Letters to the Editor

Vail Daily letter: Obama the straw man

April 17, 2015 — 

Pat Mitchell’s hypothetical musings (Letters to the Editor, April 1) of Obama’s “America of 2016” struck a chord — “for whom does the bell toll,” just who does Obama represent? Considering the inane decisions, executive orders (memos) and implemented policies for the last six years and even before that, I would wager that he is not mad, he is not entirely stupid or ignorant, albeit he is a man of devoid of integrity and principle! This man simply does not represent the American people — he stumbles to the beat of a different drummer, or should I say “handler.”

When he is tasked with defending the people of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, why then the open borders policies? Why the Fast and Furious gun running to the Mexican cartels under the oversight of the Department of Justice? Why his reticence to even recognize and label our avowed enemy, radical Islam? Why his release from imprisonment the five Islamic terrorists to the battlefield to again work their death and destruction upon the innocent and non-deserting American soldier?

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Vail Daily letter: Unenforceable measures

April 17, 2015 — 

Many years ago, my father told me that the road to hell was paved with good intentions. With that in mind, the Colorado Legislature is considering a bill to ticket drivers who cause accidents along I-70 during winter conditions if the amount of tread on the tires is considered to be unsafe and the driver has not applied chains or some other technology to provide additional friction to prevent a car out of control. This legislation is favored by the Vail Daily per a recent editorial.

If passed, this law will be unenforceable as currently drafted. What measurement of tread will be used to determine how much tread is too little? Will the Colorado State Patrol carry around the little instruments that measure tread depth? Will they apply the standards set by the association that represents tire manufacturers that advise that tires should be changed out before the wear factor on the tread reaches 80 percent or will they apply the more lenient standard put out by AAA that the change out should occur before the wear factor reaches 90 percent?

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Vail Daily letter: Help prevent child abuse

April 15, 2015 — 

Research shows that parents who have support from their families, friends and community have an increased chance of creating environments that are safe and healthy for children. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and I’d like to highlight our local efforts to increase those support systems for families, and share some additional resources with you.

As part of Gov. Hickenlooper’s child welfare plan “Keeping Kids Safe and Families Healthy,” Eagle County has been granted funding to expand prevention services that aim to keep families from entering the child protection system.

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Vail Daily letter: Ignorant view

April 9, 2015 — 

I began reading Haydee Pavia’s letter (April 5) with a smile on my face, thinking that it was a belated April Fool’s Day joke. However, by the end of the letter I realized that our immigration laws do not protect against ignorance, because they clearly let this person become a citizen and publish what I can only call ignorant and prejudicial views. Allow me to take the letter to task.

Firstly, the author seems to imply that immigrants bring poverty, ignorance, disease and crime into our country. Why else would this statement be written if not to imply that? Or is it that only those who come to this country illegally bring poverty, ignorance disease and crime to the U.S.? So the good people of our valley, be they children brought here by their parents at a young age, or hard working individuals seeking a better life, are a detriment to their home and our country? I think not. Rather, I think this country would not function without their help.

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Vail Daily letter: Next chapter of Cordillera

April 9, 2015 — 

I recently began my new role as general manager of the Cordillera community — not a small job, but one that I am already relishing.

I’m most excited to continue the upward momentum of Cordillera and promote the many amenities of this community to friends, neighbors and visitors.

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Vail Daily letter: Conservation important

April 9, 2015 — 

I hope those interested in the water situation in Colorado who saw Ken Neubecker’s piece (April 4) read through to the end. He does a good job of questioning some of the proposals for the Colorado Water Plan which depend on the traditional “more diversions, engineered rivers and reservoirs.” Neubecker, who is executive director of the Western Rivers Institute, supports “greater conservation, efficiency and re-use of the limited water supply.” If Colorado population keeps growing as it has, and there’s no reason to think it won’t, and if climate change keeps happening, and there’s no reason to think it won’t, then every individual, every business, and every government entity needs to start conserving now. Let us hope the Colorado Water Plan supports this.

Katherine Delanoy

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Vail Daily letter: Unintended consequences

April 9, 2015 — 

Congratulations to Claire Noble on her very well-reasoned comments on “tough summer jobs” for our youth (Valley Voices, April 3). She is right on. The overwhelming majority of summer jobs for youth are low-paid service jobs such as those she describes from her personal experience and they provide a valuable learning experience for those who labor at them. The overwhelming number of those types of jobs — McDonald’s, pizza restaurants, etc. — attract mostly young, temporary workers during the summer and throughout the year. Very few people experience the misfortune of having to work those low-paid jobs permanently while trying to support a family.

