Prayers to the Benway family
Dear Ski and Snowboard Club Vail alumni, members, supporters, staff and friends: Our dear Friends Larry and Willie Benway suffered the loss of their middle son, Tim, Jan. 11 when the Air Ambulance he was piloting crashed just outside of Rawlins, Wyo. (see obituary on page 15).Tim was 35 years old, an avid outdoorsman, volunteered with the blind skier program and at soup kitchens in Denver and was a 1987 graduate of Vail Mountain School.A memorial for Tim Benway is planned for 10:30 a.m., Jan. 22 at the Vail Interfaith Chapel. A reception will follow at 12:30 PM at Donovan Pavilion.Larry and Willie are long-time supporters and volunteers for Ski & Snowboard Club Vail and their youngest son Patrick is an alumni of the racing program.At last year’s annual banquet, Larry was recognized for his 20 years of service to the Club as a member of the Board of Trustees, including serving as president from 1990-1993. For many of those 20 years Larry was also the chairperson of the annual Ski Swap, helping to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the kids at SSCV. Larry resigned both from the SSCV Board of Trustees and from the Ski Swap committee in April of 2004.Our thoughts and prayers are with Larry, Willie and their family.With condolences,Ski & Snowboard Club VailAldo RadamusExecutive DirectorNO WMDThe Bush administration recently called off its hunt for Iraqi WMD. It found no WMD, which acknowledges what Bush was told by the U.N. weapons inspectors before Bush invaded Iraq. No hard evidence was ever found to justify the loss of about 1,400 Americans who have been killed in Iraq so far, or the countless thousands of Americans who will never be the same physically or mentally, or the tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians Bush killed, or the loss of world support for America.Mr. Bush says he has no regrets.As far as any possible protection of the U.S. goes, our troops have done their job. Now Iraqi resentment of our presence in Iraq promotes violence rather than stability, and our troops serve mainly as human targets. It is time to start taking our troops our of harms way and letting them return to their families. To do this we will need to work with other nations to provide more of an international force to help Iraq gain stability. Our kids should no longer bear the primary burden.We want to support the troops. But we can’t support the troops if they are dead.Doug Longdoug@doug-long.comRio RanchoNew MexicoWithin this past year, Oklahoma has experienced a spanish language invasion. Our atm machines, tv stations, discount stores, and drivers exams are going bilingual . I’m fairly certain that if we wanted to live in mexico, then we would all move to mexico, including the hispanic population. No one has the right to enter our country illegally, and then invade our homes or our businesses with a foreign language. Despite the fact that every poll indicates an overwhelming majority of the population oppose this t rend, we have a handful of corporations and politicians that seem intent on forcing us to accept it. We don’t have to accept anything! If they thought we didn’t like the metric system, they haven’t seen anything yet!!We have already done more for Mexico, than a lesser nation would have done at great expense to our own economy. What the government doesn’t tell you about the unemployment figures, is that it doesn’t include the thousands of spouses who have lost their factory jobs, and have chosen to stay home, rather than search for a lower paying minimum wage job.The real danger here goes far beyond the economic realities. If illegal immigration is allowed to go unchecked, then we will have effectively allowed another country to just walk right in, and turn America into what they want it to be. There will be enormous consequences that most people have not even considered.1) They will eventually want their own spanish speaking schools. We can barely afford to maintain the schools that we already have.2) Hispanic kids will have a distinct advantage in getting the higher paying bilingual jobs. Already police departments are paying more for bilingual officers, and passing up for promotion nonbilingual officers. Eventually, corporations will do the same thing and it will get so bad that you won’t even be able to get a job at a fast food restaurant unless you are bilingual. Our kids should not have to learn another countries language in order to get a job in their own country! The very idea, that we would f orce 100 million of our kids to learn Spanish, instead of requiring a few million illegal immigrants to learn English, is absurd.3) There is a real possibility that the border states may try to secede from the union someday, if we don’t almost completely stop immigration, and Americanize the ones that are here already.4) Our highway signs will eventually go bilingual.5) We have ex convicts and students looking for a decent job all the time, but they aren’t going to work if illegal immigrants drive down wages. Wouldn’t it be better to pay our own citizens a good wage, than to pay to incarcerate them or burden them with a college loan that takes forever to pay off?6) Our kids will begin to grow up thinking that spanish language and culture is the real America, and we all know that it is not.Every country has mountains, valleys, fields and streams, but what defines a country is language and culture. We all know that spanish language and culture is not American, but they are slowly trying to convince us that it is. Our kids will eventually believe this. We all have our heritage, but most of us have blended in, except for the hispanic population.Although we have every legal right to deport non citizens, there may be a better way to handle this problem. Every member of Congress and every Governor in the lower 48, now has a plan in their possession to control this problem. This plan does not grant them amnesty, but it does give them an id card with legal status for 3 years, that could double as their own drivers license. It also requires foreign workers to pass a basic English test, provides a way to collect taxes from the employer, and forces the e mployer to hire our own people first. In my opinion, the only people that should be considered for citizenship are people who already have school age children. This would prevent people from having kids solely so they could stay in the country. You can see this plan at http://www.politicalforum.com, look at other political issues, click immigration, click illegal immigration, go to the second page, it is the 6th post down. There is also a plan to eliminate bilingualism on the same page, 15th post down. I would urge you to contact your congressmen over the next several months, and let them know that some version of these plans should be implemented. If nothing else, then please urge them to enforce our current immigration laws.If congress still doesn’t get the message, then we should launch a taxpayers revolt. This means that no matter who is elected President, if we don’t see a plan to eliminate bilingualism, and crack down on illegal immigration within 60 days of taking office, then everyone who owes federal taxes should