Letters to the Editor

Vail Daily letter: An amazing community asset

August 26, 2016 — 

Colorado Mountain College has proven to be an amazing community asset in all nine counties in its service area covering some 12,000 square miles. As I step down after 15 continuous years of volunteer service to the college (because of term limits), it’s time for me to reflect upon the contribution CMC has made to our students, to our taxpayers and to our local economies — and to express my confidence in the leadership of President Carrie Besnette Hauser and her leadership team.

During eight years of service on the elected Board of Trustees (six as president) and a subsequent seven years on the CMC Foundation Board, I have witnessed the development of an educational powerhouse devoted to the success of its students. This devotion has many facets: introduction of five new bachelor’s degree programs to meet both student interests and local job needs; updated associate’s degree and certificate programs reflective of the needs in each community we serve; student success in completion of their AA degree with guaranteed transfer credits to Colorado’s four-year institutions; very low tuition rates, particularly for our in-district students; more scholarship dollars from generous donors awarded to more students with financial needs; growth in concurrent-enrollment offerings with more high school students taking college-level classes for credit; continuous retooling of curriculum in conjunction with local employers needing a skilled workforce; a very talented and dedicated faculty and administrative staff who constantly strive to do their best; and steady replacement of outdated buildings with new facilities.

CMC has proven its capacity to weather economic challenges while still providing a high-quality education to its students, even when the 2008 recession led to nearly eight years of depressed home values and sharply reduced income from the 3.997 mill levy from our taxpayers that provides nearly three quarters of the college’s income annually. It’s quite a challenging process to successfully manage the operation of some 11 separate educational sites in nine counties separated by many miles and sometimes difficult travel conditions. The leadership of Colorado Mountain College, both at Central Services in Glenwood Springs and with the campus vice-presidents in each of its seven districts, continues to make amazing strides in serving the higher education needs of the 20,000 students who come to CMC each year. The CMC Foundation has granted more than $26 million to CMC’s students and programs since 2006 and nearly $40 million since its inception in 1985. Everyone associated with CMC who devotes their time, talent and treasure (thank you, taxpayers and donors) to helping our students succeed deserves our heartfelt thanks.

As the college celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, I am certain that the incredible progress that I have witnessed during the last 15 years sets a good path for the next half century. The challenge for our community college is to remain nimble to meet the rapidly changing demands for new and high-level skills for those living in our mountain region, so they can thrive.

Doris Dewton

Edwards

Vail Daily letter: Stark contrast

August 26, 2016 — 

Pogo, I think it was, who once said, where you stand depends on where you sit. Mr. Erickson’s (Letters to the Editor, Aug. 19) spirited indictment of Mrs. Clinton for what he believes is “lying,” and superficial defense of Bush and Cheney for invading Iraq and starting the national and now international nightmare we find ourselves devoting our nation’s time, talent and treasure to bears a response.

I can see now through his eyes why he and those who may agree with him vilify this woman who has withstood her detractors and doggedly continues to devote her entire professional career to people and issues greater than herself, never mind the Republican witch hunts and the unwillingness of any other than partisan officials to indict her. Why should she bother, we may well ask.

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Vail Daily letter: Terrific trail program

August 26, 2016 — 

I would like to take the opportunity to increase awareness of a fabulous new program in our valley. This is the Adopt-A-Trail program which empowers local groups to care for their favorite trails. The program was launched this summer and is the outcome of a cooperative effort by the Vail Valley Mountain Bike Association and the U.S. Forest Service. As a trail adopter/volunteer I was trained by the U.S. Forest Service in basic trail maintenance and have participated in two work days (work mornings really) under the guidance of Jeff Thompson, our U.S. Forest Service ranger dedicated to the program. The work days are educational, fun, and everyone leaves with the satisfied feeling of having done something good for our beautiful valley! In addition to my group (Vail Club 50), there are around 30 local groups who are out there caring for our trails this summer. It’s a great program and deserves all our support.

