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Letters to the editor

Michael Gallagher

First, it is OK for the editor of a newspaper to write the kind of editorials that are rabble rousing (“So much for ‘quaint,'” Feb. 22). Conflict sells newspapers and that is his business. Over the years we have all observed Don Rogers engage in an effort to rattle the emotions of his readers, though rarely at the volume we heard in his most recent column concerning the development of Battle Mountain. Stepping from the emotional to the factual, we need to do justice to the people of Minturn. They are truly neither “hypocritical” nor “greedy.” They are good and respectable citizens who see a way to benefit the town, at the same time preserving the character of the old town that some families have enjoyed for generations. Let us never forget that as Mr. Rogers is trying to do his job with the newspaper. So is the developer, Mr. Ginn, trying to do his job on Battle Mountain, which is to develop for profit. And the members of the Minturn Town Council are trying to do what is right for the good of the citizens. they are doing their job. Even the town staff is doing its job, working hard to develop the regulations and standards that can preserve the character areas of old Minturn and allow for some level of development south of town. There is no reason that both the citizens and the developer cannot find reachable goals. Perhaps the development will fall short of the 3,000 homes that Mr. Wiessner imagined. And perhaps it will surpass (without breaking state law) the150-plus homes that some believe is the limit the county would approve. Still, one thing is certain. Battle Mountain will develop, if not now, soon. Another thing that is certain is that the impact from such development will fall squarely on the town of Minturn. It has been suggested that Minturn allow the county to deal with the development of Battle Mountain by refusing to annex it into the town. To give this project to the county would deny the town any benefit from the new property tax base, sales tax or real estate transfer tax, leaving the impact on the town with no way to pay for it. That is not a good idea. Annexing Battle Mountain is not only an opportunity for the town. Properly done, it is an obligation.We see that those who work for us – town staff, Town Council, county commissioners and even our editor – are doing their job. There are going to be a number of meetings concerning this development. The people of Minturn must take their thoughts to these meetings and share them with the decision makers. It is time now for us, the citizens, to do our job. Our voices need to be heard.Michael GallagherMinturnCable monopolySome investigative reporting may be in order here. I am writing my senators. Is the public trust getting betrayed again by granting contract for singular monopolistic service by Comcast? We are witnessing the creation of a monopoly in the entertainment and news home access industry. From the public’s perspective it appears that another Enron abuse is in the making. Yes, there are some alternatives to cable. That is not the issue. Cable has been granted a virtual monopoly like the telephone or gas companies, but apparently no government controls of pricing packages.Total power is totally abusive. What is happening in Vail Valley is also happening around the country. If there is no expose they will continue to escalate pricing.We were in Vail at our condo in September of 2004. We arrived in January for two weeks of skiing. We turned on the television to get some CNN news. It was gone! I started to surf and found of the original many interesting channels that we had for many years, they were all gone except the networks ABC, NBC, CBS and a few commercial channels. We had been subscribers for years at $14.95.I called Comcast, and they informed me that we only had the basic package. To restore to what we had before maybe, not quite al, the same channels, it would cost now $42.95. Exactly three times more. Three times more! For the time that we are here as a second-home owner, that is abusive and robbery. we may use our condo four total months out of the year. We are not alone in this. The whole valley is in the same boat of Comcast excess.The story does not end. In Chicago we have Comcast and we pay $49.95 plus $49.95 for the computer internet access. My wife called on a problem and mentioned that we had HBO. The very next day Comcast stripped that channel from our package.There is something not very nice going on that appears to be paralleling Enron’s California abuses of public trust and community contractual arrangements of the monopoly. Have the Vail town fathers been betrayed by Comcast? Has the public been betrayed? This probably is happening all over the country. Something has to happen to stop Comcast.Harold PurcellVailPrioritiesDitto, on the Minturn expansion story. Fight the little growth, to accept the large. Darrell Taylor”Mr. Minturn”Vail, Colorado


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