Saturday, January 31, 2009

On The Other Hand He Could Do Nothing


Summit County, Colorado

On The Other Hand He Could Do Nothing

I first became a public servant in May of 1960 when I enlisted in the United States Air Force. I left public service in January 2007 when my three years as a Colorado State Representative ended. That is nearly 47 years of being on the public dole.

One thing I found out in all that time was if you did anything at all you would get in trouble. People who work hard in the government are castigated by the others who are not as ambitious. You can cruise through your entire career by hiding and not making decisions or you can stick your head up above the fray and get shot at on a daily basis. I am proud of the fact that I got shot at a lot and truly made a difference in my 47 years.

President Obama has hit the ground running and in the past few days he has made some very dramatic decisions that will set the tone for his legacy. And now he is being attacked big time.

The latest is his negative comments about the Wall Street Bonus system. The insiders are saying that the bonuses are based on how great a job the manager did in the previous year. Well, they did not do a great job so why are they getting a bonus? They are saying that it is part of the system of compensation. Why don't we say it is criminal and they should go to prison if they accept taxpayer money as a bonus for screwing up the economy.

One idiot on TV last night said the real responsibility is with the people. The people let the economy go to hell. I think it was because we were following the Judas Goat. (Wall Street) g

Friday, January 30, 2009

I Am So Mad I Could Just Spit


Summit County, Colorado

I Am So Mad I Could Just Spit

When the Bush stimulus bill went through the House it came out with virtually no "pork" in it. After it left the Senate it looked like a Christmas Tree with all the crap hanging on it from members repaying their supporters with special interest legislation.

It passed and immediately we found that there were no controls on the spending. AIG did a $500,000 party with some of the money.

This week we found out that the big spender Wall Street types have now given themselves huge bonuses with our money because there was nothing in the rules that said they could not do that.

This morning NPR is reporting that the Obama stimulus bill that just passed the house with no special legislation or pork or Christmas Ornaments is now being laden with things that have nothing to do with stimulating the economy. The Democrats are now getting funding though this bill to pay for projects that were vetoed by Bush. When is this madness going to end? Why when all of us are feeling the pain and understand the problem our elected officials in Washington remain so very ignorant?

I am so mad I could just spit. g

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ding Dong The King Is Dead


Summit County, Colorado

Ding Dong The King Is Dead

The Governor of Illinois was found guilty in the State Senate today and has been removed from office. The guy was a jerk and did not deserve to be Governor but the whole affair makes me very sad. The betrayal of trust by him makes me grieve for the whole state and country.

We need to look into our own hearts to try to come up with a way of selecting good and honest men and women for elected office. This is 2009 and we should not have to look over our shoulders to see what our elected officials are up to in our name.

We need to protect our families and our children from these terrible people. g

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It Was A Dark And Snowy Day


Summit County, Colorado

It Was A Dark And Snowy Day.

We had a heavy snow warning on Saturday and it snowed less than two inches. Yesterday we had a heavy snow warning and it snowed less than one inch. If we keep this up we will soon go into a negative mode and have to give snow back rather than receive snow.

I have been doing a traffic survey of highway 9 past my house to determine the state of the economy in Summit County. By my count it seems as though we are doing just fine.

I have also been asking the same question of business owners and restaurant employees and they all say that it is a normal to up year so far. It we shaky in November but then it started to snow and things have been just fine.

I think it has a lot to do with being close to a major population center in Denver. The destination resorts are probably hurting be we are not. I know that the ski industry in Colorado was saying a week ago that we are down over seven per cent. I wonder who the we is? g

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Send The Legislators Home


Summit County, Colorado

Send the Legislators Home


I keep reading about how the Colorado State Legislature is working very hard on a slow poke bill to fine people who drive below the speed limit. And today I read about how another major bill is one to require cats to have identification.

I think they should run a bill shutting down the legislature and sending all of the lawmakers home.

Apparently they have not considered the plight of our economy. They have not felt the pain of the people without jobs. They are not doing anything to help. Apparently they can only think about slow drivers and cats without ID.

I say throw the bums out and shut the place down. Maybe if they all needed a real job they would get busy passing some important laws. g

Monday, January 26, 2009

Don't Quit Your Job


Summit County, Colorado

Don't Quit Your Job

I sometimes think that many people do not have a firm grasp on reality when it comes to our economy. I still hear people talking about quitting their job because they are unhappy and going out to find a new career.

