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Letters to the editor

editor@vaildaily.com

The Eagle County Underage Drinking Prevention Program is targeted to changing community norms in an effort to prevent underage drinking.

Young people’s alcohol use is an extremely critical problem. This program is designed to give communities the tools and strategies to prevent youth from beginning to use alcohol and to educate those who do drink about the risks they are taking.

The Underage Drinking Prevention Program is a community effort and will provide health professionals, educators, public officials, law enforcement officers, community leaders, and youth with the communication tools and strategies needed to reduce the occurrence and acceptance of underage drinking.

The program’s primary goal will be to motivate communities to change norms that may encourage or allow underage drinking. The secondary goals of the program are to increase the number of youth who understand the risks associated with alcohol use and to empower them to resist the pressures to drink that they often get from their peers and from advertising.

Reports from the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reveal alarming information on the number of young people who drink, the amount they are consuming, their lack of knowledge regarding alcohol’s effects, and the ease with which underage youth can purchase alcoholic beverages.

The 1999 HHS series of reports on underage drinking documented that there are about 10.4 million underage drinkers in America. Furthermore, 6.8 million are binge drinkers (consuming five or more drinks in a row) and 2.1 million are heavy drinkers (consuming five or more drinks on the same occasion on at least five days in the month). Ten percent of all American drinking is done by underage youth. Several studies suggest that large numbers of underage youth are able to purchase alcohol withough proper identification.

Two out of three junior high school age students cannot distinguish some alcoholic beverages from nonalcoholic ones. Most young people do not understand the concept of alcohol content and do not know the relative strength of different types of alcohol.

“Alcohol is the main substance used by Hispanic/Latino youth. Approximately two out of every 10 Hispanic/Latino youth teens report using alcohol recently.” (SAMHSA-Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Preliminary Results from 1997 Natioinal Household Survey on Drug Abuse, Washington, D.C. SAMHSA)

Each community must recognize the serious consequences of underage drinking.

The Eagle County Underage Drinking Prevention Program is an opportunity for communities to work together and make their highways safer, their schools more effective, and the future of their young people more certain.

Allison Kercher

Hispanic Community Advocate

Tireless worker

Please accept this letter as our support for Eagle County commissioner candidate Gerald Sandberg. Mr. Sandberg has worked tirelessly in this valley in so many different capacities.

He has donated many hours to youth, senior citizens and everyone in between. He truly wants to see Eagle County improve and thrive. He wants you – the locals of Eagle County- to have a voice regarding what happens here and he’s the guy who will listen and get things done.

Gerry Sandberg is the working man’s/woman’s man. He’s honest, caring and has a strong sense of what’s right and what’s wrong. He is not your stereotypical politician. He’s in it for our kids and our future. He stands up for his beliefs, yet listens with open ears and an open mind.

Please vote for Gerry Sandberg on Nov. 5. He’s our man for county commissioner.

John Ramunno

Sympathy for devil

It’s difficult to criticize or challenge the Vail Daily. I love your newspaper and the service you provide.

However, I was shocked to read the entertainment article in your Sept. 26 issue about Steve Earle’s new CD which supports and encourages sympathy for John Walker Lindh. Pure and simple, Lindh is a traitor! He deserves what he received and should have been more severely sentenced.

I doubt many people in the Vail Valley care about John Walker Lindh’s viewpoint. Hopefully, Steve Earle’s CD will not sell more than five copies in the valley.

Furthermore, I hope the surviving family members of the World Trade Center disaster tar and feather Steve Earle.

Carl Kurtz

Edwards


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