Letters to the editor

Cliff Thompson, I have read your winter-long series of writings concerning the weather. Particularly interesting and educational have been the ones dealing with the sources, uses, amounts and other statistics concerning the water that we have.

I’ve also collected all of the pieces published in the Denver Post relating to the water dilemma beginning last October. I will admit that I’m sick and tired of reading how much water is contained in a cubic foot and an acre foot and the fact that CFS means “cubic foot per second.”

I believe the Denver sources take all of this water business more seriously than residents of Eagle County. People who lived here before 1960, and there aren’t many, have always realized the importance of enough water and the evils of too little.

Other folks have always bitched, complained, screamed and cried about too much water crossing beneath the continental divide. Some regulations have been put in place to alleviate the latter and now that the secretary of the interior is enforcing them, southern California is dusting off their plans for alternate sources of water.

I am disturbed because in Eagle County we seem to be hip-hopping or dancing around the subject. We are not telling the residents what the consequences will be if there is less water available than there are users.

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I’m not saying that Dennis Gelvin and his troops are all on vacation this winter or that plans don’t exist. I’m saying that the people living at the end of the water lines need to be told what is going to happen on the day there isn’t enough water to flush the toilet and they don’t live by the creek.

They say this can’t or won’t happen and I say WRONG! In case anyone hasn’t noticed, the establishment serving the public where standing in line hasn’t become a reality. Our ski slopes, according to the Daily, are having a record winter.

All of the above says “more people”, and more people add to more CFS. On the opposite page of the water ledger is source and amount.

During my life, until last summer I can never remember not having snow on the peaks year-round. Six months of the year we lived, played and worked in the land area bounded on the east by the Colorado River; on the south by Deep Creek; on the north was Sweetwater Creek and adjoining ranches, Deep Lake and Rock Creek were to the west.

In those days it was hard to ride your horse two miles without being able to get a drink. Now, your horse may have to go dry between the Colorado River and Deep Lake. Because the water hasn’t been replaced from the top by snow or rain, the underground water streams are dry. The flow in creeks decreases and then the level of the river goes down and anybody who doesn’t believe that needs to visit the Shoshone Dam and hydro-electric plant.

Yes, the spring runoff will occur. Unless the climatic conditions causing snow fall improve dramatically during February and March, that will only be the proverbial drop in the bucket. Dillon, Green Mountain, Grand Lake, Wolford and the remainder of the storage lakes will not fill to any extent. The Eagle River will not run 3,000 CFS at Avon in June (or any other month).

We must level with the public. Eagle County officials – along with those from the water authorities, metro districts and towns – need to make a statement; i.e. we have ownership or the rights to X CFS or X acre feet of water. Our storage capacity is X gallons. The number of people we have to serve is X. if our storage capacity is decreased by X gallons due to a shortage of water at the source, then the following measures will be taken: …

I have a lifelong friend living in northern San Diego County. Rumor has it that the above service utility is managed worse than any other like public service in existence. For years my friends have cleaned their dishes in a basin and have used that water to fill the toilet tank. An extra cupful of water is taken to a plant in a very small yard without a lawn.

We visited them several years ago and because we thought our car should be washed, we drove 15 miles outside of San Diego County to find a car wash. I wonder what result will emerge from the enforcement of water rights by the secretary?

I’ve had my say now, to you Cliff and anyone else you’d like to share with. The Almighty and the spirits willing, I’ll survive another season, dirty or washed, and I will pray for the best for all of the rest of us in this valley.

Frank Doll


Oh, park this

I have to say I am getting a little tired of everyone blaming the parking for their lack of business. As far as bringing back Free after 3, that won’t solve your problem. Why don’t you look at another issue?

People that want to shop, still wouldn’t have much to choose from since there is little variety. I know this is a ski town, but do we need another T-shirt shop? If rents weren’t so high, than shop owners wouldn’t have to over charge for products. Maybe we do need rent control if you have to charge an arm and a leg and half your brother for a pair of socks in Vail. Locals can’t even afford to buy a sweater on a sale rack.

Of course local shoppers are going downvalley to shop, since there is a variety and things are more affordable. Vail business owners have to realize there is competition in the valley these days. You are no longer the only horse in Town. Since, when in a free market is government responsible to bring in business for the private sector! Think of other ways to solve your fall in business other than blaming parking.

Elizabeth Webster

East Vail

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