Letters to the editor | VailDaily.com

Letters to the editor


As you know, I am running to be your next Eagle County commissioner.

What I want Eagle County to be is the place my family and I will always want to call home.

Throughout my campaign I have jealously guarded my time with my family. Because of this I have been unable to meet every one of you one on one.

For the last six months I have traveled many miles and spoken to many Eagle County citizens. I regret not having had the time to personally speak with each and every one of you.

For the last 17 years I have worked for the District Attorney’s Office, and the demands of that office makes it difficult to campaign full time.

I promise I will be a full-time commissioner who will listen and learn from you and will be accessible to you. I will make the tough decisions after careful analysis of all facts and input. I will be fair and unbiased with no agendas. I will be here to serve you.

However, my family will always come first and that includes my time with them throughout this campaign. So please understand when I need to go to a Halloween party with them or to my daughter’s soccer game, I will still have the best interests of Eagle County in my mind as well and I will serve you well.

Please exercise your right as a citizen of Eagle County and vote this election.

Gerald D. Sandberg

Candidate for Eagle County Commissioner

He gets it done

I worked with Tom Stone as an Eagle County Commissioner for two years. I learned how dedicated he is to the people of Eagle County and to the projects and organizations that are important to the economic stability of Eagle County.

He alone was responsible for the negotiations of the purchase of the Vail-Eagle Jet Center passenger terminal.

The Berry Creek 5th property had been sitting for 10 years, with the possible sale to developers before Tom Stone became involved and formed the partnership with the town of Vail, CMC and Eagle County School District.

Tom Stone voted to contribute $1.5 million for the purchase of the Brush Creek State Park.

He created the Youth Conservation Corps that give youth ways to make money for their organizations while learning about the environment.

He has been involved with the communities to provide new recreation facilities in the Eagle and Roaring Fork valleys.

Tom Stone is hard working, devoted to the people of Eagle County and not afraid to fight for his convictions.

Listening and caring is good, but doing something is better.

It is imperative we retain Tom Stone as our Eagle County commissioner. Eagle County’s future depends on it. I urge you to vote for Tom Stone.

Johnnette Phillips Former Eagle County Commissioner

Open space issue

I would be more in favor of the open space ballot question if some, if not all, of the money generated would be directed to the maintenance and improvement of existing open space, parks and roadways.

For example, I believe that the sand problem on Vail Pass is our (Eagle County residents) responsibility. We have sand put down so our guests can come here to recreate; we should help pay to remove it.

Our county budget is already under pressure, this amendment would only serve to further burden current and future taxpayers.

Kenton Krohlow


Yes on 31

Any of us who have children or grandchildren want them to receive an education that helps them prepare for life and its challenges. Essential to achieving this is to be able to read, write and speak – communicate – in the language of the society in which they live.

Would that it were possible to learn a language by osmosis, but unfortunately it isn’t. Parents who have elected to move into the United States with their children know that English is the language of the nation, and have made the choice because they see greater opportunity for themselves and their families in this country.

While it may be a challenge for their children to learn a new language, there is no better time then when children are attending school. And the children, far more resilient to adapting than adults, can benefit most in learning the language of their new country by meeting the challenge head on – by immersion.

Not to push these kids into the language of this country condemns them to a lifetime of menial jobs and low pay. Think about it – they won’t be able to read The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, Bicycling or hundreds of other publications.

They will find it virtually impossible to find bilingual training programs in computer programming, diesel mechanics, electronics, nursing, or other mainstream career areas. How many colleges and universities offer bilingual degree programs in business, engineering, physics, chemistry, history, industrial design, anthropology, communications, etc.?

It may be difficult to learn English by immersion, but it can be done best by the kids. It is not cruel and unusual punishment, and not to do it will make their lives far more difficult and bleak.

Vote “yes” for 31. The children deserve it.

R. B. Beckwith


No to open space

I am writing to ask every voter to vote no on Question 1H the proposal to use taxpayers’ dollars to buy up private property and put it into open space. Although it sounds all warm and fuzzy and environmentally aware, it will actually hurt people trying to buy an affordable home here.

Let me explain. Economics 101: if you make a product that is in demand less available to the market, i.e.”land,” what happens to the price of the product, the cost to buy the product goes up. This will make land more expensive to buy and force housing prices up making it much harder for people trying to buy their first home.

If the small number of people that are advocating this proposal want to raise the money themselves to buy this land, I have no problem with it. But confiscating this money buy increasing our property taxes is wrong. Also as private land becomes scarcer, this will increase our property values and thus increase the amount of money that this proposal collects to buy more private property. And another issue, aren’t these the same liberals that complain that there is not enough affordable housing in the valley. Isn’t this hypocritical?

Here are the facts: Eagle County consists of 1,083,987 acres, of which 79 percent is federal land or open space. With its current population, that amounts to .0387 people per acre or 25.8 acres per person. Even with the projected population growing by 300 percent over the next 20 years, the population density for the county is still 0.1162 – that’s about 10 acres for every man, women and child. That’s a lot of open space!

This proposal is ridiculous! Eagle County does not need to become another Aspen or Boulder.

Vote no on Question 1H!

Rob Spangler

Vice Chair

Eagle County Republicans


Although some of us may have party affiliations, when it comes down to it, we are all independent voters. Why? Because this is America, and when we step into the voting booth, no one comes in their with us but our conscience.

So far in this election, you have had all kinds of folks and entities trying to tell you who to vote for, but ultimately it is your choice.

I chose to run as an independent-unafilliated candidate for county commissioner because I believe that we deserve more of a choice in leadership and because we need to weed out the influence of big money and special interests. In short, we need to get the politics out of government! Less than 4 percent of our population participated in the primaries this year. That is just not enough participation to bring you a quality candidate.

When I announced my candidacy, I gave you a five-point platform to let you know exactly what I had envisioned for Eagle County. This includes the following: 1) Promote responsible, managed growth 2) Create truly affordable housing for those of us who work here 3) Manage our valuable resources such as water, forests and open space 4) Work to diversify and develop our economy and 5) Make community safety issues a priority.

Eagle County is one of the most attractive places to live in this country, but it will not remain that way unless we work together.

And please understand, your vote does make a difference. Help get politics out of government and and assert your independence. Help elect Eagle County’s second female in 100 years and first independent county commissioner ever by casting your vote for Bower on Nov. 5.

Laurie Bower

Candidate for Eagle County Commissioner

Wolfe for council

I would like to endorse the following candidate for the position of council member of the Avon City Council. His name is Ron Wolfe. His name will be the last on the ballot, but vote first for him.

Ron will be a new face on the board, bringing areas of new knowledge, new energy and a new leadership quality to the Board.

He is retired, and has the time and energy needed to handle some of the more complex situations of the town’s future growth.

Mark your ballot for Wolfe.

Dana Dunbar


Daily misses point

Your recent endorsement of Carl Miller lacks the insight demonstrated by some of your earlier endorsements, which whether I agree or not were insightful.

Carl Miller will represent Eagle County like he currently campaigns here -long distance. I would hate to think that two ads a day in the Daily influence the endorsement. But because one never sees him here personally, it makes one wonder.

He lives in Leadville. With the exception of the debate, which clearly went to Lemon, the only evidence of his wanting our vote is the money he spends in the Daily on advertising. Quite frankly I for one am offended that he thinks he can buy our votes simply with advertising. Two ads in the Daily every day is ridiculous.

I have not seen one sign nor seen him at one event. The people of Eagle County deserve more. He is taking our votes for granted, just like he will take us for granted after the election. Heather Lemon lives here, works, and raised children here.

She participates in our local activity; he doesn’t. If we are not important enough to rate his attention during the campaign, think what it will be like after he is elected.

He is term limited after two years. While that is great if he gets elected, we will have to start all over again, educating another new person.

Heather Lemon represents a fresh change. The citizens of Eagle County deserve more than long-distance representation. We deserve Heather Lemon.

Tom Koehler


Editor’s note: Carl Miller has declined to use yard signs in his campaign.

Solid choice

I think that there are many Eagle County residents in this end of the county that are still undecided as to whom to vote for in the county commissioner race.

We have a great opportunity to elect a man that is truly concerned about Eagle County, a man who wants to create a county government working together instead of working against itself. Here is a man who is non-partisan and won’t be bought or manipulated by party doctrine. A man who is committed to leaving Eagle County a better place for all of us and not just the select few.

Gerry Sandberg is a man who has a long track record in community service with many different positions: Eagle County School Board; representative for Western Slope municipalities to the Colorado Wildlife Management and Public Advisory Board; he has participated in organizing and supporting many recreational youth activities, such as soccer coach, volunteer for the Eagle Little Britches Rodeo, and organizing the middle school study and activity center.

Gerry Sandberg is a solid choice for the future of Eagle County. Check out his Web site for more information: http://www.sandbergforyou.com

Paula Fothergill


Enviro Marxist

Recently, an Avon resident sent a letter to the Daily that disputed some items about the massive fires across the West this summer. Between that time and now, Democrats in Congress thwarted a bipartisan effort to pass meaningful forest management reform to ensure the safety of people and animals by reducing potential fire hazards in Western lands managed by the federal government.

Knowing that today, her letter defending Democrats and U.S. Rep. Mark Udall of Boulder is exactly as it appeared – an exercise in distortion and politicking. Consider that after nearly a century of remarkable success, the U.S. Forest Service somehow seems to have suddenly grown inept at stopping wildfires.

The letter-writer seemed to chalk this up to random events. Ironically, she accused those who would disagree with her of bombarding the public “with lies and half-truths.”

Yet Udall’s major conflict of interest – his wife holds the highly partisan position of president of the Colorado chapter of the Sierra Club – was neither denied nor addressed.

