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Letter: Local musicians need our support!

What up neighbors, friends, J-1s, ski-bums, second-home owners, Texans and overworked industry folks! I’m writing to let you all know that next weekend something very special is going to happen that has never ever happened before ever on Earth or anywhere else in the universe that I’m aware of ever. On Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, Vail Valley rock legends The Runaway Grooms are performing at 10 Mile Music Hall with support from Vail-Valley based bluegrass group Danger Mountain for the Official Unofficial Winter Send-off Concert and what is sure to be the last best show of 2022.

Now I know some of you may be thinking, “Hey Arthur, didn’t you write a letter to this very newspaper back in June of this year telling everyone not to go see Danger Mountain?” Answer: No. That was definitely someone else pretending to be me. The truth is, now more than ever local musicians like The Runaway Grooms and Danger Mountain need your support, just as much as you need soulful, shreddy, mind-melting music to get through your daily life, and the best way to do that is by buying a ticket and coming out on Saturday, Dec. 10, to 10 Mile Music Hall in Frisco.

This is the great issue of our generation, and we all have the opportunity to make a big difference. There really is no excuse not to be there. “Oh, but I have to watch the kids!” Support the local economy and hire a babysitter. “Oh but I have to work on Saturday, Dec. 10.” Quit your job! One perk of the staffing shortage is they’ll definitely hire you back, probably at higher pay because you showed great leadership qualities in standing up for what you believe in and making a difference in the community.

Do the right thing. Help make the world a better place. Come to 10 Mile Music Hall in Frisco next Saturday and see two amazing local bands tear up the stage for the last best concert of all time this year. 

P.S. Bring back Big Buck Hunter, pool tables and foosball to The George. 

Arthur Wessel

Letter: Let’s be community-minded

We would like to voice our support of the Vail Town Council’s efforts to preserve open space, wildlife habitat and dark skies in East Vail. This narrow corridor is part of our regular commute. On a daily basis, we are astounded that just a few miles from a world-class ski resort, there is no sense of the big city. The feeling of wilderness present on the descent from Vail Pass into our valley makes our home extraordinary. We feel fortunate to coexist with the browsing sheep herd, birds of prey soaring overhead, and thriving fish in Gore Creek. The dark winter nights are priceless. 

The controversial parcel was an integral part of an open space master plan. It returned to private hands due to a paperwork processing error from the 1970s. The hands of time can’t be turned back, but this land can be spared the fate of development

The future of Vail depends on our leaders seeking the difficult balance between economic development and environmental stewardship. We are grateful to everyone who is working toward solutions with an eye toward the legacy we will leave for future generations. Let’s all strive to be community-minded — pro-housing and pro-environment.  

Kate and Carl Cocchiarella
East Vail

Letter: MIRA Bus makes a difference in our community

My name is Ximena Avila, and I’m a student at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards. I’m currently working toward my bachelor’s degree in Leadership and Management. This fall semester, my class Leadership, Ethics and Social Responsibility encouraged me to participate in a community engagement experience. I chose to participate on the Mobile Intercultural Resources Alliance Bus as my community engagement. The MIRA bus brings resources to Eagle County’s underserved communities.

MIRA was created with the purpose of introducing a mobile resources center to meet communities where they are. MIRA was launched four years ago and since then has been collaborating with many other organizations to bring much-needed resources to community members who need them. Examples of these resources are basic health education and screenings, application support for public assistance programs, food resources, workforce development, early-childhood education coordination and physical activity programming.

MIRA travels throughout the valley and makes an effort to be stationed in the most underserved communities in each town, across the Eagle Valley. Organizations that MIRA collaborates with are Vail Health, Eagle County Paramedic Services, Eagle County Economic Services (Medicaid and Snaps) and the Community Market.

Many community members have found MIRA incredibly helpful and necessary. I really enjoyed my service learning project. My main role in MIRA was to inform the community about where MIRA was going to be on a certain day, what time, and what services would be offered. I did this by using my technology skills, organizational skills, and bilingual skills, to schedule postings on Facebook for every day that MIRA was available. MIRA is an incredibly valuable organization in our valley and deserves more recognition.

