Letters to the Editor

Vail Daily letter: Let us skate

May 29, 2016 — 

First, I don’t have any real facts. This is based on some conversations in the skate community here in the valley. I thought I remember an article in the Daily last year claiming some $1.6 million for building the new Vail skate park. I also remember reading the skate park was going to be finished last October. So how much did the skate park actually cost? When will the skate park actually open? When I think about the size of the Edwards skate park and the amount of excavation that went into building the bowls, I start to wonder where the money for the Vail skate park went. Edwards is at least three times the size of Vail’s. There was virtually no digging during the process of the Vail skate park — I watched them build it. Word on the street is both skate parks cost similar amounts to build? Where did the money go?

What about year round skating? I also remember talk about heating the cement. All the streets in Vail are heated, yet people building the skate park claim Vail backed out of this to save money. And the community is still waiting! The cement has been poured and ready since late October. Since then I’ve watched artwork go up, acid washing the cement, lights, and fences go up. This is taking longer than the actual building of the park. Trust me, no skateboarder cares about art being at the park. We want to skate.

I think Vail made a very poor decision on giving our money to another state. I thought Colorado supports local businesses. Has anyone heard of Team Pain Skateparks?

All together the skateboard community couldn’t be more excited to skate the new park. I just really hope that the money was spent well, which I’m really skeptical about. Vail has been paying for security to keep us out instead of paying extra labor to finish the park on time.

Kyle Nienhouse

Vail

Vail Daily letter: Something has to change

May 29, 2016 — 

Aristotle said that A is A. Reality exists. The reality for Eagle-Vail has just come to light and it’s not pretty. The precarious nature of Eagle-Vail’s current financial situation was recently shown to be worse than we knew. In addition to the roughly $10 million in principal and interest payments still remaining on the pool bond and $750,000 in remaining certificates of participation payments, it was revealed at the May 5 Eagle-Vail Board of Governors meeting that over the next 20 years $22 million in maintenance expenditures are needed just to keep things as they are. Of that total, there are at present no funds to cover roughly $11 million of that total. Meaning that between pool bond debt and maintenance needs we have $32 million in payments to make without sufficient funds to pay for it all. This deficit would be even greater were it not for the inclusion of transfers of $200,000 per year of Property Owners’ Association funds to the Metro District reserve fund.

Thus, between present indebtedness and uncovered maintenance needs, Eagle-Vail is in a $21 million ditch and our previous board wanted to dig us another $23 million into that hole with their proposed new community center/clubhouse. It is past time for this community to take a new path. We need better management of our existing facilities (the Pavilion generates only about $40,000 in revenue vs. over 10 times that amount generated by Vail’s Donovan Pavilion.) The golf course green fees have not kept pace with other courses in the area. We also need to better control our costs. Budgets are exploding. Administrative costs have increased by 70 percent since 2009, we routinely overpay for goods and services and seemingly resort to consultants, facilitators and costly surveys at the drop of a suggestion. Major decisions as to what we can and cannot afford are long past due.

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Vail Daily letter: Offensive statements

May 27, 2016 — 

Fredric Butler (Letters to the Editor, Thursday’s Vail Daily), I found your letter to Mr. Glass, our superintendent of schools, and to the children of Eagle County to be offensive. You refer to the president of our nation as an “unnamed, unvetted, unelected and crony appointee of that party who happens to occupy the White House.” Let’s break that down: His name is Barack Hussein Obama. President Obama was subject to same process of examination by the people of the US during his election process as any other candidate. President Obama was actually elected by the majority of people in our great country twice. Obama was not an appointee to the Democratic Party, he was chosen twice as the delegate by the overwhelming majority of voting members of the Democratic Party.

