Town Talk |

Town Talk

This very night the Vail Valley Music Festival opens its 15th Anniversary Season. We remember when John Giovando strode into the Vaily Daily newsroom 15 years ago, wondering where all the publicity was for the new and amazing music festival. “What music festival?” we asked. It wasn’t the response he was looking for. So, after explaining that the violin has, indeed, expanded its horizons beyond “The Orange Blossom Special,” we launched into a Brave New World. And now, 15 years later, even though we’re still confusing the musical term Opus with the character in the defunct comic strip Bloom County, we’re awfully darned glad they’re here. The Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival runs June 29 – August 4, 2002. It’s America’s only Festival with three resident orchestras. More than 40 internationally acclaimed soloists and chamber musicians perform at more than 60 orchestra, opera, chamber and pops concerts. It’s cool. Go early. Go often. Jake Parker’s Memorial, July 29 Once more with feeling. Longtime local Jacob Parker died unexpectedly. The local memorial service is 6 p.m., July 29 at Eagle’s Nest, at the top of Vail Mountain. In other parts of this newspaper a couple days ago, we printed the wrong date. You don’t need to bother your pretty little heads with the bogus information. If you knew Jake, and many of us did, just be at Eagle’s at the appointed time, which is 6 p.m. July 29. Get cleansed today Your car is dirty. The Vail Christian High School girls basketball team wants to do something about it. They’re doing a car wash today from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Avon City Market. They’re raising money to buy a new van for traveling up the road to greatness, and also to take them to games. Go there. Get cleansed inside and out. Humane Society Humanity The Goddess Char Newman called, which is always a good time, to tell the world that when the electricity went out in Eagle a couple times, it wiped Char’s messages off her digital answering machine. If you didn’t get a call back from the Humane Society, try her again. She’s not blowing you off, she’s a victim of a digital dilemma. And in the course of the conversation we learned that hearts will be broken and dreams will be dashed all over the Western Hemisphere. Char’s getting married to the Extremely Fortunate Brandon Quinn, who works for one of the vets. They met in the line of duty, and the nuptials are scheduled for July 19. We don’t know Brandon, but we know Char. We doubt that he’s good enough for her, but she says he is. Sunday services in the park Eagle Valley Community Church is holding its Sunday service in the Eagle Town Park, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Bring your lawn chairs abd blankets. It’s all part of Eagle Flight Days. Call 328-5051 for more info.

Photo: Fire in Gypsum

A charred tree and bushes remain as firefighters work to quell a tree fire in the heart of Gypsum on Sunday afternoon. While no one was injured in the blaze, officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.