Ximena Avila

Letter: Vail Mountain slips off the list

When I read that Vail Mountain fell off the top 20 this year of Conde Nast Traveler’s list, it came to me as no surprise. But the main surprise was that the town of Vail was upset at Vail Mountain for the slip. Town officials need to take a hard look in the mirror at how their actions have caused this. From the moment you exit Interstate 70, there is this imposing presence of town of Vail just waiting to pounce on you for everything.

If you park on the frontage road, you are immediately ticketed by code enforcement. Enter the structure? No more two hours on the house. You want service from employees? You’re out of luck because the employees can’t afford the $400 parking fee at Ford Park. Want housing? Not in my backyard — the sheep win unless you’re a home builder or the Vail Mountain School.

For employees, such as myself, it’s much easier and pleasant to work at Beaver Creek where the parking is free, the environment is friendlier and there is not the ever-imposing town of Vail looming to write you a ticket. And by the way, Lionshead is a disgrace with that abandoned building. Maybe the town of Vail should demolish it — they seem to have an extra $12 million floating around. No, Vail Resorts is not the evil empire — it’s the town of Vail.

James Gilligan 

Letter: Vail is wisely investing in its employees

Kaye Ferry, in a recent letter, objects to the town of Vail distributing $500,000 to current employees from funds not expended for vacant positions. She asks: “These dollars are coming from unfilled positions. Did any of you miss them?”

The town of Vail employees who have had to take up the slack doing their own work and that of an absent coworker due to an unfilled position most certainly missed them.

Most of us have experienced this at some point in our careers and it can be exhausting and stressful. I wish town of Vail employees a happy holiday season and hope that a little extra cash makes the season a little brighter for you and your families.

More importantly, I hope this signals to town employees some goodwill and good intentions until the town can revamp its salary scales to better support, retain and attract staff. 

Susan Gadberry
West Vail

Letter: No love found in Thistlethwaite’s writings

It’s hard to listen to a side that constantly shouts for love, tolerance and toning down the rhetoric, but who in the same breath accuses all Republicans and conservative Christians for a violent act committed by a mentally ill man. We have no idea what the motive was behind the tragic shooting in Colorado Springs, but that doesn’t stop Susan Thistlethwaite from creeping out of the shadows and targeting her favorite villains: conservative Christian Republicans.

The fact is there is hate on both sides of the aisle, which Thistlethwaite demonstrates every time she writes for the Vail Daily. For those that are unaware, most of us Christians are focused on our own walk with God, and sharing the Good News of the gospel and the redemptive power of Christ’s love. But not Thistlethwaite. I find no love in her articles … only hate.

Sara Flynn


Letter: An educational experience at Avon Elementary

I’m writing on behalf of an educational experience I had while volunteering at Avon Elementary School. When I arrived at the elementary school I was greeted by their amazing staff, Principal Dana Harrison and a past teacher of mine, Ms. Johnna Walker-Williams. From the normal adult point of view, many just drop their kids off at the door and go to work, but these teachers dedicate their heart and soul into giving these kids the best education and care possible.

The Avon Elementary School staff are constantly moving from one side of the school to another so when I arrived. I was able to organize a full storage room inside of the school for their upcoming school store, the storage was full of toys that were either bought by the school itself or donated by other organizations helping out the school. 

I learned just how much these schools are in need of our communities’ help, I went to help when I had some free time of my own and realized I had saved the staff a lot of time organizing this room. Instead of them having to step away from their normal schedule to move these heavy boxes or stay after school, I was able to do it myself within a few hours. Our schools are in need of our community coming together and supporting them in any way, shape or form. This made me realize the value of the time of the staff and teachers that are helping to form the kids of today. So whether you know someone who needs to do hours, have free time on your hands or just out of the good of your heart, volunteer at a school. As they say, the youth is the future.

