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Letters to the editor

editor@vaildaily.com

On the roadWOMAN AND CHILDREN FIRST – then bicycles, three-wheelers, bikes with child-carriers, pedestrians, domestic pets, fawn deer, red fox and other miscellaneous forms of life.Living along the bike path to Intermountain is most often a very pleasant experience. Usually, if my attention is called to the bike path, it is because of a whistle or friendly hello from a friend of the last 25 years of residence that I have enjoyed in Vail.But other times my heart leaps into my throat, racing with the blood freshly charged with adrenaline from my brain’s alerted cells responding to the sometimes tragic, horrific sound of locked-brake-four-tire-meltdown-panic stop of about five seconds of tire-skid squeal, followed by some sickening sound like a 25 pound water melon being dropped from a second floor balcony.The next sound that I have experienced several times since June of 1992 is that of a wounded animal or human screaming resulting from the sight of steam escaping from a busted radiator, or the very common stuck-horn blowing from some sort of a collision with a semi-mobile, but impact-resisting object. (Only once did it involve a fatality from a young woman walking with her younger sisters, one of whom was in a stroller.)I have slowly trained myself to not look toward the site of such sounds, because I dislike swallowing my lunch for a second or third time. Any of the smaller-than-motor-vehicle-sized objects of domestic or feral nature have usually lost their contest with the impact at speed with a heavier object. I don’t think that you will find “THOU SHALT NOT KILL” in the traffic codes for some obscure but totally valid reason.Obeying the posted speed limit on a frontage road or highway that shares a bike path allows for the panic stop of the 6-year-old falling off of his training-wheel-equipped-learners bicycle into your lane of traffic. Obeying the suggested 15 mph speed limit in the “rounders” allows for a weave of the bicycle, or the three-wheelers or pedestrians to navigate the path that crosses vehicle traffic at the many multiple-use road intersections.If you place a full, or nearly full coffee-mug on the console or dashboard of your car (or in many cases your truck), your speed should be low enough to negotiate the rounders without spilling the coffee or having the cup slide from the horizontal surface without some sort of restraint. (Have any of us ever considered the origin of the word “dashboard?” It came from the horse-and buggy days of the shield that protected you from the mud-slinging from the horse’s hoof, and later was used to describe the barrier to place your foot against in the event of an accident.)About one month ago, the speed limit sign was knocked down that was near the bus stop on the West Vail south frontage road. Public Works of Vail was informed of this. No action resulted. This has become the test-road for tuning the unlicensed two-cycle moto-cross type off-road vehicles that have been stored for the past winter, as well as un-mufflered “hawgs,” and anyone else wishing to attempt an acceleration trial run.There is no speed limit sign for the next two miles westbound on the frontage road to Intermountain from just east of the Conoco Station.On Wednesday, June 11, the road was resealed and graveled by the Colorado Department of Transportation. It has been a source of amazement to me that the drivers of their new shiny spring Audi-Porsche-BMW-Saab-VW-cute-new cars have all reduced their speed to prevent rock chips in their paint.Is there something slightly dangerous about this situation?Steve ZorichakVailDoom, I tell youThe Bush administration’s so-called Healthy Forests Initiative and a companion bill the (Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003) sponsored by Colorado’s own Congressman Scott McInnis have apparently been conjured up from the depths of hell. How anyone could ever support such hogwash is beyond me.The bill’s sponsors are using fear of wildfire as a means of eliminating environmental safeguards on our public lands.There is no way that scaling back environmental analysis, protection and public participation could ever reduce fire risk.The McInnis bill does not provide neighborhoods with the much needed support for ongoing efforts in reducing the risk from future fires where it is really needed.Fire suppression, logging and drought have historically been the primary culprits for current fire concerns to begin with.These two bills mentioned above must be DOA. Please make sure your friends and family are aware of the threat that such legislation poses to our quality of life and future generations as well.Ron MitchellEdwardsDoes to!(make sense!)Terry Quinn: If I confused you (and anyone else), I do apologize. I’m of the school that any failure in written communication is always the author’s fault.On the other hand, sincerely, could you please tell me why I must be a fan of the Clintons to try to regard them fairly? Perhaps the Jesuits had me too long, but I always understood one of the philosophical precepts of civil discourse was the old Rousseau attribution, “I may disagree violently with what you say but will defend to death your right to say it.” Is that spirit extinct these days?My piece on Butch’s piece wasn’t about him expressing his “doubts” but rather the abysmal intellectual rigor he applied in doing so. The article was deceptive, poorly reasoned, and dependent on baseless accusation and guilt by association. To my mind, only an ideologue could write it, or defend it. And the attempt to use fear to obscure reason was particularly galling. Frankly, I could almost care less about the subject matter. It simply demanded opposition.If my object was to thwart personal criticism, I’ve obviously failed. And I could have avoided both your criticism and Marty Lich’s, and any others who might come by, simply by not hitting the send button. That seems painfully obvious. So why do you accuse me thus? No matter, really. Just curious.About being neutral: I’m probably not. I just try my best to be.I really dislike rude people, so I sure hope Ms. Ferry didn’t think so. But, substantively, for three weeks running, Ms. Ferry had devoted her column to a constituency of readers comprising perhaps 5 percent of the Vail Daily’s readership (by the broadest ripple effect definition).Since the commentary section is the most universally read section of the Daily and the most fun, it is my position that when she signed on, she signed on to serve all the readers, not just one very narrow constituency all the time. If that’s unreasonable, so be it.Besides, if for no other reason, the choice of subject matter displays such abysmal marketing sense you have to immediately wonder about the author’s credentials. What kind of savvy business person blithely ignores 95 percent of her marketing universe? Or worse, thinks that universe shares her interest in one narrow subject.I’ve read commentaries in the Daily on the trauma of redecorating, measuring your life by haircuts, and some of the most erroneous history in history and simply read on. It’s commentary.But “reports,” “open letters to company employees,” committee meetings’ blow by blows – these don’t fit any definition of “commentary” known to man. And they aren’t fun! Put them in the business section if you want. And, as Don Rogers probably realizes, that letter was as much addressed to him as to Kaye Ferry. Don is the only editor in the world who never got a spike for his birthday. Why his relatives have chosen to deprive him so is a mystery.Lest you think me arrogant: As a reader, I have the “right” to expect the common usage of the English language be observed by my local newspaper. And it’s one of the joys of my life to unabashedly complain when that language is abused.You ask what should Kaye Ferry write about? Anything that makes her heart sing, her mind race and her fingers fly. But! It should appeal to 20 or 30 percent of her audience on any given week and it should be an opinion or a parable or an observation. Not a report. Ideally, it would be clever, amusing, informative and leave a reader either smiling or thinking. And maybe, occasionally, make some people mad.That’s what professional commentary writers sign on to do. Don’t they?Jim DorseyFlood of helpOn the afternoon of June 1, a sinkhole developed in the westbound lanes of I-70 at mile marker 180.5 in East Vail. As we now know, the sinkhole was only the beginning of a series of unfortunate events that caused a large amount of flood damage to both public and private property in the East Vail neighborhood.Due to the complexity of the scene and scope of the incident, our municipal resources were significantly impacted. Therefore, we requested the assistance of other emergency response agencies throughout Eagle County. Without hesitation, crews responded quickly and pulled together to work to contain the flooding and prevent additional damage.As the clean up continues, I want to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks and to let the community know how much we value the remarkable jobs carried out by all the agencies who so professionally responded to our crisis.In particular, we wish to thank the following agencies, organizations and their staffs: B&B Excavating Inc., Colorado Department of Transportation, Colorado Office of Emergency Management, Colorado State Patrol, Eagle County Ambulance District, Eagle County Jail, Eagle County Road and Bridge, Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Eagle River Fire Protection District, Eagle River Water and Sanitation District, Greater Eagle Fire Protection District, Holy Cross Energy, Lafarge North America Inc., Minturn Police Department, Red Cross, Salvation Army, town of Avon Police Department, town of Avon Public Works Department, town