Feel free to contact Michelle Wolffe at ecadoptatrail@gmail.com or friend the Facebook page at Eagle County Adopt A Trail to learn more and follow our progress!

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Vail Daily letter: Tale of two conventions

August 25, 2016 — 

Cleveland and Philadelphia — ’tis a “Tale of Two Cities,” and a harbinger of a revolution to come in our time and place, not of the Paris of yesteryear (circa 1789)! As I watched the GOP and DNC conventions, in that order, I was reminded of the plight of the American middle class under the corrupt and elitist administration of Obama/Clinton and its similarity to the that of the French peasantry under the aristocratic regime of Louis XVI. Now, it is our age of discontent, or as Dickens more eloquently put it, “It was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.” The messages that these two conventions convey in our day is so glaring, so disparate, and so ominous that the consequences of choice between the two candidates in running presage whether this republic continues to exist, and literally, whether we will live or die.

Cleveland brought forth Donald Trump as its answer for change, and to rectify the ineptitude, fecklessness and corruption of the past eight years. Trump is literally an unknown quantity in the political world, but brings into the equation a return to capitalism, unfettered private property rights, and the curtailment of governmental intrusion into what once was a free marketplace. Cleveland also displayed the American flag for all to see, a police presence that not only protected the delegations in attendance, but also the anti-Trump protesting mobs from the liberal quarter. The entire GOP presentation was orderly, stable, safe and law abiding, which forebodes what Trump would bring to the national arena were he elected to the high office. There definitely would be a return of the forgotten working man of the middle class, there would be a return and invocation of the rule of law, and there definitely would be an end to ISIS with that kind of blood in our streets. The “how” of it all is unknown, but the “Trump will” to do it is there in force, and that is reassuring.

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Vail Daily letter: Let's help each other heal

August 24, 2016 — 

No doubt Summit County and Eagle County are growing. All of Colorado is growing, and as this article (“Along with population, criminal activity also up,” Aug. 9 Vail Daily) clearly states, with population growth comes a growth in crime. More drug use, more DUIs, more everything. But all is not lost; we are a growing community that is strong and especially supportive of both its citizens and visitors. It’s important that we as a community focus our attention to the resources that we pay as taxpayers, in the right way.

In criminal cases, defendants who are found to be guilty pay for surcharges that are intended to aid the community in paying for the cost of rehabilitation. But the question we need to be asking ourselves is: where are our treatment facilities? Where can one go to get a helping hand? What resources do we have for mental health issues?

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Vail Daily letter: Observe trail etiquette

August 24, 2016 — 

As a grandmother who has been hiking Colorado’s trails for 45 years, I now feel the need to speak out about the declining level of courtesy I have experienced lately while hiking with my grandkids. Unfortunately, I have observed in recent years that more and more trail bikers are completely unaware of prescribed trail etiquette. Many of these bikers obviously are visitors or short-term residents who have come from locations where they didn’t grow up hiking so they are unaware of the “rules” of the trail. Most experienced hikers know that hikers and bikers must yield to horseback riders, but bikers must also yield to hikers. Finally, hikers going downhill should yield to uphill hikers.

For the past few summers, I have felt accosted by rude and dangerous bikers who think they own the trails and come barreling downhill with no regard for hikers on the trail. These bikers expect the hikers to jump out of their way because they are “king of the mountain” in their own minds. While most hikers are willing to step off the trail for a biker if they are able to, hikers don’t expect to be run off the trail and they certainly expect a “thank you” from the bikers when they do yield the trail.

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Vail Daily letter: Better things to worry about

August 22, 2016 — 

You know, the American people kill me. Everything is fine as long as things go our way. Like this Ryan Lochte deal. Here is a guy that worked his ass off for one-third of his life to make this country proud and to show the rest of the world how strong we really are, and just because he allegedly tears down a poster and takes a leak on the grass — 50 dogs probably beat him to it anyway — the media and the American people are ready to throw this poor kid under bus and strip him of all his endorsements, etc.

