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Letters: GOP not behind recall

Compiled by Vail Daily staff
Vail CO, Colorado

Red Canyon campus

“Artificial turf and bleachers aren’t planned for the new high school’s fields in Edwards, and Battle Mountain coaches and parents have a big problem with that,” read the first sentence of the feature story by Matt Terrell in Friday, July 6, 2007 issue of the Vail Daily. Here’s another big problem: Red Canyon High School’s Edwards buildings were torn down to make way for the new elementary school, and we’re not getting a new home any time soon.

Red Canyon High School. It is Eagle County’s public alternative high school, and we serve about 100 students between our Edwards and Eagle campuses. Yes we’re small. We teach kids who don’t fit the traditional high schools. Ask around and you’ll hear about the amazing things we do to help kids stay in school, graduate, and go on to trade school, community college, and four-year college.

Battle Mountain High staff, parents, and community are rallying to pressure the school board to supply the new school with an artificial turf field with bleachers. I hope the board wisely weighs its priorities before making such a decision.

Don’t get me wrong; I support high school athletic programs. I have two daughters attending public school, playing soccer, and my oldest will be a member of the first freshman class to occupy the new Battle Mountain building. I think it’s important to have adequate sports facilities in close proximity to the school building. Our

community should build and maintain athletic fields to meet the needs of our growing population.

However, I don’t think it’s prudent to promise turf fields and bleachers at the expense of another school’s physical facility. Rising construction costs and unforeseen excavation costs are causing the Board of Education to hesitate to build us a new facility.

Some board members think our school serves too few students to warrant a new building. Some board members think the money would be better spent on other things. Red Canyon students deserve to have a permanent site. We don’t want playing fields, an auditorium, gymnasiums, or locker rooms. We simply want six classrooms, and a computer, science and food lab.

I urge the Battle Mountain staff, parents, and students to be thankful that they are receiving a new school. A new school deserves great fields but Red Canyon High School deserves a home ” a building to use now and into the future.

The staff, parents, and students of Red Canyon High aren’t asking for turf and bleachers; we’re asking for walls, a roof, and desks for our Edwards campus.

Ann Constien

Teacher

Red Canyon High School

Editor’s note: The Eagle County School Board has said they have put aside money to build a new Red Canyon High School in Edwards, which is expected to open in January 2008. Red Canyon High students in Edwards will attend class at Colorado Mountain College during the first part of the upcoming school year.

GOP not involved

This is to Don Rogers. I am deeply disappointed in your recent “Our View” column alleging that the motives to recall Commissioner Arn Menconi are bad.

In your column, you wrote that “Republicans will find a rather stunning lack of support for their bid” to recall Menconi.

Why did you fail to contact me to ask if the local Republican Party was even involved? It is not involved!

I have been chairman of the local party since January 2006, and the recall of Arn Menconi has never been on the agenda at any central committee meeting. I learned about the recall going forward by reading your newspaper.

The Eagle County Republican Party is not involved with any attempt to recall Arn Menconi.

I would imagine some Republicans are in favor of the recall and some Democrats are in favor of it. It seems to me it may be a bipartisan sentiment.

Please allow this letter to correct the false assumptions made by your column. Next time, please e-mail your questions to me and I will try to respond to them as quickly as I can. As you are probably aware, I donate my time to the party, and I do have job commitments as well.

Randy Milhoan, chair

Eagle County Republicans

Editor’s note: The editorial never claimed that the Republican Party was involved. The reference was to “hardcore Republicans” who despise Menconi.

The food police

On July 1, New York City’s ban on the use of trans fats by restaurants became effective. All restaurants have to make sure that oils, shortening and margarine containing artificial trans fat used for frying or for spreads have less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. Several other states and cities are considering following suit with trans fat prohibitions.

First of all, I agree that trans fats are unhealthy. I choose not to eat them, but that is my choice. But if someone wants to go to a restaurant and eat french fries or donuts cooked in trans-fat oil the government should not stop them. That is their choice.

If we live in a free-market society (I think we still do), then we should be educating people to make informed choices rather than forcing government’s choices on them. I am in favor of requiring reporting of trans fat (and saturated fat for that matter), and other nutritional information on food labels. The consumer should be given this information and then be allowed to choose. This free choice should be made by each individual ” not by the government.

The issue is choice. Government is over stepping its boundaries by legislating what we can eat. I am not so much concerned about preserving my rights to eat trans fats, but I am beginning to wonder where this “big brother” style of government will draw the line?

Alcohol and caffeine are also unhealthy. At some point will I only be able to get decaffeinated organic tea at my favorite coffee shop? Will Friday night happy hour advertise 2-for-1 drink specials on non-alcoholic beer? I think we tried prohibition once in this country and it did not work out real well. Go rent “The Untouchables” if you need to have your memory refreshed.

Do we have to have a new law for everything that might hurt us? A lot of people have already made changes in their diet to omit trans fats without government legislation. Companies who manufacture foods laden with trans fats are changing their ways based on consumer demand. This is how a free-market economy works.

I don’t want my tax dollars to go towards enforcing these kinds of laws. It is not the role of government to decide what I eat. It is the role of the consumer to put pressure on restaurants to not use trans fats.

Trans fats may be bad for me, but I prefer to make lifestyle choices on my own. We the people can make our own choices without losing our freedom to the food police. Has anyone stopped to consider the new black market for illegal donuts made with trans fats? Will street gangs start selling illegal trans fats in the alley behind the grocery store?

And what about overeating? The new law in New York City also requires all restaurants to post calorie counts. Obesity is unhealthy. Will there be new government legislation to regulate our calories? If we go out to a restaurant for dinner will we have to finish our vegetables before we get dessert? Will we have to weigh in before we can buy something at the bakery?

My great-grandmother always had a pie in the oven when we went to visit her. I’m sure she used trans fat shortening to bake those wonderful pies. That was her choice. She lived to be almost 100.

Debbie Buckley

Avon


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