Letters to the Editor

Vail Daily letter: Can’t get through

January 31, 2015 — 

My name is Barry Simmers. I am a vet of the Vietnam era and just recently had brain surgery at the VA facility in San Francisco as early as two weeks ago and can’t say enough praises about the staff there. They wanted to transfer me to Denver for follow-up and to save time traveling since I do live in Dotsero . I was told by the staff in California to call the VA hospital in Denver and set up an appointment to continue my treatment.What a joke that is. I have been calling them for three days and all I get is a recording. I went through this before with the Denver VA. All the other VA facilities I have been to, Glenwood Springs, Grand Junction, and San Francisco have been outstanding and I can’t say enough good things about the treatment and the staff. It’s just Denver — they are to busy to answer a phone? Give me a break.

Barry Simmers

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Vail Daily letter: Skier Building aftermath

January 28, 2015 — 

Jake (Wolf), golly, gee whiz, you sound surprised by asking where were Mr. Kogan and the others were at the start of this process? Well, maybe if you and the board were not meeting in secret and going behind the voters’ backs over this deal, and actually had a “town meeting” to get the residents’ input, thoughts or ideas, then he and all the others who voiced agreement or opposition to this deal would have gladly of been more involved in the process early on. Obviously the town spoke loud and clear over this bad deal for the town and the only thing left to do is let it expire!

I’d like to congratulate the people of Avon for voting and voicing their opinions, pros and cons on the purchase of the Skier Building. Kudos especially go out to Mr. Hunn and Mr. Kogan with their extensive backgrounds in commercial real estate, who laid it all out very clearly for us all to understand. It’s obvious this purchase of the Skier Building was not a good deal for the residents of Avon for a number of reasons, despite the misinformation put out by the Town Council and their faulty fact sheet. I think we need more people like Mr. Hunn and Mr. Kogan with their extensive, professional backgrounds and experience on the Town Council to act as a voice of reason and to help guide and mentor those on the board who don’t have the professional background or wisdom they do — maybe the Town Council could eliminate wasteful spending and unexpected cost overruns on future projects by asking for professional input and opinions from the community. Avon residents have a great, diverse set of professional backgrounds and experiences the council could utilize if the Town Council would have only asked.

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Vail Daily letter: Imminent changes

January 27, 2015 — 

Recently I attended a Symposium at the Sonnenalp Hotel about the “Aging Brain,” and decay in general, most notably the perils of dementia. A brilliant collection of talented medical professionals in the areas of the brain, nervous system, and body lectured a sizable audience about stuff they already knew; just didn’t have the right medical-ese to speak intelligently about it among friends on Facebook.

One of the sought-after pearls of wisdom spoke to active brain engagement in the mature years, such as sudoku or crossword puzzles. I decided I had to comply ... and the mission was obvious: Write culturally and politically insensitive articles to your brilliant Vail Daily editor, hoping the finished piece wasn’t too different from the original, for fear of liberal backlash. Hence the motivation behind my rant.

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Vail Daily letter: No mention of King

January 25, 2015 — 

I was surprised that Monday’s Vail Daily publication did not make any material mention of Dr. Martin Luther King and the national holiday. I hope it is not indicative of the priorities of the newspaper and our community.

Many of our local schools have taken the time to honor this day in ways beyond the long weekend. Standing up for the less privileged has been a topic in many classrooms, some schools have honored the day with community service, and others have studied Dr. King’s philosophy and life.

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Vail Daily letter: More good than bad

January 25, 2015 — 

Dear Richard (Carnes),

I read your article titled “No more time for tolerance” (Valley Voices, Jan. 31). You seem very angry.

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Vail Daily letter: Your vote counts

January 25, 2015 — 

This letter is in response to Don Rogers’ Jan. 23 commentary titled “Did Avon hear the voters?” We own a condo in Avon, but are part-timers, so we get to pay taxes but don’t get to vote. Living in Houston, I find it mildly amusing that 419 votes is “resounding.” Nonetheless, the measure failed. Rogers’ first sentence, “Avon’s voters just said no” seems inaccurate to me. As I understand it, about 1,800 Avon voters didn’t say anything. Is it possible that most of the nay-sayers voted, and those in favor, perhaps assuming that, since it was just a referendum on financing, it would pass anyway, just couldn’t be bothered to send in that ballot?

A good lesson here. Your vote counts, particularly in a town as small as Avon.

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Vail Daily letter: Successful celebration

January 25, 2015 — 

On behalf of the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort & Spa, I wanted to thank everyone involved that made celebrating our 25th year anniversary a success!

There were a lot of moving parts involved in celebrating this momentous occasion with our 25 Acts of Random Hospitality. We could not have hosted such a fun event for our wonderful community without the help of the team at the Vail Daily. Everyone played an intricate part in making this a success. We would like to thank Beaver Creek Resort Co. for helping to facilitate in some of our hiding locations as well as donating some prizes.

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Vail Daily column: Murdoch’s Twitter firestorm

January 23, 2015 — 

News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch ignited the Twitterverse. His recent tweets are ironically un-media savvy for a guy who heads a media company. Following the Paris terrorist attacks Murdoch tweeted:

“Big jihadist danger looming everywhere from Philippines to Africa to Europe to US. Political correctness makes for denial and hypocrisy.” And, “Maybe most Moslems peaceful, but until they recognize and destroy their growing jihadist cancer they must be held responsible.”

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Vail Daily letter: The voters have spoken

January 21, 2015 — 

Congratulations, Avon voters. You have spoken loud and clear, saving $12.5 million in future tax obligations.

There is more good news. We have been educated. We have learned how to prepare and submit a successful voter referendum and petition. We identified a most passionate and dedicated group of Avon petition circulators. The list of informed and like-minded voters this team obtained will be invaluable in future citizen actions. We cannot thank these people enough and pledge to continue the war for voter rights (TABOR) and fiscal responsibility. Voter education and recruitment of fiscally responsible council candidates is on our continuing agenda. We have made the necessary investments in time and money and are prepared for the next challenge.

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Vail Daily letter: Thanks for support

January 21, 2015 — 

The Seibert family and Tony himself would like to say “thank you” to everyone who helped make the first annual Tony Pardee ski down and celebration a huge success!

Special thanks go out to the Alpenrose, Armada, Arrowhead Alpine Club, Buzz’s, Fuzziwigs, Kind Design, Moe’s BBQ, K2, Pazzo’s, Pret, Pit Viper sunglasses, 10th Mountain Whiskey and Distillery, Zac Layman and B1Nary Arts, and the Westin for all their great donations for the raffle. Also thank you to Gorsuch’s for their extremely generous donation, The Vail Ale House, Tanner Bardin and Eminence Ensemble, Vail Resorts, and of course the awesome Vail Ski Patrol! The love and support from our community during this past year has kept us all going and keeping Tony’s spirit alive. The contributions have allowed us to establish the Tony Seibert Memorial Fund, which we will be awarding scholarships for avalanche awareness, all geared towards Eagle County and our local youth.

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Vail Daily letter: Refugee scenario

January 20, 2015 — 

Vatican City, officially Vatican City-State, is a walled enclave within the city of Rome, with an area of approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of 842.

It is the smallest internationally recognized independent state in the world by both area and population.

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Vail Daily letter: Corrections to article

January 20, 2015 — 

I have a few suggested corrections to the article mentioned below.

In the article “Welcoming the world” in the Jan. 12 edition of the Vail Daily, Randy Wyrick’s opening sentence states that of the 23 cities that have hosted the FIS Alpine World Championships “ … only one has hosted more than once.” While we are all very proud and happy that Vail has been chosen for the third time to host the Championships, I would like to point out that St. Moritz hosted the FIS World Championships in 1974, 2003, and they will also host the next FIS World Championships in 2017.

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Vail Daily letter: Listen to the opponents

January 20, 2015 — 

“The company’s next step will be to sit down with town staff and officials to rework the Eagle River Station plan” — so says RED in the recent Vail Daily article. How much did it cost the Eagle taxpayers to go through the first process? After all of the promises, pitching, puffing and touting in the last three years, RED finally has realized that the ERS project, as planned and promoted, was just too large for the area; that it was not economically feasible in the market then and now; that all of those nay-sayers in the community that opposed the project may have had a point that the plan did not fit the place, the time or the desires of the denizens of the Eagle area, except those of the professional shoppers, urban sprawlers and cronies of RED who supported it no matter what the potential costs and damages would turn out to be.

Perhaps the town of Eagle and RED can take a lesson from history when they process the second stab at this development, and listen to those who were right in the first place, the opponents of the first project. Would it be too non-protocolic to convene a meeting between the town of Eagle, RED and the prior opponents to paint this white elephant into a different color, say, green, especially when the taxpayers are going to take another hit in the process, and the historical complexion of Eagle is destined for a makeover per the designs of a St. Louis developer? It is the arrogance that voters endow their municipal officials that creates the mind set of “we know better” or “trust me, I’m from the government” that foments the governmental proclivity to err and ignore the interests of the people. The town of Eagle can learn from the last referendum that the minority in an election may have a point, albeit it does not promote the wish book of a brazen developer.

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Vail Daily letter: Vote is a mistake

January 19, 2015 — 

“Epitome of Hyperbole” is the title of comedian Brian Regan’s special, who has been a yearly guest of the Vilar for years now. However, this “comedy show” hasn’t ended with his departure. We’ve heard it all: We’ll save 800 million over 200 years if we vote “no” ... 3,000 children won’t be starving in the streets, or will they? Will zombies be more likely to attack without added parking? What about bus routes being expanded to Wildridge (great idea, by the way) or was that a Wildridge aerial tram to Beaver Creek. OK, I made that last one up, but if we vote “yes” or “no” for this council building funding method we definitely won’t get a tram and I’ll complain about it for years to come at my watering hole or annoy some visitors on the chairlift with my jaded, edgy local perspective.

I remember when I was a kid and learned we don’t live in a real democracy. I mean ... democracy is freedom right? Without democracy we are just like ISIS or North Korea. We have representative government for better or worse. Sure, at the national and state levels it’s just a battle of lobbyists but locally these are people we know and see on a daily basis and for some reason they were foolish enough to try to represent us. Just running for local council should be followed by a no-confidence vote.

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Vail Daily letter: Ready to serve

January 19, 2015 — 

(Last Tuesday) was swearing-in day for county elected officials, and the public came out to participate in the democratic process. I am humbled, honored, and very excited to be beginning this next term as Eagle County commissioner.

During the last year and a half, I’ve continued to be amazed by the skills and talent of everyone who works on behalf of the public in Eagle County. We are rich in resources here — the men and woman who call the Eagle River and Roaring Fork valleys home, and of course our natural surroundings.

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Vail Daily letter: Successful event

January 19, 2015 — 

The Vail Pet Partners Wagging Tales program wishes to thank Ellen Miller for organizing and hosting the seventh annual Climb for Literacy. Miller, an accomplished mountaineer, created the event as a way for local youth to use their climbing passion to help others. Thousands of sponsored vertical feet were scaled on the climbing wall at the Vail Athletic Club under the supervision of coaches Larry Moore, Courtney Moore, Justin Miller, Tim Daily, Corey Gera and Mike Kimmel. Over $15,000 was raised to promote literacy in Eagle County with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting local nonprofits.

The Wagging Tales program partners young readers with certified “reading dogs” and their handlers who assist them in improving their reading skills. This innovative, low-tech initiative has been hugely successful in local schools over the past several years. We deeply appreciate the opportunity to continue to impact reading fluency in so many lives. Thank you, Ellen, climbers, coaches, parents, sponsors, generous donors and four-legged friends.

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Vail Daily letter: ‘No’ on Skier Building

January 16, 2015 — 

Do Avon taxpayers really want to approve the expenditure of approximately $9.2 million of their tax money to move the Avon Town Hall to a new location across the street? This is the real question before Avon voters.

According to the financial analysis presented to Town Council at their Sept. 23 meeting, $9.2 million is the total cost to taxpayers resulting from the purchase of the Skier Building. This includes $3.2 million to purchase the Skier Building, $2.5 million to complete construction of the unfinished building, and an additional $4.4 million in interest.

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Vail Daily letter: ‘Yes’ on Skier Building

January 16, 2015 — 

We have lived in Avon for 24 years and love the new energy in our town.

We support the purchase and financing of the Skier Building and are excited to see the town of Avon to move forward with this project. Please vote yes for the Skier Building

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Vail Daily letter: ‘Yes’ on Skier Building

January 14, 2015 — 

A “yes” vote is the right vote on the mail-in ballot for financing the Skier Building.

In less than a year the Hoffmanns have renovated east Avon and filled every open retail shop and helped open a new restaurant. Christy Sports is emblematic of the modernization of Avon. In west Avon, the Town Council has done a remarkable job in constructing the Main Street Mall and plaza, including the very best mural in all of western Colorado. It is just the right match for east Avon at the right time. In just one year, the Avon Town Council has supported three new festivals to support our business community and add to the fun of living in Avon. The pavilion is paid for and we will be one of the most notable stages in the valley. Avon Road connecting east to west looks amazing — no more pink railroad bridge, and aged, energy wasting street lights are gone. Avon’s smart new logo is prominent as a welcome sign. We have a major 2015 Championship marker.

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Vail Daily letter: ‘Yes’ vote will save money

January 14, 2015 — 

It seems all we hear about is the Skier Building purchase. The plain and simple truth is that the building will be purchased. The issue is how much it will cost. If we vote “yes,” it will be less expensive. If we vote “no,” it will still be purchased but it will cost more. Logically we should try to save money. The vote is not a “yea” or “nay” for the purchase. Those advocating we vote “no” understand this, I hope. Their motives are confused and unclear as they espouse saving the taxpayers money, yet by voting “no” it will cost the taxpayer more.

The wise choice is voting “yes” on this measure and thus less taxpayer monies will be expended on this purchase. The naysayers must find a more compelling argument based on sound fiscal principles or they risk losing credibility on future opinions.

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Vail Daily letter: ‘Yes’ on Skier Building

January 14, 2015 — 

Dear Avon voters,

This past November you elected four citizens of Avon to represent you and your interests in the town and its future. Minutes after the councilors were sworn into office they voted to send the decision to buy the Skier Building for a new Avon Town Hall to the voters. I will be voting “yes,” and I want to share with you why.

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Vail Daily letter: Getting to work

January 14, 2015 — 

It’s hard to believe that two months have already passed since the 2014 elections. On Jan. 7, the 70th Colorado General Assembly was gaveled into action and your state Legislature got to work. I want to thank all of the voters who participated in the recent elections and whether I earned your vote or not, know that our work to build an economy that gives the middle class a fair shot at success has just begun. It is a great honor to represent the residents of Senate District 5 in the Colorado State Senate, and I look forward to working for you.

Our communities in Western Colorado have learned all too well the real definition of an economic slump. A layoff isn’t a statistic published in The Denver Post; it’s food on the table. Rising costs of health care, no matter how slowed down compared to previous years, are dollars that can’t be replaced by a stagnant wage.

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Vail Daily letter: ‘Yes’ on Skier Building

January 13, 2015 — 

The title of this letter, in my opinion, should be “Location, location, location!” That is an opinion that many real estate agents suggest is most important to buyers, when they are wanting to purchase property.

In regard to the town of Avon purchase of the Skier Building to move its town hall location to, a few critics have suggested that this purchase is not wise. However, the issue Avon voters face is not whether the town should buy the property. The town has already committed to buy the property. The issue is to whether to finance it through certificates of participation, which is a loan mechanism to borrow the money at an unbelievably, reportedly, low interest rate of around 2 percent, with no prepayment penalty, if the loan is paid off in the first five years.

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Vail Daily letter: ‘No’ on Skier Building

January 13, 2015 — 

The Skier Building and the town of Avon’s logic for its purchase baffle me. I will be voting “no” on the ballot and urge others to vote in the same fashion.

I agree with Don Rogers’ multiple columns on the Skier Building, mainly the assessment of value. A key point he makes, which the town routinely glosses over, is the lack of parking attached to the purchase. Parking is key to successful commercial real estate in the valley. By not including parking in the purchase of the Skier Building the town is severely limiting future value and resale of the building/property. It may have to give away town-owned parking spaces in the future to allow the building to function for private businesses. The shortsightedness of this purchase will prove to be a burden on future councils. The town states it will utilize existing parking at the Rec Center and library to meet its needs. My question is where will the people using those facilities park when town staff and customers of town hall fill up the lots?

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Vail Daily letter: ‘Yes’ on Skier Building

January 13, 2015 — 

Just before the start of the recession, Avon was hitting its stride as it adopted its most promising plans for the town and for the Avon commercial core, and then like other communities, the recession caused us to retract, take good care of the town’s finances and wait for better day. In the last two years, Avon has gained back its step and is once again thriving with momentum, accomplishment and opportunity. The Skier Building is an important piece in helping Avon build a better place.

In seeing all of the various statements against the purchase, I think the facts have come out clearly to show that the building is sound, in the right location for our needs, has the parking needed, and is being purchased at a price that is equitable. It will bring activity to the pedestrian mall and from that we will see empty spaces fill. We are building a dynamic town here and the potential for the old town hall to be redeveloped for park expansion, into a convention/arts center, for parking is the most exciting part of the Skier Building purchase. Moving town hall unlocks immense value near our lodging bed base and Nottingham Lake.

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Vail Daily letter: Avon’s half-baked ideas

January 12, 2015 — 

So the truth is slowly coming out about the objectives of this Avon Town Council.

I’m beginning to think they bought the Skier Building so they can develop the old office space and fire/police station property as one big parcel and develop it as per the Benchmark Group “allowances” for the use of that land.

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Vail Daily letter: Keep Avon moving forward

January 12, 2015 — 

For far too long Avon has been mired in mediocrity, unable to fully tap its vast potential. The potential that gained traction in 2008 with the Westin was quieted with the great recession and is now springing back to life. The financing of the Skier Building is another piece of the puzzle that will weave a rich, vibrant, bold and courageous fabric for Avon.

The $3.2 million price for the Skier Building is equitable, between Avon’s appraisal of $2,042,000 and Points of Colorado’s appraisal of $4,120,000. As interest rates are extremely low, Avon can easily afford the annual debt service; remember there are no new taxes that pay for this building. Further, there will be no cost overruns for the building. The Avon Town Council has adopted a very public and thorough process to ensure the tenant finish stays on budget.

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Vail Daily letter: ‘Yes’ on Skier Building

January 12, 2015 — 

I’m working to get out the vote for the new Avon Town Hall. To me, it is a simple matter of establishing a town center on the new mall and freeing up the current site for use more compatible with Nottingham Park. I’ve been inside the Skier Building and it is well laid out for open offices on the second and third floors. The first floor will be council chambers and a community center. Lots of meeting spaces open for use by residents. The costs are fully covered in the town’s finances with no tax increase.

As a 10-year member of the Avon Planning and Zoning Commission, I participated in creating and approving the Town Comprehensive Plan and the West Town Center Plan. They are good plans, but by themselves do not put people on the mall. The empty hole between Bob’s Place and the Sheraton is Lot B. Every year there are some new rumors that a big development is going to happen, but then nothing materializes. We can’t count on Lot B to energize the mall. The new town hall and community center is needed to get that done. For the mall to become viable center of our town, we need to get people using it.

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Vail Daily letter: ‘No’ on Skier Building

January 12, 2015 — 

Regardless of how the new town hall is financed, the Skier Building purchase is not in the best interest of Avon taxpayers.

In September, the previous Avon Town Council overpaid for the purchase of the Skier Building at $3.2 million for a new town hall. (The town’s own appraiser valued the property at $2 million).

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Vail Daily letter: Incorrect statements

January 12, 2015 — 

Dear Mr. Rogers,

I am compelled to write this letter in order to correct the errors in your Jan. 1 editorial concerning the Skier Building in Avon.

First of all, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Peter Monroe, P.E., principal of Monroe & Newell Engineers Inc. Monroe & Newell Engineers Inc. provided the structural engineering for the Skier Building. I personally sealed and stamped the plans for the project as the engineer of record. Our office also provided observations during the initial construction of the building, and subsequently provided reports to both Vail Resorts and the town of Avon.

Your statement “floors that may not safely support the weight of office people and their file cabinets” is simply false. The floors of the skier building are in complete compliance with the building code requirements for normal office loading and will safely support “office people and their file cabinets.” For your reference, Monroe & Newell Engineers Inc. also did the structural engineering on your office, The Vail Daily Building. It was designed with the same loading criteria as the Skier Building. The Vail Resorts issue was a high-density filing system that almost always requires floor reinforcement.

As for “cracks in the base concrete,” I personally observed the building a few months ago, including the wall in discussion. The cracks in the wall are normal shrinkage cracks that occurred when the concrete was first placed as the water dried out of the fresh mix. The cracks do not have any impact on the structural integrity of the building.

The remaining issues in your article are not within my area of expertise so I cannot address them. I can only question whether those statements are as incorrect as your statements addressing the structural integrity of the building.

Peter Monroe

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