Letters to the Editor

Vail Daily letter: Harvey for sheriff

September 21, 2014 — 

Never have I written a “yea” or “nay” letter for a political candidate but after calling Cmdr. Daric Harvey about excess speed on one of Vail’s roads, I’m convinced he would be an excellent sheriff. He is a man of action — answers his phone personally, listens to the issue, checks into it and gets back to you. And not only does he call back the very same day but with a solution! Cmdr. Harvey’s professional background, capabilities and sensibilities add up to a dedicated public servant who even is willing to take a pay cut if elected. He would like to involve the communities with law enforcement on a positive front. He plans to address domestic violence and take action. And as a huge bonus, he speaks Spanish fluently! How gratifying to have a man of his caliber running for sheriff. I encourage you to vote “yea” for Cmdr. Harvey.

Connie Knight

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Vail Daily letter: Thanks for support

September 21, 2014 — 

The Eagle Valley Cross Country Team would like to send a huge thank you to all of our volunteers and sponsors from our recent Eagle Valley Cross Country Invitational. With over 100 citizens and nearly 250 high school athletes, it was our most successful event yet! Thank you to the town of Gypsum and the Gypsum Creek Golf Course for hosting our event as Blue Sponsors. Thank you to D Jensen Electric for their support as a Red Sponsor. Thank you to Alpine Laser Clinic, Bella’s Market, Castle Peak Veterinary, Down Valley Auto, Heartwood, JB T-Shirts, Labine Builders, Landmark Environments Inc, McMahan & Associates, Old Gypsum Printer, R&H Mechanical, Steammaster and WECMRD along with the Gardnoi, Giovagnoli and Young families for their support at the White Sponsorship level. The team appreciates your partnership. Go Devils!

Melinda Brandt

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Vail Daily letter: Stand by Udall, Donovan

September 21, 2014 — 

I am amazed at the absolute nonsense that is showing up in political campaign ads; lots of twisted lies. It would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic.

Mark Udall is no more against hunting than I am, and the only thing that keeps me out of the woods is my old broken body. Mark comes from a long line of Udalls that understand the value of the federal lands, not for ripping apart with access roads, mines, wells, dams and diversions, but for recreation, which is the lifeblood of our Colorado West Slope. If you want to look at real job growth, tally up those in the recreation industry, and they are healthy outdoor jobs. Mark supports recreation, and it is our least damaging option for producing more jobs.

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Vail Daily letter: Reverse materialism

September 19, 2014 — 

“What will it take to defeat ISIS?”

According to cable news networks, this central question is the dominant concern occupying mind and heart of Westerners, but most importantly, those innocents most vulnerable residing in the eastern Mediterranean.

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Available for questions

September 19, 2014 — 

Dear Scott Miller, Vail Daily business editor,

Americans are dissatisfied with the two party system. Senate District 5 has three candidates on the ballot. A Democrat, a Republican and an independent.

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Vail Daily letter: Include all candidates

September 19, 2014 — 

So Club 20, when you say on your podium “The Voice of the Western Slope Since 1953,” who are you speaking for? That is honorable that you sponsor debates for candidates for national and state offices, but are you short of funds to do a just and proper representation of all candidates?

You are doing a disservice to the citizenry and embarrassing yourself to insult the intelligence of the populace by not including all candidates, whether of another party or independent. For most people, making the decision to run for office is well thought out and good intentioned. It takes a lot of personal energy and resources and help from friends just to get on the ballot. You should encourage participation in government, not disrespect and exclude others who make the effort to represent the Western Slope. Have another bake sale if you need more money to appropriately host fair and equal debates of all candidates or just stick to your lobbying mission.

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Vail Daily letter: Nice drivers in Eagle

September 19, 2014 — 

As one of the residents of Eagle who has had to commute through this summer’s significant road construction, I’d like to express my appreciation to fellow drivers for their patience and courtesy.

While I know most people in Eagle are excited about the new roundabouts, the improved traffic flow, and a gateway to the town we can be proud of, the months of traffic jams and long waits have been trying.

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Vail Daily letter: Letter was factual

September 19, 2014 — 

On Sept. 12, Jim Cameron, “ex-Republican,” “independent” and my “personal critic” retorted to my article (“Sinister motives”), and labeled me as a “conspiracy theorist.” Mind you, Cameron never commented about whether or not my assertions of fact about the various treaties spawned by the UN were true or not, and in which the present administration was a party — these are facts and undisputed, notwithstanding Cameron’s personal attack on my character or the minority to which I purportedly belong; Mr. Cameron, these facts are not “Fig Newtons” of my imagination as you so eloquently put it.

