Columns

Vail Daily column: The bittersweet moment of becoming an empty-nester

August 27, 2014 — 

Some of you reading this column will relate as a parent who has gone through the bittersweet event of having your children move out, especially if it is your last child or they were an only child. And every one of us reading these words today has been that child or young adult who has moved away from home, at some point, eventually.

Many went to college, others joined the military, and there were some that just felt like it was time to go and find a job or employment and another place to live. Some chose to move fairly close to home, but just far enough to keep the parents from “popping by” and yet close enough to raid the pantry and do some laundry if necessary. And if we can look at our own departures from home we would probably remember the bittersweet moment, our nervousness, the anxious anticipation that accompanies any new adventure, and we probably also remember the melancholy look upon our parents faces, possibly even a tear or two on their cheeks as well as maybe even a little drop from our own eyes.

Learn more »

Vail Daily Pet Talk column: Helping your arthritic pet

August 27, 2014 — 

Last month, we talked about how to best prevent arthritis in your pets; this month we will talk about how to treat it. Here is your new word for the day: multi-modal. Treating an arthritic patient truly requires an approach from many different angles, this is called multi-modal therapy.

To take a step back though, we need to look at where the arthritis is, as not all joints are created equal. Insert your Colorado marijuana joke here. The joints here I am talking about are synovial, fibrous or cartilaginous. The vast majority of joints we deal with are synovial; they have a true capsule and joint fluid. Cartilaginous joints occur mainly in the spine, for example, intervertebral disks. Identifying where the problems lie is crucial to developing an effective treatment plan. This means a good physical examination, lameness exam and radiographs.

Learn more »

Vail Daily column: Grand juries: What they are and how they work

August 26, 2014 — 

In the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, a grand jury will be convened. What, though, does that mean? What discrete and special functions does a grand jury serve?

Grand juries are, in essence, investigative bodies. There are both federal grand juries and state grand juries, which deal exclusively with matters of state concerns and jurisdiction. The office of a grand jury, whether state or federal, is involved with the investigation into possible wrongdoing by the accused (in the Michael Brown case, the possible wrongdoing of the cop who shot him). The key word here is “possible.” Grand jury investigations are not trials. No conviction may directly result from a grand jury’s deliberations. Rather, the grand jury conducts a thorough inquiry into the possible wrongdoing by an individual which, if found to be substantive, may result in criminal indictment against the accused which, in turn, will likely lead to a trial on the merits of the indictment.

Learn more »

Vail Daily column: Eagle County is preparing for Boomers

August 25, 2014 — 

There are many reasons for Eagle County to plan for and foster the many Baby Boomers who are here already and those who will migrate. Curtailing the estimated $43 million annual loss to our economy from seniors leaving our community in search of medical services and retirement options may be important reasons to some people. Others may look at the social and economic benefits of a community with a balance of age groups.

In this past Friday’s Vail Daily, Kathy Chandler-Henry, an Eagle County commissioner, wrote a fabulous commentary addressing and bridging the societal and economic benefits of making our community “whole.” The commissioner’s perspective on the interrelation of our youth and seniors strikes at the heart of what a community is and should be.

Learn more »

Vail Daily column: Eagle Valley grad is a dedicated volunteer

August 24, 2014 — 

Living in a small town and working in the nonprofit industry, I often hear Eagle County’s youth complain that there are limited volunteer opportunities to engage our community. Besides skiing and snowboarding, many local high school students seek alternative activities that spur future career interest, inspire global awareness and contribute to the wellbeing of their neighbors.

Cassandra Armas, a recent graduate of Eagle Valley High School, has this approach to life and consistently makes the needs of others as a priority in her busy schedule. In addition to excelling in the classroom, Armas was a member of many Eagle Valley student clubs, including student government, the League of United Latin American Citizens, Cycle Effect, the band (piano and guitar) and the soccer team. A highlight of her student government tenure was their trip to Denver’s Ronald McDonald House and the Children’s Hospital.

Learn more »

Vail Daily column: Helping people perform at their best

August 24, 2014 — 

As the economy improves, hiring and retaining the best people becomes even more important for a business owner or leader. Turnover is not only expensive and time consuming as you replace and train new employees; it also affects trust, morale and employee engagement for those that stay. Recent results from an employee engagement survey done by Minneapolis based company Modern Survey shows that only 13 percent of an employee workforce is actually engaged. That means only about one in eight employees are giving best efforts. When you think about it, that’s a staggering statistic! Conversely, according to Modern Survey’s results, about 24 percent, or approximately one in four, employees are completely disengaged. Another term we have for that disengaged group is “quitting and staying.”

