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Letters to the editor

Farrow Hitt

This letter is directed to all the landlords in the Geneva Drive, Matterhorn Circle, Alpine Drive, Gore Creek Drive, Alta and Shasta Place who apparently have forgotten the purpose of a garbage can and a lawn mower. You know who you are. PLEASE, clean up your trash and mow your yards. Just because your renters have moved out does not mean your grass (weeds are more like it) should go unattended. If your renters are still there, it remains your responsibility to see that it gets taken care of. Take some pride in ownership and either clean up or hire someone to clean it up for you. Slum lording is going to become a thing of the past in our neighborhoods. It would be nice if you took it upon yourselves to clean up left-over trash, mow your yard, paint and all the other mundane chores that go along with home ownership. Lord knows you collect enough money on rent to upkeep your property in a way that is more in line with the area we live in. Help put a stop to continued neglect that affects all of our homes and properties. Do the right thing.Be on the lookout for additional steps taken that will enhance our neighborhoods. They are on the way.Farrow Hitt Geneva Drive, VailHave to get it rightThe Town of Vail Convention and Conference Center is the largest, most important, and expensive publicly financed project proposed to be built in the history of Vail. A committee of businessmen, appointed by the Town Council, after months of study has mapped a financial path through uncharted territory that marks the risks and unknowns that lie ahead. Like it or not, the voters set the community on this journey, not as a suicide mission, take the hill or else, but as an exploration to see if a new market (large conventions and conferences) is worth risking the public’s investment. The potential for the center to be a success in this new market remains inconclusive, even as the risks become known. The Town Council appears to have embarked on the path taking a step at a time, seeking to reduce the margin of error by making sure that each step fills in the missing information and builds public confidence. They cannot afford a financial misstep without rankling the disposition of their constituents. The Town of Vail comes late to an already crowded marketplace, even locally. If anything is built, it has to be architecturally compelling enough to stimulate a “go there” buzz that firmly establishes the center’s niche market image. Then there are the complications and extras, like how and from which bus stop do you move 2,500 to 5,000 conventioneers within 30 minutes. How many additional parking spaces are needed and where? How do you move traffic to, from, through, and around it without creating a sea of asphalt? What is the price tag for the streetscape on the connecting roadways and pedestrian routes? What about Eagle County improvements in air service to avoid the traffic bottlenecks on I-70?How are these extras paid for and how much will they cost? When will the money be available? The bond issue does not cover the potential for $15 million-$20 million in add-ons for the center. Remember, it took nearly $8 million in site preparation costs to build the $3 million Donovan Park Pavilion and its accessories. There are many complicated questions waiting to be answered. By whom? We need the best and the brightest for this conundrum. The best architects, engineers, urban designers and contractors – there is just too much at risk. The good ones are booked well in advance, yet project coordinators want to snap their fingers and have the architect selected, the building designed, approved, and under construction within the next nine months. We have been down that road before. It does not work. We spend twice as much to get the same or less. What does work is taking the time to hire the right professionals, give them a “reasonable deadline,” say beginning construction by the spring of 2006 instead of 2005. Let them set the pace, so they can produce an inspired product, giving the community and the Council plenty of time to think through all the critical decisions that need to be made. The smart developers, like Vail Resorts, take their time and do it right. We are going to be spending many more millions to underpin the $42 million approved by the voters, so we had better get it right the first time. There are no second chances. Jim Lamont Executive DirectorVail Village Homeowners AssociationAin’t buying itI read with interest the commentary of Mr. Jordan and Mr. Powell (last week), “After the oil runs out.” It made me want to run out and sell my SUV to purchase one of those new electric hybrid cars powered by 9 volt batteries and a Weed-Eater motor. According to the authors, this would save the environment, and by not depleting natural resources could save millions in colder regions from freezing.Then I remembered – I remembered that I’ve been hearing this same line from the left-wing environmental types for decades now. There are plenty of experts out there. You could probably find a couple of scientists who’ll swear if you wear yellow socks and ride a uni-cycle to work everyday, you’ll doing something admirable.Some experts promote light rail, maglev transportation and the such. Outside of Disneyworld, you see how popular and cost effective those systems are. When does construction on the light rail system from Denver to the mountains get under way?The column states, “Unfortunately, politicians and policymakers have ignored Hubert’s Peak and have no plans to deal with it.” The column fails to state that many policymakers and scientists think M. King Hubert was a quack. No disrespect intended.We’ll never know what domestic resources are out there until we start drilling. If a few thousand elk migratory habitat is displaced due to our drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, so be it. They’ll figure out a way to get to where they need to go. Have you ever been out to the Gulf of Mexico and seen all the rigs out there? The fish swim around them just fine.Last year Americans purchased more SUVs, trucks, luxury vehicles and sports cars than ever before. What do these vehicles have in common? Bigger engines producing more horsepower. I suspect there are several reasons you don’t see more electric hybrid cars on American highways. Paying $50,000 for a car that tops out at 55 mph and is as safe as a motorcycle may be some of them. Not believing the hype that we’re going to run out of fuel and die might be another. Most of us prefer bigger, faster, safer modes of transportation. I don’t mean to exclude our import friends either. Manufacturers that 10 years ago were selling lawnmowers disguised as automobiles are getting into the act, also. Have you seen the marketing campaigns for Nissan and Toyota? Its all about muscle, power and size.The point I’m trying to make is I don’t appreciate the scare tactics of these environmental kooks. If you want to do your part by riding a unicycle to work everyday and hauling your family around in a Red Rider wagon, go for it. More power to you. But don’t harass the rest of us about what we drive. Will we run out of fuel in 20 years or 2,000 years? What is the statistical significance of alternative modes of transportation on the world’s natural resources? I’ll let the so-called experts debate that point; I have fuel to burn and roads to drive.Steve HendersonEagle


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