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  1. #1
    Medicine Wheel Guy
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    Bear Creek - Jones Park USFS Open House This Thursday April 4

    No doubt you are aware that USFS is considering closing the Bear Creek watershed (including Jones Park) to all uses in order to help save the habitat for the trout. That's the bad news.

    The good news is that the alternative plans include a new trail which will connect upper Jones Park (near Lake Moraine) through Frosty's, down to Buckhorn. This could be a very cool new trail, plus it allows for the connection to the Missing Link - Lake Moraine trail project, which could then move forward.

    MWTA's official position is this:

    • We would like to thank the land managers involved, USFS and Colorado Springs Utilities, for including mountain bikers and MWTA in the process;

    • We urge the decision makers to consider all alternatives to closing the trail and evaluate them relative to how likely they are to save the fish (some data would be nice);

    Our number one preference would be not to close the Bear Creek watershed to non-motorized uses.

    • IF the watershed must be closed to ALL uses, then the construction of replacement connector trails as outlined in the draft are an acceptable alternative, provided they allow for, at a minimum, non-motorized connectivity with the proposed Lake Moriane Trail on the South Slope of Pikes Peak as well as the Frosty's Park area.

    • MWTA would like to be involved with detailed trail layout, since we believe that we can bring a professional perspective to that process.

    • We believe the motorized use on the proposed trail is also a good idea, since it provides a way for responsible users in this group to access the high country.


    Please feel free to attend the open house this Thursday and provide the land managers with your feedback.

    Below is a copy of the official announcement from USFS:


    The Pikes Peak Ranger District is seeking the public's input on proposed changes to travel management and recreation activities, and proposed stream habitat improvement actions in the Bear Creek Watershed Restoration Project area.

    As part of the scoping process for this project, the public can provide comments by mail, fax, or email to:
    Bear Creek Watershed Restoration Project
    Pikes Peak Ranger District
    601 S. Weber Street
    Colorado Springs, CO 80903
    (719) 477-4233 fax
    bcc@fs.fed.us

    Comments will also be accepted at the Open House held on Thursday, April 4th, 2013 from 4:00 - 9:00 p.m. at the Leon Young Service Center (1521 Hancock Expressway, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903).

    Comments on this project will be most useful if received no later than April 30, 2013. Only those individuals who provide comment or otherwise express interest by the close of the comment period may be eligible to appeal or object to the decision pursuant to regulations at 36 CFR Part 215 or 36 CFR Part 218. Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses of those who comment, will be considered part of the public record on this proposed action and will be available for public inspection.

    Please see attached documents for details on the upcoming Open House and a summary of the proposed action.



  2. #2
    STRAVA!!!!!!
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    Will they be serving refreshments?????... Kool-Aid I suspect?
    MmmHmm.....

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martlet View Post
    Our number one preference would be not to close the Bear Creek watershed to non-motorized uses.
    I understood this was absolutely off the table. Doesn't it seem like a waste of the very limited comment time to dilute the key message?.. which is:

    Quote Originally Posted by Martlet View Post
    • IF the watershed must be closed to ALL uses, then the construction of replacement connector trails as outlined in the draft are an acceptable alternative, provided they allow for, at a minimum, non-motorized connectivity with the proposed Lake Moriane Trail on the South Slope of Pikes Peak as well as the Frosty's Park area.
    I would think we'd learn by now. This is one case to stand in solidarity with the moto guys. I would wager that if the reroute is approved as non-moto, it will likely stall out for years without their momentum, resources and grant funding.

    If everyone would have stood together before the initial settlement talks there *might* have been enough pressure to keep USFS from folding like a paper hat on this thing to begin with.
    Last edited by thump; 04-03-2013 at 08:33 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by thump View Post
    I understood this was absolutely off the table. Doesn't it seem like a waste of the very limited comment time to dilute the key message?.. which is:

    I would think we'd learn by now. This is one case to stand in solidarity with the moto guys. I would wager that if the reroute is approved as non-moto, it will likely stall out for years without their momentum, resources and grant funding.

    If everyone would have stood together before the initial settlement talks there *might* have been enough pressure to keep USFS from folding like a paper hat on this thing to begin with.
    You are correct.

    If you don't have what you want at this stage in the game you aren't going to get it.

    The special interest groups, stakeholders, have already met with the department. So the public meeting is just to Delphi a consensus.
    It's SOP.

    Do an FOI request for emails and meeting minutes between the stakeholders and the USFS. That will tell you what's coming.

    At least I got to ride it for 20 years. Somehow the trout survived....

