Letters to the Editor

Vail Daily letter: Incompetent leadership

August 21, 2014 — 

Did you see that Nancy Pelosi said that Hamas is a “humanitarian organization”? (She did, I didn’t make it up). Our state department has said that they are a terrorist group but Pelosi must have been at the hairdresser when they made the announcement and she missed it. Could we please have an earthquake split off her district from San Francisco so that it can float out to sea? I realize that she has never been known for well thought out and intelligent statements (we have to pass Obamacare to see what is in it). How can the American people continue to elect dunces to represent them in Congress? Oh, maybe a lot of the American people are dunces. Could that be true? You decide.

And while I am on the subject of idiots, why does Secretary of State Kerry suggest that Hamas by implication are the “good guys” and the Jews are the “bad guys” because Hamas fires a lot of rockets that can’t hit much of anything and the Jews have rockets that hit their targets? Actually, I remember when Kerry testified before Congress that U.S. soldiers were the “bad guys” in the Vietnam War, so he seems to consistently be wrong. Kerry is a perfect example of the Democrat types that we elect. They can solve anything by their government expertise like getting the Arabs to love the Jews and live in peace with them notwithstanding their stated position is that Israel must be destroyed. He’s that good? Our government acts like they can solve anything with the EPA, the IRA, the NSA, the HHS and the PDQ experts. So they say that they can solve global warming; they can get nations and religious groups that have been fighting for centuries and who don’t want to stop fighting to live in peace; they can pass government healthcare that will cost less that turns out really doesn’t; they can get the Sunnis from hating Shias; they can convince Putin that his new idea about mother Russia is not fair or just; they can take care of 60,000 juveniles entering our country illegally; and they can stop Iran’s plans to build a nuke by canceling sanctions, extending deadlines, and releasing funds that have previously been frozen. Hell, our representatives can’t even focus on smaller more easily solved problems like, “OK, where are Lerner’s emails and who took a baseball bat to her hard disk?”; like why didn’t we protect our ambassador from an attack in Benghazi instead of blaming a video (and by the way, what ever happened to the guy that did that video?); like when is Harry Reid going to allow a vote in the Senate on anything; like who should get fired in the VA for covering up long waits for vets for medical treatment; like just who authorized the sale of guns in Fast and Furious; like why don’t we change the laws to treat illegal juveniles from Honduras the same as illegals from Mexico, and the most important problem that could be easily solved is “should the president use an overlapping grip on his golf club or a baseball grip with a strong right hand?”

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Vail Daily letter: Take the challenge

August 21, 2014 — 

The ALS “ ice bucket challenge” is a path to victory over an insidious disease!

After I recovered from the initial head rush from the icy water, it occurred to me that this challenge was symbolic of a win. What happens to the coach of a football team after a significant win?

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Vail Daily column: Lessons for our children and grandchildren

August 21, 2014 — 

If you live in Eagle County, you’ve heard a lot of people talking about making our community whole through the Castle Peak Senior Care Community. To me, that phrase is about making sure we have a place for older adults to live in Eagle County when they are no longer in their own homes. It’s about how much younger generations can learn from the wisdom, humor and talent of older generations, and about how important it is to keep our older generations close.

The care community will also serve people of all ages through rehabilitation. Keeping recovering residents and older generations in the county helps all of us stay connected and generates more than $43 million a year in our local economy.

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Vail Daily letter: Why permits?

August 19, 2014 — 

Having moved to Vail in 1966, I became quite interested in and well acquainted with edible native plants of the Rocky Mountains, often through two Vail legends, Ella Knox and Barbara Parker. When I forayed for mushrooms on the mountain, I often was the only one. My passion escalated every summer. But, as I observed more and more people taking up my same interest, I would say to myself, please, let me never see the day when a permit is required! Well, that day is here!

Recently, I attended a seminar at the Four Seasons with the knowledgeable Larry Evans, only to be informed this year a permit is required by the Forest Service. Why? And what is the motivation behind this? Is it simply Vail Valley or all of Colorado?

