March 20, 2018


During the two hour meeting where the Town of Winter Park Council was acting as the local liquor board, I heard some interesting arguments in favor of moving this liquor license from the base area to the new grocery store / Town of Winter Park property in downtown Winter Park and the need for another liquor store in town and zero at the resort..

The resort currently has around one million skiers days. Moving this liquor store will leave the base area with no liquor store. The applicant stated in the meeting that he will not open another store at the base.  Some guests arrive at the ski area base and never leave to come into town. That sales tax revenue will be lost and the convenience of a liquor store at the base will be lost. Somehow moving this store 3 miles away from our largest density of people in the town will improve need.

The new store will be located on the US Hwy 40 corridor where there is currently 4 stores within 2 miles, this one makes 5 total.

I am all for competition and making our guest experience better. What is so troubling about the unanimous vote by the board, was that the decision to approve this license had been made many months before Tuesday’s meeting.

When asked on Tuesday about his statement back in October 2017 to 15-20 Rotary Club Members: “there is going to be a new liquor store at this location”,  Mayor Laraman said ” I don’t recall”.

Citizens have the right to expect fair, ethical and transparent leadership from their elected officials. I need to point out, that ” the promise of a liquor store ” is a abuse of power.
No liquor store can be approved until there is an applicant, all paperwork is filled out at the state and local level, there is a public meeting to show need, and a vote is taken by the proper authority to approve or not approve.  None of these things had happened back in October of 2017.

And I also need to point out that The Town of Winter Park has an interest in this property where the new liquor store is located.

There are 7 candidates running for 4 seats on the town board election April 3, the town council refuses to term limit itself, you can term limit them with your vote.

Home Rule doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want, Colorado Revised Statutes still needs to be followed.

Chas McConnell


To the editor:

A March 16 letter referred to the journalist’s code of ethics, created by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and recently adopted by the Colorado Press Association.

In his letter, Peter Ralph challenged the Winter Park Times to prove it follows this code. He inferred that this newspaper fails to follow one of the code’s elements: to be accountable and transparent.

I strongly disagree with his premise.

In my view, the WPT covers more newsworthy events in more depth and with more context than its competitors. How? By interviewing more sources of factual information, and that makes the stories accountable and transparent.

Compare the recent article about the high school students’ gun protest with the story than ran in the competition. The WTP not only interviewed students, it also reported comments by a parent and the schools superintendent. The competing newspaper only had comments from students, however.

As a former journalist, and as an SPJ member who taught SPJ’s code of ethics to college students for many years, I would like to point out that Ralph’s letter failed to mention 3 of the 4 key elements in this code.

They are:

  1. Seek truth and report it;
  2. Minimize harm;
  3. Act independently.

The fact is, our community is now blessed with another newspaper, the WPT, that does its best to cover public meetings and other Grand County news that its competitor, until recently, all but ignored. Competition is a good thing, especially when it comes to journalism.

At a time when more newspapers are dying, we are fortunate to have the WTP to help cover what our public officials are doing with our tax dollars. Our democracy depends on it.

Eric Sandstrom



To the Editors,

   Much has been in the news, letters to the editor and on TV about banning the NRA / guns being the solution to the school shootings. Pardon me for injecting some old guy thinking; simple solutions are for simpletons.

   It all reminds me of the story about a guy who had a flat tire next to the insane-asylum. While he took the flat tire off and slipped the new one on, a guy inside was watching and hanging onto the fence. When he got the spare tire on he kicked over the hubcap and the lug nuts went all over the ditch. He searched and searched but only found one lug nut. He started to walk up the street and the guy inside said; ‘Hey, where are you going?” The driver said; “you saw what happened, I’m going to walk up to town and buy some lug nuts!” The guy inside said; “Don’t do that, take one nut off each of the other tires and drive up there!”. The driver said; “That’s a great idea, but I don’t understand, what are you doing in there?”. The guy on the inside said: “Well, I may be crazy but I ain’t stupid!”  

   Limiting gun types and features might have some very marginal positive effect on the problem although the major effect will be on the legal gun buyers since not so stupid crazies will get guns regardless of the law. Banning guns (or the NRA) would have the opposite effect. The school killings are universally in gun free zones. Just examine the big cities that have banned guns – the cities with highest gun murder rates in the country have banned guns. Only the cops and criminals have guns and the cops are almost always ten minutes late. This is basically why the second amendment was written; so we the people can defend ourselves!

   The killers are almost always the crazies that should be inside the fence. The NRA (which I have never joined, but may join in reaction to the simpletons) doesn’t kill anyone. No NRA member has been the nut case in school shootings. Their influence on congress is marginal – at least compared to Planned Parenthood (who kill thousands of the unborn regularly and with taxpayer money).

   The people committing murders are, by definition, crazy. They almost always lack family and church teachings. They are young men from broken homes with no guidance. The ACLU and the liberals caused the near elimination of insane-asylums, rather than reforming them. The nut cases are now running among us and our schools. So if you think you have a simple solution, think again!

Frank B Watts     Winter Park Highlands