Citizen Telegram Letters to the Editor – June 12, 2014 |

Citizen Telegram Letters to the Editor – June 12, 2014

Editor’s note: Letters to the editor are limited to 300 words and must be signed. Preference is given to letters exclusive to The Citizen Telegram. Letters may be edited for proper punctuation, sentence and word usage, content and space. Publication of political letters does not imply endorsement by The Citizen Telegram. Author contact information is required for verification purposes only, not for publication. E-mail, or go online to, click on “contribute.” Longer guest columns also welcome. Email for details.

Unlock the gate

Change can be good. For example, the City Market gas station bringing reasonable gas prices to Rifle is an amazing and wonderful thing. Change can also be bad, or at least, baffling.

An example of a bad change was when the city asked people at the fairgrounds to lock the pedestrian gate on the north side of the fairgrounds. When I asked a county employee why the gate is locked, he said that police wanted to prevent drug dealers who sold drugs at the high school from using the gate as an escape.

I can’t envision many drug dealers running down the high school hill to use that gate. Even if locking it deters drug dealers, it also harms dozens of schoolchildren walking through the fairgrounds, and me, a nearly 60-year-old woman, and my dog. I understand why the gate is sometimes locked for events, but I see no reason to lock it permanently.

I propose that you unlock the gate for the summer, then in the fall, winter and spring, I will sit by the gate for any two hours. Or perhaps you could give me a key, and I could unlock the gate every morning and lock it again at night.

Locking a pedestrian gate probably doesn’t deter drug dealers, but it does deter law-abiding citizens from easily accessing the fairgrounds. Please unlock this gate. Please.

Judy Crook


Bowling alley history

We enjoyed the article about Larry and Dee McCown (The Citizen Telegram, June 5, 2014) and would like to give readers some details about the history of Rifle Fireside Lanes.

In June 2005, we purchased the bowling alley from the McCowns and began remodeling it for fall leagues.

On Labor Day 2005, an arsonist destroyed the building. We rebuilt it and opened the doors to bowlers again in June 2006. We had the joy of operating the bowling center until the end of the 2010 league season, when the recession forced us into business and personal bankruptcy. The bankruptcy court could not sell the property and business, and we surrendered the deed back to the McCowns in November 2010.

Though we lost our life savings, we do not regret our decision to take the risk, just as the McCowns did back in 1998, to offer the community the entertainment option of a bowling alley. We encourage residents to help the new owners of Rifle Fireside Lanes continue the tradition begun by the McCowns. Join a league, book a birthday party, enjoy a pizza while watching a game on the big screen, come in out of the heat to play video games or pool. Every customer adds to the history.

Jack & Ava Bowles


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