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Letters to the Editor

Daily Staff Writer

Are Democrats the Oldsmobile of politics? Allow me to paraphrase the defunct automaker’s slogan: These aren’t your father’s Democrats. Today’s Democrats are elitist. Today’s Democrats delight in divisive Third World political tactics. Today’s Democrats will join Oldsmobile as a national relic. In 1992, Democrats had a 256-seat majority in the House, a 56-seat majority in the Senate and they controlled 35 state legislatures and 28 governorships. Today, those numbers have nearly reversed. Democrats have lost control of the House, Senate and many state legislatures, and Republican governors now preside in about 30 states. Today’s Democrats often place themselves above the common people and common decency. The party’s hand-picked media elite live in opulent Manhattan towers that loom above the city’s masses, while the party’s Hollywood elite live in luxury on hillsides far removed from the teeming confines of Los Angeles. In keeping with such elitism and exclusivity, local Democrats held this year’s precinct caucuses at Cordillera Valley Club. Caucuses are intended to provide the average person with ready access to the political process, which is why Republicans caucuses were held throughout the county in neighborhood halls, schools and homes. When I first heard where Democrats held their caucuses, I thought it was a joke: Here were the self-anointed heroes-of-the-working-class meeting at an upscale golf course that stands in stark contrast to nearby working-class trailer parks. How utterly Orwellian. Left-wing elitism this election has also wrought attacks on several GOP headquarters nationally and, locally, the theft and burning of campaign signs. (Note to Eagle County Democrats: A few missing Democratic signs neither equal nor justify the widespread and pervasive loss of GOP signs.) These acts reveal a deeper decay among the self-proclaimed party of tolerance and enlightenment and recall the indoctrination of young students by National Socialists in Nazi Germany called Sturmabteilung, or Brown Shirts. This resulted in similar intensity and intolerance that can only be described as a mindless, inculcated hate of those who dare to disagree with leftist views and agendas. But let’s not forget that Democrats have a very suspect history and a longstanding animosity toward Republicans. Democrats formed the Confederacy and fought a terrible war to keep slavery legal. Republicans under President Abraham Lincoln defeated them. In the 100 years that followed, Democrats led in the continued censor of the African American voice and people. To this day, only Democrats see fit to retain a former Ku Klux Klan member in Congress (Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia). The current trend away from the Democratic Party is unfolding because, as Lincoln once said, “You can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.” Indeed, Democrats are fooling fewer people each election cycle. Mike Spaniola Minturn Be sure to voteIt seems to me that it’s time to stop cluttering up this election with garbage. I really think that who did what some 30 years ago is relatively unimportant. What is important is the agenda that each candidate will pursue during the next four years, and that’s what we should be examining. To begin with, the first item on the agenda of both candidates for president will be to fight the war against terror with all possible vigor. There can be no other choice, and we can be certain that both Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry know that. Whoever is elected to the office of president will have homeland security as his number one priority – we citizens have demanded that. What then about the the rest of the agendas? During his first term, Mr. Bush reduced taxes for a number of people – certainly including the very wealthy – and there’s every reason to believe that tax reduction will continue to be one of his priorities. Also during his first term, Mr. Bush led us into a war in Iraq and he has clearly stated that we will remain there – no matter the deaths and destruction. He has (perhaps reluctantly) weakened our environmental safeguards because he felt that the needs of our energy industries and our economy required those actions. He will continue to follow that line of thinking. What of Mr. Kerry? His campaign has attempted to stress his concerns regarding unemployment, poverty, health care and education. To pay for improving social conditions, he would certainly strive to roll back the tax reductions that were granted to the wealthiest among us. He would search long and hard for an honorable way to exit the war in Iraq. While that will be a difficult goal to achieve, he will definitely try. It is a sure thing that he will review Mr. Bush’s environmental “compromises.”Unfortunately, you can be certain that neither of them will balance the budget and neither of them will realistically attack the long-term future of Medicare, Social Security or our energy policies. The bitterness of this election and the divisiveness of our political parties have made compromise and therefore progress on these issues impossible.So, be realistic about what the candidates intend to do, and then VOTE! David Le VineNo to RV parkHere are a few reasons I feel Minturn should vote no on the RV development. 