Letters to the Editor

Vail Daily letter: Headed toward failure

July 20, 2014 — 

Having read the rebuttal by Denny Geraghty to yet another one of Dick Gustafson’s rants, a rant in itself I must say, my takeaway is that we have been very poorly led for most of the time since the end of World War II.

It is patently unfair to blame the mess the nation is in today solely on Obama or “W,” as many of the seeds of the likely destruction of the republic were planted by every one of the men who have served as president since Japan threw in the towel.

Learn more »

Vail Daily letter: Look at the big picture

July 20, 2014 — 

Embarrassing, isn’t it, that so few of us know what in the world has caused the sudden explosion of undocumented children presenting themselves on our southern border. Embarrassing, isn’t it, that when we learn their countries of origin so few of us can point to those countries on a map, let alone name the capitals, their presidents, much of anything about them except that the children from those countries who have shown up look very much like “Mexicans” we see in local service jobs and in Arizona detention centers. How few of us remember studying the Central and South American chapters of “The History of the Western Hemisphere.” (Was that class even offered anywhere?) Embarrassing, isn’t it, that so many of us can’t understand why these children are being called “refugees” by people like the pope, the head of UN Refugee Services, Catholic and other charities, and even some politicians. Refugees? The U.S. doesn’t, shouldn’t, would never have a huge refugee problem! We leave that to the far-away others in this world. Embarrassing, isn’t it, that so few of us know what happened to 4 million Iraqis who became refugees after the U.S. invasion in 2003. Not embarrassing? We don’t really care? Let Jordan, Syria (embarrassing that Iraqi refugees in Syria are now at a loss to know where to go next), the other Middle Eastern countries take care of them. Just don’t ship them here.

Embarrassing that so few of us understand our very real connection to the new children-surge from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala; that murderous narco-gangs have moved to those already homicide-leading countries to recruit “children and women mules” to transport drugs, to eliminate government and community opposition, to extort money from families, to establish gang empires in poor, weak countries. Their problem? No, our problem! We are the major export group, the customers of the powerful narco-leaders. Our users demand that the drug trafficking continue. Our communities, though often devastated at least on an individual family level by drug use and crime, overdoses, deaths, look the other way and refuse to connect the dots. Too painful. Too much work. Not in my backyard. And then there’s the poverty thing. The guilty countries are among the poorest in the world. We don’t want any more poor people, do we? Please suspend that foolishly idealistic Statue of Liberty inscription,

Learn more »

Vail Daily letter: Presidents lie

July 20, 2014 — 

I read with interest the column published in this paper on July 4 (“This is Leadership?”) by Dick Gustafson and the letter rebuttal to it (“Remarkable leadership”) published 10 days later by Denny Geraghty. Mr. Gustafson’s column is a long and now all too familiar rant about the political right’s perceived failings of the Obama administration. Included among Obama’s sins are the IRS scandal, the NSA scandal, Obamacare, and lest we forget that bete noire of bete noires: Benghazi. Mr. Geraghty’s retort was a reasoned response to Mr. Gustafson’s charges, replete with researched facts about Obama’s numerous successes in reducing the deficit (since 2008) and annual spending (since 2009), improving employment (again from 2009), extricating us from Iraq and Afghanistan, saving the auto industry, and providing the American taxpayer with a $30 billionreturn on our investment in bailing out the financial industry. ( Full disclosure: I am a longtime friend of Mr. Geraghty. But I am not writing to defend his position. He doesn’t need my help. He did a masterful job on his own. I do not know and have never met Mr. Gustafson. I only know from reading his columns in this paper over the years that I don’t like anything he has to say.)

Mr. Gustafson’s obsession with Mr. Obama, as is true of the far right in general, is that he’s a liar.

Learn more »

Vail Daily letter: Facts wrong

July 20, 2014 — 

I appreciate Paul Rondeau trying to challenge our society to learn from mistakes. Unfortunately I don’t believe he did his homework and without facts how do we learn. In my mind, he then becomes part of the problem that he thinks that he is fixing. The financial meltdown started in the Carter administration when good intentions were behind the Community Reinvestment Act. It opened up the housing market to those who were previously considered not eligible. The government forced banks to drop their standards and play by their new rules. I believe these efforts were double downed in the Clinton administration. In early 2002, I believe the Bush administration went to Congress to warn them that the GSEs needed over sight and regulations. I believe they went six times but their warnings and requests were shot down by people like Barney Frank and Chuck Schumer who insisted that Fannie and Freddie were solvent. Wall Street will always find a way to be creative in making money. They were greedy, no doubt, but they took their lead from the government GSEs.