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Vail Daily letter: Why severance?

August 15, 2014 — 

I read both the announcement and the editorial on Keith Montag leaving his post leaving his post in Eagle County after 24 years of solid service. Clearly, Mr Montag has performed admirably over his tenure and I agree with the editorial that he will be missed. He managed this county through some very difficult times and he deserves his time in the sun. But I was confused because in the original announcement it stated that he would receive six months severance pay, which the article indicated was the usual practice. I spent an entire career with big companies and severance pay was used for compensating workers for involuntary job loss to provide a bridge and safety net while seeking their next job. It appeared Mr. Montag resigned voluntarily. Why would he be eligible for severance pay? I hope you can shed some light on this.

Rich Landy

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Vail Daily column: The path to success

August 15, 2014 — 

I cannot call someone a “reverend” who preaches a divisive class warfare and redistribution of wealth by government as the only solution to inequality and equates this with “freedom.”

The successful people you so vilify are not the evil of this world. Many, if not most, are successful because of some special talent we all might hope to replicate. Some have physical skills, others have brilliant minds and ideas and some have just been lucky to be in the right place at the right time (think mineral rights). Many give back to the world via their own ideas of how they can help others the most. Carnegie gave libraries, Gates spends billions on medicine and education, Buffett gives billions more for Gates to spend. None elected to give their excess wealth to Big Government. You demand that Big Government take the gains of the successful and redistribute their wealth to the less well off.

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Vail Daily letter: Freedom before equality

August 15, 2014 — 

Rev. Van Ens’ commentary (Aug. 10) regarding equality and liberty is elusive, quite circuitous and inconsistent with the facts. Interspersing his contrasting views with former classmate David Brat (who upset Eric Cantor in the Virginia Republican primary) was interesting but primarily a distraction.

Rev. Van Ens believes “that the expansion of federal power enhances a free market for all” and “when equality and freedom are joined, the many prosper instead of the elite few.” Really? If this vision were correct why are the following facts about our current big government true? One, the true unemployment rate that considers those who have departed from the workforce and are no longer seeking employment has risen dramatically during the past six years, now estimated at 18 percent by the Department of Labor. This rate may be even worse since many jobs are now “part time” vs. “full time. Two, even with the current focus on income redistribution, the spread in income inequality has widened. This observation is especially true in minority communities. The poverty level has hovered at approximately 15 percent for three years running. Three, in spite of the federal stimulus plans and low interest rates, the median household income level has dropped 8.7% from 2007 to 2012. Four, our society has become progressively more dependent on governmental programs with the rise in disability rates, food stamp programs and Medicaid expansion.

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Vail Daily letter: Marijuana and young people

August 14, 2014 — 

In my letter to the editor which was printed Aug. 7, I referred to two elected females who will allow marijuana to be sold near the young because they said the young are going to use marijuana anyway! One female is at the county level, the other at the town level.

Both are going to be asked to send a message to the young by having the sale of marijuana at a greater distance from their schools. If these two women do the right thing, their names will not be revealed in the paper.

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Vail Daily letter: Respect in danger

August 14, 2014 — 

Quite a few years ago I served on a jury in the federal court in Denver in which a charge known as “violation of civil rights under color of law” was being prosecuted against a correction officer in the supermax in Florence.

The charge arose when officers were clearing prisoners from one cell block to another because of certain security concerns. In one particular cell, a prisoner (a middle-aged black man with a long, relatively nonviolent criminal record) displayed physical resistance and was taken down in his cell by four officers (if memory serves correctly) in order to handcuff his hands behind him.

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Vail Daily letter: Timber Ridge revisited

August 14, 2014 — 

Clearly, the Vail council and town stakeholders are disappointed that the clean contract to redo half of Timber Ridge has stalled, even though the apartments have been vacated and there is great anticipation for the new facility.

The developers are now asking for two new features — an option to buy our land and going out 50 years rather than 35 years before we get the buildings back — both involving unpredictable outcomes.

