Letters to the Editor

Vail Daily letter: Franciose for coroner

October 21, 2014 — 

I am writing to express my sincere endorsement of Sue Franciose for Eagle County coroner. It is my belief as a trained mental health counselor that such a position should be held by a person of integrity, wisdom and compassion. This is a position that requires medical intellect, passion for the truth and an ability to hold the ethical and appropriate space within the community. In my years of knowing Sue it has been my pleasure to witness her passion and commitment to the Eagle County community. She is dedicated her time, energy and financial resources to many deserving citizens of this community, from the youth to the elderly, as well as physically ill. I am proud and excited for her current work with organ donation. I wholeheartedly request your consideration of Sue in the upcoming election.

Kerri Thelen

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Vail Daily letter: Donovan for state Senate

October 20, 2014 — 

I will tell you that politics is not my thing. I am amazed at the harsh things that come out against each other. So, that is why I wanted to write something.

Kerry Donovon has been a major player in my family’s life. I am from Crested Butte. This is where we raised our family. Our son, Aaron Blunck, decided that he wanted to go further with his skiing career. We made the hardest decision we have ever made. We moved Aaron over to Vail, so that he could train and finish high school. Aaron went to Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy.

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Vail Daily letter: Bettis for coroner

October 20, 2014 — 

Eagle County voters should re-elect Kara Bettis for the office of Eagle County coroner, the clearly superior candidate based on her experience, forensic training, dedication and commendable performance. The county coroner’s tasks must be performed under often arduous and unpleasant circumstances beyond those directly associated with the tragedy itself. Consider the challenges of a single mom with two school-age children at home traveling to the site of a traffic fatality on I-70 at 3 a.m. in the middle of a snowstorm. That requires tremendous dedication while performing those tasks with professionalism and compassion for the deceased and their families. I know from my personal acquaintance with Ms. Bettis that she is a thoroughly professional and compassionate person and a reliable and dedicated public servant of the residents of Eagle County.

Joe McHugh

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Vail Daily letter: Pot, kids and safety

October 19, 2014 — 

Dear Angela Moore Maddalone (letter to the editor, Sept. 27),

Obviously, you have not read all of my letters. On Oct. 2, 2013, I did not know anything about either medical or recreational marijuana. There are several experts in Eagle County who have studied the science and have shared with me. Buddy Sims, Bob Ticer, Michelle Stetcher and Shar are four. Bob Doyle from the Front Range is a source. I have tremendous respect for medical marijuana and I have visited with Shar many times. I consider her a friend. You may know that she is a registered nurse and works at Rocky Mountain High in Edwards. She helps many of the cancer patients at Shaw. She intimated to me that she would prefer that recreational marijuana not be sold in Edwards.

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Vail Daily letter: Asking for your vote

October 19, 2014 — 

I recently heard someone say, “Democracy demands attention,” and in these times leading up to the election, it is so true. Voters must listen closely and do some investigating to find out the truth about their candidates and the issues. I encourage voters to do their due diligence to discover each candidate’s skills, experience, priorities and vision. These are the qualities that will make a difference to our county. I hope that you will take the time to get to know me.

I have lived and worked in Eagle County for 23 years. I am married and have raised my two children here. Like many, I enjoy skiing, camping, biking, community service, friends and family. I delight in the wonderful, beautiful qualities of Eagle County.

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Vail Daily letter: Van Beek for sheriff

October 19, 2014 — 

I am writing to express my support of James Van Beek for sheriff. I have known James for over 22 years since meeting him while working at the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office. I’ve known James and Carrie before they were married.

James and I worked under the leadership of A.J. Johnson as deputies in the Patrol Division. Having worked with James, I can say with confidence and admiration that he would make an excellent leader as sheriff.

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Vail Daily letter: Suppes for state Senate

October 19, 2014 — 

In reviewing candidate experience, platforms and debates, I am most impressed with those from Don Suppes, candidate for State Senate District 5. He clearly states his positions on every issue that we face here in Eagle County and most importantly his willingness to fight to keep Western Slope water from being diverted to Denver. This issue is vital to farming, ranching and recreation, which are very important not only here in our county, but throughout this huge district, which is made up of a combined seven counties. I believe Don will be the voice of rural Colorado when he gets to Denver.