Come on, guys; he gave his heart and soul for this country. I would like to know how many of you out there did the same sometime in your life. These kids didn’t kill or rape or even get in a fight; they took a leak on the grass. They got a little hammered and went at the wrong spot. I would like to know how many of you can honestly say that you did the same thing some time in the first 30 some years of your life and didn’t get caught.

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Vail Daily letter: Unexpected layover in Vail

August 21, 2016 — 

My wife, Natalie, and I were two of the 43 eastbound Greyhound bus passengers stranded in your town for five hours on Wednesday, and I must say that the experience was a memorable one.

When we pulled into the Vail Village Parking Structure’s lot at mid-morning to pick up some passengers our bus driver, Cynthia, had some bad news for our diverse and travel-worn assembly: our bus was not running properly, and it was doubtful that we could make it to the Eisenhower Tunnel. It seems that the particulate filter on the exhaust was badly clogged.

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Vail Daily letter: A common message

August 19, 2016 — 

Michael Norton’s column (Thursday’s Vail Daily) on love and forgiveness communicates a timeless message which people of all beliefs must necessarily endorse because it just makes sense to love and forgive others who have wronged us. Love and forgiveness really must be “a part of our guiding values” because we human beings function best when we forgive one another. We’re all hardwired to love and forgive because God is a God of love and we’re all made in his image. Christ himself exemplified the ultimate act of forgiveness as he spoke from the cross: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” An atheist friend of mine once told me Christianity’s most important message to him was forgiveness. At least we could share one thing in common.

John Bartholomew

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Vail Daily letter: Hurt their own

August 19, 2016 — 

Butch Mazzuca (Valley Voices, Monday’s Vail Daily) thinks that income inequality is the result of bad choices people make. This is not always the case. I grew up in Ohio where there were manufacturing jobs that disappeared because of advances in automation technology and trade treaties agreed to by both political parties. Many workers across the USA are out of work because of this, not because of “bad choices” they made.

When President Obama inherited the Great Recession in 2009, he was right to bail out the auto industry, which saved thousands of jobs. Democrats since have proposed infrastructure legislation to rebuild our roads, bridges and national parks. This would be paid for by raising taxes and closing tax loopholes on the 1 percent. Republicans continuously vetoed this and money for retraining programs as well. With interest rates near zero this is the time to borrow money for these programs to get our economy producing. It is not a time to be so obsessed with deficit reduction. This is why Trump is the Republican nominee. Congressional Republicans thought they were hurting Obama and Democrats by not passing these programs and instead hurt their own. They deserve exactly what they got.

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Vail Daily letter: Not fit for presidency

August 18, 2016 — 

The letter printed on Aug. 12 (“Liar-in-chief”) is a pathetic commentary on politics and personal integrity, as well as misrepresentation of history. The author asserts that FDR lied about preparing troops for war, and JFK misled about a Cuba invasion, ignores the fact that broadcasting strategy to enemies will increase risk to our military. Bush/Cheney/Congress and the world had reason to believe Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Hussein failed to live up to the treaty that mandated free and open weapons inspection. He pretended to have these weapons in order to bolster his credibility in the Middle East. The author ignores our concern when ISIS captured a chemical weapons factory in Iraq. Lincoln did not lie about his position on slavery. Lincoln opposed slavery, but gave preservation of the United States greater priority than elimination of slavery. Lincoln was pragmatic in approach and was victorious on both issues.

Hillary Clinton has not lied to benefit our national defense, preservation of the Union, or any other noble goal. Hillary has lied to mask her incompetence. Hillary has lied to win votes. Hillary has lied for self-promotion. Hillary has lied to obscure her contempt for the rule of law. Hillary did not cause the tragedy in Benghazi that resulted in four American deaths, but she lied to a nation and to grieving families about the cause of these deaths. She declared, “What difference does it make?” instead of ordering a root cause analysis to prevent such future catastrophes. For such actions, “When Clinton lies, somebody may die.”

