Letters to the Editor

Vail Daily column: Reduce your stress this holiday season

December 19, 2014 — 

Who isn’t stressed these days? Holiday shopping, office parties, baking, cooking, card mailing, gift wrapping, caroling, kids out of school, long lines at the post office and all the cleaning and prep work for those holiday guests can all add up to stress overload.

Stress can be our evil nemesis as well as our friend. Stress keeps us safe from making those decisions that we will regret: Like following your child off a jump in the terrain park or purchasing that perfect gift with a price tag well beyond the budget limit. Healthy stress prevents us from doing the things that we know aren’t good for us. Unhealthy stress however is the very thing that breaks down our emotional reserves as well as our immune system. Too much stress can also have a negative impact on both our mental and physical well-being.

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Vail Daily letter: Thanks to volunteers

December 18, 2014 — 

As we enter the season of giving I want to take the opportunity to say thank you to all volunteers for the tremendous gift you give to your community. This gift is much better than a pair of cozy socks or a holiday themed tie, this gift is too important to stuff in a stocking or hide beneath a tree. This gift that you provide your community is your time, talent and compassion by serving the organizations that you serve.

At the American Red Cross, we rely heavily on our volunteer workforce to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies. Volunteers who stand ready to respond at a moment’s notice to a house fire and are there to provide the family with clothing, food, comfort and hope, volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure that we have the resources to respond in a large-scale disaster, volunteers who work to better prepare their communities for emergencies and volunteers who are willing to travel across the country willing to help a total stranger in need who lost their home to a catastrophic disaster. As with many nonprofit organizations, the Red Cross could not do what we do without the power of our volunteers.

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Vail Daily letter: Elevating our standards

December 18, 2014 — 

Recently, I attended one of the first working sessions of the new Avon Town Council. I specifically attended the meeting as a review of Avon’s Code of Ethics was on the agenda. There was a long, thoughtful, open discussion between the Town Council members on how to strengthen the Code of Ethics in order to bring much-needed integrity to our elected officials. After the debacles over conflicts of interest, real or perceived, and other ethical issues that have engulfed Avon, it was very refreshing to see the council’s determination to raise the bar for our elected officials. Avon’s Code of Ethics should be the gold standard for other communities and reflect federal and corporate ethics laws.

There were lots of excellent suggestions made on how to avoid conflicts of interest including: Not allowing spouses of other council members to serve at the same time; not allowing council members who work for other council members to serve at the same time; strengthening transparency; not allowing council members to bid on government contracts while serving, and for a period of time after their public service; and strengthening residency rules so that only those actually living in Avon can serve on the Town Council.

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Vail Daily letter: Not that ‘stupid’

December 17, 2014 — 

Are the American voters “stupid” in believing in, accepting, passing and enacting the ACA (aka Obamacare)? Judging from Mr. Gruber’s observations and declarations they would be, if the public arena was truly the forum that enacted this bogus legislation. The voters did not enact it! Rather, in keeping with the principles of a republic, the voters had elected representatives in Congress and a chief executive, both of whom were tasked with enacting legislation that supposedly was to sub-serve the interests of their constituents (the American people).

Mr. Gruber again misspoke when he labeled the American voters as “stupid,” for in essence, it was the Democratic members of Congress who voted in this legislation, and a Democratic president that signed it into law. Ergo, Mr. Gruber sold his unworkable and expensive insurance model to Congress under false pretenses, the Democratic representatives and senators believed him, and were derelict in their duties to the American people by not reading this stupendous and incomprehensible tome to ascertain if it was workable, and did indeed support the grandiose promises made. The ones that were duped and stupid were those representatives and senators that voted in favor of it to promote the social agenda of an imperial White House.

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Vail Daily letter: Thanks for your support

December 16, 2014 — 

Dear Vail Valley:

There is snow in the valley, but for what could have been Tony Bartell’s 31st year in the Vail Valley, he is in his first hometown, Wayland, Mich.

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Vail Daily letter: Great ski shop

December 16, 2014 — 

Women looking for comfort and performance skiing:

Last year I purchased a pair of skis from Jeannie Thoren’s Women’s Ski Center. Both Jeannie and Tom worked tirelessly with me to ensure that I would be purchasing the perfect pair of skis for me, considering my height, weight, center of gravity and skiing ability. I had a wonderful ski season on my new skis.