Don’s family roots are deep here in Colorado; his family stems back for five generations on the Western Slope. Don himself is a lifelong resident of Delta County, a small business owner, and the twice elected mayor of Orchard City. He is, by far, the most qualified candidate for this position. I urge you to get the facts, ignore the attack adds by those pesky 527 organizations and vote for Don Suppes in the upcoming election.

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Vail Daily letter: Donovan for state Senate

October 19, 2014 — 

All of us in Colorado Senate District 5 are faced with a real and important choice when our ballots arrive in the next few days. For those of us that affiliate with a party, the choice may seem easier, but I want to encourage my fellow Republicans (I’ve been registered since voting for Jerry Ford in 1976) and any right-leaning independents to think twice before filling in the box based on party.

Full disclosure: Kerry Donovan, the Democratic candidate, is a good friend of mine. I got to know Kerry while we served together on the Vail Town Council. Here’s what I can tell you about my friend Kerry that you won’t get from one of those obnoxious mailers that keep clogging your mailbox

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Vail Daily letter: Van Beek for sheriff

October 19, 2014 — 

I have read several letters relating to the upcoming Eagle County election for sheriff. Evaluating the two candidates, we need to carefully assess who will be best for our community because the position is critical to the direction, effort and attitude our Sheriff’s Office will have.

The November election is just around the corner for Eagle County voters who will select their new Eagle County sheriff. James van Beek, a 25-year Eagle County resident, is clearly the most qualified candidate in the race. He knows our community, is committed to addressing our community concerns as well as focused on maintaining a high-quality law enforcement service for the citizens of Eagle County. James van Beek is enthusiastic, capable of making tough decisions and is a proven leader and law enforcement officer. He has compassion for law enforcement that is crucial for the Sheriff’s Office. He will bring leadership that is necessary for the betterment of the department, as well as the citizens and communities of Eagle County.

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Vail Daily letter: McQueeney for commissioner

October 19, 2014 — 

I am writing to express my support for Jeanne McQueeney and to ask my friends and community members to join me in voting for her in the upcoming election.

Jeanne has been a fearless and effective advocate in support of education and environment, among other issues, for more than two decades. For example, she founded Early Childhood Partners, a local nonprofit dedicated to providing quality preschool education for all children and families in our community.

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Vail Daily letter: Just stating facts

October 19, 2014 — 

OK, I’m off my couch after reading Kim Andree’s letter supporting James van Beek and knocking Daric Harvey in Eagle County’s sheriff race. For the record, I am not a registered voter in Eagle County (yet) but was a political science major so I’m kind of a geek about this stuff. I’m also not a Democrat or Republican.

I saw the comparison ad that Ms. Andree refers to where Mr. Harvey was clearly illustrating the basic differences between himself and Mr. van Beek. I don’t mean to insult Ms. Andree or any of Mr. van Beek’s other supporters who have reacted so passionately to what, quite honestly, appears to be the truth. I researched both candidates and through Google found Mr. van Beek’s LinkedIn profile which shows his profession as a “driver/dispatcher at Eagle County Government.” So it appears that what Mr. Harvey said is simply a statement of fact regarding current employment. I also read Mr. van Beek’s Blogspot where he fails to mention his current employment. What I did not see in any ad or interview was disparaging remarks by Mr. Harvey against bus drivers or any other profession, seasonal or otherwise. It’s kind of a cheap shot to imply such.

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Vail Daily letter: For Chandler-Henry, Harvey

October 19, 2014 — 

Election season is upon us. Almost over may be the more accurate description. Ballots were mailed last week and I have two Eagle County candidates that I am wholeheartedly supporting.

Kathy Chandler Henry is running for re-election as county commish. I’ve known her and worked with her for 20 some years. She was raised in the Eagle Valley and has been a committed educator, business owner, volunteer and trusted elected official. She was my first professor when I returned to college in my late 30s. She was one of the best teachers I would ever have, expecting a tremendous amount from her students and of herself. She is committed to representing the Roaring Fork Valley side of Eagle county and shows up consistently as a RFTA board member and to make sure she is there for the many times we need our voice heard on the other side. I trust and admire her more than any elected official I have ever known.

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Vail Daily letter: Chandler-Henry for commissioner

October 19, 2014 — 

Our Eagle County Board of Commissioners needs leadership that understands our “middle” class and someone who has an expansive understanding of our history with a vision to put unity back in our community. As a native from a multi-generational Eagle County family, Kathy Chandler-Henry is that leader. She understands who we are and the deep need to keep our next generation of Eagle County children living and working in Eagle County, the need to support and sustain our ranch families and support our Hispanic and Latino families raising a fourth or fifth generation in Eagle County today. She will work to prepare our children and families for success, keep our environmental assets strong and move us forward as a community. Let’s put unity back in our community and elect Kathy Chandler-Henry as our next Eagle County commissioner.

Jill E. Kovacevich

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Vail Daily letter: Let Avon residents vote

October 19, 2014 — 

On Oct. 14, Avon Town Council completed its hurry-up approval for the purchase and remodel of the Skier Building for a new town hall. I again voiced my opposition to that purchase, which deserves much more review — especially since only very rough remodel estimates were made available.

My experience as a vice president at multi-billion dollar AutoZone Inc. included completing hundreds of real estate transactions — both new building projects and existing building remodels. I am a watchdog with the right skill set to speak out on this rush-job project.

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Vail Daily letter: Bettis for coroner

October 19, 2014 — 

Early this year, my family lost our son and brother Tony. The support we have received since then reminds us that we live in a caring “small town” community. Nowhere was that better demonstrated than by Kara Bettis and her staff. Kara was professional and considerate. As matters came up, she took the time to contact me directly, regardless of the day or time. A vote for Kara is a vote for a job well done and the assurance that our friends and families will receive kind, compassionate treatment at a time when they need it most. Please join me in voting for Kara Bettis for county coroner.

Pete Seibert Jr.

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Vail Daily letter: Franciose for coroner

October 19, 2014 — 

Sue Franciose gets my vote for coroner! She is more qualified than the incumbent with a National Level V Medical Investigator certification. She is a nationally certified forensic nurse and a member of the International Association of Coroners and Medical Examiners.

Her interest in forensic medicine led to her volunteer with a coroner’s office for a number of years. Sue’s background as an RN in critical care is a solid foundation for working with grieving families, and equally importantly, her interest and dedication has compelled her to continue her education in the field of forensic medicine.

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Vail Daily letter: Mayne for commissioner

October 19, 2014 — 

Dick Mayne has over 20 years of expertise serving on the Gypsum Town Council and making decisions that have moved the town forward year after year until it has become one of the best-run towns in Eagle County. Dick has shown his expertise in guiding the community to grow wisely, not lamenting the historic past of ranching but embracing planned growth in Gypsum that has provided the most economical housing in the valley while at the same time protecting our river corridors and expanding our water rights. He has helped to make Gypsum a community where young families can afford to live and have outstanding recreational opportunities from ball fields and a golf course to a recreation center and a responsible shooting sports facility.

One of the growing issues facing Eagle County and the Western Slope is water. Dick Mayne has dealt with water all his life and is one of the experts on our council when it comes to water issues. The Colorado Water Plan will affect all of us in Eagle County and I want someone with years of experience on water issues to represent our county for input relevant to this issue.

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Vail Daily letter: Franciose for coroner

October 19, 2014 — 

Ballots are showing up in everyone’s mailbox, and I’m asking you to cast your vote for Sue Franciose for Eagle County coroner. I am a former local firefighter, and I’ve had the opportunity to work with Sue on the job when she was an deputy coroner to Donna Barnes. I’ve also known Sue personally for the past decade, watching our daughters grow up together in the valley.

I remember on one dark, long night, this poor soul had died on the highway in a traumatic fashion, and Sue spent the whole night out investigating this person’s death, while her daughter slept in the car, and I remember thinking, what dedication, she could have put us off to wait with the deceased until the morning (firefighters are going to stay there anyway), until someone was there to take care of her daughter and she could have dealt with the situation in the morning. But no, there she was, taking care of business in a professional and understanding way. There were no relatives present for this specific occasion, thankfully as it was quite gruesome, but regardless, the deceased was treated with respect and dignity while still preserving the integrity of the part of I-70 that was a crime scene at the time.

