Letters to the Editor
Vail Daily letter: Use the railroad corridorJuly 27, 2016 —
It is common knowledge that a shortage of housing is an extreme issue. I appreciate that Vail Resorts has agreed to spend $30 million in its resort communities to help construct employee housing and resolve this issue. With a strong economy comes high costs of property acquisition for housing projects. Therefore, the cost per benefited employee today is high. A second major issue in the county is a shortage of parking. The Department of Transportation seems set on widening Interstate 70 to more expeditiously bring more people to our communities. Where do those vehicles get parked once they arrive? I would like submit for your consideration an alternative solution to the housing shortage and the secondary issue of parking shortages in Eagle County.
The “Vail Valley” stretches along Interstate 70 from approximately Vail to Dotsero — a distance of more than 40 miles. Due to the high cost of living up-valley, many full-time residents choose to live farther west in Eagle, Gypsum and Dotsero. Leadville, located south of Interstate 70, is also a more affordable community for employees.
Although ECO Transit offers bus service throughout the county, most employees opt to drive their personal vehicles to and from the resorts. I believe this is because the bus service can double the length of their commute. One parking space taken by an employee at the resort is one less space available for a customer.
There is a semi-abandoned railroad that stretches almost the entire length of the county — from east of Dotsero to Dowd Junction where it turns south to travel through Minturn and Leadville. I have long thought passenger service on that old railroad was the key to solving the housing and parking issues within the county and I believe an investment of several million dollars from Vail Resorts would be the spark to get it going.
The railroad goes directly through each community. Service could start in Dotsero and terminate in Minturn. It could eventually be extended to Glenwood Springs and Leadville. Each community could take responsibility for constructing its own stop along the line. Instead of sending large buses cross-county — dealing with weather and traffic delays — ECO Transit could instead partner with the towns to offer in-town shuttle service to the train stops. Since the railroad does not go through Vail, the town would need to expand its bus service to a train station in Minturn or construct a spur to bring rail service into town.
The result of convenient, affordable and fast public transportation across the county means that employee housing can be constructed by private developers at more reasonable costs down-valley. Additionally, a large parking structure could be constructed between Vail and Avon so that employees and guests could park there and easily access either resort. No longer would there be a need to park on the Frontage Roads in Vail during busy days.
I appreciate your willingness to consider this alternative to expensive up-valley housing that will benefit a limited number of employees.
I’m completely confused as to what’s going on in my hometown. First, they build a $3 million stage that’s been used a handful of times for small events. Why didn’t the town of Avon go after the Kaaboo festival to try to recoup some of the overage that the stage incurred? They spend another $1 million or so on “fixing” the walking path from the park to town. Have many walked it since the construction? And what was fixed? Seems like the sidewalks still don’t match to transport people or bikes across the street by the library and the cement by the field is still uprooted. The only improvements we seemed to get were some new statues and trees? Then, after a community survey, they decide to keep a great beach at the park but not add bathrooms as a permanent building but put in Porta Potties (effectively reducing the small parking there already was) in the north parking lot. So people will, still, either pee in the lake or the trees because who wants to walk back up to the parking lot or worse, across the entire park (and our kids play in the water of the lake). Recently, the town has resorted to ticketing vehicles on West Beaver Creek Boulevard because there is so little parking for the park.
Maybe the Skier Building purchase and remodel has an overage the Town Council knows of that will come to light on the front page of the Vail Daily (if you build it they will come so we can ticket them, right?).Learn more »
Kooky, our local governments, political candidates, newspaper and business owners/employers have all gone. Kooky on our most recent artificial housing/real estate bubble. Turn our local neighborhoods into short-term motel rooms, keep local wages low, low, low with temporary and illegal labor — excuse me, undocumented labor — and all of a sudden a crisis is created that can only be solved by stealing (seizing) public lands, e.g. National Forest.
