Editorials

Vail Daily column: Thirty ways to simplify your life

August 31, 2014 — 

1. When reheating leftovers in the microwave space out a circle in the middle, it will heat up much more evenly.

2. Use a squeeze-ketchup bottle top (preferably a clean one) with your Shop-Vac to clean your keyboard, phone, microphone or other nook on an electronic device.

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Vail Daily column: Bite the hand feeding investors’ pocketbooks?

August 30, 2014 — 

Ironic that the higher the stock market soars, the more critics blame President Obama for a sluggish economy. The president counters, pointing to an overall fiscal trajectory on the right track. Factories reeling from the Great Recession now fill orders at a record clip. Apartments are hard to find. Office vacancies are rare. Unemployment continues to fall. Wall Street no longer sputters like a locked-up car motor damaged irreparably. Our nation has survived the 2008 financial crisis of the Bush II presidency.

Financier Roger Altman sides with President Obama against his critics. Seven years after the Great Recession, the national mood is still more sullen than sunny about the economy, Altman admits. General financial trends, however, are very encouraging, reports this former deputy secretary of the treasury during the Clinton presidency.

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Vail Daily column: Another Labor Day, lacking controversy

August 30, 2014 — 

One of the more curious holidays we celebrate in our country has to be Labor Day. It just hangs in there while other holidays search for identity or are continually fighting controversy.

For example, Columbus Day is nothing like Labor Day.

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Vail Daily column: The magic of wild places

August 29, 2014 — 

Editor’s note: This is the second of two columns on wilderness to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.

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Vail Daily column: The sinking

August 29, 2014 — 

Everyone has a special event in their lives that is an anniversary especially for that person. I was very lucky, because I had a very special event occur at approximately the same time as one of the biggest events of my lifetime. Those two events happened very close to each other on July 11 and Aug. 6, 1945. In perspective, in 2 1/2 months I would turn 21 years old and could finally vote.

Our small sub-chaser was en route to Pearl Harbor from Guadalcanal via a small island in the central Pacific called Funafuti. And I really wanted to survive the next few months until I was of voting age.

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Vail Daily column: Envisioning Vail’s hospital of the future

August 28, 2014 — 

Vail Valley Medical Center has been a cornerstone of this community for nearly 50 years, and in that time, we’ve grown into one of the world’s most advanced mountain hospitals. While the care and services at VVMC are outstanding, the infrastructure is due for modernization. Fortunately, the hospital is in a position to address this opportunity, and we are at the brink of building a state-of-the-art medical campus to serve our community and guests for years to come.

As president and CEO of Vail Valley Medical Center, it is my privilege to share the news of our recent submittal of a master facility plan application to the town of Vail. Once approved, this plan will guide us in remodeling and building Vail’s hospital of the future. We are scheduled to break ground in the summer of 2015.

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Vail Daily column: Time to put an end to drunk driving

August 28, 2014 — 

Our community has recently experienced overwhelming tragedy related to impaired driving, greatly impacting our youth and their families, as well as youth-serving organizations that are focused on preventing such tragedies. Two amazing young people from our community lost their lives needlessly this summer because of impaired decision making and others have suffered serious injuries and have had their lives altered severely. Our hearts go out to everyone who has been impacted by these events. It’s unfortunate that such tragedies have to remind us that impaired driving is a community concern that needs to be addressed. Our youth are too important and the stakes are too high.

Over 10,000 people are killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes every year in the United States. In 2012, the families of 10,322 people were devastated by the tragic, preventable death of loved ones in alcohol-involved crashes. Young drivers (18-34) represent the largest segment of drunk drivers in the United States; among the people killed in drunk-driving crashes over the Labor Day holiday weekend, for example, almost half (45 percent) were between the ages of 18 and 34. For those under the age of 21, it was illegal to consume alcohol, yet they did drink, and in addition chose to drive after drinking.

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Vail Daily column: Things have never been worse?

