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Letters to the Editor

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Fun with seniorsA couple months ago, I was approached by Karen Hoeger, the Eagle site coordinator for the senior center regarding a fun outing this fall for the seniors.Well, I made a phone call to a very special family, and the result was more than magical. Recently, Ed Oyler and his wife, Eva, opened their home and their hearts to over 40 senior citizens in our fair county, from as far away as El Jebel. These ladies and gents had a super time, as we all did. Ed and Eva orchestrated a lot of volunteers to make this day special, and I would like the community to know how great all these people are! We had three fly-fishing guides from James Juflus’ Lazy J Ranch show up and help the seniors fish in Ed’s stocked pond. Thanks to Monique, their event liaison, and to Billy and Todd.The music was provided by Alan Echtler, and wow, what a voice! H.L. Blevins from Eagle also joined Alan on the banjo, and danced a little jig! Darrel Jerman, a neighbor and Ed drove the famous black-and-white English shire team of Fergie and Andrew and their nice wagon up and down Brush Creek, where the stories were told and the scenery was enjoyed, and the food! Sharon Bishop of Columbine Bakery donated cakes and chairs. Nina Skoronsky made the best macaroni-and-cheese I have ever had. Ranette Johnson served up hot beef and all the fixin’s, provided by the Oylers and Tab from Cowboy Catering. There were beans and potato salad, and sweets and sides that were brought by a ton of ladies and families to include Jean Clegg, who also brought the swim club; Rosie Sherwood, Jan and Jerry and Chris Fedrizzi and their entire family; and Oralie and Archie Archibeck. Eva’s mom and dad were a huge help and knew everybody there and helped coordinate some Minturn senior attendees.Whew, as you can see, the day was incredible. Ed and Eva are talking about making this an annual event, and I know that everyone who was there would love that! A special thank you to Karen Hoeger, and her bonfire s’mores and care and transportation for the Eagle “kids” and to Amy Berins, the site coordinator for El Jebel, and her chariot from El Jebel full of fun ladies! It really is good to know that the Oyler family lives in this valley, their generosity is Texas-sized.Mary Lee Moe1A fills the gapsThis is a letter of support for Referendum 1A. Over the years, I have served on many task forces that identify community needs and attempt to fill gaps in services, including the Early Childhood Initiative. One of the glaring gaps in the community is child care affordability and capacity. Another is limited access to health care. It is not just a poor uneducated population who needs quality child care. At least 60 percent of mothers in this county must work to make ends meet. Public servants, such as firefighters, police officers, teachers, nurses and other “help” professions attract young, committed individuals who want to start families or who have small children. Without child care, they cannot work. There is already evidence of a recent work-force shortage. Studies also show that parents who can be comfortable knowing that their children are in quality care are also more productive at work, absenteeism decreases and job satisfaction is higher. If we don’t invest in developing a system to support our work force, we lose out economically. Expanded capacity benefits all families, their employers and the community. I urge you to join me in voting yes on 1A. Tsu Wolin-Brown Eagle-Vail Invade Mexico We should have invaded Mexico a long time ago. Pull our men and boys out of Iraq and with their help we could annex Mexico, get rid of all the corrupt government officials (local and national) improve their economy, modernize their infrastructure, improve their educational system, provide family planning and establish English as the new official language. Maybe we would see more Nobel laureates coming out of that territory. James CaldwellVailFeeling luckyToo often we take for granted where we live and the wonderful people that live here. This is a special thank you to Tom of Montauk Restaurant and his staff, as well as the EMTs who all helped my husband during an incident recently at the restaurant. Fortunately, my husband is fine, but everyone who assisted him are greatly appreciated. Drs. Linton and Shiffman and the staff in the emergency room at Vail Valley Medical Center were all professional and gave my family confidence. Thanks to all of you, and we are lucky to call the Vail Valley home. Annette Ramer and Joseph Furer EdwardsRoar of warmthOhmygod … it was like Mel Gibson in Brave Heart – the roar of warmth from all the people who showed up at Route 6 Cafe Friday night, Sept. 22. With this warmth, strength, support and power, I know now that I am not alone in this fight against scleroderma. Who could guess the power of so much love? I just want to distill it and send it back to all my family and friends who came out on such a snowy night to show