Letters: Vail needs to prepare for emergencies
Give Eagle-Vail optionsIm voting yes on 5A and would like to address a concern that I once had: whether the mill levy rate set by 5A would never end or decrease in the future. All that a tax authorization like 5A sets is the maximum amount of mills that can be levied. It does not require the Eagle-Vail Metro District Board of Directors to levy the full amount each year. In fact, the mill levy was 19.8 mills a decade ago and has dropped over time as our valuation increased to its current level of 14.835.The predictions from a few people I hear who continue to question 5A about how much revenue would be generated in 2010 or 2014 must be coming from some crystal ball. The actual history shows that even keeping the same mill levy in the future would probably just produce enough revenues to keep pace with inflation. The greatest increase in individual home values for Eagle-Vail since 2001, prior to this years unprecedented 42 percent, was an increase of 12 percent back in 2005. So the potential for the revenues to be produced by 5A in the future is limited by the amount of home-value appreciation in the future. It is possible that there may be some years where keeping the same mill would produce a large increase in the amount of revenue collected by the district. The Board of Directors could choose to reduce the mill levy to only collect what they needed, they could pay off the bonds earlier than scheduled, or they could use the money to complete even more of the master plan. Since I can vote for the board and can show up at the meetings and tell them what the community wants, I would prefer that at least they have the option to make this decision.Steven KirchnerEagle-VailNeed workers in VailA recent gas line break during construction in Vail Village has served as an unfortunate reminder of the importance of emergency response workers living in close proximity to their jobs. In this case, customers and businesses were evacuated for five hours that Saturday as Xcel Energy worked to schedule a response from a list of on-call repairmen, none of whom lived within Eagle County. To make matters even more challenging, a simultaneous emergency was underway in Avon that day, placing additional demands on Xcels after-hours response. Recognizing the probability that a gas-line emergency could happen again, in part, because of the record construction occurring, the Town of Vail is taking steps to be better equipped to handle the initial response on its own. In this case, a special tool has been purchased by Vail fire and emergency services that will be available to safely close off leaking gas pipes until additional help arrives. We have since contacted managers at Xcel to urge the company to increase its emergency response coverage throughout Eagle County. Unfortunately, gas line breaks are but one example of the many types of emergencies that occur within a towns jurisdiction. Over the years, there have been fires, robberies and serious traffic accidents that have tested Vails first-responder capabilities and the need for additional employees to be available during prolonged emergencies, such as the Interstate 70 sinkhole in 2003. In recognizing the importance of having critical workers living nearby, the Town of Vail initiated a program in 1998 when it built the 18-unit Red Sandstone Creek housing development in partnership with the Eagle River Water & Sanitation District, in which police officers, firefighters, dispatchers, snowplow drivers, utility responders and other critical workers were given priority over all other employees in purchasing a deed-restricted unit in Vail. Five additional units have since been purchased or built by the town and are being rented to critical employees. Three of these critical rental units are located at the towns Buzzard Park employee housing complex, built in 1998. Besides housing three critical employees, the 24-unit complex is also home to seasonal bus drivers, parking attendants and maintenance workers. A Town of Vail mechanic is the beneficiary of our most recent effort to facilitate critical employee housing. In this case, the town recently purchased a one-bedroom, one-bath unit in West Vail for $280,000. The property was then deed-restricted and resold to the mechanic for $174,500. This is the first free-market unit purchased and sold exclusively to a critical town employee. As such, the mechanic will be called upon to keep the towns emergency service vehicles in operation and may live in the unit until he ends his employment with the town. The unit will then be sold to another deserving employee who qualifies under the towns critical employee status. Whether its a gas leak, water line break or some other emergency, the Vail community has experienced the benefits of having emergency employees close at hand as well as the numerous challenges when emergency response is delayed. The town and its partners have a responsibility to continue this effort. It could save a life.Rod SliferVail MayorImprove Eagle-VailAs 28-year Eagle-Vail homeowners, we