Letters to the editor | VailDaily.com

Letters to the editor

Rod Slifer

We have just completed a record-breaking year for Vail with more development activity in 2005 than we’ve ever seen in the history of our town. And it doesn’t end there. Major planning initiatives are underway that will help shape the future of the West Vail and West Lionshead areas.z plans are being developed for design of a West Vail fire station; and efforts to minimize the risk of wildfire due to the pine beetle outbreak are but a few of our Town Council priorities for 2006. We invite you to make plans to attend our annual town meeting from 4 to 6 p.m. Jan. 12 at the Donovan Pavilion to learn more about these activities and to share your ideas as we turn our attention to Vail’s future. Together, we have some important decisions to make that will impact this community for years to come. Rod Slifer Mayor of VailOpposing GinnturnI would like to voice my concerns about the Ginn Development south of Minturn. My family and I are against it for the following concerns:1) Traffic/safety on Highway 24. The construction traffic, noise and pollution during buildout would be obscene. After the 3,000-4,000 souls move into their 1,700 homes up there and all the service people begin trucking up there, it will be gridlock forcing CDOT to create another four-lane highway past my front yard, which is then easily condemned in the name of progress. This is exactly what happened to Highway 82 between Aspen and Glenwood Springs. At that point I don’t have to worry about traffic because they’ve torn down mine and everyone else’s home along Main Street to widen the highway.2) Mr. Ginn wants to put all these people on top of a Superfund cleanup site at elevations ranging from 8,000-10,000 feet. What are the long-term health effects of living on top of a toxic waste site? Ask Dr. Tom Steinberg, the former physician for the Gilman Mine, how many second-home owners they treat at Vail Valley Medical Center for pulmonary edema that have homes in Vail. A large percentage of Mr. Ginn’s homes and hotels would be 1,000 feet higher. Would our town be liable if even a small percentage of Ginn’s residents developed long-term health problems because we let them build up there where they shouldn’t be?3) I think the current mood in Eagle County, if not the rest of the country, concerning our huge population growth is – ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! It’s time to change the perception of the West as a land of limitless stretches of wide open spaces to be developed. We, as citizens of Minturn, have the power to say no to this type of sprawling development in a fragile, high-altitude location known for its abundant wildlife and pristine beauty. We don’t have to get in on the ground floor of doubling the population of Eagle County in the next 20 years by more than doubling the population of Minturn in the next five.4) And for whose benefit? Not the people of Minturn or Eagle County, that’s for sure. It’s becoming more and more obvious to us locals that residential development doesn’t pay its own way. A better way to support our current citizens is to encourage new high-tech business to our communities. You are chasing your tail if you think more people moving in can provide the revenues for a community to be self-sustainable.5) Finally, it’s not the responsibility of the citizens of Minturn that Bobby Ginn maximize his profits by allowing him to bypass the county zoning of just one house per 35-acre parcel. I doubt Bobby Ginn’s accountants would have allowed him to buy this place with the notion that he could come in and fast-track his annexation through our town council without a vote of the people. He has to be prepared to live with the reality of what he can develop with existing county zoning. Like Mr. Ginn said in November, “We believe that Minturn should have the first and strongest voice in shaping a project.” He’s right. We shape our community with our ideals and our voices. Like they did in Frisco recently, saying no to bring in Home Depot. It didn’t fit in. Like the Red Mountain development in Eagle. That one didn’t even come to a vote of the people for annexation. Their town council was smart enough to stop it themselves because of the contention it caused with their citizens. I have great faith in our current town council to co the right thing. But they need our help. Call them. E-mail them. Let them know how you feel. If over half of Minturn’s eligible voters made it in to vote on the RV park development, I’m confident that an even larger percentage will express themselves by ballot over an issue of this magnitude.If you are interested in joining a group of concerned citizens called Friends of Battle Mountain who are opposed to the Ginn Resorts Development, you can contact Andy Wiessner at wiessner@vail.net or call 390-9466.Pete VanceMinturn Exciting timesAs we wrap up 2005, it helps to look back a little and ahead a lot. Looking back, resilient Americans weathered three nasty hurricanes, a huge spike in gasoline prices and more than a few predictable political scandals. The stock market finishes a little up despite recent declines. The air in the housing bubble comes out of the balloon slowly enough that no one’s panicked and more than a few rental landlords sigh with relief. The economy, always tough on the poor, lumbers along in OK shape and better than that for the rich. And, no matter what posturing there is about Iraq, it’s a certainty that unless something unpredictable happens, there’ll be fewer Americans fighting there this time next year. Which is just as well, because we may need them at home to help us deal with that alarming increase in natural disasters. Americans unaffiliated with the neo-conservative effort are breathing a sigh, right along with their landlords, prompted by outlasting a radically conservative president and folks who underestimated the nation’s displeasure at publicly mixing politics with religion. That formula, they know all too well, always equals hypocrisy.So how about 2006? While the nation still toys with being conservative, it’s learning that some problems, like the waters surrounding New Orleans, increasing national and personal debt and the looming pension crisis, not to mention health care again, will not be cured with Band Aids and sell-outs. And it’s starting to hit a lot of us in the gut. Who are the bold leaders who will not pander but will compromise; who won’t be bought, but will negotiate; who will do what we ask them to do, lead and problem solve, not become the problem? These are exciting times, aren’t they? One thing’s for sure: A lot of snow will fall this winter, making for the best conditions most of us have seen in more than a dozen years. To quote a formerly popular president, bring it on! Best wishes for a wonderful New Year!Gus Nicholson Alito a dangerI strongly oppose the nomination of Samuel Alito, whose anti-choice record poses a danger to women’s health and safety and the right to choose. He is an ultraconservative nominee who will work to restrict abortion rights and chip away at Roe v. Wade as he did while working in the U.S. Solicitor General’s Office in the 1980s. This nominee, should he be confirmed, threatens our fundamental rights and freedoms. I am asking our senators to please oppose Judge Alito and ask that everyone send letters to our politicians and this paper opposing this dangerous nomination. Betsy Nevin EdwardsAn inspirationThe article on Doss Malone and his “brave new world” was so inspiring! No matter what paralyzes us in our lives – be it physical, mental, or emotional – we should strive for the same determination, faith and vision Doss has to rise above circumstances, and hopefully find the true meaning for our existence. I pray Doss will one day walk, ski and fly again. Thanks for sharing his story.Debbie Brockett Eagle Vail, Colorado

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