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Vail Daily letter: Kostick has done great work

December 16, 2014 — 

I am saddened to read the recent accusation that Eagle Mayor Yuri Kostick and board member Doug Seabury have “betrayed the trust” of their constituents by traveling to Florida to meet with the Haymeadow real estate developer. Based on my interactions with these two individuals, I find this allegation extremely difficult to believe. Mayor Kostick has worked tirelessly to promote the town of Eagle as a leader in building sustainable multi-use recreation. He has successfully built a trail system that not only benefits the residents of the town of Eagle but has served as the course for the Colorado High School Mountain Bike Championship the past two years.

Under the mayor’s leadership, this trail system was completed in a manner that respects the natural environment while providing much-needed recreational opportunities both to residents and to tourists. The trails have received fantastic reviews from high school athletes from around Colorado and the project serves as an example for other communities across the country on what can be done to help the local economy, promote fitness and provide much-needed amenities to the residents and visitors. In recognition of his efforts, the National Interscholastic Cycling Association was honored to present Mayor Kostick the 2013 Community Impact Award and we wish him, Mr. Seabury and the residents of the town of Eagle the best in 2015.

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Vail Daily letter: A successful year

December 12, 2014 — 

The Family Learning Center appreciates the dedication and hard work of Battle Mountain’s National Honor Society in hosting the successful 2014 Art Battle which was held on Nov. 18. With the generous sponsorship by Action for Children, this event raised over $3,000 in donations and supplies to support the early childhood programs at The Family Learning Center, as well as the art program at Battle Mountain High School. The talented high school artists competed and sold their works of art to community supporters, and local artists donated artwork and jewelry as auction items. A special thanks to Danny Ploughman for his acoustic and vocal talent which enhanced the event’s atmosphere.

What a difference a year makes! In December of 2013, The Family Learning Center announced it would have to close its doors because of financial difficulties. With tremendous support throughout the Vail Valley, 2014 has been a year of celebration for our community. Enrollment has increased 20 percent since September of 2013, we have additional children enrolled through Eagle County School District’s Colorado Preschool Program, and we continue to be the only private preschool in the Vail Valley to partner with Early Head Start. The Family Learning Center especially thanks the Eagle County Board of Commissioners’ significant support, which enabled us to continue to serve children of working families in Eagle County while we worked to increase funding from foundations.

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Vail Daily letter: Ballet was performed in ’04

December 11, 2014 — 

Your article about “The Wizard of Oz” was a little in accurate. The ballet was performed in Fort Collins in 2004 by Canyon Concert Ballet Company. My daughter was cast and performed in the ballet as Dorothy. Her name is Leah Colecchia. Just thought she deserves her recognition — she was very good. Otherwise, I am very glad to see the ballet. I am a big fan of Vail Valley Dance Academy, as Leah went there at the age of 3, when company was in Minturn.

Debra Colecchia

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Vail Daily letter: Lights don’t work

December 10, 2014 — 

Who is in charge of the lights on Highway 24 at the on-ramps to I-70 at Dowd Junction?

For months now, there have been no lights. It is very hard to see the road that turns to go either direction on I-70 from Highway 24.

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Vail Daily letter: Bumpy road

December 9, 2014 — 

I was wondering if anyone else that travels to Maloit Park to either the Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy, the Minturn Fitness Center or the residences there has as much trouble as I do driving the road with the ruts and potholes of packed snow. Seriously, it is like driving on a four-wheel drive road in places. Why can’t whoever maintains the road (does the snowplowing) come and clear this built-up packed snow when it is soft and can easily be plowed away? The way it is now, it gets soft during the day and then freezes at night, making it very rough to drive. I am surprised more people haven’t complained about this. I know this is beating up my car, can’t believe those who travel this road daily don’t have the same issues.

Hoping whoever is in charge of this gets the hint to please take care of clearing our road!

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Vail Daily letter: A better form of justice?

December 9, 2014 — 

In Ferguson, a white police officer shoots and kills a white teenager, and as a result of that event would there ensue looting and arson of the private property of others in the neighborhood? Would Holder’s Department of Justice and the FBI appear on the scene to investigate police excesses? Would the governor elicit the aid of the National Guard to keep the peace? Does “justice” warrant arson and theft as retribution for an alleged murder in this instance? Do you think that the media would even give a passing thought about this episode and the resultant grand jury proceeding?