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Vail Daily letter: Great art tour

August 14, 2014 — 

As a visitor to Vail since 1975, a second home owner since 1993, and a full-time resident since 2000, I’m embarrassed to admit how little I knew about Vail’s public art collection. Along with approximately 50 Vail visitors, I went on the Wednesday Vail Village Art Walk with Molly Eppard as our guide. Molly not only has terrific knowledge of Vail’s history, but you can tell by her enthusiasm how much she enjoys sharing Vail’s amazing public art collection. The art walks continue through Aug. 27 meeting each Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the Vail Village Welcome Center on the top level of the parking structure. The tour winds its way through the Village with discussions of the history of the Vail Valley, the founding of Vail Mountain, the master planning of the village, and the importance of site-specific art. The town’s public art collection includes works ranging from paintings, sculptures, murals, playground components, to site-integrated art. The tour lasts approximately one hour, and it’s well worth it!

Sue Froeschle

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Vail Daily letter: Thanks for help

August 13, 2014 — 

Thank you to the Vail Daily for helping make Starting Hearts’ Art for Hearts Rembrandt Exhibition a huge success. More than 90 percent of all the attendees said they heard about the event through the Vail Daily. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Lynn Blake

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Vail Daily letter: Thanks for help

August 13, 2014 — 

There is something really special about diverse communities coming together to make projects happen for kids who need them most. This summer, Colorado Mountain Express partnered with Big City Mountaineers to provide transportation for under-resourced youth coming from Denver for their first backpacking trips. Transportation is one of the biggest barriers for urban kids to experience the outdoors and Colorado Mountain Express generously providing vans for Big City Mountaineers’ summer programs significantly helped get more youth into the backcountry.

Big City Mountaineers is a Golden-based nonprofit that provides wilderness opportunities to under-resourced urban teens ages 13 to 18. On expedition, youth cultivate relationships with caring adult mentors in a unique one-to-one ratio of adults to teens. Using the backcountry as a backdrop, youth improve self-awareness and personal responsibility through curriculum that promotes group development and effective communication. Program results include increased likeliness to stay in school, reduction in violence, and a reduction in drug use.

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Vail Daily letter: We can do better

August 12, 2014 — 

Our new republic crafted at the hands of the Democratic Party and those unwitting Republicans who walk the party lines drawn by the “old guard” is an entity unto itself, a “ship of state without a rudder,” and an enemy of the very people who have ignorantly entrusted it with the authority of governance. This November we can again, with ignorance, complacency and gullibility, restate, ratify and re-elect this administration and its slavish adherents to continue on with the destruction of what once was the standard bearer of liberty, prosperity and opportunity for a war-weary world, a world of poverty and of self-indulgence by the authoritarians of any stripe.

We can continue to have an IRS that operates as the political hack of the present administration, an agency that obfuscates the truth about its political interests, and refuses to apply the provisions of the tax code equally and across the board to all. We can still have an attorney general that applies the law to the benefit of a favored few, e.g., Black Panthers, Muslim Brotherhood and Mexican cartels — this same attorney general that was held in contempt of Congress for his fabrications and ultimate concealment of his involvement in the matter by way of a “privilege” granted to him by Mr. Obama himself.

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Vail Daily letter: ‘Outrage’ over self-defense

August 10, 2014 — 

In Iraq, some 1,600 people were killed in July. U.N. envoy Mladenov: “I am concerned about the rising number of casualties in Iraq, particularly among the civilian population.” U.S. State Department: No comment.

In Syria, more than 1,800 people have been killed in the last 10 days. The U.S. State Department’s only Syria-related press release on Monday was an announcement that it was funding a project “to document the current condition of cultural heritage sites in Syria and assess the future restoration, preservation and protection needs for those sites.”

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Vail Daily column: Freedom puts people before profits

August 9, 2014 — 

David Brat and I were college and seminary students at virtually the same Christian schools. That’s where the similarity ends. He believes in a free market focused on making money. I’m convinced a free market without the federal government’s serving as referee, and functions like a stacked deck. It’s gamed in favor of the rich. Limited regulation levels the playing field for all investors to cash in.

