Letters to the editor | VailDaily.com

Letters to the editor

Steve Sheldon

As a driver who lives in Eagle, I spend a lot of time on Highway 6, and I have to tell you Commissioner Arn Menconi is right. We desperately need bike lanes on the highway. Otherwise one of us drivers could get hurt. There is undoubtedly no room for cyclists between Edwards and Eagle, and it requires drivers to swerve into oncoming traffic to avoid them. We could get into a serious accident. Even worse, we might hit one of them and leave children without a parent, a spouse widowed, or a family without a provider. Drivers need to think how that would make us feel. Sure, they’d be dead, but we’ll be depressed about it for days, perhaps weeks. Not to mention we’d probably get a traffic ticket. I know some drivers don’t want to pay for cyclists to be able to use the road, but you have to admit they do look so nice out there recreating and it really is an asset to our community to be known as accommodating to all forms of recreation. In the long run it benefits us all to be a bike-friendly community. Plus having healthy cyclists around might trickle down and lower our health insurance premiums.I know if Highway 6 downvalley had better bike lanes, I’d be able to drive easier and with less anxiety. As a result I can get ready for bike season by calmly shaving my legs without nicking them.Steve SheldonEagleA new job pool As the extent of the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina becomes apparent, the reality of how fragile our civilization is becomes inescapable. Nature has in one day has turned the Gulf Coast into a Third World nightmare. Not only have so many died and even more been left homeless, but as we watch thousands more will die before our eyes while we are powerless to help. The idea of refugees within the borders of our country boggles the mind. The generosity of the people of Texas in providing food and shelter to these helpless and defeated refugees demonstrates the highest and most noble ideals of our culture. These ideals were also demonstrated when the United States sent unequalled amounts of aid to the tsunami victims earlier this year. We are a caring people, even to strangers. But now it is our own countrymen who are in need.Individually we will open our pocketbooks and look for other ways to help. Many of us will donate blood. Some of our neighbors who possess needed skills will leave their families and travel into the center of the disaster to do whatever they can to help.As citizens of resort communities, we are in a unique position to help some of the refugees from these Gulf Coast Resort communities. There were five pages of help wanted ads in the paper today. As we move toward our winter season, many local businesses are preparing to hire employees. It has become common practice to look outside the United States for seasonal employees. Large companies and governmental agencies hire employees from all over the world to work through the ski season. These large companies and agencies are able to obtain special permits from the Department of Immigration by demonstrating that by bringing these guest workers into the United States they will not displace U.S. workers. Preparations to bring in this temporary work force are already well under way. Recruiters from Eagle County have been as far away as Australia. Vail Resorts will bring in hundreds of employees from Central and South America. Colorado Mountain Express, Avon Transit and ECO Transit recruit drivers from Australia and New Zealand.Many of the refugees from Hurricane Katrina have worked in resorts their whole lives. New Orleans is world famous for its gourmet restaurants. Hotel workers have been driven from their homes with only the clothes on their backs. Bus drivers, chauffeurs, taxi drivers and constructions workers are living in shelters with no job prospects. Loading chairlifts may not be a glamorous or well paid job but it beats living in a shelter over the winter. It is now estimated that no one will be able to return to New Orleans for six months. We need to convince the business leaders of our community to do the right thing by our fellow Americans. What would we expect from them if the tables were turned? There will undoubtedly be resistance to changing the status quo but for once we should do the right thing. If we do not employ these people we will have to pay through our tax dollars to warehouse them. We now have the opportunity to do something we, as a community can be proud of.David Miller Gypsum Freedom to speakAs to Ms. Morency’s letter Sept. 19: I believe it is wonderful that a freshman in high school is involved in politics. My letter to Matt Zalaznick’s column basically dealt with the constant bashing of the president of the United States. Most of the letter was written with no malice of forethought, a practice that Mr. Zalaznick does not practice. The bit about smoking or injecting was meant with tongue in cheek.Our president DOES care about the lives of our troops fighting in Iraq. He is also concerned about the families whose young men and women are fighting wars on foreign soil. Please remember that this is an all-volunteer armed forces, and part of the duties are to engage in war, when and if necessary.As to New Orleans and the relief effort. It was really a fiasco from the beginning and, like Harry Truman used to say, “The buck stops here.” The president should and has taken the heat for mismanaged federal, state and local efforts. I do believe that he is trying to rectify these matters.I meant in no way to imply that this president was the best thing that has happened to our country. I do respect the office of the president and believe that most presidents have tried to do what was best for this great country of ours regardless of political affiliation.Thank you for reminding me to mind my own business. As freedom of speech allows, I may criticize Mr. Zalaznick, as you have criticized me for writing my opinions. Please stay involved and work for the causes that you strongly believe in, as I have to the best of my ability.Arthur Blank IIVail, Colorado