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Vail Daily letter: Act on youthful ideas

August 18, 2016 — 

The town of Vail has acted on an idea that emanated from and reflects our young people, and we should celebrate that. Two years ago Cameron Chaney, then a middle-school student, started talking with Chad Young of the Vail Recreation District about his design for a skatepark. Cameron tirelessly advocated the project and, to the Town Council’s credit, the idea took hold. The fact that the town listened to a local student’s idea is absolutely wonderful.

Today the space between the north and south sides of the Lionshead parking structure is a skate park with beautiful mosaics by Washington, D.C.-based artist Valerie Theberge. What was once an overlooked, under-utilized space is now a special place with an active, dynamic artistic energy. The space has a welcoming feeling that lets kids, adults, girls and boys spend hours skating together. People of all abilities and spectators are welcome. The kids seem to take turns out of some natural awareness for each other, and the skate community has a gentle yet firm way of teaching etiquette. Participants of different ability levels encourage each other and praise progress. Similarly, participants learn skills from other skaters, but always find their own style. The park is a recipe for positive sharing without judgment.

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Vail Daily letter: Consider other candidates

August 17, 2016 — 

My daughter sent me a picture on Facebook of a bumper sticker that said: NeitherOne 2016.com. My comments:

This is a bi-partisan problem. Bernie Sanders supporters and others on the left who can’t stomach Hillary can consider Jill Stein, the Green candidate. On the other side, take a look at Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate.

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Vail Daily letter: Pricey senior facility

August 17, 2016 — 

It is comforting to know that the new Castle Peak senior facility will provide beds for those needing rehabilitation (10). So, if I break my leg, I won’t have to go to Carbondale. That is truly good news for Eagle. However, if I had any idea that I might reside at the facility in my last years, the prices listed in the article (Aug. 11) make it clear that there is no place at Castle Peak for me and most of my friends. Even affordable housing in Eagle is getting extremely hard to find. As I understand it, new construction must provide 10 percent of living space at “affordable” rates. That seems like a small amount to me and, of course, “affordable” is such a subjective word. Please, Eagle, in your desire to take care of the well-to-do, don’t push the rest of us out of this town we love.

Katherine Delanoy

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Vail Daily column: Trump will so make America great again

August 17, 2016 — 

Yes, Donald Trump is a thin-skinned whiny little racist bigot incapable of actual support for anyone not named Trump.

Sure, he’s Sarah Palin with man parts and the two compete weekly for the “Dumbest Tweet of the Week” Award.

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Vail Daily letter: Focus on preventative care

August 15, 2016 — 

Today, 85 percent of the residents of the United States do not get the bare amount of the minimum daily exercise required to stay healthy, and 74 percent of the population is considered to be overweight or obese, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Unhealthy lifestyles lead to chronic illnesses, like heart disease, cancer and diabetes, which cause about 70 percent of deaths in the United States, and they are the most expensive to treat. Additionally, in a futile effort to stave off the inevitable, the last year of an American’s life is the most expensive to treat and provides little value to the patient or the system at large. Source: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Vail Daily letter: Be good to trees

August 12, 2016 — 

Thirty-five years ago next spring, I moved to Booth Creek in Vail and regularly hiked my backyard trail. It started out steep and, in places, it was mostly grass-covered. Proceeding up and north, a hiker would find the trail again. Today, I refer to it as the “interstate of hiking trails,” since the trail is recommended to every hiking guest by every Vail hotel concierge.

Sadly, a few of the thousands who enjoy the beauty of the trail have not been able to refrain from vainly adding their names or initials to virtually every tree along the lane. The carved graffiti will endure for the life of the tree.

