Letters to the Editor

From the week of April 12, 2007

Most CMC Press books are written by CMC members dedicated to exploring, preserving and enjoying the Rocky Mountains. One of the CMC's books, Guide to the Colorado Mountains, has been in continuous publication for fifty years and is the best-selling Colorado book ever, with 250,000 copies sold to date.

In addition to publishing, the CMC leads 2,000 outings a year in the Rockies, from relaxed strolls to mountaineering adventures. It also holds classes on dozens of subjects. And with the American Alpine Club, it has the best mountaineering library in the world.

Drop by the CMC's headquarters at the American Mountaineering Center in Golden, or visit the Colorado Mountain Club at www.cmc.org. It's definitely a Best of Denver, and a Colorado treasure.
Rolf Asphaug

"Crazy Train," Jessica Centers, March 15

Back on the Train Gang

Regarding all the letters printed in the March 22 issue about Jessica Centers's "Crazy Train" and I-70, trains aren't for most people. Still, forecasts by a top national expert show a 15-to-25 percent train share, varying by season, weekday and location. It's similar to RTD and equals several highway lanes that won't need building and rebuilding. Distribution in mountains can be local transit, "car sharing," door-to-door jitneys, hotel buses, call-and-rides, etc. Trains aren't for kayakers or hunters, but for those going to lodging, second homes or a Sunday outing. They'll prefer trains over cars, and they'll reduce congestion.

After fifteen years of highway building, in five years congestion will be as it is today. Next: more lanes, another billion-dollar tunnel, towns with huge parking lots, more air pollution, haze, creeks in pipes under highways, a wildlife Berlin Wall, Clear Creek pollution, highway sound walls blocking car passengers' scenic views, a Los Angeles aesthetic?

All-weather elevated fast trains can carry projected ridership and are economical now. CDOT's monorail cost is above the Swiss FLIRT estimated $5 billion cost. A twenty-year "Context Sensitive" highway is $5 billion; more billions must follow in a 25-year plan. Mr. Kullman's comments mask CDOT's intention that, as he told me, CDOT will never have mountain rail. CDOT's "preserved" rail alignment is unsuited to fast rail; perhaps that's why they want it preserved. I was a 1960s CDOT commissioner (creating the Glenwood Canyon process); we were "highways-only" then and still are. Transit can be more cost-effective for certain cases.

CDOT environmental studies mislead on highway-widening harm. Another 1.4 million metro people will love our mountains to death if we don't have environmentally friendly, user-friendly rail choices. We can do that, and should start soon and not wait for exotic technology that may never be feasible.
Albert Melcher

"Swift Gloating," Michael Paglia, March 22

Best Intentions

My grandmother, May Morris, and her twin sister, Lily Morris, are spinning in their graves over Michael Paglia's contention that "the Jewish Community Center...was set up because Jews couldn't join country clubs." As the founders of that institution, the sisters' intention was to provide recreation for poor children in the area of the original center, at Colfax and Gilpin, regardless of their religions.

That the JCC has become an alternative to country clubs is rather a measure of its success than an intention of its founders.
Tom Morris

"Progress?," Michael Roberts, March 22

Station Break

I appreciate Michael Roberts's coverage of the struggling station on which I find much that is enlightening. Jay Marvin is kind and fair. He includes guests who give an educated perspective to "the news." The station deals with national and international events, not just sensationalism. I like AM 760 and hope it survives and thrives.
Barbara Moe

Nice work on the liberal talk audience. But Michael Roberts left out one other NPR station that pulls listeners from AM 760. KUNC, at 91.5 FM, also carries Morning Edition, as well as other NPR programming, and our cume audience in Boulder County has topped KCFR's in the last couple of ratings periods. I don't have access to the full Arbitron numbers, so I can't tell you how we match up with AM 760, but we pull 36,300 out of the Denver metro market from 6 to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday, more than 20,000 of those out of Boulder County alone.
Robert Leja
Director of Corporate Support and Marketing

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