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Letters to the editor

Patricia Smith-Esperon

One of the Tipsline callers recently made a complaint about the Eagle County Animal Shelter. She was upset because the animals are in cages. She also claimed that donated blankets and water are being withheld from the animals. As a volunteer for the Humane Society, and owner of shelter animals, I felt it necessary to respond.Our shelter and Humane Society do an extraordinary job caring for the animals in their facility. Both groups are more than happy to make use of donated blankets for the animals. However, on occasion it is inappropriate to give an animal a blanket. While first adjusting to the shelter, some animals will chew the blankets and could potentially choke. The Humane Society has even acquired sleeping bag beds for the dogs.As for denying the animals water, that is completely false. The size of our shelter enables the workers to give much more frequent attention to the animals’ needs. The Pen Pals inmate program provides the animals with even more individual attention. The inmates who participate walk and train the dogs. They are also available to give profiles of the animals. Volunteers are another enormous group of people who improve the quality of life for the shelter critters.On the matter of caging the animals, it is an animal shelter, a county-funded facility meant to keep animals safe until they have new homes. The Humane Society tries their best to place animals as quickly as possible and train the animals to behave so that they don’t return. And I have to say; that in facilities where animals are not kept separately they can become agitated and nervous. Even worse these animals can infect one another with illnesses or fight. I adopted a kitten from a Denver shelter with open rooms for the cats, and she had ringworm.The Eagle County Animal Shelter and Humane Society are working together, doing everything in their power to keep the animals happy and healthy. The following is a list of positive programs and/or privileges the animals at our shelter enjoy:– Frequent walks, training, and attention for the dogs– Frequent petting, brushing, and playing for the cats– Health care and surgeries for the sick and injured that most shelters don’t have the luxury of providing. The funds from the Humane Society make it possible here.– Two Web sites with the animals’ photos, personalities, ages, etc., for online viewing at adoptafriend.org or eaglecounty.com– A generous community of people who volunteer time, give money, services, and or merchandise for the annual fund-raisers.– Six free obedience lessons with dog adoptions.– Young litters of kittens and puppies get nutritious formula and are hand fed by volunteers.– Adoptathons to place animals– Free spay and neuter programs.– Bite prevention efforts and education.– Weekly call-in Q&A program on the radio to inform pet owners and spots to promote events from The Eagle 101.5, Ski Country 104.7, and Jack FM 92.7.– Weekly photos of adoptable animals in the paper.– Posters of adorable animals posted throughout the valley.– Fenced area to play with potential owners and the volunteers.– Use of blankets, toys, beds and food that have been donated.– Cages and bowls that are cleaned on a daily basis.– Weekly television spots on Mountain Valley Magazine and Good Morning Vail.– Foster care in certain cases.– Being in a no-kill classified shelter.It has taken the hard work and commitment of many people, businesses and organizations to make the success of our shelter and Humane Society possible. I am privileged to be a part of this team. Most of us who are involved are working together to improve the quality of life for animals in our community. For those who would like to talk to the shelter staff their number is 328-DOGS. Char, the awesome director of the Humane Society, can be reached at 328-PETS. The shelter is located just past the fairgrounds in Eagle; the Humane Society office is there, as well. Come take a peek if you’d like, or come to volunteer. If you’d like to make a donation, the address is: Eagle County Humane Society, P.O. Box 4105, Eagle, CO 81631. Patricia Smith-EsperonOne-sided thinkingWow, so when I disagree with Mr. Brown’s over simplifications and blanket generalizations (which inspired me to write the first time to ask that you place his “requiem” on the Opinion page), I get treated to personal attacks on my professional abilities. That’s OK since like so much of his ramblings, the facts are easily found beneath the noise. Lo and behold, none of my buildings are “coming down around the ears of the owners.”While I applaud Mr. Brown for building a solar energy home, my point was that the benefits from the current solar energy technology do not outweigh the initial cost of installation of such systems. And it’s very easy to stand afar as the great critic and proclaim what other people should do with their construction money. It’s quite another thing to interact with real people, in real life, with real money (whether it be trophy home money or not), and make good, sound decisions.I agree with Mr. Brown that critical observation is necessary in the valley, including the role that developers such as our firm play in the area’s growth. But the flavor of his “requiem” tastes more sourly vindictive than scholarly critical. If I’m off-base here, I apologize. But I’ve seen where Mr. Brown’s one-sided line of thinking leads us – to the ridiculous world of Aspen, Santa Monica and the like where seemingly well-intentioned ideas simply escalate the real estate values and construction costs to the point where a Vail Valley second home would seem, well, kind of pedestrian.Finally, Mr. Brown’s repeated reference to the “Turnipseeds” in plural is incorrect as the original letter was written and signed by me alone. Rest assured, my brother Scott, with his academic roots firmly planted in Boulder, is much more granola.Jim TurnipseedParking woesI see the Town of Vail parking decision makers are playing “stick it to the homeowners” once again this year. Resident parking in Vail Village has become a total nightmare. First you greedily take away a pile of value spots in the village garage, initially for valet parking, and then for 3-hour shopper parking or a $20 daily fee. Next you double the rates for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Then you allow a horde of construction trucks to take spaces that all of us whose money, sort of as a debit card, you hold onto interest free. And very often, these construction trucks are so huge and park so poorly that they occupy two spots without being ticketed most of the time.And whoever came up with the absolutely ridiculous idea of walking back to your vehicle with the receipt after accessing your infernal parking charge machines should be shot.You might have had some problems which caused you to create this total annoyance, but there has to be a better way to find any potential parking scammers than imposing on rules-following local skiers who are trying to get on the mountain to ski. If your equipment is inadequate to intelligently regulate parking, buy new equipment.And let us not forget that we locals, who are being constantly squeezed out of parking availability, support the parking garages with our taxes! It absolutely frosts me and many, many others I’ve discussed this problem with that at 10 a.m. on a weekday in early December not a single spot is open for residents. The only recourse is to either park in the garage at much higher rates, or skip skiing. Just what do you think the situation will look like in January, February or March when Vail gets crowded?Ironically, the resident spots are stated as for “value” parkers. What a joke, a “value” that no one eligible can use if one arrives much after first light.How about some intelligent and fair parking relief for Vail residents?Bob BorisVailThink againI trust Vail town officials all read The New York Times article Jan. 18 regarding the glut in convention center space across the country. A report by the Brookings Institution (authored by Heywood Sanders) indicates that there has been, and continues to be, building of convention space at a time when the number of conventions is declining. And the expectation is that most centers will not operate profitably in the future. I have not read the report, but I urge all town officials to study it, evaluate its meaning to Vail, and perhaps invite Mr. Sanders here for additional comments. With all the wonderful projects being started here in Vail that promise to provide a new spark for the town, we do not need a publicly sponsored project that may be a money loser for all. Let’s re-evaluate the decision to build the convention center before it is too late.Steven CoyerAvonVail, Colorado


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