Columns

Vail Daily column: Giving voice to what matters

January 27, 2015 — 

Do youth really have a voice in this community and do they believe they can make a difference? The answer, of course, is yes! Youth in this valley are involved, thoughtful and many do believe that their voice is heard and is making a difference. Sarahi Marin is a senior at Battle Mountain High School who has made a great impact in supporting the lives of youth in the community by believing her input matters. Sarahi has been a part of many community organizations that promote her participation and voice, including Upward Bound, Yearbook, Choir, Future Business Leaders of America, Habitat for Humanity and the Youth Leaders Council through the Eagle River Youth Coalition. Through these experiences, Sarahi has been given opportunities to provide feedback and input on many matters that affect youth, including programs, services, media messages and future opportunities.

Sarahi believes that her experiences have prepared her for the future because they have taught her how to form her opinion and have confidence to share it. Through the Youth Leaders Council program, Sarahi enjoys offering advice to others to strengthen the youth voices while giving back to the community. According to Sarahi, “Serving the community is important because it really gets you involved, you meet great people and really get to give back what the community provides to you.” Through her various volunteer experiences, Sarahi also attributes being able to meet people who really support her, know what’s good for her and help her become a better person.

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Deflation a concern for Europe and the NFL

January 27, 2015 — 

For perhaps the first time ever, the European Central Bank and the NFL had a problem in common last week — deflation. While the NFL’s Commissioner Roger Goodell dithered over “deflategate,” the ECB’s President Mario Draghi finally took a decisive step, authorizing an open-ended, trillion-euro quantitative easing program to resuscitate the eurozone. The anticipation of the ECB’s taking action, as well as the act itself on Thursday, drove the major stock indexes up for the first time in three weeks, but on Friday there was something of a pullback over concern about the possible impact on the American economy if the ECB’s printing all of that new money.

Europeans have long been hoping that the ECB would launch a Fed-like campaign to jolt their economy to life, but, unlike his counterparts at the Fed, Mr. Draghi had to try and keep 19 member nations happy, including Germany, which has been dead-set against QE. More recently, though, with the eurozone on the brink of another recession and inflation falling into negative numbers, he had to act. The scale of the program surpassed expectations, though some opine that the ECB waited too long. In any case, in an effort to spur growth and raise the rate of inflation, Mr. Draghi said the ECB would buy €60 billion ($69 billion) in government bonds and debt each month, beginning in March and ending in September 2016. The end date, he added, could be extended if inflation still isn’t near the bank’s target of 2% by then. He said, however, “What monetary policy can do is to create the basis for growth. But for growth to pick up, you need investment. For investment, you need confidence. And for confidence, you need structural reforms. It’s now up to the governments to implement these structural reforms.” One consequence of the move is that the euro continued its descent against the dollar: over the last six months it has dropped 15% to its lowest point in a decade, and some analysts think it could fall to one-to-one parity for the first time since 2002. That means that European goods will be less expensive than American exports, taking a bite out of the recent rebound in the U.S.

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Q&A: Should I get cyber-liability insurance?

January 27, 2015 — 

• Question: Can I insure my business from potentially harmful results of a data breach that would expose privacy of our client’s data and possibly affect their financial health?

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Vail Daily column: What the Constitution says

January 27, 2015 — 

Editor’s note: This is the fifth part of a series.

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Vail Daily column: Doing the right thing is hard

January 26, 2015 — 

I don’t know of any of my contemporaries who can tell me that the university or college they attended offered a course on aging. Thus, it is no surprise that many of us have little idea of how to best assist our aging family members.

According to the U.S. Census, there are more than 300 million Baby Boomers in the U.S. In 2015, an estimated 4 million more Baby Boomers will turn 50 years old. By 2030, it is estimated that the Boomer population will more than double.

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Vail Daily column: What elite athletes can teach us about failure

January 26, 2015 — 

On Jan. 14, free climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson reached the summit of the 3,000-foot rock known as El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, marking the first free ascent of the most difficult section, called the Dawn Wall. The goal was to climb all 32 pitches without falling. If one climber fell while attempting a pitch, he would go back to the beginning of the pitch and try again.