This guidance is actually not “another social experiment of the liberal persuasion,” but a joint letter put out by the Departments of Education and Justice. Both of those departments are run by people approved by the US Senate. Mr. Butler goes on to refer to gender identity issues as “personal defects,” and says that children suffering with these issues should “live with the problem.” I believe, Mr. Butler, that we as humans have the right to explore our “selves.” There is no reason that our children must fit into any parameters set by you or any group of people attempting to control those around them. The belief that children who question their place in the world are suffering from a personal defect is offensive and contrary to basic humanity.

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Vail Daily letter: Yes, why close trail?

May 27, 2016 — 

I read with agreement Steve Katz’ letter of May 18 regarding the destruction by the Forest Service of the trail above Berry Creek that had long been enjoyed by our local mountain biking community.

A few weeks ago this was my destination for the first time this season.

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Vail Daily letter: Rushed process

May 27, 2016 — 

It appears that the Vail Town Council and the Vail Valley Foundation have had clandestine discussions to consider and rush to the approval of the proposed KAABOO Music Festival in August 2017 and thereafter without having properly informed the citizens of Vail and given them adequate time to consider the benefits and drawbacks of the proposed event, which might have serious adverse impacts for the entire town and its residents. The sub-rosa nature of the progress of these discussions and the rushed time table smack of under-handed dealing. Furthermore, it seems inappropriate for the Vail Valley Foundation, an alleged “charitable” foundation, to be partnering with the promotors of this event. It sounds like they are promoting a mega version of the Avon disaster of a few years ago.

Joe McHugh

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Vail Daily letter: Transgender decision

May 25, 2016 — 

Mr. Glass, as superintendent of our schools, it now has come to pass that you may be required to state your official position regarding the imposition and implementation of “transgender” bathrooms in our public grade, junior high and high schools pursuant to the edicts of the Departments of Education and Justice. Will you comply with this executive “legislation” and morality adjustment in order to keep the federal funds flowing? You may have a dilemma by giving this progressively driven mandate credence, and on the other hand defying it by not invoking another social “experiment” of the liberal persuasion.

Setting aside the politics of it all, consider the source from which this inane regulation emanates. It is not legislated by Congress, and therefore does not reflect the will and sentiments of the people through their elected representatives. Rather, it is a “creature” spawned by an unnamed, un-vetted, unelected and crony appointee of that party who happens to occupy the White House — a White House that has no legislative authority whatsoever under the Constitution. Here we simply have the bluff and bluster of a “regulation” being foisted upon the public under the guise of a “law” with political consequences attached upon our failure to adhere.

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Vail Daily letter: Energy Forum important

May 24, 2016 — 

Sarcasm can be fun, but in his good-bye to Don Rogers, Paul Kulas (Letters to the Editor, Saturday’s Vail Daily) took an unfair swipe of the Vail Global Energy Forum. It does tilt toward the drilling phenomenon that has yielded us cheap oil and natural gas. One of the primary enabling technologies is more powerful, multi-stage fracking.

It’s a big story, with many repercussions. One of them is the ability to shift production of electricity from coal to natural gas, as is occurring here in Colorado. This is helping us level off U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases. We need to crank down on fugitive emissions of methane from the production and transmission of natural gas, and the new Environmental Protection Agency rules —based on those adopted in Colorado — propose to do so. We’re heading in the right direction.

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Vail Daily letter: Excellent care

May 22, 2016 — 

I’m reaching out to express my extreme gratitude for the care provided for my dad by the staff of Vail Valley Medical Center in 2015. My dad, Gary Brandenburg, incurred a heart attack on the ski slopes last winter. He is a healthy man and it was a shock to our family when we heard the news here in Dallas. Vail Valley Medical Center staff took swift action in saving his life. From our understanding, he would not have been saved if a few more minutes went by without action taken.

There have been many times over the past year where I am reminded of the staff and how appreciative I am for them. My dad is an amazing dad (of three), husband (of 37 years) and Papa to his three grandchildren (with two more on the way in the next four months!). While my family is comforted and rejoice in knowing this world is our temporary home, we are so grateful my dad did not move on to his permanent home that day. And we overjoyed by the extra memories we will be able to make with our dad until his final day in this life comes.

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Vail Daily letter: Forest Service priorities

May 20, 2016 — 

The U.S. Forest Service is citing poverty as a reason to close more of our already-neglected campgrounds, particularly the few remaining rustic, less-developed locations in the valley. This is a lie. The Forest Service has a perfectly massive budget already, except it is siphoned off into central administration, corporate subsidy, boondoggle facilities and firefighting. The methodical restriction of simple unmediated enjoyment of our public lands is a component of a deliberate multi-decade campaign to train the public to pay twice for its recreation, for shifting profit to private concessionaires, and coupled with typical out-of-control Washington bureaucratic bloodsucking.

The Forest Service’s first priority should be expanding its inventory of free, undeveloped public access to our lands. However, it has turned that priority backward, and spends its money ensuring corporate access to extractive resources, and mounting immensely expensive militarized assaults on wildfires. Meanwhile, the inventory of simple public access declines, leaving the only remaining option as fee-based parking permits and private-concession developed campgrounds. Do not be fooled into believing that rustic recreation is expensive, or that the neglect of those facilities was an accident. First, the Forest Service purposefully let some of our trailheads and campgrounds languish (only those that a private concessionaire weren’t interested in), and now they want to close them. This is a program of planned scarcity.

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Vail Daily letter: Bye, Rogers

May 20, 2016 — 

Top 10 reasons why (Don) Rogers is outta here.

10. The readers are dying.

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Vail Daily letter: Housing solutions needed

May 20, 2016 — 

The Vail Valley is a truly amazing place to live and work, except for one huge void: The lack of adequate employee housing.

I moved to the area in 2010 and have lived in six apartments in just as many years. Finding affordable housing in Eagle County is getting increasingly difficult. Not only does it affect my family’s living situation, but it affects my small business as well.

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Vail Daily letter: Successful event

May 19, 2016 — 

We would like to take a moment to sincerely thank the concerned parents and community members who attended the Eagle River Youth Coalition and Total Health Alliance of Eagle County’s May 3 Marijuana Forum at Battle Mountain High School. The panel of experts presented the latest information about marijuana products, health and other concerns, as well as provided information about consequences and potential solutions.

Of the numerous facts and trends shared by the professionals, Ryan McCay of Battle Mountain High School noted that teenage marijuana use is detrimental because the brain isn’t done developing until the mid-20s.

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Vail Daily letter: Great Avon cleanup

May 19, 2016 — 

Thank you to all the volunteers who came out on Saturday for Avon’s inaugural town clean-up. It was a beautiful day spent sprucing up the town and getting to know our neighbors. One intrepid resident — a new fan of the Avon West Preserve — even volunteered to spend the morning picking up dog poop on the trails!

Heartfelt thanks also go to all the sponsors. Lunch was donated by the Vail Valley Salvation Army, and great music was courtesy of the Tenth Mountain Division Band. Other essentials — Dumpsters, trash bags and safety vests — were provided by Vail Honeywagon, The Home Depot and The Eagle River Watershed Council. Town administrators and public works staff took care of the nitty gritty to make sure the day was a success for all involved.

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Vail Daily letter: Thanks to Youth Coalition

May 19, 2016 — 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Eagle River Youth Coalition for their support of the 2016 Battle Mountain High School Project Graduation event, being held Saturday evening, May 21. We were in a last-minute bind with security for the event when the town of Avon determined they could not support us by providing officers. With the help of the Avon Police deputy chief and Lone Star Security, a solution was formed, and ERYC stepped up to the plate to cover the costs for the Lone Star security team to be provided. This community is very fortunate to have ERYC in its support system for our youth! Thanks Eagle River Youth Coalition from the 2016 graduating class of Battle Mountain High School and the Project Graduation team~!

