Columns

Vail Daily column: Enjoying the benefits of consistency

October 22, 2014 — 

You know the saying “one step forward and two steps back” right? And sometimes it may even be “one step forward and three or four steps back.”

Many of us have endeavored to improve our life in some capacity, and you too may have experienced this forward then backward type of result. People trying to lose weight may become very energized about their diet and exercise plan, and they just might maintain a consistent routine for the first few days or maybe even the first week.

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Vail Daily column: Understanding partition

October 21, 2014 — 

Partition, not parturition, is the act of splitting. Although, I’m sure, one can feel much like the other. Parturition, so I’ve heard, feels much like splitting into discombobulated halves. And partition can seem, at times, like giving birth. For purposes here, though, think Moses and the Red Sea rather than being delivered of a child; that kind of splitting, as in dividing into parts.

Partition in the legal context involves the dividing of lands held by joint tenants, “co-parceners” or tenants in common, into distinct portions so that they may hold them in severalty (that is, separately). OK, but hold on just a sec. First, a little elaboration of our terms.

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Vail Daily column: Clarify your vision to help achieve your goals

October 20, 2014 — 

In last month’s column, I talked about the importance of “focused attention” on performance both in business and in life. As I reflect on past experience, I’ve found that focused attention is most powerful when aligned with a clearly defined vision. In its simplest form, a clearly defined vision literally puts people on the same page and brings attention to asking and answering those questions that support and increase the odds of achieving the vision. The clear vision acts as a galvanizing force to help people work on challenges to collectively solve problems and meet goals. As a result, an organization with a clear vision is formidable as it provides “focused attention” for everyone in the firm which, in turn, greatly increases the likelihood that the organization will meet its goals. Successful business owners and leaders know a vision’s importance and consistently reinforce it every opportunity they get. These successful leaders realize the importance and correlation that clarity of vision has on the areas of focused attention, decision-making, teamwork, synergy and results, no matter the size of the organization.

Having a vision for our life or business gives us clarity and “focused attention” as to where we’re going while it also raises important questions. Once I have clarity in my vision and decide the direction for my life or business, the next logical step is to ask the questions “How do I get there?” or “Why is that important?” These seemingly simple questions are critically important and crucial for an individual or organization to answer. Great leadership helps people know and understand the vision for the organization and then asks the questions that, once answered, will define what must be done to achieve goals.

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Vail Daily column: Die a good death

October 20, 2014 — 

No, this is not a quote from a movie where some hero laments a friend’s death. Dying a good death is actually an oxymoron. The phrase really implies living a good life and having a good culmination of life.

Dying a good death is a ubiquitous term. The Institute of Medicine defined a good death as “one that is free from avoidable suffering for patients, families and caregivers in general accordance with the patients’ and families’ wishes.” A recent Time magazine article stated, “A good death was about having lived long enough to see grandchildren, put one’s affairs in order and pass away surrounded by a loving family.” Perhaps a good death is the one we choose.

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Vail Daily column: Pre-season prep prevents ski/snowboard injuries

October 20, 2014 — 

Skiing and snowboarding are very physically demanding sports, as well as sports that have a high risk for injury. They are sports that require preseason preparation to make the most of our on-snow experience. We’ve all seen ads and information about winter conditioning programs, but I wonder how many of us know why these preseason sessions are so important? Simply staying in shape through the summer and fall sports and outdoor activities isn’t really enough.

Throughout the season your muscular and neuromuscular systems will be put to the test. Conditioning programs are designed to target specific areas for building strength, addressing balance, increasing flexibility and, ultimately, improving on-snow performance. Good programs also prepare muscles and joints for repeated use.

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Vail Daily health column: Protect yourself from viral infections

October 20, 2014 — 

The cold and flu season is upon us. In fact, it started early this year with the enterovirus in our schools. Ninety five percent of the colds are due to viral infections. This means that antibiotics do not work for most colds. Antibiotics only work for bacterial infections and not viruses. 

Since we live in an area where tourists come from all over the world, we get many different types of viral infections. I have lived in the Vail Valley for 17 years, and it appears that every year these viral infections get worse. Many people get colds that last for three weeks and they’re still going to work or school, thereby exposing others. So how can you get your immune system ready to protect you this season?

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Vail Daily design column: Finding happiness in autumn favorites

October 19, 2014 — 

Snow has arrived here in the Vail Valley and it gets us to thinking about powder days, fresh tracks on the hiking trails, sledding with kids and hot cocoa. This morning, finally, the sun poked through heavy white clouds, illuminating the bright gold leaves and the stark white peaks. It’s stunning. And that brings us to the next thing that makes us smile: the beauty all around us and still being startled by it. We are blessed to be able to make a living doing what we love, where we love to live.

