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Letters to the Editor

Compiled by Daily staff

UnbelievableAre you kidding me? How many times must you be run over by a vehicle, Mr. Hurlbert, before it constitutes attempted murder? I would surely like to know so that if I ever have an argument with my spouse I won’t run over him that one last time. By the way, you can come and tell me the answer in Denver. I’ll be by the victim’s bedside. She’s been by my side for 30 years.Robin FritzLopsided editorialI normally do not respond to commentaries written in the paper, but after reading your lopsided commentary titled “Much ado about a slide” in the Thursday edition of the Vail Daily, I realized that it was finally time for me to speak up. It is obvious that this article was written not on fact, but on the hearsay of those who are helping pay your salary through advertising. It appears from the editorial that you did not inquire about the facts from the other side because none of the people I have spoken with today (including association heads and many of the residents in town) received any calls from you. By apparently not talking to the residents of Beaver Creek (more than 2,000 people who are opposed to the installation of the slide), you have written a slanted, one-sided commentary. This is not journalism. If it was, Don Rogers would have had the intellectual curiosity to talk with both sides and write a balanced commentary based on the facts, not fictions; his conclusions would have been different.Before I respond to Don Roger’s sarcastic statement “Beaver Creek homeowners are fighting furiously against the happy cries of their own grandchildren,” I want to point out that I find it very interesting that Don chose to use the exact same phrase that Vail Resorts has used over and over again in their arguments. What a coincidence! The property owners are not against individuals, especially children, having fun. We are, however, against Vail Resorts going against what the property owners believe, in this particular case, agreed not to do in the 1994 agreement. As far as the inaccuracy that “the slide won’t go near any homes,” has Don looked at the plans and fully understands the impact of the location? Don mentions, in his editorial, that we live in a resort. We understand that. However, by simply using the word “resort,” does that automatically open the door for an alpine slide? If so, what next? It is clear that Vail Resorts is primarily interested in their bottom line. This is an amusement ride that is entirely inconsistent with the environmental integrity of Beaver Creek and probably violates the covenants, conditions and restrictions for Beaver Creek that were written by the declarant, Vail Resorts. The legality of whether they are permitted to install the slide is initially in the political arena but may end up in the legal arena for interpretation. Vail Resorts has declared war on the Beaver Creek property owners, forcing the property owners to protect the environmental integrity of Beaver Creek, its covenants, conditions and restrictions, and its property values. At the end of the day, Vail Resorts has severely strained, if not obliterated, the goodwill of many of its best ambassadors.Don, in closing, if there is a next time that you write a commentary about this subject, go out and gather all the facts, talk to both sides and then present a factual, balanced view for the readers of your paper. You may want to read the article in your sister paper in Aspen that researched the logic of a slide in Beaver Creek. If you had done that in this instance, your conclusions would have been significantly different.John F. ForstmannWhat ‘big’ box?We were astounded by the headline to your story recounting the startling and abrupt denial of the proposed commercial project, Eagle River Station, by the town of Eagle Planning Commission. This project has never been represented as a “big box” center by either Vince Riggio or Red Development. We all are aware that using the terminology “big box” is certain to stoke emotions in the local population, and this fact leaves us wondering why the inaccurate headline was used at all. After this introduction, the story went on to mention that Riggio is proposing a “lifestyle” center with a couple of “mid-size boxes.” A “lifestyle” project is neither a mall nor a big box center. A lifestyle center allows merchants’ storefronts to face outward to welcome customers. Pedestrian access is out of doors. The architecture can be easily designed to be distinctive and to fit the tone and feel of the neighborhood. Rather than being anchored by four or five large multi-level national department store chains, a lifestyle center may have no department store anchor, or may have a store such as a Kohl’s or Whole Foods Market. They typically do not include large scale stores such as Target or Wal-Mart. The stores are primarily a group of national, regional and local specialty stores and restaurants. You might see American Eagle Outfitters, Ann Taylor Loft and Claire’s Boutique, for instance. Red Development has a significant and successful track record in this kind of development. If you are curious about how this works, a great example is Briargate in northern