Fall is in the air and that means elections and campaigns contribute to the spookiness of the season. Buttons, stickers, yard signs and letters to the editor will appear over the next few weeks as candidates begin jockeying for position in hopes of a strong surge across the finish line as the votes are tallied on Election Day.
In reality, the election starts in Eagle County as soon as the mail-in ballots hit the postal system — Oct. 14-16. Mail-in ballots have made the exercise of our civic responsibilities in voting much more convenient than standing in lines on the first Tuesday in November. However, it has also extended the campaign season, effectively meaning that we are in the thick of electioneering right now.Learn more »
While some of you are once again promoting your man crush on Putin and the American infatuation with guns for all (regardless of mental stability or lack thereof), I spent last week reminiscing about my childhood while attending the 129th annual State Fair of Texas in Dallas with 15 beautiful women.
So why, you’re probably asking yourself, is Richard bothering to share this fascinating news with us?Learn more »
Got a quick Hit or Miss about issues, decisions or goings-on in the valley? Send yours to firstname.lastname@example.org to be included.
MISS: From reader Prentice O’Leary to the Vail Daily: “I think Hits and Misses got it wrong about the GoPro Mountain Enduro. In this era when elected officials do not keep promises, we should celebrate those who do — like the Avon Town Council. They made the right decision for the land, the flora and fauna and for the broader community, while keeping promises made last year.”Learn more »
Conservatives have found a magic formula to win local school board elections. They replay a plot from the 1950s TV Superman show. Amiable Clark Kent, a reporter for the Daily Planet newspaper, goes into a telephone booth. He exits as Superman with a huge letter “S” on his chest. This fearless crusader bends steel bars with his bare hands to handcuff crooks. Superman asserts law and order to restore the American way.
Since the early 1990s, conservatives have co-opted Superman’s strategy. They use stealth to pack local school boards, propelling Tea Party candidates to victory.Learn more »
If you’re lucky enough to have skied as long as I have, from way back in the late 1930s, then you’ll know that the ski season then was completely different than today.
In 1940, the day after Labor Day, which is the first Monday in September, I would stop by a sporting goods store, go way back to the seldom-visited ski department and look at a blackboard with all the local resorts listed and the snow depths. It was written in chalk so it could be changed as soon as any snow arrived.Learn more »
Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from the Vail Homeowners Association newsletter. 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.
Vail’s municipal government may be about to enter a major transition. This fall’s Town Council election could bring a new tone to Town Hall and there could be significant organizational changes that may include some of the town’s senior executives. At the same time, the town’s vigorous rebound from the recession has set the stage for a potential reassessment of Vail’s future. The outcome of this year’s election will speak volumes about Vail’s course in the coming years as well as to how inclusive and transparent the town of Vail intends to become. Unfortunately, the way in which that election is going to be conducted — a short campaign period followed by an election with restrictive absentee-only mail balloting — is not a step in the right direction. As an investigation by the association showed, full mail balloting greatly increases voter participation.Learn more »
Tables all taken, we’re directed to the end of the bar at the only restaurant in town.
Exactly where the owner sits for a quick glass of white wine toward the end of our meal, just before the tidal change from full house to closing.Learn more »
Compared to 2015, Eagle-Vail was a very different community in 2005. Parks and play structures were in marginal condition; the old swimming pool was failing; golf facilities lacked recent investment; the general appearance of the community reflected self-neglect. The community suffered from having no real management and long-term planning. Eagle-Vail’s main assets were built and contributed by the original developer long ago, so the community that evolved around them had no experience with constructing large assets. In 2005, little planning had been done for major repairs and replacement of facilities, even as they were approaching 30-year and 40-year milestones in their service to Eagle-Vail.
As the old outdoor swimming pool reached the end of its service life, it became clear to many that Eagle-Vail was nearing a crossroads and needed to make decisions about its future. The community could try to get by on simply the appeal of its location between the world-class resorts of Vail and Beaver Creek. Or, we could harness the talents and energy of owners and residents within Eagle-Vail to actively plan and manage its future.Learn more »
Before casting your abstract vote after GOP debates and rhetorical Clintonesque campaign-speak, I would urge you to consider the history during the past 6.5 years of administration policy toward migrants from Mexico. I use the term “migrants” given the moniker Europe gives in the media toward these poor families from Syria, and the parallels to Mexico.