In the world of unintended consequences, political efforts to increase the minimum wage at those typical places of temporary employment to uneconomic levels in the belief that a very small percentage of those employees might be able to “support a family” threatens the temporary employment and valuable lifetime experience of countless youth who just want temporary employment and don’t expect to live on those low wages for any lengthy period of time. The result is fewer jobs for everyone.

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Vail Daily column: Clash of the cosmos, and cakes

April 9, 2015 — 

It’s clear to me the mysteries of life run deeper than current religions can pierce.

Ditto with the discipline we know as science.

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Vail Daily letter: Let's support our neighbors

April 8, 2015 — 

It’s been another great season for your local United Way of Eagle River Valley! It’s time again to extend the opportunity to local charities to apply for funding. Grant applications can be obtained from our executive director, Rebecca Kanaly, who can be reached at executivedirector@unitedwayeagle.org or 303-994-2622.

Your United Way of Eagle River Valley continues to focus on improving education, increasing access to health care as well as partnering with Eagle County residents that are simply striving to make ends meet. Please visit unitedwayeagle.org to see the charities we funded during the fiscal year of 2014.

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Vail Daily letter: Good column

April 7, 2015 — 

I was delighted to read Jaymee Squires’ “Ode to the return of the catkin” (March 29) and hope my friends read it. I have a cat named Catkin and have tried to explain for years why he is so named and what a catkin is. All the aspens in my neighborhood are loaded with them at the moment. Thanks for Curious Nature.

Kay Delanoy

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Vail Daily letter: Sharing the trail

April 7, 2015 — 

With the nice weather we’ve been having and the trails opening, I wanted to share a piece of information that will help user groups share the trails in a responsible, safe manner. At the end of the day, we’re all out there for the same reasons and we all want to enjoy our public lands. My preferred method is on a dirt bike. Among that user group, we have a system of hand signals that I have been realizing is unique to our user group. However, if other user groups were aware, we’d all have a safer, more responsible experience.

The idea is that you hold up fingers for the number of people behind you. This is extremely valuable information in that you know how many people are in the oncoming group. For example, if I was the leader of a group of three riders, I would hold up two fingers, indicating two riders behind me; the next guy would hold up one finger and so on. If I were riding alone or was the last rider in the group, I would hold up a closed fist, as in zero people behind me.

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Vail Daily letter: Don't look to immigrants

April 3, 2015 — 

I agree with Vail chief of police (Letters to the Editor, March 28) that legal immigrants can be an asset to this country. I came to the U.S. as a legal immigrant and I am a naturalized U.S. citizen. However, we have excellent immigration laws that protect U.S. citizens against poverty, ignorance, disease and crime. We don’t need immigration reform. What we need is immigration law enforcement. I am for doing away with H-1B visas that take jobs away from young Americans and I am for cutting down legal immigration from 1 million a year to what it used to be, 250,000 from all over the world, not just “developing countries.”

We are becoming a balkanized nation with small countries within ours. We need English to be the official language of the U.S.A.

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Vail Daily letter: More regulation needed

April 3, 2015 — 

I was saddened when I read about the death of Luke Goodman, the 22-year-old who took his own life after eating marijuana candies while visiting Keystone. This tragedy, and similar situations previous, illustrate to me that there needs to be more regulation within the recreational marijuana industry. I am a recreational marijuana user and supporter of legalization, but the brashness of dispensaries and lack of oversight within the industry is leading to death and misuse of the drug. I support legalization mainly because of tax revenue and the decrease in black market drug crime. That being said, I believe changes need to occur within the industry before more bad things happen. Here is what I assess to be a few of the major threats to public safety and health within the marijuana industry.

Dispensaries sell drugs that look and taste like candy. The problems with this are glaringly obvious. It downplays the fact that one is taking a powerful drug and can lead to overuse. A child eating an entire bottle of edible marijuana candies is a real danger and will happen at some point. Another dangerous item are the 100-milligram brownies, of which they say you should only eat a small chunk. Who only eats a small chunk of a real brownie!? Not this guy. Someone who knows what they’re eating but is inexperienced with edibles could easily eat too much. Also someone could find this super powerful weed brownie and unknowingly eat the whole thing ... because it’s a delicious brownie.

