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Letter: What about a refund?

I am an Epic Pass holder who is interested in Vail’s initial decision to not issue refunds. I can only assume that Vail’s budget projects using the cash from pass sales to fund its operating expenses, including paying salaries and Hourly workers.  

If Vail decides to incur those expenses during its shutdown and pays those employees, I’m perfectly happy without a refund. If on the other hand, Vail lays off those employees without pay, the cash they save from such a move should not end up on their balance sheet, but should be returned to pass holders so that we can either help ourselves or those members of our community that need the assistance. 

Mike Block

Eagle

Letter: We need help from the government

I hope that by the time this is printed, the Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Senate have come together for the individuals and small businesses of this country rather than spending money on large corporations. 

I am frightened for the four nurses in my family, three here in Colorado — one in Maryland. Medical personnel are running out of personal protection and equipment to save lives.

I am deeply concerned for the Red Canyon Café, Owashi, the Brush Creek Saloon, the Almost Everything Store, and all the other small businesses in Eagle. If you don’t want to pick up food from the restaurants (outside), you might buy gift certificates from these and others to help them through.

I will be 88 in a few weeks — if I get sick, well, I’ve had a full, very interesting life. However, I want my children, grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren to survive this virus. We need help from this government of ours! Now!

Katherine Delanoy

Eagle

Letter: Don’t forget natural remedies

With the onslaught of the societal disrupting influence of “the virus” altering our lives for the worse, it is comforting to know that there are ages-old healing remedies right here in Eagle County that have been used by various societies throughout the ages to battle colds, flu and viruses. Rather than wait the year that pharmaceutical authorities say it will take to develop a vaccine, there are herbs, minerals and vitamins right here in our midst that can help conquer this modern plague.

Vitamin C, elderberry, astragalus, garlic, cayenne, zinc, yarrow, juniper berry, echinacea, ginger and goldenseal are all items that can be made into teas or added to our foods to theoretically help prevent or help overcome COVID-19 and are available at our local stores. They have worked for other viruses throughout time; why not this one too? For the respiratory system, there is wild cherry bark, pine sprigs, osha root, horehound, and mullein which can be found in tinctures, herbal capsules and in a dried form. These are available at our local grocery stores and in packaged form in the local Mexican stores as well. 

And for the cough afflicted, pine trees offer up their needles and sprigs for a vitamin-C enhanced, lung-healing hot tea throughout the year. Plus, it won’t be long before the velvety green leaves of mullein poke their velvety, young leaves out of the remaining snow all over Eagle County, ready to be made into an effective hot drink for coughs.

Roger Freed

Avon

Letter: What valley are you talking about?

I’m a former Eagle County resident. Someone needs a geography lesson. There are no tracks in the Vail Valley, therefore there will be no trains in Vail Valley. How presumptuous to call the Eagle River Valley the Vail Valley.

Vern Tator

Seattle

Letter: Time to say thank you

It’s time to thank so many serving on the front line of this societal storm.  Every time I take a shower, switch on a light, or take the trash can to the curb I remind myself to remember those who leave their homes to provide creatures comforts I too often take for granted. All the truly heroic law enforcement officers, first responders, ambulance, fire and medical personnel who place themselves between our community and danger. And those who place themselves at risk to deliver meals to those quarantined by sickness or circumstance. 

And speaking of that last cohort … Thank you Susie Davis, Kelly Liken and everyone at The Community Market generously provided by the Eagle Valley Community Foundation. Thank you Salvation Army staff, Tsu and Patricia and your team, for coordinating the feeding of hundreds of our citizens.  Thank you Dan Smith and Mike Williams, two of my heroes, who are working daily to get food packages to families and our ambulance district staff under very challenging circumstances. Thank you, Mother Emily Lukanich, my colleague and friend, for coordinating our volunteers and getting them to the right place on time. Thank you, Chris and Nikki Heiden, from Main Street Grill in Edwards for preparing some of the best meals under duress our folks will enjoy. Take out until mid-April! 

Thank you, SteamMaster and Sweeping Change for sanitizing our local Salvation Army food pantry so we can continue to provide daily food delivery. But most of all, and rarely acknowledged, I reserve particular thanks for the durable and amazing people of the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration, so often anonymous under that frequent “local churches” umbrella. For your quiet, courageous spirit of community service which compels you to leave the safety of your own home to bring food to others, for the inspiring way you have come forward without hesitation or complaint, I cannot thank you enough. 

What an honor to serve you as you serve everyone else. As a parish priest and local pastor I have never been more proud than I am now to be associated with our community of faith. Our Jewish and Christian forebears have weathered these crises before many, many times, and deep within those who believe is a reflexive instinct to help others during times of tumult and stress. To see that instinct in daily motion is a life privilege for me and for anyone who received a box of food on their doorstep. My parents taught me that character is best defined by who one is when no one else is looking.  Thank you one and all for displaying so selflessly your character in our moment of need!  

