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Letters to the editor

editor@vaildaily.com

Butt of litteringDefiantly flicking their lit cigarette to the ground, or tossing the empty carton out the car window, derelict smokers are the butt cause of the litter problem that surrounds all of us.This is a memo to all smokers: No more fresh cigs until you return your used ones. You can call this the Butt Redemption Program. Just put them inside of that pack thing, or carton, whatever it’s called, and take them to wherever it is you buy those disgusting things. Then you can pay $10 for some freshies.Now, I can’t prove that you are also tossing out the larger refuse that dots the roadside, but my subjective evidence is pretty strong for the case against you. Think about it, those butts that you toss while riding your motor will be there for more than 10 years! This flick thing must be some kind of natural reflex action that’s inherent to the smoker. Please stop this, would you?If you want to take your health down with your habit, fine, just leave the rest of us out of your trip!Ray ButeraEdwardsTrain, train, trainI must admit that I have a bias on this issue. I am a retired Army instructor pilot (for 21 years) and understand the absolute necessity to conduct high altitude training.All military helicopter training is conducted at low altitude bases. Fort Rucker, Alabama (Army & Air Force) and Pensacola, Florida (Navy). Without training in high altitude conditions, pilots will not understand what happens when they run out of lift trying to approach a mountain pad.I know that some people like to be isolated in the backcountry where they can commune with nature. But if they get sick or injured, I am sure they would be very happy when that medical or military helicopter arrives to haul them out does not crash trying to land at their high altitude cabin trying to save their lives.I know, they never get sick or have an accident. I know that helicopters make a racket. Unlike the TV show, I have never had a “whisper mode” on any of the ones I flew.I can only say that if the crews don’t get the proper training then I would have to do my other military duty, aircraft accident investigator. I can say that I have had to investigate too many accidents where altitude was a major contributing factor in the accident, all over the world. Train, train, train. It will keep you from busting your butt and bending a bird!John ShearerMaster Army Aviator CW4, retiredU.S. ArmyLost girlI was skiing Vail on Sunday, Feb. 29, when a little girl named Cassie from Avon approached me at the top of Chair 11. She was crying and was lost.She said she needed to know where Chair 14 was so she could get to Two Elks to meet her ski club.It had been snowing very heavy all morning and was practically white-out conditions. I asked her if and why she was alone, and she said her coach had dropped her off at the bottom of the mountain, and told her because she was late she had to meet her club up at Two Elks. Remember that Cassie is only 7 years old. She is a member of Ski Club Vail and she got to the mountain late because her brother, Cooper, couldn’t find his ski gear and made her late.I took her to Chair 14 and up to Two Elk, where she eventually spotted a coach she recognized. I asked the coach why a little 7-year-old girl was left to make it up Vail Mountain on her own. He looked at me like I had no right to question him or Vail Ski Club.I have two children ages 5 and 6, and I am a local. I would never allow my children to go up on Vail Mountain alone, especially on a busy powder weekend with white-out conditions! What would have happened if Cassie would have asked the wrong person for help? Vail on a powder day attracts people from all over the world!I hope that Vail Ski Club will in the future will use their head and think about the children with whom they are entrusted. Cassie mentioned that her mother might sue Ski Club Vail if she knew what happened. Hmmmm, not a bad idea.Wade WilsonVailReceiving by givingMy name is Jodi Link. I am a 26-year-old female who has been an active SOS volunteer for going on 7 years now. The Snowboard Outreach Society has helped me find a path in life that I am very passionate about. Thanks to Arn Menconi and the rest of the amazing staff at SOS, I have graduated from CSU with a degree in psychology and plan to further my education in human services. I am currently using my undergraduate degree to help at-risk youth through an independent living program at a non-profit called Turning Point Youth and Family services. This organization is located in Ft. Collins. I work Monday through Friday, and this season I have spent a majority of my Sundays on Beaver Creek Mountain working with SOS youth.I am writing this letter to thank all of the people who make SOS possible. If it were not for Vail Resorts support over the last 10 years I may not have found my passion in life. More importantly, thousands of kids over the past 10 years may not have had the life-changing experiences that they have had with the Snowboard Outreach Society. I have read numerous thank you letters from youth and seen the faces of dozens of kids that have been directly impacted by this program. So I would like to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU VERY MUCH, Vail Resorts, for your extremely generous support of the SOS program. I know that I am one of many volunteerswho have been impacted by the Snowboard Outreach Society. I also believe in my heart that this program truly changes the lives of youth in a positive manor.The Snowboard Outreach Society has many sponsors