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Letters to the editor

Barbara G. Duncan

Community Concepts, represented by George Sanders and Rick Hermes, has responded to the call for open space and the challenge set forth by the Vail Valley Foundation to raise an unprecedented $12 million in open space funds. The two Edwards developers have proposed a combined effort with an open space plan that includes land and funding in order to achieve the goals set forth by the foundation initiative. In parallel, Community Concepts seeks to maximize the total acreage of open space while lessening the taxpayer acquisition burden. By contributing $6 million to the Vail Valley Foundation initiative, this vision increases the proposed open space by fifty percent while eliminating half of the foundation’s financial requirements.Community Concepts currently holds a contract on the adjoining parcel located west of the Eaton Ranch. By adding the Community Concepts parcel to the mix, the total amount of open space can be expanded from 70 acres, as proposed by the Vail Valley Foundation, to 110 acres. More importantly, this new corridor establishes nearly a mile of Eagle River frontage and public access by increasing river frontage as presented in the Vail Valley Foundation plan by approximately 60 percent.”We have developed a plan that expands the proposed open space acreage while also increasing the quality of open space and Eagle River access. It takes a great plan and makes it even better. It’s not only about preservation of our land, it’s about the quality and the quantity of the open space,” explained Rick Hermes. “Our hope is to create an open space plan that reaches, promotes and includes all sectors of our community.Hermes and Sanders, both fervent supporters of charitable organizations, look forward to working with environmental, educational, and community organizations to develop a plan that gives back to the citizens of Eagle County and are eager to work through this process with the Eagle County commissioners.Residential and commercial development of the parcels will be limited to the portions of land least valuable for open space uses. An advocate of controlled growth, Hermes proposes density as defined and recommended by the Edwards Area Community Plan adopted in January 2003. The Community Concepts proposal establishes a neighborhood that is convenient for local residents while significantly reducing the growing negative impacts of traffic congestion and ever-growing infrastructure concerns.”The residential development will be the most inclusive community within the Vail Valley to date. Designed with the local market in mind, Edwards residents can finally live, work and play all within walking distance of the Eagle River corridor.” Hermes added, “The Community Concepts proposal will be one of inclusion instead of exclusion. How better to complement our vision for Edwards than by creating an open space and development plan that gives access to all Eagle County residents while preserving our greatest resource? Mr. Frampton and the entire board of directors of the Vail Valley Foundation should be commended for opening the door to a tremendous opportunity for the residents of our county.”Highlights of the expanded open space proposal:– Reduces open space funding by $6 million.– Increases and Improves open space area from 70 acres to 110 acres.– Increases Eagle River access from half a mile to one mile, adding a half-mile of access on both sides of the river.– Invites participation from Vail Valley environmental, educational and community service organizations.– Vail Valley Foundation gains 40 acres of open space, exceeding original goal.– Community Concepts provides limited residential and commercial development as recommended by the Edwards Area Community Plan adopted January 2003.Barbara G. DuncanJust not rightToday I witnessed an innocent female bear being dragged out of a baited bear trap, in the driveway of a Bachelor Gulch homeowner. This female bear had a cub, who earlier had been sitting beside the trap, crying and keening for her mother. The mother was calling to her cub. It was pitiful. When the DOW agents arrived, the cub had moved uphill. Thankfully, that little cub won’t be “tagged.” The young mother bear wasn’t so lucky. She was tranquilized and tagged, simply for doing what a bear does, following the scent of food and trying to eat. It is the time of year when they pack on the pounds for hibernation. Baiting a trap, and then tagging the bear who gets trapped in it, seems a bit unfair, don’t you think? The drugged bear was dragged behind the house where the trap was, to recover from the tranquilizer. We can only hope her cub found her. Now what do you think will happen when the DOW baits the same trap again, just yards from where the drugged bear is awakening? Do you think the bear will go for the food again? And if she does, will she be executed? Yes, the answer is yes to both questions. The DOW agent said that 80 percent of the time, a tagged bear will again go into the trap for food. They are hungry. They have young to feed. Unfortunately, they will be killed the second time they get in trouble. And whose fault is this? I live in Bachelor Gulch. I’ve enjoyed seeing the deer, elk, raccoons, marmots, foxes, porcupines, and yes, the bears. I’ve walked out on my front porch to find a bear, but I shooed him away with loud words and gestures. I shooed him away because I didn’t want him to get into trouble. We don’t leave anything outside that would attract a bear. We put leftover food into the freezer, until the morning of trash pickup. We don’t do anything that would make a bear try to get inside our home. It is our responsibility as humans to co-exist in the bear’s backyard. It’s not the other way around. They were here first. I am sickened and disappointed about the recent bear shooting in Bachelor Gulch. I, personally, don’t believe for one minute that there was a threat to this man or his family by this bear. This man was seen days