    Feel sorry for all you young guys though. The trail situation in C/S is starting to suck ass. I expect crowded trails from here on out. Think JeffCo crowds.

    Capt. Jacks is next.

  5. #5
    I did it all for the kudo
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    Unfortunately all of this is going to force the younger crowd to create their own trails and poach ones that have been shut down, similar to the situation that's occurring in the Northwest. The forest service with all their money problems will have a hard time dealing with that. Sometimes things seem to change when civil disobedience occurs... And then again maybe that's what needs to happen.

  6. #6
    zrm
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    You guys keep using terms like "civil disobedience" like MTBers building illegal trails or poaching closed trails are some kind of Rosa Parks. I find using that term hard to swallow when you're talking about where you can or can't ride bikes as a form of recreation.

    IMO, that has more to do with an overblown sense of self entitlement than any offense to real civil rights.

  7. #7
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    zrm - Do you ever go against the grain on anything? All you seem to preach is obey, abide, lay down, etc. If we don't take a stand for ourselves, no one else will either.

  8. #8
    I did it all for the kudo
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    zrm, I would hardly compare mountain biking to what Rosa Parks accomplished... That would be your analogy.

    But I would say that due to various reasons trails have been closed and obviously more are being scrutinized. So living in a state full of "self entitled recreational-ist" don't you think there will be some sort of reaction? With Colorado Springs being more of a right-winged city I doubt that many are going to lay down. I would also suspect that tomorrow nights meeting is going to be more of a brawl than a town meeting. I hope to be there to witness it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    Feel sorry for all you young guys though. The trail situation in C/S is starting to suck ass. I expect crowded trails from here on out. Think JeffCo crowds.

    Capt. Jacks is next.
    As concerns MTB's:
    Capt. Jacks is up out of the watershed and won't be closed, and the trail situation is just fine here (thank you), as there are plenty of other spots up and down the foothills to ride. The Denco area has 2.6 million people, while we have just over .5 million, so a much smaller user group to deal with. I have ridden Jones Park a lot, and on any given day (even a busy weekend) you might see a handful of riders, so it's not a heavily used trail. It takes a bunch of effort to get there (as you know), whether you ride up there or shuttle. The local trail groups, including Medicine Wheel (Springs proper) and FOMP.org (Monument area) have done an excellent job of maintaining trails, keeping them open and sometimes even getting a new one. Most of the time we have a very good rapport with all user groups.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    You guys keep using terms like "civil disobedience" like MTBers building illegal trails or poaching closed trails are some kind of Rosa Parks. I find using that term hard to swallow when you're talking about where you can or can't ride bikes as a form of recreation.
    You dilute the real issue when you say it's about "recreation".

    It's about public access to public land. City of C/S land actually. The USFS doesn't even own it, and CS Utilities just manages it.

    Some ideas for you.
    I would think any closure would need some type of approval from CS City Council? and since the CSU Board and the City Council are one and the same... why not contact your City Councilman and give him/her an earfull?

    Let them know what we were told last year (temp closure for motos only while they studied the fish).

    Inform them that motos and bikes have been on that trail for half a century, and the trout has done just fine.

    Ask where is the proof that sediment is endangering the fish's survival, when sediment has been there since the fish were first stocked?

    Where are the population studies showing the fish are declining in population?

    Anyway, forget the USFS. We already know what they are going to recommend. Contact your City Councilman. We had 5 ? new ones voted in last night. Tell them not to rubber stamp the USFS proposal.

    Also, perhaps a 501c3 user group needs to set up a legal fund to fight the closure?

    The City and USFS don't have money to spend on litigation. That's the purpose of the settlement in the first place. The City avoided (federal taxpayer funded) litigation from the CBD. They probably want to avoic litigation from user groups as well, not because of the policy, but because of the costs. Just something to think about.

  11. #11
    Almost Human
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    I'm talking about crowded as in more tourist/hikers.

    They tried closing Jacks about 3 years ago. Remember?

    So yeah, it's fine for now... but as other trails are closed, including Waldo Canyon, more hikers will be on Capt. Jacks this year, and in the future.

    I've been noticing more hikers for probably the past 3 years on Jacks. Really inexperienced hikers... who had no idea there were motos on the trial, and have had some fairly close calls with people not paying attention when I come up behind them.

    These are the kind of people with no historical perspective on local trail use and inevitably will complain about the trail conditions/conflicts to City Parks, or worse, someone will be injured by a moto or MTB.

    I don't like saying it. But time and time again we are seeing conflicts as more hikers move up into the Cheyenne Canyon area, the trails are either made unridable, (Sec 16) or closed off (Jones/Bear Crk).

    Just my opinion of course. But I think complacency is our worst enemy at this point.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    The City and USFS don't have money to spend on litigation. That's the purpose of the settlement in the first place. The City avoided (federal taxpayer funded) litigation from the CBD. They probably want to avoic litigation from user groups as well, not because of the policy, but because of the costs. Just something to think about.
    Again, the CBD put us all (and the City and USFS) in a wringer, as they know how to work the system to save whatever animals they have on their agenda. At this point, it needs to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that any sort of sedimentation and erosion issues (etc.), are harming the fish. I don't think it matters that we have been riding there for x number of years and haven't caused them any harm. Obliviously, it would be tough to ask the fish how they are doing, but that is the sort of loophole that the CBD can use. How do you or I or the CBD know how the fish are doing? We don't, but there might be in a situation of them being harmed (a big IF IMHO), and any second guessing is where the CBD can cause the friction and make their case. Yes, we need proof of a lot of things, but since everything is gray and unknown: save the fish first and work out the rest later, end of story.

  13. #13
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    If the fish ends up dying off anyway, which if the water source dries up due to drought it would, would it be reopened, or would they find a new reason to keep it closed?

  14. #14
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottap2003 View Post
    zrm - Do you ever go against the grain on anything? All you seem to preach is obey, abide, lay down, etc. If we don't take a stand for ourselves, no one else will either.
    I don't generally go, un or lightly informed knee jerk against the grain just to go against the grain. I try to look at things from different angles and not just my narrow self interest. I have a fairly deeply engrained sense of respect for the natural environment and keep my love of Mtn biking in perspective and understand that there are more important things than being able to entertain myself on my bike everywhere I might like to. I understand through experience that you're much better working with land managers with the understanding that they have a lot of complex and sometimes conflicting agendas, tight budgets and laws to deal with and finding a balance isn't easy.

    All that said, I have worked for 25 years and continue to work promoting mountain biking in Summit County. Sometimes that has involved digging in the heels and :going against the grain" but mostly it's involved working in a cooperative and patient manner. If you're familiar with the trail system here I'd ask you so evaluate if we've been successful in creating and preserving a quality trail system or not.

    I also understand that Mtn biking is pretty damn good in many, if not most parts of Colorado due to the efforts of a lot of behind the scenes, hard working people who know access comes from stewardship and respect.

    Which isn’t to say there aren’t times when the MTB community doesn’t need to be a tough negotiator/advocate, but I’ve found most of the time being a rage against the machine, knee jerk, poorly informed, focus on a single agenda without considering other factors, advocate is more than just a little counter productive.

    Go to this open house, talk to the people involved, get informed and keep your mind open. If yo don't believe them, go find your own unbiased information. Be prepared to understand that everything doesn't always go your way and focus your energy on things that you can achieve

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    Feel sorry for all you young guys though. The trail situation in C/S is starting to suck ass. I expect crowded trails from here on out. Think JeffCo crowds,
    AFA Falcon Trail
    Ute Valley Trails
    Pulpit & Austin Bluffs Open Space Trails
    Palmer Park Trails
    Palmer Trail/Section 16 Trail
    Red Rocks Open Space Trails (Hogback, White Line, Roundup)
    Bear Creek Park Trails (Stephanie’s)
    Buckhorn Trail & Mt. Buckhorn Trail
    Captain Jack’s Trail
    666/Bear Creek Trail
    Stratton Open Space Trails (Chutes, Columbine, Stroodle)
    Spring Creek Trail
    Cheyenne Mountain State Park
    Lake Pueblo State Park
    Pipeline Trail
    St. Mary’s Falls Trail

    am I missing something? losing jones will suck, losing jacks would suck even more... but we have way more riding here (and less traffic) than anywhere I've ever lived or visited.

    then again, maybe that's just my uninformed perspective. even if they took jones/capt. jacks network completely away from MTBs, and made other trails even/odd days, we'd still have some of the best and most varied trail riding on the front range with minimal traffic.

    unrelated... the amount of new hikers going UP jack's these days are crazy!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by p_DuBs View Post
    AFA Falcon Trail
    Ute Valley Trails
    Pulpit & Austin Bluffs Open Space Trails
    Palmer Park Trails
    Palmer Trail/Section 16 Trail
    Red Rocks Open Space Trails (Hogback, White Line, Roundup)
    Bear Creek Park Trails (Stephanie’s)
    Buckhorn Trail & Mt. Buckhorn Trail
    Captain Jack’s Trail
    666/Bear Creek Trail
    Stratton Open Space Trails (Chutes, Columbine, Stroodle)
    Spring Creek Trail
    Cheyenne Mountain State Park
    Lake Pueblo State Park
    Pipeline Trail
    St. Mary’s Falls Trail

    am I missing something? losing jones will suck, losing jacks would suck even more... but we have way more riding here (and less traffic) than anywhere I've ever lived or visited.

