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Letters to the editor

Joy Wolansky

Attention all parents and caregivers: I’m a local Vail mom who wanted to discuss an incident that jeopardized the safety of many children at Pirate Ship Park. My husband and I and our two young boys visited the much loved new Pirate Ship Park around 2 p.m. on July 4. It was very busy with many local kids and out-of-towners enjoying a gorgeous holiday. There must have been 40 children or so. We immediately noticed a young boy whittling discarded flag sticks into spears with an open pocket knife and threatening other kids with his homemade “spears.” He was also climbing around the ship with this knife open in his hand. I and other parents approached the child and asked him to put the knife away, explaining that it was not safe to use a weapon on the playground. He refused and so hence our search began to locate the boy’s parents. After 15 minutes of four moms searching, no one staked a claim to this unsupervised child. Finally I asked him to take me to his parents. We finally found them in the back of Los Amigos restaurant merrily drinking pitchers of beer and totally oblivious to the fact that the child named Sam was alone. I approached the mother and told her of the dangerous knife and of the potential dangers to all of the children on the playground and asked that it be taken away. The mother promptly cursed at me and told me her 8-year-old son was very responsible and it was his “God given right” to have a pocket knife, and that I should mind my own business. Well, let me tell you something, honey. Your son’s “God-given right” is to have parents who protect him, love him and provide proper guidance. Not parents who teach a child that weapons are OK, and that bullying children with knife-honed spears is fun. Not parents who sit in the back of a restaurant a 100 yards away from a park packed full of children along with an unsupervised pocketknife-toting-Rambo-in-training! Have you totally lost all common sense or were you too drunk to care? I hope to God you are just passing through, because we won’t tolerate the likes of you in our town. Thanks to the local moms and dads that supported me in apprehending this unsavory mother, and kudos to Vail police for peacefully resolving this situation. This should go without saying, and I won’t apologize for being dramatic: Please, all parents, don’t ever let your guard down. Don’t ever leave your children alone in a public place. Not even for a second. With all the the recent kidnappings and slayings of our innocent children in recent days, let this be a wake-up call. Don’t let your child become a statistic. No matter how safe or sweet our little town is, we cannot keep all the riff-raff and wackos out. Remember, I-70 runs right through here. This was a perfect case in point of irresponsible parenting that could have ended tragically. Don’t forget, it takes a village to protect a village. We have to look out for each other. Be safe and be smart. Joy WolanskyVail No peace hereThe recent terrorist attacks in London have brought back memories of 9/11 and the bus bombings that plagued Israel since the Oslo “peace” conference. Pictures of a London bus broken open like a sardine can could be mistaken for the numerous buses that have been torn apart in Jerusalem and other parts of Israel by terrorist murderers. The failure of the West, particularly Europe, to stand behind Israel in the war against terrorism has resulted in the spread of this “disease” to Madrid and now London.The upcoming unilateral Israeli withdrawal from Gaza will appear to be a reward for the continuing attacks against Israel by Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist groups. While one hopes for peace, there are tremendous risks for Israel and its citizens. The withdrawal from Gaza will allow the terrorists a closer base from which to attack Israeli cities. The Palestinian Arab Authority has not made any attempt to reign in the terrorists. Its solution is to incorporate terrorist murderers into their “security forces.” This is hardly a reassuring solution for Israelis who are yearning for peace.President Bush must rethink the policy making concessions without requiring a meaningful commitment toward peace. The banishment of Jews from Gaza is a one sided concession that will only bring more Londons and Madrids.Arthur KittayEagleVail, Colorado


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