2B is bad business. The town will rent 34 acres for $25,000 per year. Over 50 years, that is only $1.25 million. For 75 acres of the Eaton Ranch, they will raise $12 million. The town will get an additional 1 percent of the RV park NET profit. That is not guaranteed money. If the RV park doesn’t make money then 1 percent of $0 = $0 for the town. Borrowing a slogan from a recent Vail Daily column, 2B is an example of our environment under siege. At a time when open space is disappearing and millions of dollars are being spent to preserve open space, the town of Minturn wants Vail Resorts to lift a deed restriction on deed restricted open space property. Shame on us. 2B is a vote against the elk population. The property might not be an elk calving grounds, but it certainly is a place where elk roam. Support the elk, vote no. There will be 760 daily trips and 46 trips per peak morning hour. Did you know that Class A RVs are over 11 feet tall, 101 to 103 inches wide, and have 350 to 550 horsepower diesel engine? The average length is 40 to 45 feet, and then add a towed car and the length is near 60 feet. With 46 RVs per hour in the morning, that would be an additional 2,760 feet of traffic per hour (not accounting for space between vehicles). That’s over a half a mile of traffic per hour that we will have to wait for to get on Main Street to go to work every day.Do we really believe that the RVers will spend $3,000 per day in Minturn?And finally and most important to those of us who call Minturn home, 2B affects our quality of life. There will be decreased quality of life due to increased traffic, widening of highway for a new lane which will move traffic closer to residences and tear out flowers and grass. There will be light pollution, noise pollution, increased diesel fumes and diminished views on the south end of town. I don’t have any big, fancy signs or an RV in the town lot to show you the anti-2B side. This is a $13 million deal for the developers. But for some of us, it is just trying to protect our town so that when people ask us where we live and we say Minturn, they say, “you are so lucky.”Karen Briggs Minturn Vote for Johnson I’m Buddy Sims, a friend and fellow member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10721 with A.J. Johnson. I first met A.J. and Barbara Johnson during a Veterans Day program many years ago where Tom Kirk spoke about being a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. I learned that A.J. had served honorably in two military services and had completed a tour of duty in the Coast Guard in Vietnam in 1967 and later was a member of the Colorado Army National Guard’s 19th Special Forces Group. A.J. has been a successful private businessman in the communications industry, served six years in Vail in municipal services, and was the Eagle County sheriff for 20 years. This adds up to more than 26 years of public service, and A.J. seeks to continue to serve this community as Eagle County commissioner. I have seen A.J. in action at the Sheriff’s Office protecting the citizens of Eagle County, a stalwart citizen helping to lead the annual Vail Fourth of July Parade, and always being there for the kids on Veterans Day school assemblies. He has been involved in or helped establish many community programs and public events – Freedom Park Memorial, Battle Mountain Recreation League, Minturn Boxing Club, Eagle Valley Youth Council, Red Sandstone and Minturn Middle School Parents Association, Vail Valley Youth Karate Club, Vail’s first Teen Center, Eagle County Victims Rights Response Program, Red Sandstone and Minturn Middle Youth Drug Awareness Programs, Battle Mountain Track Rebuild Project, first Victims Rights Response program in Eagle County, Countywide Crime Stoppers Program, Enhanced E-911 program, first countywide drug task force, community policing program, first sex offender and awareness registration program, first full-time emergency management operations, first DARE program-life skills in local schools, first school resource officer program, child protection team, founding member Eagle Valley Youth Coalition, and established Eagle County’s first Quality and Participation Group. As you have seen over the years, A.J. has been very active and made a difference in Eagle County.I can assure you he will hit the ground running after he becomes county commissioner because he has a proven 26-year track record of dedicated accomplishments in Eagle County. He is familiar with Eagle County problems and has the experience to work solutions in the best interest of all county citizens. He knows all the county government employees and will treat them with the respect that they deserve. He will bring decency and integrity to the commissioner’s job. He will support Eagle County residents, the state of Colorado, the Congress and the president in this global war on terrorism. I ask for your support. Vote for A.J. Johnson for Eagle County commissioner. He will work for you! Buddy SimsEdwardsBuz is the one Buz