Saturday, January 4, 2003
I just want to congratulate you on the terrific job you did covering the airplane crash. My God, there must have been four or five different stories and follow-up stories. Too bad you couldn't do the same for the Roaring Fork girls' basketball team. They nearly killed 13 people and all you had was one little article, and that article was incomplete. I haven't seen a follow-up article at all. Kind of reminds you of when the Howelsen Hill Lodge fell down. Maybe one of these days we'll have a real catastrophe and then you can blame yourselves.
Lack of trust for ASC
Chris Diamond's statements that hopefully the community will embrace ASC now that the judge has ruled on the lawsuit made me laugh. Isn't this the same company that was working a secret deal with Vail? Isn't this the same company that backed out of the Triple Peaks deal by removing themselves from the closing meeting and calling back later, asking Triple Peak representatives to vacate the room because the deal was off? Should I even mention the Les Otten reign? ASC needs to accept the fact that the Steamboat community does not trust them.
Stankos deserved better
I wanted to comment regarding the lack of coverage of the Tour of Lights this year. I was extremely disappointed in its coverage; only one paragraph stating who the winners are. What happened to the articles like the previous year, before and after interviews? What is the criteria used by the judges for judging? The "winners" this year were nice, but the Stankos deserved better than sixth place -- they deserved first for their spectacular display.
Real community leaders set good examples of respect for their constituents by following the rules that their constituents must follow to obey local laws. The City Council majority set a terrible example of responsible leadership by waiving the city noise ordinance so snowmobile races could be held at Howelsen Hill. Obviously they don't care about the noise and air pollution they are inflicting on local residents just so a few more tourists can be crammed into Steamboat over the Christmas holidays to generate a few more sales tax dollars. The people who profit from this thoughtless commercialism will probably be back to get more of these events approved. How can residents enjoy the peace and quiet of their homes that local laws are supposed to ensure when the City Council won't follow the law, and the laws don't apply to their pet projects?
Get more information
My comment is regarding the headline in the Dec. 22 Pilot & Today, the "Separation of Church and State Questioned." I think that you need to research the basis of the separation of church and state and get the real information. There are no laws and no constitutional amendments that guarantee separation of church and state. The original document was a letter written by Thomas Jefferson, which the ACLU has taken and expanded on unconstitutionally. So I would just recommend that the Steamboat Pilot & Today review the rules in their entirety and print factual truths as opposed to broad, sweeping statements.
'No' to entering schools
I feel very strongly outside groups should have equal access to our children in our schools, and that is no access at all. Our schools are not for outside recruiting. They are for reading, writing and arithmetic. We do not maintain our schools for recruiting and we should not expose our students to outside, community persons, some of whom may not have the best interests of our children at heart.
Absolutely not. It might be all right if any representative of any religion was allowed to, but that would create complete chaos and the only fair way to do this is to say no. It should be separated from public schools. There are plenty of other times for religious people to talk to children.
No religious representatives should be allowed to visit with our students during school. That's a blatant violation of the separation of church and state.
Policies need changed
Adult representatives from religious groups should not be allowed into any of the schools to try to recruit or coerce young people. The idea that they come in at lunchtime and bring food sometimes is just horrible. The school district should change its policies.
I think all season pass holders should receive their 15 percent discounts with no blackout dates on the mountain. It's a new thing they have been doing this year with the blackout dates and we don't think that is very fair. Another thing I think would be great is when there is a 12-inch snow or more, all season pass holders could have a special line and the gondola could open at 8:15 a.m.
The Question of the Week was "Do you support snowmobile races 'returning to' Howelsen Hill"? The Pilot should identify its source and present some proof to back up "returning to," otherwise the impression is left that the practice is already established. In 40-plus years about Steamboat, I do not recall organized snow machine races. At any rate -- what a surprise that 322 votes were cast on this issue! Response -- 89 percent in favor; 11 percent against. The normal response to questions seldom exceeds 25 to 30. It's not so difficult to explain, however, when you know about the practice called "packing." The Chamber Resort Association executives have honed this skill to a fine art. No doubt the local organized snowmobilers collaborated to solicit "yes" votes to help skew the poll. It is a sure bet the phone wires were hot with calls and e-mails to respective memberships to call in "yes" votes to Sound Off. Another example of poll-packing: The Oct. 13 Pilot question was "Do you agree with the funding increase the City Council gave the chamber in the 2003 budget?" Response: 359 votes -- again 89 percent in favor; 11 percent against. Isn't it a strange coincidence that the response jumps over 1,000 percent when CRA-sponsored subsidies or events are involved? Does the CRA leadership really think the citizenry is so gullible and naÃive that it doesn't see this obvious chicanery? CRA executives are old hands at packing. Look at the City Council makeup for another example, where the majority is either CRA members -- or under the thrall of the admitted "partnership with business." This explains how such ill-conceived "signature events" as snowmobile races in Old Town during a holiday period could be approved. No doubt the event had to be planned quite a while ahead, and the partnership strategy was apparently to keep it low profile as long as possible. The purpose -- to shortcut public objection.