That is just plain bad thinking. Never, ever quit your job before you have already found a new job. I learned that one the hard way. Especially in this bad economy. We all want to think that we are God's gift to our employer but when you don't have an job at all that myth soon comes back to haunt you.

I predict it will be as long as five to ten years before we get back to where we were in the job market.

60 Minutes last night had a feature on the DHL Shipping company going out of business in the United States and leaving over 10,000 people unemployed after nearly twenty years. The city of Wilmington, Ohio lost their main industry and now the entire city is looking for jobs. In some cases the whole family mom, dad and the kids are unemployed after 18 years with Airborne and DHL. So very sad and there is nothing that anyone can do to fix the problem.

If you have a job keep it for as long as you can even if you are miserable. The luxury that we had a year ago to change jobs is gone. g

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Freedom of Speech versus Individual Privacy


Summit County, Colorado

Freedom of Speech versus Individual Privacy

I am dropping the Summit County, Colorado Independent from my tag line for my BLOG. I was checking some sites in my Google Reader and found that Colorado Independent is really an ultra right wing news blog out of Colorado Springs. It does not mean that they are bad people but simply misguided. I checked the names and most are people I would not be seen in public with and they probably would not want to be seen in public with me either.

Franklin Roosevelt was president when I was born in 1942. Every president from Roosevelt to Obama have had a very close public scrutiny by the media and the people. This morning there was a story in the New York Post about how there are dolls of the Obama girls. Michelle Obama is very upset. I think that Harry Truman said it best about if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen. I don't know what Michelle expected. The Bush daughters had reporters following them into bars in Austin where they were drinking illegally. Chelsea had reporters following her around college and spying on who she was dating. It comes with the territory and Michelle should just deal with it. We should guard our privacy and honor the privacy of others but when your father or husband is the President of the United States all bets are off.

By the way, there is no right to privacy guaranteed either in the constitution or the bill of rights. Privacy became an issue about 60 years ago in statute but not as a guaranteed right.

Would you rather have freedom of speech with the media or an individual right to privacy? g

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Wildlife Surrounds Us


Summit County, Colorado Independent

Wildlife Surrounds Us

We have Elk, Deer, Bear, Coyote, Fox, Voles and probably a lot of unknown species living near our homes.

I have always thought that we were living in their habitat and it was our job to get along with them rather than for us to chase them off or kill them to improve our life.

There have been reports recently about Mountain Lions and Coyotes in the heavily populated areas in and around Denver. One report from Broomfield said that a woman walking her dog was attacked by a coyote. Was the woman intruding in the territory of the Coyote or was the Coyote in the woman's territory? I would like to think of it from the aspect of who came first. The Coyote or the woman. I think the Coyote would win that court case.

As I sit in my warm home this morning looking out at the never ending snow I am reminded that all of the animals listed above are having to fend for themselves in this weather. Granted they are probably well fed and warm in their den or shelter in the nearby woods but I should be thankful for the animals rather than expect the animals to be thankful for me. g

Friday, January 23, 2009

Moms and Snowy Nights


Summit County, Colorado Independent

Moms and snowy days

My mother would have been 96 years old today. I thought of it first thing this morning and then my sister reminded me also. My dad would have been 100 this September. That is so hard to imagine. I will be 67 in September and I keep telling people that my next big birthday I will be 70. Big birthdays are the ones that end in zero.

As I mentioned earlier this week we have been having a heat spell in the high country. I have had patches of grass showing through where the snow has melted. My stack on the deck that was around eight feet is now about two feet.

Today that all changed. The skies opened up and we are getting a major Colorado High Country dump. I can't even see Ken's house across the street. Cars are moving very slowly through the subdivision and I would imagine that the State Patrol will not have a lot of time to sit around the Village Inn drinking coffee and having pie along with their stories that get more outrageous and the years pass by.

Interstate 70 is closed in both directions on Georgetown Hill. With the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) cameras even a blind fool could see that it is snowing hard. Good night to stay next to the fire and sleep close to the dog for warmth. Remeber the Australian Rock Group "Three Dog Night?" A three dog night is a very cold night. True story. When you live a long time you remember the most worthless stuff. g

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Summit County, Colorado Independent


Summit County, Colorado Independent

It is time to get back to work.

The recent election took almost two full years from our lives if you count the primaries. At times it seemed like the entire world was put on hold in anticipation of the next sound bite or the next announcement of a candidate jumping into the race or leaving the race.

The issue went from a hopeless war that has killed over 4000 of our boys and girls to the economy. It was too late to talk about the war and it was also too late to talk about the economy. Eight years of poor decisions by a misguided president. There is not enough glue in the world to put humpty dumpty back together again.