When one cannot confront the facts and/or issues, he is inclined to attack the character of his adversary or one who holds a different perspective. Cameron’s silence on the verity of my rendition of the facts is a tacit admission by him that such are true, and therefore not a “theory.” In reading his retort (critique), I still do not know where or whether he differs from me on the “facts,” albeit, he obviously does not like me, since I am now pigeon holed as a “conspirator” and not “independent” like him. Does “independent” connote independent of the facts?

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Vail Daily letter: Thank, you VRD

September 19, 2014 — 

I would like to thank everyone at Vail Recreation District for another season of very enjoyable trail running races. All seven races were well organized, the race course well marked, and timing was very exact.

Every race was a truly wonderful and enjoyable experience as well as a very uplifting time in nature. This year, the Evergold lived up to its name; all the leaves were beautiful in their autumn colors. I am looking forward to next year’s races.

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Vail Daily letter: Limit retail marijuana

September 19, 2014 — 

Is Eagle in Eagle County? When Commissioner Chandler Henry wrote her letter to the editor published Sept. 16, she said,”We’ve allocated up to six licenses in the Eagle River Valley portion of the county and two in the Roaring Fork Valley ... ” I believe the public thought that the eight recreational marijuana shops Commissioner Chandler Henry and Ryan said would be in the county would include the towns as well. Would it be considered deceptive to have not stated that the number would be eight plus however many the towns allowed? If Eagle is included in the recreational marijuana shops allowed and anticipated, the count is five in Eagle Vail, two in Edwards, two in Eagle (huge 28,000 square feet approved plus the grow and sales already existing), tw in the Roaring Fork Valley. The total is 11.

On Sept. 16, I spoke with the Battle Mountain gentleman in charge of marijuana and student use. He spoke to me at least 15 minutes telling me what all was being done. At the end of the conversation, I asked him, “What do you think about recreational marijuana not being sold in Edwards?” He replied,”It would make my job easier.”

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Vail Daily letter: Harvey for sheriff

September 19, 2014 — 

I am writing this letter in support of Daric Harvey for Eagle County sheriff. I have known Daric for the last three years and have been impressed with the work he has done at the Vail Police Department. I am also impressed with the openness which Daric approaches all things with. It is wonderful to see people who enjoy working with other people and in my opinion Daric certainly enjoys working with people

When I look at what we need in the sheriff of EagleCounty, I believe we need someone who has the experience, qualifications and education. Daric has a record of 19 years of law enforcement experience, which includes management. The Explorer program for young people, which he has brought to the valley, is only one example of something new which has made a difference and engages young people with law enforcement. I believe he has a vision of having law enforcement that is not just on the street, but also engaged in the community. I believe his goal is have our Eagle County Sheriff’s department, more inclusive, professional and modern.

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Vail Daily letter: Bettis for coroner

September 17, 2014 — 

Kara Bettis has my vote for Eagle County coroner, for the fourth time. What I know about death investigation is limited as there are many statutory requirements, logistics and legalities. What I do know is that actions speak louder than words. Take a look at Kara’s accomplishments and ask yourself if it is worth investing your vote in someone else when Kara has such proven knowledge and experience: Certified Death Investigator with the state of Colorado for 16 years, deputy coroner for 4 years (trained with and by former Eagle County Coroner Donna Barnes, who left the position because of term limits), elected coroner for 12 years, Certified Medical Investigator with American College of Forensic Examiners, member of Child Fatality Prevention Committee, member of Colorado Coroner’s Association, member of International Association of Medical Examiners and Coroners, certified Emergency Medical Technician, bachelor’s degree in biological science with a minor in anatomy and neuroanatomy from CSU, and she’s a Colorado native to boot.

In the last 16 years Kara has investigated over 700 deaths in our county including some pretty tragic, sad and gruesome situations. While some might criticize her “style” or what might seem a demanding nature on the scene at times, many admirably commend her and admire her for her empathy, her positive nature, her knowledge and her take charge resolve. The emotional toll of not only dealing with the deceased’s body, but with their family, the rescuers, the transporters, law enforcement and the press is huge! And for the most part (after all, not one of us is perfect), Kara has done so with the utmost integrity, grace and commitment on the scene as well as in the office when filling those statutory requirements, logistics and legalities that go along with the job.

