Letters to the editor | VailDaily.com

Letters to the editor

Vail Daily
Vail, CO, Colorado

Do as I say, not as I do?

I read that first lady Michelle Obama is returning to Colorado on Oct. 10, her sixth trip in 10 months. Now, I understand her helping our president campaign and vacations. However, I do not understand how a person can personally thank the EPA for securing the future of our planet via combating climate change and then proceed to fly multiple times here on a fossil-fueled plane at a cost of $12,188 an hour, per U.S. News 2011. Also, per

carbonindependent.org, planes emit CO2 at the rate of a quarter of a ton per hour, thus contributing to climate change in a rapid fashion.

Perhaps worse, this aviation CO2 emission, per the Carbon Institute, is “generally released into the high atmosphere and is thought to have a greater greenhouse effect than CO2 released at sea level.”

So due to the number of her flights to Colorado, I have to assume this is a matter of “Do as I say and not as I do.”

That isn’t an effective protocol when raising children, so why is it OK in regard to taxpayers, the environment and our children’s futures? And why isn’t the media addressing that to our leadership?

After all, the White House states this: “The Obama administration is committed to protecting the air we breathe, water we drink and land that supports and sustains us.”

Shouldn’t one start cleaning up their own backyard first?

So respectfully, my question for our president and first lady is this: “What about your global footprint?!”

Marty Lich


Layman for commissioner

This letter is to endorse Jeff Layman for Eagle County commissioner. Jeff is without question one of the most qualified candidates, and best men, we could ask for to serve all of us here in Eagle County.

I have known Jeff for many years, and in many different capacities, all of which have provided valuable insights into who he is as a man. These range from serving together on our church council to observing his leadership within the Avon and Eagle County law enforcement departments. From watching the very visible difference he has made as manager of Eagle-Vail to our fellowship over the years as brothers in a special men’s group. Additionally, we have spent a fair amount of time hut tripping, skiing and bicycle riding!

While fun, these shared activities also enable one to gain a real sense of perspective about a person. Given all the above, I believe I am qualified to share my heart regarding Jeff’s qualifications as a man and as a leader.

In short, I believe we could hardly do better in finding a leader such as Jeff to serve the residents of Eagle County. Jeff has no personal agendas, only the desire to serve. He has deep experience within the county, knows how things work and how to get things done. Jeff is a man of action who, once a decision has been made, works diligently to implement it quickly and skillfully. He is tireless in his service and focused on accomplishing the goals of those whom he serves.

And Jeff is a good man, one who will serve us with honor, integrity and faithfulness. In summary, Jeff Layman will be a commissioner that we will all be proud of!

What more could we ask for from someone to help guide Eagle County?

I encourage you to vote for Jeff Layman, Eagle County commissioner.

Led Gardner


Romney doesn’t add up

Say, let’s cut taxes, increase military spending and eliminate Wall Street regulations so they can play. That would seem to be Romney’s strategy to maximize votes from the military and his wealthy friends. Oh, and by the way, we’ll balance the budget by reducing Social Security benefits, replacing Medicare with a voucher system and eliminate women’s health benefits – as if the middle class wasn’t suffering enough!

We’re told, don’t worry, all these plans will stimulate growth and we’ll enter into another era of false prosperity, just like the Bush administration created.

Romney’s got to be kidding! Wall Street’s deceptive, unregulated shell games have not only brought America to its knees but have gone worldwide this time, taking Europe into recession and slowing the growth rate in Asia.

People are hurting, consumption is down and growth will be very slow until the middle class can get back on their feet. After all, they’re the ones that drive growth with consumer spending, and many of them are just barely getting by with incomes too low to pay federal income taxes (part of Romney’s 47 percent).

Then there’s Romney’s claim that he’ll create 12 million jobs, hoping that will garner votes. His theory is to let free enterprise run wild, get rid of regulations and eliminate the EPA and Energy Administration.

He defies science by considering global climate change to be a sham, proposing the elimination of renewable energy subsidies in favor of more oil and coal consumption.

He ignores the remarkable progress that’s been made by promoting increased energy efficiency, growth of renewables and expanded domestic energy production.

Romney’s positions just don’t add up.

Dave Mott


Can’t continue

Never before in American history have we had a president who seeks decline, who is actually attempting to downsize his country in a divisive attempt to cast the rich against the poor for the “benefit” of the middle class.

Can America survive four more years of Barack Obama, and is this what our founders envisioned for this country?