Father Brooks Keith

Edwards

Letter: A message from the front lines of COVID-19 crisis

My name is Dr. Scott McCorvey and I am a practicing physician at Vail Summit Emergency Physicians, a group that has provided emergency services for Vail Health Hospital for many years. I am board certified in Emergency Medicine and have a master’s degree in cell and molecular Biology. I wanted to write to you today to shed a light on the current coronavirus pandemic and things you may expect if you are to get sick during this time of uncertainty and confusion.

Earlier this month, Colorado declared Eagle County as the first county with “community spread.” This designation means that the virus is being passed from person to person, drastically increasing the rate of spread throughout our valley.

During the past 10 days, a lot has changed in our lives, including the closure of ski resorts, dine-in restaurants, bars, movie theaters, schools, and colleges, while limitations have been placed on the number of people who can gather in one area and the concept of “social distancing” has been introduced. These measures aim to limit the transmission of the virus going forward, as there are no pharmacological treatments available to slow or treat this disease. Without social changes, our infection rate would undoubtedly be climbing higher and higher, thus placing all of us at greater risk while exhausting medical resources throughout our state and mountain region.

Going forward, I want to share with you my current understanding of COVID-19 and what to expect if you become infected. Current epidemiological studies from both Europe and Asia suggest that the incubation period of this disease is between 7-14 days, with patients potentially being contagious up to 48 hours before their first symptom. It is very important for everyone in our community to understand this point, as you may be contagious for up to 48 hours before the first sign of illness. This is the fundamental reason for social distancing and self-isolation.

Once infected, 80% of patients will recover without medical intervention. Patients may expect typical flu-like symptoms including fatigue, headache, fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, and nausea. These symptoms typically last 7-14 days, peaking about one week into the illness and gradually improving thereafter.

If you experience flu-like symptoms over the next several weeks, please call your primary care provider to discuss your case and the need for any further testing or intervention. If you do not have a primary care provider, please consider Colorado Mountain Medical, Mountain Family Health Center, or our urgent care in Avon.

Currently, the Gypsum urgent care is closed for routine medical visits. If your primary care physician believes you need to be tested for COVID-19, you may be referred to this facility. While testing is important, many patients with mild illness will not need to be tested as a positive test will not change treatment or social distancing recommendations. This is especially true during this time of limited testing capacity.

Unfortunately, up to 20% of patients infected with this virus will go on to experience severe symptoms that may require hospitalization and prolonged in-patient care. This typically occurs one week into the illness with an acute worsening of cough, shortness of breath, and or chest pain. If at any time you experience such symptoms, you should immediately proceed to your nearest emergency department for further evaluation.

For severe symptoms, especially difficulty breathing or chest pain, consider calling 911. The emergency department in Vail is open 24/7/365, and everyone there is well prepared to take care of you or your loved one in your time of need.

Scott McCorvey, M.D. M.S.

Vail Valley Emergency Physicians

Letter: Minturn … vote, please

During this extremely stressful time, I want to encourage the citizens of Minturn to please remember to get out and vote. Our town is making absentee ballots available online as well as available for pick up at Town Hall. We have an extremely important election coming up that will impact the future of our community.  

The town recently approved a capital improvement plan that began an $18 million dollar process to improve and replace our failing water system. We are currently dependent on a single source system that has been said to have up to a 60% water loss. I am unsure if this was clear to the public before, but we are now responsible for paying for the sins of the government from the 1980s through the 2000s that did not save up for this rainy day. 

We are all beginning to see our water bills increase and this is just a touch of things to come. The price tag is a burden of each household that will reflect in massive water bill increases over the near future without more homes in town. The success of the plan to improve our water system, and provide a secondary backup for water supply, hinges on growth. As a town, if we want to keep our water rights and protect our water supply we need to grow. However, let’s be clear, how that happens is entirely up to us.

In full disclosure, I am working on developing the railroad land that lies between Taylor Avenue and Minturn Road north of town.  So yes, I do believe growth is appropriate … smart growth.  I am not trying to bring 900 condominiums to this parcel, I am not trying to turn this into a single home builder, suburban sprawl atrocity, I am not trying to steal retail business from our downtown. What I am proposing is a community-informed extension of our town at a density that matches the current potential of Taylor Avenue and of our Old Town.

There are candidates who are running for council and mayor who don’t want development on this parcel, or might accept some development, but only with much less density than what Taylor is currently zoned for. This would be an unfair solution. I am asking all citizens of Minturn to please look into their candidates and ask questions related to growth and the future of Minturn. Please listen carefully to their responses. Are they focused on themselves as individuals, or on a healthy future for our town? Our current staff, commission, council and mayor have done a very good job of planning for the town’s future and fixing many of the historic problems they’ve inherited. Avoiding growth is not an option if we want to protect our water and our downtown small businesses. Smart growth is critical to our ability to retain our character and our individuality, two traits that make Minturn so special. 

