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Letters to the editor

editor@vaildaily.com

After reading the ad against incumbent U.S Rep. Mark Udall, I was shocked at how it misrepresented Mark’s record. Not only was he misrepresented but the amount of information provided to back up the accusations was lacking.The ad suggests that Udall voted against the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and against a balanced budget. Although Udall was not in Congress when these votes were cast, he would have voted for them. Mark Udall is a strong protector of the environment and supports the EPA and its policies. I find it odd that the Republicans would highlight this, as they have been trying to strip the EPA of its power to protect our air, water and to reduce toxins.The ad also states that the 1995 Republican Congress balanced the federal budget. In reality, it was the 1993 Democratic-controlled Congress that was responsible for the balanced budget. As someone who ran a small business and balanced the books, Udall knows the importance of a balanced budget.Other questions are all misleading and uninformative. The truth is that Mark Udall voted against the Patriot Act because it erodes our precious civil liberties, he voted against the Iraq resolution because he feels that before we send young Americans to war we should first exhaust every possible peaceful measure to deal with Hussein.Furthermore Mark Udall did not vote against the repeal of the marriage tax; he voted for repealing it, as well as for the reform of the estate tax.Vote Democrat on November 5, 2002 and give our country the ability and support to keep the Democracy of this great nation alive.Jacque R. WhitsittBasaltEditor’s note: A technical point, but Udall voted against a budget bill that included amendments with the marriage tax and reform of the estate tax. He voted for these in committee, and clearly supports them.Bottom-feederWhat a sorry attempt by Ross Palmer to be the next James Carville! The guy so pitiably wants to be a political “king-maker” that he will say anything, probably do anything, to get his candidate elected. If you objectively analyze Palmer’s diatribe, you can write it off as a repulsive display of naked ambition on his part to make or break this election. Palmer has weighed in on a personal level because his own Machiavellian success is all that matters to him – too bad for his client.The irony of Palmer’s invective attack is that his candidate is running on a platform of “integrity.” If Palmer’s arguments weren’t so pathetic, they would actually be laughable, in a sick sort of way. Perhaps Palmer would be better able to serve his client if he took a moment and looked up the definition of “integrity.” He should look up “ethics” while he’s at it.Is this so-called “marketing expert” really such a nit-wit that he thinks that the only viable strategy for the local Democratic Party is to vilify an opponent’s wife?Somehow I doubt that Thomas Jefferson would be very proud of his strategy or his efforts on behalf of the Democratic Party. Politics was rough in Jefferson’s day, too (reference Alexander Hamilton), but Palmer has the titular distinction of an all-time record low.So what’s next? Will the Vail Daily run another putrescent Palmer vomit on Tom Stone’s little gray-haired mother-in-law? Or will his daughter be next? Wait! How about a couple of cheap shots at Stone’s religion and his dog, too? Palmer’s bottom-feeding precedent will be hard to follow.As the Daily has made it currently de-rigueur to talk about Tom Stone’s wife, here’s my two cents: I am proud to call Henri Stone a friend. Thomas Jefferson once said, “But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine.”Henri may be a controversial leader, but leadership isn’t for sissies. “The leader challenges the system, working so the right things are being done in a work of uncertainty and change. Leaders are always disappointing someone and failing as much as succeeding,” writes John P. Kotter, “What Leaders Really Do” (Harvard Business School Press, 1999.) Kotter continues, “The way to identify a leader is to look at the arrow marks on their backs as well as the victory wreaths that occasionally appear on their heads.”Perhaps such concepts are too sophisticated for Palmer & Co.’s comprehension. His repulsive demonstration of diminished intellectual capacity is more on par with bumper sticker mentality. So here’s one for him and his cohorts: “Well-behaved Women Never Make History.”For the good of this community, may Ross Palmer and his puppets never make history either, but for vastly different reasons.K.T. GazunisEagleKara’s the bestBefore you cast your vote on Nov. 5, check closely the candidates running for coroner and you will see that Kara Bettis is the best choice for the job. Kara has a passion for forensics. She also has an exceptional working relationship with the fire, police and ambulance personnel.She shows compassion for the victim by doing a thorough and professional job. Kara is always organized. She should be your ultimate choice for Eagle County coroner.Kara spends extra time talking with the family of the victim and addressing their needs. She is eager to serve as your coroner. Kara cares and has the experience needed.She is a person you can depend on for a professional job completed in a timely fashion.She is respectful of the victim by conducting a thorough death investigation. Kara is an awesome “people person” who works well with others. Caring for the victim’s family is important to Kara, who addresses their concerns.She always expresses condolences to the family and relates to them with patience, caring and compassion. She has an exceptional working relationship with the District Attorney’s Office and always seems to see the positive side of things!So, vote for Kara Bettis for coroner. She has the qualities, plus the compassion a coroner needs to best serve Eagle County!Jan GrebingWhere’s the plan?No matter how I visualize it I cannot justify the 4 mill tax increase for the town of Vail. Not because I would resent parting with the money and definitely not because I think Vail doesn’t need it.We could use the money for THINGS that we’ve talked about for years. We could build a firehouse in West Vail that’s been on the “to do” list for 30 years. We could improve the infrastructure. Widening the road and building a recreation path on Vail Valley Drive has been on the wait list for several years.But the town council hasn’t committed to even one specific project. I will vote NO on 2C.Flo SteinbergVailTax needed for safetyAs one of the representatives of public safety for the town of Vail for the past 26 years, I am writing to encourage voters in Vail to vote yes on Question 2C, the 4 mill property tax for Vail. As the town’s revenues continue to decline, it is putting increasing pressure on all the services the town provides, including fire protection.In particular, fire protection for Vail stands to see tremendous improvements from 2C. Since 1995, emergency calls for fire services have increased 128 percent. Already in 2002, Vail Fire & Emergency Services has answered more than 2,000 calls.We need expanded fire services, meaning an additional fire company, which will respond to the “third alarm” when the other two engines are out on calls in town. This will mean less response time to the outlying areas of the community, particularly West Vail, including Intermountain, Stevens Park, Ellefson Park, Cascade Village and Matterhorn, which could make a difference in possible life and death situations.If you think it doesn’t happen very often, think again. In 2001, there were 111 times when both fire companies were out on calls. In 2001 there were 37 times when there were three simultaneous emergencies, leaving the town with limited response resources.We can’t let this continue into 2003. We need to arrive at the scene of an emergency within four minutes or it may be too late to make a difference. We cannot compromise when it comes to life safety.In addition, our aging fire station in Vail needs to be expanded to accommodate offices, training rooms, on-duty quarters and student living quarters. After 30 years, the structure has become weakened and obsolete for conducting modern fire service business, daily meetings with contractors, storage of records and plans, housing of front-line fire apparatus and providing living space for our current student-residents.Please, support public safety in Vail and vote yes on 2C.John G. GulickVail Fire ChiefJust a politicianIsn’t it interesting how when it comes down to votes, politicians will say what they think the people want to hear?Carl Miller proved he’s no different. In the Summit Daily News on Oct. 28, he said that his first priority on bills would be “to introduce in the next legislature a bill to develop the Denver Basin Aquifer.” In the Vail Daily on Oct.29, he says that “too much is at stake to introduce a provincial bill dealing specifically with regional or local water issues.” (He actually said in the Vail article that he will introduce a bill on the aquifer, showing his inconsistency there as well.)In his public appearances Carl Miller proudly states how he “blocks” water bills in committee (a committee where he is a distinct minority). Which way do you want it, Carl?In Summit, where people have to look at Lake Dillon every day, you say let’s make Denver find their own water. In Eagle, you say too much is at stake to introduce bills.The-be-all-things-to-all-people politician wants it both ways if it gets him the vote. There are no long-term solutions proposed here. Let’s get rid of the politician and elect a representative. I am voting for Heather Lemon.Eric GoldmanAvonPlug for McClintonMike McClinton’s logo reads: “I like Mike.” Why do we “like Mike” and support Mike McClinton? Because Mike is a man with a “genuine” plan! Mike