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Letters to the editor

Joe Staufer

Dear Mr. Mayor and Town Council of Vail: Because of persistent rumors I talked to you about at the citizens participation (recently), I thought it might be helpful to again acquaint you with the history of the Vail parking structure.Shortly after the town was incorporated, it was felt that one of the most important issues to address was the parking problem.Vail Associates donated the land and the town proceeded to move ahead with plans to build structured parking. The proposal was for a four-story downtown type parking structure at the cost of approximately $4,000,000.Contrary to what the council felt, the people thought that the proposed garage would destroy the village feeling of Vail forever. The new design called for a buried structure at a cost of $5,000,000. Although the new design cost $1 million more, the people overwhelmingly were willing to spend the extra money to preserve the village feeling. When the bond election was held, the vote was about 100 to 1 in favor of doing it right.This mandate should be respected and to remove the berm for development would be an insult to all the citizens who worked so hard in the early days to make Vail a special place.We must not give up every inch of grass to people who move here with only dollar signs in their eyes.After more than 30 years maybe it’s time to go ahead with the original landscaping plan, which was never completed. I’m sure the Alpine Garden people could give us a lot of pointers.Joe StauferVailThank youTo all of the friends of Marion Baker who showed so much love and concern, Pastor Bruce Foster, the memorial service and reception at the First Baptist Church of Gypsum, the Gypsum and Eagle fire department ceremony at church and cemetery, Eagle Valley Medical Center doctors and staff, Valley View doctors and staff, Glen Valley Care Center nurses and staff, Farnum Holt Mortuary and staff.A special thank you to the Gypsum and Eagle fire departments for the courtesy shown to Gussie and her family at Marion’s memorial service. Bagpipes, going to cemetery with Marion on Gypsum’s LaTrance fire truck, members and friends marching, the beautiful flag ceremony singing and prayer at the cemetery.Also, thanks to Eagle and Gypsum fire departments for inviting me to your training sessions.Jon, your station is so very nice. The tour was very special and the chance to go up on your ladder truck 100 feet in the air was exciting. Sam Yantzer went with me, the view is great. Jon and firemen are very proud of their station.Went to Gypsum. Dave and firemen are proud of their station, and I am too because Marion and I and Art and Helen Davenport were volunteers for 36 years.Had cake and coffee. Kathy had made five cheesecakes and a large cake for the men.Jon, am I the oldest person (91-years-old) to go up on the ladder truck? Also, Dave, has anyone served as a volunteer for 36 years?Your courtesy is appreciated.Gussie BakerGypsumThe undecidedsBecause our nation is so politically polarized, a very small percentage of eligible voters will basically elect the next president and members of Congress. For starters, only 50 percent of eligible voters even show up at the polls. Then 40 percent of those who do will automatically vote Republican and 40 percent more will automatically vote Democrat. That is a fact, no matter who has been chosen to represent each of the parties. And so, each of the parties then tries to attract the remaining 20 percent who are considered to be undecided. And that 20 percent (who are really only 10 percent of the eligible voters ) then decide who will be elected to the various offices.But why are 80 percent of all voters so polarized? First of all, I blame both political parties who totally alienate members of the opposing party while they try to attract the undecideds. They sling mud, employ meaningless terms like “flaming liberal” and “neo-conservative” and generally vilify the opposing candidates. While they may attract a few naive undecideds, they most certainly polarize a great many more of us. But the tenet of their very existence seems to be “win at any cost.” Secondly, I blame the media moguls who for ideological or monetary reasons permit various commentators (Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter) to spout half-truths and outright lies without penalty. Those people have no interest in presenting valid information – only in promoting their own biases. While doing so, their outrageous statements also contribute to our polarization. And finally, I must criticize so many of us, the electorate, who find it easiest to mindlessly vote for the candidates of our party. And we do that without making much of an effort towards understanding the various issues or getting to know either of the candidates.So yes, I do think that our democracy is in trouble when 10 percent of the eligible voters cast the decisive ballots while 50 percent of us remain totally disinterested and 40 percent more are mindlessly prejudiced. David Le VineDon’t forget usDear potential Eagle County commissioners: During the primary you got a break. I am one of 26 people that voted in Red Cliff in the primary – not a lot of interest! However, we voted for or against you without ever having seen you in Red Cliff. So in order to get some attention we need to resort to standard marketing terms. That means each of us 26 can influence the decision of 12 or more people (312 voters). That could be enough to swing an election one way or another. We want to see you in Red Cliff, and we want our concerns addressed by the county in which we live! In all of our recent issues regarding water and waste water, the county government is the only one that has not stepped forward to offer anything of substance (advice, assistance, finances – nothing). We have had conversations with representatives from the state and federal governments. Why not the county?I welcome you to come to Red Cliff, and address your citizens.Ramon MontoyaRed Cliff mayor


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