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Letters to the editor

editor@vaildaily.com

Feeling blessed

In the morning when I wake up, I kiss my wife and look out our bedroom window to the rising sun as it brings to life another day. A day I am thankful to have. Not because I have ever been close to dying, but because I love living. I love living in the Vail Valley. My wife loves living in the Vail Valley. My dog loves living in the Vail Valley. My friends all wish they lived in the Vail Valley.

Over the past year my wife and I have traveled the country and the world as a result of our involvement, engagement and marriage on national television. Each time we left, no matter the location, we were always happy to return home.



Since I began making the drive up to Vail on the weekends as a high school student from Fort Collins, I always dreamed of living here.

Trista fell in love with the area before she fell in love with me when she visited during the summer several years ago.



Upon our engagement and despite a well-known aversion to cold temperature, she eagerly moved her life from the beach in Los Angeles to the mountains of Vail.

Both of us realize the magic that the area’s early founders so intuitively saw when they began Vail’s establishment as a mountain community and world class ski destination. We have a tremendous respect for the history of the Vail and, though it would certainly be a great compliment, Trista and I would like to remove ourselves and our names from consideration in having a street named in our honor.

We do this, however, without apology. We are not sorry for falling in love on television or for accepting a great deal of money to close out our love story, in marriage, in front of cameras. In fact, we consider ourselves very lucky to have had the opportunity. Like it or not, our story has had an impact.



We have received and continue to receive countless letters and comments from around the world. People write of rekindled romances, relived moments, and restored faith in love.

Our recognition allows us to work with charitable organizations of many kinds and in many places, including the Vail Valley. “The Bachelorette” may have been “a stupid television show,” but don’t discount the result.

I will never understand how people can so easily believe everything they read in a tabloid magazine but have such a hard time believing in love. The love Trista and I have is genuine. We love each other and we love the community in which we live. Thanks to everyone who has supported us and made us feel welcome. We feel truly blessed.

Ryan Sutter

Avon

Serving whom?

If you believe that your county commissioners or your county management give a rat’s … about you, I am about to burst your bubble!

It is obvious that they care about themselves. Take a look at the buildings they work in, the vehicles they drive, and the income they earn. All for them, but what’s for you, the taxpayer? There is always the excuse that there is no time or money for services in spite of the fact that as of Jan. 31, 2004, this county had $37.8 million in the bank.

-During the unusual heavy snow storms at the beginning of January, Road and Bridge managed to clean the streets and bury everyone’s driveway. As a senior citizen, I was able to get the Eagle Fire Department to come and dig me out (bless them). However, I am not the only one that had an ice wall buildup. Who was there to help everyone else? After the storm, was there any service to help dig out? Considering that these storms are not every day, there should have been time and money to help cleanup.

Did you notice that the Eagle County Regional Airport doesn’t have a professional manager? What happened to the peoplewho previously served in this capacity? Was there a conflict with the county administrator, Jack Ingstad?

The county administrator is now running the airport himself. I guess that would make him a Jack of all trades. Why has he allowed unlicensed limo operators into the airport for years, creating a liability for all of us citizens? Surely a real airport manager could keep track of this kind of situation and remedy it immediately.

What this really comes down to is that we need to forget about partisan politics and scrutinize our commissioners and the next level of management very carefully to see that they are responding to the needs of our community. The only way to get operational management changed is to change the guys who do the hiring and the firing, the commissioners. It’s our money, not theirs.

-Now, if you don’t buy any of this, just call any county commissioner and see how long it takes to get a return call, or any at all. Good luck.

Arthur Kittay

Eagle

Rest of the story

I liked the Butch Mazzuca column of Feb. 5, even though I did not agree with all of it. On the whole, the column was well thought out and reasonable, but there were some important omissions. There are other reasonable points of view that oppose PRE-EMPTIVE wars fought under the circumstances that prevailed prior to our invasion of Iraq.

I, too, believe that the primary obligation of the president is to keep the country safe, that there are times when the best defense is offense, and that if battles and wars are to be fought, it is better to fight them elsewhere than on American soil.

However, as conservative columnist George Will has written, “pre-emption presupposes the ability to KNOW things”…”to know about threats with a degree of certainty not requisite for decisions less momentous than those for waging war.” (Washington Post, June 22, 2003)

It seems that before, during and after the war, President Bush rationalized a determination to attack Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein. If based on incorrect or misinterpreted information, such rationalization by an American president damages how we are perceived by the rest of the world in which, like it or not, we have to live.

Is the United States of America to be seen as a bastion of strength, democracy, fairness, and decency? Or, as too many NOW believe, are we to be viewed as a bully, willing to lie, to make up stories of imminent threats that do not exist, and to make war on little countries that have no chance of militarily defending themselves against the mightiest armed forces the world has ever known?

We justified going to war in Iraq because of its weapons of mass destruction. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I know many thought there were – including, I suppose, President Bush. He was wrong. But he was supposed to know. It was his business to know. Without his repeated assurances that such WMD existed and that there was an imminent threat that they would be used against us, Congress would not have voted to permit the president to act as he did.

Most Democrats are not against war in any and all circumstances. But we cannot make war on all of the Arab countries on earth – even if their rulers fail to discharge the basic functions of government and as a result breed poverty, hopelessness and sometimes terrorists. Nor can we act in such ways as to give truth to the lie that we are the Great Satan. We must seek a better way.

We should never have invaded Iraq. As Donald Rumsfeld has admitted, the administration “did not act in Iraq because we had discovered dramatic new evidence of Iraq’s pursuit of weapons of mass murder. We acted because we saw the existing evidence in a new light, through the prism of our experience on September 11” (Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee July 9, 2003.)

The after-the-fact justification for the war by President Bush that Iraq and the rest of the world is better off without Saddam Hussein ignores the fact that he was wrong about the imminent serious threat of WMD and that absent those WMD there would have been no war. Even Paul Wolfowitz has agreed that the evilness of Saddam Hussein alone was “not a reason to put American kids at risk.” (Vanity Fair)

Now that we are there, we must stay the course. However, I fear we shall and have fallen victim to the law of unintended consequences. In order to do the job right – and we cannot afford to fail – we shall need time, soldiers, and a great deal of money.

However, as Butch Mazzuca correctly points out, the Arab world will not institute reforms on its own. We must show the way, hard as that now will be.

President Bush did a good job with respect to our actions in Afghanistan. He has not done well at all with respect to Iraq, and we as a country will suffer economically and pay with American lives for that mistake for many years.

In the meantime, Osama Bin Laden is still at large, the domestic problems facing the country remain, and our resources while vast are not without limit.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.The buck stops at the Oval Office. We need a new president.

Keith E. Spero

Edwards

Likes those lights

I commend the use of the blue lights on the bridge at Miller Ranch. It’s about time for progressive thinking in this valley!

This solution will not add to the “light pollution,” washing out our night sky, along with what is being done in Edwards (Riverwalk). I am surprised the new developments in the Riverwalk (east end) have not gotten more raised eyebrows – both from a negative architectural impact and increased light pollution. In addition, I don’t understand why anyone would want bright white lights on ANY small bridge entry to a neighborhood!

Jim Buckner

Avon


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