Letters to the Editor | VailDaily.com

Letters to the Editor

Something thereIn the Vaily Daily July 19,1999: “U.N. begins removal of chemicals in Iraq”:”Baghdad, Iraq – International experts began the process of destroying poisonous chemicals in a U.N. laboratory Sunday after four days of negotiations with the Iraqi government.”The team of five experts finally yielded to an Iraqi demand that French, Russian and Chinese diplomats and the U.N. envoy in Baghdad, Prakash Shah, witness the destruction.”They then had to procure protective clothing for the diplomats and Shah from a U.N. warehouse in Baghdad.”The chemicals and samples of biological warfare were left in the laboratory in Baghdad last year when U.N. weapons inspectors evacuated Iraq on the eve of U.N. and British air strikes against the country.”The inspectors had been sent to verify that Iraq had eliminated its weapons of mass destruction. After the air strikes began, Iraq said it would never allow them to return.”The multinational team of experts was allowed to come to Iraq to clear the laboratory because none of them was linked to the inspection mission.”Iraq did not publicly give a reason for insisting on the diplomats’ presence, but previously Iraq has argued for diplomats to oversee the work of the weapons inspectors. Iraq accused inspectors of being spies and said the presence of diplomats from friendly countries would ensure that U.N. missions were carried out fairly.”The experts began their work by making an inventor of items in the chemical laboratory and the biological room and were expected to start eliminating the poisonous gases Monday, Shah told reporters.”He expected the experts to finish the destruction of the chemicals and the biological warfare samples before the end of the week.”Four of the experts belong to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, an independent group based in the Netherlands. The fifth person is an independent biological weapons expert.”I suppose that this discovery did not count on the U.N. list because it was an independent organization and since they were removed in 1999, there cannot be a logical inclusion in the “weapons of mass destruction” listings that were only a part of the reason for the pre-emptive strike.Steve ZorichakVailSkeptical about RVsI have read the Minturn mayor’s last two columns on the RV park, and remain unconvinced of the park’s adequacy as a solution to Minturn’s economic issues.Plainly, something needs to be done. The responses from the community, representative government notwithstanding, suggest that some of us are worried. Minturn’s history of economic development leadership is not an enviable one.For Minturn shops and restaurants to both survive and thrive, traffic needs to be dependable year-round. If anyone questions this thought, just consider the number of businesses that have either gone under or that have vacated Minturn for somewhere else. The Chili Willy’s traffic quoted by the mayor amounts to about 25 people a day. Tough way to make a living.The RV park may bring in some people. How many is anyone’s guess. But retailers need consistent traffic. Unless a business is a destination spot like the Saloon, dependable traffic isn’t created or solved by RV tourists. Rather, it is solved by population density and a degree of affluence.I care about Minturn. My wife and I chose to have a home here because of its character. While we wish that character preserved, no town escapes the inevitable trade-off.With our proximity to Vail and Beaver Creek, Minturn should be able to benefit without risking its character (all that it takes are some strict design clauses). Multi-family housing oriented to locals creates density and permanence. Small lodges and inns can create jobs and cater to those who come to ski and hike and fish, but not partake in Vail.The RV park seems a stretch, an attempt to find a solution that brings the hope of added revenues without much risk of change. As such, it is a marginal idea. We need to think differently – not to pursue growth at any price, but not to avoid it, either.Barry KnightMinturnGreat jobI am writing you on behalf of the Vail Point Board of Directors.I want you to know how appreciative we are of (Vail Daily staff writer) Veronica Whitney’s role in helping us seek the proper judicial recognition of the crimes that Brandon Outlaw has allegedly committed against us, and six other business-town home associations in the valley.If it were not for Veronica’s persistence and ingenuity, Brandon Outlaw would have faced (via plea bargain) probation and a 90-day stay in the Eagle County Jail – this after committing (admitting to) two felony 3 charges of theft, one felony 4 charge of theft and credit card theft, all of which totaled at minimum $750,000.Ms. Whitney’s articles and investigative results regarding Brandon Outlaw’s other felony charges in Oklahoma were the much needed ammunition to facilitate Judge Moorhead’s decision to overrule the plea recommended by the DA’s Office. It was the will of the vast majority of the injured