By changing the predicate from a “white teenager” to a “black teenager” in the above scenario, is it more plausible that looting and arson would be justified by the mob in return for its predetermined “murder” by the officer? Would there be a different forum or venue other than a grand jury to determine and mete out “justice” (whatever you define the term to be)? Now that the rioting and pillaging mob of Ferguson has gained our attention in the matter, and have determined that the grand jury process is not the correct venue (because of its verdict), the question becomes what exactly is the judicial process that the mob prefers? Should we have simply turned over the officer to the mob to administer its better form of justice?

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Vail Daily letter: Excellent service

December 6, 2014 — 

All too often we hear or read complaints about retailers in Vail. This letter is commending the staff and management at Vail Sports at the top of Wall Street in Vail. Due to mysterious circumstances, the new skis I had brought in to be mounted were somehow released to the wrong party. Everyone at Vail Sports rigorously looked for my skis, and at no point did anyone say it was my problem. Everyone I talked to was very supportive and wanted me to use demos until either my skis were found or we arrived at a mutual decision to replace the missing skis. Mark Zito and Josh did everything to make me happy and ultimately replaced my skis with a newer model of the lost skis. People in this valley do care about each other and this was a wonderful example of superb customer service.

Annette Ramer

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Vail Daily letter: Thanks for help

December 6, 2014 — 

The volunteers, board and staff of HomeCare and Hospice of the Valley wish to thank sincerely all the local businesses and individuals who donated funds, facilities, food and drink to our recent “Trees of Hospice” event. Our gathering at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards on Dec. 3 was a tremendously meaningful evening of remembrance, camaraderie and hope.

We are especially grateful to Colorado Mountain College for providing us with an open, inviting space for attendees to share memories of loved ones and of hospice. We also wish to thank those who spoke at this year’s event, including Sara Fisher, Kaylee Brennand, Joette Gilbert, Monica Benderly, Dr. Jack Eck, Rev. Michelle Hovey and the Colorado Mountain Singers as well as our tireless volunteers, especially Jan Jackson, who helped organize and stage this wonderful evening.

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Vail Daily letter: Not ‘working on it’

December 6, 2014 — 

It is December, and I am having several special days in Vail. I have been coming to Vail since the ’60s and have owned a condo near the ice rink since the ’70s. It is a wonderful, joyful place for me both winter and summer. As I visit the shops, it is always so nice to hear, “Have a good day” or “Have a good afternoon.” Unfortunately, restaurant staff has not received the same training. I find it very disappointing as I dine to have restaurant staff ask me if “I am still working in it.”. How did that become part of our vocabulary? As I always answer, “I am not working, I am enjoying. Please consider printing this letter that I hope will be read by restaurant owners. It would be an easy lesson to instruct staff to end the use of “working’ as part of their service.

Pamla Moore

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Vail Daily letter: We need more info

December 5, 2014 — 

I am writing to respond to Richard Carnes’ column, “Information causes change, senseless vandalism doesn’t,” Dec. 2. His commentary purports to be about the reaction to Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Mo. Quoting Mr. Carnes, “This is no civil rights issue. Michael Brown is no ‘martyr for the cause,’ whatever the hell that actually means.”

Well, I’d like to tell him what that actually means by quoting another writer, Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize winner of The Washington Post, who yesterday wrote, “Michael Brown’s death was part of a tragic and unacceptable pattern: Police officers in the United States shoot and kill civilians in shockingly high numbers. How many killings are there each year? No one can say for sure, because police departments don’t want us to know.”

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Vail Daily letter: Broken trust

December 5, 2014 — 

On Oct. 29, Eagle Mayor Yuri Kostick and board member Doug Seabury took a trip to Florida to meet with Haymeadow real estate developer Alan Cohen. This trip was not discussed at any town board meeting, was not authorized by the Eagle town board, and was financed by Mr. Cohen. This is a violation of the Amendment 41 ban on gifts to elected officials. Upon their return, Mayor Kostick and Mr. Seabury then violated Colorado Sunshine Law by holding secret meetings with several board members to discuss their trip and budget matters. Now they are attempting to have the other members of the town of Eagle board complicitly violate the spirit if not the intent of Amendment 41 by having the taxpayers pick up the tab for their trip.