Contradiction abounds on both sides of the political aisle, depending on popular media sentiment in blue or red territories. Constituents are misled on both sides. Ruben Navarrette from The Washington Post claims that Democrats campaign by portraying themselves as immigrants’ best friend; once in office, they build walls (see: Hungary), militarize the border and deport people in record numbers (over 400,000 deported in 2014, a record). The GOP campaign against “amnesty” praising law and order — once in office, they create enforcement loopholes, refusing to crack down on employers.Learn more »
Greetings Eagle County voters; election season is upon us again! On Oct. 14, we will be mailing approximately 26,000 ballots for the Nov. 3 election. The issues and races on the ballot you receive will be specific to your residential address, so please make sure you contact us if you have moved. You can get in trouble — a Class 5 felony! — if you attempt to vote in a place where you do not reside at least half of the calendar year. So if you’re not sure where you’re registered, then you can find out at www.govotecolorado.com or by calling us.
Election processes and requirements are designed to assure accuracy and precision, and are based on hundreds of pages of state laws and secretary of state rules. In Eagle County, we are very vigilant about these requirements as we are accountable to our voters, political watchers, political parties, candidates, participating political subdivisions and the secretary of state. We work extremely hard to make sure everyone who should be able to and wants to vote can do so.Learn more »
Over the next few days and weeks, there will be a flurry of activity for Eagle County kids related to decisions on where our juniors and seniors will be heading off to college. Battle Mountain High School will be hosting College and Career Night on Thursday, and we’ll be taking buses loaded with hopeful college-bound kids to Aspen on Sunday for the Western Slope College Fair. In addition to these two formalized events, some parents across Eagle County are also making plans for college visits this fall with their aspiring graduates.
Planning for college these days is tough work, no matter what your income bracket. But there are a few tips parents (and soon-to-be graduates) should consider when they think about their college choice.Learn more »
Presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson was 100 percent correct when he told “Meet the Press” he “would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation,” because he does “not believe Sharia (Islamic law) is consistent with the Constitution of this country.”
Sadly, however, the good doctor declined to take the issue to its obvious and inevitable conclusion, which of course is that no religious law is consistent with the Constitution.Learn more »
Pope Francis uses soft power to get results. His open hand invites pilgrims to pose alongside him for selfies. Snapped photos aren’t papal self-portraits. His selfies include children and adults with debilitating illnesses or physical deformities.
Pope Francis’ round face glows like the moon. It’s reflected in smiles he receives from pilgrims he hugs. Security forces cringe when the pontiff springs from his popemobile to wash feet of poor women, including Muslims, in a surging crowd.Learn more »
You have risen to yet another day. This time you have — this is it. You don’t get a second try. Yesterday has been written in stone, and tomorrow is not promised to anyone. In spite of your longings, longings are simply not enough.
The cavalry isn’t coming. There’s no windfall. Your ship isn’t coming in. In the words of Stephen Colbert, no secret society is going to tap you on the shoulder. The world was not waiting for you when you were born. Nobody cares who you are.Learn more »
“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:15-16).
Major newspaper editorials and some columnists have their knickers in a twist over remarks by Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson. Appearing last Sunday on “Meet the Press,” Carson was asked by host Chuck Todd whether he believes Islam is consistent with the Constitution. “No, I don’t,” he said. “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation.” Asked whether he could vote for a Muslim for Congress, Carson said Congress is a different story, but that it “depends on who that Muslim is and what their policies are.”Learn more »
On Monday, Stewart Parnell was sentenced to 28 years in prison because his company, the Peanut Corporation of America, produced salmonella-contaminated peanut butter. He knew there was a problem with the peanut butter and shipped it anyway. More than 700 people became ill, nine died. Among the fatalities are Cliff Tousignant, a Korean War veteran with three Purple Hearts, and Shirley Almer, who fought a brain tumor and lung cancer only to succumb to Parnell’s tainted peanut butter. The conditions at his company’s facility where the peanut butter was produced were appalling — rodents, roaches and bird droppings. People died because Parnell prioritized profits over sanitation.
Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay more than $2.2 billion in both criminal and civil fines stemming from allegations it aggressively promoted the off-label prescription of the antipsychotic drug Risperdal to elderly people suffering from dementia and children with ADHD and autism. It was not that Risperdal was not an approved drug; it was, just not for the conditions the company was promoting it for. Johnson & Johnson pleaded guilty to a criminal misdemeanor, but unlike the Peanut Corporation of America, no individuals at the company were held accountable. The company knew that Risperdal could increase the activity of the hormone prolactin, which in boys treated with the drug could result in gynecomastia — growth of breast tissue — but they did not disclose this. The drug was also promoted to control the behavior of dementia patients, even though it elevated their risk of stroke, something Johnson & Johnson minimized. Until its patent expired, Risperdal was one of Johnson & Johnson’s best sellers.Learn more »
Recently, I was invited to testify before the U.S. Senate Climate Task Force. As a county commissioner and mother, I made the trip to Washington, D.C., as a guest of Environment Colorado, to lend my voice to the protection of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.
The plan places the first-ever federal limits on the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that power plants — our greatest source of carbon pollution — are allowed to emit; representing the single largest step America has ever taken to curb climate change.Learn more »
The typical tale of the public’s engagement with their community school system is fairly distant and uninvolved. Unless you have kids in the schools, most people are peripherally aware of their schools — only taking note when they encounter a school bus on the roads or a student selling raffle tickets knocks on their door.
While disappointing, we shouldn’t really blame the public in most communities for this — many school systems don’t make direct efforts at really engaging the community. While there may be great things happening for kids, they too often go unnoticed by (and unreported to) the community.Learn more »
A lot of you seem to be obsessed with the presidential debates.
Is Trump too over the top, is Bush too related to his brother, is Carson too naive, Fiorina too female, Rubio too Hispanic, Christie too large, Cruz too nuts, yada-yada-yada.Learn more »
Self-declared socialist and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders entered what his supporters must consider the belly of the beast last Monday. He spoke at the conservative evangelical Liberty University in Virginia. Some of those supporters sat in reserved seats, ensuring his remarks would be received with some applause.
Liberal and Democratic speakers at Liberty are not as rare as one might think. In 1983, Sen. Ted Kennedy visited and spoke about religious freedom, standing up for the right of conservative evangelicals to be heard in the public square. Rev. Jesse Jackson delivered a message from Jerry Falwell’s pulpit one Sunday morning. Donald Trump has also spoken at the school.Learn more »
Rafael Cruz, father of presidential contender Ted, preaches that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are divinely inspired. As self-anointed stump-speaker who believes our nation’s founding documents possess God’s approval, Cruz wins tea party converts in Texas. They demand the Advanced Placement U.S. history course emphasize “positive aspects of the U.S. and its heritage.”
Touring Texas towns, Rafael Cruz uses fiery rhetoric about the perfection of our nation’s founding documents. He first learned to speak this way as a Cuban revolutionary fighting the Batista regime. Fleeing this island homeland with $100 sewn into his underwear, Cruz settled in Canada before migrating to Houston. After working in Big Oil, this recovering alcoholic heard God calling him to become a preacher in order to save America from the hellish brew political liberals stir up.Learn more »
In 1953, I was hosted by both the Swiss and Austrian tourist bureaus on my first trip to Europe. All I had to do was get to New York and carry my camera everywhere and expose a lot of 16-millimeter film. It was a very long drive in my panel delivery truck from Los Angeles to New York on a two-lane highway. The interstate had not yet been built yet.