Both men quickly conquered the first 14 pitches in six days. Then, over the next seven days, while Caldwell progressed nicely up six more pitches, Jorgeson got stuck on pitch No. 15. It took 11 attempts over seven days to successfully ascend it.

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Vail Daily column: Running a business is like playing a harmonica

January 25, 2015 — 

Like many of us that live in the Vail Valley, we welcomed a steady stream of friends and family members into our home during the holidays. With great snow and an unbelievable choice of mountain activities, our house was a magnet for renewing new and old relationships. This year, we invited an old college buddy of mine, Gary, to spend a few days with our family. While Gary and I are the same age, his life 30-plus years post-college is the complete opposite of everything I’ve pursued since we graduated. Having never been married, Gary remains single, lives in LA and plays harmonica is his own band. I often wonder if the stark contrast in our life paths is what makes us great friends.

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Vail Daily relationship column: The art of ‘Stepping Into the Puddle’

January 24, 2015 — 

Let’s say your beloved dog dies, and you are heartsick. As you tell different people of your loss, notice your emotional reactions and your gut feelings to the following responses: “I’m sorry for your loss.” “You’ll get over it in time.” “Your dog is in a better place now.” “Are you going to get another dog soon?” “It was her time.” The reason why none of those responses feel good is that they don’t honor your feelings of loss and sorrow. They’re not emotionally meaningful replies, and they don’t address your feelings at all.

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Vail Daily column: Plan for taxes and mortgages

January 23, 2015 — 

As tax time is approaching, it’s time for my annual discussion of planning not only for your taxes but for your borrowing plans this year as well. Seldom a month goes by where I don’t have to deliver the bad news to a self-employed borrower that they are sometimes less than $20 per month short on taxable income to qualify for a conventional mortgage loan and we will have to hope things go a little better this year. And while I say “conventional” mortgage loan, that doesn’t mean they could qualify for an unconventional mortgage loan either as those are harder to get than a conventional loan, at least when it comes to income calculations.

In the past, self-employed borrowers had the best of both worlds. They could write off every conceivable thing the IRS would let them get away with and save thousands on taxes showing a lower income.

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Vail Daily column: Should you have a 24/7 Realtor?

January 23, 2015 — 

​Dear Joan,

I know you have been asked something like this before, but I need a specific answer to end an argument my wife and I have going. Not really an argument, but a difference of opinion on what the availability of our real estate agent should be. We are trying hard to find just the right home in a neighborhood we like. It seems the good houses aren’t on the market long. We saw one come on the market, called our agent and he said he could show us after the weekend, and you know the story, it was under contract by Monday. I realize real estate agents have families and a life, but I think this is a 24/7 or at least a 12/7 day a week job.​ This is a really important purchase for us and I would like special attention to the sensitive timing of finding the right home. ​My wife​ thinks it is unfair to expect​ our Realtor to always be available. Am I right?​

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Vail Daily column: Zooming by Colorado’s danger zones

January 23, 2015 — 

What’s the biggest natural hazard in Colorado?

Hint: It’s not tornadoes, wildfires or floods.

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Vail Daily column: When good isn’t good enough

January 22, 2015 — 

The Denver Broncos and head coach John Fox recently “mutually” parted ways after four successful years together. It’s a hard reality — essentially being fired after four straight division championships and just one season removed from a Super Bowl berth. As a fan, I appreciate an uncompromising drive toward being the best and recognize that this drive toward being the best requires tough decisions.

After all, in sports as in business, sometimes good isn’t good enough.

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Vail Daily column: What does 2015 hold in store for investors?

January 22, 2015 — 

If you’re an investor, you probably had a pretty good year in 2014. But what’s in store for 2015?

It’s essentially impossible to make precise predictions about the performance of the financial markets — but it is possible to identify those economic conditions and market forces that may help shape outcomes in the investment world for 2015. By paying close attention to these conditions and forces, an investor can gain some valuable insights as to what specific investment moves might make sense for them.

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Vail Daily column: A celebration of life

January 21, 2015 — 

Every one of us faces a time in our lives when we have to say goodbye to someone. In this case, I am speaking specifically to that time in our lives when a close friend or family member passes away and we must say our final farewells.

During the past two weeks, I have had to say goodbye to two very close friends who lost their battles with cancer. Both were relatively young and passed away much too soon, with both being survived by spouses and children. Very sad situations indeed, and I know many of you, if not most of you, have faced similarly sad situations and the passing of friends and loved ones, too.

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Vail Daily column: What the Constitution says

January 20, 2015 — 

Editor’s note: This is the fourth part of a series.

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Market commentary: Stocks on a bumpy ride now

January 20, 2015 — 

If the first full trading week of 2015 was any indication of what lies ahead for stocks and bonds this year, it’s going to be a bumpy ride – the Dow, for example, gained or lost at least 100 points every day last week. Meanwhile, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury fell to 1.975% as investors began to hedge their bets on stocks.

Much of the decline for stocks came as the price of oil fell yet again, just when it seemed as if it was going to stabilize. Some of the bounce-back was the result of yet another strong month of job creation, though the good news was offset by a lack of wage growth. All of this cam against a backdrop of the terrorist attach and manhunt in France.

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Vail Daily health column: Your thyroid, your health

January 19, 2015 — 

Did you know every cell in your body depends on thyroid hormones for regulation of metabolism? If your thyroid is not functioning properly, then it may produce too much thyroid hormone, causing hyperthyroidism and symptoms of increased metabolism (i.e., anxiety, frequent bowel movements, bulging eyes, irregular heartbeat, weight loss despite increased appetite). Or it may produce too little thyroid hormone, causing hypothyroidism and symptoms of slow metabolism (i.e., fatigue, sensitivity to cold, dry skin, constipation, unexplained weight gain, depression, infertility, muscle/joint pain).

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Vail Daily health column: Are your excuses keeping you from optimal health?

January 19, 2015 — 

One of my roles as a doctor of sport psychology and peak performance coach, working with athletes and health enthusiasts, is to help uncover the underlying demons that get in your way of committing to your plan. The most powerful demons are the excuses people use that make skipping exercise or eating unhealthy acceptable. In particular, there are three common excuses that get in the way of healthy living. Let’s address these excuses head on so that, starting now, they never get in your way of achieving your best health and fitness.

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Vail Daily relationship column: When one person withholds or withdraws sex

January 17, 2015 — 

Dear Neil: Things seemed to be going well on the intimacy front with my boyfriend of six months, then he hurt his back and had two weeks of intense back spasms. It was totally understandable that our sex life took a break during that time and that he needed time afterward to regain energy. However, that was over two months ago, and things are still not back on track.

My boyfriend is loving, kind and very affectionate. He hugs me all night long and treats me very well. But I worry that this fading off of sexual energy so early on in the relationship signifies that perhaps he isn’t truly attracted to me in that way. Is it worth pursuing a relationship regardless of whether our sex life is working?

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Vail Daily column: It really is all good

January 16, 2015 — 

When a friend recently expressed his condolences regarding the passing of my grandmother, I replied as I often do in such emotionally fraught situations: “It’s all good.” My friend, being a clever sort and one who is precise in his speech, challenged me on my comment. He wondered how I could claim equanimity when it must have been apparent from my countenance that I was suffering inside. He then suggested that I write a column about the overuse of the phrase. A welcome distraction from grief, the idea germinated. Were the words purely a salve for heartache or did they reveal something larger about my worldview? My conclusion: It really is all good.

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Actively Green 2015 ambassador profile: Zane Gearhart

January 16, 2015 — 

Editor’s note: This is a weekly spotlight that celebrates a local person who works for an Actively Green 2015 participating sustainable business.

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Be a winter outdoor detective

January 16, 2015 — 

Sometimes being a naturalist is a lot like being a detective. One of the main requirements is to be overly observant of the world around me while looking for clues in the form of interesting specimens, sign and stages in the forest to share with participants on my programs. This is especially exciting during the wintertime in our snow-covered landscape because animal tracks and signs that are normally hidden during the summer months become a visible series of clues to wildlife activity.