Char Quinn

Last week Char Quinn traveled with local Lauri Van Campen, from Eagle to Park City, Utah to pick up 24 dogs and cats, making room for refugee pets coming in from New Orleans and other areas hit by Hurricane Katrina. On the way back, Char and Lauri spent some time naming each animal after a state – the largest kitty is Montana, a young mother cat is Michigan, and each of her kittens are named after the Great Lakes. This particular naming scheme is slightly ironic, seeing as Char herself has lived in 13 different states. Char Quinn has been the smiling face behind the Eagle Valley Humane Society for six years now, since she moved here from Iowa in 1999. Last week, on top of driving to Utah and back, she was consumed with the Harvest Festival, which took place Saturday, September 17. The food and wine gala, in its sixth year, was held at the Eagle-Vail Pavilion and Char says that somewhere around $10,000 was raised at this year’s event for the Humane Society. Caramie Schnell: Let’s start with your background, Char, where were you born, where did you grow up? Char Quinn: This is my 13th state to live in. I was born in Texas, I don’t even remember it, though – I was too little. My dad was military. I was going to go into the Air Force myself, but I got pregnant with my daughter when I was in college and I was bedridden the whole time. She’s 11 now. CS: Do you have a favorite state? CQ: Here. This is the longest state I’ve ever lived in. I moved here over six years ago. We had some friends out here and for me, moving was nothing. We came from Iowa; we lived there very briefly. I hated it. I didn’t fit into small-town Iowa, at all. People thought I was weird, they were constantly telling me to fix my hair. People in Iowa would say, “if you do this to your hair it wouldn’t look so bad.” My hair appalled everybody. I moved out here with my daughter and husband. We’ve since been divorced. But we’re still very close. He lives in Omaha, Nebraska. I’m remarried, my husband works at Castle Peak Vet Clinic, his name is Brandon. On Friday we bought a snowplow business, though. I’ve had a really busy week. CS: And you’re the director of the Humane Society? CQ: Yes, I’ve been doing that for six years. One of my friends that lived here saw the job in the paper shortly after I moved. I’d been rescuing animals in Iowa. The job was all about bookkeeping, and all this stuff I was good at. The job has expanded since then – we’ve done a lot more. CS: Where did your love of animals come from? CQ: We always had dogs, but my mom hated cats, she’s allergic to them, too. When we lived in Iowa, we had a bad mouse problem. So we said, “OK, let’s get a cat,” even though neither of us knew anything about cats. And it was just the most fascinating creature in the world. CS: How many animals do you have now? CQ: Four dogs and two cats. One of my dogs has kind of moved out though, Ralph is living at the neighbors – he likes it better there. We live in McCoy. I’ve acquired all of the animals since I took the position. My ex-husband has the Malamute that we had when we moved here; she wanted to live with him. One of the dogs that I have right now is kind of a foster dog, Jack. He’ll probably be with us for another year. The other two I got at the shelter and the last one Brandon found on the side of the road years ago. CS: You just fell in love with animals at the shelter and brought them home? CQ: No, I’m very good at keeping that separate. I raise some animals from the bottle; I’ve never kept one of those. I’m raising a puppy on the bottle right now; well he actually got weaned yesterday. They’re with me for a period and then they go on. I knew I wanted a male malamute, Ty, that’s one of (my dogs). I wanted a small dog, that’s the other one, Mountain, he is a toy fox terrier. It’s about eight pounds with these big ears. We also have two cats, Domino and Bundy. Those are both from the shelter, too. CS: How did you meet your husband? CQ: We met at the vet clinic. We’ve been married three years now. I knew him for a couple of years ago before that. He’s very shy and I’m very outgoing. He’s a vet tech, he’s been trying to get into vet school for nine years, he’d have to go back to school and do his biology degree all over. That’s why we bought that business last week, he’s ready to try something else. He doesn’t want to go back to school for eight years, four was going to be bad enough. It’s really sad; he’s great with animals. CS: How old is your little girl? CQ: She’s 11 and she’s in 6th grade. Her name is Matelyn and she goes to Eagle Valley. CS: Does she love animals, too? CQ: Oh yeah. I think she sometimes wants to be a veterinarian, and I’m not a science person, but I think she’s got those skills. She got an award at the end of elementary school that said most likely to become a veterinarian. And since she started out at 5 years old, she might be able to get into vet school. CS: What’s your favorite thing about Eagle County? Why do you stay? CQ: The people. CS: What else do you do outside of work? CQ: I ride dirt bikes; I have my daughter riding one. Years ago I used to race motor cross. I had too many wrecks, so I quit. Brandon rides and I’ve got my daughter riding. Getting back into it is certainly a learning experience for me. I don’t ski, I don’t snowboard. I snowshoe, I raft and I like to hike. VT Caramie Schnell can be reached at

Charly Hoehn

Your full name: Charly Hoehn Nickname: Chuck, Bev. Cart Girl Your school: Eagle Valley How many years in the valley: 18 Siblings: Toni Names of parent(s): Art and Lynn My parents named me this because: They have a twisted sense of humor I’m sick of hearing my parents say: “Well, if I were you…” What are your plans for after graduation: Attend DU, and hopefully play golf Where would like to see yourself in 10 years: Running a successful business and having a family What will you miss most about high school: Playing high school golf What will you miss least about high school: Small-town politics Favorite memory during high school: Hopefully graduating Who do you most admire and why: Sharon Geankoplis ” she is a wonderful role model Favorite teacher: My first-grade teacher, Mrs. Clark If you could have dinner with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be and why: Annika Sorenstam ” she is the best female golfer of our time I’m looking forward to … leaving Muspyg! I can’t believe … Skylar isn’t graduating with us Most people don’t know I … am extremely superstitious Favorite meal: Any kind of seafood, with a side of mashed potatoes Advice for younger students: Stand up for what you believe in

Valiant attempt

Special thanks to Lisa and Ed Craft, who cared enough to call the Humane Society to report the cat in the first place and to all those dedicated souls who gladly volunteered days of time and energy to help (Char and Brandon Quinn, Ann and Bill Loper, Joe and Linda Sterns, and Leo Jiminez, the animal control officer who rode in the bucket up to the cat). A hearty thank you to KTUN, TV 8 and The Vail Daily who advertised relentlessly to publicize our dilemma. And thanks, from the bottom of our hearts, to Mike Scott, of A Cut Above Forestry, a cat-lover himself, who bravely scaled the tree in climbing gear to rescue our terrified furry friend, and to Webb Crane Inc., who hurried to the scene and generously offered the use of their crane and their time. Unfortunately, the hungry, thirsty and very stressed-out kitty, who did not realize that all the commotion was intended to assist him, decided finally to take matters into his own hands. After careful deliberation, he climbed out on a branch and, when the branch broke, fell 40 feet, caught another branch and leapt 10 feet to a cliff, and ran away before anyone could catch him. If this is your cat and he has returned home, please call and let us know. Otherwise, anyone sighting a large Russian blue cat with a collar with bell attached in the Columbine Street area of East Vail, please contact the Humane Society at 328-7387 or the Animal Shelter at 328-3647. We’d love to reunite the cat with his caretaker or give him all the fresh water, tuna and loving a cat could want.

