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Letters to the editor

Elyssa Brown Sinclair

Upon reading about Seibert Circle’s potential art installment my first inclination is to be furious that people could cut funding for the arts in schools. Why you ask? Because someone, who obviously didn’t get proper exposure to the arts, ends up giving $1.3 million to a non-Vail Valley resident to assemble an obelisk with no feeling, heart or loyalty. What does that thing represent?In the article they refer to the obelisk as a “traditional-looking design.” Are you kidding me? Can we lay SOME importance on public art? Was there a big influx of ancient Egyptian skiers who couldn’t live without the tradition of dedicating a monument to the Sun God? Who’s the pharaoh with all the pull?Art has significance. Art is a powerful medium and has the power to elicit strong emotion on the same par as music. Why on earth would you blow a fantastic opportunity to do something with at least a hint of substance? I personally don’t care for the white-suited, chemical cleanup-looking dude carrying skis into the Gore Creek, but at least it has significance! I do care that the 10th Mountain Division has undisputedly the most significant effect on the creation of Vail. Bravo, I say, for honoring the birth of Vail and especially the men who founded it! Itís about time. (And move the statue closer to the mountain, the Gore Creek is no place to be swimming.) But what on earth is a Seibert Circle anyway? Sounds like some computer term or new fandangled snowboard half-pipe move. OK, OK, of course I know who Peter W. Seibert was, but I’ve never heard of anyone say, “Let’s meet in Seibert Circle” or even referring to it in any respect. Hey, I’ve got an idea! Why not have the art reflect something about Peter Seibert, so all of our guests will know who he was. Or are the decision-makers one step ahead of me and their idea is to erect a stiff shaft spouting water with some bushes at the base to represent one of our founding fathers?Perhaps somehow we can create a more of a connection and goodwill through sculpture to the Mexican community. Have you looked around to see who’s been doing most of the laundry, cooking, cleaning etc.? How about incorporate un poco gracias, perhaps, maybe? OK, fine. I can respect the fact that it’s difficult to please everyone when choosing public art. However, I’d like to see more effort to involve the community. We’re the ones still here, through all seasons, walking by Seibert Circle. The Vail Valley population is small enough to easily involve some local talent. I’m an artist. I’ve painted La Tour, Sweet Basil, and Juniper, which are open to the public (and mighty fine grub, I might add). Why not contact someone like me? What about other local artists who are extremely talented, like Michael Hardy, Alta Engelbrecht, Britten, or Randy Milhoan? There are tons more.Heck! Send it to the valley – calling all artists! We’d love it! A brilliant idea would be to ask the schoolchildren to come up with a design. Harness that raw, unfettered genius from the mouths of babes. They are a quite amazing and honest people.Elyssa Brown SinclairAvonDevil’s in the details”I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” Blanche DuBois, “A Streetcar Named Desire” Good thing for people like Blanche that we have liberals like David Le Vine, who are eager to supply her needs – with other people’s money. Mr. Le Vine points with pride at Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They are examples of what liberals promote – ideas that give you the warm fuzzies. But they studiously ignore the practical details. Take Social Security. It’s in danger of going broke. Not this year, but in a matter of decades. President Bush has proposed some measures. The liberals have attacked them. But what alternatives have the liberals come up with? They won’t, because then they would be subject to debate and analysis. Will Mr. Le Vine tell us – with some details – what he thinks are solutions for a retirement system that is going to be insolvent unless something is done? May as well include the government-sponsored pension guarantee program that is way underfunded. Then there are Medicare and Medicaid. It sounds so nice to say: Let’s provide health care to whomever needs it. But you have to follow up and show how you are going to pay for it. And what rules will apply, unless you are saying that whatever medical treatment anyone wants, they will get it. If Mr. Le Vine wants to stay in the discussion, he needs to address issues, such as:1. Who will be covered? Anyone in the country? Does it include illegal immigrants?2. What will be covered? They just cancelled Medicare or Medicaid assistance to provide Viagra for sex offenders. What about cosmetic surgery? What about those who are pretty far gone, like Theresa Schiavo? Tell us, Mr. Le Vine, what kind of health care is included in your ideal program, and what is not?3. How about people whose medical needs arise from self-inflicted causes? Smokers. Drug users. Heavy drinkers. People who don’t exercise, and eat junk food. Women who get pregnant voluntarily, knowing they can’t afford the cost. People who engage in hazardous activities, like bikers without helmets. 4. Since society is going to get stuck with all the medical bills, does it have the right to control those activities that affect the need for health care? Doesn’t this sound like Big Brother?I doubt David Le Vine will provide many details, since he declined to do so when I previously requested them. But those who are considering liberal proposals should remember this: It’s one thing to propose feel-good generalities, but quite another to put them into practice, and then pay for them. Terry QuinnEagleProud to serve VailAn open letter to the Vail community: The Vail Valley Chamber & Tourism Bureau has proudly managed and operated the Vail Village and Lionshead visitor information centers for over 30 years. In that time, we have warmly welcomed millions of Vail’s guests to the community. Our staff and volunteers in the visitor centers have an unsurpassed passion for this community and they provide a critical positive first impression of Vail to each guest that walks in the doors of the visitor centers. On Oct. 1, the Vail Valley Chamber & Tourism Bureau will hand over the keys of the visitor centers to a new operator. At this week’s Vail Town Council meeting, the council members voted 5-2 (Slifer and Logan opposed) to award a three-year visitor center contract to Vail Brochure Delivery. Despite the outcome of the vote, last night was a proud moment for the Vail Valley Chamber & Tourism Bureau. At the meeting, dozens of Vail business owners, residents and employees spoke up on our behalf. They shared stories of exceptional customer service in the visitor centers and recognized our employees’ unbridled enthusiasm for serving guests. Dozens more people wrote letters, sent e-mails and called the Town Council members in support of the VVCTB. It was a very public display of support for our organization, and on behalf of everyone here at the VVCTB, I want to thank each and every person that took time out of their busy schedules to stand up for us.I would like to commend the Vail Town Council for making a difficult decision. Too often, this council has delayed, deferred and postponed some of the more controversial decisions it has faced. This week, the council followed the recommendation of its visitor center committee and made a tough choice.Unfortunately in this case, we believe the Town Council made the wrong choice. In choosing a new operator for the Vail visitor centers, the Vail community will lose an operator with a proven track record of providing exceptional customer service. With the council’s decision, the Vail lodging community risks losing an estimated $300,000 in direct bookings at Vail’s hotels and condos through the VVCTB’s proprietary visitor center reservation system. The Town Council ignored the opinion of the Vail business community and everyone that spoke up in support of the VVCTB. Instead, they chose the highest bidder for the visitor center contract, a company with no experience in operating visitor centers, at a time when Vail is undergoing a period of unprecedented redevelopment and construction. It’s a risk we feel is unnecessary.But we would certainly like to congratulate Vail Brochure Delivery on their solid proposal and convincing pitch. We wish them the best of luck in operating the visitor centers and will work with them and the town’s staff to ensure that the transition in management is as seamless as possible.As for the VVCTB, we will continue to serve Vail’s guests through our central reservations department, our Lodging Quality Assurance Department, the Platinum Service Program and our many other customer service initiatives. We will continue to develop innovative programs that serve the local business community and will work tirelessly to improve the conditions for business success. It has been our pleasure to serve in the Vail visitor centers.Frank JohnsonPresident, Vail Valley Chamber & Tourism BureauVail, Colorado


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