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Letters to the editor

Otto Wiest

For some people, all they know about skiing seems to be that the snow is white.They figured out that the statistic numbers of day skiers at the end of season will become much brighter when they bring thousands of Front Range skiers to Vail for $5 a day. Those skiers buy a ski pass for Summit County and then pay only $50 more to get 10 days skiing in Vail. There are other skiers who come to Vail who pay $81for a day pass or they pay for the one- or two-week ski pass, for quite different prices. I guess also these visitors come to Vail for skiing the famous powder. But most of the time, they only get the leftovers from the $5 weekend crowd.For a non-skier, this is no problem because they seem to understand powder skiing as much as a vegetarian understands the taste of a steak dinner. So maybe if we talk about eating, every body might understand my problem. Let’s say there is an expensive buffet what may cost $81 – the regular price. Then you invite, just to fill up the party, some more guests for $5. So the place is well packed, and the cheap guests will eat all the goodies of the buffet (Backbowls and Blue Sky), and the left over is for those who paid the full price. How does that sound?How many real powder days happend in Vail in one season? This year we are lucky, but after the weekend crowed has invaded like grasshoppers, it takes normally almost a week to get the tracked-up spots covered again. In famous Lech, Austria, they protect their highly important destination guests who stay there for weeks, by closing the ski resort on weekends after a certain number of weekend skiers has arrived. There are signs along the highway to inform skiers then that Lech is full.By the way, if the powder day in Vail would not cost $5 but $20 to $30 like the normal season pass owner pays, it might be a simple solution to eliminate the long-time discussion about the parking problems at the Frontage Road.Otto Wiest MisunderstandingsA young boy came into my ice cream shop on Monday, Feb 6, and presented one of my employees expired coupons. After the employee refused these coupons, the mother came in and mentioned that she would not return. To the public, if you are upset with service or a situation that has occurred in a retail outlet, please explain the situation to the manager on staff so the business can understand the problem and attempt to rectify the situation. Typically, the situation is a simple missunderstanding. To this lady, I’m not sure if your issue was with an employee or with the expired coupons you presented. It doesn’t help anyone to simply walk out of the store angry, mentioning that you would not return and not explain what the problem is. Dustin Kelley Edwards No, just energy saverThis letter is in response to the anonymous tipsline letter about the home I built in Gypsum in 1978 which the writer called an “ego monument.” For the record it may be a monument to solar energy, as well. Terrill Knight, who was working for the county at the time, gave me the Energy Conservation Building Award for my efforts. We used to call the house and land “Hole in the Sky” because the sun often shines in the Gypsum Creek Valley when it’s storming everywhere else. First, a little corrective history. I moved to Vail in 1962. As the years went by and Vail grew, a cloud of smog would develop over the valley on some winter days when there was an inversion. This cloud keep getting bigger and bigger each subsequent year until in 1976 it obscured the view of the village from my home up on Forest Road. That’s when I sold the Vail house and purchased land in the Gypsum Creek Valley. I was determined not to make the same mistake twice. I found some land with a good southern exposure and built what was then a mostly solar heated building. My backup heat came from a Riteway wood-burning furnace and a fireplace. I didn’t have any fossil fuel heat in the building for 15 years. The solar systems were both active and passive, too complicated to describe in a short letter, but I will say a little about passive solar heat collection. This is something I have been taking for granted until a few months ago when a fourth-grade teacher from Eagle asked if she could give her students a tour of our house. We told the children how the ground temperature is fairly constant 55 degrees year-round below the frost line, which is the reason why I buried the sunless north side of the house. In the winter I only have to heat up the underground rooms from 55 degrees, not from the minus 10 or 15 degree outside temperatures. When the air is circulated properly in these partially underground rooms the house temperature needs to be raised less than 20 degrees in the winter and not even lowered in the summer. The south-facing windows have carefully designed overhangs that let the low winter sun in but keep the high hot summer sun out. When the sun hits the dark red brick floors, the heat is absorbed