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Letters to the editor

Liz Mac Dougald

Thank you, D.R. I wholeheartedly agree that our school district is actually better than one might think. … I am the parent of two school-age children. I could send them to any one of the schools this fair valley has to offer, but I choose instead to keep them in the public school system at Avon Elementary. Shocking, I know. Nevertheless, a decision I don’t regret. Still, so many parents from some of the other schools look upon me with such pity, and yes, even some disdain, invariably followed by the question: “Well are you on the list for other schools?”I love our school. Sure, at AES we have our challenges, but what would a proper education be without challenges? Probably nothing more than an expensive holding pen with abundant school supplies. I write this because I have noticed a disturbing trend of the over isolated, homogenized, herd mentality in this valley. It is so prevalent here that it actually makes me cringe. I am constantly astounded by the uninformed arrogance regarding the public schools here. I have heard so many rotten comments and ignorant statements made about Avon Elementary and the other public schools. But every time I hear one of these untruths, it totally reinforces my choice to stay at AES. My children do not need to be exposed to that kind of bourgeois thinking.AES is a wonderful school with a topnotch faculty. My daughters are getting an excellent education and I couldn’t be more impressed. Every one of their teachers has been a joy. The principal is always optimistic and enthusiastic. The facility itself is modern, safe and clean. I have my concerns. I’m not mad about the ratio of Hispanics to non-Hispanics, but that’s our world, people. Wake up and smell the ever-changing demographics. On the other hand, I volunteer a lot at AES and I must say the Hispanic children are a delight to work with. I couldn’t ask for more friendly, eager and kind schoolmates for my children.I am confident that all of the students at our public schools are receiving a first-class education. I have no doubt that if a student wishes to succeed in this rapidly changing world, he or she will have the tools to do so. In fact I feel they have a leg up by being exposed to such a diverse and extraordinary community within their school. Furthermore, studies repeatedly show that school is only part of the equation for a successful citizen. Family, a nurturing environment and a healthy lifestyle all contribute to the eventual growth and success of a child.Yes, our public school students can go on to do great things. Kudos and thank you to our excellent school district and all that made it happen. It’s a big job, but the CSAP scores prove it is a worthy effort.Liz Mac DougaldAvonLight pollutionThe primary problem, in my opinion, with Magnus Lindholm’s new vision on the north side of the highway at Post Boulevard exit is not the side of the highway but the elevation at which the hotel and gas station would be placed. There is an increasing problem with light pollution in many parts of Eagle County and the placement of a hotel and gas station on a hillside above Avon has many negative impacts on the current residents and taxpayers, with little economic gain. I appreciated and celebrated the opening of Home Depot, as it has allowed my household to purchase goods locally that I had previously schlepped from Home Depot in Denver. I would love to purchase gas at a price lower than I currently pay. However the thought of two major 24-hour businesses, with their “appropriate” lighting, as listed in the currently pending Avon lighting ordinance, lording over the valley is not worth the savings of about $100 per year, per car. The secondary problem with this plan is that the addition of a hotel at that intersection adds to the existing problems with skier parking in both Vail and Beaver Creek. Additionally it is concerning that the creation of an apparent additional bed base node will pull a portion of the existing hotel tax revenue out of Avon. This will not add any additional diners or shoppers for the current Avon shops and restaurants, many of which are within walking distance of the Village at Avon sections that are already zoned for hotel beds. I applaud Traer Creek’s effort to sell the gas station to the residents before reapplying to the town of Avon for a change in zoning. I further congratulate them on omitting information about the portion of the plans that would add a hotel to that intersection, as well. If their true motivation is to allow us locals to purchase gas at a reduced rate, the gas station could be placed on the valley floor near the existing Home Depot and Wal-Mart. I do not believe that this would require rezoning. This would actually be more accessible for many of us residents of Eagle County. What they really want is to create an intersection and a 24-hour truck stop with an economy hotel that will be lit 24 hours a day at an unacceptable elevation that will provide little economic benefit to the residents and taxpayers of Eagle County.Lastly, the school site was originally slated to be south of I-70 in a mixed residential area between the existing town of Avon and Wal-Mart. This plan had a pedestrian overpass from the new Buffalo Ridge complex. This location was moved through a series of administrative changes. I believe that the Eagle County School District, and its overseeing administrators, needs to review those changes and revisit the current plans to ensure that the school district interests are protected.Amy C. PhillipsAvonSmooth goingThis letter is to all of the people responsible for the planning, construction and interaction with the business community during the spring 2004 infrastructure and streetscape of downtown Vail. My compliments for a great job go to all involved. The value of the Thursday 9 a.m. meeting was immeasurable. For example, my building had no water at 8:45 one Thursday morning. I went to the Thursday 9 a.m. meeting, saw Martin from Western Slope Utilities, and told him of the problem and he solved the problem immediately. The ability to communicate with each person in charge of their crew was fabulous, as well as their ability to communicate to their crew and also to all the other construction crews. I thought the two-month construction time period went extremely smooth. My suggestion to all business people and building supervisors is to go to the Thursday meetings and meet the men in charge. They are terrific and extremely helpful. My hat is off to: Jim, Eagle River Water; Martin, Western Slope Utilities; Bob Matarese, B&B; Steve Weber, B&B; Rob, R&H Mechanical; and Greg Hall, TOV. A special tip of the hat to Scott Bluhm, TOV on-site liaison. In my opinion, Scott, you engineered and coordinated everything superbly. I am sure the next phases will progress as smoothly as the first one. Thank you. Michael Staughton Russell’s


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