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Positively speaking

How can The Vail Trail be so “negative” after one of the best stretches of powder days in recent memory?That’s a good question one asked with some frequency lately due to some of our cover stories and by enraged Ryan and Trista fans and one deserving of a good answer.In the early days of The Vail Trail, publisher George “The Skipper” Knox, Sr. used to put on the front of the paper: “Circulation Great! Weather Great! Skiing Great!”He was probably right most of the time.In recent weeks, the sun has been shining a lot, and the skiing has been great. And hopefully, through photos and stories, that’s been adequately reflected in this paper, because Vail is still a ski town and snow is still big news around here.I often rant and rave in this space about how if everyone would just chill out and ski more, we’d have a lot less problems around here.Thing is, people haven’t heeded my advice. And this valley is a much different place than it was when The Skipper ran The Trail.More than 40,000 people live here now, with a variety of social issues impacting their lives on a daily basis. It’s a resort newspaper’s responsibility to tackle those issues with the same gusto ski-town journalists should also take on untracked powder fields.So consider this a preemptive strike. Before you make that angry phone call, dash off that indignant e-mail, or pull all of your ads, consider this:The reason we put a story on bipolar disorder on our cover at a time when the powder is flying, spring break is breaking and the March masses are hopefully headed our way is because Eagle County has the second highest rate of residents with a psychiatric illness in the state, and we’re inadequately prepared to deal with it.That’s a problem, and one we feel needs attention. So rather than shuffle it off to the back pages of our paper, or wait until the off-season, or leave it to another newspaper, we’re dealing with it now.Then we’re going skiing.Which, for the record, I’ve done a lot of lately. It’s a big part of who I am, and I’m feeling very “positive” about it lately.So no, for those of you who feel I should move to Nebraska because I’m always complaining about the cost of living and lack of affordable housing, that’s not going to happen soon. The skiing there sucks, I hear.And for those of you who feel I’m too hard on Ryan and Trista (whose names I swore I would never type again, but you forced my hand), I’m very happy for them. And I’m feeling quite “positive” about their relationship.In fact, I hope all future couplings in the Vail Valley can be contrived on national TV for the sheer marketing value. I think that would be a very “positive” development.Actually, no I don’t. I think that would be yet another sign of the impending apocalypse.Isn’t that a depressing thought? qDavid O. Williams is managing editor of The Vail Trail and has been a positive influence in the Vail Valley for more than 10 years. E-mail him at dwilliams@vailtrail.com.


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