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Vail Daily letter: Not that simple

April 2, 2015 — 

Mr. Mitchell (Letters to the Editor, March 18) lists some of the many injustices in the world to trivialize the situation of African Americans. But this conversation is about African Americans, not Muslim women. He goes on to say, in effect, that white people caused misery for Chinese in this country. Yet they overcame being called “coolies” and prospered. Let me point out the obvious: Yes, you did treat the Chinese with disdain. But they were here of their own free will. African Americans were here through bondage. Chinese bought with them their culture and families. We bought with us no culture at all other then the culture of slavery, and our families only if we were very, very fortunate.

It wasn’t being called some degrading name that was the problem. It was post-slavery black codes that provided blacks as contract prison labor. It was specific and legal federal exclusion from mortgage programs designed to provide wealth and stability, merely for being black. It was Jim Crow. It was the reign of terror that saw almost 4,000 lynchings between the late 1800s and 1950.

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Vail Daily letter: Remodel existing clubhouse

April 2, 2015 — 

Imagine having the most spectacular first tee shot in the valley, a clubhouse with a gorgeous and dramatic view, and the diminishing commodity of open space, and wanting to sell it off! That is exactly what many on Eagle-Vail’s board of governors are trying to do. In their infinite wisdom, they want to move the golf clubhouse down to the valley floor, sell off the land where the present golf clubhouse is and build a community center right smack in the middle of established neighborhoods. The cost? Well, they’re not too sure, but numbers have been tossed about from possibly costing $7.5 million-$12 million for these losses.

In addition to selling off invaluable assets in Eagle-Vail, they claim that the Eagle-Vail community needs a “community center” replete with a coffee shop, bar, restaurant, P.O. boxes, Nordic center and other commercial businesses. Really? In 2008, a group of developers from around the country were hired to study and give their opinion about what they see that Eagle-Vail needs. From that, the Urban Land Institute report was written. As this report outlines, these developers recommend a “growth strategy that results in ‘moderate’ expansion of approximately 500 units in Eagle-Vail’s housing stock over a 10-year period”. Moderate? This is the first step in unprecedented development of the eastern portions of Eagle-Vail. The ULI report is a frightening read. The community center is the first step recommended in this report that will effectively limit our open spaces, increase traffic on our roads and bring high density housing and commercial businesses to Eagle-Vail.

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Vail Daily letter: Islamic-friendly U.S.

March 31, 2015 — 

Should all Americans have seen “2016,” the movie produced by Dinesh D’Souza two years back, you will understand the focus of my rant.

The Cliffs Notes speak to Obama and his goals for the U.S. as president, prefaced by his upbringing and exposure to “colonialism,” which was detested by his father. Obama set about the mission to wreak havoc on the colonial model, distancing the U.S. from its own sense of self-importance, pride and power.

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Vail Daily letter: Pulling aside the curtain

March 30, 2015 — 

Some 20 years ago as the Internet was beginning to come into popular use, I asked a good friend and very successful businessman what he thought the impact of the Internet would be, and without hesitation, he said that he thought the Internet would have a greater impact than the Bible.

Today, mounting evidence indicates that his prediction was accurate, as the Internet’s ability to disseminate information and ideas instantly to billions of people around the world has had the positive effect of educating billions of people by raising the lead curtains that have surrounded and shielded organized religions from scrutiny for centuries.

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Vail Daily letter: Fun activity

March 30, 2015 — 

I live in Vail and work for the town of Vail. I’m here from Ohio. My high school friend from Ohio lives down in Alamosa and works at the college there, so he came up for two days and I was finding stuff to do and stumbled across Vail Valley Snowmobile Tours. I booked the two-hour tour for both of us. The location is off of Red Sandstone Road In Vail. Also, the tour will pick you up from your hotel.

This is something you should do while in Vail. They have many tour options to choose from. I recommend the two-hour tour, which we did.

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Vail Daily letter: Going nowhere, indeed

March 29, 2015 — 

Claire Noble’s Thursday column, “Race talks going nowhere” was a perfect illustration of why race talks (what race talks?) in general may be going nowhere. Ms. Noble is unwilling to even try to understand the experience of minorities subject to continual suspicion and stereotyping by the dominant, wealthier, more powerful white segment of the American population. Is she really surprised that the people who have been on the losing end for the last 400 years might still harbor some resentment?