I love this town. Let’s keep its funky charm growing stronger. Please get your ballots in Minturn.

Gregory Sparhawk

Minturn

Letter: Ashamed to be a resident of Eagle County

I am writing you from isolation, kept away from my wife and children, due to my prolonged exposure to a friend who lives in Vail and now clings to life on a ventilator in a Denver ICU.

I am beside myself, and it isn’t because of my friend’s prognosis or my current situation, but because of the way the Eagle County has responded to the question of what to do with seasonal workers in employee housing.  I am sickened by the narrow and selfish perspective our leaders have taken in working with Vail Resorts to send them away.

We have a situation where hundreds of young people are being strong-armed to leave their homes and go to another part of the country or even to another part of the world within 10 days. During normal times this would be objectionable and, were these actual leases instead of some shady gray area, it would also be illegal. Officials have thrown people into the streets who have no place to go, many of whom don’t even have a solid grasp on the local language. They are sleeping in their cars and on couches. I should know as I have one that moved into my guest room.

What makes this beyond objectionable and into immoral territory is that a vast majority of these people have been exposed to COVID-19 and are likely carriers. They were in a safe place to stay put as recommended by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Thanks to the pressure applied by Vail Resorts and Eagle County they are dispersing throughout our community, car camping and couch surfing, to small towns that had little to no exposure to the virus around the country, and to parts of the world that do not have modern medical infrastructure.  It is very likely that this decision will lead to many deaths, it will certainly lead to thousands more people being exposed to the virus than would have otherwise. Does that represent you, fellow citizens?  I sure don’t want my name attached to it.

The county claims that seasonal workers aren’t really residents but merely visitors.  Lets put aside the fact that many people in seasonal housing units actually stay for 18-24 months doing back-to-back work. Even if they are only here for the winter they still are required to get a Colorado driver’s license, register their car, serve on juries, vote in elections, and pay our taxes. If they’re not residents, what are they? Does the state have the same expectations of second-home owners who only stay for one season or another?  

As leaders of a compassionate and caring community, the county commissioners had the opportunity to do the right thing for both the workers we rely on and for the rest of the world who sends us the tourists that make our economy function. They failed to do so. They have not represented the people of Eagle County. I completely understand that there are times when you have to make difficult and unpopular decisions, but this wasn’t one of them. The difficult and right thing to do would have been to stand up to Vail Resorts and told its leaders to do the right thing themselves.

Seth Levy

Gypsum

Letter: Vote ACE for Eagle Town Board

Vote ACE for Eagle Town Trustee! That’s Adam, Charlie, and Elle for Eagle Town Board.

Adam Palmer is the sustainability director for Eagle County and would come with a great background in sustainability and the environment.

Charlie Gundlach owns Color Coffee Roasters. He brings knowledge of business, entrepreneurship and innovation to the town.

Ellen Bodenhemier is an engaged community member, listens to different perspectives, possesses a strong moral compass and the ability to get things done.

Annie Egan

Eagle

Letter: Thanks for your support to help feed hungry kids

I am writing to thank the Vail Valley community for its continued support of Food Rescue Express and our mission to curb childhood hunger in our valley. This mission is more important than ever as we are faced with the difficult circumstances created by the arrival of COVID-19.    

Food Rescue Express is a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded by the late Toni Berns and managed by members of the Vail Ski Patrol. We prepare and deliver bags of non-perishable food to students in the valley who are experiencing food insecurity on the weekend. Our program saw an increase in demand this school year. Before last week’s school closures went into effect, we were serving 100+ students at 11 schools between Gypsum and Vail.  

We have been able to run this program thanks to financial and food contributions from the following gracious groups; Vail Resorts Epic Promise Foundation, the May Family Foundation, Flying Eagle Disc Society, Trinity Church, Holy Cross Energy Round-up Foundation, Vail Mountain School, and The Community Market.  

Effective this week we are unable to continue receiving orders through the Food Bank of the Rockies as they cannot deliver food to every single partner agency, and instead are providing increased quantities of food to their Emergency Support Team. The Community Market is a member of that team in our valley and they have taken over preparing bags of food for the students that we have been serving. Thank you so much to Susie Davis and Kelly Liken for making this happen!

The Food Rescue Express crew will be working with many amazing community members, including Beth Reilly with Eagle County Schools’ Early Childhood Development Department and the Neighborhood Navigators, to assist with getting this food to the families of children most in need. If you would like to support this important cause please consider making a donation today to The Community Market online at eaglevalleycf.org or sending in a check to Eagle Valley Community Foundation, P.O. Box 1580, Vail, CO, 81658. 

If you would like more information about Food Rescue Express please reach out to us at foodrescueexpress@gmail.com.  We are all in this together and must do our best to ensure the health and well-being of our community’s kids!   

Amy Reynolds, President, Food Rescue Express

Vail Ski Patrol