Letters to the Editor
Vail Daily letter: Energy Forum importantMay 24, 2016 —
Sarcasm can be fun, but in his good-bye to Don Rogers, Paul Kulas (Letters to the Editor, Saturday’s Vail Daily) took an unfair swipe of the Vail Global Energy Forum. It does tilt toward the drilling phenomenon that has yielded us cheap oil and natural gas. One of the primary enabling technologies is more powerful, multi-stage fracking.
It’s a big story, with many repercussions. One of them is the ability to shift production of electricity from coal to natural gas, as is occurring here in Colorado. This is helping us level off U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases. We need to crank down on fugitive emissions of methane from the production and transmission of natural gas, and the new Environmental Protection Agency rules —based on those adopted in Colorado — propose to do so. We’re heading in the right direction.
We need to scoot quicker down this path of greenhouse gas reduction. George Shultz has spoken several times at the Vail Global Energy Forum. He was in the oil business amid his various cabinet-level positions in several presidential administrations. But he accepts the science of climate change and recognizes the risk, not just to the environment, but to U.S. security. Shultz advocates a carbon tax.
A carbon tax recognizes the risk of atmospheric pollution of carbon and other emissions. It’s not just oil. Our buildings are responsible for 40 percent of U.S. emissions. In assigning a cost to the risk caused by the pollution, a carbon tax gives the marketplace incentive to change in how we produce and consume energy. There are wonderful opportunities in this energy transition for entrepreneurs.
Shultz is on the advisory board for Climate Action Lobby, which advocates for a revenue-neutral carbon “fee.” In other words, the increased revenues can be rebated to taxpayers through reduced income or other taxes. British Colombia already has a carbon tax, and it has a thriving economy.
By the way, in 2003, Don Rogers commissioned a 16,000-word series about climate change that I researched and wrote for the Vail Daily. It was later reprinted in a number of ski town newspapers. The series was called Danger in Degrees, and it won the Wirth Award in 2005, named after former U.S. Senator Tim Wirth. My work there got me to thinking hard about energy.
The Vail Global Energy Forum, if not yet the Davos of Energy that its creators intended, is pretty interesting, what with the many faculty members from Stanford University presenting. The mystery is why the seats of the Vilar Center aren’t filled. Skiing is fun but not half as interesting as this giant energy pivot now underway.
I’m reaching out to express my extreme gratitude for the care provided for my dad by the staff of Vail Valley Medical Center in 2015. My dad, Gary Brandenburg, incurred a heart attack on the ski slopes last winter. He is a healthy man and it was a shock to our family when we heard the news here in Dallas. Vail Valley Medical Center staff took swift action in saving his life. From our understanding, he would not have been saved if a few more minutes went by without action taken.
There have been many times over the past year where I am reminded of the staff and how appreciative I am for them. My dad is an amazing dad (of three), husband (of 37 years) and Papa to his three grandchildren (with two more on the way in the next four months!). While my family is comforted and rejoice in knowing this world is our temporary home, we are so grateful my dad did not move on to his permanent home that day. And we overjoyed by the extra memories we will be able to make with our dad until his final day in this life comes.Learn more »
The U.S. Forest Service is citing poverty as a reason to close more of our already-neglected campgrounds, particularly the few remaining rustic, less-developed locations in the valley. This is a lie. The Forest Service has a perfectly massive budget already, except it is siphoned off into central administration, corporate subsidy, boondoggle facilities and firefighting. The methodical restriction of simple unmediated enjoyment of our public lands is a component of a deliberate multi-decade campaign to train the public to pay twice for its recreation, for shifting profit to private concessionaires, and coupled with typical out-of-control Washington bureaucratic bloodsucking.
The Forest Service’s first priority should be expanding its inventory of free, undeveloped public access to our lands. However, it has turned that priority backward, and spends its money ensuring corporate access to extractive resources, and mounting immensely expensive militarized assaults on wildfires. Meanwhile, the inventory of simple public access declines, leaving the only remaining option as fee-based parking permits and private-concession developed campgrounds. Do not be fooled into believing that rustic recreation is expensive, or that the neglect of those facilities was an accident. First, the Forest Service purposefully let some of our trailheads and campgrounds languish (only those that a private concessionaire weren’t interested in), and now they want to close them. This is a program of planned scarcity.Learn more »
Top 10 reasons why (Don) Rogers is outta here.