Didn’t you idiots understand this was misguided when the local welfare ranches in Oregon took over the National Wildlife Refuge earlier this year and declared it was our land for our welfare cows? When I hear tax-paid officials and potential government representatives (hopefully will never happen) declare it is our land and we should take it to house labor for businesses that refuse to pay liveable wages and think taxpayers should subsidize them, I get kooky.Learn more »
The Swift Eagle Charitable Foundation would like to thank everyone for making its ninth annual La Bella Festa Bocce Tournament fundraiser another wonderful success. The tournament day was sunny and beautiful for the 160 participants playing, the Italian dinner served by Gourmet Cowboy was outstanding and everyone enjoyed musical entertainment by Pat Hamilton.
Congratulations to the first place winners: BJ and Garrett Smith and Theresa and Denny Shay; and second place winners, Michel and Maryse Perrigaud and Rod Goldberg and Susie Wendt.Learn more »
I am not sure to whom to address my concern. I live in a condo along the creek and have watched with concern as the “detoured” road cyclists weave amongst young children on scooters, pedestrians and dogs. This is an accident waiting to happen. While walking in to Lionshead with my dog, my left arm was lightly grazed by a cyclist coming up behind me, attempting to weave between east and west bound pedestrians. Please advise all cyclists to use caution while traveling this multi-user path and to alert other users of their approach via a bell or a voice alert. It would be great to have signage cautioning all users to be alert.
Karen SpitzLearn more »
There is no question that more public education is needed with regard to the use of organic and other environmentally friendly landscaping products and practices throughout the valley. That education must include homeowners and professional landscape maintenance businesses. All those parties need to know where to buy those products and the local retailers of landscape products need to be encouraged to offer those products. The various storm water runoff projects underway will help reduce both sedimentary and chemical pollution of Gore Creek.
However, the (July 19 Vail Daily) article fails to mention that the overwhelmingly dominant contributor to suffocation of the aquatic bugs that the fish need to survive and prosper is I-70 traction sand. It pours down the side of I-70 and into Black Gore Creek from the top to the bottom of Vail Pass and into Gore Creek and causes “cementation” of the rocks in the creek which harbor the bugs the fish feed on. Cementation leads to fewer bugs and fewer fish. And, yes, the traction sand brings with it the mag chloride and some vehicular chemicals from the highway. Take a hike up the south side of I-70 along Black Gore Creek and you will be astounded at the multi-year accumulation of traction sand flowing into the creek. All the focus on East Vail landscaping practices will be of only minor benefit to the health of Gore Creek unless this primary problem is addressed.Learn more »
The rap on Hillary is that she’s untrustworthy; the rap on Trump is, well take your pick … he’s not a serious political figure, he’s a sexist, he’s a bigot, he’s not really a good businessman, he’s not intelligent and as an outsider he doesn’t understand the issues. So putting ideology aside, I thought it might be interesting to examine the veracity of those contentions.
Hillary has a history of being untruthful to the American people. One of her earliest untruths was her infamous “I remember landing under sniper fire” statement when subsequent news video revealed that she and Chelsea were actually greeted by a young girl holding a bouquet of flowers at the Tuzla airport in Bosnia — not a sniper with an AK-47.Learn more »
With the wrap-up of the recent Vail Summer Football Camp, I wanted to thank the various businesses and individuals for helping make the camp happen.
The Vail Summer Football Camp recently hosted 16 active and retired college coaches to work with kids from Eagle County and the Central Rockies. Due to the generosity of the following hotels, lodges, activities and individuals throughout the valley, we were able to attract a quality coaching staff at an affordable cost for the players and their families. Since the early ’80s, this has been our purpose.Learn more »
I was disheartened to see the July 13 Vail Daily headline “Report cites child care crisis.” As a small-business owner and a father of two, my family and I have invested a lot in this community and want to see it thrive. Between the ever-increasing costs of health care, housing and childcare, living in this area is becoming out of reach for our workforce.