The two largest resorts in Switzerland were Davos and St. Moritz. Almost all of the hotels back then were on south-facing slopes because when they were built in the 1800s when the only known cure for tuberculosis was high-altitude and lots of sunshine. As a result these hotels/sanitariums had hallways that were wide enough to push a bed out of the room, down the hallway and onto the balcony in the fresh air, sometimes with one person on each side of the head of the bed pushing.Learn more »
Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from the Vail Homeowners Association Newsletter. 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.vail homeowners.com.
Vail’s parking problem has intensified. An investigation by the Vail Homeowners Association has revealed that frontage roads parking increased exponentially this summer. Figures obtained from the town by the association show that already this summer, with the Labor Day weekend still to come, there have been 19 days of frontage roads parking due to the parking structures being full. When added to the overflow parking during the winter ski season that means 2014-15 is on the way to becoming the highest year of frontage roads parking in the history of Vail. And with the town of Vail and Vail Resorts revving up promotion of summers in Vail, it is a situation that will only grow worse. Aside from the unsightliness of overflow parking and its impact on the Vail “brand,” the association is concerned that we have passed the tipping point on public safety as visitors randomly have to cross heavily traveled roads, becoming a hazard to themselves and drivers.Learn more »
Anybody know Rick Reilly? He’s a Colorado guy (more Denver than Grand Junction). Some people like him; others don’t because he believed to the very end that his biker friend, Lance Armstrong, wasn’t lying when he rode around the world collecting prizes.
This is not my perception of that game, but another. (Some uncanny comparisons, though.)Learn more »
That county clerk is working for Caesar, earning her living by what is rendered unto Caesar.
By the laws of this land, confirmed by the Supreme Court, her faith is strictly separated from public governance. Government doesn’t get to tell her where to go to church. As county clerk, she doesn’t get to tell gays where to go.Learn more »
Got a quick Hit or Miss about issues, decisions or goings-on in the valley? Send yours to email@example.com to be included.
HIT: From a reader to “the town of Avon for cleaning out the underbrush under the horse statue.”Learn more »
Word came Monday that Vail Valley Foundation CEO Ceil Folz is leaving the nonprofit group. The community will miss her.
Folz for 16 years has led the valley’s biggest nonprofit group. Under her leadership, the foundation has expanded its presence in the community, from education to athletics to fun.Learn more »
Last week, Eagle County Schools’ work toward being a global high performer was highlighted in an important new book called “Deliverology in Practice: How Education Leaders are Improving Student Outcomes.”
The book was written by Sir Michael Barber, who notably worked in former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s administrations in the areas of education policy and delivery, the science of bringing aspirations into reality. The book was co-authored by Nick Rodriguez and Ellyn Artis, from the Education Delivery Institute, a D.C. nonprofit that has helped Eagle County in the design and implementation of our strategic plan.Learn more »
Imagine a scenario where Mexico erupts into civil war, its government going head to head against the drug cartels.
Hundreds of thousands of innocents are caught in the crossfire, many are slaughtered but most seek refuge wherever they can and the vast majority head north.Learn more »
Vail Daily column: Stephen Colbert's strong Catholic identity shinesSeptember 14, 2015 —
Viewers tuned in to Stephen Colbert’s debut on “The Late Show” to discover his identity. Would he revert to the flag-waving, vain, rightwing windbag that made him famous on Comedy Central’s program, “The Colbert Report?”
In the opening show’s monologue, Colbert quipped about his identity. He told viewers to “search for the real Stephen Colbert, and I hope I don’t find him on Ashley Madison” (the web site that customizes adulterous affairs).
Colbert has never hidden his real identity. His strong Roman Catholic faith forms the core of how he pictures himself. He attends church, observes Lenten rituals and has taught Sunday School to children in a Montclair, New Jersey, parish.
“I’m a Catholic who was raised by intellectuals, who were very devout,” Colbert unapologetically told Time Out magazine. “I was raised to believe that you could question the church and still be Catholic.”
Colbert’s faith challenges brittle church doctrine. His feisty identity runs on a parallel rail to satirical outbursts that mock dogma. Colbert’s funny protests often collide with church traditions and corporate policy. In the initial “Late Show” monologue, Colbert warned CBS officials that what he said might “occasionally” lead to “making the network very mad at us.”