The examples she found of African-American racism were laughable — certainly not in the same ballpark as getting stopped for “driving while black” or being shot for being a black man pulling his cell phone out of his pocket.

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Vail Daily letter: Incredible experience

March 29, 2015 — 

Dear Vail community,

Just a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to ski for the first time since losing my legs while serving in Iraq. I was one of the 37 veterans who came to town at the invitation of the Vail Veterans Program for an adaptive ski clinic.

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Vail Daily letter: Immigrants help serve and protect

March 27, 2015 — 

As a police chief in Vail, I support legal immigrants being able to help serve and protect their communities (“Police departments hiring immigrants as officers,” USA Today, March 21).

Legal immigrants contribute to our communities. For work authorization, they go through rigorous background checks. Indeed, legal immigrants are eligible to enlist in our armed services, and many have served with great distinction. To become a member of a local or state police or sheriff’s department they also must undergo a background investigation.

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Vail Daily letter: Opportunity for GOP

March 26, 2015 — 

I am an independent voter, but with impeccable family Republican DNA. Consider my mother voted and actively supported the GOP presidential candidates from the first time women could vote in a national election in 1920 through the 2000 election! Then as a centenarian, she worked tirelessly for George W. Bush, but died before the Supreme Court decided the outcome. Don’t know if she would continue her unyielding Republican support following actions from that point forward. For me, I’ve had to become an independent for the moment and not follow the family tradition.

Consider the party has lost the “high ground” in two key areas:

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Vail Daily letter: Successful Pink Vail

March 26, 2015 — 

Looking out into the sea of pink in Vail on Saturday, one word kept coming to mind: Community. We have so many people to thank for making Pink Vail such a huge success — the local community and your friends and family who supported your fundraising efforts; our partners from around the country, many of whom have sponsored Pink Vail from the beginning; our volunteers, including countless members of the Vail Valley Medical Center family; as well as a global community of people affected by cancer and honoring the journey of those who have fought it.

As this event has grown over the past four years, a new community has formed around it. Our 2,424 participants ranging in age from 1 to 85, including an increasing number of participants traveling from around the globe to take part in the event; 4,901 donors who represented 50 states and a dozen countries; and 360 volunteers make up the Pink Vail community. Thanks to this wide-ranging, tenacious, generous and loving group of people, we are proud to announce that since Saturday, Pink Vail continued to raise funds, and with the support of everyone involved, we’ve raised over $705,000! With a goal of reaching $500,000 in 2015, we are overwhelmed with gratitude and thrilled to be able to provide 100 percent of the proceeds from this incredible event to all cancer patients and survivors at Shaw Regional Cancer Center.

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Vail Daily letter: The candidate we need

March 24, 2015 — 

Well, there they go again as Ronald Reagan was fond of saying — the majority of the attendees the recent CPAC conference set up their familiar howls of a belief in some non-existent deity, a disdain for the rights of women, the denial of the proven fact of climate change, a visceral hatred for president Obama, a dislike for the rights of the GLBT community, an unwillingness to address effectively immigration issues and other familiar but time-worn (out) tenets of the right wing of the Republican Party.

Thus the GOP has once again staked out its position of desiring to be the 1950s-era party of old white men, and continue to be obstructionists in all matters political while offering no substantial solutions to the severe and mounting problems facing the nation at home and abroad.

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Vail Daily letter: Thanks for support

March 23, 2015 — 

Friends of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center would like to send a giant thank you to our sponsor and benefactors who supported the Wine and Snow Science dinner on March 13. First off, for those of you who are skeptical about why the CAIC website often has a banner promoting fundraising events, here are a few stats for you. The mountainous area of Colorado is the equivalent of six Switzerlands. The San Juan zones are the size of one Switzerland. The CAIC employees eight full-time forecasters whose primary job is to keep the highways open and safe from avalanches. These forecasters are kept busy keeping the Million Dollar Highway, Loveland Pass, Vail Pass, Berthoud Pass, Monarch Pass, Wolf Creek Pass and other stretches of dangerous highways open. For the 10 backcountry zones, the CAIC employees six full-time seasonal employees, one of whom is responsible for the entire North and South San Juan zone(s) (remember, these zones equal Switzerland forecasting area). On any given day, one backcountry forecaster will forecast for most of the 10 backcountry zones. Conversely, Switzerland’s forecasting and research center employees more than 140 employees. The state, in a relationship with CDOT, pays the highway forecaster wages. However, the state only covers 50 percent of the backcountry forecasters’ pay. The rest comes from private funding.