of Vail Staff, Vail Fire and Emergency Services, Vail Police Department Volunteers, Vail Public Safety Communications Center, Webster’s Sand & Gravel, Wagner Rents and Xcel Energy.These agencies and organizations exhibited an exceptional spirit of cooperation with our local authorities and I hope you make note of their extraordinary service. We are deeply grateful for having access to such incredible organizations and their employees.In addition, I want to thank the many volunteers who worked feverishly to help with the sandbagging during the height of the emergency, as well as the lodges that offered accommodations. The response was a tremendous reflection of this community’s ability to pull together when we need it the most.For those who experienced property damage or who were inconvenienced by the flood, I want to thank you for your patience. Please know that we are doing everything possible to pursue federal and state assistance on the community’s behalf.Ludwig KurzVail MayorOur country, tooHey George: You told us that Bin Laden could run but he couldn’t hide; you told us that Saddam would be taken dead or alive; and you told us that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that they were a threat to our nation. None of those has proven to be factual.Nonetheless … Talk to us about the rapidly increasing national debt and the terrible imbalance in our foreign trade and the weakness of the dollar versus other currencies. Explain to us why the “extra” money that we’re spending for goods and services as we increase our indebtedness hasn’t created jobs and stimulated the economy. Tell us whether you have any concern about the high – and rising – unemployment rate.And talk to us about what’s really happening in Afghanistan and Iraq. And if you can, tell us how long our military will have to remain there and the rationale that makes worthwhile the additional casualties that will be suffered by our armed forces.George, some of us are tired of meaningless words and pretty pictures. Tell us the truth about these things. This is our country, too!David Le VineDon’t see needAfter reading the Mexican ID card is not going to be accepted in Colorado, I say “good job” to our representatives. I also want to say the following in regards to Rene Martinez, with the Hispanic advocacy group in Eagle County and his statement of “This is discriminatory. It’s a right of the Mexican nationals. This ID card is very important to Mexicans for their daily life in this country (the United States).”I agree that all Mexican nationals have the right to and a use for to the consular ID card in their homeland and we aren’t physically taking it away from them. We certainly have a need for a Colorado state ID/DL card in our USA homeland, as well.However, I do not feel it is discriminatory for Mexico to not recognize or allow United States citizens to use our IDs to purchase property, etc., in Mexico. That is the law there, which American citizens abide by with respect.FYI, legal immigrants have no need for, no use for, nor do they apply for the card here in the U.S., yet 30,000 were issued in Denver alone since June 2002. See http://www.numbersusa.com for the statistics.Other than for the illegal aliens living unlawfully here, how exactly is this consular ID card “important for daily life” in regards to all of the legal immigrants who live here with their U.S. issued identification? Because I don’t believe it is.Marty LichGypsumPraise for VailIt is in those times of need that our friends become most evident. The recent unfortunate failure of the Interstate 70 culvert resulted in a significant flow of water that initially made its way through your community. Additionally, traffic was directed through a lengthy detour. However, on numerous occasions CDOT staff have repeated their praise of the town of Vail and their assistance.This assistance was manifested by your police, public works, administration and even your citizens. I can still see your community gathering to assist their friends and neighbors as the water made its way down your streets. Throughout this situation it is clear that the town of Vail was there to assist and support CDOT and subsequently all of Colorado.Clearly this situation is not entirely resolved and much work remains to be done to restore the interstate and its impact to your community. Your continued patience is appreciated.On the behalf of CDOT and all of our employees, I want to thank you as well as all members of your community.Thomas E. NortonExecutive DirectorColorado Department of TransportationPlease reconsiderThis is my response to Kathryn Birch: Are you kidding me? As a Vail local for 10 years and an avid fisherman, I think your coarse of action to privatize the Rainbow Room is the most ridiculous choice of all.Are you trying to set the standard for the rest of Gore Creek? Who will be next to follow suit in your effort to close this fishery to the