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Letters to the editor

Robert Stephenson and John Schofield

At their Sept. 6 meeting, the Vail Town Council called up and overturned by a split vote of 4 to 3 variances which were previously approved by the town Planning & Environmental Commission. Specifically, this would have provided for elderly and handicapped access to an older Vail home.The homeowner’s presentation to the Town Council stated that the proposed addition of an entry and elevator would allow access to his five-level home by his 80-year-old mother-in-law, who is unable to negotiate the house as it stands. In this day and age where there are laws to protect the access rights of the handicapped and disabled, we were surprised and dismayed by this decision. We have observed that the residents of Vail Valley have typically sought to help the physically challenged in anyway possible. Apparently, the four Town Council members voting against this project (Moffet, Ruotolo, Cleveland, Donovan) have little regard for the needs of the handicapped and elderly.We hope that this situation is noted by voters in our upcoming election.Robert StephensonJohn SchofieldRight for VailAs a small-business owner and now a candidate for Vail’s town council, I would like to express my support for the Vail conference center.Many people visit Vail for many reasons. I believe a state-of-the-art conference center would provide facilities that could accommodate larger groups in a professional environment. Vail is currently missing out on this very lucrative part of the conference market. I am not suggesting anything like the size of what is in Las Vegas or Orlando. Many groups, like the Future Business Leaders of America, are outgrowing their current space, and many groups are being turned away daily.Every day Verbatim Booksellers sees people from different conferences in all seasons. There are those (locals) who have expressed concern over an airport. We do not need an airport in town to attract people to Vail for a conference. Has anyone ever tried to get from LAX, O’Hare, or Kennedy, into the city to your conference and felt relaxed and rested upon arrival? Wouldn’t a nice ride though breathtakingly beautiful mountains make a difference?You may ask why would people come to Vail in the off-season? Apart from our golf courses, what about our fine restaurants, art galleries, and wonderful shops? What about our fresh mountain air and sunshine? Just look at this past week alone. Beautiful sunny warm days, with foliage at its peak vs. elevated terrorist attack warnings in New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas and many other cities in the U.S. I ask you all, where would you want to spend your conference?As a bookseller that tries to bring in quality and world renowned authors to Vail, I am very hard-pressed to find a place that is large enough to hold such events. How many of you were turned away at the Mitch Albom (“Tuesdays with Morrie,” “Five People you Meet in Heaven”) event this past winter that was held at the Marriott, or Peter Heller (“Hell or High Water”) at Donovan Pavilion?Local businesses should be deciding how much staff their stores need in the off-season, not whether or not to stay open.I would also make the point that the Vail Chamber and Business Association is about business, and therefore I believe they should be taking a stand on this issue.To those people against the proposal, I would ask you all to take a moment and consider that many small-business owners in Vail do not have large bank accounts to take care of them when business is slow. Many business owners in Vail have to worry about the off-season and making ends meet with respect to payroll, rent, etc. And many employees who are not needed during that time, worry about how they will make a living in the off-season.The Vail conference center will generate an estimated $34 million annually for the town of Vail, providing almost everyone who works in Vail year-round opportunities. The center would also be available for local events, functions, and concerts, too.The conference center is right for Vail for the benefit of all. If you are interested in year-round employment and better quality of life, please vote for me to help move Vail forward. See my Web site for more info http://www.robertforvail.com Thank you!Robert H. AikensVail council candidateClothes offI must say that I was pleased to see the photo of “Team High Maintenance” from the 2004 Vail Undressed calendar grace the pages of the Vail Daily on Oct. 8. When I viewed the photo, I asked myself, “I wonder how many people will get upset over this.” Then whammy! Less than 48 hours later, a disgruntled reader from Eagle wrote in comparing the Undressed calendar to a Playboy magazine (don’t I wish) and calling this charitable photo “disgusting.” I want all those who are opposed to the Daily displaying photos from any of the Vail Undressed calendar’s to read page B3 from Tuesday’s Vail Daily, entitled “Group releases list of top American magazine covers of the last 40 years.” The American Society of Magazine Editors names a naked John Lennon curled around and kissing his wife, Yoko, No. 1. Coming in second was the shot of a very pregnant (yup, naked again) Demi Moore, followed by an image of boxer Muhammad Ali wearing no shirt? Oh boy, if this doesn’t stir the pot. I am thankful that this list was decided on by a panel of 52 magazine editors, design decorators, art directors and photography editors and not by those who express the same concerns like our friend in Eagle. Otherwise the top photo would have featured (only guessing here) a cute golden retriever chasing his balls. Eric LyonEdwardsNeed informationI am a student at Red Canyon High School in Eagle. I love to write, and I am asking you the writers of this valley if you could help me. We are doing research on the mountain pine beetle infestation in the valley. could you possibly get me information on if you think or know if different species of trees mixed with the lodgepole pine can have any affect on if they get infested with the beetle or not. I can’t find many helpful resources, if you could help me out, I’d really appreciate it. Thank you so much for your time.Kayla Nelson EagleCruel statementIt was disappointing to read the article about warm coats, or more specifically, fur, in the Arts and Entertainment section of the Vail Daily recently. Fur production is one of the most egregious forms of cruelty, not just because of the torturous, insane hell animals who are used to roaming 15 miles per day in the wild endure living their lives in small cages, but also because wearing fur, even as trim, is so unnecessary and trivial. For those animals lucky enough to have been born in the wild, but unlucky enough to have been trapped, the suffering includes lingering for days, terrified, dying of thirst and starvation, often with a broken limb, and then, if they don’t die of suffering, eventually being killed inhumanely by the trapper.Ultimately, nothing shouts, “I’m cruel” louder than wearing, buying or selling fur. It is a disgusting statement to make. On the other hand, nothing gently says, “I’m compassionate” more than a lifestyle, including diet, that omits animal products. Give animals a break. Don’t support the fur industry.Neil Ryan Avon Vail, Colorado


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