On to the much appreciated thank yous. Tom Gart and Johannes Faessler started the ball rolling for the benefit by approaching us with their own fundraising idea. These two champs wanted to raise money for the CAIC during their bid to finish this year’s Elk Mountain Traverse. After a little party planning, this idea was turned into a benefit dinner which the Faesslers fully sponsored. Thanks to all of you who attended the dinner, the Shpall family/Apple Jacks for their wine donation, to those who sent donations, Four Seasons Landscaping and to Tom Gart for his support.

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Vail Daily letter: Coulter a poor choice

March 20, 2015 — 

I can’t help but express my astonishment at the Eagle County GOP for hosting a fundraiser that features the polarizing and venomous Ann Coulter as their headline speaker.

So divisive is Ms. Coulter that her columns have been canceled by media such as the National Review Online, USA Today and the Augusta Chronicle, to name a few. The Arizona Daily Star, in an August 2005 statement about dumping Coulter, said, “We’ve decided that syndicated columnist Ann Coulter has worn out her welcome. Many readers find her shrill, bombastic and mean-spirited. And those are the words used by readers who identified themselves as conservatives.”

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Vail Daily letter: Coulter a superb choice

March 20, 2015 — 

Richard Carnes’ recent column, “A mistake in progress” deserves a rebuttal. The column is a rambling attack on the Eagle County Republican Party for inviting Ann Coulter to speak at a fundraiser. He also directs invective remarks at Sarah Palin and “cute blondes” at Fox News. His comments seem to reflect envy rather than facts. Sarah Palin was the governor of Alaska and a vice presidential candidate for the Republican Party in 2008. Fox News is the No. 1 cable news network whose ratings continue to soar.

Mr. Carnes directs the majority of his inane comments toward Ann Coulter, who he believes does not warrant an invitation to the Eagle County Republican meeting, suggesting that she is in the “fringe elements.” Mr. Carnes fails to point out Ms. Coulter’s credentials. She is a highly sought-after speaker and is known for her acerbic sense of humor that is largely based on facts. She attended Cornell University and received her law degree from the University of Michigan. She has written numerous books and remains a popular TV personality.

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Vail Daily letter: Thanks for care

March 20, 2015 — 

Two weeks ago today, I dropped my kids at ski school and set out for a day of what I anticipated would be glorious skiing — my first day on the mountain. On the very first run, my left binding came loose, sending my ski off without me, and my right ski twisted beneath me, taking with it my knee and tibia, both of which shattered.

As I lay on the mountain in previously unknown-to-me pain, a volunteer EMT, whom I remember as Mike, stopped and came to my aid. I wanted to write a letter to publicly thank him — and all the volunteer personnel who undertake similar such tasks — for helping me to stay calm, to guide me through the pain, and for sitting with me until Ski Patrol arrived to take me to the hospital. I don’t know Mike, he doesn’t know me, but I will forever be grateful for what he did — those were the scariest and most excruciating minutes of my life, and his volunteerism truly rescued me.

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Vail Daily letter: We will miss you

March 20, 2015 — 

Two weeks ago, a wonderful friend of the Vail Leadership Institute passed away. The following tribute was offered in honor of him, his lifelong work, and contribution he made to many people in the Vail Valley.

Frederic Hudson was a giant among thought leaders. He will be sorely missed.

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Vail Daily letter: Donovan is spot-on

March 19, 2015 — 

“High capacity ammo magazines are an enormous danger to the safety of Coloradans in public places” — so says Gena Whitten in her letter to the editor of March 13. Whitten’s mindset to eliminate such magazines from public consumption by law-abiding citizens and criminals alike demonstrates the naivete and micro-management by social designers and by governmental politicos — and too, by those who depend upon government for personal direction and guidance. For heaven and hell’s sake, take some personal control and responsibility over you lives.

High performance automobiles (muscle cars) on public roads pose more of a danger to the public than kids on roller-blades. High alcoholic drinks sold in pubs open to the public cause a greater danger (DUI, domestic violence, etc.) than warm milk. “D-Con” (rat poisoning) and radiator coolants sold in public grocery stores pose a greater peril to unwitting consumers. And to name but a few more perils, would Ms. Whitten also limit or ban from the public’s choice dangerous items such as knives, golf clubs, lawn mowers, and unicycles on sidewalks or bicycles on public roads?

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