Wednesday, February 14, 2007
I'm not much for Valentine's Day sentiment.
But in honor of the "holiday" - Corporate hoax? Hallmark and Russell Stover conspiracy? Excuse to churn out another awful Drew Barrymore movie? - here are a few matches, romantic or semantic, that I would like to see get a little Valentine's spark.
1. The Steamboat Springs City Council and action.
These two would make a great couple. When planning a vacation, the City Council would read resort reviews (conduct community surveys), ask friends about where to go (listen to an army of consultants), discuss the best airfare and hotel deals (debate issues ad nauseam), and then, finally, Action would step in and say: "All right, that's it, we're going to Hawaii and we're staying at the Ramada" (make some concrete decisions about city housing policies or a recreation center).
2. A new skate park and local youths.
Sandy Sharp, who runs The Place near Little Toots Park, told City Council members last month that teenagers who hang out there tell her, "If you're not an Olympic hopeful or academically gifted, this town does not want you : the kids in this town know if skateboarding was an Olympic sport, we would have a fine skateboard park." Even if it's a half-truth or hearsay - teens have claimed boredom all over the world, since time immemorial - that's a sobering message.
After Sharp raised the issue again two weeks ago, council members agreed that a new skatepark is needed and has been discussed for some time, but they said that because of logistical issues, the project likely won't be completed before summer 2008. But it's no secret that youth facilities need upgrading today, not next year.
"I find it frustrating that we'll have a 23,000-square-foot addition to the library, but we're struggling with a 1,500-square-foot youth center for our kids right now," Councilman Ken Brenner said last week.
3. Rec consultants and a strong message.
The clearest solution to the first two items would be a strong recommendation for improving local recreation facilities from consultants Greenplay, LLC, of Broomfield and Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture of Denver. This newspaper has made this point in an editorial, but it's worth reiterating: A strong recommendation followed by strong council action would put Steamboat on track for getting the facilities the community desires. The stack of consultants' business cards on my desk is an inch thick. Let's hope these consultants stick.
4. Snow and Storm Peak.
This would be a match made in the heavens. We need more of the flaky white stuff not just on the mountain, but also in downtown Steamboat. How fast did the sculptures on Lincoln Avenue melt? How warm was Winter Carnival? Jim Weber, the city's director of public works, said he would welcome more snow rather than this rainy, sleety, icy mix that leads to slick roads and car accidents. "Bring it on," Weber said of snowfall measured in feet, not inches. The city budgets for it and the residents live for it, Old Man Winter, so give us your best shot before April.
5. My mother and successful surgery.
OK, this is my one dose of Valentine's sentiment. What kind of son would I be if I didn't take the opportunity to mention my Valentine to thousands of people? She goes under the knife in New Hampshire tomorrow to fix an ailing knee. I hope it goes well, Mom. Just ring the little golden bell when you want Dad to bring some fresh coffee while you're recovering.
And don't worry, the Hallmark card and Russell Stover chocolates are in the mail.
- To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4203
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org