public? If this is really about a few pine tress and willows that have been removed by the TOV, why punish us?The Rainbow Room has become one of the premier stretches on Gore Creek with the opportunity to catch and release trophy trout. Fish have thrived in this location, and I question your comment about the dirt and gravel build-up threatening the quality of the fishing. You obviously don’t fish!If I seem to be upset, it’s because I am. Privatizing the Rainbow Room is one biggest injustices I have experienced since moving here in 1992. From all of us who enjoy fishing. We beg of you toreconsider this closure.Peter C. WoodsSaved the dayEagle County Animal Control Officer Leo Jimenez rescued my dog, Mickie, after she had escaped from home and been hit on I-70 on June 12.Upon hearing from some nearby construction workers that a dog had been struck on the highway, Leo, with the assistance of two Vail police officers, immediately began searching for her. When he discovered her seriously injured and bleeding heavily, he took personal responsibility for rushing her to the vet in Edwards, lights flashing, knowing that if he had taken the time to notify me via the information on Mickie’s tags, it would have been too late to save her.Mickie is not only alive today but recovering nicely, thanks to Leo’s willingness to set protocol aside and act with true concern. Once Mickie’s condition had been stabilized and I had the opportunity to thank him at the animal hospital, he was not only compassionate and genuinely concerned but even shared a tear and hug with me.The people (and dogs!) of Eagle County are lucky to have such an excellent human being and dog lover looking out for their pets.Thanks also to the compassionate assistance of the Vail police officers, whose names I was too distressed to get at the time, and as always, my favorite veterinarian, Doc Steve Warren. Mickie, Axie and I are indeed grateful.Sybill NavasVailDeserving betterMy husband and I along with family and friends attended the Battle Mountain High School graduation on Saturday, May 31. What a beautiful venue for their final time of being together as a group. Our grandson is Tyler Eaton.Obviously, times have changed greatly to allow the school board member presenting diplomas to show up in shorts and loafers, with a gown obviously, but the casualness of his dress tells me he certainly didn’t take his role in the ceremony very seriously. What a role model!We have had the privilege of having five children (four of our own and one foster child) graduate from BMHS beginning in 1979. Tyler’s mother was the salutatorian in 1981 (Holli Bishop), which brings me to my next point.When we inquired why there was not a valedictorian or salutatorian we were told that Principal Mark Bullock does not believe in singling out a youngster for academics. Why are they in school if not to learn and achieve? However, the principal did permit the singling out of best athletes, outstanding boy and girl and outstanding service. I do not see why he encouraged one but not the other.Dak Steiert worked hard to achieve the honor of being number one with a GPA of somewhere between 4.3 and 4.4. He deserved to be applauded and given the opportunity to have had a teacher praise his achievement as well as acknowledge his acceptance at Stanford University.Alex Penwill, as number two with a GPA of around 4.1, is headed to Bucknell.What a bright moment for BMHS to have students achieve so highly. It would have been a shining moment to have shared that with the hundreds of us there for better than two hours!Having been the mother of a salutatorian, I know just how hard she worked and how angry I would have been for her to not have been acknowledged for her accomplishments.I sincerely ask that the principal rethink his stand on the aforementioned topic for future graduates. When there is so much in the news these days about youngsters making poor life choices, wouldn’t have been a feather in his cap to promote excellence in all areas? Let it me known that Battle Mountain High School, a public school, has the curriculum to turn out the caliber of students such as Dak and Alex.Sandy BishopAnswering criticsHaving watched, with amusement, several inaccurate letters to the editor regarding my lawsuit against the school district, I suppose enough inaccuracy has built up to finally warrant a response.In regard to Jennie Fancher’s letter of May 22, she is “irked” because she doesn’t understand how I should “singlehandedly change a decision that was voted on by the citizens of this county.” Ms. Fancher is somewhat on the right track. However, she fails to bring her logic to the correct conclusion.If the county vote was constitutional – that is, if it met the strict construction of the TABOR constitutional amendment – then the vote would stand without my legal objection. However, in carrying Ms. Fancher’s question to the correct conclusion, why does she think a vote of one school district’s voters should supercede the state Constitution? It shouldn’t!However, I am well aware that the majority of judges in this state do not like TABOR and will violate it any way they can. I just will not allow the illegal vote of this school district’s voters to supercede the statewide voters’ enactment of TABOR without a fight to the finish. I am willing to lose, and I will not give up without a reasonable settlement agreement!Ms. Fancher also asked, “What is reasonable about going against the majority?” Answer: Ask that to Rosa Parks, who refused to follow the rule set up by voters in the South that blacks must ride at the back of the bus. That law or rule was unconstitutional and violated the equal protection clause in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Thank God we have constitutions to protect us from the sometimeswrongful majority!In regard to Jim Bottomley’s letter of May 25, Bottomley says I cost the taxpayers $12,000 in a previous lawsuit against the district after catching them red-handed in a noticed executive session meeting where they were illegally discussing campaign tactics for a previous bond election. Most voters are aware that governments cannot take positions regarding elections in this state, let alone participate in the election.Bottomley, however, was also incorrect in stating that the taxpayers spent $12,000 defending that suit. In actuality, it was $42,000, and it was a previous school board who wrongfully held that illegal executive session, and it is they who are responsible for this waste of tax money, not I! In regard to Don Rogers’ (Vail Daily editor) comment of May 23 that it took gall to offer a settlement to the district after “losing” the lawsuit, Don shows his naivete in legal matters. First, I did not lose the lawsuit. I simply lost the first of three rulings. Second, people make settlement offers all the way to the jury in legal matters. Third, the offer was made public because I learned that my previous offer was never tendered to the entire school board (talk about lawyers controlling their clients). Fourth, it demonstrated that all along, my concern has been about defending the Constitution, not about whether teachers get a raise or not.In regard to Elizabeth Holland’s (formerly Elizabeth Scheaffer) letter of June 13, she claims I didn’t follow the rules in tendering a settlement offer to the district. Would Ms. Holland please cite the authority, beyond my First Amendment right to freedom of speech, that tells me what those rules are to tender a settlement offer? The district’s lawyers requested that I tender an offer through them. After I determined that the entire school board had never received my previous offer through them, why would I tender another offer through them?Also, Ms. Holland’s shows her hand when she wrote that she didn’t “care about the merit pay program and less about the TABOR Amendment (the Constitution).” Enough said about Ms. Holland’s idea of fairness. She wants what she wants, no matter what that damnable Constitution says!In regard to Joe Peplinski’s June 14 letter to the Vail Daily, Joe says I did not answer his questions. Joe wrote his letter to the editor to my paper, The Speakout! paper, on April 15, two days after the April 13 issue, the last issue until June. On June 13, Speakout! ran his letter with answers to his questions.Joe admits that he has a son who teaches in the district, and Joe also admits that he has a “limited awareness” to what is going on. Joe also commended me for what I was doing, saying I was a “bright shining light.” However, Joe’s wife was irritated after I asked her to thank Joe for his support. I suppose she wasn’t too happy that her husband supported what I was doing on principle.Hence, the June 13 letter where Joe changed his tune. I’m sure your readers can understand why Joe mightdo that.Michael J. CacioppoEdwardsThe answerCommenting on Peter Runyon’s letter to the editor printed June 3:One way to get the FLATNESS out of the ski crowd numbers, to boost everyone’s business, would be to (proven countless times) learn about and then promote CADS. This is the device that has taken thousands of skiers out of their misery of ankle, knee, and back pain! It has put new life back into old quads. It has either brought these skiers back to Vail and Beaver Creek or kept them here. If they are brought back, their moneywhich was lost is also brought back.One of the main reasons for skier flatness is PAIN! If your ankles, knees, or back hurts, you tend to go fishing and you take your family with you.That money lost makes a GREAT BIG DENT in the hotel business, transportation business, restaurant business, ski instructor business, grocery store business, and many, many other businesses!CADS do a lot of things – the best is that they put 20 years or more back on old or “shot” legs. They are a great injury preventer. I know from experience.Being a fully certified ski instructor for over 40 years with over 4,000 days on skis, racing in the U.S. nationals, the world pro tour, and winning the masters twice (only missing by two points for the third win in a row) and teaching here in Vail many years as well as several other major ski areas, CADS have saved my knees many times.One jump I remember happened off a cat track. I hit it too hard and got about eight feet of air more than I wanted.I out jumped the good steep landing spot and I was coming down from 15 feet in the air onto a flat. I thought I’d break both legs.But I didn’t. CADS saved me. No problem, a little wiggle, and I kept on going. I didn’t even feel the impact. CADS absorbed all the shock!I went back and measured the length of the jump – 96 feet!Do you want to have more fun? Use CADS to pass up all your buddies.Want to go faster with more stability, control, and confidence?Want to ski endless powder like a 20-year-old, or have a better sex life because you aren’t tired after skiing all day?Get CADS!It’s free to try. Just check it all out on cads.com. Then make an appointment for next season or call right now so you can go up to A-Basin and ski until July Fourth.If you want to stimulate your flat business, promote CADS and that will get people back here with their money!!Murray V. Heminger Jr.AvonGratefulOn behalf of the patients, staff, and visitors of the Shaw Regional Cancer Center, I would like to thank the following businesses and individuals for their generosity. Flowers By Jane, Wal-Mart, Safeway, Dana Cuccia, Suzanne Sloan and Tracey Samdahl.On June 1 as part of a national celebration, Cancer Survivor Day was held at the center and the new outdoor flowerpots were planted for all to enjoy as phase one of the new Shaw Pavilion Garden is completed. Thank you all for your generosity.Jackie ClarkGraduation thoughtsEditor’s note: The following was originally a graduation speech at the Red Canyon High School commencement:Friends and family, thank you for coming today. Throughout our lives, we have made good and bad decisions.But all of the graduates here today have made at least one good decision. That decision was to come to Red Canyon High School.Many of us here would not be part of the graduating class of 2003 if not for Red Canyon. Red Canyon has given a second chance to many students and has positively influenced our minds and creativity.Fellow graduates, we have made it through the first of many milestones in our lives. It was very difficult, and there were times we wanted to quit.We did, however, find the strength inside ourselves to prevail. The lessons that we learned will assist us in conquering future milestones in our lives.Our future holds many decisions. As we embark on the journey towards new milestones, we must remember and utilize what we have learned in high school. Besides the basic skills we have learned – such as math, reading and science – we have also learned cooperation, teamwork, dedication, perseverance and other important attributes.Graduating from high school is more than a piece of paper. It also represents more than 12 years of hard work, wisdom and knowledge. Because we have risen to the challenge, we can now stake our claim in society with our fellow graduates. We are put upon a tower today. This puts us in a place of honor and respect.On behalf of the 2003 graduates at Red Canyon High School, we would like to thank the community, teachers, friends, and family for being here today, and for supporting us throughout our lives.Greg HollisGraduate 2003Cheers, jeersHere we go again. Another example of a self-righteous foreigner who is going to tell us all what to do and how we should think. I’m referring to the June 16 letter from Rachael Stroker.In her tirade she gives three silly cheers for a letter written by Melanie Gravino expressing her opinion on the Kate Church issue. But when I express my opinion, which happens to be different, I’m told “why do you care what one Ms. Kate Church, New Zealand, thinks about American government? Or what anyone else thinks, for that matter.”Gee, what happened to my three cheers for expressing my opinion? I see it’s OK for YOU to care what Melanie Gravino or Kate Church thinks. But not me? Can you spell DOUBLE STANDARD?You also take to task the Vail Daily for “perpetuating this petty debate,” which you of course have now contributed to, but I doubt you can see clearly enough to understand this.Let me clue you in on something. You don’t own the Vail Daily! It’s not your ink, your paper, or your so-called lost opportunity! If you don’t like this column and don’t think it’s worthy of the readers’ time, try to stand up on your own two feet and exercise your right not to read it.But hey, thanks for telling me how I should get outdoors and stop wasting my time and energy on pointless, irrelevant issues. Mostly like yours. Three cheers to that!Tim Savage


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