Columns

Vail Daily column: Lighting up (for) the holidays

December 16, 2014 — 

Like it or not, Colorado is at the prow of a ship creating a very large wake.

Following ratification by the voters, the sale and possession of “medical marijuana” was adopted into law on Dec. 28, 2000, and may be found in Article 18, Section 14 of the Colorado State Constitution. In 2012, Colorado became one of two states to legalize the sale and possession of marijuana for recreational purposes. The 2012 law, Amendment 64, has been, to say the least, controversial, not in small part because the sale and possession of marijuana in this state or any other remains a crime under federal law. In fact, under federal law, marijuana is considered a schedule 1 substance, which may be defined as a drug or substance with no known redeeming medical value.

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Vail Daily column: A plan for the cure

December 15, 2014 — 

A couple of months ago was National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an organized campaign for the last 25 years. Recently, I spent time with a friend who may have just beaten this disease. It’s alarming to think of all the people worldwide fighting this disease. Here in Happy Valley, where so many people live a more active and health-conscientious lifestyle than in other places, I find it alarming at how many people are afflicted.

This past weekend, “60 Minutes” aired a segment that addressed very promising research being conducted by a California doctor at UCLA, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong. It was inspiring to hear him speak and explain the research he is conducting. It was fascinating to hear him explain how it is his opinion that cancer researchers and pharmaceutical makers need to speed up their game. His approach seems progressive, visionary and multifaceted. Go online to the “60 Minutes” website and watch the program!

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Your Inner Athlete column: Practice doesn’t make perfect

December 15, 2014 — 

On Nov. 23, the New York Giants were playing against the Dallas Cowboys. New York Giant’s wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. made what people are calling the “greatest catch you’ll ever see.” It was a one-hand ... actually three-finger catch while flying backwards in the endzone.

In the post-game interview, Beckham thanked his mom for his long fingers, but I want to point out that nothing about this catch was fluke or luck.

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Ask a Sports Medicine Doctor column: What to do with a missing meniscus

December 15, 2014 — 

Question: I tore my meniscus and had to have it removed due to severe knee pain some years ago. Can a meniscus substitute be implanted into my knee?

Answer: The meniscus is a tough, rubbery, half moon shaped cartilage in the knee. There are two meniscus cartilages with one sandwiched between the femur and the tibia on the inside of the knee (the medial meniscus) and the other one on the outside of the knee (the lateral meniscus).

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Actively Green 2015 ambassador profile: Veronica Moretti

December 14, 2014 — 

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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Vail Daily relationship column: Do you have relationship deal breakers?

December 13, 2014 — 

Editor’s note: Neil Rosenthal is on vacation. This is one of his previously published columns. This is the second of a two-part series. Visit www.vaildaily.com to read the first installment.

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Vail Daily column: Celebrating with nature

December 13, 2014 — 

“Deck the halls with boughs of holly,” “rockin’ around the Christmas tree,” and “a partridge in a pear tree,” all evoke memories of frosty mornings and saccharine treats. But these three song lyrics, along with many more holiday traditions and celebrations, all share a common denominator — celebrating winter holidays with vegetation. After all, what would Christmas be without a tree and wreaths adorning our doors? It would be like New Year’s Day without black eyed peas, Kwanzaa without persimmons or Hanukkah without olive oil.

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Vail Daily column: Share our excitement with the world

December 13, 2014 — 

As the holiday season washes over the Vail Valley, I wanted to wish you all a magical holidays and a happy and prosperous New Year on behalf of the entire 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships Organizing Committee.

This is truly a time for not only giving, but also for sharing. As the clock counts down to the dawn of 2015, one of our New Year’s resolutions should be to determine how best to share our World Championships, not only with each other, but with the world.

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Vail Daily column: Presidents challenge do-nothing congresses

December 13, 2014 — 

Often, gripers about others’ mistakes use bluster to cover their own faults. Sitting on hands, their whining stalls corrective action.

Who shouts the loudest?

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Vail Daily column: How to choose among Realtor friends

December 12, 2014 — 

Dear Joan,

I have several friends that are Realtors and they​ ​​all​ work for different companies. As a matter of fact, a couple of them have worked for two or three different companies during the past few years. I have not cared about this until now, when I am getting ready to sell my property and need to choose one of them to list my ​home​. My two dilemmas are, should I choose by the company they are with or the person​,​ and when I choose, how do I tell the others I did not choose them?

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Vail Daily column: What is unique about financing property in resorts?

December 12, 2014 — 

I often get calls from borrowers who I know are shopping my services against large online lenders such as Quicken Loans or Lending Tree that primarily deal on the Internet to find their customers. Sometimes people flat out ask why should they deal with a small company such as Macro Financial Group because surely bigger must mean better. In fact, I hope callers do ask me that question point blank so we can have that discussion.