10. The readers are dying.Learn more »
The Vail Valley is a truly amazing place to live and work, except for one huge void: The lack of adequate employee housing.
I moved to the area in 2010 and have lived in six apartments in just as many years. Finding affordable housing in Eagle County is getting increasingly difficult. Not only does it affect my family’s living situation, but it affects my small business as well.Learn more »
We would like to take a moment to sincerely thank the concerned parents and community members who attended the Eagle River Youth Coalition and Total Health Alliance of Eagle County’s May 3 Marijuana Forum at Battle Mountain High School. The panel of experts presented the latest information about marijuana products, health and other concerns, as well as provided information about consequences and potential solutions.
Of the numerous facts and trends shared by the professionals, Ryan McCay of Battle Mountain High School noted that teenage marijuana use is detrimental because the brain isn’t done developing until the mid-20s.Learn more »
Thank you to all the volunteers who came out on Saturday for Avon’s inaugural town clean-up. It was a beautiful day spent sprucing up the town and getting to know our neighbors. One intrepid resident — a new fan of the Avon West Preserve — even volunteered to spend the morning picking up dog poop on the trails!
Heartfelt thanks also go to all the sponsors. Lunch was donated by the Vail Valley Salvation Army, and great music was courtesy of the Tenth Mountain Division Band. Other essentials — Dumpsters, trash bags and safety vests — were provided by Vail Honeywagon, The Home Depot and The Eagle River Watershed Council. Town administrators and public works staff took care of the nitty gritty to make sure the day was a success for all involved.Learn more »
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Eagle River Youth Coalition for their support of the 2016 Battle Mountain High School Project Graduation event, being held Saturday evening, May 21. We were in a last-minute bind with security for the event when the town of Avon determined they could not support us by providing officers. With the help of the Avon Police deputy chief and Lone Star Security, a solution was formed, and ERYC stepped up to the plate to cover the costs for the Lone Star security team to be provided. This community is very fortunate to have ERYC in its support system for our youth! Thanks Eagle River Youth Coalition from the 2016 graduating class of Battle Mountain High School and the Project Graduation team~!
Jane LeavittLearn more »
When in a money crunch, every dollar means a lot! There is a minimum water charge. For Eagle, where I live, the minimum charge is for 6,000 gallons a month. I use 1,000 to 2,000 gallons a month.
Why should I pay for 6,000? Money, right!Learn more »
In the Vail Valley, we have one of the most active mountain biking communities in the country. We also have a terrific array of trails ranging from the east to the west side of the county.
However, granting that the amount of trails is substantial, a community like this can never have too many mountain biking alternatives. Recently, the Forest Service, in a very confusing and unnecessary and counter-productive manner, decided to destroy a trail on Berry Creek. The result of this action only served to aggravate bikers who use the trails of the Forest Service. The trail that was destroyed was an out-of-the-way single track that will probably never be used for any other recreational purpose. The ecological effects of 2 inches of rubberized tire from a non-mechanized vehicle are very minimal to both the ground service and to the air.Learn more »
On behalf of the team members and board of directors for Eagle County Paramedic Services, I’d like to thank everyone in the county who took the time to vote in the May 3 elections and specifically those of you who voted on the Eagle County Paramedic Services ballot for the mill levy increase and board member positions. The voter turnout was amazing, and we are very appreciative for your support of the increase, which will allow us to continue to provide the extremely high level of care you receive and deserve when you need it most. The people in our organization take tremendous pride in the jobs they do every day and work diligently to ensure they are among the highest qualified practitioners in the business.
That being said, the organization recognizes the vote for the increase passed by a very slim margin — 2,780 in favor, 2,756 against, so 24 votes! The strong opposition could, of course, be for many reasons; however, rest assured it did not go unnoticed. Our organization is not only committed to providing the best possible ambulance service and patient care available anywhere, but being competent stewards of your tax dollars and strong partners in our communities. Efforts in all these arenas take place with regular frequency, and we strive to improve every single day.Learn more »
Mountain Tots Preschool, located in Eagle, was incorporated as a nonprofit in 1974. Forty-two years later, Mountain Tots Preschool still strives to provide a high quality early learning enrichment program that enhances educational, social and emotional development. We believe early childhood is a special time of growth, development and a time for formation of character and ability. Multiple generations of families have now come through the school in its 42 years of existence.
Operating a preschool is no easy task. Tuition income generally does not cover the operating costs. Mountain Tots has endured full market rent prices since its inception and continues to do so to this day. Many of the preschools in Eagle County do not pay rent, or pay significantly reduced rent. The school strives to provide the highest possible quality of care, while attempting to keep the cost as affordable as possible. Mountain Tots Preschool collaborates as an organization about the need for both operational dollars and quality improvement dollars for programs, which in turn will allow the staff to provide the quality of care that every child deserves to assure healthy development.Learn more »
As part of our mission to elevate the arts, athletics, and education in the Vail Valley, the Vail Valley Foundation is proposing a concept for a music, arts and culture event called KAABOO-VAIL proposed to be hosted Aug. 18-20, 2017.
As the public considers this event, we want to ensure that everyone understands its nature. Along with today’s Vail Town Council meeting, there will be two other opportunities for public input, hosted by the Vail Valley Foundation May 26 at the Grand View Room in Lionshead. Session 1 will be from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and Session 2 will be from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.Learn more »
Recently, the administration of Colorado Mountain College has approached the board with bleak projections for the college’s financial stability in the future and I, as a trustee, was requested to impose higher tuition costs on CMC’s students. While I did not vote for the local-student increase, the split-board decision increased the tuition per credit hour to help head off financial difficulties. While tuition increases will bring more dollars into the college, there is also a need to review the costs that the college pays in order to be accountable to you, our taxpayers. The faculty and staff at CMC are the lifeblood of the institution and deserve every penny that they get. They are the reason why CMC is such a success for almost 50 years (we celebrate 50 years of providing opportunity to our communities in 2017). So, my focus is going to be on finding areas where costs can be reduced that shall not have an impact on your success as students and communities.
The CMC Foundation does incredible work helping students gain financial access to college through such programs as the Clough Fellowship and the Davenport Legacy. The people behind the foundation, and the philanthropic volunteer foundation members who give freely of their time and money, are terrific and never waver from their mission to provide educational financial aid and enrichment of education for Colorado Mountain College students.Learn more »
According to your recent story, a proposal to adjust the mission and extend the life of the open space tax is being considered for the November ballot. The ballot issue was passed in 2002, with voters from the Roaring Fork Valley providing the margin of victory, as the tax would have failed if only votes on the Vail side of the hill had been counted. It took nine days to determine the ballot measure had passed after initial results showed it losing by a handful of votes.
At a recent meeting on improving trail connections in the Vail Valley, a supporter noted the need for trail funding to support those plans because “this is one valley, and this is one community.” I would encourage our fellow Eagle County residents to remember that your plans are funded, in part, by the residents of the Roaring Fork Valley.Learn more »
Dear Avon voters,
On behalf of the Avon Town Council, I would like to extend a profound thank you for approving financing of both the new Avon Police station and new Eagle River Fire Protection District facilities. Avon’s stations — police and fire — will be built as a joint public safety facility at Buck Creek next to the new medical office building. Construction on this high priority project is scheduled to begin this summer and will serve the public safety needs of the community for decades.Learn more »
Dear citizens of Gypsum Fire Protection District:
We would like to express our sincere and deepest gratitude for passing our recent mill levy request. We are proud to have served our community since the early 1900s, and as a district since 1983. Since we incorporated as a district, our mill levy has remained the same, while the district and its population continued to grow. This growth stretched our resources beyond the point where we could continue to provide service without an increase in funding. We see this approval, at a 2-1 margin, as a sign of your faith in our service, and in our ability to continue to provide protection to you. We are deeply honored.Learn more »
I am sending this letter in response to a piece I noticed in the Denver Post about District Attorney Bruce Brown from the 5th Judicial District.
He was responsible for handling the case of my sister (Penny Cunningham), who was murdered in Eagle County in November 2013.Learn more »
The superintendent of Eagle County Schools, Jason E. Glass, recently observed, “the American approach to educator quality has been to throw the doors wide open in terms of who can become a teacher, lowering or removing completely the bar in terms of the pre-service training experience, scripting and mandating lessons and teaching and subjecting teachers to onerous and confusing performance evaluation systems designed to identify and weed out poor performers.” Admittedly, Glass asserts that the Eagle County School District avails itself of this “American approach” with regard to teacher qualifications. Ergo, get a license, then you are a “teacher” and can teach! Your experience, your knowledge of the subject matter of what you teach, your altruistic dedication to the profession and your universal approach to knowledge in general are all secondary to the agenda and regime imposed by government, including our local school district of which Glass is part.
“Government is not the solution, but the problem” (Reagan), what with its National Education Association dictated curricula of “one size fits all” for all levels and grades of pre-secondary education, of which the Eagle County School District is a part — to keep the federal funds flowing, you bend to the will of the secretary of education, the teachers’ unions, and, yes, to your own local school board. All this at the cost of not procuring quality teachers and enhancing the availability of a quality education for most of the students. The dismal tests scores in the fields of math and science are a part of the “costs” for which we foot in excessive taxes. The distortions and disingenuous “facts” in the fields of civics, history, humanities and economics are all costs we bear for the sake of political correctness, egalitarian progressiveness, and to maintain an entrenched and unvetted bureaucracy.Learn more »
It’s been eight months since the Syrian 3-year-old boy Alyan was washed ashore in Greece trying to migrate out of a war-torn country.
His photo and death bought to light the refugee tragedy, but the United States’ government and people still turn their backs on the crisis. Shame on us.Learn more »
I am writing to express my concern about the immense threat that is climate change. Climate change is a growing problem that poses a hazard to our future generations and to our country. Ninety-seven percent of actively climate publishing scientists agree: Climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities (NASA).
Heat from the sun travels through the Earth’s atmosphere and warms the surface. When the surface heats up, the heat energy gets sent back into the atmosphere. There are certain gases in the atmosphere that keep the heat from escaping. Some of these gases are water vapor, methane and carbon dioxide. When humans emit more carbon dioxide, it disrupts the natural balance of carbon dioxide being naturally emitted and the amount being removed from the Earth.Learn more »
The board of directors of Eagle River Fire Protection District wishes to thank the voters for their support of the district’s long-term capital plan to build three new facilities! The board recognizes that our community’s support comes from their appreciation for the job that the men and women of Eagle River Fire do every day. Whether it is helping with bear problems, saving a family’s home or a life on I-70, Eagle River Fire is there, “Ready to serve”.
The board’s immediate strategy will be to build and relocate a new Avon station, jointly housing Avon Police Department and our existing Avon fire crew. Once Avon is completed we will replace the Edwards Station in its current location and also build a greatly needed Emergency Responder Training Center, presently proposed in Minturn. The Avon station will break ground this summer next to the new medical office building. As soon as this construction is complete, projected in the fall of next year, the Edwards station will be torn down and construction will begin on the existing site. The Edwards crew will operate out of the new Avon Station for the duration of that construction.Learn more »
I wanted to reach out to you in regard to the commentary by Ms. Alexa Hill about the leash laws in Avon and more specifically at Nottingham Park. I was that other mom, the one with the dog the size of a small bear, and I was also issued a citation. I respect the cops doing their job and trying to keep the peace in the park. I actually strolled through the park yesterday to try and find the leash signs. I found two very well hidden signs in an “off leash area” with time restrictions. The verbiage was unclear.
Unfortunately I hardly understand why a mom such as myself, at the park with two children ages 3 and 1, and my dog who follows under excellent voice command, cannot enjoy the park as it is intended. We don’t live in a big city or a dangerous place for a reason. We chose the mountains to enjoy the outdoors and close-knit community. Avon is a wonderful place to raise children for many reasons. While I appreciate the presence of the police in our community, why are they wasting time picking on moms with their kids and dogs at the park and not focusing on the people who race well over 40 mph on my residential street? Or catching the jerk who stole my daughter’s bike? Furthermore, why aren’t the “leash law” signs posted more visibly?Learn more »
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first full week of May as National Correctional Officers Week, and called upon officials of state and local governments and the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities. The president noted in his proclamation that “the important work of correctional officers often does not receive the recognition from the public it deserves. It is appropriate that we honor the many contributions and accomplishments of these men and women who are a vital component of the field of corrections.”
I would like to take this opportunity to extend my appreciation to the men and women that work at the Eagle County Detention Facility for their tireless efforts in keeping our communities safe, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a years.Learn more »
We as a nation have finally found ourselves at edge of an abyss we never imagined, not at least in several generations. We as a nation have heard the news of the suspension of Cruz’s presidential bid and allowing Trump to become the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. It was a gallant effort by many to organize and formulate a response to the Trump momentum but it was too little, too late.
As many on both sides mourn on the acceptance of Trump being the Republican presidential nominee, I believe there is a shining light in this moment.Learn more »
Over 40 years ago the idea for Earth Day was originally conceived by Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson to heighten awareness around industrial practices that were destroying our natural environment. While there are still an overwhelming amount of environmental threats and disasters, it brings me great pleasure that on this past Earth Day, Eagle County Commissioner Kathy Chandler-Henry and Summit County Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier spoke out in favor of Congressman Jared Polis’ Continental Divide Wilderness and Recreation Act. This community-driven effort aims to secure permanent protection for nearly 60,000 acres of the White River National Forest, including lands surrounding Freeman and Spraddle creeks.
The Congressman’s proposal also includes protections for mountain biking in the Tenmile Range along with many other special places where solitude and spiritual revival can be found. I urge others to take a moment and reflect upon the fact that if it weren’t for the vision and foresight of the leaders who came before us, our valley would look much different today. Please join me in supporting this effort, and by doing so you will be helping to leave a true legacy for all those who come after us. Please visit www.continentaldivide.org and sign the petition today.Learn more »
The Denver Post’s article regarding elected District Attorney Bruce Brown’s “vacation days” mischaracterizes his work ethic. District Attorney Brown is committed to his community: Victims, accused, constituents and employees. The Fifth Judicial is a huge jurisdiction requiring long-distance travel between four offices. That doesn’t slow down District Attorney Brown, who is available to each office and each employee nearly 24 hours a day. Midnight warrant or murder investigation, District Attorney Brown is accessible.
District Attorney Brown can be reached by employees, the coroner, law enforcement, and the defense bar — who regularly call to negotiate cases at the highest level. The media has easy access to District Attorney Brown and reporters continue to cover numerous Fifth Judicial cases; keeping the community and state apprised of mountain matters.Learn more »
Dear Madame Secretary Penny Pritzker,
As a billionaire, current commerce secretary and regular speaker at the Aspen Institute, you stated recently on NPR that President Barak Obama wants the feds to encourage “competition.”Learn more »
Dear Robert Ticer, chief of the Avon Police Department,
First, I would like to say that I have always been and still am a supporter of police officers. I truly appreciate the men and women who put their lives on the line every day for me and others.Learn more »
I have lived in Eagle-Vail for 3 1/2 years. During that time, I have gotten to know Moses Gonzales and his wife, Cindy. Moses and Cindy are both longtime residents of Eagle-Vail and the valley. Moses is a selfless individual who puts the needs of others above his own. He has a passion for serving this community. He worked many years with the Vail Police Department. throughout the years, he has organized and served on many community service and charity events. This past winter, he and Cindy both volunteered their time with the Vail tourist information board. I believe his passion for the community and his desire to serve selflessly will make Moses Gonzales an excellent representative to the Eagle-Vail Metro Board.
Peter HerbigLearn more »