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A biker rides the trail at Pineries Open Space, the Pikes Peak region’s newest open space near Black Forest.

Black Forest trails vision

We’re so lucky to live in the beautiful state of Colorado. It takes an upstate New Yorker to really appreciate it. The Adirondacks are cool but the Rockies rule!

I’ve recently taken lead for the Black Forest Trails Association (BFTA) from Larry Fariss who led for over ten years. Larry did a great job, his accomplishments include a master plan, friends groups, expanded parking and trail access. Thank you, Larry, for your leadership. You’re a hard act to follow.

I like to take a strategic look at organizations. My Air Force training in strategic planning leads me to analyze mission, vision then develop prioritized goals and objectives to support. Everything should line up so that decisions can be easily made.

The BFTA mission is included in the bylaws you can find at https://www.blackforesttrails.org/. In a nutshell BFTA is a trails advocacy group for the Black Forest. But what’s missing is the vision thing. I’d like to propose a draft and solicit your help to flesh it out.

The Colorado Trail serves as my inspiration. It runs for almost 500 miles across the Continental Divide from the mouth of Waterton Canyon southwest of Denver to Durango in southwest Colorado. The trail is a challenge and inspiration for hikers from around the country.

So I’m thinking of establishing a Black Forest Trail that would meander through our majestic forest. The county has already established several regional parks throughout the forest. What’s left is the connector trails and neighborhood access to these parks.

As an example, I live in the northeast corner of Black Forest near the Palmer Divide trail I helped to establish by working with the county years ago. The new Pineries Regional Park is not far away as the crow flies and the Pineries is very close to the Section 16 trail which establishes the beginning of my proposed trail system. My goal is to make it to “downtown” Black Forest without having to use a paved road.

So we’re starting to do that with building a connector trail from the new Redtail Ranch development off Vollmer Road to the Pineries. This effort is led by an eagle scout. Contact me to sign up: presidentbfta@gmail.com

Rich Mock

Elbert

Restore some civility to our streets

I was awakened once again last night by a vehicle with a noisy exhaust that drove by my home in a residential neighborhood. I have also been awakened by the loud sounds of similar vehicles speeding or racing at night on other streets in my general area.

This bad stuff has gone on too long, and I am fed up with it.

City code makes it illegal to modify the exhaust of any vehicle, so deliberately noisy vehicles are operating outside of the law. However, enforcement of the city noise ordinance by CSPD is darn near impossible because to prove a vehicle is inappropriately noisy requires a technical measurement of noise level that is not practical.

It is time for Colorado to implement annual general inspections of all vehicles as done in many other states. Such an inspection could identify modified exhausts and force their restoration to the original factory condition. This would remove noisy vehicles from our streets. As a bonus it could also address the multitude of poorly maintained vehicles with cracked windshields and broken head and tail lamps that frequent the city.

It is time to restore some civility to our streets. Forcing deliberately noisy vehicles off the roads using motor vehicle inspections would be a good, if partial, step in that direction.

Charles Rollman

Colorado Springs

Determining electoral votes

Colorado voters have a choice in November to determine how their electoral votes are to be cast by voting on Proposition 113. Should they vote “no” to retain the traditional method of “whoever wins Colorado gets Colorado’s electoral votes” or should they vote “yes” to adopt the popular vote method of “Colorado’s electoral votes go to the candidate who gets the most votes nationwide”?

Before making your choice, consider the following. In a presidential election there are only two possible outcomes. The first possibility is that Colorado chooses candidate A and candidate A wins the nationwide popular vote. Using either the traditional method or the popular vote method, Colorado’s electoral votes go to candidate A (the choice of the Colorado voters). But in the second possibility, things change. What if Colorado votes for candidate A but candidate B wins the nationwide popular vote? Following the traditional method, Colorado’s electoral votes still go to candidate A (the choice of Colorado voters) but following the popular vote method Colorado’s electoral votes are cast for candidate B (the very candidate that Colorado rejected).

So, there is only one way that the Colorado voters can lose, and that is by selecting the popular vote method of determining who gets Colorado’s electoral votes.

The proposal for a change in the procedure was prompted by the 2016 presidential election in which Colorado’s democratic legislators believed that under the popular vote method, Hillary Clinton would be President. The problem is that they forget that when you change the rules, the players change their strategy. Why in 2016 would a Republican candidate for president waste money and time campaigning in California or New York or Illinois knowing the outcome of a Democratic victory in those states was already determined?

Consider what could happen in an election similar to the one occurring in November of 2020. Assuming that Proposition 113 passes, Colorado could vote for a “Joe Biden” and a “Donald Trump” could win the nationwide popular vote. Colorado’s electoral votes would then go to the “Donald Trump”.

Larry J. Williams

Colorado Springs

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