So what are we to do?

We need to sit down, shut up and get back to work. We were the problem by allowing Bush to continue with his policies and now it is up to us to fix the problem.

We need to conserve as much as we can. Conserve our personal resources and conserve the resources of the nation. We need to keep working. Work at any work we can find to make money so we can make purchases to help the economy recover. We need to stop sitting around waiting for the perfect job and take whatever life has to offer. We need to put away our toys and focus on the things that are actually important in life. Think of your belief systems and your family first. If your priorities are in the right place then your rewards will be there also.

Today is the day you have to get back to work. g

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Summit County, Colorado Spring


Summit County, Colorado Independent

Summit County Spring

Normally this time of the year the winter kind of wears me down and I start complaining about being cold and being tired of shoveling snow. Not this year. I guess global warming has finally come to the Colorado high country. It has been extraordinarily warm for the past week. It has been in the 60s and 70s in Denver. Not exactly Stock Show Weather when it is normally -20 degrees and it goes straight to the bone. This past week has been shorts and t shirt weather in Denver and the parks have been full of people enjoying the sun.

Here in Summit County it has not been as warm but it has been very pleasant. Light coats are in style and the only weather related event are the many puddles in the street from the melting snow.

We have to keep in mind that March is the biggest month for snowfall so our ski industry does not have to pack up for the season. I do remember back before snowmaking that the ski areas would close in January if there was no snow. Not this year I hope. g

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Our New President


Summit County, Colorado Independent

Our new President

As you can imagine I am thrilled with our new president but I am not thrilled with the media coverage. There is only so much you can say about the man, his family and his future dog. All of the media just keep repeating themselves as they have run out of new things to say about him. Just flip channels and not watch the picture. You will think that you are listening to the same commentator on every station.

I am so excited about Obama. The media makes me sick at times. Is it tomorrow yet? g

Monday, January 19, 2009

Moonbeams in the high country


Summit County, Colorado Independent

Moonbeams in the high country

This morning as I was making my way west toward the Ten Mile Range and Peak One I could see the perfect outline of the mountains being lit by the moon just before it set. I have seen that before and it always reminds me of a painting rather than something that is real and before my eyes. I think about taking a picture but I am not sure I could without a tripod to keep it from being blurry in the low light. I am also not sure that some would say I had taken a photo of a painting rather than the real deal.

I like the real deal. g

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Fox and the Hound


Summit County, Colorado Independent

The Fox and the Hound

My son Matt's six year old Boxer/Pit Bull mix Reina has been living with me for the past couple of months. Matt lives in a studio apartment at 9th and Sherman in downtown Denver and Reina does not get any opportunity to look out at the grass and trees or to bark at any other animals from a high rise apartment building.

This morning Reina was going nuts around 5 am at something across the street. It was just starting to get light and all I could see were shadows. Finally I saw about seven Fox chasing each other around a lone pine tree in the neighbor's back yard. Reina barked and I watched for about fifteen minutes while they played in the snow and the minus zero weather.

That alone is worth having Reina stay with me for a while. g

--
"There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them." Denis Waitley

GARY MARTIN LINDSTROM
138 Lakeview Circle West
Breckenridge, CO 80424-8941

970-485-0295

gary@garylindstrom.com
glindstrom@coloradomtn.edu
breck2007@gmail.com
gary.lindstrom@rmc.sierraclub.org
garyml@comcast.net
glindstrom@summitclinic.org

BLOG: www.garylindstrom.com

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Summit Community Care Clinic


Stories from the Clinic

Children Become the Parents

When Spanish speaking families come to the clinic they come as entire family. Mom, Dad, Sisters and Brothers. A group en masse. Mom and dad cannot speak English. The children can speak perfect Spanish having spent most of their life in the United States and in school learning English. Reading, Writing and Arithmetic.

The children bring their parents to the clinic. The children ask the questions and give the information to their parents in Spanish. What a neat reversal of roles. The children in this situation have become the parents. The parents are the children. Imagine an eight year old boy becoming the father at the clinic. It happens every day.


Parents and Grandparents keep on keeping on

One of the most touching pictures is that of parents and grandparents who bring their grown children for mental health appointments. They bring them in as if they are small children and need protection and help. They are always touching and hugging and giving support. One set of grandparents came back to the desk several times because their daughter or granddaughter had walked off before her appointment and they could not find her. They were directed toward the cafeteria to check if she was there. I could only imagine they did not find her because they did not return. So sad.