their support for me. Thanks to the Vail Valley Charitable Fund, Route 6 Cafe, Mountain Catering and Cuisine Catering for the fabulous menu; Lisa Connolley, Patti Telling, Sara Thurston and NewNew Wallace, who put so much time into making this event so successful. All my work buddies both past and present, from the Beaver Creek Nordic Center and Sheraton Mountain Vista. My kids Natalie and Rudi, and their friends who helped get that great food out for us all to enjoy. Thanks to all the business in the valley, as well as private parties who donated items for the silent auction. And to all my other friends who came from all the corners of the state to support me. I want to also thank those who could not attend but still send cards and support. I will never forget any of you. Gailrose BaldwinEdwardsHelp the kidsOn Nov. 7, Coloradans across the state will have the opportunity to make important decisions that will impact the lives of kids. At the Colorado Children’s Campaign, we don’t think about Election Day in terms of politics, we think about how our votes will impact the more than one million children who live in our state. The upcoming elections will offer unprecedented choices for Coloradans. Voters will be choosing a new governor, new state representatives and senators, and will decide on numerous state and local ballot initiatives that will have significant impact on the lives of Coloradans of all ages. The Colorado Children’s Campaign believes the well-being of our state’s more than 1.1 million children is the most important predictor for the future. That is why over the next two months, you may see purple and green yard signs popping up around your community with the slogan, “Ask Your Candidates Where They Stand on Kids Issues.” The Children’s Campaign developed the signs in conjunction with our It’s About Kids Advocacy Network to promote the election of “child friendly” candidates regardless of political party – across Colorado. The Colorado Children’s Campaign recognizes and respects the right of each person to vote for candidates and initiatives who he or she believes will best meet their needs. We hope that as you make decisions on Election Day, you will also keep in mind where those candidates stand on kids’ issues. Remember, kids can’t vote, but we can and Colorado’s 1.1 million children are counting us. Megan FerlandPresident Bruce Atchison, Executive Vice President Colorado Children’s CampaignThanks for the helpOn behalf of the Eagle Valley Chamber of Commerce, CEO Tim Cochrane, Tracy Kurt, Stephanie Samuelson and Shayla McClure, we would like to thank everyone in the community that gave of their time, money and good intentions to the Healing Arts Festival on Sept. 22-24. The cooperation of the county staff at the Eagle River Center, generosity of tipis from Cindy Crawford of Beaver Creek and Susie Kincaid of Eagle, the Mongolian yurt gracing the festival from the home of Chris and Cholpan Lord, the inflatable playground from the Eagle recreation department for the children and all our hard-working volunteers helped create a wondrous new event for our community.The outreach from the Aspen, Denver, Boulder, Vail and surrounding communities truly brought together our common goals of living a healthier lifestyle in a more conscious world dedicated to our future generations.Our sponsors, NRC Broadcasting, the town of Eagle, town of Gypsum, the Vail Daily, Vitamin Cottage of Glenwood, Eagle Valley Medical Center, Vail Valley Medical Center, The Vail Valley Jet Center, CenturyTel and the Eagle Valley Chamber of Commerce we give special thanks. The vendors were generous and carried the spirit of sharing the harvest with our attendees through donations for drawings.Special thanks to Daniel Weis of Eagle on ground crew and James Faulk our Sound Specialist form Boulder and Judy of Hoofprints Accounting.G.H. Daniels (Gypsum), Seasonal Thymes (Eagle), Wildflower Farms (Edwards) – thank you for the beautiful flowers and greenery to adorn the festival. Thanks to all of those not mentioned as there are many who donated trucks, helpers and support to our event.We are happy to announce that this will be an annual event for our communities and children’s children to grow and prosper for a healthier and rewarding heritage.See you Sept. 28-30, 2007!Shayla McClureBy the swordTo quote Pope Benedict’s speech quoting a Byzantine Emperor in 1453: “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.” I think that most of us were brought up to understand that religion is a good thing. Theirs is a religion that for centuries spreads the word by the sword. The interesting thing is that their “Jewish problem” is miniscule compared to the war they have had with Christianity for over 900 years. It took a long time for Christianity to come to terms with Judaism based mostly on roots, but it did happen and is improving by the day. Where is Islam? Back in the 11th century! They might want to start to rethink their position. After all, we Jews are only 15 million strong, but Catholicism alone today is about 1 billion. I am