McClinton is truly a family man who wants to help draw Avon families closer together in an effort to improve quality of life for children (our future), adults and grandparents. Mike and his wife Krista are volunteers in their daughter Scout’s child care at Prater Lane Play School.Mike LISTENS! Child safety is a priority! It was brought to Mike’s attention a safety issue of children crossing at the crosswalk in front of the school. He immediately took action, and spoke with the Avon town engineer. Signs were erected within two weeks of this request. The public is responding to these bright neon signs and traffic has stopped for children and pedestrians.Mike is very interested in recycling and environmental issues. He helped install environmentally safe playground tiles made of 100 percent recycled tires at the child care facility to ensure child safety.Mike has a VISION! He wants young families to “plant their roots” and settle in Avon. His vision includes “recreational opportunities and affordable housing for the new generation.”He wants to “recruit businesses that flourish in an atmosphere that’s an increasing mix of locals and tourists.”That’s why “I/we like Mike.”Virginia MallonPrater Lane Play SchoolFire UdallThe worst arson in our nation’s history occurred four years ago last week on Vail Mountain. That tragic destruction, which cost more than $12 million, went by this year without much notice. Perhaps that’s because it’s not a very good election year campaign issue for some people. Mark Udall of Boulder, who wants to represent us, never pushed for a federal investigation of the tragic arson on Vail Mountain set by domestic terrorists in 1998.The only reason he is running as our representative is that politicking by Democrats last summer placed us in a congressional district with Boulder County!Udall also has a major conflict of interest: his wife is president of the Colorado chapter of the Sierra Club. Udall’s history is one of blocking sensible water projects but still expecting us to give them whatever water we have left! Let’s not elect someone who cares more about Front Range water rights than Western Slope interests. Who can forget last summer’s drought and terrible forest fires?That danger and destruction may occur again now that Udall is literally in bed with someone who has opposed tree thinning and other prudent forest management. In a “Wall Street Journal” editorial last July, Kimberley A. Strassel wrote, “It turns out nearly half (48 percent) of all the [U.S. Forest] Service’s plans for getting rid of hazardous fuels were appealed by outside groups. They include the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Wilderness Society and others.”When you vote Nov. 5, ask yourself: Do I want sane forest management and secure water rights? Then you need to vote for Sandy Hume as our U.S. congressional representative.Leanna RobertsNot a fanEagle County commissioner contestant Gerry Sandberg characterizes himself as a citizen advocate who will listen and learn from his constituents. He will “make tough decisions after careful analysis of all facts and input. He will “be fair and unbiased with no agenda.”I served on the Board of Education and the District Accountability Committee for over five years with Mr. Sandberg, and these self-proclaimed convictions were seldom applied.On the contrary, while senior member of the school board, I believe Mr. Sandberg ignored the open meeting laws of the state of Colorado on many occasions. It is important to note he took an oath of office to uphold the Colorado Constitution.He was warned on several occasions by the citizens of Eagle County to stop holding public meetings behind closed doors and he chose to ignore the warnings. Subsequently, the Eagle County taxpayers were shackled and forced to expend thousands of dollars that could have been earmarked for teacher pay raises or text books.Mr. Sandberg’s clandestine character compelled him to ignore public input from the citizens of Eagle County. Citizens who brought genuine concerns to the board often times would find themselves subjected to Mr. Sandberg’s sarcastic and evasive retorts.Mr. Sandberg’s redundant animosity toward the Eagle County Charter Academy is not consistent with his professed convictions of listening to and learning from his constituents. His continued criticism of the Charter Academy reveals his reluctance to set aside his personal bias and support an alternate choice in public education. The Charter Academy was perceived as “an elitist school for the upper valley kids.”In closing I would like to remind the voters of Eagle County that Mr. Sandberg waited until after the school board election in November of 2000 to resign his position on the board, denying the voters the opportunity to elect their representative. How Democratic is that?Nancy ReidVailEffective leadershipI write to encourage the voters of Eagle County to vote for Gerry Sandberg