Vail Daily letter: Thanks to animal lovers

The Eagle Valley Humane Society and Eagle County Animal Services would like to express our deepest appreciation to Hunter Norman, Whatts and Owen, as well as to Hunter’s mom Tammy. Hunter and Tammy met Trooper, a 11⁄2-year old mixed breed dog, at the Eagle County Shelter and he captured their hearts. Hunter developed a plan to raise money for Trooper’s surgery and with the help of his friends and the generosity of the community, raised over $650. Thanks to these dedicated animal lovers and their hard work, Trooper is scheduled to have his surgery next week. Our community should be very proud of young people who have such compassion and take the time and effort to put words into action. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We will keep you posted on Trooper’s progress and recovery! Char Quinn, Eagle Valley Humane Society Natalie Duck, Eagle County Animal Services

Charred trees will stand for years

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Five years ago, the Coal Seam Fire burned a total of 12,229 acres in and around Glenwood Springs. Now, a half a decade later, the charred remains of trees on the hillsides serve as a silent reminder of that day. Those charred remains also are surrounded by greener foliage, a constant reminder of the rebirth of the landscape and the fire-ravaged summer of 2002. Most of the areas where fire touched are greener today due to efforts of the Burned Area Emergency Reclamation Team. Before the fires were extinguished they began planning the long road back to replenishing the hillsides with what the fire took away. “It was a huge operation,” said Dan Sokal, natural resource specialist for the White River National Forest. “We were competing for the same resources like helicopters and airplanes that were being used at the Hayman Fire. There were a lot of things working against us that summer.” The destruction of the fire was so intense that if action wasn’t taken quickly, other disasters ” such as flooding, mud slides and dust storms ” could become real, potentially life-threatening problems. “In the past, the reclamation wasn’t thought of until months later,” he said. “But now we think of what can be done immediately to begin rehabbing the ground.” Several months following the fire, some residents did have to deal with mud and debris from the charred hillsides. Sokal worked for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management at the time, and headed up the emergency rehabilitation in the area. Several other government agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service and the city of Glenwood Springs, also were involved in re-introducing vegetation to other burned areas, but the majority of the burned area was on public lands managed by the bureau. To reduce the risk of disaster, the effort was initially focused on three areas ” the Mitchell Creek drainage watershed above the Mitchell Creek Fish Hatchery, Red Mountain south of where Glenwood Meadows is currently located and the S.O.B. watershed in the valley to the south of Red Mountain. The emergency stabilization projects were divided into three phases. “The main point is to stabilize the slopes with perennial grasses to prevent the immediate removal of topsoil and prevent erosion,” Sokal said. “It’s not focused on restoring full vegetation.” Crews worked on laying straw logs called wattles across the steep hillsides to prevent mudslides. Soil netting material was installed to prevent topsoil erosion and seeding was done using a “hydro mulch”-and-seed mixture of native grasses to establish a good base system for vegetation. The mixture was dropped by single-engine crop-dusting planes on the steep hillsides. “Having the grass growing is important because it helps prevent runoff,” Sokal said. “We had grass growing before the end of the growing season. It was definitely a good jump start for getting good perennial grasses growing strong.” But the charred tree remains will be the only kind of trees to stand on the hillsides for years to come, Sokal said. “Most of the oak brush has already returned,” he said. “But the pinon pines and the juniper will take decades to replace.”

Where’s Char?

Char Quinn spends a lot of time on her cell phone. That’s what can happen when you’re the director of the Eagle Valley Humane Society. Well, Quinn’s phone has thrown a fit, so if you’ve been trying to call, she’s been unable to respond. The phone is in the shop at the moment, and won’t be fixed until at least Oct. 21. Until Char’s phone is fixed, her number is 688-0307. Use that if you need to get ‘hold of her.Speaking of things humane society, there are still three hurricane dogs left in the local shelter, two Chesapeakes and a red mutt. You know what needs to be done. ‘Walking the Talk’That’s the name of a free, seminar set for Wednesday, Oct. 19 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Battle Mountain High School library. The speaker at the session is Shelley Molz, Executive Director of the Valley Partnership for Drug & Alcohol Prevention. The session aims to help parents effectively talk to their teens about the use and effects of alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs.The free program is sponsored by The Youth Foundation and the Battle Mountain High School Parent Teacher Association, as well as Vail Mountain SchoolFor more information, call 904-2259. Looking for vendors and buyers for holiday fairSeems a little early to be talking about the holidays, but we are looking for vendors and buyers!It’s the 20th annual Country Holiday Fair held on Saturday, Nov. 5, from 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. at the Gypsum Creek Middle School. Cost to participate as a vendor will be $40. Any interested persons could get ahold of Mary Kate Ewing at 524-1379. Two other craft fairs will be going on in the area. We will also offer a concession stand serving breakfast and lunch items….. ….. .. .Vail, Colorado