I believe if we are to learn from the past, you must stick to the facts. Many of our problems today start with good intentions and backfire into unintended consequences (housing, college loans, health care, etc.). I believe government intervention often gets in the way of the free market and competition and problems only get worse.

Learn more »

Vail Daily letter: A caring community

July 20, 2014 — 

I wonder if this community of Eagle is aware of the compassion and their sincere love of people and animals.

On Friday the 13th of June, I pulled into the rest area at 10 p.m. I text my kids and told them I was stopping for the night. I slept for three and a half hours. Woke up and went to the bathroom. On my return, I discovered my cat was not in the car. I couldn’t figure out how she got out. I was nearly hysterical. Several people at the rest area joined in the search. Someone called the animal rescue, and that started the ball rolling.

Learn more »

Vail Daily letter: Thanks from football camp

July 20, 2014 — 

A sincere “thank you” goes out to all the businesses and individuals who helped make our 2014 Vail Summer Football Camp a success. We bring in an outstanding group of college coaches to work with our kids here in the mountain communities, and we couldn’t do that without their help. The support of our community is what really makes the camp work, from the financial considerations to the customer service hospitality.

Thanks to:

Learn more »

Vail Daily letter: Donovan for Senate

July 19, 2014 — 

I met Kerry Donovan a couple of months ago and have been impressed how she has taken the time to listen to all the voters of District 5. Kerry has worked to help voters know about issues we face across District 5 I don’t recall her opponent spending any time in our Happy Valley doing work as hard or long as Kerry.

I was disappointed to read Matthew Soper’s letter directed at Kerry. He had the opportunity to outline the issues and difference between the candidates for Senate District 5. Instead, his letter was a poor attempt at slinging mud. Does Matthew think the voters of the district are so naive that they will respond to a cheap shot at his candidate’s opposition? And it would have been helpful in his letter if Matthew disclosed his relationship with Suppes. According to Matthew’s LinkedIn account he is a registered agent of the “Suppes for Colorado State Senate”.

Learn more »

Vail Daily letter: Ready to lead

July 18, 2014 — 

To the citizens of Eagle County,

I first want to thank the Eagle County residents for your overwhelming support during the primary election! I could not have accomplished this without your insight and support.

Learn more »

Vail Daily letter: You are invited

July 18, 2014 — 

Save the date — free barbecue Aug. 31 at 5 p.m. before Carrie Underwood goes on at 7:30 p.m. at Jazz Aspen.

“When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,” — Jesus of Nazareth.

Learn more »

Vail Daily letter: Where is the outrage?

July 18, 2014 — 

Just who is Mark Udall? For one thing, he has historically been in lock-step with and a supporter of the Obama administration for the past 5.5 years in his “career” as Colorado’s senator. During those years, I have looked and listened, fast, hard and long for any outrage or even a semblance of discontent from Mr. Udall regarding the blatant fraud perpetrated on the American people by his administration’s fomentation, marketing and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Mr. Udall not only did not read the bill at its inception (who could have?), but voted for it, and tacitly condones the executive legislation that aborts its very provisions. Where is the outrage? Where is even a comment in passing?

The administration’s feckless foreign policy has helped to create a more dangerous world for everyone — not just Americans. Mr. Udall is absent from that venue also for party reasons (“his bread is buttered by the DNC”). Terrorism abounds to such absurdity that the only ones subject to profiling and scrutiny are American citizens, what with the antics of the NSA, the TSA, the EPA, DOJ, the DEA, and so on. Our southern border is so porous and open to terrorists that it renders moot any other precaution that the administration conjures and promotes. Mr. Udall, do you even have a position on this subject? Do you dare comment on it for political reasons?

Learn more »

Vail Daily letter: We need a new perspective

July 18, 2014 — 

In response to the letter that Denny Geraghty of Denver provided to the Vail Daily on July 15 in regard to Dick Gustafson’s opinions, I want to follow up with my support for Denny’s well expressed letter regarding the events of the last several years.