Learn more »

Vail Daily column: Hairstreak is a colorful Colorado native

August 23, 2014 — 

Thanks to teacher Melinda Terry and her fourth-grade Wheeling Elementary class in Aurora, the hairstreak butterfly our named as our state insect in 1996. The Colorado hairstreak captivates the eye with its dominant vivacious purple coloration that turns into wide black-to-brown bordered wings with orange spots near the bottom of the wing. Males often have larger orange spots on their wings compared to females. Another identifiable feature of the Colorado hairstreak are the “tails” on the bottom of their hind wings. Tails aid in the butterfly’s poise and grace when flying through the air.

Learn more »

Vail Daily column: Rotary Youth Exchange helps to appreciate other cultures

August 22, 2014 — 

“Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding,” — Albert Einstein.

As a young boy, I witnessed scenes of incredible violence as ethnic and religious strife erupted following the independence of India and its partition into two separate states: India and Pakistan. My family left for England shortly afterwards, but the memories of the riots and bloodshed remained with us and led to a family commitment to peace through understanding of different cultures and religious backgrounds.

Learn more »

Vail Daily column: Eagle County down payment programs can help locals

August 22, 2014 — 

Affordable housing in Eagle County has been a challenge ever since the first lift opened in 1962. Back then, there the answer was a trailer park about where Potato Patch Club sits. I do recall one story about a guy in a Volkswagen van who lived in the parking lot where the village structure sits now who found his van too small and excavated a snow cave in a snow bank next to his van and expanded his living room quite handily. Rumor has it that was a bit of a tourist attraction back in the day.

But just like everything else, Eagle County has come along way to bridging the gap. Back in 1998, the county worked to establish a down payment assistance fund to help homebuyers bridge the gap to home ownership. Throughout the years, that program has helped 374 local families with over $4.6 million in loans. That is a very significant accomplishment, and cheers to all who have worked hard to make this program happen!

Learn more »

Vail Daily column: When should a person use a ‘seller concession’?

August 22, 2014 — 

Dear Joan,

Can you please clarify when ​a person​ can or should use a “seller concession” for? When we bought our home, ou​r Realtor had us ask for a seller concession of several thousand dollars since we did not have much ​cash for a ​down payment. Now that we are selling our home, years later, the buyer wants us to pay a seller concession to them to make up for all of the items they feel need to be fixed in our home​. My broker said they are asking for more than is allowed. What does that mean? I am a little confused about this and would like you to shed some light on this subject.

Learn more »

Vail Daily column: The easiest way to improve your business brand

August 21, 2014 — 

Businesses constantly struggle to build awareness and differentiate themselves from the competition. It happens for national chains, regional entities and local mom-and-pop retailers. The struggle is the same regardless of the scale.

We are fortunate that many companies in the Vail Valley are customer-centric in their approach. It’s not a leap to suggest businesses whose actions are aligned with their customer needs are more successful. This should not come as a surprise to anyone who pays attention to our local business community; those who are engaged and focus on their customer needs are typically successful and have longevity in a place that sees a fair amount of business turnover.

Learn more »

Vail Daily column: Avoid expensive errors when paying for college

August 21, 2014 — 

It’s just about back-to-school time again. If you have young children, then you might be hustling them to the store for backpacks and binders. But if you fast-forward a few years, you can envision driving your kids a little farther — to their college dorms. And when that day comes, you’ll want to be financially prepared. So you’ll want to avoid making costly mistakes when preparing for, and paying, those big bills. Here are some of the most common of these errors:

• Not saving enough. Only half of all families with children younger than 18 save any money for college, according to a recent study by Sallie Mae, the country’s largest originator of federally insured student loans. You might find it easier to save for college if you automatically move a set amount each month from your checking or savings account to a college savings vehicle.

Learn more »

Vail Daily column: When strengths become weakness

August 20, 2014 — 

Maybe you have heard about this philosophy before. Then again, maybe you have not, so it may come as a shock to your system or thought process. The philosophy is this: Sometimes and overdeveloped strength can actually become our biggest weakness or Achilles heel.

An example might be the professional sales person who has an unbelievable knack for building relationships. Our master sales person could be so strong on the relationship side that they become too emotionally attached to their customers and are never able to talk about price increases or apply the necessary professional pressure when faced with a problem or competitive situation. They may even revert to discounting prices as a way to secure future business and falsely believe they are preserving their friendship with the client.

