Columns

Raised bed gardening lets Eagle County green thumbs get a jump on the short season

March 29, 2015 — 

I love these first early days of spring when I can get out in my garden and get ready to plant my organic vegetable garden. In fact, this week, I’ve already got half my garden composted, covered, turned and prepped for planting seeds.

Many of you may think the idea of a vegetable garden at high altitude, or starting one in the cold spring snow, is not practical, but not true! In fact, there are many vegetables that don’t mind a little snow and frost, and even thrive in the cooler temperatures of spring. High altitude gardening presents many challenges to the would-be gardener, but learning the right types of vegetables and some cold management techniques can bring a prolific vegetable harvest to almost anyone, at any elevation, with some considerations and limitations.

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Practice these behaviors to maintain that lovin' feeling

March 28, 2015 — 

Most of us want to believe the fairy tale we grew up with: that two people can fall in love, get married and live happily ever after — or some variation of that. Some of us do live that fairy tale, but most of us struggle with the “happily ever after” part. It’s not that we don’t desire it, but rather that we don’t know how to do it, and we certainly don’t know how to sustain it over any period of time.

So permit me to offer some suggestions about some of the more important behaviors that are required if you want that lovin’ feeling to last into the future:

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Biff America column: A good man, a poor judge of talent

March 26, 2015 — 

In the eyes of his 4-year-old younger brother, Michael could fly.

He could dive over my father’s Ford, hit the ground in a perfect somersault and end up standing on his feet with a smile on his face and grass stains on his pants. He could climb trees and telephone poles and walk on his hands across the yard. He was 11 years older than me and called me “Little Buddy.”

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Vail Daily column: What the Constitution says

March 24, 2015 — 

Editor’s note: This is the 13th part of a series.

The 15th Amendment is the last of the Reconstruction Amendments which followed swiftly on the heels of the Civil War. The first two Civil War Amendments, as we visited in the last column, abolished slavery and established equal protection before the law and guaranteed “due process.”

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Vail Daily health column: The latest research on ACL reconstruction

March 23, 2015 — 

Question: What’s new in anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction?

Answer: Recently, the Multicenter Orthopaedic Outcomes Network published its data on anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. The MOON group studied and published their findings for more than 4,000 patients from seven different institutions who had ACL reconstruction surgery of the knee.

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Vail Daily column: Honk, honk, honk — it's the Canada goose

March 23, 2015 — 

Is it a car? Is it a bus? Nope, it’s just the famous horn of the Canada goose. This familiar loud honk may be considered just as annoying as that of any automobile, but it should in fact be celebrated, for it is the voice of a survivor! Yes, this black necked white chin-strapped beast of a bird was nearly driven to its demise by humans in the 1920s.

Unbeknownst to many, the giant Canada goose was near extinction during the early 1900s as a result of unregulated hunting, egg collecting and habitat destruction. Many thought it had been gone for more than 30 years, but a surveyor discovered a small remaining population in Minnesota in the early 1960s. The first recovery efforts started by reintroducing wild geese into South Dakota’s Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge and Shadehill Reservoir. Captive-rearing of young, along with a program releasing and transplanting birds, was initiated at the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center and the Audubon Refuge in North Dakota. Programs to reestablish the population were so successful that now nearly 3 million are estimated nationwide. Thanks to the efforts of many private and federal organizations, the largest goose in the world has made an outstanding comeback.

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Vail Daily column: Teen has developed a passion for helping others

March 23, 2015 — 

Many of us understand the critical role of a positive adult mentor during formative young years. Karely Duran, 2014 Battle Mountain High School graduate, struggled to narrow her list. While her parents and siblings have inspired Duran through their strong work ethic and commitment to family, Lee Jones and Bratzo Horruitiner, of Vail Valley Foundation’s Youth Foundation, became mentors for Duran during her formative childhood years due to their friendly, helpful and motivating nature. Then, in pedaled Brett and Tamara Donelson, who Duran worked with through Ells Angels mountain biking program.