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Vail Daily letter: Mitsch Bush for House

September 17, 2014 — 

I have had several opportunities to observe and interact with our state representative, Diane Mitsch Bush, at a variety of different events. I have found Diane to be an accessible and hard-working representative for our local district and feel she will continue to represent us well.

Diane frequently holds town halls and other forums, presenting an opportunity for a candid and transparent dialogue with her constituents to discuss legislation, needs of the district and ways she can continue to be of service. She has always been willing to listen to all sides and proactively solicits information and advice from all stakeholders on issues. This is likely the reason she has had such great success in working across party lines to initiate, support and pass legislation that is important to our area. This sort of collaborative and open approach helps all of us by giving us a strong and respected voice at the Capitol.

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Vail Daily letter: Ironic fundraising item

September 17, 2014 — 

While I do not know Kendra Scott and her family and am truly sorry for their hardship, I was deeply disturbed to read that the auction for the fundraiser included “guided elk and bear hunts to places no one ever gets to.” Seriously? Cattle died? By all means, let’s go out to a secluded spot where no one ever goes and slaughter an unsuspecting majestic, native wild animal. Does anyone else see the irony here?

J.P. Kacy

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Vail Daily letter: Different impression from interview

September 17, 2014 — 

I also listened to your KZYR radio interview with Eagle County sheriff candidate James van Beek and came away with a different impression of Mr. van Beek than the viewpoint of this letter titled “Disturbed by candidate’s answers” (Sept. 11). The interview with you sounded quite congenial. Sometimes words can be taken out of context if one does not hear the entire conversation.

Case in point, the Zephyr interview:

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Vail Daily letter: Hymes for Avon council

September 17, 2014 — 

Doing the right thing while on the Avon Town Council is not always easy. One reason I am grateful that Sarah Smith Hymes is running for Town Council is that I trust her. Sarah has the judgment, intelligence and work ethic to make Avon a better place. As an entrepreneur in the international marketplace, Sarah will also bring sophistication and new energy to the job. Sarah has all the essentials for great leadership in Avon over the next four years. Please vote for Sarah Smith Hymes for Avon Town Council.

Tamra Nottingham Underwood

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Vail Daily letter: Reid killed compromise

September 17, 2014 — 

Reply to commentary by Jack Van Ens, “Don’t strangle compromise,” Sept. 14:

This week, Mr. Van Ens attacks Ted Cruz, a conservative freshman senator from Texas. Van Ens implies that the freshman senator lacks willingness to compromise and likens him to John Adams, a legislative bully who was one of the founders of our republic. The clear implication is that Cruz has already demonstrated he is conservative, uncompromising, evil (by implication), and should be scorned as a zealot tea party Republican. As is generally the case, Van Ens comments are bereft of facts to support his position.

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Vail Daily letter: Eagle County deserves better

September 17, 2014 — 

Recently, a friend of mine, Chris Romer, president of Vail Valley Partnership, wrote an article calling on local politicians to rise above political tactics that use baseless, disparaging personal attacks inherent in many national political races. Clouding the issues with baseless allegations has become a commonplace way to hide a politician’s faults. As a result of the mudslinging that goes on in some of those races, the candidate’s positions on important issues and factual qualifications become convoluted, sinking into a battle of pointing fingers. My opponent’s campaign manager, Bruce Carey, recently submitted an article using such tactics but failed to identify his role. A flood of angry people called me wanting to send letters responding in kind. While I cannot control Mr. Carey’s actions, I can make sure that my campaign follows the principles that Chris talked about because “we can do better.”

A month or so before the primary, I invited both of my Republican opponents to meet with me for coffee so that I could give them my information, and let them know they could call on me if a problem came up. I wanted them to know that no matter the outcome, we were all part of the same community and I intended for that to remain the same after the race.

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Vail Daily letter: Partisan move

September 16, 2014 — 

I am a relatively new “transplant” to Eagle County and still am getting acclimated to the political climate of the Vail Valley. However, I cannot stand silent after the local district attorney, Bruce Brown, provided a legal opinion “memo” on a bill U.S. Senate candidate Cory Gardner supported in the state Legislature regarding abortion. While DA Brown is a Democrat and I certainly understand that he disagrees with Rep. Gardner (a Republican) on several issues, it is appalling that DA Brown would spend his and the public’s valuable time and resources on such a blatantly partisan maneuver which is being currently being used in an attack ad by Sen. Mark Udall. As an unaffiliated voter, who still hasn’t decided whether to vote for Sen. Udall or Rep. Gardner (if either), it stands to reason that the District Attorney’s Office should be a welcome respite from partisan politics and above any political influence. First and foremost, DA Brown’s job is public safety, not petty and partisan politics. Unfortunately, DA Brown has failed to deliver.