Learn more »

Vail Daily column: Preparing for aging Baby Boomers

August 18, 2014 — 

Thinking about a long-term plan and redesigning services for aging Baby Boomers as they move out of the workforce and into retirement is not something too many counties within the U.S. are addressing with great urgency.

Here in Eagle County, our community leaders have been hard at work for quite some time addressing this need. They have developed the Community Health Improvement Plan in partnership with community organizations and citizens in an effort to address health concerns in Eagle County. I believe the move was prescient.

Learn more »

Vail Daily column: Embracing next-level technology

August 17, 2014 — 

In the legal world, tradition rules and old ways die hard. There are still many older attorneys who dictate into recorders and have secretaries transcribe the results to draft letters or briefs. To a college student or young professional, who have never used a fax machine and are imminent consumers of legal services, that practice is almost absurdly antiquated. Attorneys of the new generation are quickly discovering that new technologies are allowing them to compete in the marketplace by leveraging increased efficiency and efficacy, if not experience, to better serve the needs of modern clients. Those lawyers fearful of our new digital overlords prefer to remain ensconced in old-fashioned ideas about document management, legal research, client payments and trial presentation. Understandable though these views may be, the resistance to change could portend a rude awakening.

Learn more »

Vail Daily column: Wet, naked and deadly

August 16, 2014 — 

Family legend has it that as a boy of 4 or 5, my wet, naked body might have killed my great-aunt Agnes. This of course, is purely speculation. She was, after all, 88 years old when her heart gave out. But she did have that heart attack almost three weeks to the day after I, fresh out of the shower, gave her a nude performance of the “bunny hop.”

As a child, I loved to be naked. My mother used to let me dry off after a bath by sprinting around the house and yard like a freshly washed greyhound. I remember hot summer nights and the joy of running wet and nude on our newly mowed lawn.

Learn more »

Vail Daily column: Teen leader passionate about serving others

August 16, 2014 — 

Living in the Vail Valley, we quickly learn that most people come here to consume our beautiful and pristine mountain playground, and as quickly as they come, they’re gone. But, how can we blame them for taking advantage of the mountains when most of us came here for the same thing? As tourists, even in our own towns, we forget the impact we’re making on the people and environment around us.

Kaylie Evans, a junior at Vail Mountain School, is aware of this impact and has seen firsthand the valley’s underlying issues despite the happy-go-lucky feel.

Learn more »

Vail Daily column: Serviceberries are a sweet and enduring local resource

August 16, 2014 — 

During the summer months in the Vail area, our hillsides and valleys burst into familiar color with a range of native plants. Many of these plants are not only beautiful, they are often edible and have medicinal uses. One plant in particular, the serviceberry, is a favorite among our local human and wildlife communities.

Amelanchier alnifolia is a member of the rose family, rosaceae. This fruit-bearing perennial shrub goes by a number of common names across the country including Saskatoon, June berry and shadbush. Locally, it is most often referred to as the serviceberry. Serviceberry shrubs adapt to a variety of environments — they can be found in the diverse, sunny understory of an aspen grove, in natural or disturbed meadows or alongside one of the many creeks and rivers that form our valley’s riparian zones. Serviceberry leaves are oval-shaped, smooth at the bottom and toothed toward the top of the leaf. In late spring and early summer, the serviceberry plant produces beautiful white blooms; by late summer, the blooms give way to sweet, dark red to purple berries.

Learn more »

When a book isn’t a book

August 15, 2014 — 

There is a treasure in America music called “The Great American Songbook.” The title might sound familiar, but you can’t find it in a bookstore or online. The writers who were the geniuses who wrote the Songbook included Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Johnny Mercer, Jerome Kern, Richard Rodgers, Cole Porter and Harold Arlen, to name just a few.

In reality, the Songbook is not a book at all, but is in fact a collection of popular songs that were written from the 1920s to the 1950s, the golden age of American song. The songs included in the Songbook are considered the most important artistically, but also reflective of our cultural heritage and music history.

Learn more »

Vail Daily column: How to time your real estate move

August 15, 2014 — 

Dear Joan,

We are anxious to move, for several reasons, but are afraid to put our house on the market until we have secured the right new home to purchase. We have convinced our broker, reluctantly, to show us properties and we have put in a couple of offers, but no one seems interested in accepting an offer contingent upon another sale. Have you run into this in your many years selling real estate here, and do you have any suggestions?

Learn more »

Vail Daily column: You need to be here for Worlds

August 14, 2014 — 

When was the last time someone told you that you “needed” to see something or that you “had” to be somewhere?

Did you believe them ... and did you make it a point to see that particular thing or experience that specific event? Or, if seeing something special or being a part of a great time involved a number of other people, did you decide to pass on the opportunity and read about it later?

