Letters to the Editor
Vail CO, Colorado
We are so lucky to have Arn Menconi as our commissioner. He must be the smartest person in the county. He seems to know what is best for us, even though we don’t. It is certainly too bad that some of us paid to raise our children already. Gee, I could have taken the money I spent on day care and health care for my daughter and used it to help fund Bair Ranch or The Eaton property. Or, better yet, maybe we could all fund another election for home rule if it doesn’t pass again? Hey, why don’t we pay for housing for everyone who wants to move here, but can’t afford the rent. The possibilities are endless and the sky’s the limit.
About the commentary from Dana Jurich: The brown cloud is here. Cars backed up from I-70 to past Eagle limits. Try being a second generation Coloradan. Well, almost third generation. I watched it go from a very lovely state to this and it only took 53 years as I see it. It’s sad what has happened to Colorado. Just think what you are leaving your kids and grandkids. Lot of you say, “so what?” I say go back to where you came from if you don’t care. Take a deep breath and say lung cancer.
I give the most sincere shout out to Tamara Miller’s opinion piece that was published Monday, April 23. I don’t think I’ve ever been moved enough by any piece to submit a letter to the editor to any publication, but Tamara hit the nail on the head.
She also certainly echoed the statements of those of us who are exhausted by the litany of letters that regularly pollute the paper about the “good old days.” For whatever reason, those from the “good old days” think their longevity gives them some sort of entitlement. To those people, I say, get over yourselves. Living in a place for a given amount of time doesn’t entitle you to anything. Nobody cares that you’ve been skiing Vail for 35 years. Stop living in the past.
Most of these people also seem to think that their tenure in the valley prohibits them from blame for certain things, most frequently ski accidents or paying full price for things. Growing roots in Eagle County doesn’t mean a discount everywhere you go.
I’ve lived here for 18 months, love it and am finding ways to make ends meet to maintain a fulfilling lifestyle. Do I now get free reign to complain? Do I qualify yet? Should I expect goods and services at 20 percent discount?
If you don’t like the shape of things to come in the valley, maybe you can move to Dotsero and then in 2027 you can tell people about the good ol’ days of Dotsero.
Nothing but excuses
The Ginn Co. has many excuses planned for you the next couple of years. The first being the wildlife plan for elk and falcons, a donation of $600,000 is the plan for ruining the migration route and habitat, which by the way will not buy one-third of an acre in Minturn.
Next, there’s mud in the Eagle River, which is pouring out Willow Creek on Shrine Pass, just above Red Cliff from clearing the rough sites where the ski slopes are located. Then, the traffic excuse for Highway 24. Then the excuse for many workers traveling through Red Cliff to access the Willow Creek area. Then it will be the excuse we (Ginn Co.) didn’t realize that you (everyone else) could see lights in the sky from the houses and buildings that we built. Just picture a nice orange glow into the night sky above Red Cliff and Minturn. Then, it will be excuses about the landslides that will destroy the side of Red Cliff because of all the timber clearing on the Ginn property.
It seems to me that the only thing the Ginn Co. is planning for is excuses. Ginn’s plans are inadequate as far as the environmental impacts. I am already feeling the project is going to be a mishap and it’s only at the beginning. Together, we can stop this corporation from destroying the environment in our area. The land is zoned for a reason as a site where 35-acre parcels are the minimum amount acreage that one structure or residence can sit on. If Minturn annexes the land into their town, Ginn Co. can put as many as many structures as they wish on one-acre. If the annexation happens, the town of Minturn should pay for a nice epitaph on the Battle Mountain summit that reads “Sorry it used to be nice up here” with all the new revenue.
Say no to Ginnturn!
Little will change
Home rule proponents would have us believe that this latest proposal is vastly different from their first failed effort. It isn’t. It’s deja vu all over again; second verse, same as the first!
And the notion of better representation is a false hope.
This year’s home rule do-over is virtually identical to the one rejected by voters last year, with one exception: this time they aren’t trying to eliminate parties from local politics. Otherwise the charter has not changed significantly since both the Eagle County Democrats and the Republicans voted against it during both parties’ assemblies.
The most vocal proponents of home rule have been very dishonest with the public. One might expect such biased propaganda from those with political ambitions, but there is no reason the public should be expected to tolerate such behavior from our newspaper editors. One recent story referred readers to the pro-home rule Web site for more information ” hardly a fair or complete source for all the facts. It’s also lazy journalism.
The published platform of the Eagle County Democrats states, “The Eagle County Democratic Party prefers a charter which calls for commissioners who represent a district to be elected by the electors in that district and not at-large.” The current home rule proposal would still do just the opposite! This has not changed since the first home rule proposal that was voted down last year, and like the first home rule proposal, this one is still just as terribly flawed.
Some decry that residents of the Roaring Fork Valley have no representation, when in reality they have three people representing them. With home rule they will have five. At best, home rule will give them another Eagle Valley commissioner who happens to reside in the Roaring Fork Valley. In the last election Roaring Fork voters had an opportunity to elect one of their own residents with Michael Bair, but the people of Roaring Fork did not rally behind their local candidate, instead commissioner candidate Bair lost in his own district.
Unless at-large voting can be eliminated, adding more overpaid commissioners will not provide better representation for anyone. Under the current proposal, commissioner candidates must reside in the district they represent; however, ALL registered voters in Eagle County would get to vote on all the candidates running in all districts. Even if Roaring Fork Valley gets its own commissioner seat that representative will be elected at-large, by all of Eagle County. In other words, the citizens of the Roaring Fork Valley will continue to be represented by people preferred by those in the Eagle Valley.