Every company has things they do well, and what I do have in common with the big name lenders is we both do our jobs well in terms of closing loans. I would not still be in business if I didn’t and nor would they. Where we differ is I close well over 95 percent of the actual loan applications I end up agreeing to take. Industry gossip is some large companies close closer to 25 percent of the applications they take, meaning they have a lot of disappointed people out there. I may have to tell a lot of people that inquire and would like to apply that I can’t possibly get them a loan, but large lenders instruct their employees to take every application they can get their hands on and then only 75 percent of them will be disappointed. It’s no fun turning down potential business, but I’d rather do it this way than the way the big guys do it.

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Vail Daily column: What can you learn from the ‘Oracle of Omaha’?

December 11, 2014 — 

Warren Buffet, the “Oracle from Omaha,” is considered one of the most successful investors in history. Yet while the investment world may seem complex, Mr. Buffet’s advice is actually pretty simple. Here are a few Buffet quotes, along with some suggestions on putting them to use:

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Vail Daily column: Interdependency key to success

December 11, 2014 — 

A partner is defined as one of two or more people, businesses, etc., that work together or that do business together. Which, on its own, is a fairly bland and somewhat utilitarian definition. It certainly lacks any inspiration.

A true partnership, on the other hand, is a commitment to one another that includes accountability. The idea of a partnership being a relationship that includes mutually beneficial commitment and accountability is quite different from the utilitarian definition of a partner.

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Vail Daily column: Decision, direction and doubt

December 10, 2014 — 

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. A simple theory, and yet a much tougher application to manage sometimes.

Let’s think about an “expert”-rated ski run — you know something that may be really steep and richly covered in moguls. Now the expert skier may be able to take a straight line, going top to bottom as quickly and efficiently as possible. For the intermediate skier, the goal to get to the bottom is the same, but they have to take a more circuitous route. There will be more turns made for sure and they will use more of the mountain as they traverse the slope.

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Vail Daily column: The Stolen Valor Act

December 9, 2014 — 

I am not a veteran. Nor have I ever played one on T.V. I am, however, honored to know a hefty handful of them and to count a number of them as my friends. I note that, in the main, they are a proud and honorable bunch and take great pride in having served their nation. And rightly so. Freedom, it is said, is never free.

What then to make of frauds, fakes, poseurs, charlatans, cheats and cons? What to make of those who would steal what is an even more precious treasure than gilt, coin or scrilla? What of one who would rob another of his honor, who would pose, prance and posture to be what he is not? What of the kind of slippery trickster who would claim to be a veteran when all he is, in fact, is a liar?

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Vail Daily column: Take measures to keep safe this winter

December 8, 2014 — 

Although winter can be lots of fun for many of us here in the Vail Valley, the fact is that winter weather does pose some serious health hazards for those who are not properly prepared. For example, did you know that home fires occur more often in winter than at any other time of the year? And that “people 65 and older are three times more likely to die or be injured in a home fire as those who are younger?” (Jim Miller, “Savvy Senior,” a syndicated news columnist, in his interview on the “Today” show).

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Your Inner Athlete column: Practice doesn’t make perfect

December 8, 2014 — 

Legendary hockey coach Pat Quinn died Nov. 23 at the age of 71 due to a lengthy illness. Being from Toronto, Canada, Quinn is a name I consistently heard growing up. Quinn was head coach for the Toronto Maple Leafs during two conference finals and what was possibly the most successful time for the Maple Leafs. He also was the head coach for the Canadian Olympic Team when they won in Salt Lake City in 2002. Not only was he a NHL coach, he also coached junior hockey players and was the head coach when Team Canada won the World Junior Championships in 2008 and 2009.

In addition to his championships, what exactly makes Quinn legendary? He’s known for being fierce, tough, intimidating, direct, even frightening, but these qualities don’t make him legendary. There are plenty of tough leaders, whether in business or sport, who will never be considered legendary. What makes Quinn a legendary coach are three specific strengths that have nothing to do with his intimidation factor. In fact, it’s these strengths that probably make his tough side tolerable, even effective.

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Vail Daily column: Teen taking a leadership role in community

December 7, 2014 — 

Leadership is a trait we look to elders to teach us about, yet sometimes it’s the young leaders that teach us best. Leadership seminars of all lengths and depths are available to help improve workplace morale, develop inspiring companies and ultimately build better leaders. The American Society of Training and Development cites U.S. businesses spending more than $170 billion on leadership-based curriculum, with the majority of those dollars being spent on leadership training. Meanwhile, one of the most inspiring definitions I’ve heard of leadership hails from Vail Mountain School sophomore Seth Molina who describes, “Putting others before yourself to make the whole of the group function better. When a group works better as a team, everyone benefits.”

Police Explorers Program

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Vail Daily column: Groove with the holiday vibe

December 7, 2014 — 

Holiday fires are beginning to kindle in homes across the valley and the seasonal acceleration of time has begun in earnest. As the pressure of rampant commercialism essays to press ever more firmly upon us and our kin, the hollowness of materiality reveals itself. The blatancy of corporate appeals has in the end spelled their doom: We can no longer be fooled into believing that goods can replace the love and happiness that is the company of family and friends.