Nicole Soto Hernandez 


Letter: Free parking change a business killer for Vail

I couldn’t agree more with Al Carson’s recent letter regarding the change in free parking by the town of Vail for the parking structures. An example: My wife and I were going to drive into Vail yesterday and have lunch at La Cantina in the village parking structure. Best pork burrito on the face of the earth! Plus always fun to have a marg on tap! But we didn’t ….so having lunch, maybe going to a couple of stores, grabbing some t-shirts as Christmas gifts, we didn’t think we could get it done in under an hour. We know two hours works perfectly because we have done it several times in past years. So the net result is La Cantina lost out on the lunch revenue, a couple of t-shirt shops lost some revenue and the town of Vail lost out on the taxes.

I know private business believes you can always do more business so they would have wanted the sales. But the town of Vail must believe there is no need for more tax revenue … they’d rather make it on parking fees? Proof that government has no idea how business works.

Bob Ostertag

Letter: Vail is spending other people’s money frivolously

Just when I thought government couldn’t possibly think of new ways to spend other people’s money — town of Vail officials did.

I read with dismay the announcement that the town of Vail will distribute $500,000 — yes, that’s half of a million dollars — to its employees for inflation relief. Really? It’s clear that means that they are still employed — with benefits, vacation pay, retirement plans, and paid sick days — but they need your tax dollars for inflation relief?

The basic needs of the community and the allocation of public funds for public necessities should be a priority — not bonuses to employees who are no worse off than most taxpayers who are suffering from the same issues but have no recourse for solutions. I would venture to guess that most employees who do not work for the town of Vail and who do not have the endless list of benefits that government employees have could also use inflation relief. Instead, through their tax dollars, they are expecting you to foot the bill for this nonsense.

I mean really? Is there no end to the way elected officials can use their creative skills to misuse public funds? Because they are never shy about asking us when they need new taxes. How can they ask us , wIth a straight face, to pay more taxes for housing or transportation or open space or anything else and then in one swoop make such an irresponsible decision and give away a large chunk of your money when most of you could use that money as much, if not more than, the the town of Vail employees that work for you?

This is public money. This is not a private slush fund. These dollars — again, half a million of them — are coming from unfilled positions. Did any of you miss them? At the very least it is insulting to think that your hard-earned dollars are being funneled into bonuses for people who are currently employed and who, by the way, work for you — something elected officials routinely forget. And to add further insult, you have just been asked to pay more taxes for projects the community truly needs.

Wouldn’t it seem logical and responsible to use those funds for housing or one of the other serious needs in the community? Instead, I expect some of this money will be spent on beach vacations where they serve silly drinks with umbrellas in them. Merry Christmas.

Kaye Ferry

Letter: Coats for Colorado

Coats for Colorado was established in 1982 by the Dependable Cleaners and Shirt Laundry company. Coats for Colorado is the state’s largest coat drive and possibly the biggest in the United States. Coats for Colorado has provided well over 2,000,000 coats to Colorado citizens in the Denver metro area. Coats for Colorado collects coats through Nov. 30 to disperse to charitable organizations before the Winter.

This is a way to help individuals and families in need by donating a gently used and new coat. Colorado is cold, so there is a great need for this organization every year. I wanted to commemorate this organization for helping the Coloradans through the winters over the last decades. For my service-learning project with Colorado Mountain College in Edwards, I was thankful to help with donations this year and raise over 50 jackets to donate to the cause. I received all my donations from family, friends, and locals in Eagle County.

Christmas isn’t just for getting. Make it about giving and the holiday spirit. This project taught me to be selfless and consider others and how not everyone is as fortunate as I may be. Think about the blessings you have in your life and do what you can for others. Most of us go through times in our life when we need help. I would like to encourage everyone who reads this to participate in Giving Tuesday this year. Giving Tuesday is always the first Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday. On giving Tuesday, we should give back to small businesses, schools, corporations, nonprofits and faith-based organizations.

Allison Rollings