Letters to the Editor

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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Vail Daily letter: Senseless act

March 19, 2015 — 

Whoever the lowlife was who stole the AED (automated external defibrillator) took it over one of the busiest weekends that I have ever seen in Beaver Creek. Let all of us hope and pray that while Starting Hearts is waiting for a contribution to replace the one that was stolen, no one has a cardiac arrest by that bus stop.

Toby Mower, RN

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Vail Daily letter: Could have helped

March 18, 2015 — 

On Feb. 27, we were headed up to Yeoman Park to take a load of gear and four snowmobiles into Fulford for a kids expedition. At one of the switchbacks we became stuck as my trailer slid to the inside ditch. Right behind us were two trucks with snowmobiles. One was Forest Service and the other was Department of Wildlife. Each truck had two persons inside. As my friend and I pulled four snowmobiles off the back of my trailer, dragged the trailer to the side of the road, and dug out my truck, the folks in those two trucks just watched. This was over the course of an hour. They were literally 20 yards away. Once unstuck, I pulled ahead about 200 yards and we then assisted six more vehicles get around the corner. We dug them out, pushed, and just generally gave each other a helping hand. It was great — a lot of good folks helping one another.

During that time the Forest Service and Department of Wildlife unloaded their snowmobiles and illegally parked their trucks alongside the road. Between the fifth and sixth vehicle that we assisted, the four individuals with the Forest Service and Department of Wildlife drove their snowmobiles right by us. They did not stop, ask if they could help, or even slow down. One of them did wave, though.

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Vail Daily letter: Free parking is a draw

March 18, 2015 — 

As Edwards residents, my wife and I fly several times a year. We almost always fly out of the Eagle County Airport. The airfare is generally about $200 more each but we justify that with stress of the two-hour round trip to DIA (assuming no delays on I-70), the wear and tear on our car, the cost of staying overnight in an airport motel, the ease of clearing security at EGE vs. the hassle at DIA, the friendly airport crew who know and recognize us, and the ensuing DIA parking fees.

For years I’ve been saying that “These are the good old days. Sooner or later, ‘they’ are going to build a parking structure and then we’ll have paid parking.” Well, I was half right, I guess. As semi-retired residents, my wife and I have to weigh the relative trade offs of EGE vs. DIA. We know that the merchants and businesses (especially Vail Resorts) in the valley subsidize the airlines with guarantees on seat occupancy and that helps keep commercial flights coming into our home airport. I just hope the county is weighing the revenue they expect they will generate by instituting paid parking vs. folks like us who weigh the relative cost and hassle of flying from DIA vs. EGE.

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Vail Daily letter: Freedom of choice

March 18, 2015 — 

Wayne (Hare, letters to the editor, March 7 and 14), it’s hard to account for the many injustices in the world, with a plethora of shaky rationale given by one historian or another. Difficult to find harmony any place, whether it be:

• Mistreatment of women in Muslim countries.

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Vail Daily letter: Thanks for care

March 18, 2015 — 

Dear Vail Valley readers,

We are writing this letter with two purposes — to publicly thank the incredible medical providers who truly saved Joel’s life and to alert and educate our friends and neighbors about these rare warning signs of a heart attack.

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Vail Daily letter: When words are not enough

March 18, 2015 — 

It was “ heartwarming “ to learn that Butch Mazzuca (“How best to help?” Feb. 16) is concerned about improving race relations in this country. According to Mazzuca, race relations would improve if our president would only change the tone of his rhetoric and stop blaming white America and start holding black America accountable for the problems which beset them, namely, crime, unwed mothers and the rate of high school dropouts.

How can the president improve his rhetoric? Well, for one, he could stop siding with the black victims of alleged injustices like Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and begin demonstrating his allegiance to the police in this country who are sworn to uphold the law. For another, he could cut his ties to known “ race baiters “ like Al Sharpton and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. And, finally, couldn’t he make a few public service announcements “advising young black girls not to have babies before they are married or encouraging young black men to stay in school?” I can only imagine that this last suggestion stems from the fact that the most vocal and prominent black person charged with this task, Bill Cosby, is currently unavailable.

