Letters to the Editor
Voters within the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District are being asked to cast a couple of votes on what may be the easiest decision they will ever be asked to make.Learn more »
The IRS has been in the news of late, not only for continuing to foist an unintelligible and unfair tax code upon the taxpayers, but for abusing its powers in many ways. This most unhappy state of affairs provides a great opportunity for a major political party to have in its platform a plank that would pledge to completely overhaul the tax code if given the power to do so.
Though all the information pertinent to my relatively simple taxes for 2013 went out to my accountant over a month ago, it is likely that she will have to file for an extension, once again, as the tax code has become so complicated that even the professionals have difficulty deciphering it and often get it wrong.Learn more »
It’s nice to see the Vail Daily experimenting with satirical faux news, a la The Onion and The Colbert Report. My husband and I both thought Wednesday’s story about the “problematic” Sound Tribe Spector 9 Spring Back concert was hilarious. The idea that the band attracted the wrong crowd, which the council members could tell immediately by the inexpensive cars they drove, was a brilliant bit of lampooning. As former residents of Boulder who lived within two miles of the campus there, we especially enjoyed the fake quotes from council members Jenn Bruno and Dave Chapin — specifically, the part about the Karl Denson concert going so well because the band attracted the right crowd: CU and CSU kids “driving BMWs,” and how, by contrast, when Mr. Chapin wandered through the STS9 concert crowd, he saw “a lot of drug use going on.” Hahaha! The only thing that would have made this funnier would have been a photo of some of those “right” BMW-driving CU kids on a drunken melee, incinerating a couch, or flipping a police car, or passed out on a neighbor’s lawn covered in their own vomit. (I’m sure the Boulder police would have been happy to provide them — they have plenty!) You could have captioned it “Our future customers.”
Madeleine BerensonLearn more »
Regarding Peter Bergh’s letter of April 13:
Mr. Bergh apparently thinks of himself as a man of reason, but his letter bashing religion in general and Islam in particular displayed very shallow historical knowledge accompanied by an inability to contextualize and a willingness to generalize that it is the polar opposite of scholarly reason.Learn more »
Earth Day has been celebrated on April 22 ever since the strong environmental movement emerged in 1970, but it seems to have settled down to a feel-good clean-up-the-roadside sort of thing. I’m sure most Americans don’t realize that environmentalists around the world, and sometimes in this country, are being killed for their efforts to protect the Earth.
A London-based survey released April 8 — the first comprehensive one of its kind — says that around the world 908 environmental activists have been killed over the past decade. The death rate has risen in the past four years to an average of two activists a week. Only a very few of the killers have been convicted.Learn more »
There are a couple of ballot questions in the upcoming election for the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District.
At the direction of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the state of Colorado has recently enacted regulations that place strict limits on the discharge of nitrogen and phosphorus into rivers and streams. Those two nutrients damage the aquatic habitat, stimulating the growth of algae.Learn more »
Thank you to everyone who was involved in Pink Vail 2014. This year we had 112 spirited teams and nearly 2,000 pink participants and volunteers from all over the county, state and globe. Together, more than 5,700 donors gave $460,000 for Shaw Regional Cancer Center’s “Spirit of Survival” program, which provides all patients at Shaw with free exercise classes, nutritional counseling, emotion support, healing outdoor activities, a nurse navigator and much more during and after treatment. This unique program helps ease the impacts of cancer — treating the entire person, not just the disease — and often enables people to become stronger than before they had cancer.
In just three short years of Pink Vail, our community and supporters have raised a total of $1 million to help cancer fighters and cancer survivors. As an independent, nonprofit health system, we couldn’t be more grateful for this support and certainly know that every dollar raised directly impacts each patient that walks through the doors.Learn more »
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month and throughout the year, Eagle County Department of Human Services encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Eagle County a safer place for children and families. By ensuring parents have the knowledge, skills and resources they need to care for their children, we can help promote children’s social and emotional well-being and prevent child maltreatment within families and communities. Our goal is to help children thrive through meaningful healthy relationships.
In 2013, ECDHS received 596 referrals from our community regarding concerns for child abuse or neglect. ECDHS follows specific procedures to evaluate information provided in these referrals to determine whether an investigation of abuse or neglect is appropriate. ECDHS works closely with community partners who observe and participate in these processes. In addition, ECDHS provides trainings to the community on how and when to make a referral to the hotline. If your agency is interested in receiving this training please contact the Child Abuse Hotline at 970-328-7720Learn more »
My name is Tom Allender and I am running for election to the Eagle River Water and Sanitation Board. I have lived in the Valley since 1974 and in Eagle-Vail for the last 15 years. I have the kind of experience and motivation that could benefit you, the customers of the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District.