that help get the youth clothed and ready for the hill. These sponsors should not be over looked. But without equipment and lift tickets the kids wouldn’t get very far with their snowboarding experience.I would also like to thank the Vail Daily for getting the SOS message to the community. Without the Vail Daily a lot less people would be educated on what SOS does for the Vail Valley and surrounding communities. In fact the first time I heard about SOS, I saw a picture of Arn Menconi on the front page of the paper, help a young kid learn to ride. I was intrigued by the article and the rest is history.Thanks a million to everyone who has improved the lives of thousands of kids and volunteers through the Snowboard Outreach Society.Jodi LinkIn visitors’ eyesDear lucky citizens of Vail, Avon, Beaver Creek: We’ve come here for years, and your community opportunities are amazing. During the ski week we’ve had the chance to see various performers at the Vilar Center – the Mexican Tenors being the latest best! The Avon Recreation Center with unbelievable pool facilities and the terrific, well-thought-out library in Vail, near Lionshead.Each venue had friendly, helpful employees and volunteers. The physical layout and architecture exciting – and kept up. You could tell the pride everyone feels being a part of this community.It was refreshing, invigorating and very much alive participating in the local happenings. The Vail Daily also deserves to be praised for giving the local calendar of events with all the fabulous opportunities showing great cultural and global interaction.We loved being here and appreciate you.Bruce and Francie HauserHey? What are those?This letter is in response to Mr. Otto Wiest’s letter “A Safer Ski.” Wiest talks about how many locals, racers and guests blow their ACLs. I’ve skied the skis he is recommending (skis with virtually no tail, at least a shorter tail than most skis) and I agree, it probably is a safer ski. But there is something out there that makes you even safer than these skis.”Hey! What are those?” That’s the question I hear dozens of times every day from other skiers when I ski with CADS. What are they? “Constant-force-articulated-dynamic struts.” What? Why should skiers know this? Because no other technical breakthrough in the history of ski equipment does so much. The most important reasons are that they make skiing easier, much safer, andmuch more fun! How much safer?ACLs are blown at the rate of about one out of every 2,000 skier days. Based on approximately 2,000-plus CADS users, there should be about 14 blown ACL grade 3 ruptures per year for the last 13 years among these CAD users. There are none to date that Walter Dandy (the inventor) is aware of!CADS are a system where a rubber power unit is attached to the back of your ski boot on each leg. The skier wears a harness attached to each upper thigh, over your long johns and under your ski pants. A special high strength fiberglass rod fits into a socket on each rubber power unit. These rods reach up to about two inches below your true waist. Each rod has a small pulley on top. Woven dacron cords are attached to the back of the harness and go up through grommets just about the seat of the skier’s pants, then over the pulleys and down to the power units. This produces a lift up on the seat of the skier which unloads all the joints in the leg.If you have leg joint pain, this lift eliminates the pain. The more one bends the legs the more the power unit is stretched producing more and more lift. Since the skier is pulling down on one side of the rod and the rubber power unit is resisting on the other side, all of the force is down through the rod to the boot and then to the ski. This dampens the ski more than any ski manufacturer can possibly build into the ski. CADS are the “super sports car” of shock absorber systems!What do CADS really do? 1. CADS dampen the skis by putting downward pressure on the skis, which: a) makes the skis faster like a well-waxed ski which makes them easier to turn; b) holds the skis on the snow for better edging, stability and ski control; c) cuts down on chatter by helping to eliminate the forces trying to flatten the ski, especially when angulating, and d) stabilizes the skis as well as the knees. It makes skiing crud almost like skiing untracked powder.CADS take the pressure off the feet, ankles, knees, and thighs by lifting up on your seat, which: a) reinforces what your quad muscles do; b) eliminates pain in all leg joints; c) even helps reduce lower back pain; d) instantly increases leg strength by about 30 percent; e) helps you to ski with the proper stance; f) reduces fatigue so your quads never burn and you never have to stop if you don’t want to.Put this all together and you have a much better skier, a much safer skier, and a skier having a lot more fun! The ski patrol confirms that they get very busy around 2 p.m. and later on most days because that is when most people are tired. With CADS you don’t feel tired until after skiing – and you should, since you’ve skied an average 34 percent more hours per day (Gallup ski industry “leisure trends”).Mr. Wiest says he blew out his ACL without even falling down, just sitting back too far. Racers do this all the time because they are fighting so hard not to hit the snow and that is when the knee goes. Because a rubber band is a progressive force (the more you stretch it the tighter it gets), CADS totally prevents that kind of blown ACL. Bend your knee more and more is how you get more and more support. I’ll challenge the Hermann Maier anytime to a full race tuck contest. I can