Being able to find beauty here is really not hard, obviously, but we’ve decided to challenge ourselves to find beauty where ever are. It’s hard to be thrilled with a pouring rainy Sunday, the mountains cloaked in clouds, the air heavy with moisture and potential disappointment. But, like with design, we focus on the positive, on what can be done to transform, uplift and create joy.

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Vail Daily column: How can I find a Realtor I can relate to?

October 17, 2014 — 

Dear Joan,

I am looking to purchase my first​ home, and I am having trouble finding a Realtor that I can relate to. I am 30 years old so I guess I am what you call a Millennial or a member of the Y Generation. Unfortunately, I have not found a knowledgeable Realtor in my age group yet. Any suggestions on how I can find someone I can communicate with effectively?

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Vail Daily column: Now’s the time to review your retirement plan

October 16, 2014 — 

If you work for a medium-to-large company, then you may now be entering the “open enrollment” period — that time of year when you get to make changes to your employee benefits. Your benefit package can be a big piece of your overall financial picture, so you’ll want to make the right moves — especially in regard to your employer-sponsored retirement plan.

Take a close look at your 401(k) or similar plan, such as a 403(b), if you work for a school or a nonprofit group or a 457(b), if you work for a state or local government. And keep these possible moves in mind:

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Vail Daily column: Myths (and truths) about air service in the Vail Valley

October 16, 2014 — 

The EGE Air Alliance is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit public-private partnership that provides the funding to make Eagle County Regional Airport a vital part of the Eagle County economy. Formed in 2002, the EGE Air Alliance partnership includes government entities and private business stakeholders throughout local towns across Eagle County.

In 2002, when the EGE Air Alliance began, a small group of business leaders and several local government entities made it possible to sign an agreement with American Airlines to add daily nonstop service from Dallas/Fort Worth in the summer months. That agreement was the EGE Air Alliance’s first success. Fall fights from Dallas were quickly added to our schedule, allowing locals and visitors to have connections through the fall season.

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Vail Daily column: Confessions of a weary traveler

October 15, 2014 — 

“It’s not what happens to us that defines our character, it is how we respond to what happens to us.” I am sure that you have heard that before, and if you have read my column in the past few years or heard me speak, then you have heard me espouse these very same words.

Well last week those words put me to the test personally. How did I do on that test? FFS (Failed for sure).

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Vail Daily column: What’s up with prenups and postnups?

October 14, 2014 — 

While perhaps a bit expansive, a basic precept of the law of contract is that two parties can agree to do virtually anything under the sun so long as it is legal. Hold that thought and we’ll circle back to it in just a second.

First, though, what exactly is a “nup”? In short, “nup” is short for “nuptial,” the state of being in wedded bliss, as in married, hitched, legally conjoined as man and wife or, more recently, as man and man or wife and wife; ‘tis a complex world we live in.

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Vail Daily column: TRX training in a group setting

October 13, 2014 — 

The TRX suspension training system has quickly become one of my favorite pieces of equipment in the gym and one of the most popular across the world. In my previous article, I talked about the benefits of body weight training. TRX training is body weight training on steroids.

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Vail Daily column: Feed two birds with one seed

October 12, 2014 — 

Being young is a time to try new things, explore your interests and learn from your mistakes. It’s also a time to find out what’s important to you, to identify lifelong mentors and to embrace service and humility. That is what Franklin Reilly has been doing and commits to as a young person in the Eagle River Valley.

Franklin is a sophomore at Battle Mountain High School who keeps himself busy with many sports, music, hobbies and helping out others. He learned early in life from his mother and family that giving to others is a part of who a person is and that it’s important to serve others for the sake of giving and not to boost personal ego. Anywhere he and his mom go, they are always willing to jump in and help others. This desire for service has come from a goal of being humble but also from key mentors in Franklin’s life.

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Vail Daily column: Comic relief for your legal ailments

October 12, 2014 — 

In my dreams, as I walk down the courthouse hallway to the courtroom in which I am to appear, I hear peals of laughter escaping the doors as if emanating from a raucous comedy cellar. I hasten my steps, spurred on by the positive energy flowing through the building and walk into the room to catch the tail end of a humorous anecdote that a defendant is sharing with the judge to explain the reason for his transgression. The players in this imagined drama all have a hearty laugh, the judge crafts a creative and mildly amusing solution and everyone leaves enriched by their engagement in the process.

Perhaps I have watched too many “Simpsons” episodes, but I am always disappointed that neither this nor anything analogous has ever happened. Humor is medication and the ailing legal system needs a large dose.