Bill McCarthy


Why I’m against Stavney

Put succinctly:

1) 10 parking spaces are not enough for an investment of $3,250,000 with a county population of 52,000 plus Denver and the world.

2) Dan Godec, of Eagle Valley Land Trust, tried to buy the Allen access (which leads to the east-west 80 acres of the “L”) from March 2011 until the present. Some definitive proof is available.

3) The only place for more parking is on the 50-foot-wide Allen access road and the east-west 80 acres of the “L,” where 100 elk winter.

4) If Jon Stavney, Godec, Runyon and Warner succeed in stealing the Allen access, that means too much traffic on Homestead.

It is getting around that I, Barbara Allen, am campaigning against Jon Stavney. It is true. There are three reasons.

1) I have been trying to keep the foursome – Stavney, Godec, Runyon and Warner – from stealing the 80 acres owned by my brother and myself. It is located south of the “L” and shares a fence line with the east-west 80 acres of the “L.” Godec offered me approximately one-tenth of the appraised value. Since I refused to sell, I’ve been harassed. I am not even allowed to walk on Homestead open space to get to my property. Arrowhead residents and anyone else are allowed but not me.

Since the county did not require a permit for an ag road, my longstanding attorney advised constructing it after conferring with the county attorney. There are emails.

Instead of advising me to follow the agreement with Homestead (submitting a road plan first), he advised that we go ahead with the ag road. It looked as if dealing with Homestead would have been futile.

Warner had placed three utility stubs in my easement. Eight trees, now about 15 feet tall, are in my easement. Warner had even sold a lot to Ryan Sutter with 465 feet of my 50-foot-wide easement running through it.

My present attorney makes certain I read everything, and he makes certain my brother does the same. My original attorney did not confer with my brother at all about the possibility of a lawsuit.

2) There are 100 elk dwelling on the east-west 80 acres of the “L.” I wanted that 80 acres to be in the habitat protection program. I tried to get the Elk Foundation’s interest. I was scheduled to speak at one of their small meetings. I called to get directions, a member alluded to the “county,” and I was uninvited.

I found that many people are genuinely interested in protecting elk habitat. There is a great place to observe them from high up above the east-west 80 acres of the “L” without disturbing them.

3) Shortly after the “L” was bought and Homestead had agreed to a measly 10 parking spots, Godec said to my Realtor, “Barbara should wise up and sell to me for …” Obviously, more parking spaces are needed. Where could more parking possibly be put? The east-west 80 acres of the “L,” of course. The Allen access road runs right into it.

The ag road was constructed lacking 1,100 feet before reaching the Allen 80 acres. This summer, it has been enjoyed by between 50 and 75 Homestead residents. It is a nice road to walk. Remember, the first 465 feet are Ryan Sutter’s driveway. My goal is to make the Allen ag road a paved fire truck road for the exclusive use of Homestead residents and a fire truck, in case one is ever needed!

My new attorney discovered that the public cannot cross my access road.

I read Jon Stavney’s letter titled, “That sign.” If he had done his homework, he would not have written an article containing four false statements, one extremely false statement and one unlikely statement. A good commissioner would have contacted me and found out where I was coming from.

I have been begging for mediation for months. I had to act now because what is coming is not good for the Allen 80, the elk or traffic on Homestead. Stavney refers to getting access to the forest through the “L.” Does he think Homestead residents are stupid enough to think more parking will not be required?

In his letter, Stavney refers to the State Land Board section that has been taken out of the big land exchange. It is an ignorant presumption to assume that the State Land Board will put the section back into the land exchange when they can realize at least $30 million for Colorado schools.

On Oct. 3, there was a conference call among the judge and four attorneys against my attorney. The conclusion is that since my first attorney was being sued by Homestead for advising me wrongfully, his malpractice insurance would pay for covering the Allen ag road back up and restoring it to original condition. The judge assured my new attorney that I can scrape it all off in the spring.

Maybe now, you, Eagle County, can see why I am campaigning against Jon Stavney. The river accesses are considered a good thing, according to some letters to the editor. Other projects appear to be OK, too. There is nothing that cannot be continued by better commissioners.

Our forefathers had a good plan for checks and balances. There are no checks and balancing among Eagle Valley Land Trust, Open Space Advisory Committee and the commissioners. At every Open Space Advisory Committee meeting, you will find a commissioner and a Land Trust person in attendance. And, as Don Donnalley so correctly pointed out: “We feel that the last two commissioner groups forced a political agenda that we did not support and were not fiscally responsible.”