stay in a tuck all day if I want to – with CADS.With CADS, the more runs you get the better they get. You have to ski them to trust them. The more you trust them, the more you can relax. And the moreyou relax, the more CADS will do for you. They will save you time and again. About six years ago I hit a jump with a bigger kicker than I wanted. I got about eight feet higher than I had planned and I out-jumped the steep landing spot and I was coming down onto a flat from about 15 feet in the air. I thought to myself that I was going to break both legs. But CADS saved me. I didn’t even feel the impact. I went back and measured the length of my jump – 96 feet!Mr. Wiest mentions Dave Gorsuch (ex-U.S. Ski Team). He uses CADS. He didn’t mention Adam Aron and how he understands the importance of “improving skiing wherever possible”? He could improve skiing immensely if he would really get behind CADS and set up sort of real program through TV, ski school, and other promotions.If ski racers would train and race with CADS, they could probably cut their surgeries at least in half. But no, the FIS and Olympic committee banned CADS, saying that they were an unfair advantage. Funny, they did recognize that CADS really were faster! Because less chatter makes it easier to hold a better line, thus faster, etc. BUT they would not be an unfair advantage if all racers used them. Hmm, funny that they would ban CADS and subject their racers to be at more risk when there is a proven product available. All they have to do is use it!How do you feel when you hold up your group? Do they bitch at you to hurry up? I know of many skiers caught up in this situation. But now they have CADS! Their buddies are now on the opposite side – slower than the one who used to hold them up! So now they need CADS. How about that?This brings me to a very interesting point. Why aren’t more skiers rushing to get CADS? Well, they look pretty odd. SO WHAT? It’s what they do that counts! Since women are more concerned about speed than men, skiing with CADS gives them a lot more control, more stability, and even makes them look a lot better and gives them a lot more confidence.The most skeptical skiers are ski instructors. If they would open their closed minds and try CADS out by skiing them enough to be able to really find out what they will do for them, they would change their tune, and some have! Instructors have a moral duty to help students learn to be better and safer skiers. If that means equipment, then CADS should be on top of the list. What other equipment can do so much? How long do you have to work out at the gym to increase your leg strength 30 percent? Where does it say that skiers have to get tired and risk a $20,000 knee reconstruction before they can have fun skiing? All the ski instructors should be on CADS – the amount of money that could be saved by Vail Resorts from instructors knee injuries through workmen’s comp will boggle your mind. It’s probably over $1 million per year!Dr. Richard Steadman, an orthopedic surgeon in Vail (also the U.S. Ski Team surgeon), recommends CADS for some of his patients. If the cost of just HALF of the 20,000-plus skiers who severely injure their knees each year is $20,000 per knee, it adds up to a whopping $200,000,000! This is an increase of knee injuries three times what it was in 1970 (Forbes, 14 Feb. 1994). Why? Especially because of ski boot improvement. Boots support the ankle better than ever, so injuries move up the leg. This results in more knee as well as arm andshoulder injuries. Why chance it when CADS can help cut the odds of injury?Now to the “nitty gritty.” What is the most exciting subject to talk about? NEW INFORMATION! WHAT? Powder skiing, fireworks, and sex are exciting. But discovering new information makes these subjects seem trivial by comparison. Examples are everywhere. TV, cars, lasers, phones, computers, space travel, and (you guessed it) the new super sidecut skis wouldn’t exist except for new information. The point is that without new information coming to us on a regular basis, life would be boring and an unbearable ordeal. There would be no scientists without it and no new products. Why then do we meet new information with negativity, hostility and many times with violent reactions?We insist on improvements, then persecute those who bring them to us. The reason new information is attacked, more often than not, is because it is different. It really boggles the mind that the group that would benefit the most from new and fresh information also fights the hardest against it. New information is routinely attacked, it seems, because it rarely originates from the group that is fighting it the most!I’ve been trying to help Walter and Jenny Dandy with CADS for over 15 years. I’m tired of the lack of support. CADS could be a huge part of getting skiing back and growing instead of staying flat. It could be huge for every bottom line in Eagle County and anywhere people ski!Do the math. If thousands of skiers keep skiing another 20 years, do you realize the amount of money that would be in your pockets? It’s huge. Don’t throw it away because you think you’d look funny. I challenge anyone to a day of skiing with me, and I’m 72. It’s what you can do with CADS that counts, not how you think you look. Contact CADS at: CADS.COM or 949-4533.Just thought I might have a little credibility if you knew some of my credentials. Former U.S. Nationals and World Pro Tour Competitor, Colorado Masters Champion (twice), winner of three Super 40 World Cup races. PSIA fully certified ski instructor, No. 301, since 1963. Of the 98 masters races