“Not only did they show me how beautiful and fulfilling mountain biking was, but their personal background inspired me to want to play a very important role in my household as I grow up,” Duran said.

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Vail Daily column: The foundation for growth

March 23, 2015 — 

It’s early on Monday morning, and I’m sitting on an airplane bursting with travelers headed to Orlando. Some are business people headed to meetings while others seem to be jumping out of their seats with excitement as they head to vacation in sunny Florida. As it happens, I’m one of the business travelers on my way to a large industry conference to speak on the topic of “growth.”

As I’m reviewing my presentation and preparing for my keynote, I’m focused on the fact that growth is a central theme in most, if not all, organizations. You’ll find the topic detailed in many business plans and hear it bantered about in meeting upon meeting. Yet, for many companies, consistent growth remains exceedingly elusive.

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Are you looking for some romance?

March 21, 2015 — 

Dear Neil,

I am 52 and am open to date quality men, and most of the men around here are married. Any thoughts or ideas about where I can meet men? I do not want to post myself online.

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Vail Daily column: Snow and rain: A tortoise and hare story

March 20, 2015 — 

Here in Colorado, we tend to think of precipitation in discrete, measured amounts: Inches of snow, cubic feet per second, acre feet of water. In an arid region often afflicted by drought, this is an understandable way to perceive our water situation. But if we dig deeper, the issues we face surrounding water are much more nuanced than simple measurements. Two other factors related to precipitation, the timing and type, are just as important as the amount, if not more so.

As any boater or skier will tell you, a storm bearing an inch of rain in July is very different from a system dropping an inch of rain in January. Though they may produce the same amount of precipitation, all storms are not created equally. Rain and snow are both welcome forms of precipitation and serve their own purposes, but the effects and consequences of each are quite different.

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Vail Daily column: Should we continue to rent?

March 20, 2015 — 

Dear Joan,

My wife and I are in the millennium generation and we decided when we got married three years ago that we would just rent, and not saddle ourselves with a mortgage and a property to care for. We felt it would save us money that we could use to travel and purchase whatever we wanted. Plus, we could easily move if we had career opportunities open up in other cities. Now, after living in Eagle County for two years, we are rethinking our decision for many reasons. Do you think our reasons still have some merit? We feel we are at a confusing juncture in our life plan.

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Vail Daily column: Membership organizations offer value on investment

March 19, 2015 — 

Return on investment is a standard — and hugely important — business tool as it helps measure financial profitability. Businesses, after all, are in the business of being profitable and should use metrics such as return on investment to maximize their returns and focus efforts on areas that yield the most to the bottom line.

Return on investment can and should be used by organizations, as it is important to measure various marketing and spending efforts and to then use the results to refine their marketing efforts in order to spend their money wisely. Knowing the return on investment on your marketing efforts helps you measure the best “bang for the buck” to reach your target audience and drive more customers to your business.

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Biff America column: 'Extremely right wing'

March 18, 2015 — 

He came running toward me with an ax.

We left our car at a trailhead about four hours earlier on the Leadville side of Independence Pass. We skied up a jeep road to make some turns off a small peak about 2 miles up the trail. At day’s end, we headed back down the road toward our car.

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Vail Daily column: There is no Poop Fairy

March 18, 2015 — 

You’ve heard stories about the Abominable Snowman, Kraken or the Tooth Fairy spotted on the frozen tundra, the oceans and in our homes. The Poop Fairy has now joined the ranks of these mythical legends. Traveling far and wide, flying under the cover of darkness in local parks, neighborhoods and schoolyards, the Poop Fairy is said to follow behind all dogs and their owners picking up what the canines leave behind. The common belief that she exists to serve us has reassured many that cleaning up after one’s dog is optional. Unfortunately, both the number of poop piles and community complaints has grown, leading to two potential theories: Either the Poop Fairy isn’t doing her job well enough or there is no Poop Fairy at all (gasp!).

IT DOESN’T BIODEGRADE AS FAST

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Vail Daily column: Take a minute to take a selfie

March 18, 2015 — 

Taking a picture of ourselves, better known as the selfie these days, is all the rage. There are even accessories on the market like the selfie stick so we can capture even better photos and angles of ourselves. And then we post our selfies on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or we text our pictures to our friends and family members.