Reynolds is our person for Eagle County commissioner. He knows the valley, the people and the needs. Buz has shown the ability to work with others with whom he serves. He has brought the Avon Town Council together into a cohesive, productive organization, both as a councilman and our mayor. His experience and vision will reform the county commissioner offices from a derisive, backbiting and nonproductive group into a guiding force for controlled and directed growth. His plan to expand to five commissioners will change the office from a backroom, secret society that serves few in the valley to an office that represents all residents of Eagle County. He knows the valley history and has vision as to where it can evolve. Please vote for Buz for commissioner from District 2. Phil StruveAvon Salazar for SenateI recently moved to Vail after having retired from the Colorado Division of Water Resources, a part of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. As a water resources engineer and state employee, I was professionally acquainted with Ken Salazar for approximately 20 years.When I first met Ken Salazar, he was a private water rights attorney. Later he served as Gov. Romer’s staff attorney. Subsequently, Gov. Romer appointed Ken to serve as director of the Department of Natural Resources, where I was employed. Now, Ken Salazar serves Colorado as attorney general.In each of my dealings with Ken Salazar, he has been a person of integrity. During Ken’s tenure as director of the Department of Natural Resources, I found him to make the extra effort to communicate with the employees and to try to understand our duties and needs. As attorney general, Ken has accomplished a great deal for the people of Colorado, and has maintained the highest level of communication through the newspapers.Ken’s experience, integrity, ethic of public service, and communication with those he serves is exemplary. I strongly encourage Eagle County residents to vote for Ken Salazar for Senate.Keith KeplerVailEaton parcelThere have been quite a few letters lately expressing many confusing statements regarding the Eaton Ranch parcel. While I do not profess to be an expert in this deal, being a confessed “tree hugger” and open space advocate, I have followed the goings on very closely and would like to point out the following facts:– Rick Hermes had a $12 million contract on the Eaton Ranch property, which he defaulted on.– Before he defaulted, Mr. Hermes was approached by the Vail Valley Foundation. The foundation asked him if he would be interested in working with them on a cooperative plan to preserve the property. As Mr. Hermes did not return the foundation’s call to see what their offer was, it was determined that he was uninterested.– In an effort to conserve the beautiful green space that is Eaton Ranch, the foundation then put together an acceptable offer to the Eaton family placing the property under contract with them.– The 80 acres that Mr. Hermes would now like to donate to the cause are in the flood plain and cannot be developed. His offer to swap the swamp (so to speak) would give Mr. Hermes 50 acres of prime development land in exchange for his “generous” offer.– The foundation then politely declined Mr. Hermes’ offer and is, instead, looking for ways to come up with the money needed to preserve this open space forever.It is my opinion that we all band together for this one and we must start by knowing the facts. How can you help? Urge your homeowners association to kick in some money, donate privately, solicit funds, whatever it takes us to keep one of the last remaining blankets of green, wet, beautiful open space from being dug up and paved over.Vail Valley Foundation: Please keep us informed as to the progress of your heroic efforts so that this incredible opportunity does not slip through our hands and into those of a developer.Lastly, thank you, thank you, thank you to all involved at the VVF. So many of us didn’t think you had it in you, and we are so very pleasantly surprised!New New Wallace Make a differenceI would like to make everyone aware of the annual “Make a Difference Day” food drive that will take place this year on Oct. 23 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. The Vail Police Department is coordinating this drive and donations can be dropped off at the east end of the Vail Municipal Building. Cash or checks made out to “TOV Make a Difference Day” are also appreciated and can be brought or mailed to the Vail Municipal Building at 75 S. Frontage Road in Vail. Your donation of food, cash or check can be made throughout the month of October at the Municipal Building.The goal is to collect 50,000 pounds of food (25 tons). Last year 26,000 pounds were collected and Moses Gonzales, Vail code enforcement officer, wants to double that number. All food collected remains in Eagle County and will be distributed to the Food Rescue Express, the Reserve Center and the Salvation Army food banks. Your help in opening our hearts and pocketbooks will make this effort a great success. For more information, call Moses Gonzales at 479-2210.Rod SliferMayor, VailTown of Vail


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