parties to forego any plea (outside of full and immediate restitution) and seek full punishment as allowed by law.Without Veronica, our wishes would have well been lost in the judicial system.Please pass on to her our thanks and recognition of her journalistic excellence.Jeffrey B. AntoniusMiracles do happenAvon Planning and Zoning held a civilized hearing on a very controversial topic – up zoning two lots in Wildridge. A miracle worthy of note!Not only did about 100 people show up, but everyone behaved themselves, and most actually stuck to the point. Even better, no one called anybody any names. Clearly this was democracy at its finest hour.Everyone involved had a strong opinion – clearly someone is going to win and someone is going to lose. But, in a larger sense, everybody won because the process – the process – actually worked. Not everybody who spoke said something meaningful, not everyone was articulate, but over 100 people got off their butt and got involved in the political process. On a percentage basis, that is probably better participation than Tuesday night’s Democratic primaries and caucuses.Perhaps the only reason for the level of activity was self-interest, sometimes enlightened, and sometimes ignorant, but interest nonetheless in the impact of the process on their lives. And impact it will, whether people participate or not, the political process will determine the course of at least part of their lives. While that process gets a lot of publicity when it is a presidential primary, it gets a lot less when it’s Planning and Zoning. Yet the impact of a P&Z decision is just a real, possible just as important to those involved, and a lot closer to home.So the miracle of political involvement has happened in Avon once! The question remains, can it happen again? Will other questions with a less direct impact attract even a small percentage of the interest?Many issues face the town of Avon in the coming year – creation of a new comprehensive plan to determine the shape of the town for decades to come is just one of them.Now, comprehensive plans are anything but sexy. However, they do determine our future. Sexy or not, the political process requires participation – your participation – to give you the results you want. Avon residents need to participate in the process a bit more often than they have in the past and on a wider range of issues to get the town they want.Tuesday night was a good start. But now, it’s up to you to keep it going!Dan SmithBlood boilingI certainly agree that Richard Carnes is obnoxious. His piece in the Feb. 3 Daily was typical of the mean-spirited tripe that is too often produced by certain (but not all) conservative writers and talk show hosts.Unfortunately what many, including Carnes, often produce is arrogant, insulting and designed to appeal to the meanest bone in the conservative body politic. Without offering rational arguments or food for thoughtful discussion and in a misguided, tasteless attempt at humor, these purveyors of trash only serve to further divide our country.Carnes and others appear to enjoy poking fun at those less fortunate than themselves. They seem to relish disparaging any who feel that it is a legitimate function of government to provide for the good of as many as possible – as opposed to only the wealthiest individuals and the largest corporations.And like Carnes, these misguided dupes take delight in repeating lies, like:(a) Liberals hate the idea of a strong America.(b) Conservatives are fiscally responsible.(c) Left alone and without restrictive laws, large corporations will do the right thing.(d) Those who favor what the Democrats are saying in their quest for the nomination are illiterate, gullible, stupid and beneath the contempt of the likes of Richard Carnes.Well, there are many who disagree. Trash talk like that which filled the Feb. 3 Carnes column should serve to mobilize us to write a few letters of our own, to give to the candidates of our choice, to vote and get our friends to vote, and to stand up for and be proud of what we believe.And incidentally, unlike Richard Carnes, I’m glad Vail was ranked No. 1 in SKI magazine.Keith E. SperoEdwardsAmerica’s handIt’s no surprise that a man who killed women and children in one foolish war would defend the killing of more innocents in the name of “safeguarding” America.America was responsible for the deaths of 2 million Vietnamese and 3 million Cambodians in Butch’s war. We have already killed 4,000 civilians in Afghanistan, including 15 children in the last month. By the AP’s count we have killed over 3,000 Iraqi civilians so far, and from the sounds of Butch’s column, he wants us to occupy the entire Mideast to stop a problem we started by propping up the illegitimate governments of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and many others.All this to serve the business interests of the friends of a man who didn’t have the balls to fight alongside of Butch. Wake up and see the light, Mr. Mazucca.Jon McMasterVail

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