As I read on, I was encouraged to see that our county commissioners are taking these issues seriously, and considering meaningful strategies to address them. The recently released county report that cites the childcare crisis also provides recommendations to address childcare and early learning accessibility, affordability and quality, but it will take funding to do this. In surrounding counties like Summit and Pitkin, residents have a voted in a tax to make childcare and housing more affordable for their workforce. Even though my business is in the retail sector, I would support a sales tax — just pennies on every $10 — to provide the workforce some financial relief, while creating additional childcare spaces and early learning opportunities to help our kids get ready for kindergarten.Learn more »
Regarding the need for more workforce housing and childcare, and how each is becoming beyond the means of most families, each time a taxing authority considers another tax increase, it makes living in Eagle County even more difficult for those families trying to make ends meet.
Apparently $75,500 was spent on surveys to confirm what we already knew, in fact what we had already surveyed multiple times before. Increasing sales tax hurts in more ways than one — it hurts the consumer and also local businesses when the consumer buys more and more online as a way to avoid taxes.Learn more »
At the June 2 Eagle-Vail Metro Board meeting, board President Chuck Toms, along with board members David Warner and Kim Bell-Williams, voted to fix the tennis courts this summer. It was a long-overdue decision and enthusiastically applauded by the community. In this decision they demonstrated their commitment to, and understanding of, the metro board’s fiduciary responsibilities to maintain the recreational assets of our community. Finally, the dilapidated and neglected tennis courts would be fixed! By doing so, they acted in good faith to do what they were elected to do.
As requested, Steve Barber, the superintendent of Eagle-Vail, spent more than a month getting information and bids from top tennis court companies to put in four post-tension tennis courts which have a life expectancy of 40 to 50 years. Mr. Barber had secured a firm bid for the court project and it was scheduled to begin by July 15. The community would finally have four, new, safe and playable courts ready for use by September, and would be playable and enjoyed until the snow flies. Fall is a great time for tennis. This would allow that in the spring of 2017, Eagle-Vail’s tennis and tennis programs would be off and running. Furthermore, Eagle-Vail’s Property Owner’s Association Board had also committed, unanimously, to provide $60,000 for the courts project.Learn more »
“Cases without the death penalty cost $740,000, while cases where the death penalty is sought cost $1.26 million. Maintaining each death row prisoner costs taxpayers $90,000 more per year than a prisoner in general population. There are 714 inmates on California’s death row” — quote from Googling death penalty costs.
Dylann Storm Roof, 21, the shooter in the church in Charleston, South Carolina, who killed nine people has said he would plead guilty to all counts if the death penalty is not considered. This would save taxpayers approximately $5.2 million if the prosecutor would accept this plea, assuming Dylann lives to age 70.Learn more »
My eyes filled with tears when the national anthem was played to see how few attendees crossed their hearts at New York Philharmonic’s opening night at the Ford Amphitheater.
What’s up with that?Learn more »
“Demagoguery” is defined by my dictionary as the methods or practice of “a person who tries to stir up the people by appeals to emotion, prejudice, etc. in order to win them over quickly and so gain power.” Throw in a lot of unrealistic promises, along with the hate talk, and you have our prime demagogue, Mr. Trump. Ms. Clinton is not my favorite person, but by all that I hold dear, she is more intelligent, more decent, more concerned about all of us and our rights than Trump will ever be. If you are on the fence, please pay attention to your brain and not Trump’s mob psychology when you vote.
Katherine DelanoyLearn more »
In response to the letter from Mr. (Chris) Anthony (Thursday’s Vail Daily), I want to expand on his discussion regarding being selfish. We are so selfish that we want to destroy the natural habitat of many wild animals by creating trails in that stream valley so bikers can freely ride in the natural habitat. We are so selfish that we want to spend $181,000 of local taxpayers’ dollars to create three trails that will be used mostly by non-local taxpayers. We are so selfish that we want to spend $50,000 of taxpayers’ money to create a trail across a pristine mountainside that can be seen from over 250 homes and by anyone traveling in Wildridge. We will not be so selfish that we prohibit the local youth to “get out there and understand the surroundings’” by using the trails in the West Avon Preserve.