August 28, 2014 — 

The world’s a mess, of course.

There’s ISIS busy creating the caliphate nightmare. Who to fight in Syria when the strongest rebels offer an even worse solution than Assad?

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Vail Daily column: Fix your gaze

August 27, 2014 — 

I once dated a woman who made me absolutely nervous in the car. Garnering unsolicited squirming and yells from your passengers is usually a sign that you might need to alter your driving habits ... or at least that’s how I think. Usually, after you ride in the car with the same person for any amount of time, your nervousness starts to wear off, and you become more trusting in their driving ability. Not so with this particular individual. I can clearly remember how she would handle curves on the road. Rather than smoothing the steering wheel through the entire curve, she would make sharp minor adjustments, seemingly always surprised at the continuation of the very curve in which she found herself.

I remember the first time I drove on the freeway. I think I was 14 or 15 at the time. My mom used to grip the handhold above her seat and squeak with nervousness. I would suffer from the same problem that the young woman I would later date suffered from. I would make small fast adjustments into the curve, jerking the wheel ever so slightly to compensate for the continuation of the curve in the road. I only had to do this two or three times before my mom pointed out the problem.

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Vail Daily Hits and Misses

August 27, 2014 — 

Got a quick Hit or Miss about issues, decisions or goings-on in the valley? Send yours to editor@vaildaily.com to be included.

HIT: From a reader to “the staff at City Market in Avon. Always so friendly, funny and helpful. Specifically Erik, proclaimed super cashier.”

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Vail Daily editorial: An odd election issue

August 26, 2014 — 

There are just three men on Colorado’s death row, but don’t be surprised if the death penalty becomes a significant part of this fall’s gubernatorial campaign.

Gov. John Hickenlooper brought attention to the issue in May 2013 when he indefinitely delayed the execution of Nathan Dunlap, a man convicted of the brutal murder of four people at a Denver-area restaurant in 1993. Hickenlooper’s delay applies as long as he’s governor, meaning he made the literal life-or-death decision some future governor’s problem.

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Vail Daily column: ‘Insiders’ join the dialogue

August 26, 2014 — 

Last year, Eagle County School started its first Insider’s Academy. The premise was simple: seven two-hour classes during the course of the school year with each one focused on a particular part of our operations. The outcome was amazing! We had 22 “Insiders” that included PTA and PTO presidents, parents, business owners, nonprofit leaders and our own teachers attend. Our group was comprised of supporters and skeptics. We had an agenda that walked through the many challenges we face as a district and the various departments it takes to operate the district.

Out mantra was “know who, know how and take action.” Our Insiders worked with assistant superintendents, department heads, teachers, principals and myself during the course of the year. We talked budget, curriculum, transportation, athletics, food services, achievement and state rules and regulations. They came to know which legislators at the state level influenced education policy and funding.

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Vail Daily column: Delightful day at the DMV

August 25, 2014 — 

First, Mr. Dryer stops drying.

Just a few days later, Mr. Washer stops washing.

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Vail Daily column: Inefficiency redefined

August 24, 2014 — 

I’ve said this before — government at its highest level cannot operate. (And there is a period after that sentence.) Be it efficiently, profitability, accountability, achievability, creativity or public opinion-ability, then they are not capable.

We could bring up the Veterans Administration and hold those bimbos’ feet to the fire, but why bother? If we fight that battle too long, then we may ultimately win and stick the vets with Obamacare.

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Vail Daily column: A magical experience

August 24, 2014 — 

As I’ve written in past commentaries, my wife, Bobbi, and I have been truly blessed to travel to Africa so frequently. The African bush is magical. It’s both spiritual and raw, all while its authenticity washes over you in ways that must be experienced to be understood.

Recently, I was re-reading Lawrence Anthony’s “The Elephant Whisperer” (perhaps the most enjoyable book I’ve ever read) simply because I wanted to travel back to a place we’ve come to love — even if the journey was only in my mind. As Anthony was describing an experience with the matriarch of a small elephant herd in South Africa, I was overtaken by a wave of emotion concerning a particular experience I had with a bull elephant in Botswana.