Colorado Springs.At this meeting, staff recommendations and responses to the application were only partially presented. It was clear that the effort to review this proposal in the context of the 1996 plan for the town of Eagle was daunting. The 1996 plan is now out of date given the rapid and unanticipated growth of the community over the last 10 years. The town is assembling a committee of volunteers to rework and revise the plan so that it is more consistent with the current needs of the town of Eagle. Planning Commission Chairman Rick Dunford invited attendees to speak, and there were thoughtful and well-considered comments made both pro and con. Dunford then suggested that the discussion be continued in two weeks, and reassured attendees that there would be ample opportunity for every concerned citizen to speak. We were then totally shocked and taken aback by the rapid decision to deny, thereby cutting off all possibility of discussion or reworking of the proposal. The Planning Commission has done the town and its residents a disservice by taking this incomprehensible action. There is far too much at stake in a proposal such as this for the taxpayers to be treated this way. Fortunately, this is not the last word on the subject, and the proposed center can still be presented to the Town Board, and the voters can make their opinions known at board meetings and in a referendum.We encourage all Eagle residents to become involved and to learn everything they can about the complicated and controversial subject of bringing a high-quality shopping center with a diverse tenant mix and complementary uses to Eagle, along with infrastructure and sales tax revenue. Then, let yourself be heard.Frances and Rick RolaterEagleIs this a joke?In reading the article headlined “Attempted-murder charg-es avoided,” I thought that the article must surely be a Halloween joke. Now I am afraid that in fact Mr. Hurlbert must be a Halloween joke or maybe Mr. Hurlbert just doesn’t like women.This man drives over his girlfriend an “unknown number of times.” What is the prosecutor thinking, that she was a piece of cloth and he was trying to iron out the wrinkles?We are talking about a vehicle (allegedly) intentionally driving over a victim here. This was not a tricycle, a ski, a snowboard, but a vehicle.I am astonished at our legal system here in Eagle County.Marcie KittayGardens goneMany years ago an idea was made into a reality. That idea was the inspiration of Lucile Lieber. She envisioned a place for senior citizens of Eagle County to come together in one building. She also saw the need for affordable housing for seniors and handicapped people. So with the help of Virginia and Gerald Rose, a place was built. That is the Golden Eagle Apartments and the Golden Eagle Senior Center.Years later, Lucile’s daughter, Ethel Borgen, had a garden build in front of the senior building in honor of her mother. Every year Ethel worked diligently tending the garden. Her efforts resulted in a place enjoyed by everyone in the community.Also, around the same time that Ethel was building her garden, a group of people were enjoying the fruits of their efforts at the property adjacent to the Golden Eagle Apartments known as the Eagle Community Gardens. They were approached by the family of one of the tenants whose father had passed away. The family wanted to honor him by donating money to have a garden built in his memory. Other families, who lost their loved ones, found out about this idea and contributed to the formation of The Remembrance Garden. The committee, which consisted of master gardeners, members of the Eagle Community Gardens, senior tenants of the Golden Eagle Apartments, friends and families, chose a spot to built this garden. It was approved by the town of Eagle, Eagle County, and the owners of the Golden Eagle Apartments. The committee bought and built a beautiful gazebo, received a grant for 24 trees, planted hundreds of bulbs, perennial, plants, bushes, and built a waterfall. A rock was donated by Gallegos Corp. and placed in the garden. A beautiful dedication plaque was placed on the rock. The garden also received a recognition award from the National Wildlife Federation. This Remembrance Garden became a place of quiet reflection, memories, and also many summer ice cream socials and winter hot chocolate and cider parties. This past week, these gardens were quickly destroyed. We are shocked that someone would remove two garden areas that had been dedicated to the memories of loved ones no longer with us. Many hundreds of hours were spent maintaining these gardens over the years. Weeding, planting, watering, sitting with friends, sharing memories and reflecting happy times These are the moments that will be missed.But, because this is a time for Thanksgiving, we want to thank the people who supported these memorials and gave us many years of peace and happiness. We thank Ethel’s family, the Jones, Flemming, Wilson and Herin families, Buddya and Jane, and all those who created memories for us that no one, even in the name of progress can ever take away.Lucy BarkerFormer manager and resident of Golden Eagle ApartmentsVail Daily, Vail Colorado CO


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