not suggesting that numbers are what count, but it seems that Islam does. World domination by numbers is ridiculous. Dialogue and cooperation would be a much better solution. Archbishop Chaput, in a recent article stated, “The Muslim Christian conflict is a very long one rooted in deep religious differences and Muslims have their own long list of real and perceived differences. But especially in an era of religiously inspired terrorism and war in the Middle East, peace is not served by ignoring, subverting or rewriting history, but rather by facing it humbly as it really happened and healing its wounds.” The archbishop has got it right, the pope got it right.Arthur KittayEagleThreat to partiesThe local political parties will be much less effective as organizations if home rule passes since there will be no formal role for them in local politics. State and national politics alone will not keep the local grass-roots parties active and healthy. In this condition, endorsement of candidates will be relatively meaningless since the connection between the parties and their constituents will be minimal. On the other hand, less visible and accountable groups of people who happen to be mostly Republicans or who happen to be mostly Democrats will probably take the place of the parties in pushing forward candidates. The formal and regulated form of partisanship will be simply replaced by untraceable shadow partisan activity without an easily identifiable name.When you talk about partisanship, there are really two distinct elements to it. One is at the level of stereotypes which are developed through cynicism and satire in the press and bar jokes. This rather more obvious definition of partisanship is unhealthy at worst and at best at least annoying. Individuals in Eagle County have refined the sport of political name-calling to a world-class level. This should end, but I dare say, the Home Rule Charter does not have the clout to end it.The positive part of partisanship is the statutory function of the political parties in creating consensus, finding political candidates, replacing vacancies in candidates and elected officials, finding election judges, testing voting machines, overseeing elections through the canvass board, providing essential checks and balances, etc. This hidden part of partisanship is rarely seen and little known about by those who do not volunteer to participate in it. It is an extremely honorable and selfless act to take on a voluntary role for one of the parties – anything from being a rarely thanked and never-paid county party official such as myself to each individual who takes on the task of walking the precincts or telephoning to voters to make them aware of their choices in the election. Candidates have a chance of gaining office and getting paid. But these volunteers work for nothing but the chance to make things better. These people do not deserve a single word of the crass criticism and slander they and their parties receive in the local dialogue. This is particularly true in Eagle County, perhaps the most politically cynical county of all if there were to be such a contest.Now is the perfect time for a renewal of the best elements of partisanship in our county rather than a complete escape from it through the proposed Home Rule Charter. State and national politics should learn from the hearty local partisan political processes here and all over the state. Individuals working hard to make a real democracy work are putting pressure on the state and national levels of politics for major reforms. In Colorado in the Democratic Party, astonishingly, this is really working. This year I served as a co-chair of the state platform committee run by grass-roots supportive state Democratic Chair Pat Waak. Now my humble e-mails are read and responded to by Howard Dean, new chair of the Democratic National Committee. Democrats are making a difference in the right direction. Meanwhile we are also promoting and electing centrist candidates, not fanatics.Where else in Colorado politics will you see an entire county looking to abandon partisan politics and the related checks and balances? Not in Pitkin’s form of home rule. Did this happen in Weld County?The statutory caucus system is most effective in the local political scene where the candidates are accessible and may even be personally known and actually appear at the caucus. A caucus which the local candidates avoid will more likely be considered to be a waste of time.The bipartisan political system is a beautiful thing, and its main deficiency is that it prevents other (third) parties from becoming strong. In essence it brings out dialogue against a backdrop of disinterest. Without the activities of the parties this background of disinterest will take over. In this election season we are holding several events a week in Eagle County. Home rule does the county no service by eliminating the beneficial effects of the political parties. Harvie BranscombCo-ChairEagle County DemocratsVail, Colorado


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