I am a political independent and feel that our country has lost sight of the abyss that we almost fell into. Those responsible for the resurgence of our economic improvement were indeed: Bernanke (who, as a Republican, was asked by the Obama administration to continue his pursuit of an economic solution for a distressed economy) along with Geithner, Paulson, Summers and others. Their collective efforts saved America and the global economies from a financial disaster beyond comprehension.

Learn more »

Vail Daily letter: Turned away at parking lot

July 18, 2014 — 

Recently, we attended a Bravo concert with a cardiac handicapped individual. We arrived at the lot above the Ford Amphitheater with a handicapped tag at 5:05 p.m. and were told twice there was no handicapped parking available. Further, we were told there was parking available at the Vail parking garage (there was not) and that Vail had exceeded the required amount of handicapped spots at that lot. Even if there were parking spaces available in the garage, this individual would have had to walk to the elevator, to the bus, and then wait for the golf cart, still a fair amount of walking for someone with a cardiac handicap. There were many parking spots available on the upper lot, but there were red cones in front of them (no doubt reserved for the patrons), but there were also many spots available with no cones in front of them. Who were these reserved for? As long as there is a person with a legitimate disability needing a parking spot, there will never be the “required” number of handicapped parking spots available.

Steven A. Field

Learn more »

Vail Daily letter: Golf hole now stupid

July 18, 2014 — 

First of all, please accept my apologies for sending another letter to the editor about the golf clubhouse. Does anyone really care that the new No. 18 opened up with a cup hole cutting ceremony? I guess if you have tried to sell the public on the merits of a new clubhouse built for anyone but golfers you can sell a cup hole cutting ceremony as an event. The obvious desire to spin this public relations disaster into a news story deserves some equal press. No. 18 was a fantastic golf hole and a great finishing hole. It is now a stupid golf hole out of context with the rest of the course design. A Par 5 from the blue tees at only 443 yards is way too easy. The black tees at 507 yards impose a 190-plus yard carry into the prevailing wind with a 40-yard-wide landing area next to a third lake. The hole is now unfair to compete on between handicap golfers. This tricked-out tee shot will surely entertain some that don’t recall Jack Nicklaus or Tom Watson playing this hole for prize money.

Golf has a lot to do with traditions and rules. No ribbon cutting, cup hole cutting or mayor’s announcements will make this an improvement to the golf experience in Vail. They shortened the hole to accommodate outdoor event seating and B.S. the public on safety concerns. The clubhouse design remains in litigation as neighbors try to protect their back yards and Vail from overdevelopment.

Learn more »

Vail Daily letter: Thanks for support

July 17, 2014 — 

I am so honored and humbled to have received the democratic nomination for Eagle County commissioner. I want to express my sincere appreciation to all those that provided help, guidance and support during the June 24 primary. I cannot adequately express the depth of my gratitude. Thank you to those of you that put up yard signs, helped with phone calls, wrote letters on my behalf, and provided both moral and financial support. I also want to thank all the voters that took the time to share their perspectives and ideas for Eagle County by chatting with me at your door, by telephone or at community events.

Pat Hammon and Tom Edwards are two other Democrats that shared with me the passion to serve Eagle County as county commissioner. Both have a long history as public servants, positively impacting our community through a diversity of good works. I was humbled to have been in the caucus race with both and the primary with Pat. I learned so much from them.

Learn more »

Vail Daily letter: Spiraling out of control

July 17, 2014 — 

Very much like a dog chasing its own tail, efforts by the states and federal government to curtail the out-of-control costs of healthcare delivery have to date proven to be just as futile and ineffective. Witness the unfolding train wreck entitled “The Affordable Care Act.”

In the United States today, the lack of regular exercise and an unhealthy diet have contributed to the overall population being among the least healthy in the nation’s history. The statistics are rather grim — 80 percent of the population does not get the minimum amount of regular exercise required to stay healthy, and the nation is hooked on an unhealthy diet of high-caloric fast food.

Learn more »

Vail Daily letter: Rules of the road

July 17, 2014 — 

There are companies that take tourists to the top of Vail Pass in a van — from both sides, Vail and Copper Mountain, then let them coast back down on a bike. That’s fine — it’s more of an amusement park ride than a workout, but I don’t begrudge visitors from the lower levels of our planet the thrill of flying down the pass.

