Letters: 2/14/19

Wikimedia Commons

In support of Eldo-to-Walker
trail connection

We are writing in support of a multi-use trail connecting Eldorado State Park to Walker Ranch. We are the coaches for the local high school mountain bike teams from Boulder High and Fairview. We have represented our city well through the nine years of the high school league, winning eight state championships, and at the same time maintaining two of the most inclusive programs in the state by welcoming riders with any level of experience and expertise. We pride ourselves in developing responsible young people through riding bikes. A keystone of our success is being able to access rides locally. We are fortunate to be able to reach our public trails without using vehicles. We anticipate that our riders will regularly access the Eldo-to-Walker trail via bicycle with their friends and their families. Our highest goal is to provide the opportunity for our riders to achieve both competitive success and personal development in a safe and enjoyable manner. We want to create open space stewards and lifelong cyclists that welcome a healthy lifestyle and that understand the commitment and cooperation it takes to enjoy and preserve access to Open Space trails. Our athletes have contributed hundreds of collective hours to building and maintaining trails in Boulder County and will continue to do so. Our riders will contribute to the reconstruction of the current trail to allow for bike access when approved. These riders are the future protectors of our Open Space and will inspire a future generation to build, ride, and preserve. Opening the Eldo-to-Walker trail will help us continue to instill these values in the young members of our community.

Andrew Feeney/Fairview and Ben Boyer/Boulder High

Against the Eldo-to-Walker trail connection

Regarding the recent debate on converting Eldorado Canyon hiking trail into a mechanized traffic (bike) route:

A large segment of the public has been excluded from the debate because no notice about it was ever posted at the trailhead. As a result, many hikers, joggers, runners, tourists, wildlife viewers (I once encountered a bighorn sheep on that trail) and climbers who regularly use the trail were unaware of it. I’ve hiked it for 30-plus years and was shocked to learn of this terrible idea in a recent Boulder Weekly (Re: “In search of a path,” News, Feb. 7, 2019). To push this idea forward without so much as posting a trailhead notice for users to see for at least a year would be a slap in the public’s face.

This proposal is a lose-lose situation for everyone. How much fun will it be for bikes having to stop every 50 feet to avoid hitting hikers, tourists, etc.? The park already reaches over-capacity and visitors are denied entry on most sunny weekends. The overcrowding will only get worse as the population on the Front Range explodes. Throwing busloads of bikers into the mix will create absolute chaos, and there’s not enough park staff to control it. A better and more direct route from Boulder to Magnolia Road and Indian Peaks is via Flagstaff Road and County Road 68J.

I like to bike, but I also hike. Bikers, why not try hiking for a change? You may notice a beautiful insect, animal or flower that you could never see while trying to get airborne on a bike. You can hardly take in the beauty when you must be focused on avoiding crashes with other bikes and trail users.

This trail is one of the most strikingly beautiful hiking trails on the planet. The delicate vegetation and steep, rocky terrain of Rincon slope and West flank of Shirttail Peak is not well-suited for bikes. To tear up this magnificent scenery any more than has already been done would be a desecration.

The words of Teddy Roosevelt apply to Eldorado Canyon as they did to the Grand Canyon: “Leave it as it is. You cannot improve on it. You can only mar it. The ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it. What you can do is keep it for your children, your children’s children and for all who come after you.”

Nick Jancewicz/Longmont

On the Eldo-to-Walker trail, briefly

I live in Eldorado Springs. If they build the bike trail, I will send it.

Chris Mosher/Eldorado Springs

Better analogy for Trump is Napoleon

Paul Danish blew it with his pretentious historical-retrospective column on January 17 (Re: “Trump and the Shutdown,” Danish Plan). The correct battle analogy for Trump and his federal government shutdown hasn’t been Union General Grant at Spotsylvania Courthouse, fighting to end American slavery. Instead, as events of the subsequent week have shown us, it has turned out to be the megalomaniacal, would-be Emperor Napoleon going down to defeat at Waterloo.

Frank Sanders/Nederland

Border separation immoral

Surely, everyone has read or heard about the separation of children from parents at the Mexican border.

Imagine your children torn from you and no one knows where or how they are. Even the thought of that would cause pain to your heart.

This is being done in our name. There is at least one case of a nursing baby torn from the mother. As a mother and grandparent that thought is unimaginably painful to me. As a child of Holocaust survivors, it is a frightening reminder of a past we would not want to revisit.

At congressional hearings and in an internal Health and Human Services (HHS) report it was admitted that 2,700 plus thousands more children remain separated from their parents with no way to track where they are. At a congressional hearing on Feb. 7, HHS claimed that it would take too long to find children because they would have to go through individual files and they have no tracking system. Recently, a judge said, “The government tracks property better than they track these kids.”

This continues despite a court order because the administration claims this policy is a deterrent to asylum seekers. Apparently there is no federal law about separation of children from parents. Yet every state in our country has child welfare laws that children must be left with parents unless the parent presents a danger to the child.

We know this separation is wrong. Children should never be pawns. This issue is so fundamental that it must move all of us, regardless of our differences, to do whatever we can to change this policy.

Padma Wick/Longmont

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