and lasts well into the night. This fall, in spite of the fact that the active parts of the solar system aren’t working, we did not turn on the gas furnace on until Dec. 13. By mid-February we will stop using the gas furnace until next December. We showed the kids other things, how our chickens recycle food wastes into eggs. They picked apples from our trees and pulled up some carrots from our garden. The children in my wife’s preschool get these lessons every day. These are ideas the children will hopefully carry into adult life when fossil fuel energy problems and low cost food supplies are going to be much more serious considerations. Roger BrownGypsum Pay your people!My anger will not abate. After eating at one of Vail’s iconic restaurants tonight and running up a bill of over $400 for four guests ,we were confronted by a “suit” questioning why we had only left a 10 percent tip. What? Oh, he explained, the wait staff only receive a little over $2 an hour for their service. I nearly fell off my chair. How can any restaurant charge so much and pay their staff so little? It made me sick to my stomach and reduced the wonderful food to ashes. Why would such a well-known restaurant even question a client about what tip they had left for a start and why would ANY restaurant pay so little to the people who are the face of their establishment? Something is radically wrong. The public pays for the staff while the restaurateurs pocket all the takings for the food that costs a fraction of what they charge. This is surely extortion. My husband owns a 250-seat restaurant in Australia and pays his staff over $17 an hour!A tip of 10 percent is recognition of excellent service, as we offered tonight. The service was indeed top class. Shame on the restaurateurs who pocket the goodies, leaving the public to pay those who serve it up to an unsuspecting public. It is time to say enough is enough and shame to those who believe the current system is just. How can you sleep at night on your feather pillows paid for by the deprivation of a just payment to your staff? Judy TierneyHobart, Tasmania Thanks for great raceSki and Snowboard Club Vail, the Vail Mountain School, and Vail Christian High School Nordic ski teams would like to send a big thank you to the Vail Recreation District, Giberson Timing, the Vail Nordic Center, and all of the volunteers that made this year’s VMS/VCHS Nordic state qualifier a huge success. A special thanks to Brinley Marsh for his work in grooming the course and making it worthy of competition. Again, a big thank you to all of those who came out and supported these hard-working student athletes!Dan WeilandKarl HochtlJenny AbrahamSSCV NordicShaping projectI would like to thank all of the people who were in opposition to the Crossroads redevelopment. If it were not for them the proponents would have wanted the town to approve the initial huge stucco box or the last unimaginative proposal. Although the latest design is still much too large in scale and mass, if it were not for the opposition, the project would not have the character it does now. So, hats off to the opposition, and thanks to you we will now have a building that although not very European in flavor is of a much higher quality than the developer or planner would have ever come up with on their own. It is truly unfortunate, but speaks bounds to the developer, that they lacked a truly great design for Vail, and only by battling it out and forcing them to finally get it, do they design something of quality. Now it is up to the town to ensure the finishes and detail will be what Vail deserves.Bill Rey VailExcellent decisionI want to commend the county commissioners for their actions regarding the Palmerosa development application. I attended all seven meetings of the Palmerosa application (three Planning Commission meetings and four Board of County Commissioners meetings). It was a complicated application and the commissioners took the time to understand the nuances of the land and wildlife issues. I think they made an excellent decision for all beings in this community. Thank you!Kara (Campitelli) Horner Officer tailgatesRecently, I was driving from Safeway to my condo in Intermountain. After pulling through the West Vail roundabout, passing the West Vail green bus, I then began to drive west on South Frontage towards Intermountain. Being that it is winter, my rear view window was heavily frosted, but I could clearly make out the headlights behind me that were following way too close. I began to brake, like you do when someone is following too close, but the driver did not fall back. Instead he got closer, and our speeds crossed over 40 miles an hour. After driving past the first left into Intermountain, the driver stayed too close, and I began to brake heavily.And this is when the officer turned on his lights and pulled me over for speeding. Locals, please help stop this madness. Steve ColeVail Vail, Colorado


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