Dave Wakefield

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Vail Daily letter: Van Beek for sheriff

September 15, 2014 — 

For the first time in nearly a dozen years, there will be a new Eagle County sheriff in office after the November election. We believe James van Beek is the right person for the job.

During our respective careers in the county as a journalist and a wildlife officer, we often worked either with or alongside the Sheriff’s Office. From the time he started as a patrol deputy, James demonstrated an aptitude for law enforcement. His knowledge, technique, experience and willingness to learn allowed him to work his way up through the ranks to become a detective and a field training officer. He earned the respect of his fellow officers as well as his supervisors.

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Vail Daily letter: Regulating, monitoring marijuana

September 15, 2014 — 

As a mom, I know how important it is to keep our kids safe and healthy. Having raised two children right here in Eagle County, I know the risks for children and the challenges for parents, especially during their formative years.

As your representative in county government, I work to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Eagle County, and to carry out the will of the voters.

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Vail Daily letter: Harvey for sheriff

September 15, 2014 — 

I am writing this letter in support of Daric Harvey for Eagle County sheriff. I have known Daric for the last three years and have been impressed with the work he has done at the Vail Police Department. I am also impressed with the openness which Daric approaches all things with. It is wonderful to see people who enjoy working with other people, and in my opinion Daric certainly enjoys working with people.

When I look at what we need in the sheriff of Eagle County, I believe we need someone who has the experience, qualifications and education. Daric has a record of 19 years of law enforcement experience, which includes management. The Explorer program for young people ,which he has brought to the valley, is only one example of something new which has made a difference and engages young people with law enforcement. I believe he has a vision of having law enforcement that is not just on the street, but also engaged in the community. I believe his goal is have our Eagle County Sheriff’s Office more inclusive, professional and modern. I feel Daric will be able to give the citizens of Eagle County the best law enforcement for their dollar spent. I hope the voters in our county will take the time to meet Daric, read and learn about him and hopefully make a decision like we did to vote for Daric Harvey.

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Vail Daily letter: Vail night life lacking

September 14, 2014 — 

Big “miss” to the loss of Vail Valley nightlife, and the closing of yet another locals-friendly bar before its time, with the closing of Bearfish in West Vail. This joins our community’s loss, in only the past year, of the Ore House, the Tap Room, and so many more watering holes that used to be the heart and soul of a former ski town called Vail. With all the attention given to the upcoming Alpine World Ski Championships in 2015, I wonder how many of those attending, who were here in 1999, will notice the loss of lively options available after 10 p.m. As a taxi driver, I notice it every night.

Just off the top of my head, those here for the 1999 Championships might remember many of the formerly popular and now closed venues in Vail Village, including Sheika’s (now ski lockers), Platzl Bar (now a coffee house), Sanctuary (private ski lockers) The Daily Grind (retail), The Little Bar (retail), Cyrano’s (rental shop), Hong Kong Cafe (rental shop), and of course Garton’s/Club 8150, the incredible live music venue which was promised to be replaced, if Vail residents would only vote to override the planning commission and approve the extra couple of stories to Solaris (the extra stories approval happened, music venue didn’t happen). We’ve also lost the Hot Winter Nights concert series, which brought locals and visitors alike in to the village every Wednesday for top-notch entertainment. I’ve heard the summer concert series is now in danger as well.

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Vail Daily letter: Holm for commissioner

September 14, 2014 — 

I was on a plane with my daughter Courtney Holm on Sept. 11. The pilot had just announced that we had entered U.S. air space in New York; we were excited to be so close to home. Just a few minutes later, the plane took a sharp turn and began to circle over the ocean as the pilots tried to find a new place to land since U.S. airspace was then closed. Finally, the pilot came on the speaker to let us know that there had been an incident, although he did not say what had happened, and we would be diverted to a small airport in Gander, Newfoundland.

The mood on the plane was nervous and uncertain and once we landed we were stuck on the plane on the tarmac for 24 hours. There was still a great deal of confusion and few answers, and many passengers began to get unsettled, scared and some started to shake. There was no food left on the plane, and Courtney suggested that the passengers share whatever snacks they had brought on the plane and she helped the flight attendants bring water and blankets to the passengers. The smokers leaned out the back door to smoke and settle their nerves and finally additional rations were brought to the plane.

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Vail Daily letter: Why I’m running

September 14, 2014 — 

I have once again been asked to drop out the race for House District 26. To date, I have been asked to drop out by two Republican governor candidates, a House District 26 primary candidate, a GOP delegate, and the state chairman of the Colorado Republican Party. The deadline has passed for me to drop out of the race and have my name removed from the ballot. But that hasn’t stopped the requests for me to drop out of the race.

Last night, I attended the Eagle County debates. I figure if I am not to be invited to participate in the debates, I will take notes and at least publish my answers on my website, Thom4CO.com. It was at the debate that I spoke with a prominent Libertarian in the Eagle River Valley. When I introduced myself and informed him that I am also running he got visibly upset and angry that I am running. After the debate he then proceeded to sit me down for a good 15 minutes and tell me two stories about how a Libertarian candidate meant eight more years of Democrat representation. He ended with stating, “This race can’t be about you and your political career. You must drop out.” When I replied that it was past the due date for me drop off the ballot, he then went on to say, “Well then, you need the headlines in tomorrow’s paper to read, ‘Libertarian drops out of race’”.

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Vail Daily letter: Great event

September 14, 2014 — 

Three cheers to Jamie and John Stone for broadening the accessibility of their Vail Living Well Program. The excellence has never been in doubt, but the conscious decision to “scale down” in order to “scale up” (the reach) is a tremendous service to the community. The overflow crowd at Friday’s Forum X Talks at the Sonnenalp included a broad range of the Vail demographic. The result was valuable and provocative. Well done.

Rich Selph

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Vail Daily letter: Roundabout really needed?

September 13, 2014 — 

I’m sure the planners for the Edwards Highway 6 roundabout can justify a $1 million fee to study the project. After all, they will need comparative information from on-site visits to roundabouts in Hawaii, Nantucket and perhaps even Paris. They and their team have to see the Etoile at the Arc de Triomphe, where cars can spend hours driving in circles trying to exit across several lanes.

The relatively higher density on Highway 6 compared to the cross streets, with future “Level F” traffic (whatever that means), will make it fun to watch cars try to enter and exit the roundabout, much less pedestrians and bikers trying to cross.

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Vail Daily letter: Van Beek for sheriff

September 12, 2014 — 

Eagle County citizens,

In the upcoming general election there is a lot of emphasis on the sheriff candidates having law enforcement experience and little about leadership skills. As an officer and administrator for over 35 years, which involved working at a large metro police department, a local resort department and as your elected county sheriff for 20 years, I learned the real skill needed to be the sheriff is leadership!

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Vail Daily letter: Grateful for kindness

September 12, 2014 — 

To all of our friends and family: Words cannot express how grateful we are for your kindness during this difficult time. We especially want to thank everyone involved in preparing for the beautiful memorial service. We can never repay the amazing love we have been shown. All the calls, messages, visits, food, flowers and gifts have helped comfort us. Thank you for sharing our sorrow and for your love and prayers.

Know that we are so thankful that you were a part of Liza’s life.

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Vail Daily letter: Not helping GOP

September 12, 2014 — 

In reading Frederic Butler’s letter “Sinister motives” (Sept. 5), I was reminded why I became an ex-Republican in 2002 and a registered independent since.

The realm of the conspiracy theorists is the exclusive property of the Republican Party. I think, or at least hope, that conspiracy theorists like Mr. Butler are in a small minority and have no impact on the consensus of Republican thinking on how to make our country and the world better places. But who knows?

It would be easy to shrug off Mr. Butler’s assertions as pure folly, but I suspect he actually believes these Fig Newtons of imagination that exist in his head. Other than getting his neighbors to place “home for sale” signs in their front yards, what could be his motive?

I seriously doubt that Mr. Butler’s letter is going much further than the kitchen trash can (or better, the recycle box) and that it will not have the effect of increasing Republican votes in the upcoming election. Probably the reverse. Perhaps the Republican Party should start making financial contributions to Mr. Butler. Payments for him to keep his mouth shut and his keyboard locked up.

And to him and the many others who want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, you should know that the basic design and many of the particulars of the act were developed by the health insurance industry and accepted by the Obama administration, right down to the “tax” charged to those who do not enroll. And will you really throw out the millions who had pre-existing conditions and now have health insurance because of the act?

Be careful what you ask for.

One off-topic observation to Joe Kania (Letters to the Editor, Sept. 6). My personal experience as an occasional letter writer is that the Vail Daily does not print every letter it receives.

Jim Cameron

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