Messaging on backcountry mitigation, ADUs, Trump and Gunnison’s Brexit vote

The Mt. Crested Butte Town Council deserves some big praise for stepping up and putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to addressing potential backcountry problems in the coming summer. The council ponied up $20,000 to help fund the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association Conservation Corps idea. The idea is to have a couple of teams out in the backcountry all summer working on trails, maintaining backcountry lands, engaging visitors and generally working to help mitigate the problems that come with more and more people using our neighborhood of wilderness that we all love. CBMBA is hoping to get similar support from the Crested Butte Town Council and the Gunnison County commissioners. Here is hoping that those two elected boards also have the foresight to step up and put their money where their mouth is. After all, when I say put “their” money where “their” mouth is—it is our money and the issue has certainly been a topic coming out of all of our mouths the last several summers. And those entities have the financial means. This is real action and not just more blah blah about how we need to do something. Real action this summer will set the stage for a longer term plan but there is no reason to punt on this good idea.

I found myself agreeing with some really rich guys this week. Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett and Microsoft’s Bill Gates this week characterized the healthcare plan that was voted on by people like our Colorado Congressman Scott Tipton as a giant tax break for rich guys like themselves. Great. Buffett said the country’s healthcare system really needs to be modernized, not just tweaked to give more money to rich people. He explained that healthcare spending accounted for just 5 percent of U.S. GDP in 1960. Now, it’s 17 percent, which is six or seven percentage points higher than in most other developed countries. “Medical costs are the tapeworm of American economic competitiveness,” Buffett said. “That is a problem society is having trouble with, and is going to have more trouble with, regardless of which party is in power.”

Buffett’s partner, Charlie Munger—a staunch Republican by the way—told Yahoo Finance this week that the most business-friendly way to deliver healthcare would be “a single-payer system, with people being able to opt out into private systems that were a little faster or fancier, like all of Europe and Canada.”

What do they know? Maybe a lot? I’ll hop on board the coattails of these one percenters.

A college roommate of mine now living in Nevada has doggedly called the offices of his U.S. congressman and two U.S. senators every single day for months now, asking them to officially censure Donald Trump for his outlandish accusation that president Obama wiretapped him during the presidential campaign. No congressional representative, Republican or Democrat, has said they will push for that. As my friend Ed Cohen notes: “Trump made an accusation that Obama wiretapped him during the presidential campaign. He offered no evidence, then or since. His claim has been thoroughly discredited. End of story. Except it definitely should NOT be the end of the story. Not when it’s the president of the United States who has made a false accusation that his predecessor committed a felony on the order of Watergate. That’s a big story. That’s a ‘Let’s think about impeachment, and let’s certainly censure him’ story. And yet it’s not been that big of a story. That’s because we have a president who lies shamelessly and unapologetically almost every day—it’s normal for him. We’ve gotten used to it. Plus we have a Congress controlled by members of his own party who will apparently hold their tongues about anything he says or does as long as he keeps signing their legislation. Congress should at the least censure Trump—and I’ve called my reps every day for the past eight weeks asking them to do so.”

Kudos to Ed for not letting this go and continuing to put some heat on his elected representatives. They all need to keep hearing it.

Gunnison County District Court judge Steve Patrick made a court ruling this month essentially making it clear that if people own deed-restricted accessory dwellings in Crested Butte, they are obliged to use them as intended—as rental properties for people who live and work in the valley. Those ADUs were given zoning and tap fee breaks in exchange for that purpose. While a couple of property owners are balking at that expectation, it is good for them—and all of us—to have a workforce that keeps the community pumping be able to live here. Had they not wanted to abide by the deal, they should not have purchased that particular piece of property.

While we didn’t closely follow the Gunnison city council election that took place Tuesday, we did take note of the results and it appears the voters there sent a sort Brexit message. A couple of “progressive” politicians were voted out in favor of what appears to me to be “old school” Gunnison politicians. Does it mean less One Valley-European Union type policies and more of a focus on an insular ‘Make Gunnison Great Again’ path? We’ll find out soon…

—Mark Reaman

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