My own experience include eight years representing Eagle-Vail on the Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority Board, eight years representing Vail Resorts on the Eagle Park Reservoir Co. board, participation on the Eagle County urban runoff executive committee, serving on the Camp Hale restoration steering committee and involvement in the Colorado River Cooperative Agreement.Learn more »
For most of the men and women reading this letter, water is what comes from the faucet; wastewater is what gets flushed down the toilet. To me it is much more than that!
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Rick Sackbauer and my experiences in water and wastewater have spanned nearly two decades. That is why I am asking for your support this May 6 as I ask voters to return me to the Eagle River Water and Sanitation Board, director District 1.Learn more »
Eagle River Water and Sanitation District has two ballot issues on the May 6 ballot (which voters will receive by mail in mid-April) regarding important domestic wastewater system improvements. These improvements will increase the district’s wastewater treatment system capacity and reduce nutrient discharges to our local rivers, which will have positive impacts to the health of Gore Creek and the Eagle and Colorado rivers.
These improvements are mandatory; but how this community pays for them is up to the voters. Because the financial benefits to customers of voting “yes” on both Ballot Issues A and B are significant, I am campaigning with Citizens for Healthy Rivers in favor of these issues.Learn more »
I would like to thank the people of the town of Eagle for allowing me to take their interest and concerns to our board meetings for the past 10 years.
What a privilege to have been involved with so many great interest for the town, of course some not so great. As the quiet guy on the board I would like to list some of the greatest:Learn more »
It brings me such joy to find myself here amongst the peaceful mountains of Vail, Colo. The space here has really allowed me to settle in relatively quick and manifest so many dreams effortlessly. I guess this is a thank you letter. I want everyone to know that if you live in Vail you live in heaven. I love it here, and just want to give a huge shout-out to all the people who make this place worthwhile. Thanks to all the locals — you guys rock! What a supportive community. Thank you Vail for your abundance — I could get used to this.
Jacob OgletreeLearn more »
Food Rescue Express would like to say thank you KZYR and Vail Resorts Echo program for your successful radio-a-thon. This is the second year and they raised $8,600 for our Food for Kids Backpack Program. We also want to thank all the people who bid on the items and we really appreciate your support. Vail Resorts Echo Program has helped us in funding and we appreciate all their work they not only do for us but throughout a community. They are in inspiration to all.
One of the best things to come out of Vail Resorts Echo program is Vail Ski Patrol has helped us in delivering backpacks to some of the schools and doing food drives within their group. All the people that are involved are employees of Vail Resorts in some way and volunteer their time to help others. We are so very grateful for the work they do. We look forward to our partnership with Vail Resorts Echo Program. If you would like more information about Food Rescue Express, you can visit our website at foodrescueexpress.org. Thank you to everyone who has helped.Learn more »
The town of Vail and Vail Resorts should be embarrassed and deeply troubled by the Spring Back to Vail concert (Saturday) night. While I can appreciate the attempt to promote and showcase our beautiful valley and resorts, I do not believe the mile of litter, public intoxication and drug abuse leading in and out of the venue (not to mention the shenanigans taking place inside) made progress towards that goal. In fact, I think it had an opposite effect.
As a snowboarder and longtime fan of the Vail concert series (winter and summer), Burton US Open events, and Vail Resorts ownership of the resort, I was disgusted by the trash and drug trafficking taking place along the frontage road. Dealers were moving up and down the line offering various drugs (only one of which is legal in Colorado and none of which are legal on federal lands). In a very sad display, my husband, friends and I observed a guy dealing drugs while his girlfriend was sitting nearby with a baby protecting his stash. This makes the grandmother in me cringe with disgust.Learn more »
We’ve got a problem Colorado. We’re now the state with the highest insurance premiums in the nation. Surprisingly, only the rural areas suffer this situation. But it certainly begs the question why are rural residents singled out for such rates? Affordable access to health care shouldn’t be a trade-off a person makes to live in a small town.
A silver level health insurance plan on Colorado’s health insurance exchange is $239 on average in urban and northeastern areas while it is $328 on average in western and southern areas of the state.Learn more »
National Volunteer Week (April 6 to 12) was the perfect time to reflect on Junior Achievement’s amazing impact in the Vail Valley. Volunteers are the heart of Junior Achievement and this year, more than 60 volunteers from dozens of companies in the Vail Valley will teach more than 100 JA programs in Eagle County!
