Hard to pick a favorite | VailDaily.com

Hard to pick a favorite

Don Rogers

Are there two less sympathetic groups these days than Vail Resorts and the valley’s dentists?

Folks are worked up at the company for raising the cost of season ski passes for seniors and children, who both once got to ski for free, given certain circumstances. That $8 million bonus from 2001 paying out this summer for Chairman and CEO Adam Aron has hackles raised. Word of changes in the employee insurance benefits coming at roughly the same time as news of the big payout didn’t help matters.

Throw in meager pay increases, a few more layoffs in the front office, and all the whooping about No. 1 can’t take the droop out of the party favors.

Now, dentists are waxing outrage over attempts by the big company to herd them in a preferred provider pack and whittle away at their fees. What the company might see as prudent leverage the dentists see as a clear rip-off.

Only thing is, as a group, the dentists haven’t been the most community-minded themselves. Does more than one accept Medicare these days? Getting occasional volunteer service for the indigent has been like, um, pulling teeth with this valley’s dentistry community, human service providers have long complained.

Sensible as their complaints might be, it’s hard to work up a lot of sympathy for the poor dentists, who haven’t been accused of offering bargains themselves.

Slowly sinking

The presidential election is over a year away, far too early for predictions of any certainty.

But we do note President Bush’s poll numbers sinking with each day that weapons of mass destruction are not found, while the deaths of American GIs continue to climb at a rate of about a killing a day. There were compelling reasons to win back Iraq for the Iraqi people. But overselling the weapons and iffy Al Qaida connections could end this Bush presidency even as the economy finally rebounds. What an irony that would be. Of course, the Democrats need to find a real candidate to take on Bush. Sorry, our latest Tsongas, er, Gen. Clark looks on track to implode by about the time the snow starts flying.

If only he knew

So, Kobe’s coach was in town around the time the star player was having his way with a young Eagle woman. If the player weren’t so secretive about his knee surgery, maybe Phil Jackson could have made a real assist for everyone concerned.

Tick, tick

Planning to vote? Are you registered? The deadline for registration in time for the Nov. 4 elections is Oct. 6.

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