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Letters to the editor

Gilda and Werner Kaplan

To the Vail Town Council: We have been part-time Vail residents since 1969 and full-time residents since 1986.We have also been involved members of this community and have no personal agendas regarding what is placed in Seibert Circle. We do, however, have a personal opinion for you to consider.Without Pete Seibert and Earl Eaton there would be no Vail. Yes, we have named a circle in his honor, and now it’s time to place a monument there that also honors him. What is the rush to spend $1.3 million and give us only one option that gives him no recognition to speak of?No one will disagree that the 10th Mountain Division soldier has been the most photographed and accepted work of art in our town. Let us honor Pete and the founders with something equal in meaning and lacking controversy. The Morales rocks were controversial, the current SINGLE entry is also controversial. So why spend $1.3 million on a controversial piece, when we know from experience (the 10th Mountain soldier) that a simple figure can evoke a strong feeling of what Vail, and its founders, is all about.We attended the presentation on Tuesday evening, and it was disappointing. We do not understand why there is objection to identifying the individuals who had a dream, the vision, guts and the tenacity to follow that dream. Perhaps we should move the 10th Mountain soldier to the top of Bridge Street and place a historical piece, if so desired, at the entrance to the Covered Bridge, which is the main entrance to Vail. Tell the historical story there.What better identifies the history of Vail than that skier statue? Create an amphitheater setting for people to sit, a gathering place, put some shade trees in for summer, heaters in the winter, use the designers of Wall Street’s water stream of lights or the Children’s Fountain, create a streetscape (they’ve done a fabulous job so far), and let Public Works construct it; $1.3 million is a high price to pay for something that is controversial. The soldier is universally loved, not only as a work of art, but as representing our history and the history of skiing in the United States.This is not Washington, D.C., or NYC, where we need a grandiose work of art. It’s a mountain town, founded on skiing that needs an identifiable icon that will also honor the person who brought it to life, Peter Seibert. Let future generations know that skiing created this Town just as they know that mining created Aspen and Breckenridge.We asked the artist if he had been to the Historical Society or had read any of the books by Hauserman, Symmington or Seibert in creating his “historical” piece. He said “no,” he had not! This tells us that he does not have a sense of feeling for what we are all about if he could not spend the time learning about us from these exceptional books. In his “Vail Today,” panel he shows a gondola that has been extinct for almost a decade and a figure that belongs on a Vogue magazine cover rather than in the center of our town.We rest our case on why we feel that the SINGLE option we have been presented with is not, in our opinion, an appropriate work of art for as prominent a spot as the top of Bridge Street which is also the gateway to Vail Mountain. In speaking with other townspeople, we discovered that we’re not the only ones finding the proposed artwork for Seibert Circle not an appropriate choice.We know how hard you work in behalf of the people you represent, and our comments are not to be construed as criticism. They are to give you a pulse of how two of your constituents feel about spending $1.3 million on what they think is not a piece of art representative of Vail or giving tribute to its founders.Gilda and Werner KaplanVailThanks for helpThe Eagle Valley Seniors would like to thank everyone that participated in the Senior Citizens’ Bake Off and Bake Sale during Eagle Flight Days.A special thank you to Mary Jo Gerard for judging the Baked Goods. To Sheriff Joe Hoy for donating the prize money. Virginia Rose for a cash contribution. Shirley White, Linda Verdesber and Bonjour Bakery for decorated cakes that were auctioned off and Nancy Powell for donating her Grand Champion Pie for the auction.Thanks to those that volunteered to work at the Sale, Johnnette Phillips, Linda Carr, Wanda Abbey Rivera, Dodie Hoover, Mary Lou Croisant and especially to all those that baked their specialities for the fundraiser, making this bake off the best yet.Johnnette PhillipsEagleJust wishy washyThe fatuity of the week award is shared this time by Don Rogers and Alex Miller, who wrote back to back columns extolling the virtues of the political middle. They say extremists on both sides have the floor in public policy debates. Well, it isn’t clear what those in the middle have in mind, except to go along with whichever side they view as the lesser evil, reserving the right to complain because there isn’t something better. In all the 50 column inches these two produced, there wasn’t one specific stand on an issue in the public forum. Just a lot of whining.So let it out – what is the moderate view on partial birth abortion, fetal stem cell research and gay marriage? What is the centrist plan to save Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid from insolvency? What do thoughtful persons in the middle have in mind to reform the income tax laws?Go on from these topics to campaign finance reform, high gas prices and the war on terror. Don’t be like David Le Vine or Jim Dorsey, and just gripe. Be positive. Provide some details so people have something to analyze, and – God forbid – criticize. Show how your ideas are different from those on the extremes. I get the feeling that those in the middle don’t know exactly what to do. So instead of high-toned self-descriptions like “moderate” and “centrist,” why not “indecisive” or even “wishy washy”? They remind one of the guy who says to his lady: “I think I love you.”Terry QuinnEagleVail, Colorado


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