By Staff
Posted 7/20/09

Dale offers clarification Editor: I expect to hear from quite a few people on my recent Floyd Hill Sub-Regional Master Plan article, and I invite such input. However, I want to clear up an important …

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Dale offers clarification


I expect to hear from quite a few people on my recent Floyd Hill Sub-Regional Master Plan article, and I invite such input. However, I want to clear up an important question that I have heard. The master plan itself would not likely come before the Board of County Commissioners, since master plans by nature are products of the planning commission and planning staff and are considered advisory to the county commissioners (similar to all planning commission documents and decisions). Boards of county commissioners typically consider the recommendations of a master plan in their official decision-making process but have no desire to be bound by them legally, since they do not create them and may agree or disagree with portions of them. This will be the case for the Floyd Hill Sub-Regional Master Plan.

In my role as a commissioner in any county land use process that requires commissioner approval, I weigh the merits of the particular proposal against its negatives based on the evidence presented as part of the public process. I also consider the question of the impact (both positive and negative) of the individual proposal or land-use case not only for the affected area of the county but for the county as a whole. This will not change for the balance of my term.

Harry Dale

Clear Creek commissioner

Racism is omnipresent


This is in response to the wide-ranging article by Marion Anderson.

Many of the things she said in this article bothered me, but I wanted to touch on a couple aspects that I have first-hand experience with.

I lived in Chula Vista, Calif., for 10 years — almost a stone’s throw from the Mexican border. As Sarah Palin might say (she didn’t, but it was a funny joke), you could see Mexico from my house (in my case, this is literally true).

Virtually all of my neighbors were Mexican or Mexican-American.

During much of this time, I worked in restaurants in San Diego. I was one of the very few non-Mexicans who worked in the kitchens in these restaurants.

I must have been near the absolute epicenter of the mass of people who are refusing to assimilate, according to Anderson.

But that isn’t what I saw. What I saw, first-hand, were really hard-working people who are just trying to better their lives, and the lives of their children. Of course, I knew many recent immigrants who didn’t speak English — but their kids did.

I am not denying that there are problems in some minority communities, nor do I think those problems were all caused by others.

But there are two things I’ve learned from living near the border in Southern California:

1. Racism is not just alive and well, it is omnipresent. I could give you many examples, but just one should suffice. At a couple of the restaurants I worked at, kitchen staff were required to use the back door and forbidden to eat at the restaurant as customers, even on their days off. Nobody mentioned race, but it was obvious to everyone why this rule was in place. It was even more obvious when I (the only non-Hispanic kitchen employee) was the only one allowed into the dining area. On holidays at one restaurant, we had a buffet with a meat-carving section, and they needed a cook to do the carving. It wasn’t a mystery to anyone why I was always chosen to carve the roasts.

2. As members of the dominant culture (i.e., white), we are allowed only occasional glimpses into the nature and effects of racism. Most of the time, we can blithely ignore it, because it doesn’t affect us. Now I live in an almost entirely white upper-middle-class area, and most of my friends and co-workers simply think racism is a minor issue, or even a non-issue, much to the amazement of the few minorities in our midst.

You listed a few black people you admire. You might not realize how condescending it sounds when you say you admire someone from another race or culture because they act the way you think they should.

What I don’t think you realize is that those people aren’t just everyday examples of how anyone can overcome challenges. They managed to do well in a game that is rigged against them. The playing field is simply not level, and we don’t all start the race from the same point. And that is why affirmative action exists.

Shaun Ivory

former Georgetown resident

We have built it:

Help them come!


I was greatly interested in the Courant’s July 1 story about how local restaurants are weathering the economic downturn this summer — particularly the restaurateurs’ refrain that more local events to make Idaho Springs a destination in itself would be desirable.

As I’ve been getting to know the community over the past year, I’ve come to know us as a community with many diverse attractions and activities, though somehow without the one Major Attraction that draws a lot of people. I believe, though, that our community has potential to serve as a nearby and economical place apart, hosting Denver-area retreats and small conferences and training events. Our excellent restaurants and many lodging places, hiking trails and recreational facilities and museums, the United Center, United Gathering Place, rec center, and more fit us to provide these services.

I have been working over the past months to publicize us as a venue.

Restaurateurs, motel and B&B operators, rafting companies, museums and other businesses can help by sending me brief descriptions of their offerings and prices — preferably by e-mail at maryanndimand@hotmail.com or otherwise at The United Church, P.O. Box 3070 — to assemble into information sheets the Visitor Center, the city website, I and others can distribute, and can easily update.

Let’s help make a new economic footing for Idaho Springs.

Mary Ann Dimand

pastor, The United Church,

board member, United Center and United Gathering Place



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