Letters to the editor
The 40th annual Eagle Valley Community Fund Auction and Rummage Sale held Aug. 21, 22, 28 and 29 in Maloit Park, was a huge success, raising more than $170,000 that has now sweetened the coffers of local charities. Many thanks to all the community members and businesses who donated items for the sale and auction, to the outstanding volunteers who put in several thousand hours sorting and pricing all the goods and to all those who supported the event by shopping for amazing bargains. The money raised through this event was doled out to more than 65 local non-profit groups throughout the Eagle Valley. All items left over following the sale were donated to Goodwill in Denver, making this event a giant recycling project. Thank you for your continued support. Donations can be dropped off for next year’s sale at the Maloit Park location. For large item pickups, call Byron Brown at 476-5701. Plan to attend next year’s event Aug. 20, 21, 27 and 28. Vi BrownChairperson, Eagle Valley Community Fund Auction and Rummage Sale Well done!During this season of joy and thanksgiving, we would like to extend a heart-felt “well done” to Ollie, Jack, Artie and the crew of the Route 6 Cafe for providing a gourmet Thanksgiving dinner to those less fortunate in our community. The response to the 2nd annual Thanksgiving feast was overwhelming and many kudos were received from those in attendance. A special thanks from Floyd the mystery minstrel, who entertained with an impromptu concert. We love you all and thank you from a grateful community.Herb and Barb RichardsonWhat county needsSome of the Eagle County commissioners have recently expressed interest in maintaining some formal control over county open space acquired through the open space public funding initiative. While these concerns are understandable and valid, they would be best met by creating an Eagle County Department/Office of Open Space rather than by the proposed county non-profit land trust that duplicates the existing non-profit, the Eagle Valley Land Trust. Many of the counties in Colorado (Larimer, Summit, Pitkin, Boulder, Jefferson and Douglas) who have been acquiring open space for years have reached this conclusion and have established county departments/offices of open space to maintain and manage their open space lands. There are several significant advantages to Eagle County in establishing an open space department/office rather than a non-profit land trust: (1) The county department is simpler to establish. To set up a non-profit, the new entity needs to be incorporated, validated as a 501.C3, and set up with a volunteer board of directors. None of this is necessary with establishing a new county department or office.(2) The county department can do everything a non-profit land trust can do, except raise money as a charitable organization. (3) The county department is the ideal structure to complement and not replicate the non-profit land trust. The county department can concentrate on buying lands in fee (buying them outright) with public funds and managing them. The land trust, for its part, focuses on working with landowners who wish to retain ownership of their property but donate or sell the development rights of their land through conservation easements (e.g., Bair Ranch). Monitoring and legally defending easements is an enterprise unto itself. Does the county really want to commit to this expensive and time-consuming business in perpetuity, which is what the Eagle Valley Land Trust is committed to do? If so, the county Department of Open Space is not precluded from holding easements, either solely or in tandem with the local land trust. Eagle County currently co-holds the easement on Bair Ranch with the Eagle Valley Land Trust with mutual responsibility for monitoring and defending the easement.Hopefully, the Eagle County commissioners will reconsider and modify their proposal before the public hearing on this issue Jan. 4.Diana CecalaCoordinator, Eagle County Citizens For Open SpaceSmashed vanAttention all WECMRD Peewee In-House and Squirt Hockey Parents:See Letters, page AXXI hope you are all having a joyous holiday season! Isn’t it nice to live in a small town where we all take care of each other and are thoughtful toward one another? Well, this is what I thought until Saturday night, the 11th of December, when following the WECMRD Squirt or the Peewee game held at the Eagle ice rink, someone smashed into the back of my van, causing extensive damage. I was parked in the Eagle ice rink parking lot facing the pool, where someone leaving one of the above games carelessly smashed into the back of my van. Perhaps a truck backed into my van, since there is no bumper damage, just horrible door panel damage. I will need to replace the entire rear door!You know who you are and you should feel pretty badly sticking us, the innocent victims, with the responsibility of fixing the damage. It is not too late to make amends, however. We will be glad to forgive, if you will just admit that you were wrong to leave the scene and assume responsibility for the damages. It is Christmas, people. Have a heart! We did nothing to deserve this, and should not have to bear the responsibility of fixing it.Hopefully, we can count on the Squirt or Peewee parents of WECMRD and this valley to come forward now and do the right thing. Remember the small town philosophy of taking care of one another, not smashing each other’s cars and leaving them to deal with it!If you know anything about my van that was backed into on Saturday night, I would appreciate any help! Your