The Cowboy

He was very irritated. He could not understand why he had to wait for all of the women and children in line. He was obviously a man of wealth. A man of distinction. When he was asked about the items needed for a Care Card to get services he said that if he had all of that he would not have to come to the free clinic. He did not understand that there is nothing in life that is free including the community care clinic.

The woman with two heads

She was a middle age woman who was in severe pain. She had a normal size head with a huge lump on the left side that looked like a second head. Her complaint was a tooth ache and she was in severe pain. It was obvious that she did not have a dentist and that she had probably gone for days or weeks hoping the pain would go away. It is delores in Spanish. In English it is pain. She was quickly taken to the dental clinic where she reemerged about an hour later with only one head. The other swollen painful mass was gone with an extraction and some pain killers. Her remaining head had a big smile.


Summit County, Colorado Independent

Stories from the Summit Community Care Clinic




Family Dress Up Day

Oftentimes the entire family will come to the clinic together. Normally only one member is going to see a provider but the other members come along for support. What strikes me about this is that everyone in the family is very well dressed and wearing their very best clothes. I imagine that it is out of respect for the doctor and the providers and to give their very best impression on their day at the clinic. It is an event of great proportion where they can proudly walk into the clinic wearing their entire splendor to see the honored doctor. They are so very proud to do all of this for the doctor.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Another Day in Paradise


Summit County, Colorado Independent

Just Another Day In Paradise

What a wonderful day in the Colorado high country. It was around zero when I got up around 3 am but by the time I went to work at the clinic it was all the way up to 5 degrees. Chrystal clear skies with the sun just breaking the horizon. So very nice to know that the days are getting longer. Makes our dark, cold, windy, snowy days more tolerable.

Due to the turn down in the economy I went to work at the Summit Community Care Clinic about three months ago. That is in addition to teaching at Colorado Mountain College. This semester I am teaching Contemporary World History, Sociology II and American Government.

Here is a secret just between you and I. I would pay them to work at the clinic rather than have them pay me. What a kick. Because of confidentiality issues I can't really tell you the great stories but take my word for it they are great.

The best part of the whole deal are the children. From new born babies to 12 year olds. They cannot get services if they have insurance or make too much money. So they are uninsured and poor. They are the heart of America. The come from Russia, Poland, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, El Salvador, Argentina and all points in between. They are here to work and make money to survive just like you and I.

I grew up in a poor family in Iowa. My dad was a school custodian and my mother was a stay at home mom. The real kicker is that I grew up not knowing I was poor. I was just as well dressed and well fed as anyone in town. I was an adult before I found out that I grew up poor.

I am sure that the kids who come into the clinic do not know they are poor either. Their moms and dads come with them and they all dress up to come see the doctor. They are so happy and so proud. Sometimes I want to cry seeing their smiling faces.

They are so polite and well mannered. Believe it or not the men and women who grew up in the United States are the most difficult to deal with. They feel that low cost health care is an entitlement and they are not grateful in the least for the gift they get at the clinic. I am proud of our foreign workers but ashamed of many of our Americans. The Americans could learn a lot from the workers about being polite and grateful.

--
"There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them." Denis Waitley

GARY MARTIN LINDSTROM
138 Lakeview Circle West
Breckenridge, CO 80424-8941

970-485-0295

gary@garylindstrom.com
glindstrom@coloradomtn.edu
breck2007@gmail.com
gary.lindstrom@rmc.sierraclub.org
garyml@comcast.net
glindstrom@summitclinic.org

BLOG: www.garylindstrom.com

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Israel is right and so is Jimmy Buffet


Summit County, Colorado Independent

I always like to listen to the leads on the radio news and the TV news. It normally saves a whole lot of time if you don't want to hear the rest of the story. I also subscribe to over 250 publications through Google Reader. The same thing applies where I only have to read part of the first sentence to see if I want to continue reading. Saves a day and a half of reading at least.

Two things that are in the news that always piques my interest. First is the war in Gaza. So funny that everyone is upset that Israel is going in to Gaza to stop the rockets being fired back into Israel. So what is wrong with that. They are using the media and the same thing as reverse 911 to warn people. Hamas is firing the rockets from schools and churches thinking that Israel will not shoot back. They are sadly wrong. The latest is using United Nations buildings as shields. Israel has blow those buildings up too and is now in trouble with the UN. Strange war.