I hope everyone who favors “home rule, part deux” realizes that, if passed, the county’s districts will have to be redrawn to accommodate five commissioners instead of three. Redistricting is a highly politicized process and its outcome by no means a certainty. Just think of all the gerrymandering we have to look forward to!
Colorado state statute directs county commissioners to draw district lines so that the population is distributed roughly evenly among the five proposed districts. That means each district should represent about 20 percent of the population of Eagle County. The Roaring Fork Valley currently represents about 18 percent of the county’s population, the balance lives in the Eagle Valley portion of the county. Towns like Red Cliff, McCoy, and Bond aren’t likely to get their own representation anytime in the foreseeable future.
Approved developments already on the county’s books will shift this balance even more toward the Eagle Valley, and this does not include developments within incorporated towns, which are not subject to Eagle County approval.
Six out of seven people live in the Eagle Valley portion of the county. To maintain a 20 percent share of the county’s population the Roaring Fork district would have to be extended in as little as three years to encompass other more populous areas, such as Gypsum.
The assumption that home ule as proposed will provide better representation is an illusion.
It’s simple, really
I wonder if some of the people who are against the home rule charter have actually read it. I’ve heard and read some claims that, when I did a little research, proved to be completely untrue. And just hearing the same claims parroted two or three more times doesn’t make them any truer.
The home rule charter expands the board of commissioners from three to five, gives fairer representation to the western part of the county and gives us new initiative and referendum rights. The rest is pretty much business as usual. Some say “why again a vote?” Because this is a different version. Does the Congress not rewrite bills to offer better chances of understanding and passing?
I think the charter lost in November because too many people listened to the fear mongers instead of taking the time to really understand the charter. I voted yes for home rule!
Guns and safety
Peter Leslie calls for a ban on civilian possession of handguns. He does not believe this would violate the right of people to keep and bear arms, because he would not prevent private ownership of rifles and shotguns. I disagree.
Like most who call for banning handguns, Mr. Leslie ignores the benefits that come from private ownership of those devices. More Americans are acquiring them for personal protection. More states are allowing concealed carry permits as a matter of right for law-abiding citizens.
Despite dire warnings from hand-wringers about turning our streets into shooting galleries, there has been no noticeable misuse of handguns by the increased number of concealed carry permit holders.
Mr. Leslie and those who share his view should address the question of whether more violence would occur if people were not able to protect themselves with handguns.
There must be a reason why ordinary people acquire these weapons and permits. It isn’t to commit crimes or suicide. It’s to deal with criminals. Many people fear violence, and do not believe the government can protect them at all times. Is their fear unfounded?
As they say, there’s never a cop around when you need one. This is not to criticize the police. They can’t be everywhere. And violent crime happens quickly, when a 911 call will not bring help in time to do any good.
Consider Virginia Tech. There were already numerous police on campus in response to the first two killings. We saw repeated film clips of police in their combat gear, running to and fro. Yet in the end, they didn’t save the other 30 who were killed.
There have been two school shooting incidents where the toll was cut short because citizens used handguns. One was at the Appalachian Law School in 2002; a student went to his car, got out his handgun and used it to force the shooter to go to ground until the police arrived to arrest him.
The other was in 1997, when a school official at the Pearl, Miss. high school used his handgun to apprehend a shooter on campus.
And don’t forget the incident at the Trolley Square mall in Utah, which was only a few months ago. The mall had a no-guns policy; but that did not deter a potential mass killer from bringing his piece and opening fire. Luckily, one of the shoppers was an off-duty policeman who also violated the gun-free rule; he returned fire and held the shooter at bay until uniformed police arrived and took over.
Laws against handguns are not going to stop people from getting them. Remember that Virginia Tech was a gun-free zone. So is the whole country of Japan, which has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the world. But at the same time as the rampage at Virginia Tech, an assailant with a handgun shot and killed the mayor of Nagasaki.
Mr. Leslie is familiar with Washington, D.C., which prohibits firearms of all kinds. He resides in Eagle County, Colorado, which is quite different. Can he tell us ” does he feel safer walking the streets of our nation’s capital, or here in the heartland of the handgun culture?
Concerning Eagle County’s commissioners ignoring the voters wishes and funding early-childhood programs: I cannot wait for the next election.
Folks who cannot afford to raise children should not have them, PERIOD.
U.S. of Amero?
I spoke of it earlier this year and here we are again. If you are at all interested or concerned or skeptical you ought to google the Amero and the North American Union, because, just in case you doubt the plans for our country, the United States, to merge with Canada and the country of Mexico. The dollar will soon begin to plummet even deeper than it has, and the only way out is to create a new currency, already in the works, the Amero which Lord Bush will tout as the only way for us to compete with the Euro.
You all ought to listen to the information that I get on Internet radio, it’s fantastic and so informative, http://www.infowars.com! You all ought to prepare for the introduction of the Amero!
Say goodbye to United States soveriegnty. It’s a thing of the past!
Where’s the movie?
One thing I enjoy is going to the movies, and I’ve frequented a few since I’ve moved to the Vail area.
Some movies I’ve enjoyed are “Freedom Writers,” “The Pursuit of Happyness,” and “We are Marshall.” I wondered if there was any delay between when these movies opened here and when they opened in the metro area. I think I remember waiting a couple of weeks to see “Freedom Writers.”
Recently I’ve been waiting to see “Amazing Grace,” but after waiting four or more weeks, I’m beginning to think it won’t be playing here, and I wonder why. This is supposed to be an amazing story of how John Wilberforce had an influence over stopping the slave trade in England.
I am a teacher and I think this would be very educational, so I’m looking forward to seeing it as I go to the city for spring break.
I wonder if there might be a market for another theatre here.