Just like a detective, a naturalist needs to be watchful and always aware of clues in the search for answers. Usually our question is “Who lives in or visited this part of the forest?” The clues that a naturalist looks for include footprints and track patterns, scat, urine, blood, fur or feathers, browse or chew marks, carrion (carcasses), food caches and signs of shelter. After finding these signs, a naturalist must interpret them, applying background knowledge to infer the sequence of events and to tell the story told by the various signs.

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Vail Daily column: Mortgage rates drop with economic uncertainty

January 16, 2015 — 

Believe it or not, it might be time to check your mortgage rate and see if it’s time to refinance. The recent plunge in gas prices and the resulting economic uncertainty for oil producing nations along with a few other garden-variety economic meltdowns in various stages of progression have driven investors’ dollars into the good ole US of A.

Like it or not, love it or at least wish you could leave it, the rest of the world still loves America (or at least loves our money).

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Vail Daily column: Should I rent if I can’t sell?

January 16, 2015 — 

Dear Joan,

We have​ moved to another state and have​ a​ home ​listed for sale​ in the Eagle/Gypsum area that has not sold in over six months. I am now getting calls to rent it every week. I really want to sell it​,​ so​ I feel​ renting is a poor second choice. However,​ we are anxious to buy a home in our new location and might be able to qualify if we rented our home there. Can you give us your insight on what direction you think the market is going so we can make a decision on this property​?​

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Vail Daily column: What’s your excuse?

January 15, 2015 — 

“Excuses are the tools of the weak and incompetent. Used to build monuments of nothingness. Those who excel in it seldom excel in anything else but excuses,” — Anonymous.

True words, and words that are applicable to doing business and being involved in your community.

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Vail Daily column: What do low oil prices mean for investors?

January 15, 2015 — 

As you’ve no doubt noticed, your trips to the gas station have been a lot more pleasant these past several months. There’s not much doubt that low oil prices have been welcome to you as a driver. But when oil is cheap, is that good for you as an investor?

There’s no clear-cut answer. But consider the following effects of low oil prices:

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Vail Daily column: It’s time to live the dream

January 15, 2015 — 

So, here we are. Just barely weeks away from the one thing we have been so focused on for more than four years. Collectively, we have lots of names we have called it: the 2015s, the Worlds and the World Champs, along with some other names at various times that we may not choose to use at others. Regardless of what we call it, it is ours and it is here ... now.

There is both a sigh of relief that what we have looked forward to for such a long time is within sight, and there is already a bit of sadness because we know the Championships will now come and go so quickly. And, that’s the thing about both of these emotions ... time.

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Vail Daily column: A better than good week

January 14, 2015 — 

Since I began writing this column more than five years ago, I have ended each one with an encouragement to have a better than good week. And over the years, I have been asked many times why and how I chose that saying.

Well my former boss, friend and mentor Zig Ziglar used the same statement many times when someone asked him how he was doing and it became that I wanted to share with the world. Zig had a few responses to the question of how he was doing and of course all were extremely positive.

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Vail Daily column: Investigating our Constitution, part 3

January 14, 2015 — 

Editor’s note: This is the third part of a series.

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Ask a Sports Medicine Doctor column: Preventing an ACL injury

January 12, 2015 — 

Question: I work as a ski instructor, and I was wondering what I can do to limit the chances of tearing my ACL?

Answer: Most ACL injuries occur in athletes under the age of 40. Female athletes are on average three times more likely to tear their ACL than male athletes in most sports, although in alpine skiing the female-to-male injury ratio for ACL tears is fairly equal. The majority of ACL injuries do not involve a collision, but rather most ACL tears occur as a result of a noncontact injury. In my office, most athletes who tear their ACL report a twisting type fall or a having a flat landing off of a jump. In these mechanisms, the anatomic structures supporting the knee fail to dissipate the forces and stabilize the joint and the ACL tears.

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