The other one is the Special Forces Sergeant playing Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville in a bar in Steamboat Springs and then being stomped to death by two other soldiers for playing the song. I am sure there is more to the story. No charges have been filed yet. Their attorney this morning said that he just fell and hit his head on the ice.

Reminds me of the old story about the stabbing where the defense attorney said the victim fell on the knife forty times. I wonder if they teach stupidity in law school.

Maybe it is the fact that everyone and their brother (or sister) is an attorney today and that there is not enough business to go around. g

--
"There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them." Denis Waitley

GARY MARTIN LINDSTROM
138 Lakeview Circle West
Breckenridge, CO 80424-8941

970-485-0295

gary@garylindstrom.com
glindstrom@coloradomtn.edu
breck2007@gmail.com
gary.lindstrom@rmc.sierraclub.org
garyml@comcast.net
glindstrom@summitclinic.org

BLOG: www.garylindstrom.com

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ranking the Presidents


Summit County, Colorado Independent

I am teaching three classes this semester. American Government, Sociology II and Contemporary World History. Contemporary World History is the period from 1900 to the present. For the most part it is twentieth century history. At other times I also teach Political Science and United States History I and II.

Last night was my first class and I did a continuum of the events during the period on the white board. The discussion ranged from important authors, song writers, performers and politicians.

My students asked me who were the most influential musicians during the century. I said Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley. It has nothing to do with how much I like them or do not like them. It was based on how much they did or continue to influence society and culture.

They also asked who I thought were the most important and influential presidents in history. I said Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Wilson, Johnson and Reagan. I base my choices on how effective each president was in shaping the nation and history in general. It has nothing to do with political party or whether someone was liberal or conservative.

Unfortunately most of the others would fall into the worst or least effective category. History does not or will not redeem them. They made their decisions knowing that it was wrong and history will not improve on that.

Also each president must stand on his own and not be compared with other presidents. It is not a popularity contest.

I was also asked how Obama will rank. What a trap. What a trick question. He has not spent one day as president yet. Are we going to rank people on their potential? Never.

I think that choosing someone based on popularity is just wrong. History will very seldom mention popularity.

--
"There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them." Denis Waitley

GARY MARTIN LINDSTROM
138 Lakeview Circle West
Breckenridge, CO 80424-8941

970-485-0295

gary@garylindstrom.com
glindstrom@coloradomtn.edu
breck2007@gmail.com
gary.lindstrom@rmc.sierraclub.org
garyml@comcast.net
glindstrom@summitclinic.org

BLOG: www.garylindstrom.com

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Summit County, Colorado Independent


Summit County, Colorado Independent

There is a social networking web site here called the Summit Social Club. They have about 300 members and it is used to get recommendations or complaints on local businesses and to advertise social events and fundraisers.

They had asked me several times to get active against gas prices in the mountains again. I published my BLOG link yesterday on their web site and a wonderful dialogue began about oil prices and alternative energy. A lot of pent up emotion about such things.

I sometimes think that we should ignore what has happened in the past and figure out how to solve current and future problems.

The bail out is a good example. They are now saying that the first $350 billion is not being used correctly and they are basically throwing good money after bad. There is no accountablity on how it is being used. We have given the money to the people who created the problem in the first place.

I wish that I had an answer but doing what we have been doing has not worked. I like the old saying about doing things the same way over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. Our country has gone insane and there is no place for us to go to get help. We should be the people helping but apparently we are incompetent.

Be very careful when you hear some nut blaming someone for the problem. Pogo was right. We have met the enemy and it is us. g

--
"There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them." Denis Waitley

GARY MARTIN LINDSTROM
138 Lakeview Circle West
Breckenridge, CO 80424-8941

970-485-0295

gary@garylindstrom.com
glindstrom@coloradomtn.edu
breck2007@gmail.com
gary.lindstrom@rmc.sierraclub.org
garyml@comcast.net
glindstrom@summitclinic.org

BLOG: www.garylindstrom.com

Monday, January 12, 2009

Why are gas prices higher in the mountains of Colorado?


The local gas retailers are at fault.

Well it happened again. Gas prices went to around $4.50 a gallon and gas prices in the mountains went to about the same price. Now gas prices have dropped almost $3.00 a gallon in the Denver metro area while they only dropped about $2.00 here in the mountains.

In 2004 the same thing happened and at that time I was a Colorado State Representative and I started raising holy hell about why our prices did not drop as much as in Denver. I talked to anyone who would listen to me about this abomination.