Thanks to the support of these passionate volunteers and the dedication from our local educators, student outreach in the Vail Valley has increased from just 35 students in 2004-05 to an expected 2,000 during the 2013-14 school year.Learn more »
Dear Eagle River Water and Sanitation District voters:
Many of us have hoped and dreamed of the day when the vast loads of nutrients added to our rivers could be greatly diminished by their removal from the discharges of our sewer plants.Learn more »
Dear Judd Rumley,
I generally don’t write letters to the editor, but your last column (March 20) had enough internal inconsistencies and contradictions I feel compelled to respond.Learn more »
Astronomers have calculated the universe to be about 15 billion years old, and planet Earth first started to coalesce into its present form approximately 4.5 billion years ago. The oldest remains of our ancient human ancestors that have been discovered thus far date back some 4.4 million years to Ardipithecus ramidus in Africa; Homo erectus lived about 1.8 million years ago and modern man, Homo sapiens, began to evolve just 250,000 years ago.
During the course of our evolution to date, the evidence is overwhelming that the tribes, societies, city states, nations and regions that held the strongest belief in a single tutelary deity stood a far greater chance of surviving their enemies and thus advancing to the next level of evolution than those who did not embrace such a unifying belief.Learn more »
Municipal governments historically have been in the business of providing the basic services of police, fire, roads/parks, water/sanitation, and planning/zoning. The town of Vail (in conjunction with Eagle River Water and Sanitation) does this very well. But the town rightly is also heavily involved in economic development (with elements of quasi-private enterprise) through its direct sponsoring of events or contributing to events organized by others. But the town seems to be unable to meet the vocal needs of our in-town guests to have a “grocery store” within walking distance of hotels and condominiums.
How about the town taking out a long-term commercial lease to be occupied by a needed service provider? A “grocery store” is top of the list at the moment, but could be a shoemaker, astrologist or marijuana store down the line! A bid would go out to attract willing candidates to provide such a needed service with assurance of a predicable, partially subsidized rent. In the case of a “grocery store,” candidates might include a satellite of our two local supermarkets, Whole Foods or anybody else who could provide quality products and service.Learn more »
Dear Mr. Barnes (letter to the editor, April 1),
No illogical thinking. In no way did I indicate where the persons purchasing THC on Highway 6 would be using it.Learn more »
Our country and our state are at a critical turning point 2014. Our choices in the coming November elections could impact generations to come.
On a national level Paul Ryan’s proposed budget is just one example of what could happen if we elect Republicans to key offices. He wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act which now benefits 7 million Americans without proposing a credible alternative. He would continue the ‘dumbing down’ of our children, future voters, by cutting funds to K-12 education. Not only that, but Ryan thinks Medicaid and food stamps should be cut to incentivize the poor to go out and get those nonexistent jobs. And these people call themselves Christians. Amazing. Clearly they must think Jesus was kidding.Learn more »
As someone who has served on elected boards and public policy issues for a number of decades, I wanted to lend my voice in support of the ballot issue of by the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District.
In a nutshell, the district has been required to fund expensive improvements to its wastewater treatment plants by the state and federal government. The bond election is the result of that and is a responsible and prudent move by the district and its board of directors.Learn more »
VAIL — The Vail Police Department, in partnership with the Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab (CELL), a nonprofit institute, is providing a free public safety training on Tuesday to help law enforcement enhance community safety in preparation for the 2015 Vail-Beaver Creek FIS Alpine World Championships to be held next Feb. 2-15. The “Securing the Slopes” workshop will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday in the Grand View on the third level of the Lionshead Welcome Center.
The Boston Marathon and the Winter Olympics in Sochi have made it clear that high profile sporting events are potential targets for criminal and terrorist activity, according to Police Chief Dwight Henninger. As the World Championships approach, Chief Henninger says that one of the best ways to ensure the community continues to be safe is to provide critical prevention and preparedness training that extends to the public, businesses, vendors, special event staff and other personnel involved with the town of Vail, Eagle County, Vail Resorts and the Championships.Learn more »
What do Russia and Crimea have in common? Answer — Russian people! In reality, Crimea was annexed to mother Russia by the people of Crimea, not by Mr. Putin or his minions. Thomas Hobbes believed that when men covenant amongst themselves to establish a sovereign state for stability and clarity of law, they subject themselves to that sovereign’s authority by necessity. It therefore follows that the people of Crimea elected a different authority (Russia) under which to prosper, irrespective of the historical and national boundary lines drawn by the world order or a so-called “international law” promulgated by the likes of the United Nations, Council on Foreign Relations, NATO or what-have-you. In the annexation of Crimea, Putin was only a means to an end; he created a direction for the people to avail themselves of a different authority and perhaps a better opportunity to prosper.
