Saturday, August 24, 2002
A bad decision
I would like to thank the City Council for making yet another decision for the rest of the town. For the past couple of years, many locals (so many more than the majority of the City Council) and apparently 11,000 others (this year) from out of town have looked forward to and attended the String Cheese Incident. Apparently we will not ever again.
"The majority of City Council members said they were looking for a different type of crowd than the one the String Cheese Incident brought in." Kathy Connell refers to Telluride's successful music experience. Has she ever gone to the Bluegrass Festival that has the same "type of crowd," or for that matter, any large-scale summer concert anywhere? How many other towns send GRAMNET into their parking lots to intentionally find those peaceful troublemakers? How unfair to label people for the music they will pay to see.
Why not keep that enormous stage up for a month or two and bring in a wide variety of music every weekend? There is no particular way to please everyone, but maybe more than one large concert per summer would satisfy a wider range of people, including whomever the City Council would like to perform.
Thanks to City Councilman Paul Strong for his support of the String Cheese Incident and for all of us "in his social group" that are part of the less-affluent demographic of Steamboat, but also one important part of the population that supports cultural diversity in our community.
There will no longer be a String Cheese Incident. I wouldn't blame them for not wanting to come back and play here. With these types of attitudes?
Why let fires burn?
The following text was addressed to Sen. Ben Nighthorse-Campbell:
I have to ask, did the Forest Service learn nothing from the Yellowstone fires of 1988? Must we watch the Flat Tops, one of Colorado's most beautiful areas, be reduced to cinders, because some Forest Service official thinks allowing a forest fire to burn during a record-setting drought is good? I am writing to you because I do not know who else will listen and get the Forest Service to change.
The following is an excerpt from the Rocky Mountain News:
"The Big Fish Fire also sent plumes of smoke toward Steamboat Springs. The fire, burning in the remote Flat Tops Wilderness Area, grew to 13,000 acres Sunday.
"The fire destroyed parts of the historic Trappers Lake Lodge, some cabins and a barn. Fueled by high winds Sunday, the fire threatened 20 residences, 20 commercial buildings and 10 outbuildings.
"Firefighters on Sunday extinguished a spot fire a mile from the main fire. But they were not fighting the rapidly growing main fire because it was burning dangerous accumulations of dead spruce trees. Lightning started the fire a month ago but it was dormant until a week ago.
"Fire officials predict the blaze could grow to 144,756 acres before reaching an area that would demand firefighting resources.
"'In the wilderness if (fire) is achieving the values we're looking for, we let it go,' U.S. Forest Service spokesman Bud Ivey said."
All of the Front Range, already weary from seemingly endless fires this summer, is under a cloud of smoke from the fire over 150 miles away. I hiked yesterday in Grand County, and I might as well have been hiking in L.A., the air was so full of smoke. Not only will the Flat Tops be allowed to burn because of the Forest Service's sophistry, we will get to endure another couple of months of oppressive smog throughout the state, thanks in part to the officials who are supposed to preserve and protect our forests.
Senator, please don't let the Forest Service continue this reckless policy of no fire suppression in a drought. Please persuade senior Forest Service officials to fight the fires in the Flat Tops and elsewhere during the drought, the best that man can do. Thank you.
G. Roger Bock