But as one of the many riders in the valley who does actually climb the 2,200-plus vertical feet before reaping the reward of a fast descent, I do begrudge the poor level of instruction tourists get from drivers and guides who set them free to make their way to the bottom. Three times in a single day last week, I came close to a collision because no one had told these downhill riders the “rules of the road” — or no one had told them loud enough — or no one had told them twice!

Learn more »

Vail Daily letter: Irresponsible journalism

July 16, 2014 — 

Sunday, July 13, Vail Daily carried three AP articles by Khaled Khazziha and Mohammed Daraghmeh which all presented Israel in an unfavorable light. While the body of the articles tried to give a more balanced account, the headlines distorted this tragic conflict. A headline “Israel refuses to end offensive against Gaza, over 150 Palestinians killed in past week” or “Israeli bombing turns Gaza into ghost town” in no way addresses the suffering and trauma to the Israeli people initiated by Hamas. Hamas is a documented terror organization which has sworn to destroy Israel and world Jewry if possible. One article quotes a man saying, “I wish I were a young man so I could wear a suicide belt and go blow myself up in Tel Aviv.” The fact that Israel has suffered few casualties as the result of the Iron Dome technology seems to facilitate Israel being seen as the aggressor.

My daughter and her family were to leave to Israel today to join members of their congregation from LA for the Bat Mitzvah of my granddaughter but on Friday they made the heartbreaking decision to cancel their trip. The response from our family waiting for them in Israel was as follows: “We try to minimize going out and when we come to buy something we ask where is the safe room as we learned that despite Iron Dome it is best to be in a safe room during a siren so briefly you made a logical decision.”

Learn more »

Vail Daily letter: Open up our lands

July 16, 2014 — 

I recently read the letters “Access denied” and “A bad idea” in the Monday Vail Daily.

Unfortunately, these two letters hit the nail squarely on the head. Our government, primarily the Forest Service, seems to have a well established program to shut us out of our public land. The more land they restrict access to just overcrowds the remaining land. There does not seem to be a reasonable justification for many of the road closures, and the “Travel Management Plan” is not a reasonable justification. As an example, why has Mill Creek Road from the east end of the Vail Ski Area been closed?

Learn more »

Vail Daily letter: Who will demand justice?

July 15, 2014 — 

I noticed in the news today that one of the criminals was sentenced in the Detroit assault that left a driver in a coma after he struck a pedestrian. The facts of that case are that a white man was driving in Detroit and struck a black youth that darted into traffic. The driver immediately stopped, notified the authorities and went to the youth’s side to render aid. The driver was attacked by three black males and was punched and kicked so viciously that he was in a coma for several days and is still unable to return to work. The witness statements and the police report exonerated the driver.

One of the criminals pleaded guilty to reduced charges and received a one-year sentence. I am sure I am not the only person that believes the sentence is inappropriate for attempted murder or felonious assault.

Learn more »

Vail Daily letter: Something to consider

July 15, 2014 — 

Mr. Denny Geraghty — read your letter for Tuesday’s Daily. Don’t normally respond like this, but just want to say something for your consideration. President Bush (“W,” as you put it) was commander-in-chief when evil men took my airplane (I’m a retired airline captain — 767s) and drove it into those magnificent buildings in Manhattan. Their evil not finished, they drove my airplane (with my best friend on board) into our nation’s Pentagon. Oh, and don’t ever forget those heroes in the Pennsylvania field. Do you know how many women and children those monsters killed? Did you know anybody killed personally? I promise you, even though I was 60-something, I would have been first in line to avenge that evil, if I was allowed. Would you, sir?

I was a pilot in the Vietnam air war (1964-1967). I believe to this day that we had to take a stand against Communism in that contested region. Were you there? Don’t ever forget we (military) won that war — Congress gave it away.

Learn more »

Vail Daily letter: Remarkable leadership

July 14, 2014 — 

Like most conservatives, Dick Gustafson has a severe case of political myopia; he can’t see the forest for the trees. In his latest disparaging comments about Obama he concludes that Obama is basically an inveterate and habitual liar and then makes the incredibly silly suggestion that any potential Democratic presidential nominee will also be a liar, simply by association. He longs for the day when leaders with strong moral and ethical backbones will once again ascend to political power; people I guess like Nixon, Agnew, Cheney, and “W” Bush, those paragons of virtue and integrity.