He’s edgy in matters of faith and corporate propriety and very proud of it. “I just want to do things that scratch an itch for me,” he confessed to GQ magazine in a recent interview…. “I like to do things that are publicly embarrassing,” he elaborated, “to feel the embarrassment touch me and sink into me and then be gone. I like getting on elevators and singing too loudly in that small space. The feeling you feel is almost like a vapor. The discomfort and the wishing that it would end that comes around you.”
Colbert quotes scripture and has committed to memory key phrases from ancient Christian creeds. He doesn’t bow, however, before each doctrine the Vatican expects believers to heed. Right belief isn’t the litmus test that defines Colbert’s religious identity.
Nor does respect for official church policy frame his devotion. In a 2007 segment broadcast on “The Colbert Report,” he got sassy with then Pope Benedict XVI’s statement that non-Catholic faiths were “defective.” “Catholicism is clearly superior,” Colbert crowed in a sanctimonious voice. Seated beside a picture of the pope, he asked, “Don’t you believe me? Name one Protestant denomination that can afford a $660 million sexual abuse settlement.”
What defines Colbert’s faith, if not proper doctrine or endorsement of Roman Catholic policy? He acts on what he believes. He’s compassionate to outsiders, people high society spurns.
In September 2010, Colbert climbed up Capitol Hill to testify about his religious convictions regarding how we as a civilized people treat immigrants. He’s not a fan of Donald Trump who wants to build bigger walls to keep rapists and riff-raff from crossing our borders. He told members of the House Judiciary Committee that immigrant farm laborers do the “really, really hard work” that most Americans avoid.
Lifting his satirical mask, Colbert testified before House Representatives about Christian faith branded on his heart. “And you know, ‘whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers,’ [‘you do it unto me’] “and these seem like the least of our brothers right now,” Colbert judged, quoting Jesus (Matthew 25:40). “Migrant workers suffer and have no rights.”
Because Colbert’s faith is public and intersects politically-charged debates, he differs from Jeb Bush, who was interviewed on “The Late Show” debut. He blurted to Jeb not to count on Colbert’s vote because this Bush came across as a “reasonable candidate,” compared to racist anti-immigration stances of other GOP presidential hopefuls.
Jeb converted to Roman Catholicism. He differs from Colbert in that he keeps faith a private matter, as did Thomas Jefferson. Bush regards faith as private, a matter of the heart. Colbert believes his faith identity matters so much that it affects every area of life.
Bush discredited the Pope’s climate change pronouncement, that fossil fuels damage the Earth’s atmosphere. Bush got around Pope Francis’ letter on climate change by making faith a private matter. “I hope I’m not going to get castigated for saying this by my priest back home, but I don’t get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinal or my pope,” the former Florida governor declared. “I think religion ought to be about making us better people and less about things that end up getting into the political realm.” Especially when the pope on climate change contradicts Republican economic dogma.
Although Colbert’s public faith doesn’t mesh with Jefferson’s insistence to keep faith private, they share similar bookish traits. In his youth, Jefferson withdrew from life’s hubbub and retreated into books. His interior life cultivated self-awareness. As an adult, he absorbed “a dozen books to be read, all at once, annotated, outlined, digested, owned in the mind as well as on the shelf, always going, a brilliant machine oiled to a quiet thrum that occasionally popped like a firecracker—there was nobody in the world like Thomas Jefferson” (Washington’s Circle: the Creation of the President, Jeanne and David Heidler, p. 127, 2015).
Colbert formed Jeffersonian instincts in his youth, the youngest of 11 children in a strong Roman Catholic family. Not feeling comfortable in school, he treasured times to read in solitary. Colbert’s reading honed a quick mind and creative flair that forged his Roman Catholic identity. It’s a vital part of him Colbert doesn’t hide.
The Rev. Dr. Jack R. Van Ens is a Presbyterian minister who heads the nonprofit, tax exempt Creative Growth Ministries (www.thelivinghistory.com), which enhances Christian worship through dynamic storytelling and dramatic presentations aimed to make God’s history come alive.