Letting up on the reins, a little | VailDaily.com

Letting up on the reins, a little

Don Rogers

Vail will downsize the police presence in the village New Year’s Eve while continuing with the drinking district that keeps the underaged out after 10:30 p.m. unless they have an adult guardian.

Thankfully, the unruly and ever more dangerous crowding that marred New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July have abated now that Vail no longer serves as mecca to teenage drinkers.

Maybe in the next year or so the resort town will no longer feel compelled to need extra officers to monitor these nights. Setting up the drinking district, along with a townwide curfew for kids 17 and under without adult guardians and suspending bus traffic to Vail Village from 11 to midnight, seems to be working well. These past couple of years, even families have begun hazarding the village free of teen sots.

Less successful thus far have been the teen New Year’s parties or concerts. Attendance has remained spotty for the alternative celebration. But give the town, recreation district, county and ski company credit for not giving up quite yet. From 8 tonight through 1 a.m. New Year’s Day, for $20 kids in ninth grade to age 20 can party free of alcohol or drugs at the Dobson Arena with music, dancing, casino games, prizes and all that.

However you ring in the new year, remember all that snow waiting on the mountain for you tomorrow. Judging by the forecast, it looks like a great start to the new year is in store.

The “coat lady’

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Cheryl Jensen and her drive to get retired ski employee uniforms into Third World countries, where plenty of people can find a use for them, made The New York Times on Christmas Day, appropriately enough.

Jensen has a pretty good connection at Vail Mountain, considering her husband, Bill, is the chief operating officer there. So collecting warm coats and snowpants wasn’t the big challenge. In fact, now resorts from across the country contribute. While they ran up extra costs to store their discarded garments, residents of poor countries where winter freezes faced considerably larger stakes. Win-win.

Jenson’s big obstacle in the early days of the venture was convincing major national charitable organizations to ship the clothing where it was needed. Apparently, they held fast to rules about not accepting “used” clothing – no matter that this stuff could save lives and remained in high-quality condition.

Now they willingly ship tens of thousands of items, including 30,000 coats. And Jenson is known around the globe as the “coat lady.