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Vail Daily letter: Editorial misses the mark

August 12, 2016 — 

The Vail Daily editorial (Aug. 3) misses the mark by defending Gypsum’s efforts to take away 69 acres of Clearwater Venture’s property by eminent domain.

In short, it stakes out a position that parrots Gypsum’s misplaced thinking, and argues that Gypsum is somehow justified in taking Clearwater Ventures’ private property because the town hasn’t gotten along with the owners.

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Vail Daily letter: Red Ribbon Project support

August 12, 2016 — 

Red Ribbon Project is celebrating 20 years of service this year. Looking forward, even as Red Ribbon Project savors its successes, there is much work to be done. Red Ribbon Project is committed to providing programming for youth throughout Eagle County, and relies on corporate and nonprofit supporters to do so. Red Ribbon Project is thrilled to once again receive funds from Vail Resorts’ Epic Promise program for its impactful Life Works program.

Over the course of the past two decades, Red Ribbon Project has continuously evolved to meet community needs. A key component when working with young people is simple awareness: teaching them to understand their bodies — both the physical and emotional components.

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Vail Daily letter: Liar-in-chief

August 11, 2016 — 

I’m voting for Hillary Clinton. I’m voting for her not in spite of her troubles with the truth. I’m voting for because she is a skilled and seasoned liar. I think having a first-class liar in the White House is an asset. Politicians lie all the time including some of our most esteemed presidents. FDR lied about preparing troops for war. JFK lied about invading Cuba. Reagan lied about Iran Contra. And Lincoln lied about his position on slavery and the fact that he was secretly negotiating with the South to end the Civil War.

The reason politicians lie are obvious. They’re the same reasons you and I lie. It’s often easier to lie than it is to tell the truth. Telling the truth exacts a price. You often don’t get what you want when you tell the truth. If politicians told the public the truth they’d never get elected or re-elected. How well do you think a politician would fare if he or she were forthright with the public and told them that Social Security benefits need to be income indexed, taxes on the middle class will have to go up in order to reduce the deficit, and the age eligibility for Medicare needs to be raised to 70 or older? The public places an inflated value on honesty because they view the election of the president as if they were choosing an intimate partner, maintaining a long-standing friendship or entering into an important business venture. In each of those relationships trust is paramount. I don’t want to be lied to by a spouse, a friend or a business partner. The sense of betrayal runs deep and the damage to the relationship is often irreparable.

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Vail Daily letter: Put down your phone

August 10, 2016 — 

This letter is for a young girl driving a SUV on Charolais Circle Tuesday afternoon. She was driving too fast and apparently texting or playing with her phone and came within inches of killing my wife. To her credit she did stop and apologized; however, the next time someone will die. Don’t drink and drive, and definitely do not text or play Pokemon Go until you stop the car. If you must use your phone, pull over to the side and do it without endangering the lives of others.

Richard Dangler

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Vail Daily letter: Thanks for support

August 10, 2016 — 

A huge thank you to the Eagle County community for your support and attendance at the 2016 National Night Out events last week in Edwards, Gypsum and Basalt!

The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office would like to give a very special thank you to the following:

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Vail Daily letter: Create a joint proclamation

August 10, 2016 — 

On Aug. 2, the Vail Town Council officially recognized the upcoming town of Vail’s 50th birthday — in a proclamation where each council member read a portion of the document. It was moving to me and others who have memory of early days of something we called “Vail.” This landmark is an opportunity to reaffirm a close working relationship between the town of Vail, as a municipal government, and Vail Resorts, as operators on the U.S. Forest Service Vail Mountain — noting Vail Resorts celebrated its 50th during the 2012-2013 season.

Hence, why not have a joint town of Vail-Vail Resorts proclamation that will capture a sense of history for an audacious idea of a ski mountain and town in the middle of nowhere? Such a proclamation might include the following points:

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Vail Daily letter: Traffic pattern isn't working

August 10, 2016 — 

I just finished reading the article in (Monday’s) Daily about the new traffic pattern on Beaver Creek Boulevard. I wrote a letter to the editor of the Daily a few weeks ago about my concerns for bikers. I would challenge each council member to bike from the stop sign by City Market on East Beaver Creek Boulevard, through the round about exiting on West Beaver Creek Boulevard past the post office and Comfort Inn to the Nottingham Lake parking lot and back.