for Eagle County commissioner. Gerry has been a U.S. Marine, a school teacher, a sheriff’s deputy and an investigator for the District Attorney’s Office. He is a dedicated family man and knows what it’s like to work for a living. He has a proven track record as a public official, having served on the school board and the Gypsum Town Council. His integrity is beyond reproach. There will be no need to worry about what side deal he might be working on while in office. I have worked with Gerry more than once on matters pending at the District Attorney’s Office and before the school board. Gerry is a public official who actually takes the time to talk to constituents, and not just when he is running for office. We have certainly disagreed more than once, but Gerry has always been courteous enough to hear me out, then explain why he agrees or disagrees. I cannot think of one time he has been influenced by how many votes he will or won’t get by taking a position. Gerry’s years of experience at different levels of government allow him to understand the concerns of local government. He will be an effective coalition builder, and will be able to work with local governments instead of against them. The voters of Eagle County have a clear choice this election. We are all in this together and it’s time to work together for a positive future. Gerry Sandberg is the person who can bring effective leadership to Eagle County. He deserves your vote.Allen ChristensenEdwardsPot calls kettle blackThank you for printing your editorial this week about the political ads’ use of innuendo, half-truths, rumors and inferences of wrong-doing. The unfortunate “follow-the-leader” mentality of the local (mostly Democrats) political ads are a sad commentary on the methods being used to try to win an election.Too bad we can’t make a law or refuse to print unfounded and unprovable ads and comments. The voting populace is led down the garden path by these carefully worded statements.The Denver Post has been printing articles with factual rebutals of many political ads and statements – too bad these are not on the front page. Thanks for printing yours for the Vail Valley voters!As an aside, do you find it ironic that Arn Menconi is teaching an ethics class at DU? I wonder what his comments would be to his students on the ethics of the voter registration methods he used to win the last election.Terie RoubosEdwardsVote for StricklandThe U.S. Senate race is so close that, perhaps for the first time in our lives, our votes could make a difference. So I’m asking all of you to spread the word to every Colorado voter you know to vote for Tom Strickland for U.S. Senate.Although he’s certainly not my ideal candidate, his positions on the environment, gun control, war with Iraq and many other issues are far more thoughtful and reasoned than Wayne Allard’s, whose voting record – almost entirely along party lines – shows him to be among the most conservative senators in the Congress.And not that I’m a one-issue voter, but Allard’s total refusal to support our efforts to start a public radio station in Minturn is reason enough for me to vote against him next week.I know many of you already support Strickland. But I’m asking each of you to make sure that you follow through and show your support by getting out and voting.As for any of you who believe that Allard’s the best candidate, I ask you, too, to go to the polls and vote your conscience.Alex MarkelsMinturnApples, orangesDid anyone notice the article recently included in the Vail Daily regarding how they were going to bull-doze the convention center in Sun Valley and put up 54 timeshare units? Per the article, it has gone through five different owners, and none of them was able to make it work financially. In our valley, Vail Resorts and merchants want the town to build and maintain it. Riiight!I suggest Sun Valley has some of the same constraints that Vail has for convention business. Too far from a major airport, lodging is expensive, we don’t want conventions during busy times of the year, we really want them when conditions here aren’t great, etc.Is this what we Vail taxpayers want to strap the town coffers with? I don’t think so. Please vote no on Referendum 2D.Ginny CulpEditor’s note: This is actually a private hotel with meeting space, like a number of lodges in Vail. It has about as many rooms as the Evergreen. It’s not a municipal convention center.Error in misleading adOn page A8 on Nov. 1, The Daily printed an advertisement for Heather Lemon that is patently false. In this ad voters are encouraged to “Vote on facts not myths S who do you trust?”While the ad makes many claims which we have not verified, one claim is clearly false. The claim that the Republicans appointed the first Afro-American to the U.S. Supreme Court is false. Thurgood Marshall was the first Afro-American appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, not Clarence Thomas.Marshall