Historic use of the Waldrop Trail
In 1969 Ingvar Sodal, a Norwegian engineer, started Colorado Mountain Club Boulder group’s cross-country ski school and encouraged the group to build trails into the Brainard Lake area, providing alternative routes to the Brainard Cabin built in 1929. The Boulder Group assisted with building the South Trail in 1970 and in 1971 the North Trail, which was renamed “the Waldrop Trail” to honor Harry Waldrop who died kayaking in 1975. The historical fact is the Waldrop Trail was built by skiers and snowshoers for skiers and snowshoers.
The Waldrop Trail was not built by cyclists or Boulder Mountain Bike Alliance or local bike shops and builders that promote use of fat bikes. That is a fact. With endorsement of the National Forest Service (NFS) Boulder Ranger District, fat bike riders now monopolize this trail, their blogs declaring it an A+ ride. The NFS, which has acted elsewhere to preserve historical use of public lands, seems to have forgotten the origin and historical use of Waldrop. A little bit of Boulder County history is being lost to oversight without grounding in local history.
I appeal to the Boulder Ranger District to return The Waldrop Trail to its original ski and snowshoe use. This trail is a gem, built forty years before fat bikes, by skiers to pass their joy of skiing on to future generations. The NFS has allowed it to become a highway for mechanized travel erasing the legacy of Ingvar Sodal and Harry Waldrop. My appeal is not directed at fat bikers, from whom I have received flippant and finger-flipping replies. It is up to the Boulder Ranger District to right this wrong and preserve the history of The Waldrop Trail.
Boulder Valley School Board perpetuates a threat to
student safety at Ryan Elementary
I believe that there is a serious problem with school safety and accountability at Ryan Elementary and with the Boulder Valley School Board. On September 17, 2015, my 7-year-old daughter, who is a second grade student at Ryan Elementary, was seriously hurt after another student tripped her causing her to fall and hit her head on a desk.
I think her teacher failed to properly supervise the students and my daughter was hurt on two previous occasions, none of which the teacher saw. When my wife and I requested a meeting with my daughter’s teacher, the principal banned me from school property falsely labeling me as a security threat. Evidently, the principal at Ryan Elementary as well as other principals at BVSD, have a pattern of banning parents who complain instead of addressing and correcting the issue. On September 25, 2015, I filed a Federal lawsuit alleging due process and equal protection violations against the teacher, principal, school and BVSD and asked the Court to grant me injunctive relief.
On December 10, 2015, my wife and I had a telephone meeting with BVSD and their attorney and they refused to even discuss steps to allow me to participate in my daughter’s education. On January 12, 2016, I appeared before the Boulder Valley School Board and offered to withdraw my lawsuit, if I would be allowed to participate in my daughter’s education; however, the school board refused to discuss the issue.
So, I continue to be banned from school property and Boulder Valley School Board continues to waste taxpayer dollars on attorney fees.
Andrew J. O’Connor/Lafayette
New Year’s resolutions for restaurants
Right now, we’re all setting New Year’s resolutions to better our own health. But what about public health? We all rely on antibiotics to treat everything from simple infections to potentially life-threatening illnesses like pneumonia. But one of the biggest threats to public health is antibiotic resistant superbugs.
Imagining a world without the antibiotics millions of people rely on is terrifying. Already, 23,000 Americans die as a result of antibiotic-resistant infections each year. Yet 70 percent of antibiotics in the U.S. are given to livestock on factory farms for growth promotion and disease prevention. This overuse of antibiotics on factory farms fuels the rise of superbugs, which cause illnesses we can’t cure.
Restaurants that buy from factory farms can call for change. Already, places like Noodles and Company, Chick-Fil-A and Subway have taken steps to phase out antibiotics from their meat. We must call on more major restaurants to make their New Year’s resolutions to protect public health and stop selling meats raised on our antibiotics.
Four oblivious apocalyptic horsemen
President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, former Secretary of State Clinton, and Senator Bernie Sanders are oblivious to the danger posed by ISIS.
Bernie Sanders keeps harping on our economy, and hardly talks about ISIS. He is way out in left field.
President Obama referred to ISIS as the JV team and dithered when moderate Syrians asked for air strikes. Over the past year Obama’s air campaign against ISIS averaged 20 sorties per day compared to 1,100 sorties per day in Operation Desert Storm and 800 per day during the second Gulf War.
Obama continues to refuse to call them radical Islamic terrorists.
When referring to the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, Secretary Kerry said there was “a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they’re really angry because of this and that.” And then he described the killing of 130 people in Paris as indiscriminate. There is no rationale for any terrorist attacks, and showing sympathy for the Charlie Hebdo attack is ridiculous.
In a Democratic debate former Secretary Clinton said she couldn’t refer to the Paris killers as radical Islamic terrorists, which is parroting Obama’s view of the terrorists. Clinton and Obama think we should lead from behind and let others be out front, and ISIS and others are taking advantage of this policy of non-leadership, and they threaten the security of this country and the Western world.
Radon is a threat
In Boulder County, 54 percent of homes have unhealthy radon levels; that’s equivalent to every person in the home having 200 chest x-rays every year. This compares with only 6 percent of homes having unhealthy radon levels across the rest of the country. Take action this January during National Radon Action Month by testing your home for radon.
Winter is a great time to test for radon because homes are closed up, and short-term testing can be done easily. Testing is simple and inexpensive, and when problems are discovered, they’re easier to fix than you’d think. The ReSource Tool Library in Boulder and the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension in Longmont sell radon test kits for less than $20. Kits can also be found at your local hardware and home improvement stores.
Radon is a naturally occurring, invisible gas that decays into radioactive particles, which increase the risk of lung cancer for those living with radon trapped inside their homes. Lung cancer kills more people than breast, prostate, colon, liver, kidney and melanoma cancers combined. Radon exposure causes over 500 lung cancer deaths every year in Colorado.
As we work toward sustainable communities, making our homes more energy efficient plays an important role in our health. When we tighten our homes, it can impact the air quality indoors. Residents enrolled in the EnergySmart Program, which helps increase energy efficiency of homes, can now receive a short-term radon test kit as part of an energy audit. Over 1,000 EnergySmart participants have tested their homes for radon so far. For more information about the EnergySmart Program, contact them at 303-544-1000.
For more information about radon and testing, visit BoulderCountyRadon.org or call Boulder County Public Health at 303-441-1580.
Susan Martino and Patty Dooley-Strappelli, Indoor Air Program, Boulder County Public Health/Denver