Hot flash thoughts; Trump, fire, water

This middle age thing is tough. I’m always hot. But I’m not alone. I have chatted with people on the East Coast, in Denver, in Mexico, in Arizona and Nevada this past week. They all talked about the heat. It is hell out there beyond these mountains. Heck, it is unusually hot here—80s in Crested Butte and flirting with 90 in Gunnison? Crazy. But here it is also beautiful and while it is sweaty, we aren’t blasting air conditioning 24/7 and perspiring as soon as one leaves the front door. While certainly toasty, we are the chosen ones in the great American heat fest.

I love my brother…and that’s one reason I will likely hold my nose and vote for Hillary Clinton. It’s not because she inspires me. You see I was at a family reunion last week and in what turned into a somewhat loud political discussion, my brother said he was supporting Donald Trump. As much as I resent Clinton’s molting from a young, thoughtful idealist who I think wanted to make the country better into a neo-con war supporter who capitalized on her name and became ultra-rich as a result (and that has to taint one’s view of the world and someone’s core principles), she is more stable than a cartoon character who is profiting through the Republican Party nomination process to get as much attention as humanly possible to feed an ego of gargantuan dimensions.

I honestly like how he tapped into the correct sentiment that the government is broken and the middle class is getting the shaft. But he defines racist. He is mean. He makes fun of disabled people. He can’t seem to focus. He wants to bully people in general, the press in particular, and anyone who opposes his ideas. He doesn’t want to study or learn and sitting in the nation’s highest office requires studying, thought, analysis and learning.

So his general advantage of being able to hit on a real problem and voice the concern doesn’t cancel out his major detriments. The idea of him representing this country is appalling and I think the collective conscience of this country will reject voting for a dimwitted racist con artist. I hope.

So I will continue to love my brother but I have a moral obligation to cancel out his vote. While I do so with little enthusiasm, I will vote for Hillary and you might think about that as well instead of bragging that you voted for Gabby Clapsyaddle of the Pooch Party so you didn’t have to vote for Donald or Hillary. I swear the Clintons are paying Donald to do what he is doing. Why else…?

Kudos to the firefighters that have dealt and are dealing with the small wildfire up Cement Creek. It looked pretty impressive Sunday and is still smoldering. Wildfire has always been the major concern at this end of the valley. If a fire gets out of control in a dry summer, there isn’t much wiggle room up here. Fire is a natural part of our environment so it isn’t shocking to see but we all need to be prepared and careful. The long range forecast calls for continued dry conditions so be aware of campfires, fireworks, cigarette butts, engines backfiring and anything else that could inadvertently start a fire that turns into a catastrophe. This Cement Creek incident is a warning shot. Let’s take notice. And thanks again to those who respond in the heat of the moment.

Congrats go out to a couple of recent moves. The $10 million from Great Outdoors Colorado to help protect the Trampe property in the county is great. It is a big step in helping to preserve a giant block of working agriculture in Gunnison County. It is a big honor to get that sort of money from the state and confirms the work of other organizations helping to get that land protected.

The new Met Rec District board has quickly fulfilled one of its campaign promises. The board on Monday awarded $19,000 to two recreation projects in the valley. The town of Crested Butte will get about $13,500 to go toward the new bike park. Down-valley, the Met Rec district awarded about $5,400 for improvements to the Rodeo Grounds for a new gate used to release cattle into the arena. The Junior Ropers submitted this grant. Nice job on their part!

The Crested Butte council has stepped up and will now officially consider a ban on some single-use plastic bags in town. It appears organizers have taken a step back after hearing concerns from the local businesses and will work with the town staff to come up with a regulation that bans carryout bags but allows other types of plastic bags and some paper bags. Every indication is that once in place, the bag ban is workable and people adjust if they have opportunity to go with the flow. The council wants to go with this flow and will delve into details of a proposed ban probably next month. Is it a “feel good” ordinance? Probably to some extent, but it’s okay to feel good, even in this heat.

Coming back from the beach this week, I think one of the biggest things that is obvious after being away is the water. The tap water on Hilton Head tastes like it has sat in a kiddie pool for a few weeks. Upon my return to Denver, that water tasted good in comparison and normally that isn’t very good. So when we got home and took a long drink out of the faucet, it was heaven. I sort of get the bottled water thing in Hilton Head and most other places. But for tourists coming to this valley, save some money and karma and forgo the cases of Arrowhead and instead turn on the tap and enjoy a piece of the fortune that comes with visiting this place. Our water is real and you will enjoy it as part of your experience. It’s hot out there so enjoy some real water.

—Mark Reaman

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