Letters to the editor
Much is being publicized about the WMD, Iraq and our president, George Bush. Much is being currently written by the Democrat Party stating to the American public that this was never a threat. I beg to differ with the liberals’ new politically correct opinion. We did not choose involvement with Iraq, terrorists and WMD, it was chosen for us. The United States of America was forced into involvement on 9-11. Does anyone remember the events of 9-11? I do. I am also willing to bet Richard Carnes does. And now for a few famous (and verified) last words: “If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program.” – President Clinton, February 1998. “He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has 10 times since 1983.” – Sandy Berger, Clinton national security adviser, Feb. 18, 1998. “We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.” – Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., Sept. 27, 2002. “I will be voting to give the president of the United States the authority to use force – if necessary – to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.” – Sen. John F. Kerry, D-Mass., Oct. 9, 2002.”We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.” – Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002. And my personal favorite: “Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime. … He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. … And now he is miscalculating America’s response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction. … So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real ” – Sen. John F. Kerry, D-Mass., Jan. 23., 2003. Funny how liberals do an about face if they think an issue might not be popular with the “in crowd.” Time to eat your words, liberal wannabe leaders. And absolutely no sarcasm here. Marty Lich Gypsum Why Bair?I fear I may be representing the silent majority in my opposition to the purchase of Bair Ranch easement. However, it seems necessary to ask a few questions before this issue comes to a vote.Why would anyone be interested in supporting a commercial operation that isn’t even a working ranch by using taxpayers’ money? Since the Bairs already had a chance to sell the 512 acres of the river parcel to the Bureau of Land Management, why should the Eagle County taxpayer be footing this purchase? I am not opposed to preserving open space, but when public money is being used, the public should be able to use the open space. Wake up taxpayers, the land “being preserved” isn’t visible from any point easily accessible to the public. The likelihood of the river parcel ever being developed is marginal at best for two reasons: 1) a bridge would need to built to access the property, and 2) a working railroad runs through the parcel. Use the money to purchase open space everyone can access and enjoy.Barbara BunnerBad dealIn his column of May 21, “Bair Ranch: An Economic View,” Don Cohen must think that we all fell off the turnip truck yesterday. Insulting the reader’s intelligence is ridiculous. I am not against controlled growth, preservation or easements. I am just against this project because it is not a good deal.Mr. Cohen writes, “Because of its proximity to the freeway and the Union Pacific rail line, this land could be much more profitability developed as a distribution center.” How about a Ford assembly plant? What could be more absurd? You know as well as I do that any form of industrial development will never happen on this property, and commercial development in Eagle-Gypsum will not be affected. If you want people to get on the bandwagon and approve this, don’t insult them. This form of scare tactic won’t work. We are not getting the bang for our buck we should be getting. Just clean up this deal and it will be a win-win situation for everybody instead of a win for the Bairs and a loss for the people of Eagle County.Arthur KittayEagleNeed choicesAs an elected official one of my jobs is public due process. If there is a community issue on the table, we are suppose to have citizen input, public hearings (at least two) in order to give the community at large a chance to weigh in on important issues. I completely agree with this process.Eagle Valley Land Trust Executive Director Cohagen’s letter seems to suggest the Land Trust would prefer that public process not be followed. Why?To me, the part of the Bair debate that has not been discussed in your paper are the specific funding alternatives to Bair. Specifically, West Avon, the Edwards gravel pit and possibly even Heritage Park in Homestead. These are just a few of other potential open space projects that I am aware of. All of which I point out are completely in Eagle County and surrounded by taxpayers and registered voters. Bair, clearly, is not.