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Vail Daily column: ‘Hail Mary’ prayers fall incomplete

August 23, 2014 — 

Bronco fans cringed when their team got clobbered in the Super Bowl. Using post-game bragging rights, Seattle Seahawks’ fans declared God rubberstamped their pick.

The game started badly for the Broncos, looking like divine fate had decided the outcome before play began. The Broncos center snapped the football to quarterback Peyton Manning. It sailed over his head for a safety on the first play of the game. Two-zip in favor of the Seahawks, whose winning ways piled on a final 43-8 score.

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Vail Daily column: Has Vail lost its focus?

August 22, 2014 — 

Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from the Vail Homeowners Association monthly report. We publish weekly excerpts from the association, which keeps a close eye on economic and political trends in and outside of the town. The newsletter electronic version with links to supporting documents is available at www.vailhomeowners.com.

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Vail Daily column: A grid connecting high-altitude entrepreneurs

August 22, 2014 — 

Back in the spring, I wrote an article to start a conversation about business growth and the state of entrepreneurship in our mountain communities. A lot has happened since then — too much to digest in this article.

I would like to talk about one new initiative that has been started out of the BaseCamp co-working space (above Avon Loaded Joe’s). It is called 8150 — High Altitude Entrepreneurs. The simplest way to describe this group is to say that it loosely follows the Boulder Thesis, as written in Brad Feld’s “Startup Communities” book.

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Vail Daily column: Skiing in July

August 22, 2014 — 

Sixty years ago this week on a hot August day in Los Angeles, I settled into what would become a very uncomfortable coach seat in the back end of a Douglas DC-6. I was leaving on a very long trip from Los Angeles to Santiago, Chile, to film skiing in Portillo for the first time. Santiago, on the west coast of South America, is still actually east of Florida.

If my memory serves me correctly, which it sometimes doesn’t, our first stop was in Brownsville, Texas, where we transferred it to an airline that no longer exists, called Panagra. This is an airline that was formed with the merger of Pan-American Airlines and Grace Steamship Lines. Grace was the main supplier of the stuff to the Hawaiian Islands in those days and Pan-American was the primary carrier of American passengers to and from North America and South America.

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Vail Daily letter: Protecting our water

August 21, 2014 — 

If you don’t have water, you can’t grow grass. If you can’t grow grass, you can’t raise cattle, and if you can’t raise cattle, you can’t sell beef. As a rancher, this is one of my greatest concerns. What keeps other small and large business owners in our part of the state awake at night might be the snowpack, how the fish are doing, or how the rapids are running. Water is the lifeblood of our economy in Senate District 5, and as state senator, any plan that diverts water from our mountain streams and rivers out of their basins won’t have my support. That’s why I’m looking to be your voice in the room next year when we’re discussing the state water plan.

Colorado is one of four Western states that does not have a water plan, but we are quickly moving towards one. In July, the roundtables submitted documents that enumerate their ideas and plans for the specific water resources in the various river basins. These plans over the next months will be compared and contrasted and compiled into one document. Once the final Colorado Water Plan is printed, it will be critical that the basins that make up Senate District 5 have a strong voice to express and protect the needs of the area.

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Vail Daily letter: Learning a language

August 21, 2014 — 

The process of learning another language is an undertaking. As with many other tasks, there is the hope that a shortcut might be found, a magic pill. Just like with most valuable endeavors, there is a process involved. There are also many myths surrounding language learning in general and in particular when it comes to adults learning a new language. I would like to address three of these myths.

Myth No. 1: Children are more able to learn language than adults. I can’t learn. I’m too old. This is simply not true. Consider the following:

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Vail Daily column: Worthless leaders in Washington

August 21, 2014 — 

There is so much negative going on in Washington, D.C., it is difficult to determine which mismanagement event(s) to highlight. The whole government is so screwed up the founding fathers must be spinning in their graves. George himself must be considering coming back from the grave to request his name be removed from the city.

The president can’t be bothered. He’s too busy cracking jokes for giggling Democrats who still believe him, or he’s playing golf. Harry Reid hasn’t done anything since he became the leader of the Senate, as long as you don’t include making up falsehoods about Republicans, that is. Not one important House bill has been voted on by the Senate this term. The Senate leader is worthless.

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Vail Daily column: Burning to be better

August 21, 2014 — 

With each new job, I aim to be the best ever.

That’s my personal quest, under all the “help the community,” “develop our individuals,” “forge a team,” “build the business,” all that stuff.

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Vail Daily Hits and Misses

August 20, 2014 — 

Got a quick Hit or Miss about issues, decisions or goings-on in the valley? Send yours to editor@vaildaily.com to be included.

HIT: To the annual Eagle Valley Community Fund Rummage Sale, now in its 50th year. The rummage sale is as iconic for the valley community as much as anything you can think of. Our children have worked it, through their various service group participation. We’ve shopped it, contributed to it and are ennobled by it.

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Vail Daily column: Reaching higher standards

August 20, 2014 — 

This year, we are excited to start implementing the tactics expressed in last year’s visioning document, “Unparalleled Altitude: A Globally Inspired Vision for Eagle County Schools.” In surveys we conducted this spring, 74 percent of the community and 79 percent of our staff agreed that the ideas in the report are the right direction for the district.

We all want internationally competitive high school graduates. Our kids are as smart and capable as any in the world, and we want them to have a world-class education from pre-school to high school. When they leave our care, we want them to not just be ready for college or careers, but we want them to be excited and optimistic about their futures and able to appreciate all the wonders life has to offer!

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Vail Daily column: Mental health matters

August 19, 2014 — 

How would your life be different if you worked on your mental health as much as you worked on your physical health?

Mental health counseling is not solely for those with delusions, psychosis or a diagnosed mental disorder. Those who seek mental health counseling are not weak, needy, crazy or unable to contribute to their communities. Mental health encompasses your overall emotional, psychological and physical wellbeing. Mental stability can positively affect all areas of your life — career, relationships, family, leisure and even your physical performance.

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Vail Daily editorial: Think twice before sending

August 19, 2014 — 

Let’s put it this way: We know the temptation exceeds the sirens in Greek legends for municipal politicians to, er, share thoughts by email rather more than they should.

Consulting a quorum on thoughts that might lead to decisions constitutes a meeting under state law — even if only hitting the “send” button.

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Vail Daily column: New maintenance considerations in divorce

August 19, 2014 — 

It used to be that maintenance and support were treated differently. They still are but not exactly.

What, you may be asking, am I talking about?

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Vail Daily column: ‘Welcome back to school!’

August 18, 2014 — 

This wonderful phrase will be shouted a few thousand times today by smiling (and mostly sincere) faces and will undoubtedly be followed by just as many “Harrumphs” emanating from tilted heads with barely open eyes.

Such is the first day of public school in Happy Valley.

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Vail Daily column: Hits and misses from a summer in Vail

August 17, 2014 — 

By the time you read this I’ll be gone. No, not dead. Just not longer in Vail. But before I went I just wanted to say thank you to the people of Vail for helping fill the last 10 weeks with some of the best experiences of my life.

A lot of you have asked me what my favorite part about having America’s Best Summer Job was. What was the best activity? The coolest hotel? The most delicious restaurant? And I do have a lot of thoughts; in my short time here I have had the chance to see the town from all sides. So as an outsider, I thought what better parting gift than to share those thoughts with you—in signature Vail Daily style, no less. I’m certain many of these thoughts won’t be new to you. And I hardly understand the intricacies of local politics. But I have grown fond of Vail summer these last months and I think it deserves an honest reflection.

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