Need to build Middle Creek |

Need to build Middle Creek

Galen Aasland

I truly believe they seek to help the town come up with a better scheme for housing.

However, I believe the bottom line is we need Middle Creek built at a scale of 140 units. Middle Creek is the right location to put residents close to Vail Village.

We do need people to live and work in town to remain a viable community.

I don’t agree with all the details of Middle Creek. I think the town should look closely into if putting residents in a tall building next to a microwave tower is safe. I question if the project should be laid out more horizontally.

But I’m pragmatic, in that it needs to be built and that we’re never going to get a project that everyone agrees on. So, I believe we need to trust the public process, make this the best we can, and get on with building.

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Opponents cite the cost of rentals as high. The developer is not using town money for construction, and if he’s prudent he’s done a market analysis of carrying costs of the project and his ability to rent units.

I hope we build at Middle Creek and then start anticipating other issues that will soon affect our town, such as how the Village at Avon will affect sales tax revenues and our ability to attract workers from downvalley who need to drive through Dowd Junction.

Galen Aasland


Let-burn policy

out of control

I live in Burns, Colorado, a ranching community in the foothills of the Flat Tops. We have been choking on smoke for a week due to the flare-up of the Big Fish Fire.

I have been monitoring the progress of this fire, because of its proximity, since it started on July 19. This fire could have been put out or contained weeks ago when it was of a manageable size.

No, I am not being a Monday morning quarterback. The fire remained at under 300 acres for weeks after it started.

The Forest Service’s Web site dated August 8th stated that “fuels were recovering from a creeping and smouldering state due to intermittent rains.”

There were no resources committed to this fire. Now it has grown from 300 acres to 13,000 acres in one week and destroyed the historic Trapper’s Lake Lodge in one of the most pristine, scenic wilderness areas of the state. This despite assurances from Forest Service spokeswoman Sue Froeschle that adequate precautions were

being taken to protect structures in the path of the fire. Now homes, guest ranches and other structures are threatened.

I realize the need to allow accumulated fuels to be consumed, but this is simply not the year for a burn, prescribed or otherwise. Not under unprecedented drought and heat conditions. Common sense dictates that a burn be done when there is moisture present, both in the air and on the ground, so that it can be closely monitored and controlled.

I realize that we all owe a debt of gratitude to the Forest Service and its firefighters this summer of horrific fires, but that does not preclude the public’s right to question bad decisions.

It is time for the Forest Service to reevaluate its “let it burn” policy. It is arrogant, and places lives, homes, businesses and property at risk and we the taxpayers ultimately pay the bill.

Norma Schmoyer


Lots of talent

at “Music Man Jr.’

We are writing this in response to the hugely successful production of “The Music Man Jr.,” put on by the Vail Performing Arts Academy at the Vilar Center.

We are so proud of the wonderful young talent in this valley, and we have been enriched by the opportunity to work with them.

I’m sure that those in the valley who were fortunate enough to see the performances came away with a new appreciation for the talents and abilities of the youth here in our own back yard.

On Saturday night we did not have the time to name all of those people without whose help we could never have pulled it off.

We would like to take this opportunity to publicly give these people the kudos they deserve:

First of all to the incredible staff of the Vilar Center namely, Chris, Steve, Ed, Nathan and Jesse who put their talents and energies into making us look and sound great.

Secondly, to Don Watson, who headed up the technical aspects of our show and who assisted in every aspect of production.

And thirdly, to our army of dedicated volunteers every one of which we could not have done without: Thanks to Nancy Miller and Deb Dutmer for their artistry in painting the sets; to Kerry Kuntz for building a few much needed props; to Toby and Leah Zneimer for taking care of the concessions; and helping us raise some much needed funds; to Mark Sculley, Craig Bruntz, David Miller and Mike and Rhonda Hickman, who did the grunt work with smiles on their faces; to Kayla Cheathum and Jesse Provost for heading up props backstage; and to the Vail Mountain School for use of flats, sound equipment, musical instruments and a place to paint.

Thanks also to each and every person who assisted back stage, donated food and snacks, stitched costumes, helped to strike our sets, or helped in a myriad of other ways. We want to especially say a big thank you to Patty Pack, who went beyond the call of duty in all capacities and infused our entire production with her contagious positive attitude. Also thank you, Rylie Pack, for all your great photography and help with marketing.

To all of our sponsors, students and their families, audiences and the Vilar staff – thank you! Without all of your efforts, these productions would not be possible.

Annah Sculley

Founder, producer VPAA

Beth Swearingen

Artistic Director

Drought affects all

of our water

You think I’m throwing a pity party?

People have declared, “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about your well and your water situation.” We appreciate the thought, but the water situation belongs to every one of us in the Vail Valley and the western U.S.

Other comments:

“We’re on a well. Water restrictions don’t apply to us.” A well is no guarantee of water.

“We’re on a huge aquifer.” The largest aquifer in the world is the Ogallala Aquifer. It covers 175,000 square miles over eight states from South Dakota to Texas. People are using the groundwater faster than it can be replenished. Aquifers go dry just like streams.

“We have the right to suck water out of the Eagle River for our golf course.” Look at the level of the streams and the high water temperature. Some entities may have the physical right to water, but does anyone have the MORAL right to that diminished waterway?

“Oh, they have water rights. They have plenty of water.” Our augmentation contract traded 1911 water rights for wells. We retain that seniority, but we’re still in the same boat with the other 81 contractors, some of whom have rights junior to ours. Collectively, we have contracts for 6.5 billion gallons of water that do not exist in Green Mountain Reservoir.

Thanks to Exxon-Mobil, 1.8 billion gallons stored in Reudi Reservoir was generously given up for Green Mountain contractors, who had no other source of water. We have valid contracts for that water, but should anyone squander it on a green lawn or long shower?

I’m not looking to cry on your shoulder. It would be a waste of water. I’m trying to point out that the drought and water shortage problem is everyone’s. It’s not about me. It’s about you and your neighbor.

The pity party will be for all of us. In ’62 the Utes offered a snow dance for our hopeful new little ski area and the Gods honored that Native American plea. I wouldn’t be surprised if this year the Gods laugh at us for being so selfish.

Bambi Forbes

Squaw Creek

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