entered, I won 62.Murray V. HemingerGay marriageA couple of weeks ago you had an article about the blue lights on the new bridge in Edwards. I thought if such a non-issue could make the front page of your paper, then I should add to the public discourse on a more personal and substantive issue – same-sex marriage.Last week you had two editorials that brought thoughtful, positive and funny commentary on the issue. Now I’d like the opportunity to put it into local perspective.Marriage has over 1,000 legal rights andprivileges, rights that heterosexual couples take for granted. Here’s just one example of how being denied those rights affects me personally. As an Eagle County employee, my partner has great medical benefits. These benefits are worth over $500 a month yet cost the spouse of a county employee about $25 a month. Because we are unable to get married and I am a self-employed person, we pay nearly $200 a month for me to have very basic health coverage. As a resident who pays county sales and property taxes, why shouldn’t I receive county spousal benefits?My partner and I have been together over nine years. We own a home, two cars and a houseful of possessions jointly. Anyone who knows us knows that we are “married.” Yet, as Richard Carnes commentary shows, few realize that in the eyes of the law we are but strangers. How does expanding the idea of civil marriage to include same-sex couples threaten the institution of marriage? Imagine a world where you were unable to marry the person you loved the most because the government deemed it immoral.Some would have you believe that this is about morality, and that’s fine for them and their churches. But this is about fairness and equal protection. Our country has a long and sordid past when it comes to legislating morality – anyone remember Prohibition? Besides, the tone of our Constitution is one of expanding inclusion. Never in our history has it been used to deny a certain class of citizen rights. I don’t expect the average straight person to take to the streets as gay rights activists, but please don’t let extremists like Marilyn Musgrave hijack our Constitution.I don’t believe that reasonable people are inherently opposed to same-sex marriage, but as Mr. Carnes has shown us, they just haven’t given it much thought.In closing I would like to quote the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”Amending the Constitution to deny me the right to marry hinders my pursuit of happiness and violates the very spirit of that document in many other ways as well.D. Troy AlexanderAvonSuch nonsenseI am a 30-year-old, full-time student at CMC, and consider myself to be very liberal. I felt compelled to shed some light on the controversy that seems to surround CMC teacher Dan Smith.I sit in his political science class every week, and in no way does he try to blanket the class with his own personal ideologies. The literature used and the lessons given in the class have a bias seldom seen, especially when it comes to politics.The argument that teachers should be more liberal holds little to no weight with me. In my college experiences, liberal teachers tend to have a flimsy class structure, which leads to distraction and disruption, which in turn leads to a waste of my time and money.Dan Smith has an interesting and eclectic style of teaching that holds the students’ attention – hard to do with a three-hour-long class.Any idea that conservatives should have no place in teaching should be thrown out the window, or at least taken with a liberal attitude.Jesse CourtemancheVailNot jealousyI would like to send a reality telegram and respond to Ms. Bonnie Schaw’s pathetically self-absorbed letter to the editor regarding an “unfortunate” incident with a female snowboarder and her precious fur coat. If you honestly believe that this incident was a result of a young person being “jealous” of your “work ethic,” you probably also mistakenly believe that wearing a fur makes you look “fashionable.”In your letter, you state “I worked hard, as many of us have, for my right to have pleasures.” How sad is it that wearing a dead animal around you for no other reason than to validate your exceptionally warped sense of self-worth brings you pleasure? It appears that the only thing rivaling your vanity is your sick sense of entitlement.Perhaps you could find a way to help your self-esteem that doesn’t make you look like a fool and doesn’t involve animal torture. Just look into the mirror and say unequivocally “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And doggone it, people like me.” Before too long someone will believe it.In your letter you also mention that young people should work hard for things and “Don’t expect it is owed to you, be it by your parents, grandparents, etc.”I’ll tell you something that is owed to young people by their elders: morals. I was fortunate enough to have grandparents that had them. Hopefully, your grandkids will someday, too.Finally, the next time you feel the urge to wear a fur in public, let me suggest a donkey costume instead. That way you can avoid being spit on and still look like an ass.Ryan MillbernVailToo hard to findI want to cast my vote for a sign on Meadow Drive for the excellent bookstore Verbatim.My husband and I spend the month of January in Vail and would not have discovered Verbatim’s new location but for a sign on the former shop.Vail has plenty of restaurants, clothing and jewelry shops. I feel sure people would be grateful to know where the bookstore is – to get some food for thought!Barbara Singer


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