Additionally, Mayor Kostick was the primary advocate of and voted for a series of no-bid contracts totaling $90,000 to construct recreational trails in Eagle. No-bid contracts are historically seldom, if ever, done. A year later, Mr. Kostick has taken a job with the company that was given the no-bid contract. In light of these violations, the town of Eagle board in its fiduciary and stewardship capacity, and in order to maintain their integrity should reject using taxpayer monies to pay for a trip that was not authorized, and the town board should censure both Mayor Kostick and Mr. Seabury for their violations of Colorado law.

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Vail Daily letter: Eggnog roundup

December 4, 2014 — 

Eggnog — love it, hate it, mix it with liquor. The mixers for nog are endless — from rum, vodka, brandy and wine — even ginger ale and orange juice go well with it.

However you have it, you know you will be serving it this year at parties.

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Vail Daily letter: About our program

December 4, 2014 — 

In response to Nov. 18 letter, “SANE program needed.”

In the United States, one sexual assault occurs approximately every two minutes. In Colorado alone, one in four women and one in 17 men will experience sexual assault in their lifetimes. And in 2014 alone, the SANE program at St. Anthony Summit Medical Center has cared for 45 victims of assault and provided seven suspect exams.

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Vail Daily letter: You’re invited

December 3, 2014 — 

The EGE Air Alliance board of directors invites interested members of the community to our annual meeting. The meeting will consist of a detailed update on the alliance’s current and future efforts. Come learn about our continuing efforts to improve the Eagle County economy through a vibrant flight service program at the Eagle County Regional Airport! The meeting will be held on Tuesday, from 3-5 p.m. at the Vail Board of Realtors conference room (located at Riverwalk in Edwards, below eTown) and attendance is free.

Michael Brown

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Vail Daily letter: Where are you, Rev. Al?

December 3, 2014 — 

Until the horrific murder of Zemir Begic, the 32-year-old Bosnian immigrant who was bludgeoned to death by last Sunday by hammer-wielding teens (in front of his fiancee and just 20 miles from Ferguson, Mo.) receives the same national media and presidential attention as the Michael Brown case, we will never have an honest discussion of race in this country. Begic was white, the accused are all minorities.

Butch Mazzuca

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Vail Daily letter: Mobs and magazines

December 2, 2014 — 

Ferguson, Mo. Consider the pictures of burning buildings, surging mobs and scurrying looters. Local law enforcement was overwhelmed. The governor activated the National Guard, but they were kept back.

Ferguson’s mayor says he was unable to get in touch with Gov. Nixon or any of his staff during that critical period. The lieutenant governor says he has no idea what the problem was, that troops were not sent in to suppress disorder.

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Vail Daily letter: Why believe Obama now?

December 2, 2014 — 

Ms. Koby Polaski’s well written commentary of late (Valley Voices, Saturday) seemingly supported Mr. Obama’s executive order that refused to enforce the deportation mandates of existing immigration law. Or, in other words, transformed over 5 million “illegals” into quasi “legals,” ipso facto. Never mind the constructs of Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution or the mandates of Article II thereof, the excesses and encroachments of the current president seems to be legitimized by those of past presidents — two wrongs make a right, so to speak. The internment of Japanese/Americans during World War II is not precedence for modern-day FEMA camps under the Patriot or National Defense Authorization acts. The confiscation of lands belonging to Native Americans in the latter part of the 1800s should not be precedence for the civil confiscation of private property under IRS provisions. Should ritualism, custom, tradition or imperial excess trump the rule of law? Only when we spin and parse the plain meaning of English into the legalese of lawyers can we transfer the legislative function under Article I into Article II authority. Why do we now need lawyers to interpret the English language, especially when it appears to be so clear, succinct and unequivocal?

Ms. Polaski declares in her article, “The executive action promises many additional changes, including an increase in border security ... and grow the economy.” Admittedly, the “executive action” changes the existing laws in the matter — it legislates those changes as the author avers. As before, the executive action “promises” many additional changes, like an increase in border security. Why, just why, under God’s or Obama’s name should we now believe that he will enforce his executive or imperial decree when in the past he has blatantly refused or failed to enforce border security under the legislated law of Congress? Is he (Obama) now saying that we can now have a secure border, period? Is he now saying that his fiat will “grow the economy,” period”? We have heard him double-speak so many times before, that to believe him now would confirm what fools we have already become. The difference between “stupidity” and “ignorance” is that the former connotes that we are unable to learn from our mistakes, whereas our ignorance of an issue is that we have trusted Obama’s “word,” and acted accordingly out of that trust. To believe him now would “Gruberize” us all as “stupid.”