Mr. Putin and the Russian people, including Crimea, have opted for sovereignty, rather than adhering to the dictates of the New World Order promulgated by unknowns wishing to maintain the status quo of intangible and meaningless boundary lines that demark one recognized nation from another. The political recognition and certification of “nations” by the one world power (US) and the United Nations, collectively, assume that they have the authority to define boundaries under which people must live and subjugate themselves — who are they to presume such powers when they are so feckless and impotent to enforce their will upon others? Mr. Putin and his people took it to the world order, and established a new sovereign state. He redrew the boundary lines, he recovered the Russian people of Crimea, and in doing so, he exposed the new world order of the United States government and the United Nations for what they are — collusive, corrupt, rogue, incompetent, impotent, feckless and pompous.Learn more »
Closely mimicking vultures circling high overhead a week-old roadkill, in the past several days NPR has reported that lawyers from New York, Chicago and elsewhere are jostling for position to profit handsomely from the loss and suffering stemming from the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
Scenting a large payout, these carrion creatures have no real empathy for the victims and their families, and only want to get in the game to secure 40 to 50 percent of an eventual settlement. Disgusting behavior that gives an even worse connotation to the meaning of “ambulance chasers,” and has commenced even before the aircraft or its remains have been discovered, a probable cause determined in order to begin the process of determine responsibility and ultimate liability.Learn more »
This will be my last letter before the vote for Minturn mayor on April 8.
Minturn is a small town and showing off its history with a museum would be great. I would love to have some of the retired miners and railroad folks put their tools of the trade in the museum. We could do a museum, restroom, info center. Also a plaque on the outside of some of the original buildings with a picture and info on what the building used to be.Learn more »
Vail Daily letter: Double checking For efficiencyApril 3, 2014 —
Colorado, known for its fickle weather and champagne powder, often has its residents wondering when the next snow is coming; however, with the recent climate changes and warming temperatures, Colorado’s ski resorts may be in trouble. Much of Vail’s revenue comes from the ski industry, so the change in climate will not only affect our environment, but also our economy.
Energy is made possible by using natural resources such as oil and wood. To get the energy required, the resources are usually burned, resulting in polluted air with particles that will harm both humans and nature. Today, energy is being used excessively around the world, burning through our natural resources faster than they can be replenished. With the decreasing amount of natural resources, it has become an important and pressing issue to focus on the conservation of these resources.
By increasing energy efficiency, the amount of CO2 in the air can be decreased; therefore, the rate at which the climate is warming can be lowered, which can conserve the valuable water storage and snow melt. According to the book “Effects of Climate Change,” by Niklas Christiansen and others, the water storage in the Colorado River Drainage Basin has been reduced by 32-40 percent in certain areas. According to Tim Barnett and other scholars, snow-dominated regions are being affected by heat waves, causing reduced precipitation and earlier spring snow run off, which influences water supply for the rest of the year. Climate models by the Colorado Water Conservation Board predict that Colorado will warm by 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit by 2025 and 4 degrees Fahrenheit by 2050 relative to an already recorded baseline increase in temperatures. Colorado, being the most active state in the nation and famous for its outdoors, has a large obligation to keep the environment clean, clear, and wild for generations to come.
This year, Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy’s students were challenged by Protect Our Winters and the Shane McConkey Eco-Challenge to create an energy saving project that not only benefits our school, but also our environment. VSSA, located in Minturn and originally founded as Minturn Middle School, was built in 1978. Being over 30 years old, many of the school’s appliances are outdated and inefficient. The VSSA gym has over 18 mercury bulbs that need to be replaced every six months. Not only is mercury extremely inefficient for lighting, but also destructive to our environment once replaced. VSSA seniors have come up with the idea to replace all of the mercury bulbs in the gym with more efficient LED lighting. Not only do LED bulbs produce brighter light more efficiently, but they also have four times the lifespan of a mercury bulb. This change would save money for the school and keep mercury out of our landfills.
With the addition of LED bulbs, VSSA seniors predict that the energy required to light the gym will be reduced by two-thirds. VSSA has also conducted energy audits and found basic ways in which a building can operate more efficiently. Some of these methods include not heating the building over school breaks; replacing the light bulbs with more efficient ones; closing all doors and windows at night; and covering windows with heat curtains to keep heat from escaping. A home energy audit is a DIY test to find out what a person can do to increase the energy efficiency in one’s home. Simple tasks such as measuring how thick the insulation of the house is; making sure hot water faucets do not drip; checking to see if the furnace has been cleaned and serviced in the past year; checking for thick, secure window seals; and many more straightforward projects that can improve home efficiency.
Sustainability is how biological systems endure and remain diverse and productive. By increasing energy efficiency and sustainability, climate change can be slowed or even reversed.
Erik Hilb, Leah Newton and Callan DeLine
Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy students