Letters to the editor
Needs a home
Cliff Thompson’s article about Robert Aikens, manager of Verbatim Booksellers, informs us that if this wonderful independent bookstore is unable to find an affordable new location, it will close.
As the artistic director of the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival I feel this would be a terrible loss, not only for the nearly 50,000 people who attend Bravo! each summer, but for the entire Vail community and its year-round visitors.
Without Verbatim, Vail-Beaver Creek will be one of, if not the only major ski resort and summer destination that does not have a substantive bookstore.
After 20 years of dedicated service to this area, and with the continued devotion and passion of Mr. Aikens, Verbatim deserves to be offered a reasonable retail space. As it says on the bookmarks provided by Verbatim for Bravo’s programs: “Books and music – some things just go together.”
I would like to add a few comments to your subject article which appeared in Wednesday’s Vail Daily:
1) Your Mr. Stonehouse’s July 1 article clearly stated that “those who want to grab premium, reserved seating for the concert can receive up to four free tickets per person starting at noon today at the Ford Amphitheater box office …”
On Pages A8 and A22 of the same paper, readers were asked to call 970-845-TIXS for
more information regarding this free patriotic concert.
I did call and was told that the box office at the amphitheater would not begin issuing free tickets on July 1 until noon. Accordingly, my wife and I arrived at the amphitheater at 11:40 a.m. to stand in line awaiting for the box office to open. At 12:05 p.m. (only five minutes after opening), we were told that a total of 120 free tickets were available and they have already been given away.
Hence, the caption under your front page picture stating ” … tickets … were snatched Tuesday by 1 p.m. …” were grossly misstated.
2) We were told by the staff at the box office that only 240 free reserved-seating tickets were to be given away at the amphitheater and Vilar Center box offices on July 1. If 583 tickets were up for grabs at the amphitheater, how can they be gone already by 12:05 p.m.?
We counted no more than 80 people standing in front of us on the waiting line, and these figures and time just do not add up. I do not believe the problems were caused by “communication breakdown” nor “small number of people getting the wrong information.”
I would strongly recommend that Vail Valley Foundation, as sponsor for this free concert, thoroughly investigate this matter. This new concept of issuing free reserved-seating tickets was either not working or completely mis-handled by the box office staff!
Fuel for the fire
Parts of the West are already on fire, yet some see only political gain in the misery of lost life and property.
Radical environmentalists will seek to polarize public opinion, preferring confrontation to cooperation. This is unnecessary.
At heart, most of us are conservationists. Many people have supported environmental groups for years, if not decades, and always with the best of intentions. They have contributed to wildlife programs, sent checks to reintroduce endangered species and encouraged saving native forests.
Yes, we want to save endangered species, but we want to preserve our property rights. We want clean water, but we want to preserve the purity of our constitutional rights. We want reasonable and measured growth, but we want to preserve our freedom of choice. That’s the message of a true conservationist, but radical environmentalists prefer political rhetoric.
The incredibly destructive forest fires that plagued the West last summer resulted largely from unyielding, unfounded methods of “green” forest management. This caused artificial accumulations of tinder-dry “fuel load” in forest understories and unnatural tree density incinerated vast areas of wilderness.
Drought conditions also contributed, but here again was the imprint of the single-minded environmentalists who forbade new reservoirs and overturned legitimate decisions to create new dams.
In 1977, President Jimmy Carter, acquiescing to the demands of environmentalists, slashed federal funding for Western water projects.
I remember the Exxon Valdez oil spill and how the media inundated the public with pictures of ocean birds and sea otters covered in crude oil. Last summer’s Western wildfires covered an area much larger than the spill in Prince William Sound. The wildfires did not involve a large oil company.
Maybe that’s why the public saw few, if any, photographs of scorched animal carcasses to remind them of the incredible numbers of animals burned alive. We also were spared pictures of birds made flightless by singed feathers that were left to starve in the blackened and barren aftermath. We were not shown waterways polluted and clogged with charred remnants of the massive fires, including flame-retardant chemicals.
This same radical environmental propaganda machine – powerful and well-funded – will now seek to have you believe that the timber industry wants only to lay waste to our forests.
In truth, radical environmentalism costs us millions of jobs and deepens our dependency on foreign resources. These policies increase lumber and utilities costs and place the greatest burden on the middle class.
Simply put, groups that put junk science over the rational use of our abundant and renewable resources do have the best interest of the public in mind.