In his My Turn (Empire, March 13), John Newell missed the point of the person's comments who wrote to the paper about the motorized and non-motorized trail use. Her point was the safety of herself as well as other users of the trail. Poking fun at someone's loss of a sense of security is not funny. I am not laughing. I was not laughing when I read about the speeding snowmachiner who slammed into Mike Nosko's Iditarod dog team. The dogs were injured so badly he was forced to cancel their race. I was not laughing when I read that so far this year there have been 23 snowmobile-related deaths in Alaska. I am not laughing when I see empty beer cans in the parking lot where snow machiners have either just unloaded their vehicles to enjoy their sport or just loaded their vehicles to go home. I do not think many people are laughing regardless of how they have chosen to enjoy the forest.
Many snide and sarcastic letters from each side of this issue could easily fill these pages of the Empire. These letters do nothing but serve to separate our community. When we discount a person because they have different means of enjoying the forests than we do, when we discount a person because we want our desires met regardless of the loss of safety to someone else, when we discount a person because of where they live or what they do for a living or any other aspect of their life that is different than ours and forget to listen to each other as people, then we divide ourselves.
Heather W. Bingaman