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Vail Daily column: Dig into fun this fall with fossils

October 11, 2014 — 

There is a newfound meaning and appreciation for how colorful Colorado truly is when looking into its geologic record. In fact, this land is so beautifully sprinkled with fossils that museums around the world have been housing them for nearly 150 years. Whether you’re an amateur like myself or the professional paleontologist, there is still a lot left to discover on this never-ending fossil frontier.

Here in Colorado, most of our fossils have been found in sedimentary rocks. These are rocks that form when sediment is deposited, compressed under layers and cemented together via minerals. If an animal or plant dies and is buried quickly under sediment, like at the bottom of a lake, then fossilization can ensue. The soft tissues decay while the hard bony parts remain, continually being buried under more sediment. Once buried deep under many rock layers, groundwater seeps into the remains, and minerals in the water fill empty spaces within, forming crystals. The crystalized minerals cause the remains to harden along with the surrounding sedimentary rock. These perfect conditions lead to the most common type of fossilization known as permineralization. Other fossils may be made from carbonization, replacement or molds and casts.

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Should I leave my own local broker?

October 10, 2014 — 

​Dear Joan,

I have had my home listed with a local broker for months now, and I have not had any offers. A friend of mine just told me that he knew someone that he thought would buy the house right away. The prospective buyer does not like real estate agents, so he wants to bring me the offer directly. I am not sure what I should do. I have gotten lots of free advice telling me to cancel the listing contract and then deal directly with the buyer so I won’t lose the sale​. I don’t know if I can do that legally and/or if it is the “right thing” to do. I really want to sell and don’t want to miss out on this buyer. What should I do?

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You might be able to buy sooner than you imagine

October 10, 2014 — 

During the “Great Recession” (as some who survived it unscathed euphemistically call it, others call it the Great Depression), millions of people lost their homes to foreclosure or had to declare bankruptcy. In many cases, these individuals probably thought it would be many years until they could buy a home again.

The rules governing a situation like this are complex and varied. Circumstances surrounding the reason for the foreclosure, the type of bankruptcy filed and how the property was disposed of all factor into how soon an individual can qualify for a new mortgage.

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Vail Valley Theatre Company’s production of ‘Chicago’ set for Oct. 18, 18, 24 and 25

October 10, 2014 — 

EDWARDS — Ladies and gentlemen: You are about to see a story of murder, greed, corruption, violence, exploitation, adultery and treachery — all those things we hold near and dear to our hearts.

And so “Chicago: The Musical” begins.

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Vail Daily column: Pressure is a privilege for 2015 preparations

October 9, 2014 — 

As the days leading up to the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships continue to fly by on the cover of this newspaper, I often get questions about whether we are beginning to feel the pressure of getting everything ready in time for the world to come calling. Some are wondering about the pressures of dealing with such a large and complex event, with so many moving pieces and parts.

From my perspective, tennis great Billie Jean King pretty much summed up our responsibility in the title of her 2008 book, “Pressure is a Privilege.” While there is indeed a tremendous amount of pressure associated with having the eyes of the world on our community for two weeks, I feel that we are also extremely privileged to have the opportunity to experience that pressure.

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Vail Daily column: Plan ahead for Small Business Saturday

October 9, 2014 — 

Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country.

Founded by American Express in 2010, its celebrated every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The single day has grown into a powerful movement, and more people are taking part than ever before. This year, the big day is Nov. 29.

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Vail Daily column: What are the key USES of cash?

October 9, 2014 — 

As an investor, you may find that the elements of your portfolio that seem to draw most of your attention are stocks and bonds. After all, these investment vehicles provide you with potential growth and income opportunities — which is why you invest in the first place. Yet, you also may find significant value in a more humble asset: cash. In fact, you might be surprised at the various ways in which the cash in your portfolio can help you complete your financial picture.

One way to understand this is to look at the acronym USES:

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Vail Daily column: Wrong turns, but right direction

October 8, 2014 — 

During a business trip this past week, my associates and I found ourselves in North Carolina and relying heavily on GPS for directions. With today’s technology, it’s almost impossible to get lost.

As we were returning to the hotel from our meeting, admittedly only one exit from our destination, we began discussing golf. We were distracted just enough to miss our exit, and the next sound we heard was, “recalculating route.”

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Vail Daily column: Calm carries the day

October 7, 2014 — 

Sofia Vergara is the character type of the hot-blooded Latin of abundant pulchritude. I don’t watch TV and don’t know the role she plays. But I suspect it’s not a lawyer.

