Just for fun, how do those weekly ‘polls’ turn out?
After another big rockslide in Glenwood Canyon, do you feel safe driving through there?
How do you feel about more pot shops in Glenwood, including downtown?
Which “Star Trek” character are you?
We try pretty hard — maybe too hard — to be serious here at the Post Independent, but we pose a question along these lines every week just for fun.
These questions, which appear on our opinion page and at Postindependent.com, should not in any way be confused with real polls, which are conducted based on scientific principles and whose results are meant to validly reflect the broader population. Our polls are decided by the people who find them online and choose to register their opinions.
Our gut tells us that the way people answer our questions probably does reflect the mood of the region in general, though probably not proportionally. We do get quite a bit of participation, with the most popular questions getting more than 1,000 responses in a week.
(We intend to change the question every week, though I have to admit that if copy editor/designer Jessica Carter isn’t around on Friday to remind me, a question might stay up for two weeks.)
I want to invite you to email me ideas for these questions at firstname.lastname@example.org — and let’s not be afraid to be a little frivolous. For example, we might ask, “When do you like Mount Sopris best: Winter, spring, summer or fall?”
Remember, the questions are primarily for entertainment, though many are on topical controversies.
So for fun, let’s look at some results, which you can view here: http://tinyurl.com/PIsurveys.
“Are you bummed out by the rain?” drew 1,017 votes last month. Readers are pragmatic, proven by the fact that 87 percent chose this response: “No, this will compensate for the low snow year and hold down fires.”
On a more serious topic, 1,057 people weighed in on Emily Bruell’s graduation speech in Carbondale. “What did you think of Roaring Fork High valedictorian Emily Bruell coming out in her commencement speech?” we asked.
A majority was supportive; 39 percent chose “I look forward to the day when it’s not a big deal either way,” and 37 percent selected, “Good for her. It took courage and needed to be said.” Only 18 percent said the setting was inappropriate, and 4 percent said no one should talk about their sexuality in public.
Again, these are not valid survey results, but snapshots of the opinions of self-selecting readers.
On the burning — get it, burning? Hahaha — question of whether Glenwood Springs should have more marijuana stores, only 533 voted, and most have had enough. Thirty-three percent said they should all be closed; 28 percent said we have enough now.
The question actually was “How do you feel about more pot shops in Glenwood, including downtown?” and 15 percent checked “Excellent!”
Vote totals say that readers do like the more serious questions. When Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock on the original “Star Trek” TV series, died, we asked, “Which Star Trek character are you?” We got a mere 127 votes, five of which were for Worf, the Klingon officer in “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” I wonder where these five party. James Kirk was the top choice, though Spock and Picard were not far behind.
One of my personal favorite questions, posed shortly after my car was rear-ended just below the Eisenhower Tunnel and as Rep. Bob Rankin pushed for passage of his “snow tire” bill, was “Should snow tires or chains be required on the mountain stretch of I-70 in winter?”
The results were among the most lopsided of any question — though Republican senators ended up crippling the bill. Five hundred twelve readers checked this response: “Yes. People not prepared put us all at risk.” Next highest was “No. We have the freedom to drive on whatever tires we wish,” with 65 votes. Third was “No, we should just keep Nebraskans out,” with 39.
By the way, overwhelming numbers of respondents support thinning the crowds at Hanging Lake by selling a limited number of tickets for the trail each day. Maybe if we just kept the Nebraskans out …
Remember, this is for entertainment. As a Nebraska native, I would never take this sort of thing too seriously.
Randy Essex is editor of the Post Independent.
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