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Letters to the Editor

Get on with itWhen all is said and done, there is only one reality – Crossroads must be redeveloped. These constant delay tactics only prolong the agony. The time is now, when all of Vail is under construction or destruction. Look around, everything has grown in height. The Sonnenalp project has changed the face of Vail. And, of course, when the Sonnenalp redevelops, it is first class and brings a new and better image to the face of Vail. Why will the Crossroads development not achieve the same end? What is served by having a very visible Sonnenalp and the old and faded Crossroads? The two projects will ultimately bring balance to the area. Who is being served by all these delays? Certainly not the residents of Vail, the local business people, the tourists or we downvalley folks who avoid Vail except to ski. Jeri CampisiBeaver CreekThanks; I’ll keep fighting I, Wanda Abbey Rivera, and my family want to reach out with a heartfelt thank you for all everyone has done since I was told I was sick: To all my senior friends, who with their hearts and limited incomes held a card shower and with money to help while I’m unable to work. To Mary Lou and Johnette, Sherie and Ronald for stepping in to make sure all my seniors get their lunches. To all my friends and people I didn’t know were friends for all your calls and offers of help with anything we needed. To Jack and Penny for the wonderful meal.To Angel at the Cowboy and the Lady Salon for cutting my hair to send to Locks of Love, and for the final shave. To Jane Cook for my last dye job while I had hair. A special thanks for my oldest son, Joe, for selling his truck to help me with bills, my daughter-in-law Dennel for all she does and keeps doing to help make me feel so special. My son Justin for all the special needs he helps me with. And my best friend and daughter for being my personal driver and a shoulder to cry on. My awesome husband, Joe, for really stepping up to the plate and doing so much for me. To all my friends and family, my sister, grandkids. A special thanks to my parents Betty and Doug Abbey for the gifts sent, especially for the angel blanket to wrap around me since they are so far away and can’t be right here. To Patty and Valerie and Barb for the phone support and offers of help and the prayer groups for praying. Thank you all for the support and love and prayers as I fight this illness. I will! l fight hard and do so because of everyone who believes I can and who gives me the courage and the love.Jonie, Al and Tami, thanks for the extra health drops and cures. We will win this battle! Wishing you all health and happiness. Wanda Abbey Rivera GypsumVail without a bookstore?We have been well-informed over the past few months of the new structure of Vail and with it, its new higher rents and inadequate business signage. But what saddens me most is the lethargic attitude of our town planners, and perhaps community as a whole, towards the local, small-margin businesses that are now being forced to leave their loved community. A prime example is Verbatim Booksellers. Mr. Aikens has been a proud member of our community for many years and has strived through many highs and lows to offer us a comfortable, well-planned bookstore, a place that local families can enjoy as well as our visitors. Can you imagine one of our high-end guests inquiring about purchasing a book on the history of Vail to share with his friends back home, or wanting a Colorado coffee table book to gift to his Vail host, only to be told that the town’s only bookstore had been forced to close its doors? I travel extensively, and one of my greatest pleasures is finding the local book vendor to purchase that off-the-beaten-shelf book of the local characters. It would be appalling to think that a “world renowned” ski resort would choose not to offer such a small luxury, but yet would rather play host to what seems to be an over-abundance of T-shirt and fur shops.Vail needs to realize the loss they will sustain in losing a proprietor such as Mr. Aikens. Not only have I witnessed Mr. Aikens recommend the best book for a hot bubble bath or beach vacation, but he also recommends the best restaurant to fit your appetite for that evening or shops that you will find exactly what you are looking for. And he is one of the few proprietors who are available in the store 99 percent of the time.We now have the opportunity to make Vail a special place for both locals and visitors alike. City planners, open your eyes to all businesses and what different things patrons will be looking for, not just who can pay the highest rents. Think what Vail will be like without a bookstore. Deborah WilsonObject to logging planWe are writing to express support in part and concern in part for the Forest Service’s recent approval of the Vail Valley Forest Health Project. The agency approved a combination of logging in lodgepole pine, logging in aspen, and controlled burning to reduce fuels and the associated fire threat around Vail and other nearby locations.In general, we strongly support such efforts. Indeed, there are areas that would certainly be at risk should a fire break out, such as the Vail Intermountain subdivision on the town’s west side. Commendably, the Vail Valley Project approves thinning of the dense lodgepole pine on national forest land immediately south of this area.However, there are other aspects of the project which defy common sense and call into question the priorities of the Forest Service. Also approved as part of the project is cutting of lodgepole pine and aspen on the very steep slope extending approximately two miles above Intermountain. This slope, which is mostly forested by aspen with some clumps of lodgepole pine, is very wet, with a number of springs and seeps, with almost all of it in an identified landslide. Furthermore, the logging would occur in the Game Creek Roadless Area. Any cutting here would reduce the pristine characteristics of the roadless area, and could help unleash a torrent of mud and debris onto Vail.The Forest Service has said that wet areas and landslides will be avoided. That may be difficult to do and still cut many trees. But the need for any cutting here is questionable to begin with. Logging would clear-cut 5- to 10-acre blocks of aspen and remove the lodgepole pine that is infiltrating the aspen so that the aspen, which is much more fire resistant than conifer, can maintain itself, providing somewhat of a fire break for Vail. However, the lodgepole pine is already dead or will soon be from mountain pine beetle attacks. Thus with more sunlight, more space on the ground, and improved access to more and nutrients, aspen will reproduce just fine on its own. In short, the proposed cutting of lodgepole and aspen well above the Intermountain subdivision is unnecessary and possibly counterproductive. We hope the Forest Service designs all future fuel reduction projects to concentrate on the areas most in need of such treatment. The citizens of Eagle County and other potentially fire-prone locations deserve no less.Rocky SmithColorado WildDenver1.3 percentLike so many Bush-bashers, Friday’s Tipster is in desperate need of a reality check. The Tipster cited five retired generals who want Rumsfeld out. Currently, there are about 4,700 living members of the retired general officer corps, most of whom left active duty between Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Last week, 0.13 percent of them decided to help write the Democrats’ 2006 midterm-election playbook. Six retired officers (seven if we’re to include former Demo presidential hopeful Wesley Clark) issued public indictments of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s (re: the Bush administration’s) conduct of Operation Iraqi Freedom. It is worth noting, because the left media refuses to, that the six complainants are all alumni of Clinton’s Pentagon cabal. Nor has the left media mentioned the support Secretary Rumsfeld has received from more consequential retired generals, such as former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Richard Myers or former OEF and OIF commander Tommy Franks.Of course, there is nothing wrong with criticism of an American president and his administration, but the disingenuous, politically motivated accusations by Democrat Party leaders like Kennedy, Reid, Durbin, Kerry, Pelosi and their ilk are something else entirely. Their use of the gravely serious matter of the Iraq War for partisan political gain is nothing short of treason.Likewise, there is nothing wrong with former military officers declaring their intent to run for public office or their support for a political party. At least retired Marine colonel, Rep. John Murtha, had the integrity to do that. But the six officers in question have made no such declaration – insisting that their attack on the Bush administration is non-partisan. In this respect, they are either duplicitous or dupes – and one should fairly conclude that they are not the latter. When retired general officers are recruited by Democratic Party leaders to join in a chorus of dissension in time of war, the consequences are the same: Deadly. Their actions embolden our enemy and endanger our troops on the ground. That is the reality people need to come back to.Thomas AndersonVailVail, Colorado


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