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Letters to the editor

editor@vaildaily.com

Stay tunedThose who watched the president’s State of the Union Speech could not help missing the close-up shots of Ted Kennedy, the corpulent senator from Massachusetts (you know, the guy that drowned Mary Jo Kapeckne a number of years ago and is still on the loose) whose frowns, grimaces and body language made it clear that he was not liking what he was hearing one bit.Fate spared poor Teddy, unlike all of his more intellectually endowed brothers, from a too early demise, but unfortunately left him with a burden of family and political responsibilities that he was ill-equipped to carry. His holier-than-thou proclamations over the years have been nothing short of an embarrassment. Talk about a role model! What Ted was hearing (and loudly reinforced by sustained standing ovations) was another “gigantic sucking sound,” the beginning of the end of the New Deal, the union movement, bloated government, the free ride, pork barrel politics and attempts by the left to turn the United States into a socialist welfare state. Good riddance, I say.Voters in America are smart, and the not-unexpected flaming descent of Howard Dean (former governor of the People’s Republic of Vermont) is a triumph of perception by the majority of Democrats nationwide who have come to the conclusion that as a candidate for president, he is unelectable. Time will tell about the other hopefuls, Joe Liberman being he best of the bunch, but he doesn’t stand a chance of getting the Democratic nomination.It appears that the leadership of the Democratic Party today continues to try to get to the head of the parade while staring intently into its own rear-view mirror and tenaciously hold on to failed concepts and uninspiring rhetoric. Backing into political oblivion, I call it. Unless Democrats start looking forward through the windshield and offer medicine that the voters will swallow, their fate is sealed and the country’s politics will be dominated by the Republican Party for the foreseeable future.Apparently the Democrats’ now too-familiar mantra of dissatisfaction, anger and entitlement has fallen on mostly deaf ears, while the Republicans’ more positive message of hope, personal responsibility and prosperity for all rings true. Thomas Jefferson’s words: “Let us in government dream of an Aristocracy of achievement based on a Democracy of opportunity” apply here.In the 1950s Harvey Cox, the great Harvard Divinity School scholar and author of “The Secular City,” observed: “We are somewhere between the no longer and the not yet.” His words applied to religion. However, they also apply to politics in the United States and are as relevant now as they were then. Stay tuned.Peter BerghEdwardsOh, the horrorI think that we should share a common moment of dismay as we consider all of the steps backward that this country has taken in the three years of the Bush presidency. A thoughtful citizen, making notes on a daily basis, could easily have compiled a longer list, but here are a few items that I clearly remember: Beginning with the first day of his presidency, for some reason that he’s never admitted, Mr. Bush wanted to depose Saddam Hussein. Rather than explain his true rationale, he lied to us, to our Congress, and to the members of the United Nations regarding weapons of mass destruction, nuclear bombs, and links to Al Quaeda. His motive was to sell this obsession of his.We now have 500 dead American servicemen, the Iraqis have 8,000 dead men, women and children, and we continue to spend billions of dollars and achieve hatred throughout the world.He insisted on tax reductions that gave a pittance to middle class families and a bonanza to the wealthiest among us. He offered us hokey logic like “trickle down” economics, save the family farm, good for small businesses, and the creation of jobs. We now have 9,000,000 people unemployed, 6,000,000 more seeking full-time jobs, and 34,000,000 living in poverty. Statistics also inform us that personal bankruptcy rates are on the rise, that credit card debt has exploded and that the few people who are finding jobs are being paid far less than they had earned previously. So much for his tax cuts!He now has the nerve to tell us that the economy is getting better while ignoring all of the above. Sure, stock prices are higher and the stock market indices are up because the wealthy don’t know what else to do with all of the money that they received from the tax cuts. Oh yes, corporate profits are higher because of the tax benefits that were included in the three tax packages and because they can export jobs to cheap labor markets without any penalty.Although the Republican Party has long espoused fiscal responsibility and a balanced budget, this president doesn’t care a whit. He’s perfectly willing to pass on the burdens of the war, a nutsy space program and lots of corporate tax breaks to the next generation. Our annual budget deficit is ballooning so quickly that the money markets of the world have reduced the value of the dollar by 20 percent. Couple all of that with our huge trade deficit and we have the ingredients for financial disaster.Then, too, we have his disregard for global warming, clean air and water, and the sanctity of public lands. His administration has been a nightmare for those of us concerned with leaving a decent environment for the generations to come.I would suggest that all of us stop and really consider where this president has taken our country. And specifically, I would ask Republicans to forget their party affiliation for a moment and honestly evaluate the performance of George W. Bush.David Le VineAvonEdwards’ back yardRecently I was surprised to hear that plans are in the works to develop the land in the center of Edwards that is currently the B&B gravel pit and that extends on both sides of the Eagle River.I didn’t realize the lease on the gravel pit is up in 2005 and that the gravel pit will be finished. Since the land is central to all who live in the Edwards area, and what is done with it will impact us in many ways from views to traffic congestion to Eagle River access, I think its important for us to participate in the process that determines the future of this land.We know growth is coming and that we can’t avoid it. It is not true that “the only good growth happened before we got here.” But we can participate in the process to guide responsible growth and let our community leaders know what we think is best for our community.I’ll be the first to admit I don’t have all the facts. … I understand the pitch for the project is that it will make Edwards the largest city between Denver and Glenwood Springs and it will “put us on the map.” That’s a vision with significant impact to our community – and one that I wonder if there would be universal agreement with.There is another proposal that was being considered, but apparently has fallen out of favor because it involves less money for the players involved. This second option involves the Vail Valley Foundation and a plan to hold the land for a few years until a solution can be defined that is in the best interests of the community.I don’t yet have enough information to form a definite opinion about what’s best. But I am concerned that major decisions are being made behind the scenes, and I think it’s time that we all got more information. We need to be more involved in the process before the decisions have already been made.I understand the planned development is consistent with the long-range county plan. But perhaps the long-range plan needs to be reviewed to give us the opportunity to get more involved in how it is being constructed and executed. Since Edwards is not incorporated as a town, we as community members need to be even more vigilant and mindful about these plans and what they could mean to our quality of life. This is about all of us protecting the future of our beautiful community.If you want more information or want to voice your opinion about the choices being considered, please call our county commissioners, ask lots of questions, and let them know you care about what happens to our part of Happy Valley.John TedstromEdwards


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