I believe the expansion of federal power enhances the free market for all; Brat is adamant that big government diminishes economic liberty, especially for wealthy investors.

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Apologies for sign

August 8, 2014 — 

I am writing this letter in response to letters to the editor on Wednesday. Kara Bettis and Re-elect Kara Bettis for Coroner campaign would like to extend our deepest apologies to anyone we offended with our sign. I am the campaign manager for Re-elect Kara Bettis for Coroner and also a cancer survivor. I have had my treatments done at Shaw Cancer Center and I am still a patient there. Having been diagnosed with cancer myself, I understand the power that images from the outside world can have on our emotions at a time when we are struggling with getting through the day. So I understand why Kara’s political sign was upsetting. Kara was there for me as I fought my battle with cancer in 2009. She is a dear friend, and I will be forever grateful for her support in my time of need. For clarity, this sign was not on Shaw’s property but on a supporter’s fence that is across the street from the Shaw Center. At our request, the sign has been removed.

Kara Bettis has been your Eagle County coroner for 12 years. She has been our coroner for so many years because she is both knowledgeable as well as an extremely warm and compassionate person. She has helped numerous people in our community get through the most difficult time of their lives. Kara’s years of experience combined with her genuine care for the people of this community gives her the ability to balance the important technical pieces of an investigation, while providing information to the families in a manner that allows them to understand what happened to their loved one. This experience cannot be taught in a classroom or read in a book. This knowledge is obtained through many long days and hours of investigations, being on scenes and communicating with families. It truly takes the right person, for the right reasons; as well a unique individual to embrace the challenges of the coroner, and I believe that person is Kara.

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Vail Daily letter: Keep lake beautiful

August 8, 2014 — 

I am a resident of Avon who travels around beautiful Nottingham Lake often. I am very disappointed to see that again the organizers of the Bec Tri have spray painted directions and arrows all around the lake that will be there for years. As much as I enjoy having events at our lake, this is a daily reminder of that event that will not wash away. Chalk would have been better to use or, like the other events around the lake, temporary signage. Please keep our lake beautiful.

Gia Benoit

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Vail Daily letter: What the coroner does

August 7, 2014 — 

Hello, I am Kara Bettis, your Eagle County coroner for 12 years. With my on-the-job experience I would like to respond to the letter published Tuesday about the coroner’s job and what it involves. I would like to correct and add current information to this letter.

Where did the coroner’s role come from:

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Vail Daily letter: Don’t target entire religion

August 7, 2014 — 

Peter Bergh’s ugly and racist characterization of Muslims, using tired and hateful stereotypes, detracts from his greater point that the actions of terrorists and extremists must not be tolerated (Letters to the Editor, Aug. 4). It is unacceptable — and dilutes the import of properly identifying real terrorists — to claim that term is applicable to hundreds of millions of Muslims. Those who seek to overcome the influence of terrorists and extremists must do better than to rely on dehumanizing rhetoric.

The world community must stand united against all forms of extremism, including extremism motivated by radical interpretations of Islam. Last month, Israel responded to unceasing rocket and missile fire on civilian centers when it launched “Operation Protective Edge.” The operation targeted strategic facilities, tunnels, weapons and the leadership of Hamas, which the United States and the European Union have appropriately identified as a terrorist organization.

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Vail Daily letter: Getting better

August 7, 2014 — 

Last month you printed my letter of complaint. It was aimed at companies that drive tourists in vans with trailers attached to the top of Vail Pass, then put them on bikes for the thrill of the ride back down. My beef was, some of them obviously weren’t giving adequate instructions to their clients about the “rules of the road” — riding on the right, pulling off the path when you stop, recognizing the right-of-way to uphill riders; they were putting those of us who climb the path before the exuberance of the descent in peril.

Now, though, I write a letter of compliment. Each time since the letter was printed that I’ve ridden up the path to Vail Pass, groups of tourists heading down on two wheels have been doing what they should: Riding in single file on the right side so they aren’t a hazard to those of us coming up, pulling themselves and their bikes completely off the path when they stop for photos, and generally following the rules of the road.

