So the other day, I was part of a circular conversation. You know the kind I mean, right? The conversations that go round and round, circling the airport but never landing. The conversations where people jockeying for position, taking conversations down a rabbit hole or go so far in an attempt to be politically correct that there is never really any clear outcome from the discussion.
And sometimes, maybe even more than sometimes, in those circular conversations, the toughest questions are avoided and actions are taken so that we do not have to respond. We avoid the awkwardness through nimble and precise evasiveness.Learn more »
Rhymin’ Simon famously advised that there were 50 ways to leave your lover. Like a locomotive loaded for bear, Train concurred, holding that there were 50 ways to say goodbye. Perhaps I’m less creative. I can think of only four ways to get divorced: Traditional (“adversarial”) divorce where each party gets a lawyer and slugs it out; do-it-yourself divorce where the intrepid souls try to slug it out on their own; collaborative divorce where each side hires an attorney but agree to do less slugging and cooperate to work things out; and mediated divorce which, as it is the subject of this column, I’ll explain more fully in a sec.
Traditional (adversarial) divorce can — but doesn’t have to be — what you are familiar with in TV dramas and the movies. Each party “lawyers up” and launches headlong into the legal fray. The Fray, by the way, as far as I know, has not yet had a thing to say about divorce. While traditional divorce does not have to be bloody, as the knives are already sharpened, it often is. But sometimes, where things are difficult, complicated, emotional or contentious, one has simply got to do what one has got to do to protect oneself.Learn more »
With an increased awareness of eating better, physical activity and medical technology, there is little disputing that the average human lifespan has improved. Nonetheless, how we grow old is far more important than how old we grow.
Before Baby Boomers can embrace the possibilities of life after 65, I believe that they must rid themselves of the cultural stereotypes of aging. Those who are, or soon to be, 65 years of age or older are a very different group of people than those people who were 65 and older a generation ago.Learn more »
We will be voting this November on not only national and state representatives (Senate, House, Governor, state Senate, etc.), but also a variety of local elections including two board of county commissioner seats, county sheriff, town council representatives and more. The barrage of television advertising and automated phone calls have begun — and we have another seven weeks of them before the elections.
Election season, in many ways, reminds me of the fable of the elephant and the blind men. As a refresher for those who might not be familiar with the story:Learn more »
Are you ready for this? September is National Preparedness Month. Sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Preparedness Month seeks to educate Americans on preparing for natural disasters and other types of emergencies. But you’ll also need to prepare for unexpected events in many other areas of your life — particularly those events related to the financial security of you and your family.
Here are some of the most important of these events, along with possible preparations for them:Learn more »
Given recent tragedies including local drunk driving fatalities and a suicide that has rocked the nation, it might not come as a surprise that some young people are more motivated than ever to make a positive difference by keeping neighbors and loved ones safe. Yet it’s an incredible inspiration to grasp the story of a young local woman who decided at the age of 16 to commit her life to building trust and ensuring safety in her community through law enforcement.
Battle Mountain graduate Norma Camunez was headed down a gray path when a productive encounter with her school resource officer, Eagle County Sheriff Deputy Megan Richards, known as “Officer Megan” by her students, encouraged a complete refocus. Camunez recalls Richard’s influence in the community helping to win over several young people who previously had bad experiences with the police and were not necessarily on track to graduate high school.Learn more »
I wear the conflicts like a cloak with a clasp that will not unlatch. The cloak is fabricated from the taunts of bullying lawyers, the fusillade of barbs that pass for litigation communication, the laments of obstinate clients, the sheer futility of working within a broken system. In moments of levity, the cloak flutters off my shoulders in the manner of a superhero’s cape. When times are low, the cloak is weighted as if by a torrential downpour. Whether or not I feel its presence, it is there, conspiring to trip me up when my defenses are down. And yet I press forward, entranced by the possibilities and the process of helping those who need it. It is the service component of my job that makes it all worth it in the end.
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Maybe you’ve been counting down since the summer solstice, or maybe you felt it in the rainy chills last month while watching the USA Pro Challenge or maybe you are still waiting for the aspens to boldly state it: Fall is coming. Duh, you say. So what?
Fall is a time of harvest and anticipation. Even in the mountains we celebrate the bounty of our summer gardens at events like Oktoberfest, but we also stock the pantry, uncover and wax our skis, and change wardrobes. Most of us anticipate only the winter snows to come and the big blank white canvas, but fall can mean so much more.Learn more »
We just chose a property to purchase and we are working on making a written offer with our Realtor. Our Realtor has asked us a lot of questions and given us suggestions on how we make the offer. My question is about all of the little (yet significant) fees in the contract. She has said we need to pay for some and some we can ask the seller to pay. Why would we offer to pay any of them? Why wouldn’t we ask the seller to pay for every fee?Learn more »
While I have written about reverse mortgages a few times in the last year, I thought I would touch on the subject again as it seems to be a popular topic recently.
