Letters to the editor | VailDaily.com

Letters to the editor

Art Abplanalp

There seems to be an inability on the part of some to distinguish between concern arising from the erection of a 150-foot pole at Traer Creek and concern regarding the use of that pole to display an American flag for advertising purpose. The pole is an intrusion into the community, if not a finger of defiance. Perhaps the intrusion is not evident from I-70, but the impact on the surrounding neighborhood is certain. It’s difficult to argue with the position taken by many that this valley is no longer the pristine environment that it once was. The question is whether boundaries on development should be eliminated entirely, as occurred when the town of Avon abdicated its authority over Traer Creek. This pole is only an example of what can occur when a government which has the duty of protecting its constituents gives up the authority to do so.An analogy may be helpful. If an individual discards a significant object in a parking lot, that can result in a number of reactions on the part of an observer. Most would simply walk on, some not caring, some with dismay regarding the lack of consideration of mankind for one another. Others would pick up the object and deposit it in a nearby trash receptacle. Then, of course, there are those of us who, if particularly offended by the size or nature of the object, would pick up the object, return it to the individual, and point out the nearest trash receptacle. A 150-foot pole is a particularly large and offensive object. As to the flag, it should be clear to all that everyone loves the American flag as an object representing this county, although the reasons vary. There are at least two manifestations of that emotion. Some have unbridled enthusiasm. Those people would support any display of flag in any circumstances. Others have the same enthusiasm, tempered by respect. For those of us in the latter group, the use of the American flag as an advertising device exhibits disrespect for and is a desecration of the symbol of all those ideals which have been referred to by everyone – freedom, a representation of those who have died and are dying for this country, and every American right and principle which has been cited in letters and Tipsline by both objectors and supporters of this advertising use of the flag. The former group need not worry that there are unpatriotic Americans in your midst. There are those of us who, while equally enthusiastic about the American flag as a symbol, believe that it deserves respect consistent with its importance to all of us. That former group might give some thought to the level at which even they would agree that treatment of the American flag becomes disrespectful. They might then try to understand that the emotion which they feel at that thought is the same emotion which those of us with a lower threshold of pain sense at seeing out national symbol used as an advertising device to bring in business to Wal-Mart and Home Depot. This debate should be kept within the context of the conviction that most of us are Americans, and we share both an enthusiasm and respect for our flag. Our differences involve the question of the point at which the use and abuse of the flag becomes disrespect and/or desecration, not whether we share a common enthusiasm. In any event, at this point, the pole is obviously in use. The answer to the question of whether the use of the flag as an advertising device constitutes either disrespect or desecration is, like beauty, in the eyes of the beholder. The town of Avon is powerless, even if its representatives wished to take some action, which is not the case. For those of us who remain concerned with the situation, the only available option is to continue the only strategy likely to achieve any result, which is (a) to take your business elsewhere, and (b) to communicate to Wal-Mart and Home Depot management your objections and your decision to deny them access to your wallet. Again, the addresses to which such communications should be sent are as follows: For Wal-Mart, Mr. H. Lee Scott, president, and Mr. S. Robert Walton, both at Wal-Mart Inc., Post Office Box 116, Bentonville, AR 71716; For Home Depot, Mr. Robert L. Nardelli, president, Home Depot Inc., 2455 Paces Ferry Road NW, Atlanta GA 30339-4024. More than a dozen possible forms for letters are available by making a request to bringdownthepurplepole@yahoo.com. Art AbplanalpAppreciates effortOn behalf of the many current and former teachers of the Eagle County School District, I would like to publicly thank Karen Strakbein (assistant district superintendent) and Trisha Theelke (human resources). They, along with others, have worked above and beyond to make right a long and difficult journey through the past 27 months. Most voters don’t know, but the monthly, retroactive cost-of-living allowance, which was held up in Mike Cacioppo’s lawsuit, has been paid to teachers currently employed by the District. Payments were made in lump sum payments in their June paychecks. Additionally, the district is in the process of making retroactive payments to any teachers who have since resigned-retired from the district but were employed during any of that 27-month time period. It was the voters who approved the cost-of-living increase. The district administration and office staff stayed the course and honored the voters’ wishes. Following the final decision in the lawsuit, teachers were paid in a timely and respectful manner. Your prompt payment and determined efforts sent a message to teachers, adding even greater value to those bank deposits! Thank you!Jean CorcoranPocketbook voteAttention Wal-Mart shoppers! Remember, every time you buy an item at Wal-Mart, you are voting with your pocketbook. But what are you voting for? You are voting to support a business that pays its female employees less than its male employees. You are voting to support a company that insures less than 38 percent of its employees. You are voting for a company that is responsible for the exodus of U.S. manufacturing jobs overseas. You are voting for a 14-story flagpole sitting in the middle of the Vail Valley. You have got to love Mr. Rollback! I know he has our best interests at heart. Tom Bassett

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