Fresh new school year |

Fresh new school year

Don Rogers

In households with children in the system, this is a big time, still full of excitement, pregnant with possibility. It will be awhile yet before the first report cards come home, and concern about such responsibilities as maintaining grades grows more proximate.

For the moment, it’s new classes, for some kids new schools, seeing classmates again, and getting used to a more demanding routine after summer’s break. A measure of discipline has returned to many households, as well. The TV is on much less, bedtime and waking up come earlier, and the family habits reset themselves for the school year. Oh yeah, there’s homework, too.

It’s a another big year for the kids, and for the educators too. The pressure on tangible performance – in the form of improved assessment scores – is only going to grow. Like it or not, people are watching in the wake of voting for more school funding both statewide and locally. They’ve agreed to add to their tax bills, and will likely become more demanding this year about results. The educators have a challenging job, and we’re wishing them the best, knowing they already very much have those report cards to come in mind.

End game

The end game on the Middle Creek affordable housing complex is fast approaching, and the opposition to the project seems to have the upper hand. There’s a deadline – Oct. 31, for public financing commitments to be finalized so the buildings can be built – and plenty of room yet for dithering governmentally and for the wealthy property owners who don’t want this project to run delaying tactics.

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The developer, Mike Coughlin, a neophyte to the labyrinth that is Vail, already sounds frustrated enough to call it quits. The process is broken, he insists, carrying the experience of building some 45 affordable housing projects in other communities less Byzantine than this one. Of course, we don’t imagine he’s encountered a political unit quite like the Vail Village Homeowners Association and their very clever representative, Jim Lamont. He’s good, very good, and no one to underestimate when it comes to stopping projects the group of largely second-home owners doesn’t like. This time they are wrong, sadly so, but no matter.

It will require a good deal of determination by what we believe is the mostly silent majority of Vail residents and the leaders who recognize this is a need now at the Mountain Bell site. Time is about run out, and the homeowners group has the edge. Best make some noise now if you don’t want to lose this opportunity. The association is counting on your silence. D.R

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