Boy hits tar­get, con­vinces town to scrap snow­ball ban

Rome News-Tribune - - EDITORIALS & OPINION -

SEV­ER­ANCE, Colo. — A 9-year-old boy has con­vinced the lead­ers of a small north­ern Colorado town to over­turn a nearly cen­tu­ry­old ban on snow­ball fights, and he al­ready knows who his first tar­get will be — his lit­tle brother.

Dane Best, who lives in the of­ten snow-swept town of Sev­er­ance, pre­sented his ar­gu­ments at a town board meet­ing Mon­day night, and mem­bers voted unan­i­mously to lift the ban.

“I think it’s an out­dated law,” Dane said in the leadup to the meet­ing. “I want to be able to throw a snow­ball with­out get­ting in trou­ble.”

Dane’s mother, Brooke Best, told The Gree­ley Tri­bune her son had been talk­ing about snow­balls since he found out about a month and a half ago that it was il­le­gal to throw them within town lim­its. The last time it snowed, Dane said he and his friends looked around for po­lice and joked about break­ing the law.

Kyle Ri­etk­erk, as­sis­tant to the Sev­er­ance town ad­min­is­tra­tor, said the rule was part of a larger or­di­nance that made it il­le­gal to throw or shoot stones or mis­siles at peo­ple, an­i­mals, build­ings, trees, any other pub­lic or pri­vate prop­erty or ve­hi­cles. Snow­balls fell un­der the town’s def­i­ni­tion of “mis­siles.”

“All of the kids al­ways get blown away that it’s il­le­gal to have snow­ball fights in Sev­er­ance,” Ri­etk­erk said be­fore the meet­ing. “So, what ends up hap­pen­ing is (town lead­ers) al­ways en­cour­age the kids with, ‘You have the power you can change the law.’ No one has.”

Then Dane took up the cause, writ­ing let­ters with his class­mates in sup­port of over­turn­ing the ban.

And af­ter Mon­day night’s suc­cess, his 4-year-old brother Dax had bet­ter watch out. When board mem­bers asked Dane dur­ing a meet­ing in Novem­ber who he wants to hit, he pointed at his lit­tle brother.

Dane and his fam­ily have re­searched other Sev­er­ance or­di­nances, in­clud­ing one that de­fines pets only as cats and dogs.

Dane has a guinea pig, which is il­le­gal in Sev­er­ance, too.

/ Tim­o­thy Hurst-The Col­oradoan via AP

Range View third-grader Dane Best throws the first le­gal snow­ball in the park­ing lot of the Town Hall af­ter pre­sent­ing his ar­gu­ment to the town trustees to change a law in Sev­er­ance ban­ning snow­ball fights. The board voted unan­i­mously to ap­prove the law change.

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