Furnace fire chars home

A faulty furnace is being blamed in a structural fire that destroyed a home Monday at the Eagle River Village Mobile Home Park in Edwards. No one was hurt in the fire, which was discovered by a friend of the home’s residents shortly after 10 a.m. Firefighters from the Eagle River Fire Protection District found smoke pouring from the home’s windows when they arrived at the scene. The fire was extinguished in minutes and a search team determined that the home was unoccupied at the time the fire broke out. “The smoke was so thick that all we could do was rely on the sensation of touch to try and figure out if someone was still in there,” said search team member Lt. Erin Lamb. A joint cause investigation conducted by the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office’s Detective Mike McWilliam and Eagle River Fire Marshal Carol Mulson showed fire was caused was a malfunctioning furnace.

Valley Voices: Humane Society eviction wasn’t right

There are some facts about the Eagle Valley Humane Society eviction from the Eagle County Animal Shelter that need to be brought to light. Soon after the eviction, I wrote to all three county commissioners protesting the action. Arn Menconi did not bother to respond. Peter Runyon and Sara Fisher both wrote to me to say that relations had been strained between the animal shelter and the humane society, and that the last straw was the filing of an animal cruelty complaint by Humane Society Director Char Quinn against the animal shelter director, Dr. Natalie Duck. I obtained a copy of the district attorney’s report, which very clearly states that the complaint was made by a veterinarian to Char Quinn, and that the complaint was not made against Dr. Duck personally, but against the animal control officer who brought the dog into the shelter. Char Quinn has a legal obligation to process the complaint in her position as animal cruelty officer. A legal obligation. She was obligated to process the complaint, but recused herself from participating in the investigation. This is in black and white in the D.A.’s report. The commissioners admitted to me that they had allowed the county staff to make this decision, and that they personally had not reviewed the D.A.’s report or the investigation. I asked them to review the report. I followed up with a letter to Sara Fisher and Peter Runyon asking what the results of their review of the D.A.’s report were. Sara responded that she disagreed with my interpretation of the report, and that she supported the decision to evict the Humane Society from the Animal Shelter. Peter did not respond. I asked Sara if she denied that the complaint had been made by a veterinarian, and that Char Quinn had a legal obligation to process the complaint. Sara did not respond to that e-mail. Clearly the commissioners just think this whole nasty incident will just go away. It will not just go away. An injustice has occurred, and I ask the readers of the Vail Daily to continue to place pressure on the commissioners to right this wrong. The commissioners did not investigate the facts of the incident, they acted on incorrect information, and the animals are now suffering. The D.A.’s report can be seen online at the Web site at Read it for yourself and decide whether the commissioners made the right decision. Dr. Natalie Duck wrote a letter to the Vail Daily, in which there were more inaccuracies. Although the Humane Society and the Animal Shelter are separate entities, the Humane Society contributed quite a bit to the welfare of the animals at the shelter ” $12,000 to $15,000 per year for medical care, including dental care. The Humane Society ran the inmate work program at the shelter, in which inmates worked with the animals to help them get exercise and socialization. The Humane Society also ran a dog training program at the shelter. These programs are gone. The Humane Society was actively involved in the building of the shelter. They helped hire the architect, hire and approve the contractor, which resulted in the project coming in on budget. They spent money improving the cat cages. Although the commissioners state that the relationship between the Humane Society and the animal shelter was strained, the truth of the matter is it was not strained until Dr. Natalie Duck arrived. In fact, Char Quinn ran the animal shelter for the county for four months prior to Dr. Duck’s arriving. The commissioners and Dr. Duck would like to just let this travesty slide into oblivion as other issues overtake it. Don’t let them do it. The animals are suffering as a result of this poorly investigated and executed eviction. Keep the pressure on. And please contribute money, foster homes, or volunteer time to the Humane Society to help them get through this. Phone: 970-328-7387. Cell: 970-280-5738. E-mail: U.S. Mail: Eagle Valley Humane Society, Box 4105, Eagle, CO 81631. Web site: