Editorials

Vail Daily column: Trump brags he's Reagan's reincarnation — really?

July 23, 2016 — 

Donald Trump “clearly needs to change in order to win” (the presidency), declared Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., KY.). “My hope is that he is beginning to pivot and become what I would call a more serious and credible candidate for the highest office in the land,” Sen. McConnell recently told a New York TV station.

Trump sounds, however, as if his political feet are glued to a prior conviction from which he doesn’t want to pivot. Trump insists he’s the new Ronald Reagan, bragging he inherited this political mantle from our 40th president.

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Vail Daily column: Programs benefit families

July 20, 2016 — 

As many of you know, the Red Ribbon Project, a local nonprofit, has been serving Eagle County for 20 years. I have had the honor of serving on the board of this amazing organization for two years and couldn’t be more proud.

The Red Ribbon Project serves Eagle County youth by providing classes throughout the school year in tough topics such as teenage pregnancy, HIV/sexually transmitted infections prevention. What many residents don’t realize, however, is that Red Ribbon Project also has classes that focus on important topics that can often be overlooked at home including building healthy relationships, human sexuality and social emotional development. Additionally, Red Ribbon Project offers free anonymous HIV testing several times a year in the county — more than 150 people take advantage of this opportunity each year.

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Vail Daily column: Great start for kids

July 19, 2016 — 

Last Wednesday’s comprehensive front-page article was about our “child care crisis” as reported in a detailed study commissioned by Eagle County and the school system. Our county is short of money and places for caring for and educating our young children. In the study, the term “child care” is often used synonymously with “early childhood education,” but in reality they are very different.

If little Sue goes to child care, she will be safely looked after for eight or nine hours per day, but unless her childcare is enriched, that is all she will get. Little Judy, who goes to a high-quality early childhood education school, will also learn, from the day she shows up and until she goes to kindergarten, how to listen to and look through books — probably in two languages — how to control her anger when her block pile is knocked down, how to order objects by size and color, the shapes and sounds of letters, and hundreds of other necessary academic and social skills.

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Vail Daily editorial: A good move

July 19, 2016 — 

The value of a trademarked name can be hard to define. In some cases, there can be as much value in a well-established name as in the product itself. Then there’s the sticky wicket Vail Resorts found itself in last week.

The Park Record, a sister paper to the Vail Daily, last week reported a good bit of local anger over an attempt to trademark the name “Park City.” That federal trademark application was actually submitted by Powdr, the previous owner of the Park City Mountain Resort ski area, but the effort was continued by Vail Resorts, which now owns the resort.

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Vail Daily column: Decisions backed by our values

July 19, 2016 — 

Those who get to work closely with me know that I’m an absolute geek when it comes to studying how complex organizations tick and how they can be improved. This work involves researching different organizations and taking note of their approaches to changing conditions and pressures.

While studying education organizations, such as other school districts, is part of this ongoing learning, I also keep close tabs on lessons from businesses as well. I’m a regular reader of the Harvard Business Review and also try and keep up with the latest business management books. Though some may disagree, I’ve found there are significant lessons that school leaders can learn from business.

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Vail Daily column: Game of Zones (Parking)

July 18, 2016 — 

From overflow of the Frontage Road to threats of charging during summer to promises of charging during winter, Happy Valley parking woes continue.

Similar to our on-again, off-again affordable housing issue, how much is enough, where can expansion go, who will use it, who is actually responsible for it, who will pay for it?

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Vail Daily column: Thinking clearly with compelling conviction

July 16, 2016 — 

This year is my red-letter year as a newspaper commentator and dramatist. The Vail Daily has published my weekly commentary for a quarter century, with the first commentary running on July 20, 1991. Titled “American religion: Merely a warm tingle,” I warned of dangers when healthy faith’s mental edge gets dulled. Sheer emotionalism often supplants it, as in “I’ve found Jesus, so don’t challenge my faith with new insight.”

During our nation’s bicentennial 40 years ago, I first portrayed Thomas Jefferson in 18th century garb. He displayed grievous faults as a slave-master. Still, Jefferson deserves our admiration because of what he declared during the nasty, mud-slinging presidential campaign in 1800. In his first inaugural address on March 4, 1801, Jefferson tried to lower the boiling point of political animosities and religious character assassinations. He cooled heated exchanges by asserting: “ … every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle.” Statesmen of differing political persuasions practice the art of agreeing to disagree agreeably.

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Vail Daily column: Parking problems worsen

July 15, 2016 — 

The following is an excerpt from a report by the Vail Homeowners Association board of directors. The association keeps a close eye on economic and political trends in and outside of the Vail community. The electronic version with links to supporting documents is available at www.vailhomeowners.com.

This past winter Vail had 29 days of overflow Frontage Road parking, setting another record. This has pushed permissible Frontage Road parking to the maximum as the current agreement with the Colorado Department of Transportation, which expires in 2017, allows 30 days of Frontage Road parking during the winter. That limit was raised only a few years ago; before then only 15 days per winter season were allowed.

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Vail Daily column: Look to forest for housing

July 14, 2016 — 

As a candidate for state representative from Colorado House District 26, which consists of Eagle and Routt counties, I have a partial solution to help provide affordable housing for hundreds and hundreds of ski area employees. Let’s put pressure on our federal officials to designate free forest land on Vail, Beaver Creek and Steamboat ski mountains for ski area employee housing. Remember, the U.S. Forest Service works for us. And, we granted the ski area operators a virtual, 50-year monopoly to manage our land for our recreation purposes.

Vail Councilman Greg Moffet, a moderate Republican, called the idea “genius.”

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Vail Daily column: Fighting opioid abuse epidemic

July 13, 2016 — 

Widespread opioid abuse is having a tragic impact on communities in Colorado and across the nation. If I were to poll the entire 3rd Congressional District, I’m sure that most people could say that they have either been personally affected or know someone who has been affected by the growing abuse of prescription painkillers and heroin in our state.

Ensuring the health and safety of the members of our communities is a shared responsibility. This is why I recently hosted two roundtable discussions on the opioid abuse epidemic with community, health care and law enforcement leaders in Alamosa and Pueblo.

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Vail Daily column: Week of tragedy reveals our ideological blind spots

July 13, 2016 — 

It seems almost ghoulish to look for a silver lining in the dark cloud that blanketed the nation last week. But I think there was one. The killings by police in Minnesota and Louisiana, quickly followed by the killings of police in Dallas, knocked the lazy certainty out of almost everybody.

At least for a moment, antagonists on either side of polarizing issues could see beyond the epistemic horizon of their most comfortable talking points. Black Lives Matter activists thanked the police for their protection and sacrifice. Conservative Republicans, most notably House Speaker Paul Ryan and former Speaker Newt Gingrich, spoke movingly about race in America.

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Vail Daily editorial: Let's get started

July 12, 2016 — 

If there’s one thing local governments are good at, it’s topic-flogging — talking endlessly about and around an issue until, eventually, something gets done. Or not.

Numerous elected officials from up and down the valley seem on the brink of actually doing something about our evergreen housing crunch. The towns of Vail and Avon are talking to each other about working together, and Eagle County is likely to ask voters this fall for a 0.3 percent sales tax to create a housing fund.

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Vail Daily column: Better measures of success

July 12, 2016 — 

Schools are often rated and judgments are made on the basis of academic test scores. While these scores can be informative and useful, the limitations of these measures are well known and some have wondered if their greatest use is in verifying where money is — and is not — in terms of student demographics.

In spite of these limitations, Eagle County Schools does keep close tabs on our academic performance data. We have developed a measurement dashboard of sorts which we call our System Academic Indicators.

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Vail Daily column: It's a matter of perspective (and timing)

July 11, 2016 — 

1960s: “America as we know it will soon cease to exist!”

I remember my grandfather saying this due to the Red Scare (damn commies).

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Vail Daily column: 'Cui bono?'

July 11, 2016 — 

Regardless of one’s position on the subject of climate change, the Latin term cui bono (who benefits) is perhaps the most relevant phrase one can use when discussing the subject. Anyone who’s ever engaged in debate on the topic understands these are usually no-win situations because regardless of one’s position someone else will see it differently and offer his or her own set of facts.

So it is with the science is settled argument; perhaps the most absurd statement ever made on the subject. Science is never settled and it’s patently ridiculous to support the notion that any science is impervious to challenge.

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Vail Daily column: National parks preserve America's soul

July 9, 2016 — 

During this centenary celebration of the National Park Service, established in 1916, our nation shows gratitude to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt for treasuring and protecting the parks in the 1930s.

He visited them as a traveler rather than a tourist. Former head of the Library of Congress Daniel J. Boorstin, in his book “Hidden History: Exploring Our Secret Past,” tracks the difference between a traveler such as FDR who respected national parks and a tourist who passes through to see pretty scenery.

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Vail Daily column: Knocking on Vail's doors

July 8, 2016 — 

The following is an excerpt from a report by the Vail Homeowners Association board of directors. The association keeps a close eye on economic and political trends in and outside of the Vail community. The electronic version with links to supporting documents is available at www.vailhomeowners.com.

Summer has arrived. Flowers are in bloom. Tourists and second-home owners are flooding back to Vail. And a few issues loom large — some brought on by the recent Kaaboo proposal and other perennial problems of years past.

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Celebrating 10 years of changing kids' lives

July 7, 2016 — 

Roundup River Ranch is celebrating the 10th anniversary of our founding, which officially occurred on July 2, 2006, and, as this year continues, I would be remiss if I did not take the opportunity to recognize, thank and appreciate our greater Eagle County community. It’s our community that makes camp possible and ensures camp is always free to our campers and their families — and we cannot thank you enough for what you’ve helped us achieve to date.

This is a remarkable time for Roundup River Ranch, a time filled with reflection, celebration and dreaming big about what the future holds. So, in honor of our 10th anniversary, I’d like to share 10 special ways that we’re offering you our sincerest thanks and celebrating your support:

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Vail Daily column: Free pass for Hillary

July 7, 2016 — 

FBI Director James Comey has given Hillary Clinton something better than a get out of jail free card. He’s protected her from indictment by recommending to the Department of Justice that she not be prosecuted for her and her staff’s “extremely careless” handling of emails on private servers that included documents classified as “top secret,” “secret” and “confidential.”

Once again the Clintons have escaped the long arm of the law, which in their case is much shorter than the arm extended to other government officials who have been caught committing far fewer infractions.

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Vail Daily column: We're not stuck with Tipton

July 6, 2016 — 

Despite our deep divisions, there is something most Americans can agree on; according to Real Clear Politics, approximately three-quarters of Americans disapprove of the job Congress is doing.

This November we have the opportunity to clean house. I suggest we start with Rep. Scott Tipton. It is easy to forget that he represents us since we never see the guy. He lives in Cortez — more than 300 miles away, no wonder. He serves a comically gerrymandered district that, in addition to the western part of Eagle County, includes most of the Western Slope and reaches into the state to grab Pueblo for good measure.

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Vail Daily column: Tread lightly on our local trails

July 6, 2016 — 

As the snow-line recedes and our expectations for summer hiking begin to occupy our thoughts it is important to remember how damaging early season hiking can be to the trails we enjoy. Braided trails are not only unsightly but they add to trail erosion and vegetation loss. The hiking trails that help guide us into the wilderness are fragile areas that need to be used mindfully, cared for and maintained.

Although trail degradation happens throughout the year, springtime hiking can cause the most damage. Saturated soil from snow melt and spring rains drastically increases our impact. Remaining snow on the trail, mud, newly fallen trees and swollen streamlets generally cause us to go around these obstacles the result being the beginning of a braid from the original trail. Some of this may be inevitable and unavoidable but as I see the changes in our local trails over the years and the tremendous increase in use, especially early season, I think we need to be much more aware of the damage caused and the visual impact of braided trails.

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Vail Daily column: The survey results revealed!

July 5, 2016 — 

A few weeks ago I asked readers to help with a purely unscientific survey to answer one simple little question: “Why do you support Donald Trump?” or “Why do you support Hillary Clinton?”

There was only one rule: Mentioning the opponent as a reason for supporting your candidate would not be a valid answer, and thus not count in the survey.

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Vail Daily column: Vague education policies

July 5, 2016 — 

As we close in on Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump being the presumptive nominees for their respective parties, some education policy wonks — of which I include myself — and journalists have noted the absence of much discussion around where education fits into Clinton and Trump’s policy agendas.

The answer is difficult to define, as neither Clinton nor Trump has given us a lot to work with. Clinton quickly aligned herself with the National Education Association, the country’s largest teacher’s union, and earned its endorsement fairly early in the primary contest.

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Vail Daily editorial: 240 and counting

July 5, 2016 — 

Back in 1776, news was slowly spreading from Philadelphia that the Continental Congress had voted for independence from the British Empire.

The move for independence had built throughout several years, and beyond its first couple of paragraphs, the Declaration of Independence laid out a series of particular complaints against King George III and his government, from taxation with no representation to barring immigration into the colonies.

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Vail Daily column: Killing to die, or dying to kill

July 4, 2016 — 

I wonder what the last night is like when someone knows they will be dying the next day, on purpose.

Do they knowingly watch a final sunset for one last reminder of how beautiful nature can be?

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Vail Daily column: The problem is to know what the problem is

July 3, 2016 — 

In Orlando, according to CNN, “An American-born man who’d pledged allegiance to ISIS gunned down 49 people early Sunday, June 12, at a gay nightclub in Orlando, the deadliest mass shooting in the United States and the nation’s worst terror attack since 9/11, authorities said.”

As has become the norm in America today, while 49 people lay dead and dozens others wounded, some critically, instead of coming together as a nation, the political left and right have taken sides and are at odds over how to prevent such terror attacks in the future.

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Vail Daily column: Make America's freedoms great again

July 3, 2016 — 

Abraham Lincoln advocated a special brand of freedom. Reflecting biblical wisdom, he “proclaimed this liberty throughout the land” (Leviticus 25:10).

What did Lincoln’s freedom look like? How did he apply this liberty to his political achievements? Throughout his political career, Lincoln rooted liberty in The Declaration of Independence. There, Jefferson described a national ethos in which citizens had opportunity to advance through work and improve quality of life at home.

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No easy fix for I-70 problems

July 1, 2016 — 

Build three lanes from Floyd Hill to the Eagle County Airport. Check. Alas ... if only it were that easy.

Every few years, the idea of adding a lane to the Interstate 70 Mountain Corridor resurfaces. The congestion issue along this steep and narrow highway is complex, and the solutions, expensive.

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Ensuring kids get healthy summer food

July 1, 2016 — 

As a former school superintendent, I’ve seen first-hand the difference that access to nutritious meals can make in kids’ success in school and in their health and happiness. Research also tells us that an empty stomach hurts a student’s concentration, creativity and learning ability.

We’ve had success combating student hunger through initiatives such as the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program, which provide healthy food to more than 375,000 kids in Colorado and millions more across the country.

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Vail Daily column: New kind of living memorial

June 30, 2016 — 

Patriotism can mean many things to many people. Sadly, what some overlook is that protecting America’s public lands is one of the most patriotic things you can do. From Longs Peak to the Colorado River to the Eastern Plains, protecting Colorado and America’s public lands is something I’m proud to have fought for.

Thankfully, we have people like Sen. Michael Bennet who recognize protecting our public lands is incredibly patriotic, and have worked tirelessly to preserve them for us all to enjoy and explore.

Sen. Bennet successfully worked to declare special places where veterans just like me have found great healing, strength and reconnection to our communities, including Chimney Rock in the San Juan National Forest and Browns Canyon, which encompasses the Arkansas River. He fought to protect Sawtooth Mountain Ranch and the Thompson Divide from future fossil fuel extraction. He worked across the aisle to protect more than 100,000 acres of the Hermosa Creek Watershed. And just a few weeks ago, Michael announced plans to make Camp Hale our nation’s first National Historic Landscape, connecting his efforts to protect our public lands and support our military.

Camp Hale is more than beautiful country that should be protected for us all to enjoy. Located between Vail and Leadville, Camp Hale was established to train the 10th Mountain Division during World War II, which consisted of troops specifically trained to fight Nazis in the Alps and who were ultimately deployed in Northern Italy. Many people don’t understand just how difficult military training is, and this site wasn’t like those found around the country. Rather, the troops here were trained to ski and fight on mountain slopes to better acclimate to the conditions they were set to face.

As a member of Sierra Club and the director of its Outdoors program, a program that works to engage everyone — including those in active military duty and veterans — to enjoy and explore our parks and public lands, seeing the permanent protection of Camp Hale is personal to me. Famed Sierra Club Executive Director David Brower was a lieutenant of a leader in the training of the 10th Mountain Division. An experienced climber and mountaineer prior to serving, Brower helped develop the training regimen for the troops at Camp Hale.

The men and women who came home from World War II, specifically the 10th Mountain Division, were leaders in the creation of the modern outdoor economy, a $646 billion a year powerhouse. They understood at a visceral level what it meant to fight for one’s country, its ideals and the representation of those ideals in physical place. The creation of a National Historic Landscape at Camp Hale represents a new kind of living memorial to all who have fought for our country. It is the right thing to do, by our World War II veterans, by all those who fight for our country, and by all people in our great nation.

Sen. Michael Bennet knows that and has worked tirelessly to protect and preserve our public lands for us all to enjoy. That’s why Sierra Club has endorsed him, and it’s why Sen. Bennet is one of the more patriotic elected officials in office.​

Stacy Bare is director of Sierra Club Outdoors.

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