I was on the House Transportation Committee and on the Transportation Legislative Review Committee. I brought it up every chance I could during the committee meetings.

The major oil companies told me that they sell their oil at the going world rate that is set by OPEC and other pricing organizations. They said it was regulated by supply and demand on a world basis and what they sold their products for was the going price with their profit built into that pricing.

The refineries told me that they sell gas to all of their customers at exactly the same price. The price at the refinery actually changes several times a day based on the cost of crude. A Denver retailer pays the same as a retailer in Dillon. The only difference is the per mile cost of hauling the gasoline. The increased cost to haul it to the mountains is less than one cent per gallon.

The gasoline retailers in the mountains told me that they had to add a “premium” on their price to take care of the cost of hauling gas a far distance into the mountains. When asked to provide documentation of this the response was that the information was “proprietary” which means that it is owned by the retailers and if released it might cause unfair competition. In other words proof of price gouging?

I personally checked that with the gas haulers. I actually talked to some of the executives as well as talking to the drivers. I would see a driver unloading at a gas station and I would go over to them and introduce myself as a State Representative. After talking for a while I would ask to see their “bill of lading” or their “weigh bill” and I could never find a “premium” for the mountains. The price in Golden was the same price as in Dillon or Breckenridge. The only difference was the per mile charge which is less than one penny per gallon added to the cost and not the current fifty to sixty cents we are paying over and beyond the prices in Denver.

I was told that there are two refineries in Commerce City near Denver. They are both owned by the same company. There are no other refineries in Colorado. There is a refinery in Rock Springs, Wyoming serving Grand Junctions and far western Colorado. The southwest part of Colorado is served by a refinery in Farmington, New Mexico. At one point I was told that there was a small refinery in Cheyenne, Wyoming but I was never able to confirm that information.

Our Future Summit had a public hearing in Frisco later and many people from the community showed up including some of the retailers.

The retailers used the argument that it cost more to operate in the mountains. I explained that I had interviewed their employees and they were making the same hourly rate as the people doing the same job in Denver. They then said their other operating costs were higher such as land costs. That is true but most of them were operating out of facilities that were built twenty or thirty years ago so the cost of land then was nothing compared to today. They did not have to re-buy their land every year. In some instances the retailer did have to pay rent and that cost did increase regularly. I explained that they paid the same price for electricity and natural gas as they did in Denver so there was no increase in those costs. About the only good argument was that they did have to pay for more snow removal but that should just be the cost of doing business in the mountains.

About the same time I received several threatening phone calls at home from people who identified themselves as gas retailers in Summit County. They told me to leave them alone because they deserved to charge a higher price just because we were a resort and were in the mountains. I was, in effect, told to sit down and keep my mouth shut.

The day after our public forum the price of gas in Summit County dropped almost fifty cents a gallon.

I did notice that the gas retailer who threatened the most kept his prices just as high as before and remains one of the highest in the county.

By the way the cheapest gas in Summit County for the past thirty five years has been Sav-O-Mat in Silverthorne. And they were the first to drop their prices even further after the forum.

Several years ago I volunteered to drive to every gas station in Summit County every Friday to record their gas prices for the Summit Daily News. I was not being paid to do this and I truly thought it might bring gas prices down. It had the opposite impact. When the retailers could see the gas prices all in one place in the paper they ended up all charging the same high price.

I filed a complaint with Attorney General John Suthers about price fixing when I discovered more than thirty gas retailers in a five county area charging exactly the same price per gallon for gas. He sent me a reply the same day (he did a very quick investigation) saying that just because they all had the same price it was not price fixing. By the way he was elected again after this happened.

I am not opposed to retailers making a profit or charging whatever the market will bear. I truly believe in the free market but when everyone charges the same price it is not a free market. It is price fixing. I noticed that today most stations will charge a penny or more difference than the station across the street. Maybe that part of the message got across.

I drive to Denver and Boulder on a regular basis and at times Summit County will actually have lower gas prices than Denver. I have never been able to figure that out either. Or maybe the local gas retailers have not figured it out either.

I think that we should just boycott our local gas retailers until they drop their price to the same level as the Denver metro area. We can all get our gas in Denver and let the local retailers continue to rape and pillage our guests and visitors.

You can also contact your Senator and Representative. Senator Dan Gibbs at 303-866-4873, dan.gibbs.senate@state.co.us and Representative Christine Scanlan at 303-866-2952, christine.scanlan.house@state.co.us. Tell them that you are sick and tired of high gas prices in the mountains and you are not going to take it anymore.