It has often been said getting a mortgage is the most complex financial decision most people make in their lives. Actually a reverse mortgage is in many ways even a more complex decision, but one that can be hugely beneficial to many older Americans (at least one spouse must be over 62 to qualify).Learn more »
Whenever we give someone a task or project to complete and we don’t provide them with the right tools, support, environment or expectations, it can be said that we are setting that person or that team up for failure.
This happens in the business world just as much as it happens in our personal lives, doesn’t it? We see it happen when we make rash decisions, hire staff without providing the proper onboarding or training and when we set unrealistic goals. As a matter of fact, setting people up for failure has become so commonplace that we now look at it frivolously or use the failure as the brunt of our jokes and usually at the expense of at least one person or team.Learn more »
Venue is where it’s at. Quite literally. When lawyers speak of “venue,” what they are talking about is location, location, location.
Formerly referred to as visne (no, not Visine, the stuff you put in your eyes), the term derives from vicinage which, in antiquity, stood for “da hood,” as in da neighborhood. Vicinage, in turn, meant the area nearby, that is, “in the vicinity,” and in modern usage means the county where a trial is had, a crime committed or a similar locational designation.Learn more »
“Although not yet widespread in orthopaedics, the use of adult stem cells to address musculoskeletal conditions is an intriguing concept,” states a recent article by American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Regenerative medicine specialists, like myself, have been seeing profound results using stem cell treatments for musculoskeletal pain, similar to the results we have seen in joint disease, and feel that it is far more than an intriguing concept. It is a reality that’s already showing great promise for many patients, including Vail resident Steve Jemison, who says he believes the discs in his lower back will be as good as new by the 2015 ski season based on his three-month recovery since having the procedure.Learn more »
The 80/20 rule, known as the “‘Pareto Principle” named after economist Vilfredo Pareto, is a principle that states, for many phenomena, 20 percent of invested input is responsible for 80 percent of the results. We live with this rule/principle whether we are aware of it or not, so why not use the percentages to our benefit? This percentile ratio can be a good rule of thumb when used as a guide in making choices that improve the quality of our lives.
Think about it. Take a close look at your finances, for example. Accumulated debt is probably not caused by excessive spending on the majority of your purchases. It narrows to 20 percent “messing up” leading to 80 percent adjusting and budgeting, to make up for it. Why not make efforts to concentrate on, and target the 20 percent, thus getting better results in the 80 percent. Focusing on the 20 percent area of struggle, avoiding temptation and staying on track will consequently produce positive results in your budget and your lifestyle. It won’t be easy — exercising discipline never is — but self-control in vulnerable situations makes sense. The payoff of purposely applying the Pareto Principle can reap multiple rewards.Learn more »
Have you ever had the urge to court the great unknown — to sail or fly to lands you’ve only dreamed of? For many animal species, this is their reality. Migration, or the act of moving in order to escape changing seasons, or to find food or a mate, is still one of nature’s most alluring mysteries. Migration leaves us humans asking, how is it possible for the Arctic tern, a small sun-loving bird, to fly 22,000 miles nonstop from the North Pole to the South Pole and back again? How do red crabs, born just off the coast of the Indian Ocean and barely the size of your pinky fingernail, know how to return to their mothers in the hills — even though they’ve never been there before? Unfortunately, these questions do not have one simple answer, yet, thanks to the work of willful scientists, our curious nature can be contented.
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Technically summer isn’t behind us till mid-September, but with the already-cooler nights and days, it feels like autumn is nigh. The Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a colder-than-normal fall and winter for us. Autumn in the Rockies is splendid, but there’s no need to rush the cold weather. But as the days shorten and the air crisps, it’s a perfect opportunity to revamp your house for the season.
Here are a few tips to keep your home cozy and ready for fall festivities.Learn more »
There’s just something about sitting down for a meal that allows people to automatically peel back the first couple layers of their personal onion. When you meet someone at a business meeting, on the street or at an event, it’s a very civil interaction of, “Yes, pleasure to meet you … this is what I do … OK, that is what you do … here’s my card.”
But when you sit down at a table and you add the elements of beautiful lighting and enticing smells, with some sort of chatter in the background — chairs shuffling, music playing and people interacting — I think it helps people relax, unfolding like the napkin they so naturally rest on their lap.Learn more »
Adjustable rate mortgages. ARMs. Hybrid loans. However or whatever you want to call them, loans that do not have a fixed rate for their full term are starting to come back in to the market. With good reason, I might add.
By an adjustable rate mortgage, I am referring to loans that have a fixed rate for a certain period or portion of the loans’ entire term. After this pre-determined period of time has elapsed, the loan will begin to adjust for the remainder of the term. In most instances the loan will adjust one time per year based upon a current market index (i.e., the LIBOR Index or U.S. Treasury Index) added to a margin or markup from the lender.Learn more »
I am trying to make up my mind if it is worth sacrificing overall square footage, at least one bedroom and a garage, to own a property closer to Vail. In Eagle and Gypsum, in my price range of $450,000 to $550,000, we can get a single-family home with a two- or three-car garage, new or newer home with four or more bedrooms and around 3,000 square feet. In Avon to East Vail, all I can get is two or three bedrooms, none or one-car garage and under 2,000 square feet. If it is in the town of Vail, it is under 1,000 square feet. We work in Vail and love to ski, so we are agonizing over the short drive, the feel of the community and the convenience versus what I would call luxurious accommodations. Is there more to consider? Can you help me out with some long-range vision with things to think about for value in the future?Learn more »
My friends have been dropping like flies this summer.