Learn more »

Vail Daily column: Don’t let retirement plans go bust

August 14, 2014 — 

If you’re a baby boomer, then you’re at the point in life where, if you haven’t actually entered retirement, then you’re at least approaching the outskirts. But if you’re like many of your fellow boomers, then you may be experiencing more than a little trepidation over your financial prospects as a retiree. That’s why it’s so important for you to determine what steps to take to help improve your chances of enjoying a comfortable retirement.

Just how worried are baby boomers about their future? Consider these numbers: Seventy-two percent of non-retired boomers think they will probably be forced to delay retirement, and 50 percent have little confidence that they will ever be able to retire, according to a recent AARP survey. Other surveys show a similarly bleak outlook among the baby boom generation.

Learn more »

Vail Daily column: The power of being present

August 14, 2014 — 

The worst experience for me as a parent is when my child says to me, “Put your phone away.” Like many people in today’s hyper-connected business world, I don’t want to miss a beat in knowing what’s happening around me. My phone pulls at me constantly with emails, tweets, alerts and meeting invites.

Today’s business world, even in the laid-back business culture of Colorado’s mountain communities, creates an environment where we feel the need to constantly check email messages or to check in with the office. We have all been out in a social setting with a group of friends when someone pulls out their phone to check messages. There are even challenges where everyone has to put their phone in the middle of the table and the first person to check a message has to pick up the dinner tab.

Learn more »

Vail Daily column: Rotarians work to make positive impact in community

August 13, 2014 — 

Here in the mountains, it can sometimes be a little too easy to forget that we are part of a community. In fact, the idea of community is precisely what many of us came here to escape — at least to some extent. You can disappear into the mountains, hideout in the corner of your favorite bar and even find an empty pool or sauna from time to time. While these brief periods of isolation are an important part of life, realizing that we are all one community is equally as important.

There are hundreds of ways to get involved in our community. We boast a very high number of nonprofit and charitable organizations here in the mountains. However, few of these organizations provide funding to their peers and offer to lend a hand on a consistent basis with actual volunteers. I’m lucky enough to be able to be an active player in several charitable organizations, but there is one in particular that has always lived up to the standard of providing support to its peers through an active volunteer network.

Learn more »

Vail Daily column: Looking for the good and creating joy

August 13, 2014 — 

The past five weeks have been extremely busy for me and have included several flights and two cross-country road trips. Albeit I managed to sneak in a vacation at the beach, I was unable to heed my own advice and completely disconnect from work to revel in the sun and sand.

However, I will say this — as crazy as the business trips and vacation have been, they have also been exceedingly productive and energizing. They have helped me to focus on the positive things in my life.

Learn more »

Vail Daily column: Coming to terms with legal terms

August 12, 2014 — 

After 30 years of practice, I have come to terms with legal terms. I’ve made my peace with trying to “move” the “court,” to prevail upon the “bench” and to “pray” for “relief.” As Yogi Berra might have said, “It’s only when you think about things that stuff occurs to you.”

So, I’ve been thinking …

Learn more »

Vail Daily column: How to help loved ones with aging

August 11, 2014 — 

Are you planning a visit to see your aging parents? Are you overwhelmed?

How do you help Mom and Dad or any loved one with aging?

Learn more »

Vail Daily relationship column: The problems with ‘distant intimacy’

August 11, 2014 — 

Editor’s note: This is from “The Best of Neil Rosenthal.”

Learn more »

Vail Daily column: Behind the scenes of a design project

August 10, 2014 — 

We just spent two weeks doing an install in Boston. An install in interior design lingo is when the project all comes together and we get to see all of our hard work put into place. Though it’s not the glamorous side of the job — we are lugging sofas, carpets, artwork, dishes, pots, pans, pillows, window coverings (you get the idea) up and down stairs, making our clients’ new or remodeled home exactly as they pictured it.

Learn more »

Vail Daily column: Plan looks at the future of water in our valley

August 10, 2014 — 

Recently, the Vail Chamber & Business Association hosted a water policy briefing to discuss a state water plan and its relevance to Colorado business. Colorado is one of only a few Western states that does not currently have a comprehensive state water plan, but a plan is currently in the development stages and is now in the public comment period.

The water briefing brought together James Eklund, director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board; Tom Binnings of Summit Economics; and Linn Brooks, general manager of the Eagle River Water & Sanitation District, to discuss the importance of a comprehensive state water plan to mountain and Western Slope stakeholders.

Learn more »
View 20 More Stories in Columns »
Back to Top