Sound off: June 25

Excessive enforcement

Note to Forest Service law enforcement officials: If you really feel that strongly about the Rainbow gatherers having a "free" permit prior to their official permit dates, then maybe you could escort old Grampa Rainbow himself back to your offices to fill out the necessary paperwork. Don't you think your current enforcement actions are being just a little, OK, a lot excessive? Personally, I'm not a big fan of hordes of hippies congregating in my local national forest. But from what I've seen so far, any conflict that has arisen from this gathering is the direct result of your no-tolerance approach.

Glad you're here

A sincere and heartfelt welcome, Rainbow Family, from one Steamboat old-timer. Or welcome to a Steamboat Springs of the past, when all visitors were welcomed equally. That was a Steamboat of live and let live, when tolerance was a family value and law enforcement officers didn't force confrontations or draw their weapons on unarmed crowds.

Believe it, pedestrians walked around intoxicated, lazy dogs acted like speed bumps in city streets, kids happily skateboarded everywhere, we rode bicycles in the dark without headlights, and people played with dogs in their yard -- unleashed -- without our neighbors calling the cops to report such things.

Stranger still, Steamboat is deliriously happy to welcome up to 28,000 people the last week in December and thousands every week for Triple Crown, many of whom won't even buy groceries here. If you ride snowmobiles or ATVs in the forest, come on up -- we want you in the forest, even the roadless areas. So, there it is. Steamboat has changed. Some of us welcome you and are glad you are here. Peace be with you.

Makes me wonder

I never heard of the Rainbow group until they arrived in Steamboat on their way to the festival. I am sure that most are peaceful, loving souls just trying to enjoy this celebration. However, the few rotten apples that tag along with the group and come into Steamboat to steal, etc., are not welcome. The residents of Steamboat are protective of this beautiful city and will not tolerate this behavior.

Also, I don't see what the problem is with signing a permit to camp if there are over 75 people. That's the law. Abiding by the laws is part of being a conscious, spiritual person. They could have bypassed the whole incident that occurred with them throwing rocks and sticks and guns being drawn by the Forest Service officers if one person in their group took the initiative to sign the permit. It seems as if the Rainbow group is creating their own problems due to a lack of cooperation. Makes me wonder.

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