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Vail Daily letter: Don't cut pool hours

March 18, 2015 — 

At my normal visit to the Avon Rec Center pool the other day, I read a notice that the pool closing hours are going to change on April 1 from 9 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. This is ridiculous. I asked one of the lifeguards why, and he said two members of the management looked at the “numbers,” and decided to cut the hours.

First, the town of Avon has set an expectation that the pool would be open until 9 p.m., and many of us who use the pool arrange our schedules for this very reason. For me, it will now be impossible to use the pool. I’m not the only one. Just ask any of the furious patrons who normally use the pool these hours, and you’ll get the same answer.

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Vail Daily letter: Instructors need pay increase

March 17, 2015 — 

This will be a three part letter — the resort, the professional instructor organization and the instructor.

I am hearing from young, 10-year and 20-year instructors who are saying they no longer can afford to teach skiing and snowboarding because of the low pay. The low pay has a profound effect on the longevity of the professional instructors. Living in the Vail Valley today, the costs have gone up considerably — rent, food, gas and anything else you buy. Many instructors are living downvalley, where the affordable housing is better, but the transportation costs are much higher. The last time instructors caught up on pay, many years ago, was when Adam Aron was our CEO.

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Vail Daily letter: Be a part of Pink Vail

March 17, 2015 — 

I would like to take the opportunity to thank those in the community who are showing your support for Pink Vail, which is coming up on March 21, and encourage everyone to get involved. By creating teams and raising funds for this fun event, you make an incredibly positive impact on the lives of your friends, neighbors and community members living with and being treated for cancer at Shaw Regional Cancer Center.

It’s likely you have had a personal experience with cancer. Whether this disease has become part of your story or the story of someone you love, chances are you know it is much more than a medical issue. Cancer affects the whole person, the whole family. At Shaw, not only do we believe in providing the highest quality medical care, we believe it is imperative to give high quality whole person care, and we can do that with your support.

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Vail Daily letter: Enjoy spring safely

March 16, 2015 — 

As we approach the spring skiing and snowboarding season at Vail and Beaver Creek, we encourage all our guests to get out and enjoy the warm weather and long sunny days on the mountain, and to utilize the resorts’ public decks for picnics and barbecues. With that in mind, though, we also want to take this opportunity to remind our guests of the resorts’ policies on alcohol and marijuana.

Using any ski lift or trail while impaired by alcohol or controlled substances such as marijuana is prohibited under the Colorado Ski Safety Act. While marijuana is legal in Colorado, we want to remind our guests that it is still illegal to consume marijuana in public, which includes lifts, lift mazes, gondola cabins, decks, etc.; and marijuana remains illegal under federal law and is prohibited on National Forest Service land, which is where both Vail and Beaver Creek mountains operate.

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Vail Daily letter: Successful event

March 15, 2015 — 

On Feb. 19, the 5th Judicial District held its second Rural Resources Day for Couples and Families in the Court Process. The Vail Daily News covered the matter and published in an informative article on Feb. 25. We appreciate the support from the local newspaper.

The purpose of the event is to provide legal services, including access to volunteer attorneys, mediators and counselors, to assist parties going through the divorce process who likely would otherwise be unable to afford such services. Such an event takes great effort and dedication on the part of many. The dedicated court staff willingly commits substantial time and energy to this event, but what really makes it successful is the time and energy of the professionals who volunteer their time. Their time is extremely valuable and they receive nothing but our thanks for their efforts. They do it because they are dedicated to their profession and the belief that justice should be accessible to everyone.

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Vail Daily letter: Donovan should reconsider

March 13, 2015 — 

Our beautiful state of Colorado has experienced some of the most horrific mass shootings in the last several years. The entire country has viewed the horrors of Columbine and Aurora. Our own community of Vail is not immune as there was a shooting at a bar in West Vail in 2009. One person was killed and three were injured by local man with a history of mental illness who was able to obtain firearms.