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August 6, 2014 — 

Protect kids from marijuana

Two elected females went on record (by their vote) saying they were going to allow marijuana to be sold near the young because the young are going to use marijuana anyway (CD proof available).

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Vail Daily letter: Strong support from Daily

August 6, 2014 — 

As advisors to the board of the Starting Hearts organization, we personally would like to thank the Vail Daily for its very strong support of Starting Hearts, especially during its recent “Art for the Heart” original Rembrandt etchings fundraiser. We couldn’t do it without your strong support.

Drs. Toby and Mort Mower

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Vail Daily letter: Thanks for help

August 5, 2014 — 

I would like to thank the following businesses for their donations to the Gypsum Fire Department Auxiliary: Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Kum & Go, Costco, Alpine Bank and Bella’s Market. We used the donations to sell food during the Movies and Music in the Park in June. I would also like to thank the town of Gypsum for allowing us to sell concessions during this time. Finally, I would like to thank the volunteers who worked the event every Friday. We couldn’t do it without you!

Rhonda Tatham

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Vail Daily letter: Inappropriate sign

August 5, 2014 — 

I recently had the opportunity to visit the Vail area on a trip with my mother to see her very good friend of 30 years. She is in the middle of treatment for breast cancer.

Unfortunately, during our stay, her friend was called back to have a repeat mammogram for suspicious findings. To say the least, it was a very emotional time for both friends.

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Vail Daily letter: Insensitive to patients

August 5, 2014 — 

As a patient of the Shaw Cancer Center, I am distressed as I leave the facility to see a large sign advertising for Coroner Kara Bettis.

I recognize this is an election year; however as I went to receive care I do not wish to be blatantly reminded of a possible outcome. I believe the sign is very insensitive to the feelings of patients who attend the center for treatment.

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Vail Daily letter: Love this school

August 5, 2014 — 

Thank you to the faculty and families of Rumpelstiltskin Preschool for an awesome camping trip to Camp Hale! Extracurricular activities like these just add to an already long list of things my family loves about Rumpel. Not one time in almost two years has my daughter not come home with a huge smile on her face talking about math, art, nature, friendship, health, etc. It’s definitely no secret to me as to why Rumpel has had so much success since 1978.

Erich Schmidt

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Vail Daily letter: Coroner clarifications

August 4, 2014 — 

Hello, my name is Sue Franciose and I’m running for Eagle County coroner in the upcoming Nov. 4 election. During the campaign process, I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of residents that have similar questions. I’d like to take this time to answer these questions and clarify some areas.

1. Where did the coroner’s role come from:

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Vail Daily letter: Apples and oranges

August 4, 2014 — 

Respectfully, like comparing apples with oranges, it’s impossible to compare Aspen with Vail.

Aspen has a unique, fascinating history. Its charm comes from the fact that it is an old silver mining town that boomed for only 12 years and went to sleep for half a century! In 1943, one could stay in the Hotel Jerome for 50 cents a night, many buildings were vacant, boarded up and available for back taxes. Its population was down to several hundred from 11,000. Were it not the county seat of Pitkin County, Aspen might well have become a ghost town. Unlike Leadville, it only mined silver, not gold, zinc, lead, copper or moly.

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Vail Daily letter: Bad DMV experience

August 4, 2014 — 

Dear Gov. Hickenlooper,

I am asking for some help in dealing with the DMV-Driver License Control Section for the state of Colorado. It is not just for me, but for everyone who lives in the state of Colorado. This department has crossed a line that goes far beyond anything that is reasonable. No one should ever be treated the way I was. No one!

Let me say, first, that my driver’s license was not under suspension nor had I had any tickets. It was simply time to renew my license before my birthday, on Feb. 1. So, on Dec. 11, 2013, I had an appointment with my eye doctor in Erie. It turned out that I needed cataract surgery. The only available dates that the doctor could perform the surgery were Jan. 9 and Jan. 16. (They do one eye one week and the other eye the next week.) Having had the first surgery performed at Avista Hospital, I had a post op appointment on Jan. 10, at which point my vision was already corrected enough to drive and he could sign my form from the State of Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles in order to renew my driver’s license. That’s when my problems began.