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Vail Daily letter: McQueeney for commissioner

October 19, 2014 — 

I am voting for Jeanne McQueeney for Eagle County commissioner because she is intelligent, fair, caring and dependable. I have worked alongside Jeanne helping children, families and teachers from all backgrounds for over 10 years in Eagle County. She has been responsible for bringing valuable opportunities to our area such as the Incredible Years Parenting program and the Family Leadership Training Institute. I am grateful for how she has shared her vast knowledge and experience with me, my co-workers and the families we help. Jeanne means what she says and says what she means.

Voters should feel very confident that Jeanne will represent them well as an Eagle County commissioner.

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Vail Daily letter: Van Beek for sheriff

October 19, 2014 — 

After the smoke clears, what is the true measure of a law enforcement officer? Is it all about college degrees or political affiliations? I believe the measure comes down to a higher calling, the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics. The code identifies a fundamental duty to serve, protect and respect constitutional rights.

There will be many operational and technical issues facing the Sheriff’s Office. Our sheriff will need to rely on expert staff to address these issues. Though we watch the news, it is not these issues that create the most problems — it is a failure to successfully address the fundamental duty. I recently watched the news as citizens in Ferguson, Mo., protested and their chief of police apologized as he tried re-build public trust. I read about the chief’s credentials, having obtained an associate in applied life science, a bachelor in criminal justice management and a certificate in criminal justice education. He was a graduate of the FBI National Academy and had 30 years of police experience, serving as commander of a drug task force, SWAT supervisor, pilot, undercover detective, and hostage negotiator. What happened?

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Vail Daily letter: My picks for Avon council

October 19, 2014 — 

Avon is heading in a superb direction with our new trails, swimming beach, pavilion, town hall and pedestrian mall. Having served the past eight years, I have found that the Avon Town Council works best with people who are thoughtful, respectful, prepared for meetings, and willing and able to engage in debate in a manner that values all opinions.

This election I will be voting for Sarah Smith Hymes, Megan Burch, Matt Gennett and Scott Prince. Their diverse backgrounds are important to serve Avon well. Sarah Smith Hymes’ small-business experience and previous board service to our community is invaluable. Megan Burch is involved with our community on a level few know; her quiet, patient, measured approach will benefit Avon.

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Vail Daily letter: Prince for Avon council

October 19, 2014 — 

Scott Prince has worked effectively on the Avon Planning and Zoning Commission for the last six and a half years. As a P&Z member Scott has always been sure to use sound logic and make sure all commissioners follow the correct guidelines in evaluating projects. He is fair and respectful in his discussions and decision making. Scott has used excellent judgment in balancing the builders’ needs with the town requirements. He has shown the decision-making capabilities needed to keep Avon moving forward. His passion for making Avon all it can be is matched by his “smarts” in determining how to do it. He is well qualified to help lead Avon the next four years as a Town Council person.

Avon voters, please elect Scott to our Town Council.

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Vail Daily letter: Beaver for Avon council

October 19, 2014 — 

I am writing on behalf of my better half for the past 11 years. What you need to know about Town Council candidate Thomas Beaver is his character. You already know he has had successful businesses for over 40 years and has amazing ideas for the lovely town of Avon. What you don’t know is how much he cares about people. When one of his employees passed away, he paid their mother’s utility bills for 12 years. He hires people to give them a fresh start, he feeds hungry locals who can’t afford to eat. He is like a dad to everyone he deals with in this valley. He makes sure vendors, employees and the like are paid before we eat. He jumps in with both feet to provide for families who have had a loss and gives endlessly to local fundraisers, charities and organizations. He supports the local arts and music scene with passion and cares about people, no matter what their ethnicity, orientation or working class status is.

I have been with Tom Beaver for 11 years because he has a heart of gold and I feel completely safe and secure with him. He is the most loyal man I have ever known in my 52 years and have never known anyone with the amount of passion, spirit, drive, ambition and energy like he has. He doesn’t brag about his extensive education. He doesn’t brag about who he knows. He doesn’t speak about how great he is; that is what makes him so amazing. He is thoughtful, intelligent and wise. Even after having his Achilles operated on, the next day, he was out meeting and greeting folks. He puts everyone before him and has such an amazing connection with the community.

