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Letters to the editor

editor@vaildaily.com

A Vail Conference Center has been approved by the voters.

The lodging committee of the Vail Valley Chamber and Tourism Bureau has done a good job of explaining why they overwhelmingly support a facility to provide space for large meetings. The group meetings sales team at the bureau has documented the significant demand for corporate and other group meetings if Vail had adequate space for meetings with up to 1,500 participants.

Vail Resorts has stated they have no preference for a meeting site, but will contribute their West Vail maintenance yard ONLY if the town of Vail provides 350 new parking spaces, which would be restricted for VRI use during the ski season.

The Town Council has acknowledged that the charter bus lot adjacent to the Lionshead parking structure is available, if chosen, for the new Vail conference center.

With all of this established, the next steps are to 1, Choose a site. 2, Define the square footage appropriate and affordable. 3, Select a practical architect instructed to design the most cost effective structure possible. 4, Put the construction documents out for bids. 5, Set a time line for completion as soon as possible.

ASAP will only happen if/when the Town Council agrees to build ONLY what was approved, i.e. a conference center, without added embellishments of climbing walls, auditoriums, day-care facilities, etc. etc.

What works best for large conferences is a two-story facility with two large (20,000-plus square feet each) meeting rooms with simple platform stages on one floor, and multiple, flexible small meeting rooms on another floor. Catering kitchens, elevators, escalators, loading docks for receiving displays and equipment, as well as appropriate lighting and audio-visual equipment are additional expectations to meet conference needs.

This is it! This is what the new facilities in Orlando and Las Vegas offer. These sites, however, do NOT offer the majestic Rocky Mountains, a

variety of outdoor activities, charming smalltown facilities and fabulous summer/fall weather.

If the Town Council can and will agree on the basic ingredients, we could have our much needed conference center by Summer 2005. Let’s Do It!

Beth Slifer

Vail

Middle Creek woe

All the reasons that have been written or expressed verbally AGAINST the construction of Middle Creek housing are valid:

n The housing authority has no proof of need for additional housing at this time.

n It is too large, the density implies too many people in one restricted area. -Entry is not that accessible or visible (it might as well be a gated community).

n Pedestrian access to the core of Vail will be dangerous. And this, even if all other conditions were favorable, is reason enough for the Design Review Board and the Vail Town Council to reject the project. Pedestrians will have to walk through two roundabouts. The roundabouts were designed for efficient mobility of vehicles. Not walking.

If the Middle Creek project is built the town will be forced to add walkways. Traffic flow will be compromised. Vail’s popularity and value will be diminished.

Flo Steinberg

Vail

Low forums

May I ask, why do you allow Kaye Ferry to make unsubstantiated inferences, personal attacks and inflammatory insinuations against individuals and their personal integrity (e.g., Rod Slifer and Ludy Kurz), and against even such impersonal entities as Vail Resorts?

Expressing her opinion is certainly Ms. Ferry’s right. But using her column, and the Vail Daily, to launch personal, unsubstantiated inferences and attacks on an individual’s integrity is quite another thing, isn’t it?

And for you to allow such things to be published is not proper, ethical or good journalism, is it? I’m seriously interested in your opinion and/or justification in these regards.

Although not solely directly related, I’m further bothered by your printing phoned-in, anonymous comments in the Tipsline section of the Daily. And “highlighting” same by putting inflammatory excerpts from Tipsline contributors’ comments on the front page further bothers me. What, exactly, is the purpose of this practice?

As just a lay person unschooled in journalism ethics, I wonder if there are any truly quality publications which resort to such practices? I suppose Tipsline may well serve to increase readership volume for you, but can you hold your head high as a high quality, responsible journalist and simultaneously resort to such tactics? I think not.

Thank you for listening to my views.

Bob Louthan

Vail

Reply to Savage

New Zealand did not support a war in Iraq without the backing of the United Nations – that was our right. I wonder what consequences will be suffered by New Zealand for exercising that right? New Zealand sent supplies to Iraq during this war. New Zealand sent troops, medics, and supplies to Kuwait in support of Operation Desert Storm. New Zealand will be among the cleanup brigade in Iraq to make it safe for democracy. Our contribution will be token, given the scale of human suffering. It is estimated that 5.7 million people will be in urgent need of humanitarian help.

New Zealand provides peacekeeping troops in a number of “hot spots” around the world. Sure we may not be able to defend ourselves, but rest assured we endeavor to do our bit to make these “hot spots” safer.

I too am disgusted – disgusted that the United States continues to apportion blame around the world for actions against it. The United States needs to look back historically at some of their actions around the world.

Might I suggest that you take the time to see “Bowling for Columbine” if you haven’t already done so. It is an excellent documentary that presents some very chilling facts about the United States (and some of the other world superpowers). You might be interested to learn that the United States financially backed and trained the armies of both Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

Your “don’t care” and “to hell with” attitude of whether I like it that the United States will exert its power on anyone who stands in its way scares me. It is clear that you don’t give a damn about the rest of the world. It is exactly this attitude that bolsters the anti-American feeling that exists globally.

Surely you cannot be so naive to believe that this war started on 9/11?! Information that I have read indicates that the blueprint – yes, BLUEPRINT, for this war was developed in 1996, and was entitled “A Clean Break” and offered “a new vision for the Middle East” shaped not by negotiation, compromise and the Oslo peace process, but by the flexing of Israeli-American power.

The team that wrote this document was led by Richard Perle, currently chairman of the Defense Policy Board at the Pentagon. It also included Douglas Feith, now No. 4 man at the Pentagon as under-secretary of policy, and David Wurmser, now personal assistant at the State Department to John Bolton, the U.S. emissary who visited New Zealand in November to pressure New Zealand to join the crusade against Saddam Hussein.

I don’t quite understand why you think I and the rest of the world should get down on our knees and be thankful for the United States of America. That may happen when the United States of America acknowledges its part in making the world the way it currently is.

Rest assured, Tim Savage, I will be back to this beautiful Valley. Your country needs people like me to keep you honest!

Kate Church


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