Being too late on Friday to go to a place where they issue driver’s licenses, most that were convenient having closed, I went, on Jan. 13, to the office in Boulder with all my paperwork in order. Note that I had read that I needed a document showing my legal address. That is the way the form is worded. After calmly awaiting my turn, I walked up to a man and gave him the form signed by my doctor. He yelled in no uncertain terms, “I don’t want that! I want your driver’s license!” I handed it to him. “Now I want your other form!”

“What other form?” I said.

Again, sternly with a look of anger on his face, he said, “The one with your physical address on it.” I explained that I didn’t have anything like that because, in Avon, we have no home mail delivery. All utility bills etc. come to our legal address, a post office box in Avon. That’s when he pulled out the Patriot Act and slammed it down on the countertop. He started yelling at me and jabbing his index finger at the parts of the act which applied and informed me I couldn’t have a driver’s license until I provided that. But, I said, I’m a fourth generation Coloradoan.

Well, my husband and I went back to the property we own in Arvada. He finally found a mortgage document with both our names and our physical address. But now we’re in Arvada and the closest driver’s license office is in Northglenn across I-25 on Washington Street. Another long drive.

Arriving there, we were greeted with the Patriot Act again. Then I waited in line all the while watching all these people taking the eye test. I kept thinking I was lucky I didn’t have to do that part. Not because I couldn’t pass, mind you, but because no one was wiping off that screen. As any retired teacher knows, this is pink eye season and I didn’t want an infection in the eye I’d just had surgery in four days before. In addition, I was scheduled for the other surgery in just three days. I think you can see my point.

When my turn came up, I walked up, handed over my driver’s license and my Patriot form — I’m a quick learner — and then handed over my driver’s license renewal form signed by my doctor.

“This is not a mail-in facility,” he screamed. But this is signed by my doctor and therefore I don’t need to take the eye test. He then turned toward his supervisor and screamed, “Do they all have to take the eye test?”

“Yes!” the supervisor screamed back. It was obvious there was no way I could talk to them because they wouldn’t listen. Additionally, the rules at this office were obviously different than those published online. I was treated with screaming, mad officials twice in one day and was truly terrorized into total silence. They actually had me standing at attention, shaking! So, having no choice, I gathered up my papers and left twice in one day with no driver’s license.

My only choice now was to mail my form in and the time I had was shorter than the 20 days I was informed I had to give them to get all this through the mail. I literally spent the rest of that Monday calling the DMV. Was put on hold for a good 20 minutes each time and no one knew anything except to give me another number to call where I was put on hold again and again for 20 minutes. Finally, by 4 p.m. I got a hold of someone who could give me some sane advice. I then headed over to the closest FedEx and overnighted it to an address in Lakewood. Tom, I need to say, was the only reasonable person I talked to all day, and having me on his screen he knew, as did everyone else in this saga, that there was absolutely nothing wrong with my driving record.

In conclusion, I need to say that this culture needs to change. It’s truly an issue that needs to be addressed before anyone else has to go through this. And if it all seems like it’s just bureaucracy or if it seems amusing, I assure you it’s not funny when it happens to you. And in my particular age group, I agree that everyone should have an eye test but shouldn’t your doctor’s signature after a very thorough eye exam in a doctor’s office be preferable to the one at the DMV? And, you should not be greeted with a different set of rules at each driver’s license office. This is the state of Colorado. Each office should be the same. And, the rules should be the same whether it’s mail-in or not. That way you don’t have people in sudden shock about a different set of rules each place they go, and then maybe the people who work in these various offices wouldn’t have to be so angry all the time! After all, I had to have surgery just to renew my license. I did receive it in the mail eventually, just two days before my birthday.

Thanks for taking this into consideration and at least making some calls about it. The way in which the Patriot Act is suddenly being used is quite frankly appalling.

Marcia J. Reed

Avon

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