Why is the city spending so much time and effort on backyard chickens and medical marijuana? Aren’t there more essential problems, given the challenging economy? – S.D.
Poultry and pot are important economic issues, especially during times of turmoil.
Remember Herbert Hoover running for president back in 1928?
Of course you don’t. Neither does Action Line. Or anyone younger than age 93. But that’s beside the point.
According to the history books, Hoover reassured the public by offering “a chicken in every pot.”
Today, our local officials want to reassure the public.
Only this time, it’s offering pot with every chicken.
It’s a remarkable stimulus plan. The more medical marijuana dispensed and consumed, the higher the local demand for buffalo wings and zesty chicken strips.
Despite its liberal leanings, Durango clearly is in a Red State. Not politically, mind you. Panama Red and Rhode Island Red best describe Durango’s true colors.
Of course, there are some cynics who see medical marijuana and backyard chickens as a sneaky ploy to divert attention from the fact that Chapman Hill gets snowmaking while municipal workers get pink slips.
But let’s look on the bright side.
The silly city poultry-pot peccadillo is far less idiotic than the county’s inexplicable determination that a gravel pit is a “compatible use” in a rural residential area.
It’s also vastly better than the federal Forest Service’s utterly asinine Chris Park public land giveaway to a snooty golf resort that caters to out-of-state trophy-home collectors.
Anyway, the longer the city fixates on little things such as hens and dope, the less time it has to do real damage.
As they say, idle hands are the devil’s workshop.
Regarding those platform luggage racks mounted to hitches of tourists’ vehicles: Add ice chests, lawn chairs and sleeping bags that look like rolled up mattresses, and the rear license plate is completely obscured. It’s apparent that many visitors have made it across much of the continent without law-enforcement incident. But aren’t plates supposed to be visible at all times? How is a fully loaded trailer-hitch rack any different than taping cardboard across my bumper? Do me a favor and leave Nancy Shanks alone this week. I’ll bet somebody else can answer this. – Scofflaw With Inhibitions
First off, don’t worry about long-suffering CDOT spokeswoman Nancy Shanks.
Because your query isn’t about The Bridge to Nowhere or The Great Wall of Bodo, Nancy is safe from abuse. At least this week.
Besides, the experts for your question are the folks who monitor highways, not the folks who build them.
The Colorado State Patrol says those trailer-hitch platform/luggage rack things violate the law.
“They’re illegal,” confirmed Trooper Jonathan Silver of the Colorado State Patrol. “Plates cannot be blocked at any time.”
But don’t get all smug about clueless tourists. Locals can be just as bad.
“It’s the same deal with bike racks that haul four or five bikes on the back. They hide license plates just as much,” he said.
Trooper Silver said he has pulled over “a few” tourists with the platforms.
“They almost expect it,” he said.
Warnings, but no tickets, have been issued. Apparently, there’s a nationwide mulligan for tourists traveling with copious amounts of recreational junk on their bumpers.
If you use such a trailer-hitch platform or a bike rack, you can avoid an encounter with law enforcement. Just take off the back license plate and mount it where it can be seen.
But this solution is good only during daylight. Plates need to be illuminated at night. Perhaps a couple of duct-taped flashlights would do the trick.
Or do yourself a favor. As Trooper Silver advises, “If you have a bunch of stuff to haul, just get a crew-cab pickup.”
E-mail questions to actionline@
durangoherald.com or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you can explain why vacationers who want to “get away from it all” end up taking it all with them.