Now think about this phenomenon for a minute. Do we ever set aside the time to take a good hard look at ourselves, or our selfie, and reflect on where we are and what we are doing? A little selfie-reflection, if you will. And if we do, what do we see?

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Vail Daily column: Learn the ins and outs of local recycling

March 17, 2015 — 

Recycling is all the buzz lately in Vail, and throughout Eagle County, but why? The best reason, of course, is because it’s the right thing to do for our environment, economy and public health. Another reason locally is because the town of Vail has a recycling ordinance in place; this means whether you live, visit or work in Vail you are asked to recycle (more info at www.vailgov.com/recycling).

The thing is, the more we recycle, the more questions we have, right? Explained here are some helpful hints for what can and can’t be recycled with your household recycling. It is important to not contaminate the recycling stream, and applying the below information can help ensure you are putting the right items in recycling.

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Vail Daily column: What the Constitution says

March 17, 2015 — 

Editor’s note: This is the 12th part of a series.

The 13th Amendment put an end to slavery. If you know your history, well, only sorta. Even though the 13th Amendment provides in Section 1 that “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

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Vail Daily column: Are you ready to close out the season?

March 16, 2015 — 

We are coming off one of the greatest events that the Vail Valley has ever experienced, both for our residents and to our guests: the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. The quality of the racing and the streets overflowing with dancing and jubilance from one great outdoor concert to another created a unified Vail Valley and memories that will last a lifetime.

We literally rolled out of the Championships and right into one of the strongest weekends of the entire season for business, President’s Weekend. Before we could catch our collective breaths Burton came rolling into Vail with the Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships, which was exciting and full of energy. What a run we have been on!

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Vail Daily column: Giving takes you out of yourself

March 16, 2015 — 

It is no wonder that most people living in Western societies live their lives with the general concept that more is better. Just ask any friend or office mate you see today, “If you had the opportunity to do anything that involved the word ‘more,’ what would it be?”

I may be surprised, but I highly doubt the answers you will receive are things like, “I want more time to help others” or “I could use more time to raise money for charity.” While many people do volunteer their time and donate to their preferred causes, few do so with the initiative of “more.”

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Vail Daily health column: Using yoga and pilates to reduce your stress

March 16, 2015 — 

Editor’s note: This is part four in a five-part series from the Vail Vitality Center at Vail Mountain Lodge. Look for columns on Tuesdays in the Health section of the Vail Daily and learn how to manage stress using a variety of modalities. Visit www.vaildaily.com to read the first three installments.

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Vail Daily column: Adjusting the balance of power

March 15, 2015 — 

The legal system, as with many human institutions, has a strong tendency to favor the powerful: those rich, connected persons or megalithic corporations that always seem to emerge unscathed. True, there are those attorneys out there fighting the good fight and sticking it to the man on behalf of the downtrodden. I wish there were more. But, by and large, the little guy has a hard time, pouring their life savings into litigation in an effort to vindicate a position that even my three-year-old daughter knows is right. Yet there is one legal mechanism that can level the playing field if used correctly: the mechanic’s lien.

THE MECHANIC’S LIEN

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Vail Daily column: Snowpack begins journey from Colorado

March 15, 2015 — 

It’s that time of the year again — there are only a couple months left of snowfall for Colorado’s snowpack. Skiers and snowboarders are hoping for a few more key powder days, while whitewater enthusiasts are wondering what this year’s runoff season is going to hold for the area’s rivers. In the Colorado River Watershed, the gradual melting of high country snowpack sustains stream flows and the livelihoods of communities downstream. Scientists and policymakers use SNOTEL (snow telemetry) data from snow survey sites to assess snowpack depth and water content to predict water supply conditions for the coming season. As of March 4, according to the National Resource Conservation Service, the Upper Colorado River Basin was at 89 percent of its median snow water equivalent. Snow water equivalent refers to the amount of potential water available in the snowpack.