Lies and half-truths? Let’s start with the letter-writer’s claim that only 1 percent of proposed forest thinning, road building and firebreak projects are obstructed by environmental groups. That comes from a General Accounting Office study that environmentalists sent to the media. The finding was so incredulous that Barry Hill, the director of natural resources and the environment at the GAO, set the record straight in a three-page letter to Congress.

The details were dense, but the message was clear: The GAO didn’t have the whole story. If you don’t believe him, then how about the U.S. Forest Service itself? In a July 11 editorial by Kimberley A. Strassel in the Wall Street Journal, she states, “It turns out nearly half (48 percent) of all the service’s plans for getting rid of hazardous fuels were appealed by outside groups. In the Northern Region, one of nine the service administers, every single one of its projects for fiscal year 2001-02 – 53 in total – was appealed. Other regions saw anywhere from 67 percent to 79 percent of their plans put on hold through appeals.

But here’s the real kicker: The Forest Service report also names those groups that launch the most appeals. Surprise, surprise, they include the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Wilderness Society and others – the very same folks who held up the (obviously) incorrect GAO report and claimed it was true.” In the region that includes Montana, 100 percent of the decisions were appealed by groups such as Forest Conservation Council, the National Forest Protection Alliance and Colorado Wild. Despite last summer’s tragic occurrences, the Land and Water Fund of the Rockies in Boulder vows resistance to any logging projects.

The Sierra Club also has a campaign against the commercial logging. This resistance remains in the face of 3.6 million acres of national forest burned this summer and a cost of fighting these fires that is projected to reach $1 billion.

These numbers serve as a harsh reminder of how relentless ideology has overtaken some environmentalist. The lynx fur fraud in Washington state late last year also comes to mind. Members of state and federal wildlife agencies there deliberately put fur from a captive lynx in the forest. Had the plot not been exposed, it could have led to the taking of even more land by government edict.

This was the case in Klamath Basin, where suckerfish had more value than people, their land and their families? Water was shut off to this farming community in Oregon (about the size of Minturn) and suddenly residents found themselves on the verge of bankruptcy.

Paul Craig Roberts, a nationally syndicated columnist, wrote recently about “the appearance on the scene of scientists and scholars who betray the public’s trust in their integrity in order to advance ideology.

When the canons of scholarly objectivity become widely abandoned, truth ceases to guide decisions. Public policy outcomes and court cases depend on which side has the best propaganda and can more effectively demonize or vilify the other party. Education becomes the propaganda of the group that controls the schools.”

Udall does not support the Forest Rescue Act, which seeks to allow management of public lands undeterred by what they see as ecological fringe groups. These small groups with radical agendas seek to prohibit human activity in most forested areas. What we really have is an agenda, foreign both in origin and to our values, that uses environmental extremism to subject us to an unrealistic, unconstitutional central bureaucracy the likes of which communists might approve. (Udall also voted twice in the last year against legislation to defend our country against terrorism.)

I won’t be voting for Udall and his wife this election. Udall will only continue to rubber-stamp more Marxist-style laws under the guise of ecological concern.

Ron T. Howell


Balance needed

Who approved the eight-story (side) addition to the towering Sheraton in Avon? After returning from a three-week trip, I find I am about to lose what was left of my views of Beaver Creek. It’s time someone took an interest in the year-round homeowners in our town and, with due respect to our council members who live in Wildridge, they are not the ones losing their precious mountain views.

Those of us in the “flats” are watching our property values drop as these mega-projects infiltrate what was once a nice little mountain town. When the Sheraton originally was under construction, I asked several council members how they could approve structures that would diminish the quality of community life for so many local homeowners.

I was told that because the Lodge at Avon was a certain height, they could not refuse the developers of the Sheraton the same height allowance. Are we going to be buried under skyscrapers because our decision-makers are more concerned with what’s “fair” to hungry developers than they are with the people who live here?

I urge the voting locals of Avon to elect Steve Miller to the Avon Town Council. He lives in the heart of Avon and is concerned with the quality of life and protection of all members of our community, not just those who live who live on the hillsides overlooking the rest of us.

It’s time for a more balanced representation of all of Avon, and Steve Miller is a man who gets things done.

Susan Weaver


Calling out Sandberg

Gerry Sandberg, you should be outraged that your party has dragged your slogan of “integrity” through the mud.

You should be so outraged that you will immediately take out a same-size ad and print a strong denunciation of their deceitful trashing of Stone, explaining to the citizens of this county that the ad was despicable and false.

And, in the same ad, apologize to Tom Stone for those lies. Happily, Rogers did such an excellent job of factually refuting all those lies that he relieved me of the necessity of doing so here. Gerry, if we don’t see this ad from you, we’ll all know the truth about what you knew and when you knew it.

INTEGRITY. N. 1. Soundness of and adherence to moral principle and character; uprightness; honesty. 2. Tom Stone.

Joy Overbeck


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