    then again, maybe that's just my uninformed perspective. even if they took jones/capt. jacks network completely away from MTBs, and made other trails even/odd days, we'd still have some of the best and most varied trail riding on the front range with minimal traffic.

    unrelated... the amount of new hikers going UP jack's these days are crazy!
    Don't forget the EL Paso country park trails (Black Forest, etc.) and the slew of stuff up in Monument.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by p_DuBs View Post
    AFA Falcon Trail
    Ute Valley Trails
    Pulpit & Austin Bluffs Open Space Trails
    Palmer Park Trails
    Palmer Trail/Section 16 Trail
    Red Rocks Open Space Trails (Hogback, White Line, Roundup)
    Bear Creek Park Trails (Stephanie’s)

    Buckhorn Trail & Mt. Buckhorn Trail
    Captain Jack’s Trail
    666/Bear Creek Trail

    Stratton Open Space Trails (Chutes, Columbine, Stroodle)
    Spring Creek Trail

    Cheyenne Mountain State Park
    Lake Pueblo State Park - that's a haul.
    Pipeline Trail
    St. Mary’s Falls Trail
    I avoid these and consider them hiker trails/parks.

    I ride these.

    We just have different ideas on riding. I prefer long climbs with distance, fast descents. So I would have to combine many of the above mentioned trails to get a ride in. Like these.

    I just like to get away from people when I ride and would gladly give Ute/PalmerPrk/Pulpit/RedRocks to the hikers in exchange for Jones/666 as MTB only...

    The closuress I'm talking about are in the South Slope. Many were never completed or were in the planning stage; Ring the Peak, The PP multi-use plan trails to the top of Pikes Peak, the Cheyenne Mtn top trail, Severy Creek, etc... and now Jones/666.

    We seem to have lost a vision for what we want this place to be.

    FWIW Pastajet, Black Forest used to be a moto park... LOL though.

  18. #18
    STRAVA!!!!!!
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    "Go to this open house, talk to the people involved, get informed and keep your mind open. If yo don't believe them, go find your own unbiased information. Be prepared to understand that everything doesn't always go your way and focus your energy on things that you can achieve"

    And please be sure to drink the Kool-Aid!!!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    Also, perhaps a 501c3 user group needs to set up a legal fund to fight the closure?
    The moto guys have already spent more on this via the TPA than all the mountainbikers in CO Springs will donate to trails in a decade. The hard truth is the mtb community isn't nearly as good at opening pocketbooks as they are at making noise. And this ship has sailed anyway.. the time for mtbs to avoid changes would have been to stand up and fight the initial closure; but of course it was a "moto only" problem, and some even supported it.


    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    Tell them not to rubber stamp the USFS proposal.
    Why? It's probably the best shot we have of avoiding long-term closure for all.


    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    The City and USFS don't have money to spend on litigation. That's the purpose of the settlement in the first place. The City avoided (federal taxpayer funded) litigation from the CBD. They probably want to avoic litigation from user groups as well, not because of the policy, but because of the costs.
    I doubt they fear user group suits anywhere near the level of the CBD. The CBD is an experienced, ambulance-chasing law firm that's learned how to make a very profitable living by exploiting the ESA to bilk millions in public money while greenwashing themselves as eco-warriors. Half those guys couldn't tell you a trout from a catfish, but they can all easily tell you what color paper that government checks are written on. They're likely praying the settlement falls through so they can say they tried the "good faith" route and get this thing into court and make some real cash. IMBA on the other hand is about as legally scary as a shivering kitten.