The open space committee chairman (Ron Wolfe, 376-6945) will tell you (he did me) that at the time his committee recommended Bair to the commissioners, only Bair was on the table. No alternatives had even been discussed.Why? Who is benefiting here? How is the Eagle County community at large served by this singular process?How does the taxpayer know he’s getting the best deal for open space funding if only one agenda item is being discussed?I see no taxpayer reason to move ahead on Bair, until the public process of debate and alternatives has happened. Bair may still be the best choice for the funding at the end of that process. But without that process, the public at large has little chance of getting the best deal for their tax money.Peter BuckleyAvon Just a land grabI had to chuckle at your recent editorial touting the benefits of the purchase of a conservation easement on the Bair Ranch. (I inferred) that one of the benefits would be that all the other ranchers in the county would now be coming to the county to sell their development rights. (I think that one editorial suggested that we might be jealous.) You are certainly not the first to think that this would be the case. As one of those ranchers and landowners, my question for you is: Just how stupid do you think we are? My wife describes a conservation easement as “selling the ranch and keeping the work.” Conservation easements are nothing more than a well disguised government land grab. The 9th Circuit Court of appeals recently ruled that the federal government has the right to implement any “conservation plan” that they choose – without the approval of the landowner – on land that the U.S. holds an easement on. Craig Bair may have some surprises down the road. Conservation easements have nothing to do with “saving ranches” but are yet another tool to take away private property rights, and to control the land. When I can no longer enjoy working the land that I own, It will be for sale to whomever has the most dollars to buy it. If this happens to be a developer, so be it. I will not encumber my family “in perpetuity” to do the work to keep this ranch running only to provide pretty views, wildlife habitat and a warm and fuzzy feeling for the do-gooders of the county. If Eagle County wants to keep it as a working ranch, then let them come with the dollars to buy it. Perhaps Commissioner Menconi and the Eagle Valley Land Trust and the open space committee could come up and do the irrigation to keep the meadows green and lush for all to enjoy.You can remove this argument from your list of reasons to purchase the conservation easement on the Bair Ranch. I am not interested in open space money, I am not interested in being partners with Eagle County, and I do not believe that my neighbors are, either. Vern AlbertsonBurnsLots of help for Xena Many people read and saw the pictures of Xena, a victim of animal cruelty here in Eagle County. Because of her substantial burns, she required intensive medical care. As the cost of her care began to rise, the Vail Daily wrote a lengthy article that stated the Humane Society needed financial help for Xena’s care. Immediately, people began making donations for Xena. We cannot thank these 41 people enough: Susan Narduzzi, Sherry Lewis, George and Jeanne Grubbs, Dianne Caillais, Jacqueline Schempf, John and Jennifer Boggs, Susan and Kevin Kanne, Ingrid Kurronen-Eckert, Nancy Maxon- Savold, Richard and Doris Beitling, Gail day Holland, Lauren Goyen, Deborah Comerford, Charles Lorch, Briged O’neill, Donna and Jason Manto, Heather Price, Rachel Gautreau, Sean Delancy, Robert and Barbara Bean, Anton and Bonnie Piringer, Betsy and George Wiegers, Terri Rider, Lytton Hull, Tanya Donnelly, Herb and Nancy Baumer, Rosalin Rogers, Roberta Hatfield, Bethany Boston Johnston, Maryan Hurtt, Deborah Vincent, Susan and Jerome Weiss, Kelly Newberry, James and Cynthia Deyo, Joan and George Saylor, Tom Ruble, American Humane Association, Suzie Robinson, Lisa and Glenn Griggs, Gypsum Liquors, Bridget and Farrow Hitt, and Lynn Emmert.A very special thanks to Castle Peak Vet Clinic for donating so much towards Xena’s care! The American Humane’s Second Chance Fund for animal cruelty cases also gave $900 for Xena. They help out so many animals nationwide with this fund. Xena is now adopted to a loving family. She looks wonderful and is very happy! Many thanks to our Eagle Valley community for caring so much about animals!Bill Loper, president Char Quinn, executive directorEagle County Humane SocietyProtect BairWe support the Bair Ranch Project, which will permanently protect 4,800 acres as open space forever. This is such an important decision for future generations and visitors to Colorado. I know the property and it would be a crime to see it developed into yet another ugly condo development. We have enough housing around. Leave some of the last open space unadulterated for our kids’ kids.Dr. and Mrs. John B. Woodland