was appointed by President Johnson, a Democrat.What’s more insidious is the implication, based on erroneous facts, that the Republicans, not the Democrats, are the party of equal rights for minorities such as Afro-Americans, the disabled and women.We the Democrats of Eagle County take issue with that characterization as being misleading and false.In fact, a little research into the legislative history of the Americans with Disabilities Act would also demonstrate the significant role of the Democrats in that legislation. To imply that this legislation was a Republican initiative is extremely disingenuous.What is more disturbing is that Ms. Lemon, who is a licensed attorney in this state, should know better!However the ad asks a question that all voters should ask themselves before casting their votes on Tuesday: “Who do you Trust?”Do you trust the party that wants to take your Social Security and give part of it to corporate criminals in the form of equity investments in companies? Do you trust the party that promises to be tough on corporate criminals, passes tough legislation then proposes to underfund the enforcement needs by $200,000,000, rendering that law useless? Do you trust the party that refuses to turn over information to the General Accounting Office on meetings with the industry that formed our disastrous energy policy?These issues, incidents and local Republicans’ penchant for misleading Eagle County voters should concern us all.The Republicans are asking you in this election to give them control of all of our governmental bodies to install their program, unfettered by the problems of divided government. All voters should ask themselves: Have the Republicans earned our trust? Is divided government a problem or unless we really trust the party in power, isn’t divided government a form of security?How can we really trust Heather Lemon, George Bush or Dick Cheney when it appears that they mislead us often? We the Democrats of Eagle County would like to suggest that in these complicated times and due to the misrepresentations by the party in power that divided government is good and will bring us greater security.When our leaders make decisions about the future, the possibility of dissent is the most important issue on the ballot on Tuesday.Vote for security, vote for checks and balances, Vote Democrat on Tuesday.Deb MarquezChairwomanThe Eagle County DemocratsRight course for VailIn the course of endorsing the conference center proposal (2D on the upcoming ballot), we have contacted quite a number of our friends and neighbors to rally support. Most folks seem to appreciate the need to diversify our economy and the enormous potential this facility has for doing that. However, one of the more common misgivings we’ve heard is that Vail Resorts will benefit more than the rest of us.We don’t deny for a minute that this conference center is in their best interest. Clearly, that’s why they’ve helped advance it to the ballot. With raw land in the core area valued in the millions of dollars per quarter acre, Vail Resorts’ donation of 3 or 4 acres is pretty remarkable. That’s a huge contribution. Obviously they think it’s good for them.But don’t begrudge the fact that this facility may be good for Vail Resorts. Instead, just ask the question, “Is this good for ME?” Most people who understand the challenges facing Vail and who have any vision whatsoever believe that it is. At the risk of being idealistic, we sure think that important decisions should be made on that basis – “what’s it costing us, and what’s it worth to us?” Period.Believe me, among the group of folks who have been working on this issue, there’s varying degrees of love lost for Vail Resorts and in some cases, not much. But that’s OK. We’re willing to focus on our own cost/benefit analysis, and not get hung up on theirs. We hope you’ll do the same. Vote yes on 2D.Rob LeVine, Antlers at Vail; Bob McCleary, Manor Vail Lodge; Steve MacDonald, Vail Management Co.; Gary Boris, Montauk Seafood Grill; Geoff Wright, Destination Resorts; Pam Stenmark, Evergreen LodgeHume offers hopeAnyone who attended the Hume-Udall debate recently could see a clear difference in the candidates.Hume was optimistic and very clearly proud of our country and its capitalistic system. Has has faith in the American people. When Udall was asked about other countries’ criticism of the United States, he called the U.S. a hypocritical country and even brought up slavery.Mark Udall was a very typical politician trying to please all the people with his answers, while Sandy Hume was straightforward and brutally honest, even when he disagreed with his party’s views. How refreshing it was to hear a politician not talking out of both sides of his mouth.If you love this country, vote on Nov. 5. If you want to make this country even better, vote for Sandy Hume for U.S. Congress.Kay CaspersenEdwards


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