are encouraging all Eagle-Vail voters to cast their ballots in favor of 5A. We feel it is important to, first, maintain our amenities and, secondly, begin the process of improving those amenities. Eagle-Vail, like many Vail Valley neighborhoods, is showing its age, and unless proactive steps are taken to update, not only will our quality of life be adversely affected, but also, certainly, will our property values. Vote yes on 5A. Charlie and Patti Penwill AvonGore is inaccurateIf people like Alan Braunholtz researched topics a bit more they might learn that there is no scientific consensus, science is not determined by consensus, and several scientists frustrated by the propagandizing of their work have resigned from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (see: Lord Monckton). A British court last week has found nine material errors of fact in Gores Inconvenient Truth movie and the court ruled these errors must be identified before showing the movie in classrooms. With a little research anyone can find that the high priest of global warming received Cs and Ds in his two science courses the Goracle flunked out of divinity school with five Fs, and dropped out of law school twice. Contrary to popular belief, Al Gore is not a smart man (and he didnt invent the Internet). The claims Al Gore makes in his movie and on his evangelical global warming tour are by no means modest exaggerations or minor mistakes they are outright lies. Those who choose to blindly believe the lies without checking the facts are simply foolish; the British court ruling proves as much. Al Gore is a liar, but then so are several other Nobel recipients such as terrorist leader, Yasser Arafat, and his pro-terrorist anti-Semitic pals, Kofi Oil-for-Food Annan and Jimmy Iran-Hostage-Crisis Carter.The British court also found there is NO positive correlation between carbon dioxide and global warming, the very central pillar of every global warming argument. The courts rulings are based on the language in scientific reports such as those from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The court merely requires the findings in those climate reports be represented with accuracy and integrity, both of which are sorely lacking in Gores movie. Additional research also confirms findings that atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels follow the solar cycle and lunar phases. Inconveniently for Gore, more scientists are now speaking out, acknowledging that CO2 does not cause global warming, thereby debunking the foundation of the myth.The most powerful driver of climate is the sun. The sun cycles through periods of high and low activity, varying the amounts of solar radiation that impact the Earth and its atmosphere. Variations in the suns magnetic flux also affect the Earths climate. No one refutes these inconvenient truths (although some choose to ignore them). Since the 1800s, our suns activity levels increased dramatically. Over the past 1500 years the Earth has been gradually recovering from the Little Ice Age; a truly global warming that began with no assistance from mankind, thank you very much.Astronomers are currently observing global warming on other planetary bodies in our solar system, and were fairly certain its occurring with no help from human activities. Since multiple planetary bodies in our own solar system are experiencing global warming without mans help, is it so unreasonable to conclude these observations may all share a common cause? Could that cause perhaps be our own star … the sun? All it takes is a bit of time and effort to confirm everything Ive said above. Im sure many will reject these inconvenient truths, choosing instead to continue following the Goracle and his religion of anthropogenic global warming. Everyone by now knows Al Gores so-called carbon footprint exceeds that of a dozen average households, but they are probably unaware that since the release of Gores film the former presidential candidates energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kilowatt-hours per month in 2005, to 18,400 per month in 2006. That makes Al Gore an even greater hypocrite than previously thought.For those paying attention, you may have noticed Gores end-game in all this is to promote his inane notions of carbon credit trading, which do absolutely nothing to reduce carbon emissions, but does enrich carbon credit brokers, like himself. Yes folks, this progressively hypocritical, lying con-artist pays for his super-sized carbon footprint through Generation Investment Management, a London-based company with offices in Washington, D.C., for which the Goracle himself serves as chairman. In other words, Al Gore buys his carbon offsets from his own company, through a transaction designed to boost his own investments and return a profit to him. In effect, Gore doesnt buy carbon offsets through Generation Investment Management he buys stocks. Follow the money! Al Gore is a huckster and a fraud that makes the Enron/WorldCom gang look like amateurs.CJ Mathon
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