earlier wearing a 9 mm Baretta on his hip. Anyone who hunts knows a gun of that caliber wouldn’t stop a bear. So what was the intent? To shoot a bear and not kill him is more inhumane than killing him. He may have died a slow and painful death, or he may still be out there. Perhaps that is why the homeowner requested the bear trap, to catch the injured bear. Except that’s not what is happening. Innocent, healthy bears are being drawn into this baited trap, and then they are being tagged. That means they do not have one more chance. The next time they are caught, they will be killed. It’s not fair, and it’s not right. In my opinion, someone else should be trapped and tagged.Jamie D. HindsBachelor Gulch How about society?Dear Mr. Rogers: I agree with your comments about the DA whining about what a great case they had that they chose not to try.I have a slightly different spin on it, though. If the case was so strong, there was no reason not to subpoena the “victim” to testify. Of course, she was “traumatized,” they claim, but think of the other potential victims who are now exposed to a “violent sex offender.” That is what Ms. Easter and others claim now – the evidence overwhelmingly supported their contention that Kobe Bryant is a “violent sex offender.” Don’t these prosecutors owe the community at large more than they owed the “victim”? Isn’t that their ethical and professional obligation to protect the community at large? They claim the “victim” will never get the chance to tell her story, but sure she will, if she has enough guts to go to trial for money in the civil case. I imagine that if she can’t get a settlement from Bryant, she’ll have no trouble testifying then. How long before she’s a Playboy centerfold, or whining to Oprah?I’m sorry to sound so cynical, but I’m an attorney. We’re supposed to be ethical and professional. Prosecutors who can’t figure out those duties should resign and find something else to do. Perhaps Dana Easter needs a break from her 15-plus years of prosecuting sex offenders; she seems to have lost all sense of skepticism and perspective, mandatory qualities for people who deal with “he said, she said” situations on a daily basis. The mistakes and intentional conduct against Mr. Bryant in this case – from the Mayberry like staging of a “SWAT” team in the Cordillera parking lot in case Kobe Bryant on crutches and his posse came out shooting, to the T-shirts, to Sheriff Hoy claiming he didn’t even know who Kobe Bryant was, to DA Hurlbert and DA Easter’s protestations that they had a great case if only they could go to trial – are just disgusting to this outsider. I sure hope you folks do better in your DA election. I know that getting rid of Gil Garcetti and his O.J. case losers has been of great benefit here in LA.Becky Mocciaro Los AngelesBeetle educationThe reason for my contact is a misleading statement in one of Scott Miller’s resent articles which was brought to my attention by one of my clients. As a private consulting arborist, I provide landscape and forest tree evaluations for hundreds of private homeowners throughout the Aspen and Vail valleys. His article in the Sept. 7 Vail Daily was both interesting and informative to the general public. However, the third paragraph states, “The outbreak has already turned stands of trees brown on mountainsides just west of Vail.” This implies that the brown trees above Intermountain are spruce. This in fact is false. The masses of bark beetle-killed trees above West Vail are lodgepole pine. The primary bark beetle that has infested these pine is Mountain pine beetle (MPB, Dendroctonus ponderosae). There are significant differences between MPB and spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis). Differences include different host tree species, different flight periods, different life cycle periods, different control treatment deadlines, etc. You may be saying “What does it matter?” In fact, the management and treatment of these two bark beetles can vary significantly. For example: If a private woodlot owner only has spruce trees, but the local epidemic is only MPB, preventive treatments may not be justified. In conclusion, if you wish not to delve into this level of detail in such an article, perhaps it might be more appropriate to simply use the generic term “bark beetle” so as not to confuse concerned tree owners who live near these national forest beetle outbreaks. Oddly enough, the day your article was published in the Vail Daily, I was conducting a spruce beetle inspection on a large private spruce/fir forest in the Snowmass area. Yes, there were spruce beetle-infected trees and yes they have now instituted a spruce management program that I am now monitoring. Incidentally, their management program does not include Douglas fir, since this particular conifer is not at risk of spruce beetle attack. … Mark StelleVailShould be punishedWe are profoundly saddened and outraged by Jon Tietbohl’s actions. Jon Tietbohl shot a bear in the back, which is a significant crime against nature. Jon Tietbohl carried and discharged a firearm within Bachelor Gulch which is a significant violation of the law, rules and regulations of Bachelor Gulch. Because of Jon Tietbohl’s reckless actions, our citizens and wildlife are in danger. There is now an injured bear who needs medical attention and is hurting and angry. And there is the gun-toting Jon Tietbohl, who next time may mistake a hiker for a bear and shoot a person instead. Bachelor Gulch is the home first of the bears and the other abundant wildlife. It is a privilege for its citizens to live within its beauty. The animals must be protected. The law, rules and regulations must be enforced. We ask Bachelor Gulch, the Colorado Division of Wildlife, and the Eagle County sheriff and officials to deal firmly with Jon Tietbohl and this incident, to stop the injuring of wildlife, to stop the carrying and discharging of firearms.Larry and Betsy HendricksonBachelor Gulch Vail, Colorado


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