Friday, April 19, 2019
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By the Numbers

10,000+—The number of cars heading back to Denver that I passed Monday morning while I was driving home. That was on Highway 285. Throw in I-70 and it’s safe to conclude that the Western Slope saw a boatload of people visit over the three-day weekend. Hopefully some of them found their way to this valley. I heard that was the case. Given great weather, the people showed in Crested Butte. Welcome to summer season.

1—The number of major auto accidents passed on the way home. It was ugly and it appeared to be ski town types—a couple of Subarus with plenty of window stickers. Our thoughts to those involved.

27—The number of Crested Butte Community School High School graduates. The grads will shift the tassel this Saturday morning at the Crested Butte Community School. It is always a time of pride for the community. Sending out another gaggle of smart and engaged mountain town kids into the world is something that wasn’t always done here. It is important to have a high school at this end of the valley and better to have a class of good kids representing the community. Kudos not just to the grads but also to the teachers and administrators whose success is seen very visibly with another prepared graduating class.

6—The number of Mt. Crested Butte town councilmen who voted for giving a public right of way to a developer…for free. That land may end up being a piece of a wonderful, economically enhancing project for the town but at the moment, it is just a six-figure give-away to a private developer betting on the come. The town just gave away land with no plan in front of them or guarantee that they’ll get back anything of value. Maybe every neighborhood in Mt. Crested Butte should ask for their town cul-de-sacs and put in a 7-11 or something. That’s a weird municipal move by those representing the taxpayers. But it was one good vote by councilman Danny D’Aquila who voted against the town give-away.

20—The number of Associated Press phone lines the U.S. Justice Department gathered records of in a Big Brother effort to spy on reporters who were working on stories involving the government. As a news guy (albeit even at a small-town weekly) I absolutely abhor the government spying on the press and intimidating reporters. Government secrecy and bullying drives me nuts. And then U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder admitted he was aware that his department was going after a Fox News reporter and threatening to charge him with a crime for soliciting information. That’s a reporter’s job. But Holder had approved a search-warrant application that equated the reporter’s newsgathering work with criminal conduct. That’s crap. Holder should be fired by his friend and boss Barack Obama. As lazy as the national press can be, I trust them a lot more than the government…any government. And so President Obama should make it clear that he wants his minions to back off and let the press remain free.

2—The number of people fired (sort of) from the Internal Revenue Service for targeting Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny in the horribly flawed non-profit category they are under (a 501c4) for tax purposes. Stupid move. I don’t care if Republican administrations took similar actions with the NAACP and Michael Moore; the IRS needs to maintain a standard of integrity and a high measure of neutrality. Ethically, they simply cannot put targeted pressure on any one type of political organization or activist. It is a black eye for the agency and the Obama administration.

5—Nanograms of THC per milliliter in the bloodstream that could get you busted for driving under the influence of marijuana. That was included in one of the bills signed by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper on Tuesday, establishing regulations for legal recreational marijuana in the state.

21—The number of mountain bike gears used on the trails that have now opened for the summer around Crested Butte. The trails are riding great for late May and will only improve. Welcome to a short but beautiful season in the valley.

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