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Letter: We can’t afford to lose winter

I am writing to express my disappointment in the county’s decision to force restaurants to limit themselves to 25% capacity.

Articles in this very publication have mentioned that a lot of the outbreaks in the county are originating in private gatherings and house parties. Now, with the new restaurant restrictions, we are taking away a safer option for people to congregate.

Restaurant workers have been enforcing social distancing and mask rules all summer and fall. Why would you want to limit access to a controlled, sanitized environment that is being run by a staff that has been abiding by these rules since we reopened at the beginning of the summer? Now that they can’t go to bars and restaurants, more people will get together at home with no restrictions or guidance. The new guidelines also state that there are no restrictions on lodging. So, we are encouraging people to come here to stay, but we can’t offer them anywhere to eat. That makes no sense.

I would also like to point out that if the town of Vail was so concerned about this situation spiking, why did they hold a giant all-day Halloween party in both villages with no supervision or rule enforcement of any kind? There was nobody in town educating people to the rules or promoting social distancing or mask wearing. As a matter of fact, besides a few signs, there is never any enforcement of these rules, except for the businesses when they have to monitor what happens inside their walls. And now, the county decides to punish the local businesses who were the only ones actually enforcing the rules in the first place.

The county is trying to solve the problem with a solution that doesn’t address where the problem actually lies. The newspaper should have the mandatory mask rule on the front page every day until it is lifted. It shouldn’t be the responsibility of the locals to educate the tourists who come to town. There are a lot of people who come here that are adamantly anti-mask who can’t wait to have that argument with people. I deal with it several times a day. The lack of policing and enforcement of these rules by the town and the county puts a lot of us in potentially dangerous situations. We did not volunteer to be local police. We are just trying to work our jobs.

Solving this problem starts with individuals. We all need to do our part. Wear your mask. Don’t throw parties. Chill out at home alone when you can. If we don’t do these things, this will never end. A little sacrifice now will help us flourish in the future. The winter season is at stake and none of us can afford to lose that.

Ron Girotti
Vail

Letter: Reservation system hurts handicapped

My name is James Disher. I have lived here for close to 40 years. The last nine years have been very difficult. I suffered three strokes. I am disabled now. I am lucky to be alive and have rehabbed to the best of my ability.

Some days I feel OK, others I don’t want to even get out of bed. I do not know when good days or bad days are coming. When I do ski, it’s spur-of-the-moment when I feel good. I ski for one or two hours at the most. Having to make a reservation ahead of time just does not work.

I truly hope Vail Resorts will consider the local people with tight schedules and various difficulties to make it easy and possible to ski a little at random.

James Disher
Edwards

Letter: How ranchers can thank voters for wolves

The voters on the Front Range voted for wolf reintroduction in Colorado so the ranchers on the Western Slope should buy live traps to catch the wolves and bring them back to Boulder and Denver where the majority of the votes came from and say, your welcome.          

Corky Fitzsimmons  
Gypsum

Letter: Numbers don’t lie

In 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote by more than 500,000 votes and lost the Electoral College by one state: 537 votes in Florida after the Supreme Court ruled to stop recounts in certain counties. Gore conceded defeat 36 days after the election.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 2,869,000 votes, lost the Electoral College to Donald Trump (304 to 227) by three states: 46,000 votes in Pennsylvania, 22,748 votes in Wisconsin, and 10,704 votes in Michigan for a total of 79,452 votes. Clinton conceded the day after the election.

In 2020, according to Fox News, Donald Trump lost the popular vote by 5,183,000 votes, lost the Electoral College by three or four states: 11,434 votes in Arizona; 36,866 votes in Nevada, 60,233 votes in Pennsylvania, and 14,163 votes in Georgia for a total of 108,533 (excluding Georgia) or 122,696 votes (including Georgia). Assuming Biden wins Georgia and Trump wins North Carolina, Biden wins the Electoral College by 306 to Trump’s 232. Excluding both of those states, Biden still wins, 290-217.

It’s now 11 days post-election. Time for Donald Trump to concede?

Andy Littman
Vail

Letter: Community art matters

Here’s to a happy second anniversary to ARTwalk on Broadway. It has been quite a ride over the past two years organizing businesses and artists, learning the ropes of community activism and event planning, being involved with the town’s managers, and running a new nonprofit organization; not to mention the constant state of challenges with COVID-19 and then wildfires this summer. I feel like I’ve gotten a crash course masters degree in so many subjects, it’s actually been quite amazing!

In the spirit of Revitalizing Broadway we have developed a wonderful network of enthusiastic artists who love being involved in Eagle’s ARTwalks, spurred an alliance amongst the downtown businesses, and (thanks to the town of Eagle) created a vibrant “Broadway Promenade” for folks to enjoy some socially distanced community time amongst the artists and businesses we’ve had lining the streets each month this summer.

October’s ARTwalk really topped the charts with an incredible turnout of art exhibitors, fantastic musicians, and even dancers entertaining us in Halloween spirit. We’ve really come a long way from the first ARTwalk in Nov. 2018 that started with only three galleries/businesses involved. The latest news of ARTSPaCE workshop and gallery taking silver in the Best of Vail Valley awards really solidified what this event and the creation of EagleARTS nonprofit means to the community: Community arts matter!  

I give big thanks to my EagleARTS teammates Kat Conner and Jennifer Filipowski for the countless hours we have all invested in creating this foundation; and to all of the folks who have helped make this such a success — ARTSPaCE artists, Vail Valley Art Guild, town of Eagle, and all of our generous sponsors. I look forward to this next year of growth and all the amazing arts we will be creating in Eagle.

Please follow @eagleartscolorado and @artspaceworkshop on Facebook and Instagram for all the latest activity and to support our local artisans. Check out our local artisan online store at artspaceworkshop.com and eaglearts.org for donations and event signups.

Tara Novak
Eagle

Letter: Reservation system hurts locals

My name is Lisa Scott and I am a mental health professional in the valley. I am writing in regard to an alarming trend that I am seeing with patients that I feel needs to be addressed and acted upon.

A reservation system for skiing at Vail Resorts might be what’s best for your business in order to manage the pandemic, I don’t, however, believe you took into account the serious adverse effect it has the potential to have on locals and their mental health.

Most of us move here with a dream, to live and play in the mountains, and then find out all too soon how hard you have to work to maintain a quality of life here. It’s worth the hard work, though, to call Vail and Beaver Creek home because you have the benefit of heading out on your lunch break or an afternoon off to ski and ride for an hour or two. This short midweek trip allows locals to clear their heads, remember why they work so hard to live here, and most of all, keeps them connected to what fills them up and sets their heart free.

The reservation system has taken this away from locals, and instead added more sadness and stress in a time when what they need most is to feel alive on a mountain they love.

If a reservation system is what you need to control the crowds, then fine, I won’t begin to tell you I understand the business practices needed for such a large corporation to survive in a pandemic. I can tell you though, that as a small business owner, I think now more than ever we have a duty to the people of this valley to do our part in making our services and help available during a time when a lot of people are looking for help and a place that feels like home.

I implore you to think about lifting reservations for locals, and allowing them access to their home mountain. Think of it as helping the mental health effort in our valley, and really just providing a basic right for the people of this valley that work so hard to call it home.

Lisa Scott
Avon

Letter: To the spouses and children of veterans

I have been reading all the well-deserved articles on our veterans and thought a word was due for their supporters, especially spouses and children. My husband (deceased) was an Air Force officer for 21 years. During that period we moved 18 times.

Our four children were up-rooted time and again. Thanks to all of you out there who put your own lives second to be able to pick up and go on a week’s notice, who told your kids how great the next base was going to be, who found out much later what that life did to (and for) the children. Thanks to all of you who have stayed at home while your spouse went off into dangers that you could only imagine. All of you are veterans, too.

Katherine Delanoy

Eagle

Letter: A new motto for Vail

Communities, product and service brands, and other entities have their one-liners. Here, in the Vail area, Vail Resorts has its “Like No Place on Earth” or something similar. It’s a good one — you can make it mean whatever you want.

But how about Vail in the larger sense — the municipal town, the resort amenities, the mountain, the hospital, a place to live? That covers a lot. Hence, how about a catchy, easy-to-remember acronym, V-A-I-L:

 V = Vitality
A = Activities
I = Inspiration
L = Love

As with the Vail Resorts slogan, the reader can fill in the full meaning or examples — here are opportunities for each of the four words. Just another crazy notion from a 30-plus year Vail resident.

Paul Rondeau
Vail

Letter: Just wondering

The number of cases of COVID-19 has been on the rise in our county. I wonder how many have activated the “exposure notification” from their settings on their cell, and then actually indicated that they have it?

Mary Sue Katz

Vail

Letter: Thanks for supporting essential services with your votes

To all Eagle County voters: We want to express our sincere thanks for your support of ballot measure 1A. With your vote, you have recognized the importance of local control over our essential services and quality of life by mitigating the impacts of the Gallagher Amendment, an out-of-date mandate that disproportionately harms mountain communities.

You likely headed off nearly $4 million in required cuts to basic services, such as emergency and law enforcement response to wildland fires and other natural disasters; public health response to pandemics and other emergencies; necessary road repair, maintenance and snowplowing; emergency assistance for our residents; and, our voter-approved open space program.

We are also gratified that statewide, voters understood the unintended consequences of the Gallagher Amendment and approved Amendment B. This removed the requirement that the state legislature automatically reduce the residential assessment rate to maintain the ratio of property taxes paid to local governments at 45 percent from residential properties and 55 percent from commercial properties.

However, while Amendment B removes the mandate for such assessment reductions, the legislature could still choose to do so. With the passage of 1A, the Board of County Commissioners will be authorized to adjust the county’s mill levy rate for the sole purpose of maintaining service levels if the state reduces the assessment rate in the future.

For those of you who voted against 1A, we want to assure you that we take our fiscal responsibilities very seriously. Again, we are limited to only making adjustments to maintain service levels; we cannot use 1A to increase taxes without voter approval. As always, we are committed to being accountable and transparent with the use of taxpayer dollars. Our budget, as well as our real time revenues and expenditures, are available online at www.eaglecounty.us

We invite you to contact us anytime at eagleadmin@eaglecounty.us. Thank you again for your trust and support. 

Kathy Chandler-Henry
Jeanne McQueeney
Matt Scherr
Eagle County Board of Commissioners