Well, let’s look at some facts (or lies, depending on your viewpoint). When “W” left office he had presided over an economy that, after eight years, saw him increase spending by over 700 percent; turn a $63 billion surplus into a $1.413 trillion deficit, which was 10 percent of GDP; increase the national debt by $6.1 trillion more than doubling the debt from $5.08 trillion to $11.9 trillion; increase unemployment from 5.7 to 10 percent; increase jobs by a whopping 1.1 million; watch the stock market bottom out at 6,549; deregulate the financial industry resulting in the financial collapse of 2008; alienate just about all our allies by engaging unilaterally in two attempts at nation building in Iraq and Afghanistan; and cap it all off by donning a flight suit in front of a “mission accomplished” banner on an aircraft carrier. Would you call that great leadership, Dick?

Learn more »

Vail Daily letter: Moral courage, too

July 14, 2014 — 

I enjoyed reading the Vaily Daily column “Business of Knights” by Benjamin A. Gochberg. His historical analysis is spot on in which he noted the wisdom of Jean Parisot de Valette, the grand master of the Knights Hospitaller, later known by its formal name of the Sovereign Military and Hospitaller Order of St. John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta — an ancient papal order which received sanction and whose heroic deeds along with the ancient Knights Templar helped defend and preserve Christianity in mainland Europe and along the Mediterranean.

Mr. Gochberg noted that the knights’ “business ... was war.” Well, that is partially correct. The Knights Templar protected pilgrims venturing to and from Jerusalem and the rest of the Holy Land. The Knights Hospitaller likewise assisted but they were charged to protect the old, sick and infirm — essentially as medics. Once on the island of Malta, the “Knights of Malta” minted their own monetary currency. They had copper, silver and gold coins. I only have a few examples of such in my possession. However, I am most impressed with their coins, which feature an image of “the clasped hands of friendship” and the motto: “Non aes sed fides,” which roughly translates to “Not mere money, but solid faithful trust.” I think that speaks volumes as to their courage, but their fiscal integrity, too.

Learn more »

Vail Daily letter: Same here with DMV

July 14, 2014 — 

My husband and I could have written the exact same letter that Sara Garton wrote in the Letters to the Editor section on Sunday regarding the driving license renewal office in Glenwood Springs! This was about four years ago and it seems nothing has changed! We’re going to try Frisco next time!

Joni Maxwell

Learn more »

Vail Daily letter: Dangerous precedent

July 14, 2014 — 

I was pleased to read Rev. Van Ens’ commentary titled “Religious freedoms trump contraceptive rights?” in (Sunday’s) Vail Daily. His piece was especially important because he is obviously a man of deep faith and he seems to understand two basic truths: First, corporations are not people and, second, the decision about whether or not to use contraception and, if so, what kind to use is between a woman and her physician. It is not her boss’s business!

If the Green family (the owners of Hobby Lobby) does not believe in contraception, don’t use it. Denying employees the right to choose to use birth control or not, is anything but religious freedom.

Learn more »

Vail Daily letter: A memorable moment

July 14, 2014 — 

Thank you to the Vail Valley Foundation, Bravo! Vail, Jim Palermo, Jeff Tyzik and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for including our ambassador Capt. Ferris Butler, US Army (retired) in the Patriotic Concert on the Fourth of July. The recognition of United States armed forces veterans and those who have sacrificed is truly a memorable moment at the annual concert and reinforces the significance of the Independence Day celebration, reminding us how truly blessed we are to live in our great country.

Vail holds a special place in the lives of the Vail Veterans Program alumni and their family as it a place of healing. It continues to be our collective commitment to continue supporting our wounded warriors as they cope with living with a life-altering injury.

Learn more »

Vail Daily letter: She will be missed

July 14, 2014 — 

In addition to Jo Brown’s many contributions to the Vail Valley, first among them being an awesome mother and grandmother, she spent many hours serving as chairwoman of the Eagle County Republican Party walking precincts in Edwards and organizing events. I served as her vice-chair and learned valuable lessons from her amazing ability as a leader and a peacemaker between people with very different points of view. She had a cool head and a firm hand. She treated everyone with love and respect while guiding the party with a conservative vision. I have thought of her often and tried to emulate her amazing strength and gracious style.

She was a good friend and I will miss her. I believe the Lord welcomed Jo with open arms and she had a special place reserved for her in his kingdom.

Learn more »

Vail Daily letter: This could work

July 14, 2014 — 

Editor’s note: The letter writer is expressing an idea, not describing a program that is in place.

You’ve heard of people redeeming CDOT Mountain Points at local businesses, but don’t know how to participate. You’ve heard that all you need is a free transmitter from CDOT’s Mountain Points website, but haven’t ordered one yet.

Learn more »

Vail Daily letter: Access denied

July 14, 2014 — 

I am severely saddened and concerned as a lifelong resident and a steward of our forests about access to taxpayer land here in Vail. The Forest Service is completely compartmentalized, provides zero answers (plus attitude if you ask anything questionable of what they do or plan) or any liability in taking away our taxpayer land lest they provide any answers to the taxpaying citizens’ questions on why our public land has turned to private special interests. It confirms me that our “beloved” Vail Resorts would take a road that is owned by taxpayers, used by historic loggers that helped build Vail and is now inaccessible to the people that pay for it! For the public not to access these lands is tyranny! The Forest Service has granted Vail Resorts to privatize public land, deny entry and implore monetary gains for corporate profits. Dare you to drive up Benchmark, get through the gate. You will now have to pay for a private tour ($47) to access that road by motorized vehicle. I am handicapped, so access can be hard.

So, if you say so what, thanks for your thoughtfulness and overall caring/discrimination. National Forest/BLM have taken the people’s land, just as Spraddle Creek, Davos, and much of the lower Vail Valley that is soon to shut down. Just go ask the Forest Service in Dowd. Just don’t expect an honest answer or a solution. Our land is being criminally used and we need to stand up. If this land is stolen, so are your rights, and the laws we believe to uphold. We have rights to our land here in Vail, and our taxes need to be appropriated responsibly. The ability for Vail Resorts to take the people’s land for profit and deny those that pay for it access is wrong! Obviously our local politicians have not done anything to help and left us exposed and taken! If we don’t not stand up as a community, our freedom will be stolen from us all. These forests are my home, and my home (and rights) are being ransacked by Vail Resorts and our local politicians that truly sell out to better their careers or stay politically correct Let’s take back our forests, demand responsibility and correct management of them for the people that make it happen and were elected to protect it! The privatization of our forests is wrong and illegal. This is the people’s land, not our elected public servants and constituents. Let’s make those electively responsible, accountable for their actions and actually serve the interests of the people and our Constitution.

Learn more »

Vail Daily letter: Thanks for help

July 14, 2014 — 

Last Monday, my husband Paul Kuzniar fell off his bike at the furthest point that he bikes. A wonderful young couple help him out. The wife drove Paul back home in their car, and the husband rode of Paul’s bike back to The Wren.

I just want to thank them so much for their extreme kindness. Paul didn’t get their names so I’m hoping they will see this in the paper and know how much we appreciated their being good Samaritans.

Learn more »

Vail Daily letter: Thankful for response

July 14, 2014 — 

My husband and I have lived in this community all of our lives, 40-plus years. We have raised our four children here who are all now young adults, three sons and a daughter.

A month ago, we were struck by a tragedy — a parent’s worst nightmare — two of our sons were in a deadly car crash. Our condolences have gone out to the family who lost their son. Surprisingly, our sons lived through this horrific experience and amazingly are both in rehabilitation now! Our hearts are full of love and appreciation and we truly want to take this time to extend a huge thank you to our most loving family and friends. Thank you to all of our employers and coworkers. Thank you to each and every single emergency responder and VVMC — your expertise and care has touched our hearts in a very personal way. You all are awesome!

It’s a blessing to be a part of a close-knit community who cares about each other and we are nothing but grateful to one and all for the huge monetary donations we’ve received, the encouraging words, visits, cards — again, we are most thankful to everyone!

Dennis and Mari-jo Valdez and family

View 20 More Stories in Letters to the Editor »
Back to Top