This Fourth, remember Juneteenth

As America celebrated Juneteenth, let us reflect on a decision that did more to shape Republican values than any other decision in our party’s history. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves during the height of the Civil War – a move not supported by everyone at the time.

Lincoln is widely considered the father of the GOP and was instrumental in the formation of the party that it is today. He was attracted to the Republican Party because of the ideals outlined in the Declaration of Independence, even when struggling with the demands of the Civil War. He put the freedom of all the people ahead of his own popularity.

Years before, when Lincoln was nominated for the United States Senate, he debated his opponent, Stephen A. Douglas, over the morality of slavery and yet was defeated in that race, and the pro-slavery candidate won.

Lincoln would later go to win the American presidency and become the leader that ensured slavery would soon end in America.

On this June 19th, we honored the fight for equal rights for all. This celebration is important to the descendants of those freed slaves as the day when many learned of their new freedom from Union soldiers in Texas and should be important to all of us, as supporters of the freedom that we all enjoy together.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” — United States Declaration of Independence.

Jim Welker, Loveland

Empower Field nightmare: Once you arrive, you can never leave

The Stones were awesome on Thursday, June 20. Trying to get home was a scary mess.

The ride-share situation at Empower Field is beyond dangerous and frustrating. Can stadium management figure out a way for people to meet their rideshare drivers without walking a tediously long and twisted path on an unmarked, sketchy route? I was told that there are signs showing directions to the rideshare pick-up point, but there are NO SIGNS. Their plan did feature creepy, aggressive people hovering in the alley just after Brooklyn’s. I was grateful to be walking in a group.

We passed at least three disabled people struggling to walk the dangerous, poorly lit, poorly paved, isolated route to the Empower Field rideshare pick-up point. Clearly Empower Field management does not respect, care about, or follow ADA guidelines.

Finally, we arrived at the designated rideshare pick-up point which was a strange, unpaved parking lot filled with other confused concertgoers just trying to get home. Again, there was absolutely no signage to give some much-needed guidance. Adding to the mayhem, the Lyft and Uber drivers trying to enter the parking lot were caught in a long, slow, congested line on 13th Ave. We finally left the parking lot and walked up 13th to meet our driver, probably cutting 30 minutes off of our wait time.

Before we walked to the rideshare pick-up point, we were directed by two different stadium employees to go to “the taxi line” near Gate 6 for the best and fastest way home. After twice walking up and down the row of parked cars, we realized that there were no commercial taxis, only private, pre-arranged car services waiting for their passengers. An organized taxi line, for traditional taxi services, as there are in airports, would be a game changer.

Light rail used to be an easy, efficient way home, but the recent slow down and unreliable service takes it out of the equation, especially at 1:00 a.m.

Are there plans to improve this situation?

Anne Albeck, Denver

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