Letter: How did personal liberty become more important than collective civic concern? | SteamboatToday.com
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Letter: How did personal liberty become more important than collective civic concern?

I wholeheartedly agree with Paul Levine’s letter dated July 13 regarding scofflaws and their firework “fun” during the July Fourth weekend. Mr. Levine clearly reported thoughtful state laws and city codes that govern us and the many complaints received.

A homeowner since 2005, I was literally astounded and unnerved by how insensitive, dangerous and stupid people were with incessant fireworks. It was disheartening to hear and see the actions of so many who demonstrated a lack of caring, consideration and civility.

In my area at the edge of Old Town, it was simply out of control. While observing the beautiful full moon that night when walking near my home, within feet, I witnessed two small fires that could have been clearly disastrous with the considerable heat and recent dry lawns and brush. Residents — locals I presume but possibly tourists — were intentionally inflammatory and potentially flagrantly destructive with fireworks that blasted on Friday and Saturday to late hours of the night. I also see that the singular holiday has become a 30- to 60-day time of revelry. 

This was more than irresponsible, on all sides. The city should have done better as they were aware firework sales were up considerably. No official ostensibly anticipated or had a plan for any mishaps. In fact, after calling the city manager and two council members — one councilperson did not return my call and another council member said that I should offer a solution. Hmmm, isn’t that within your scope of practice?

I’ll be watching for a thorough “after-action review” and clear future changes as Sgt. Brown indicated would happen. He and other officials admitted they simply did not have the manpower to enforce the current ordinances nor was there wide and direct messaging proactively about consequences for disobeying the law. There were no citations given, no disincentives provided that this won’t happen again — not one citation.

We expect rights to be inextricably linked with responsibilities. This current biological tragedy has been prolonged because somehow personal liberty has become more important when collective civic concern is needed.

We are a nation in deep need of self-evaluation and correction in so many areas. Such painful times test the foundation of our democracy and challenge the American ideals we all should value — strength, resilience and compassion. Good and necessary citizenship means living up to those ideals and values.

Teresa Wright
Steamboat Springs

P.S. I got sedatives for the first time for my dog on July 6. Really, Steamboat?


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