Chuck BuntingLearn more »
Eagle County Fair and Rodeo has kicked off this week! The rodeo is a great event to watch, but more importantly is the fair aspect. Many people don’t understand what the fair is about and what a great organization 4-H is for the kids in our area. 4-H is an amazing opportunity for kids to learn about anything that they want — it is about animals, photography, sewing, shooting sports and truly everything else. 4-H is an opportunity for the kids in our area to learn strong community involvement, responsibly and leadership.
One of the biggest events for 4-H is the Junior Livestock Sale today! It kicks off at noon with a barbecue and then at 1 p.m. the sale begins. It takes place at the Eagle River Center at the Eagle County Fairgrounds in Eagle. This is a great opportunity to see the hard work these 4-H kids have done to raise a variety of animals. There are turkeys, rabbits, chickens, goat, sheep, pigs and steers and sometimes even a few other fowl. Some of these kids have been working on their animals since late fall. It is an opportunity to purchase some amazing meat that has been raised locally and in a loving, caring way. The animals cannot be certified as organic because of the cost to do so, but these animals have not been given growth steroids or anything else to make them larger. They have been raised by our local kids in their backyards or the community barn. These kids give up a lot of time throughout the year to work with and care for the animals. The animals teach the kids about business and how to run a business — did that make a profit or suffer a loss? They work on their sales skills and present their animals to the local businesses. It is a great way to get kids off their phones and speak eye to eye to true professionals in our community. My kids have been part of this event for over eight years and it has given them self-confidence and responsibility that I probably could have never taught them any other way. It has become a great family activity.Learn more »
Last week I read with enthusiasm that Avon was going to try and make the town more user-friendly for cyclists and walkers. This was a move to create fewer cars on the road and encourage folks to walk or bike to the store, library or wherever. I thought that finally I would not have to walk on sidewalks that all of a sudden end (between the Marriott and Avon Crossing) and others too numerous to mention.
Today as I was walking to and from City Market to pick up a few items, I noticed the new bicycle markings appearing on Beaver Creek Boulevard. They are at best confusing and at worst dangerous.Learn more »
Recently Michael Drake wrote a letter slamming people who are voting for Trump. Living in Vail, I think he is unaware why many people are voting that way. I am hoping Mr. Drake and others will be enlightened by my thoughts.
First, I would like to say that those who are voting Republican are not angry. I don’t know where he got that idea. Perhaps he is a bit confused. If he would just turn on MSNBC or CNN he would quickly find that it is Democrats showing up at Trump rallies screaming and throwing bottles, rocks or spitting at the supporters. I have yet to see one incidence where people were acting uncivil protesting Hillary Clinton. Another thing Mr. Drake should know is that Republicans are not against immigration, but we do think that background checks are beneficial to the country.Learn more »
I would like to thank Michael Warmuth, battalion chief for Eagle River Fire Protection District, and his crew for being great representatives of the fire department. I called when I saw lightning strike a tree and smoke in the forest above our house. My kids and I rode over to point out the spot. Michael and his crew took time to educate us about how they were handling the situation, answer questions and thank us for our help. He even called me back the following day to let me know the result. This left a great impression on me and my kids. Thanks, Chief Warmuth.
Pavan KruegerLearn more »
My wife won free passes to CineBistro at the breast cancer awareness luncheon. Unfortunately there was a mix-up with the passes which had tiny print indicating they were not usable for much of the showings that were available when we could go. After slight frustration with the person who answered the phone we were able to speak with Brandon, the manager on duty, who made all of the passes good and was extremely courteous and helpful. It’s wonderful to see that consumer relations in the Vail Valley are still going well.