  20. #20
    I think I can.
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    I am approaching this comment from this point of view, everybody is wrong and nobody is gonna win.
    Last night while having a beer I had the fortune to run into a man who gave his name and a title "Educator for local Trout Unlimited" We spoke for more than an hour and the majority of the conversation was this topic. I now know more about the Green Back trout than I ever wanted to know. I am sharing portions of the conversation and general opinion only, please learn from this and don't flame the messenger.
    First Question, Is this fish native to this creek? "No, it is native to the Western Slope and was transplanted by Jones to feed the miners, a stock pond was built to house the fish"
    Why is this fish unique? After the DNA studies came back the DOW realized they had been breeding and stocking a fish genetically blended over decades, this fish is as close to undisturbed as possible.
    Why are there no others found? This fish is a prey fish, Brook Trout and Cutthroat trout are predators, this fish will never survive in a competitive environment.
    Why Bear Creek? Those who know the area know that a natural barrier exist and fish on the front range can not get up the canyon so natural contamination is impossible
    What about the trail below the barrier? Never should be closed
    What about above the barrier? Once the law suit was filed by an out of state legal firm and out of state complainant, all the parties working together to find a solution had to stop and become enemies not advocates.
    Was there ever a chance for 667 to stay open once the genetic study was complete? "No" and I had to agree, but any chance of civil resolution was lost once the law suit was filed.
    Where do we go from here? A realignment is needed, a new trail with adequate drainage away from Bear Creek is necessary, where the sticking point is going to be is crossing the Creek. This man say's NO, it is impossible, I say no matter where the trail is realigned it is necessary to cross this creek once to preserve the Ring the Peak trail, but anything we knew and loved about Jones Park is lost to this generation.
    Who will win from this. The lawyers as money is easy to be made off of the Gov't. why else would they file legal action.
    The only way we are going to win is if we all agree that realignment is necessary and propose a multi-use trail system with access off the top of buckhorn staying south of Mt. Kinea and Jones Park, maybe joining up with Foresters Trail to preserve Ring the Peak. We all want the same thing, now all we need is a game plan.
    Hope to see some of you tonight

    Dam,
    Bikes are FUN

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOEMTBR COLORADO View Post
    I am approaching this comment from this point of view, everybody is wrong and nobody is gonna win.
    Last night while having a beer I had the fortune to run into a man who gave his name and a title "Educator for local Trout Unlimited" We spoke for more than an hour and the majority of the conversation was this topic. I now know more about the Green Back trout than I ever wanted to know. I am sharing portions of the conversation and general opinion only, please learn from this and don't flame the messenger.
    First Question, Is this fish native to this creek? "No, it is native to the Western Slope and was transplanted by Jones to feed the miners, a stock pond was built to house the fish"....

    The only way we are going to win is if we all agree that realignment is necessary and propose a multi-use trail system with access off the top of buckhorn staying south of Mt. Kinea and Jones Park, maybe joining up with Foresters Trail to preserve Ring the Peak. We all want the same thing, now all we need is a game plan.
    Hope to see some of you tonight
    Great info Joe, thks.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by JOEMTBR COLORADO View Post
    Why is this fish unique? After the DNA studies came back the DOW realized they had been breeding and stocking a fish genetically blended over decades, this fish is as close to undisturbed as possible.
    Joe, did the educator tell you this also?

    Because "blending" of genes is what would happen in the wild and it's the basis for natural selection and survival of a species.

    Undisturbed = inbred = homozygous mutations for recessive genes = less ability to defend against diseases = less able to survive.

    If the 1880's Greenback had survived in the South Platte until today, they would not resemeble the Bear Creek Greenback. They would have survived by breeding with other genetic pools of trout and their genes would be heterozygous or dominate for genes that would have allowed them to survive. That's how natural selection works.

  23. #23
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    Nice info Joe. I'm not sure I completely followed who was saying what.. but it sounds like this guy is saying:

    a) There's zero change of keeping the trails as-is, even for just non-motorized use.

    b) About the only hope to retain any trail to get all the user groups to support the realignment.

    That accurate?

  24. #24
    I think I can.
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    That would be a correct assumption in my opinion thump. In this case I believe weather we like it or not access to Jones is gonna change, requesting a realignment with access for motos, hikers and bikers and support preservation of the canyon will go a long way in resolving this quickly.
    Uncletrail, yes I did assume the survival of the fittest and natural selection, but in this case I believe were gonna spend millions of dollars for research, surveys, impact studies, and environmental issues. If you noticed the legal defense fees and environmental groups were not include, this could mean HUNDREDS of Millions of dollars when it is all said and done. I would rather the USFS spend the money of fire prevention and resource management, "Wouldn't You?"
    And after all that we are still gonna loose, Just my Opinion

    Dam,
    Bikes are FUN

  25. #25
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waafoo View Post
    "Go to this open house, talk to the people involved, get informed and keep your mind open. If yo don't believe them, go find your own unbiased information. Be prepared to understand that everything doesn't always go your way and focus your energy on things that you can achieve"

    And please be sure to drink the Kool-Aid!!!
    Just leave your tin foil hat at the door - the black helicopters can't scan your brain waves once you're inside.

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