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Vail Daily letter: President has no clothes

December 2, 2014 — 

President Obama just announced his presidential executive action overturning our country’s immigration laws by redefining the status of individuals that gained access to our country illegally. However, during two dozen past speeches, he forcefully insisted he has no constitutional authority to ignore or change our immigration laws. “That’s not how our Constitution is written” he stated!

In 1828, Arthur J. Stansbury published an impressive 80-page textbook used in our country’s schools entitled “Elementary Catechism of the Constitution of the United States.” The book instilled in youngsters the knowledge of our founding Constitution created on Sept. 17, 1787, and the freedom and liberty it bestows upon our country’s citizens.

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Vail Daily column: Just the same as us

November 28, 2014 — 

Why would anyone ever want to leave this place? I have not been able to shake that thought since I visited Tuscany. The rolling hills were covered with vines and olive trees and the valley fields were aflame with red poppies in full bloom. I could picture myself residing happily in one of the ochre-colored houses, living on olives and drinking intemperate amounts of Chianti. I have wondered the same thing when I have visited other picturesque European locales where immigrants once departed in droves for new lives in America. Why would anyone ever want to leave?

The answer in many instances was they didn’t want to leave; they had to leave. Economic collapse, government dysfunction, religious oppression, war and hunger were powerful motivators for our ancestors to trade the familiar for the unknown and the promise that life in America might be better.

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Vail Daily column: Time for action on immigration reform

November 28, 2014 — 

Last week, President Obama took it upon himself to make this year’s lame duck session decidedly less “lame” by announcing a series of sweeping changes to our nation’s immigration system. This executive action offers temporary status to millions of undocumented immigrants and contains two key — and controversial — components:

• An expansion of the population of people eligible to apply for the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Before Obama’s executive order, the program allowed young immigrants who came to the United States before turning 16 and have been present since Jan. 1, 2010 (previously June 15, 2007) to a apply for a deportation deferral. Previously, applicants must have been under 31 years old. Obama eliminated this age cap and also extended the validity period from two years to three. This means that DACA status is renewable in three-year increments.

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Vail Daily letter: In poor taste

November 28, 2014 — 

I have been reading the Vail Daily daily since I moved to Eagle County. The information I receive has been valuable as my husband and I adjusted to our new surroundings.

I was totally shocked when I opened the paper on Sunday and Monday as I read an advertisement in the front A section entitled “The love weed.” The ad is in such poor taste! “Women cry for it! Men die for it! Roots Rx.”

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Vail Daily letter: Liar-in-chief

November 24, 2014 — 

All in all the liar-in-chief (LIC) has had a pretty good fortnight. He set up a quasi-deal on global warming promising strict U.S. carbon reductions — which we will pay for — in exchange for something (undefined) by the Chinese 26 years from now. Heck of a deal; the eco-hysterics are orgasmic. Then he told the Aussie press that — despite more than 20 meetings at the White House, including at least one with Obama — Gruber is a low level functionary who had little to do with the strategy for Obamacare passage. Then on prime time television he starts off his “immigration speech” with three or four outright lies or twisted exaggerations about facts dealing with the recent history of people pouring across our borders. Of course he has said 19 or 20 times that he is constitutionally unable to use executive orders to “fix” immigration. But wait, his view has “evolved” (to use the words of the White House mouthpiece) and he now can do this. And besides, he is tired of waiting for the Republican House to act (I guess nobody told him he had control of both houses for two years).

Gruber repeatedly praises deceit, deception and lies as the path to passage of controversial legislation. Looks like he and the LIC have quite a lot in common. But no problem, as American voters, many of us are too stupid to catch on.

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Vail Daily letter: Distasteful ad

November 24, 2014 — 

Do you need advertising revenue so much that you’re willing to turn our hometown newspaper into a sleazy rag? I refer to the ad in (Monday’s) paper, Page A8, placed by Roots Rx in Avon. “Women cry for it! Men die for it! Unleashed passions!” accompanied by a lewd picture that leaves no doubt about sexual intentions. This is the type of ad I’d expect in a NYC porno paper! In addition to debasing women, do you want to send a message to our youth that sex is only good with drugs? Etc., etc. For shame!

Susan Chapman

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