Religious or secular, this special time of year brings out the best in humanity and communities. With this sentiment in mind, now is the perfect opportunity to stop feasting on each other through lawsuits and instead imbibe hot cocoa and toddies, gorge on gingerbread and goose.

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Biff America column: A reminder that life is a limited engagement

December 6, 2014 — 

It was a text message, sent at 2 a.m. from a drunken guy; many of the words contained no vowels. Were I not dyslexic myself, I probably could not have understood the message. It took me several attempts to interpret the word “dgcth” as “death.”

All of my local friends are aware of my sleep habits, so I deduced that the misspelled message had to be sent from some East Coast miscreant who was out late (4 a.m. Boston time).

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Vail Daily column: Calculating income for self-employed is complicated

December 5, 2014 — 

If you have applied for mortgage financing recently, then you can attest to the fact that the process is quite complex in the current regulatory and economic environment. I can further attest to this as a loan officer who is entrenched in the residential real estate finance business. It seems as though no two lending scenarios are quite the same right now due to a myriad of various factors which can add further difficulty. For purposes of this column, I am going to focus on the employment and income aspect of mortgage financing, and in particular employment and income for self-employed individuals.

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Vail Daily column: If you want it done right ...

December 4, 2014 — 

We all know the saying, “If you want it done right, then do it yourself.”

With all due respect to those who believe this rather old-fashioned viewpoint, you’re wrong. If you want it done right in today’s ever-changing world, then partner with someone.

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Vail Daily column: Check out this year-end financial checklist

December 4, 2014 — 

As this year draws to a close, you may want to look back on the progress you’ve made this past year in various areas of your life — and that certainly includes progress toward your financial goals. At the same time, you may want to make some end-of-year moves that can close out this year on a positive note while paving the way for a productive 2015.

Here are a few such moves to consider:

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Vail Daily column: Near-term activity leads to long-term success

December 3, 2014 — 

So the other day I found myself talking with my 23-year-old son Lucas. You see, each day I communicate with all of my children in some way, usually a call or a text, if we can’t get together in person. And since they are all in their mid and early 20s sometimes the texts get me the quickest response. If you are a parent you know what I mean, right?

As I asked my son what his longterm goals/big-picture vision was and what his near-term activity would be to support his dreams and vision, I realized that as much as I have coached and counseled others and as much as my son had seen me speak, read my columns and heard me guide others, I never really gave him the tools he needed to really get grounded and firmly settled in a true goals program.

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Vail Daily column: What does the land trust do?

December 2, 2014 — 

What does the land trust do? Eagle Valley Land Trust conserves sensitive land from being developed. Since our inception in 1981, Eagle Valley Land Trust has permanently conserved over 7,000 acres of land.

Why? To prevent uncontrolled and unplanned development in and around our river valleys and to preserve the rural character of our distinct towns.

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Actively Green 2015 ambassador profile: Carrie Henderson

December 2, 2014 — 

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

Name: Carrie Henderson.

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Vail Daily column: Thank the clouds for winter’s return

November 29, 2014 — 

Winter is here! It’s time to thank the nimbostratus for our fluffy white playground’s return! Patiently, we’ve waited for this snowfall for it has been hidden in secrecy for many months. This mystical force of nature is very particular about conditions and has a rigid arrival plan. Luckily for us, when it snows, it dumps!

Have you guessed it yet? The mighty nimbostratus is a dense, thick and layered cloud which precipitates light airy snow. It appears to be gray and terrifying, but under its facade is a whiteout in the making. This middle layer cloud is filled with ice crystals and snow because of condensation happening below the freezing point. Covering the entire sky, this cloud resembles a frosted blanket with no edges or defined shape.

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Vail Daily column: Global indicators point to low rates

November 29, 2014 — 

If you dread taking tests, here’s a question I hope you never get asked: What makes mortgage rates fluctuate? If ever there was a trick question, this would be one of them.

As to how to answer the above question, let’s just say pretty much everything from global politics (and more importantly, uncertainty about global politics) to the price of oil to the price of food to a love triangle can jolt interest rates up or down. Probably the price of tea in China factors in somewhere.

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Vail Daily column: Low appraisal brings loan to standstill

November 29, 2014 — 

Dear Joan,

I am, or was, in the process of selling my home through a Realtor I respect and trust. Unfortunately, my Realtor did not bring the buyer so she had no control or ability to suggest a lender for the buyers. I am unfamiliar with the lending institution for my buyer, and worse yet, have never heard of the appraiser this lender hired.

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Vail Daily column: The story behind the Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel

November 28, 2014 — 

Last weekend, we cruised through one our favorite stretches of Interstate 70. All three kids shouted “tunnel!” as we approached the entrance, and the whoops and hollers continued all the way through. Yeah, you know the one. The Eisenhower-Johnson Memorial Tunnel system, or EJMT.

What’s the story behind these tunnels? Initially opened in 1973, they’re the highest in the world, whisking 11 million automobiles per year from one side of the Continental Divide to the other. They’re one of Colorado’s most iconic and impactful arteries and have a remarkable history.

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