Kenneth WetcherLearn more »
Hello, my name is Chris Anthony. I grew up in the valley and have lived in the Seasons of Avon for around 30 years. I have recently heard about the addition of new mountain bike trails surrounding our little town. I can’t express how excited I am about this as well as how important this is to who we are and what we represent. We are a town hosted by an amazing environment that would like to share itself with us to enjoy and take care of. Which brings me to the first point. I find when people can take advantage of the land they are more committed to taking care of it. A majority of our population has moved here to enjoy the lifestyle we have not only marketed but built our lives around. I’m always confused by the few that have move here and bring their habits from wherever they came from and try to change this culture. The ones that complain, which is the few and very loud, while the majority sits silently. I’m referring to the few that might oppose this improvement for their own selfish reasons. And that is exactly what that is, selfish. They serve so few. We are not a selfish community. In fact, we are community that shares and takes care of our surroundings as well as our own. In doing so we have a responsibility to grow this part of us. Trail system connects those that want to take care of the environment and share it. Trails bring communities together.
I have a youth project in the valley. One of the amazing things that I have learned is how few of our youth do get out there and understand the surroundings. This is another way to place in it, provide education and create early adapters to take care of it.Learn more »
Many thanks to the businesses who work with and provide services to our community for their donation of time, merchandise and money to make this year’s Gypsum Daze 5K Run/Walk another success.
The following sponsors made this happen: Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture, Big Steve’s Towing, Vail Valley Jet Center and 811 Don’t Dig. Thanks to them for their donations.Learn more »
Donald Trump has selected Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running mate. If you were not worried enough by Trump and his lack of experience, his rash and unpredictable personality that transfers to rash, dangerous and unsafe public and foreign policy, think about what Pence brings to the ticket. As governor of Indiana, Pence singed a law called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which permitted discrimination against LGBT individuals. The law would also permit discrimination against others. If I said my beliefs prohibited me from serving a Jew, a Muslim or an African American in my place of business, the law would protect me.
In addition, Gov. Pence supported and signed into law one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country and cut funding for Planned Parenthood, which, by the way, provides women with numerous critical health services other than abortions. He is against equal pay for equal work and he cut corporate taxes along with cutting funding for higher education and pre-kindergarten.Learn more »
Our government must get real! The stupid congratulating ourselves for a drone attack killing a terror leader is a mistake. Intelligence is needed and what is needed is to capture, send to our prison in Cuba and interrogate these leaders. I am furious at the lack of our government to take the needed actions.
When will we declare war and say to our allies (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran), “Either you are with us or against us,” these allies must condemn these terror acts. The Muslim imams need to say this is not in our religion — hell not paradise will be your reward for terrorism.Learn more »
On behalf of the Eagle County EMS Prevention Committee, I would like to thank the following agencies and businesses for their participation in the Camp 911 programs in Gypsum on June 15 and Avon on July 13. Through their generosity we were able to provide 158 local youth with an opportunity to learn how to take control in a variety of emergency situations.
Eagle County Paramedic Services, Western Eagle County Recreation District, Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Avon Police Department, Vail Police Department, Eagle Police Department, Eagle River Fire Protection District, Vail Fire and Emergency Services, Greater Eagle Fire Protection District, Gypsum Fire Protection District, Vail Public Safety and Communications Center, Colorado State Patrol, Eagle County EMS Prevention Committee, St. Anthony’s Flight For Life, Vail Mountain Rescue, Vail Valley Medical Center, Starting Hearts, Think First, Colorado Department of Transportation. All these local agencies provided volunteers to host activities, act as group leaders and help support all the numerous tasks it takes to turn out these two events.Learn more »
So you’re angry, as usual. You hate that terrorist-loving Obama (you know, king of the drones, the one who has killed more terrorists, including bin Laden, than any other president). You think the country has gone downhill and needs to be great again. I am so sorry you lost all your money and your life is terrible and it must be Obama’s fault and the terrorist invaded your home ... oh, what? That did not happen to you? We did not go into a depression due to Bush? We stopped two active wars costing us trillions in our tax money and countless lives lost? That was a bad thing for you, huh? It seems to me that I remember we got out of the Middle East because this is what this president was elected to do. Gee, I am so sorry things are so bad for you. For me they are great and I am not on any public assistance, not an immigrant, and am an old white person who actually likes affordable health insurance. What is that? You are so angry that more people in our society have health care coverage? You want the big insurance companies to dictate your health. I see, I know it is terrible for you. You hate, I mean really hate, Hillary. Fox and Rush told you things that must be true that make you angry. Oh yeah, you are also so angry at those immigrants (unlike you who is a native born American with no immigrant history at all?). You are mad because you wanted that maid job and they took it, or was it the lawn cutting job you wanted? Oh, I am sorry, it was the agricultural field work you wanted? But you know you can work those jobs. The owners of those fields will let you work in them, so go for that goal, Skippy. I am so sorry they took that from you.
So now you want to get that reality star fascist with four bankruptcies, a “businessman” who has angered and insulted Mexico, Canada, France , England, veterans, women in general, immigrants (list is too long to put here) and even caused George Will to leave the Republican Party? Well, be proud, put on your brown shirt and goosestep right into that voting booth wearing your “I voted for Trump” button so we can all see who you are. Please wear that button for at least a week after voting so I, your town, your friends and all of sensible society know who you are.Learn more »
I applaud the county commissioners for their foresight in increasing the amount of solar power they are installing. I wish we could install rooftop solar systems on some of our schools. I think math and science teachers could use the systems to teach students many important ideas. One of the problems I am always reminded of when I ask people in the industry about putting solar on schools is that school districts cannot use the tax credits available. Did the county find a way to take advantage of the tax credits? Would a third party (business or individual investor) need to own the solar system in order to take advantage of the tax credits? Could this third party be a co-op? A white knight investor? I proposed these questions one afternoon to a few people at NREL (National Renewable Energy Lab) in Golden. I was given some suggestions of organizations to contact if I wanted to attempt to put solar panels on schools — COSEIA (Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association), DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency), etc. Although this has been done in the US, they did not think it had been done in Colorado. Before I put more time or effort into researching this idea, I would like to talk with someone from Eagle County, or the school district, to find out if this research has already been done, and if there is a desire to accomplish this.
Bill LindsayLearn more »
Butch Mazzuca has written a provocative column (Valley Voices, July 11) on who really benefits from the research that goes into climate change science. He states his premise as follows: “Regardless of one’s position on the subject of climate change, the Latin term cui bono (who benefits) is perhaps the most relevant phase one can use when discussing the subject.”
Mazzuca then proceeds to take his cui bono question into an investigation of how biased scientists may be whose research leads to the conclusion that global warming is real and can be traced to the human contribution to accelerated amounts of greenhouse gas emissions over the last five to six decades.Learn more »
Want to see neglect first hand? Visit the Eagle-Vail tennis courts and ask, why?
Six-plus years of delayed, almost non-existent maintenance has taken its toll. Two of the courts are closed (cracks, safety issues, etc.) and the other two courts are almost unplayable. The tennis facility buildings leaked so badly that they were gutted out and a porta-potty now services the court users. This kind of neglect on the part of an Eagle-Vail homeowner would not be tolerated; a citation would be a certainty.Learn more »
As a community that relies on snowpack for our very economic existence, not to mention being the headwaters for 18 states, Eagle County residents should be concerned about rising temperatures and climate change. Eagle County Government’s recent purchases of 1.6 megawatts of community and rooftop solar reduce the greenhouse gases that promote climate change. Solar now replaces the electricity used in seven county buildings, and is the equivalent of removing 420 cars off the road or 210 homes off the grid. While massive changes on a global scale are needed to fully impact greenhouse gas emissions, the often-politicized issue has made it difficult for national governments to act. The Paris climate talks highlighted the critical role that local communities need to play to have a collective impact on greenhouse gas emissions.
Rich Landy’s July 7 letter in the Vail Daily comparing the county’s solar purchases as a climate protection strategy to spitting in Lake Mead to raise the water level is shortsighted. Would Mr. Landy have us all do nothing? I am a grandmother, and to me, this course of action would be unacceptable.Learn more »