Letters: Vail needs to keep its expert terrain
Vail CO, Colorado
Preserve expert terrain
The proposed lift in Sundown Bowl would be an irreversible mistake for Vail Resorts. Currently the runs that exist there are among the last remaining areas in Vail that provide the expert skier with exciting non-bump skiing: the challenge being provided by the natural conditions of pitch, exposure, and snowfall. The serenity one experiences on the traverse over to Seldom or Never, the view looking from Wow to the west and the feeling of one’s smallness relative to the area around you are the very essence of skiing.
With the narrow confines at the bottom of chair 5, would the creek need to be filled in below the bottom of Forever to accommodate the bottom station? Would the top terminal be on Ptarmigan Ridge to allow downhill access to Straight Shot as well as Never? Would there be a catwalk like the ones in China Bowl to eliminate the perceived “nuisance” of the traverse? How much grooming will need to happen now that the new area will have been opened up for all abilities (Widges, Three Tree Gully)? These are specifics that have been glossed over in this controversy, and it would be useful to know what this new lift will look like before it happens.
Vail Resorts probably welcomes the idea of greater access to more abilities in this area, and it will certainly help the sale of real estate in Lionshead. My opinion is that we already have plenty of intermediate terrain, and not enough for the expert. The mix of abilities skiing fast on the same slope is already a recognized problem on Vail Mountain. Sundown Express will destroy forever the kind of natural Back Bowl skiing that has set us apart from the rest of the country’s ski areas, and replace it with that homogenized, rushed skiing that requires us now to wear helmets and constantly check over our shoulder lest we get hit.
U.S. can do better
We are a nation of 300 million people ” for the most part, intelligent, reasonably well educated, and highly moral. Are you telling me that Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney and Rudolph Giuliani are as good as it gets? I mean, all three of them are campaigning on very little except the fear of al-Qaida and/or their personal concerns regarding gay rights, abortion, illegal immigration and higher taxes. Oh yes, each of them wants to convince us that he REALLY believes in God more than anyone else. Come on! We are better than that!
How about fiscal responsibility for our national budget and for our Social Security and Medicare programs? How about compromise to provide health insurance for all, and an intelligent immigration program? How about the very real problems associated with our national debt, our trade deficit and the weakened dollar? How about being a real partner with Russia and China to resolve the worldwide energy and global warming problems? How about convincing all “combatants” that peace and goodwill are also in their best interests?
Don’t tell me that those are impossible goals and that I’m an idle dreamer. Don’t tell me that real American leadership can’t make a difference. Those things are all doable and in the best interests of us Americans and the people throughout the rest of the world.
So let’s search for a candidate from either party who will address our own country’s important problems and will peacefully seek a better world with the United States as the moral leader.
Hospitals could be safer
I’d like to share a recent article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal. Ms. Betsy McCaughey, chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths asks the question “Why do meat processors get more inspections than operating rooms?” She notes that restaurants in New York are inspected, without a prior notice, once a year.
In Los Angeles inspections are done three times a year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 2,500 people die each year after picking up food-borne illness in a restaurant.
Forty times that number “100,000 people ” die each year, according to the CDC, from infections contracted in health-care facilities.
The organization that accredits most hospitals, the Joint Commission, usually visits a hospital every three years.
That’s not enough.