The biggest problem is the roundabout (both ways) where the bike lane abruptly ends, making it difficult and dangerous to continue through the round about. I tried it once and will never do it again.

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Vail Daily letter: Parking problems

August 9, 2016 — 

We have been coming to the valley since the early ’80s and spend a good portion of the year here. Being avid skiers, we love the winters as much as the summers. And we spend plenty of money in this valley.

This summer may make us change our minds.

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Vail Daily letter: Generous support

August 9, 2016 — 

The Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group has graciously supported Vail Valley Medical Center for 22 years, and their signature event, The Celebration of Life Luncheon, has raised significant funds for the women of Eagle County who are battling breast cancer. Our Sonnenalp Breast Center and Jack’s Place have directly benefited from the group’s fundraising efforts, and thanks to the generous dollars they’ve donated, we’ve been able to purchase new equipment for the Breast Center and offer lodging at Jack’s Place on a pay-what-you-can basis to patients undergoing treatment at Shaw Regional Cancer Center.

This year’s Celebration of Life Luncheon was a big success, raising $75,000 with a portion of the net proceeds benefiting Sonnenalp Breast Center and Jack’s Place. Heartfelt thanks to everyone who made this event possible! Special thanks to the group’s board of directors, co-founder Brenda Himelfarb, Joyce Bradley, Heidi Bricklin, Nicole Denton, Jessica Denton, Tracy McCoy Gillette, Linda Lund, Lori Brown, Frances Karsh, Eric Burgund and member-at-large Mark Bricklin.

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Vail Daily letter: Free market dislocations

August 8, 2016 — 

1. The official town of Vail government position on workforce housing is to put private employee housing providers out of business.

2. As the town expands its involvement in business employee housing, it’s driving the privates out of business.

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Vail Daily letter: Email issues

August 4, 2016 — 

The Disingenuosity Of The Week award goes to Rohn Robbins for his column “Mr. Trump, hacking is a crime” (July 29 Vail Daily). It’s about Donald Trump’s suggestion that the press would thank the Russian government if it could produce the 30,000 emails that were deleted from Hillary Clinton’s personal server.

Robbins started off mentioning the hack of the Democratic National Committee server that is currently in the news. It appears to have happened in the past few months.

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Vail Daily letter: Thanks for support

August 4, 2016 — 

On behalf of the students, staff and executive board at the Family Learning Center in Edwards, we would like to offer a very hearty “thank you” to the donors and participants that made the 14th annual Barbara Treat Memorial Golf Tournament an enormous success.

The Family Learning Center is a not-for-profit organization that relies on monetary contributions from community members, awarded grants, and proceeds from the tournament to keep the lights on and the staff’s positivity flowing. This annual fundraiser goes a long way in supporting our belief that all children deserve access to a great start in learning and in life. Our caring, certified teachers bring experience and passion to each classroom while setting children up for a successful transition from preschool to elementary school.

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Vail Daily letter: Poor idea in Avon

August 4, 2016 — 

I agree with the comments regarding Avon’s recent bike and traffic lane changes along East and West Beaver Creek Boulevard. Did anyone in the town of Avon consider the debacle and congestion this is going to cause at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. everyday during ski season? Obviously not! The lanes to enter the main Avon roundabout from both East and West Beaver Creek Boulevard have been reduced to one. Traffic heading west from City Market or east from the post office is going to be backed up forever trying to enter the roundabout with the endless stream of vehicles traveling to and from Beaver Creek.

The town of Avon is simply clueless on the problems these changes are going to cause in what is already a confusing area to navigate for tourists and locals alike.

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