Broken bones, deep cuts, fractured feet and concussions have been sustained and suffered by more than a few of my pals. That does not include the numerous stress fractures, planta fasciitis and various over-use injuries.Learn more »
On Monday, we observe National Grandparents Day. If you have grandchildren, they will hopefully mark this occasion by sending a card, making a call or, best of all, paying a visit. But however your grandchildren express their feelings for you, you undoubtedly have a very big place in your heart for them. In fact, you may well be planning on including your grandchildren in your estate plan. If that’s the case, then you’ll want to do the best you can to preserve the size of your estate — without sacrificing the ability to enjoy life during your retirement years.
Here are a few suggestions to help you achieve this “balancing act”:Learn more »
As a society, we are captivated with big ideas. Last week in this space, I shared the story about the Eagle County road and bridge crew that didn’t just plow snow — they helped our economy work by getting people to work. This way of thinking about our daily jobs and tasks expands our view to encourage big thinking and avoid being mired in the day-to-day small tasks that fill all of our schedules.
The road and bridge crew viewing their jobs as a way to ensure that our economy works (and not as just snowplowing) is an example of thinking that empowers individuals — regardless of job title — to be involved and engaged in solving the big issues facing our community.Learn more »
Sometimes just the words “peer pressure” spark anxious, judgmental and negative feelings — especially when we attach verbs such as succumbing to or giving in to “peer pressure.”
And many times we are directing our guidance of avoiding peer pressure to the young adults, teenagers and children in our lives. No doubt there are more temptations and access to trouble now than in any previous generation. So our advice and steering to avoid peer pressure has never been more valuable, as long as it doesn’t fall on deaf ears or comes across as, “Well when I was your age ... ” because that never goes well. Or if it sounds overplayed like, “If all of your friends jumped off of the top of the mountain, would you follow, too?” Yikes!Learn more »
For those of you who don’t know what a startup weekend is, it is a semi-competition, more of an event really, where people gather, pitch ideas for new companies and groups form to piece together what I call a feasibility plan — all in 50 hours. As one person put it, “The plans that come out of this 50-hour session often take clients years to do.”
After 50 hours, each group pitches its 50-hour-old idea to an audience and judges in five minutes, then the team is in the hot seat while the judges ask questions.Learn more »
A little more than 1,500 days ago, I was standing in front of the FIS decision makers as we outlined our bid to host the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships for them. The other members of our bid committee and I were sharing with these individuals why the 2015 Championships should come to Vail and Beaver Creek. Out of all the great reasons we gave for why the Championships should return to our valley, our No. 1 reason was that we would host this event through building partnerships, respecting all the groups and individuals we knew would be so important for our success.
So here we are, with just about five months to go, and it is safe to say that our partnerships are what have gotten us this far. We are also well aware that these same partnerships will carry us all the way to the finish line of a successful World Championships. Not only have these relationships been a huge key to success for us already, they have become the most memorable and special part of creating our event. Our partners are spread all over the globe and all over the valley.Learn more »
Law is like a toolbox. Some lawyers have enormous toolboxes. Others are just little bitty things. While a good craftsman does not blame his tools, it doesn’t hurt to have the toolbox well equipped either.
One little-used appliance in the lawyer’s Dewalt box is what’s known as a statutory offer of settlement. It goes like this ...Learn more »
In this third installment, I would like to bring attention to what I believe is the greatest hurdle in being able to permit seniors consider staying, and moving to, Eagle County.
As identified in my past two columns, it is anticipated that Eagle County’s population of people age of 65 and older will grow by 157 percent in the next six years. By 2030, Eagle County will have a senior population that has grown 333 percent. Where will these people live? What types of homes will they want? What services will they require, and who will provide these services?Learn more »
Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part series. This is from “The Best of Neil Rosenthal.” Visit www.vaildaily.com to read the first installment.
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As we enjoy the final few weeks of summer here in the Vail Valley, let’s take the time to pay homage to what is unequivocally a primary image of the season — the sunflower.
You can probably picture this familiar plant now — a tall stalk topped with a ray of bright yellow petals and a thick cluster of brown bristles centered at its core. The common sunflower, formally classified as Helianthus annuus, not only flourishes in dry to moist conditions, open sites in meadows and alongside roads that weave throughout the Southern Rockies; the sunflower can also be found growing across the world. With its vast range and abundance, this ubiquitous flowering plant claims deep cultural and economic significance at home and abroad.Learn more »
A community is made stronger by its members’ ability to work together in partnerships. As the new director of Eagle Valley Land Trust, one of the things that attracted me to Eagle County was the amount of collaboration that takes place here.
Whether it is a group of real estate developers partnering to make their vision for a well-planned community amenity become reality or Eagle Valley Land Trust partnering with landowners to conserve their private property, this community understands the value of coming together.Learn more »