From the Rockies to the desert

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Vail Daily column: Patience will be important in real estate deals

March 13, 2015 — 

Not so long ago, the only people involved in a real estate deal who needed to have a lot of patience were sellers and their agents. Selling a property could take months, and in some cases years. Once a buyer came along and a price was struck things could happen pretty quickly.

But the great minds at the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (and in fairness, a couple of other government agencies) have deemed that buyers must be patient, too, and that it is good to ponder, delay, reflect, lie awake at night and fuss about every aspect of getting a mortgage loan. And if you lose your earnest money because you are forced to think too long, then that’s the price you should gladly pay for being saved from making a rash decision.

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Vail Daily column: Two important questions

March 13, 2015 — 

Dear Joan,

We have decided to list our property for sale this spring/summer and need direction on the two decisions that we think are paramount in the success of our selling our home for the most money, which is of course our goal.

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Biff America: A punch in the gut

March 13, 2015 — 

The only defense against a punch to the ribs is to block it — unlike blows to the head or midsection — which you can either slip or absorb.

It is particularly difficult to defend against a rib strike when it is issued as a sneak attack, in the middle of a loving embrace by your wife.

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Vail Daily column: Upcoming student career fair benefits all involved

March 12, 2015 — 

We invite you to join Eagle County Schools, Eagle County Rotary Clubs and Vail Valley Partnership for the 2015 Eagle County Career and Job Fair at Battle Mountain High School on April 7.

We share the belief that our students need the support of our business community and believe that businesses of all sizes, industry types and focus areas need to participate in order to make the career fair a successful event. Students will explore their future career options by using an interest inventory website to explore and learn about different work environments and help lead them in researching the best job types for their interests.

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Vail Daily column: How should you respond to higher interest rates?

March 12, 2015 — 

If the Federal Reserve raises short-term interest rates this year, as many financial professionals predict, then what will it mean to you? As a consumer, you might experience the “ripple” effects if long-term interest rates eventually follow suit, affecting mortgages and other loans. But as an investor, you might quickly feel the impact of a move by the Fed — especially if you own bonds.

In fact, the value of your existing bonds might drop noticeably if interest rates were to rise. That’s because no one will give you full price for your lower-paying bonds when new bonds are being issued at a higher interest rate. So if you want to sell your bonds, then you might have to take a loss on them.

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Vail Daily column: I've got a guy

March 11, 2015 — 

You know that moment where we need help with a situation or project and someone around us says, “Don’t worry, I’ve got a guy?”

Sometimes they just don’t say it, they whisper it like it’s a best kept secret or where the situation or project calls for the kind of guy that shows up in the shadows, comes from the underworld and has a crooked smile where the short end of a cigar dangles from the corner of his lips. You know the feeling right, that, “I’ve got a guy from Detroit,” or “I’ve got a guy from New York,” that can really help you with anything kind of feeling.

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Vail Daily column:

March 10, 2015 — 

Editor’s note: This is the 11th part of a series.

Following the Bill of Rights — the first 10 Amendments to the United States Constitution — come the remaining 17 Amendments. It is worth noting — scant as they are — that from 1791, when the Tenth Amendment was adopted, until today (a span of 224 years), while less than a score of amendments have been added, a staggering 11,539 have been proposed. The first to follow the Bill of Rights, which will, in part, be the subject of this column, was adopted in 1795. The last (at least for now as there will one day likely be further amendments) became law in 1992.

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Vail Daily column: Developing better balance

March 9, 2015 — 

In the past I have provided some insight into the risks of falling and even how best to prevent falls in the elderly through preventative measures throughout one’s house (i.e., use of grab rails, removing scatter rugs that are not attached to the floor, etc.), yet we have not dedicated proper focus on the measures an individual can take to improve their balance. Yes, it is true that balance issues can be overturned, at least to some degree. In fact, on www.eldergym.com/elderly-balance.html, there is a wonderful set of guidelines (along with safety measures and videos that illustrate many exercises that seniors may use to improve their balance, thus helping to prevent falls).

The following points are taken from the website noted above.

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