You may or may not know that Dan Godec was Sarah Fisher’s campaign manager. The Allen 80 acres is blocking Stavney, Godec, Warner and Runyon’s push through to Lake Creek properties. There are ranch buyers available for the Scudder-Webster property. Scudder-Webster can realize as much by selling to ranchers as by selling to Eagle Valley Land Trust. Then there wouldn’t be the problem of too much traffic on Lake Creek Road, nor the interference with elk and deer habitat.

Homestead is fortunate. They now have the north-south 80 acres of the “L” undeveloped with only 10 parking spaces for the public. If Stavney is re-elected, I hope Homestead is wise enough to see the consequences.

I have been observing quite a bit of this stuff for the last 31⁄2 years. Somebody told me I should write a book. I think I just did.

Barbara Allen

Fire district needs help

After a long, hot summer, fall has finally arrived, accompanied by two sure signs of the season: pro football and election campaigns. These two topics elicit very different responses from most folks. There’s no way they could have common elements, right?

On the national scale, absolutely not. The huge hits and embarrassing foibles of this NFL season are nothing compared to the candidates’ shots at each other. On a local scale, however, let me explain why pigskin and politics share more than meets the eye.

My godson recently turned 1. I gave him a check for his college fund. Creative? No, but he doesn’t know the difference, and nothing can top the first gift I ever gave him: one share of stock in the Green Bay Packers. As a fan, it was important to start this kid on the right path – or at least the right rollercoaster of emotion that comes with the territory.

So about this stock? It will never go up in value or pay dividends. At first glance, it’s a terrible investment. So I spent good money giving my godson something worthless? Not exactly.

I grew up in Wisconsin, which means unless you have a serious deficiency, Packer fandom is part of your upbringing. Cheering for the green and gold is ingrained in Wisconsin culture.

The Packers are the NFL’s only community-owned team. When the organization offered its fifth sale of stock in team history in 2011, the team envisioned a lot of buy-in. In the sale’s first 11 minutes, over 1,600 shares of stock were purchased. When the sale closed after five months, 268,000 shares of stock had sold for $250 apiece.

If you’re a fan of any sports team, you probably know that team ownership is reserved for billionaires, making the Packers’ situation pretty unique. The stock sale helped finance a needed renovation at Lambeau Field. Normally, the billionaire owner would pony up the cash. The Packers don’t have that luxury. They’re kind of the workingman’s team.

Eagle River Fire doesn’t have that luxury, either. So they’re asking their faithful for help.

The Eagle River Fire Protection District is asking for a 3.77 mill levy in the November election. Unlike the Packers, the fire district has historically received about 90 percent of its revenues from property taxes. Since the last assessment, Eagle County property values have declined by an unprecedented 25 percent with another 20 percent drop in values anticipated for 2014. The Eagle River Fire Protection District lost almost $2 million in revenues since the first assessment and stands to lose about a million more.

Eagle River Fire has done everything possible to slash its already bare-bones budget: deferred critical equipment purchases, including critical wildland firefighting apparatus; cut 70 percent of its administrative staff; cut medical benefits to firefighters and other staff, none of whom have received a raise since 2009; implemented rolling station closures in lieu of paying overtime to cover firefighters who are sick or injured.

Unfortunately, this hasn’t been enough.

In tough times, you do everything in your own power to make the situation better. But sometimes doing it on your own isn’t enough.

The cuts made by Eagle River Fire Protection District put the organization in a pretty difficult position when it comes to protecting and providing emergency care to you, your family, your home and your community. Without the mill levy, two stations will permanently close in 2014, response times will increase and your fire protection will decline.

If the Packers, or your favorite team, didn’t prepare for their weekly games, didn’t participate in the draft or sign free agents in the offseason and didn’t have the best equipment for their games, admit it, you’d be outraged.

The Packers fill Lambeau Field to capacity, even when the team isn’t posting a winning record, such is the situation right now. Yet the waiting list for season tickets is approximately 83,000 people deep.

Times are tough. When your team, or your local fire department, is down on its luck, give ’em a hand. Or the wait list for fire protection service is going to be longer than the one for Packers season tickets.

Support Eagle River Fire Protection District. Yes on 5A.

Catherine Hayes

Citizens Campaign for 5A

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