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Vail Daily letter: Bettis for coroner

October 18, 2014 — 

Are you exhausted with the negative political ads we’ve all been exposed to on television, the newspapers and on the radio? I undoubtedly am, and that’s why I’ve chosen to write this letter.

Despite the relentless mud-slinging we are all subjected to, Kara Bettis (who is running for re-election as our coroner) has remained positive in her campaign. This attitude shows the compassion necessary in her career, as well as her professionalism.

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Vail Daily letter: Van Beek for sheriff

October 18, 2014 — 

Apparently more than one Stephen Smith lives in Eagle. To clarify for those who know me and may wonder, a letter in the Oct. 12 edition supporting Harvey for sheriff was not written by me. I’m voting for James Van Beek. (I’m the Stephen Smith who moved here in 1980 and worked with the school district for 34 years.)

Stephen David Smith

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Vail Daily letter: Harvey for sheriff

October 18, 2014 — 

I am a proud unaffiliated (independent), registered voter and will be casting my vote for Daric Harvey to be our next Eagle County sheriff. Allow me to explain why.

As an unaffiliated voter, I like to gather information about candidates, weigh their qualifications, speak to them if possible and make what I believe is an educated decision that reflects my opinion of which person is not just right for me but for my community. I believe Daric Harvey is the right person at the right time for the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office. Please allow me to explain why.

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Vail Daily letter: Van Beek for sheriff

October 18, 2014 — 

I would like to express my support for James van Beek for Eagle County sheriff. I have known James and his family for over 20 years, and believe he is the only choice for sheriff. He is a longtime resident and he and his wife, Carrie (a lifelong resident), have raised their family here — he knows this county! In addition to having over 21 years of law enforcement experience, James is honest and fair. He has the integrity and courage to make the right decisions as sheriff for the citizens of Eagle County. I believe some of James’ many strengths are his openness, transparency and willingness to listen. In addition, I think he will manage the departmental budget (taxpayer dollars!) wisely. I encourage you to vote for James van Beek!

Karla J. Bagley

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Vail Daily letter: Harvey for sheriff

October 18, 2014 — 

A few years ago I was invited by Vail Police Chief Dwight Henninger to participate in a Citizen’s Panel. Our task was to interview candidates for the position of commander in the police department. While I was both impressed and humbled by the dedication, passion and professionalism of all the candidates, it was Officer Daric Harvey who stood head and shoulders above the rest. He received our unanimous recommendation and has been serving our community ever since.

As the chaplain of the Vail Police Department, I have had the opportunity to work closely with Daric and observe his interactions with those of our community. He is a person of exemplary character who is attentive to the needs of others and willing to extend himself for the sake of our community. I have experienced him to be an observant and careful thinker who can articulate his own thoughts and feelings with clarity and prudence. I have watched him compassionately serve and attend to the needs of others, and I know him to be a person of deep integrity and profound joy.

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Vail Daily letter: Prince for Avon council

October 17, 2014 — 

As a resident of the Vail Valley for over 30 years and a deeply involved participant in the West Avon Preserve trail network, I am writing to request you vote for Scott Prince for Avon Town Council.

Scott’s commitment to Avon and our valley is plain to see. For the past six and a half years, Scott has volunteered as an Avon planning and zoning commissioner. Prior to his commissionership, he served as a board member for Children’s Garden of Learning preschool and the Vail Board of Realtors.

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Vail Daily letter: Ban plastic bags

October 17, 2014 — 

I was proud of our Town Council when it passed the new recycling ordinance. It was a step in the right direction for a town that prides itself on its connection to the environment. Now is the time to take the next logical step — to begin the process of banning the use of plastic bags in town.

I urge the Town Council to keep us in the forefront of enlightened communities throughout the U.S., and especially those neighboring mountain communities that have already moved to ban plastic bags. Our visitors will expect us to do this, and we should not disappoint them. I plan to be at the Town Council meeting next Tuesday when this subject will be discussed, and I urge those of you who support a plastic bag ban to attend as well.

Alan Danson

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