neighbor and parent of a fellow little hockey player.Ashley Dawkins328-1231Forest freedomOne word – GREED! That is how I would descibe what is happening to Meadow Mountain.In the past 20 years or more, families have been happily using Meadow Mountain for sledding or a place for beginner skiiers to learn to slide. They have been using it for FREE and taking responsibility for their own incidents, good or bad, until a few years ago when GREED steeped in. As I heard the story, someone got hurt, wouldn’t take responsibility for their own actions, got GREEDY and sued the Forest Service for what happened. Well, then the Forest Service decided that we all needed protection from ourselves and have been steadily closing off more and more of the Meadow Mountain sledding area until now there is none left. Why? How come someone was even able to sue for playing at their own risk? Does that mean that if I go into the forest and by bad luck or by my own stupidity, hurt myself, all I have to do is hire a lawyer and get rich? GREED!Well, now GREED is once again showing its ugly head on Meadow Mountain. As I heard the story, a private someone now wants to save us from ourselves. FOR A PRICE! They want to provide us with a new SAFE place to go sledding. They will provide a nice SAFE lift and a SAFE place to drink our hot cocoa. Aren’t they nice! I wonder how many families will be able to afford to take the kids? Yep, that means no more FREE family sledding area with free sunshine and free snow. Nope, no more FREE fun! IT IS TOO DANGEROUS FOR US!Well, actually, there is a place to sled for free if we hike up the hill a little farther. I am confused though, why are we safe to think for ourselves up there or out in the forest when we are so dangerous to ourselves right at the parking lot level? Oh, maybe GREED has something to do with it?Well, I guess the government and the GREEDY people really do know what is best for us. We are so lucky to have them. We’ll never have to think for ourselves or take resposibility for ourselves again! How did we ever survive this long by having to learn from our own mistakes?Good Luck out there!James LuceroMinturnNo respectWith respect and concern for two of the Vail Valley’s most cherished individuals – President Gerald Ford and his wife, Betty, who for decades officially have been lighting the Christmas trees in Vail and Lionshead – I’m shocked and dismayed to read in this supposed newspaper “Ryan Sutter and his wife, Trista – of ‘Bachelorette’ fame” – will light the tree this year.I always will cherish my experience covering this annual event for the Vail Daily, opportunistically standing next to and chatting with the Fords, as well as their Secret Service entourage, on several occasions. And while the ceremony continues this year at Slifer Plaza – named after Vail’s current mayor and longtime resident Rod Slifer, an obvious choice for throwing the ceremonial switch – I find it quite disrespectful for the powers that be, including this newspaper, to feature the participation of a pair of reality television stars, however local they may be.With Vail’s “New Dawn” on the horizon, perhaps we all should pay more respect to whom, from where, we come.Stephen Lloyd WoodEagle-VailLots of supportThe Vail Valley Charitable Fund would like to thank the community for supporting our mission, assisting Eagle county locals in financial need due to medical crisis, accident or catastrophe. With the generous donations collected in 2004, the VVCF was able to assist over 50 local individuals and families in financial need during a time of medical crisis. A special thank you to all that attended any of our fund-raising events, purchased the UnDressed calendar, sent in financial donations, contributed silent auction items and to the Spiegel fund-raiser committee who gave a big-hearted donation to the VVCF from the benefit proceeds. We truly live in a wonderful community throughout the year and we wish you all a very happy and healthy holiday season. Tracy KurtVail Valley Charitable FundGentle ChristmasThe year-end holidays are upon us: Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, winter solstice. They conjure visions of families gathered by a warm fireplace, opening presents, sharing their love, and feasting on ham and turkey. It’s the happiest time of the year – for some. But for the millions of factory-farmed pigs and turkeys, our holiday season portends only agony, despair and death after a lifetime of caging, crowding, deprivation, drugging and mutilation.Each of us can refuse to subsidize such wanton violence and cruelty during this holiday season by choosing plant-based foods that abound in every supermarket. There are fresh fruits and greens and soy-based deli slices in the produce section, veggie burgers, soy nuggets, and ready-to-eat dinners in the frozen food section, and a variety of soy-based milks, cheeses, and ice creams.This year, let’s have a gentle Christmas. Let’s send the message of “peace on earth” to all living beings.Vincent YatesVailProject of a few?Re: the proposed convention center: As a Vail part-time resident with my residence access possibly adversely affected by the convention center, I have written to the Town Council, the planning committee and the architects dujour.Not only have I not gotten an answer, I haven’t even gotten a response! Aren’t the Vailites who will bear the burden of any deficits created by the convention center at least entitled to some answers, or is this convention center a project of the few? Jeff Lasky VailVail, Colorado
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