathing. Think of the billions of dollars and lives that are lost dealing with vehicle-caused air pollution? I bet that the number of accidents on the highway would be very small compared to the damage caused by car-induced air pollution.

For a moment think about the disadvantages of a large SUV they are slower to move from a stop thus impeding traffic flow and causing traffic congestion. They are slower to stop, thus causing more accidents. They are slower to maneuver thus unable to avoid close-call accidents. And they give the driver and occupant a false sense of safety at the expense of other vehicle drivers. Do large SUVs have a connection to road rage because of their perceived size-related safety?

Reducing the size and weight of vehicles is not the only way to decrease gas consumption. There are SUVs that can get much-improved gas mileage without losing a pound. There are SUVs and smaller vehicles that lose pounds and are as strong because of new materials.

If we all drove smaller, lighter, as roomy vehicles we would not have to fear an accident with a monster SUV and we could save some money and have more time for our family and our community.

The fuel-efficiency program (CAF) is not a failure it is a success. It's you, me and the author of the article "The Bogus story on fuel efficiency" that are to blame.

John Spezia

Steamboat Springs

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