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Letters to the Editor

Danger to us allThe town of Vail has worked for the past six years with the U.S. Forest Service, Colorado State Forest Service, Eagle County and other area communities to address the mountain pine beetle problem, which has now turned into a critical public safety issue in the Vail Valley. Over this time the town and the Forest Service have hosted numerous public meetings to discuss strategies for addressing this challenge. The wildfire fuel build-up from the mountain beetle epidemic threatens the environmental and economic health of the entire Vail Valley. As a result, a comprehensive forest health plan known as the Vail Valley Forest Health Project has been initiated. During creation of the plan, town of Vail staff reviewed all environmental issues related to the plan, including avalanche danger, roadless entry, aspen enhancements, wildfire fuel load reduction and vegetation reconfiguration to manage the risk of wildfire, as well as ways to further prevent pine beetle migration. On behalf of the Vail Town Council, we are disappointed to learn of an appeal. It is our hope this appeal will not delay the critical actions that are needed to implement the plan. If projects identified in the plan are delayed or blocked by this appeal, it will increase the risk of wildfires within our surrounding area. We desire a quick resolution to the concerns raised in the appeal so we can move forward with these important public safety projects.Rod Slifer, Kevin Foley, Mark Gordon, Farrow Hitt, Kent Logan, Greg Moffet, Kim NewburyVail Town Council An invitationDear veterans and supporters: We are asking you to take part in the upcoming Memorial Day activities. If you have never participated before and want to have the experience and understanding of honoring others, come join us. It’s rewarding to spend time with others that have shared your feelings.Flags for cemeteries and the 10th Mountain Division ceremony will take place on Monday, May 29. We will gather at John Perkins’ office in Avon at 9 a.m., after the 8 annual Denny’s breakfast meeting. Please join us and carpool to the local cemeteries to post flags on veterans’ graves and then attend the 10th Mountain Division ceremony at the Tennessee Pass Monument Ceremony at 11 a.m. We request that members wear their Post VFW caps. You can order one at http://www.vfwstore.org or call (800) 821-2606. Everyone is encouraged to attend these most significant VFW outreach programs. Call Kenton Krohlow at 376-3007 or John Perkins at 949-9322 if you have any questions. The Memorial Day ceremony at Freedom Park Memorial Veterans Site in Edwards will also take place on Monday, May 29. A local pastor will conduct this community memorial service at 6:30 p.m. Gary Thornton and his son Christopher will play echo TAPS to conclude the ceremony. Please contact Pat Hammon, chairperson of this 2nd annual event, for questions/comments at 390-4686 or to assist her in the planning.It’s an important day for all of us and we hope to see you there.Buddy Sims, Post CommanderA.J. Johnson, Public Relations OfficerMinturn VFW Post 10721 Different view In response to your “Party atmosphere” article (May 15) let me point out that in a free country, the citizens would decide what to eat and drink, and parents would govern the children living in their homes.The use of armed mercenaries to kidnap young drinkers diminishes the effect of nonviolent efforts. (The hosts sponsoring an alcohol-free graduation party are viewed as being on the same side as the hate-mongering MADD bigots who lobby for tougher laws against responsible underage drinking.)Teenagers aren’t getting the message of moderation that could save their lives.Neither do underage drinking laws protect them. Andrew Hopkins and Grace Chamberlain were 18 when they perished in a head-on crash in Ohio on March 2. The suspect was 47, had 11 prior DWIs and 0.26 percent BAC by blood test. The government should jail drunk drivers, not underage drinkers. One person you mention spent more time in jail for drinking responsibly than Congressman Kevin Brady spent for driving drunk on Oct. 7, 2005. Outvoted discrimination victims know why lawmakers prefer to impose the drinking age, not tough drunk driving laws.Tom Alciere Nashua N.H. Justice?I have a question for our justice system. Colleen Moore strikes a woman dead with her vehicle due to her own fault. Instead of vehicular manslaughter she is charged with careless driving causing death. Her sentence is 8-10 hours of community service and a $500 fine.Two pages further in the Friday issue is Miles Meese. He spit into a cop’s soda and he is charged with a misdemeanor harassment charge. His sentence is 30 days in jail and a $943 dollar fine.Does anyone see the injustice of this ruling? Remind me if I ever think of harassing a cop, if I kill someone with my car I can let off more steam and not get in as much trouble. Thom Haupt Avon Vail, Colorado