After the nightmare of 26 killed at Sandy Hook, in 2013 our Colorado Legislature took the appropriate steps of requiring background checks for gun ownership in our state. The legislators also passed a ban on the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines. Both of these laws have been challenged. Both Sen. Kerry Donovan and our Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush voted not to repeal background checks. I applaud Sen. Donovan and Rep. Mitsch Bush taking the right and necessary stand to protect our citizens. Sen. Donovan has also proposed legislation for more effective treatment of the mentally ill, which is to be commended. However, this does not protect innocent victims who are killed or injured because of easy access to firearms by mentally ill people.

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Vail Daily letter: We're not like you

March 13, 2015 — 

On Feb. 16, the Vail Daily published an opinion piece by Butch Mazzuca about race entitled “How to help.” This is the second part of my opinion of why “How to help” didn’t.

You say, “It’s hard to argue with conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly’s position that, essentially, African Americans are responsible for their own problems.” Actually, I find it quite easy to argue with a man who grew up in an all-white neighborhood built with federally funded loans that were not available to blacks, pontificating about what blacks really ought to be doing.

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Vail Daily letter: A big thanks

March 13, 2015 — 

The family of Frank Ward would like to thank the following: Home Health Care, Hospice, The Shaw Cancer Center, Vail Valley Medical Center, and Valley View Hospital for the great care he received during his illness. A special thank-you to Vail Valley Medical Center and to Chaplin Denise Delaney for their help and compassion shown to the family on Feb. 12. Thanks to the many people who brought food, sent flowers, gave donations to Crawlin’ to the Cure in Frank’s name and sent cards of sympathy to our family. He will be greatly missed. Again thanks to everyone. You will never know how much your support has meant to each of us.

The Frank Ward family

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Vail Daily letter: Disagree with 'miss'

March 13, 2015 — 

As a volunteer at the recent FIS championships, I would be remiss in not responding to the “miss” in the March 12 Hits and Misses section, by a reader complaining about the volunteer lunches (at the recent FIS championships).

We were volunteers and the fact that lunch was provided (at all) was an added benefit. I (like most volunteer) was appreciative that restaurants in the community provided our lunches. In addition to subs and wraps (that were just fine), we were served Moe’s barbecue some days and for those of us who were assigned awards ceremonies in Vail Village, our meals were prepared by La Bottega in Vail. So, to all who provided meals for the volunteers I say thank you.

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Vail Daily letter: Capitulation to the president

March 12, 2015 — 

I am shocked that there are congressmen who have declared they will not attend the joint session of Congress, as President Obama is offended by the invitation to Prime Minister Netanyahu. It is not only within the rights of Congress, it is the absolute responsibility of Congress to hear any world leader or international expert who can assist congressional members in formulating an appropriate response to the “deal” being considered with Iran. Only two weeks ago, President Obama had British Prime Minister David Cameron speaking to member of Congress against conditionally imposing new sanctions on Iran if the “deal” were bad. Capitulation to the president by the Congress…equals dictatorship.

Former Labor Prime Minister Ehud Barak has expressed disappointment that the Obama administration has changed its objective from “no nuclear military Iran to no nuclear military Iran during the term of its administration.” This is a reversal of Obama’s campaign goal to achieve total nuclear disarmament.

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Vail Daily letter: Real Republicans

March 12, 2015 — 

“Real Republicans” should have one over-riding theme of responsible and pragmatic fiscally conservative policies and steadfastness in national defense. Real Republicans don’t have to cross the “church-state separation” tradition. Real Republicans don’t have to soil the nest left to their grandchildren. Finally, real Republicans don’t have to resort to extremist ideology.

Let’s test the above statements with Republican administrations from 1952 through 2008 to see if these statements hold true:

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Vail Daily letter: Great championships

March 12, 2015 — 

Dear (Vail Valley Foundation President) Ceil (Folz),

The 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships are over but certainly will not be forgotten. In my wildest dreams they exceeded any expectations. This two-week Vail/Beaver Creek “happening” took alpine ski racing to another level.

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