How do I know this? Well, as I said, I don’t. But what I do know is that in law, calm usually carries that day. Or if not exactly carrying the day, it is at least a good and faithful friend. Histrionics are most times better left on your TV screen than brought into a courtroom.

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Vail Daily column: Community helps make valley great

October 5, 2014 — 

It is such a great feeling when something you have worked so hard on actually comes together, not always perfectly, but beautifully despite obstacles of time and weather, and that is exactly what happened last week at the Businesses, Bogeys and Bragging Rights Tournament. This was a first-time effort by the Vail Chamber and Business Association and the Vail Recreation District to provide a fun end-of-season community event and raise some money for the VRD’s Tom Slaughter Jr. Memorial Grant. This grant provides financial assistance to local area youth to attend and participate in VRD’s many great programming opportunities, such as summer camps, sports teams and after school programs.

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Vail Daily column: Sticking to my guns

October 3, 2014 — 

I am a man of my convictions. If you have spoken with me in the past year or so regarding mortgage financing, then you have heard me iterate that interest rates will be going higher very soon. You may have heard me say: “There is nowhere for rates to go but higher, or the Fed is scaling back their bond purchasing stimulus which will ultimately force rates higher, or with this much national debt, inflationary levels will start to rise soon which will take interest rates higher in unison.” Contrary to my convictions, mortgage interest rates have remained “low” thus far in 2014.

When I say mortgage rates have remained “low,” that is obviously a general statement. There are countless ways or loan programs to finance a home; there are countless ways in which to structure the interest rate. Generally speaking, mortgage interest rates are anywhere from the high 2 percent range to the high 4 percent range, depending on any number of these variables. If we had a conversation earlier in the year, I would have told you that this range of rates would be a half point to a full point higher by fall of 2014 based on market indications and Fed actions.

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Vail Daily column: When is it time to make portfolio changes?

October 2, 2014 — 

The kids are back at school and summer vacations are now just fading memories, so it must be autumn. But the seasons don’t just move on the calendar — they also change in your life. And, speaking of changes, you’ll have to make many of them as you move through the years — and that includes changes to your investment portfolio. But how will you know when it’s time to take action?

Just as Mother Nature sends out “signals” to indicate a change in seasons — blooming flowers, falling leaves, warmer or colder temperatures, longer or shorter days, etc. — your portfolio will frequently “tell” you when you need to make adjustments. Here are a couple of indicators you may want to heed:

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Vail Daily column: Feeling good while giving back

October 1, 2014 — 

Did you ever notice that whenever we seem to be in a rush to get somewhere fast, the people in front of us move so slow that they are almost moving in reverse?

As I traveled this past week from city to city on trains, planes, automobiles, boats and trams, there seemed to be a force in the universe that was trying very hard to help me miss my various form of transportation and I was cutting it ever so close to make each meeting or appointment. Yet as I was forced to stand still on an upward moving escalator due to the mass of human traffic ahead of me, I had a few extra seconds to think about how analogous this was to where I am currently on my personal goals for the year.

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Vail Daily column: Becoming a B

September 30, 2014 — 

To Shakespeare we owe, “To be or not to be.” Good question. Stated more modernly, we might ask, “How do you become a B?”

We are all familiar with corporations. As a rule of thumb, publicly traded corporations are “S” corps, the “S” standing for an Internal Revenue Code section “S” and the “corp” of course being a truncation of the word corporation. Most “mom and pop” corporations are generally “C” corps, again deriving from the Internal Revenue Code section from which they spring.

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Vail Daily column: Exercising the entrepreneurial spirit

September 29, 2014 — 

Dane is my younger brother chronologically, but I often look up to him as one would an older brother. He is also my best friend and a fellow seeker — we have shared adventures on six continents. Awed by his acumen for business and his penchant for entrepreneurial endeavors, I nonetheless always pictured myself in more of a traditional career in the law. Yet his influence and inspiration must have seeped into my consciousness through osmosis because now I find myself at the co-helm of a law firm wholly steeped in entrepreneurial values and outlook.

Genealogically, I suppose this outcome makes sense. My paternal grandfather brought the thirst for new modes of business with him to our shores. Indeed, it was his entrepreneurial bent that allowed him to escape the hazards of wartime Czechoslovakia and make his way to Brussels, where he met my grandmother and ingratiated himself with an industrialist that gave him a shot to ply the steel trade in America. My father, a role model ne plus ultra, inherited the zeal for running his own show and is still at it, always there to lend me advice on all the vagaries of running a business. Marriage linked me to another entrepreneur: my father-in-law parlayed his otherworldly skill as a craftsman into a general contracting business under the banner of which he has almost singlehandedly built some of the most stunning homes in central Virginia.

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