Jane Leavitt

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Vail Daily letter: Water questions

May 19, 2016 — 

When in a money crunch, every dollar means a lot! There is a minimum water charge. For Eagle, where I live, the minimum charge is for 6,000 gallons a month. I use 1,000 to 2,000 gallons a month.

Why should I pay for 6,000? Money, right!

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Vail Daily letter: Why close trail?

May 18, 2016 — 

In the Vail Valley, we have one of the most active mountain biking communities in the country. We also have a terrific array of trails ranging from the east to the west side of the county.

However, granting that the amount of trails is substantial, a community like this can never have too many mountain biking alternatives. Recently, the Forest Service, in a very confusing and unnecessary and counter-productive manner, decided to destroy a trail on Berry Creek. The result of this action only served to aggravate bikers who use the trails of the Forest Service. The trail that was destroyed was an out-of-the-way single track that will probably never be used for any other recreational purpose. The ecological effects of 2 inches of rubberized tire from a non-mechanized vehicle are very minimal to both the ground service and to the air.

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Vail Daily letter: Thank you, Eagle County

May 18, 2016 — 

On behalf of the team members and board of directors for Eagle County Paramedic Services, I’d like to thank everyone in the county who took the time to vote in the May 3 elections and specifically those of you who voted on the Eagle County Paramedic Services ballot for the mill levy increase and board member positions. The voter turnout was amazing, and we are very appreciative for your support of the increase, which will allow us to continue to provide the extremely high level of care you receive and deserve when you need it most. The people in our organization take tremendous pride in the jobs they do every day and work diligently to ensure they are among the highest qualified practitioners in the business.

That being said, the organization recognizes the vote for the increase passed by a very slim margin — 2,780 in favor, 2,756 against, so 24 votes! The strong opposition could, of course, be for many reasons; however, rest assured it did not go unnoticed. Our organization is not only committed to providing the best possible ambulance service and patient care available anywhere, but being competent stewards of your tax dollars and strong partners in our communities. Efforts in all these arenas take place with regular frequency, and we strive to improve every single day.

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Vail Daily letter: Thanks for support

May 16, 2016 — 

Mountain Tots Preschool, located in Eagle, was incorporated as a nonprofit in 1974. Forty-two years later, Mountain Tots Preschool still strives to provide a high quality early learning enrichment program that enhances educational, social and emotional development. We believe early childhood is a special time of growth, development and a time for formation of character and ability. Multiple generations of families have now come through the school in its 42 years of existence.

Operating a preschool is no easy task. Tuition income generally does not cover the operating costs. Mountain Tots has endured full market rent prices since its inception and continues to do so to this day. Many of the preschools in Eagle County do not pay rent, or pay significantly reduced rent. The school strives to provide the highest possible quality of care, while attempting to keep the cost as affordable as possible. Mountain Tots Preschool collaborates as an organization about the need for both operational dollars and quality improvement dollars for programs, which in turn will allow the staff to provide the quality of care that every child deserves to assure healthy development.

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Vail Daily letter: Event shows great promise

May 16, 2016 — 

As part of our mission to elevate the arts, athletics, and education in the Vail Valley, the Vail Valley Foundation is proposing a concept for a music, arts and culture event called KAABOO-VAIL proposed to be hosted Aug. 18-20, 2017.

As the public considers this event, we want to ensure that everyone understands its nature. Along with today’s Vail Town Council meeting, there will be two other opportunities for public input, hosted by the Vail Valley Foundation May 26 at the Grand View Room in Lionshead. Session 1 will be from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and Session 2 will be from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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Vail Daily letter: The reason for my vote

May 15, 2016 — 

Recently, the administration of Colorado Mountain College has approached the board with bleak projections for the college’s financial stability in the future and I, as a trustee, was requested to impose higher tuition costs on CMC’s students. While I did not vote for the local-student increase, the split-board decision increased the tuition per credit hour to help head off financial difficulties. While tuition increases will bring more dollars into the college, there is also a need to review the costs that the college pays in order to be accountable to you, our taxpayers. The faculty and staff at CMC are the lifeblood of the institution and deserve every penny that they get. They are the reason why CMC is such a success for almost 50 years (we celebrate 50 years of providing opportunity to our communities in 2017). So, my focus is going to be on finding areas where costs can be reduced that shall not have an impact on your success as students and communities.

The CMC Foundation does incredible work helping students gain financial access to college through such programs as the Clough Fellowship and the Davenport Legacy. The people behind the foundation, and the philanthropic volunteer foundation members who give freely of their time and money, are terrific and never waver from their mission to provide educational financial aid and enrichment of education for Colorado Mountain College students.

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Vail Daily letter: Remember Roaring Fork

May 15, 2016 — 

According to your recent story, a proposal to adjust the mission and extend the life of the open space tax is being considered for the November ballot. The ballot issue was passed in 2002, with voters from the Roaring Fork Valley providing the margin of victory, as the tax would have failed if only votes on the Vail side of the hill had been counted. It took nine days to determine the ballot measure had passed after initial results showed it losing by a handful of votes.

At a recent meeting on improving trail connections in the Vail Valley, a supporter noted the need for trail funding to support those plans because “this is one valley, and this is one community.” I would encourage our fellow Eagle County residents to remember that your plans are funded, in part, by the residents of the Roaring Fork Valley.

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Vail Daily letter: Thanks to Avon voters

May 12, 2016 — 

Dear Avon voters,

On behalf of the Avon Town Council, I would like to extend a profound thank you for approving financing of both the new Avon Police station and new Eagle River Fire Protection District facilities. Avon’s stations — police and fire — will be built as a joint public safety facility at Buck Creek next to the new medical office building. Construction on this high priority project is scheduled to begin this summer and will serve the public safety needs of the community for decades.

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Vail Daily letter: Thanks to Gypsum voters

May 12, 2016 — 

Dear citizens of Gypsum Fire Protection District:

We would like to express our sincere and deepest gratitude for passing our recent mill levy request. We are proud to have served our community since the early 1900s, and as a district since 1983. Since we incorporated as a district, our mill levy has remained the same, while the district and its population continued to grow. This growth stretched our resources beyond the point where we could continue to provide service without an increase in funding. We see this approval, at a 2-1 margin, as a sign of your faith in our service, and in our ability to continue to provide protection to you. We are deeply honored.

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Vail Daily letter: Exemplary work by Bruce Brown

May 12, 2016 — 

I am sending this letter in response to a piece I noticed in the Denver Post about District Attorney Bruce Brown from the 5th Judicial District.

He was responsible for handling the case of my sister (Penny Cunningham), who was murdered in Eagle County in November 2013.

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Vail Daily letter: Teach more, supervise less

May 10, 2016 — 

The superintendent of Eagle County Schools, Jason E. Glass, recently observed, “the American approach to educator quality has been to throw the doors wide open in terms of who can become a teacher, lowering or removing completely the bar in terms of the pre-service training experience, scripting and mandating lessons and teaching and subjecting teachers to onerous and confusing performance evaluation systems designed to identify and weed out poor performers.” Admittedly, Glass asserts that the Eagle County School District avails itself of this “American approach” with regard to teacher qualifications. Ergo, get a license, then you are a “teacher” and can teach! Your experience, your knowledge of the subject matter of what you teach, your altruistic dedication to the profession and your universal approach to knowledge in general are all secondary to the agenda and regime imposed by government, including our local school district of which Glass is part.

“Government is not the solution, but the problem” (Reagan), what with its National Education Association dictated curricula of “one size fits all” for all levels and grades of pre-secondary education, of which the Eagle County School District is a part — to keep the federal funds flowing, you bend to the will of the secretary of education, the teachers’ unions, and, yes, to your own local school board. All this at the cost of not procuring quality teachers and enhancing the availability of a quality education for most of the students. The dismal tests scores in the fields of math and science are a part of the “costs” for which we foot in excessive taxes. The distortions and disingenuous “facts” in the fields of civics, history, humanities and economics are all costs we bear for the sake of political correctness, egalitarian progressiveness, and to maintain an entrenched and unvetted bureaucracy.

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Vail Daily letter: Morally bankrupt

May 8, 2016 — 

It’s been eight months since the Syrian 3-year-old boy Alyan was washed ashore in Greece trying to migrate out of a war-torn country.

His photo and death bought to light the refugee tragedy, but the United States’ government and people still turn their backs on the crisis. Shame on us.

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Vail Daily letter: Take action on climate change

May 6, 2016 — 

I am writing to express my concern about the immense threat that is climate change. Climate change is a growing problem that poses a hazard to our future generations and to our country. Ninety-seven percent of actively climate publishing scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities (NASA).

Heat from the sun travels through the Earth’s atmosphere and warms the surface. When the surface heats up, the heat energy gets sent back into the atmosphere. There are certain gases in the atmosphere that keep the heat from escaping. Some of these gases are water vapor, methane and carbon dioxide. When humans emit more carbon dioxide, it disrupts the natural balance of carbon dioxide being naturally emitted and the amount being removed from the Earth.

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Vail Daily letter: Thanks for support

May 6, 2016 — 

The board of directors of Eagle River Fire Protection District wishes to thank the voters for their support of the district’s long-term capital plan to build three new facilities! The board recognizes that our community’s support comes from their appreciation for the job that the men and women of Eagle River Fire do every day. Whether it is helping with bear problems, saving a family’s home or a life on I-70, Eagle River Fire is there, “Ready to serve”.

The board’s immediate strategy will be to build and relocate a new Avon station, jointly housing Avon Police Department and our existing Avon fire crew. Once Avon is completed we will replace the Edwards Station in its current location and also build a greatly needed Emergency Responder Training Center, presently proposed in Minturn. The Avon station will break ground this summer next to the new medical office building. As soon as this construction is complete, projected in the fall of next year, the Edwards station will be torn down and construction will begin on the existing site. The Edwards crew will operate out of the new Avon Station for the duration of that construction.

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Vail Daily letter: Not looking in the right places

May 6, 2016 — 

I wanted to reach out to you in regard to the commentary by Ms. Alexa Hill about the leash laws in Avon and more specifically at Nottingham Park. I was that other mom, the one with the dog the size of a small bear, and I was also issued a citation. I respect the cops doing their job and trying to keep the peace in the park. I actually strolled through the park yesterday to try and find the leash signs. I found two very well hidden signs in an “off leash area” with time restrictions. The verbiage was unclear.

Unfortunately I hardly understand why a mom such as myself, at the park with two children ages 3 and 1, and my dog who follows under excellent voice command, cannot enjoy the park as it is intended. We don’t live in a big city or a dangerous place for a reason. We chose the mountains to enjoy the outdoors and close-knit community. Avon is a wonderful place to raise children for many reasons. While I appreciate the presence of the police in our community, why are they wasting time picking on moms with their kids and dogs at the park and not focusing on the people who race well over 40 mph on my residential street? Or catching the jerk who stole my daughter’s bike? Furthermore, why aren’t the “leash law” signs posted more visibly?

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Vail Daily letter: Thanks to correctional officers

May 6, 2016 — 

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first full week of May as National Correctional Officers Week, and called upon officials of state and local governments and the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities. The president noted in his proclamation that “the important work of correctional officers often does not receive the recognition from the public it deserves. It is appropriate that we honor the many contributions and accomplishments of these men and women who are a vital component of the field of corrections.”

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my appreciation to the men and women that work at the Eagle County Detention Facility for their tireless efforts in keeping our communities safe, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a years.

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