file an extension and not pay their taxes until something is done. If the hispanic population decides to try to dissuade Congress by threatening an economic boycott, then we should cancel nafta and start massi ve interior enforcement. We have been far too nice, for far too long, and now look what is happening! We should also automatically vote every member of Congress out of office, regardless of other factors and political affiliation, until they get the message! We should start with the Congressmen who have an espanol link on their website. It seems that they currently care more about the hispanic vote, than they do ours. Congress must listen to the majority. There is no way to make everyone completely happy. As an absolute last resort, we should avoid any business that uses any language other than English. No one wants to do this, but we will if we have to. Congress should have no illusion, that they will use this plan to gradually make citizenship easier. We can use this tax revolt any time in the future as well, if they don’t continually get tougher, and it will work simply because this is the one issue that the vast majority of Americans agree on. In my next letter, I will explain how we can restore this co untry to how it was before the lawyers started tearing it apart. By combining the people who want to bring back all our traditional religious customs and displays in our schools and government buildings, and the people who want to stop illegal immigration and eliminate bilingualism, we will have 75to 85 percent of the people on our side to pass a new amendment protecting our traditional language, and religious customs and displays.Lastly, it is important to note that this is not a racial issue. African Americans will be at a disadvantage as well, in getting the higher paying bilingual jobs. If Germany was on our border invading our country illegally, and turning America into Germany, then it would be exactly the same problem. World War II veterans did not die so that German language could invade our homes either. I have also been told that atm machines in New England are in Russian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Polish. Even more evidenc e to not only crackdown on illegal immigration, but immigration in general should be brought to a halt. Historically, when you start hearing people speak a different language, that means you have just lost a war. We don’t have to lose this one, but we will if we don’t take drastic action!!Thank youTodd NeufeldBars shouldn’t be our only hang-outsI have been coming to Vail for the past 18 years because my grandparents have a home here. I am now 21 and my brother is 17. I love Vail Mountain during the daytime, but I couldn’t find much to do at night, other than rent a DVD.I am writing this letter because I read in the Vail Daily that the Planning Commission denied the Crossroads developer the potential of building a project that would provide some entertainment for young adults.While the positive side is that, last week, I spent a great amount of quality time with my brother and grandparents, I would have also liked the opportunity to meet other young adults and have a good time in the Village at night. Adventure Ridge is not the answer for us, nor are all the bars in town. I believe a bowling alley, ice rink and high-tech movie theatres would be a vast improvement and should be considered seriously.Marc IssnerWest Bloomfield, MichConserve the PreserveThe saying “work hard, play hard” echoes throughout the Valley, and Eagle County’s natural environment makes it an easy philosophy to live by.Remarkably, Eagle County residents have just been given one more reason to be thankful that we live here: the prospect of preserving 72 acres of open space to be used for nature trails, walking and biking paths, and fishing areas right in the heart of Edwards. The land, called Eagle River Preserve formerly known as Eaton Ranch is located within walking distance of nearly 9,000 Eagle County residents, and runs along the scenic Eagle River.Please join me in supporting fund-raising efforts that will help preserve the land for future generations of Eagle County residents; because of you, they too will be the lucky ones.Heather GaryVailTake care of our riverThe Eaton Ranch parcel holds the key to a revitalized Eagle River corridor in the upper valley. We have an opportunity to create a substantial greenway along the river from downtown Edwards all the way to and perhaps through the Squaw Creek parcel recently purchased for the Vail Christian High School. Too much of the Eagle River corridor has been crowded with development, destroying vital riparian areas, limiting access and creating direct conduits for damaging pollutants to enter the river.This reach along the river, through the Eaton property, the B&B property and the Brett Ranch subdivision is a prime candidate for stream and riparian restoration. The recently completed Eagle River Inventory and Assessment by CSU and the Eagle River Watershed Council identifies this stretch for a restoration project that could greatly improve miles of the Eagle River. The DOW and Trout Unlimited have also looked at potential restoration work here for a long time. A restored and protected river corridor is immensely important for birds and other wildlife in the area as well.A broad river greenway here would provide much needed access to the Eagle River corridor for recreation. Such an opportunity to create new options for biking, walking and boating, not to mention fishing, is invaluable and almost unprecedented for this part of the valley. Our economy is built on recreation and our closeness to natural surroundings. Providing for this in the heart of our urbanized valley is vital.All of these opportunities dim or are lost completely with large scale riverside development.We should also be concerned with the river corridor further down valley. Right now a long stretch of river corridor is very much threatened by possible development near Eagle. The Red Mountain Ranch development would cover the open fields between I-70 and the river, from Red Canyon all the way to Eagle, with asphalt, unneeded commercial space, including more big box stores, and residential sites. The public might soon lose access to many miles of the Eagle River that we enjoy today through a DOW lease. The land east of Eagle might soon become another Village at Avon, and that’s even more frightening than development of the Eaton Ranch.The County needs to step up and help preserve open space like the Eaton Ranch. Whether it is the entire parcel or the river corridor outside the B&B gravel pit, this is an opportunity that Eagle County simply cannot afford to pass up. The County and all of us need to also think about the lands west of Eaton Ranch, through the extensive wetlands and wide floodplain down to Lake Creek and beyond.We all also need to act for the entire Eagle River corridor and work to protect the river and lands down valley that have not yet been as heavily urbanized as Edwards and Avon. If we wait too long and do nothing we will lose the remaining Eagle River corridor, with little opportunity for redemption in the future as we now have in the Eaton Parcel.Paula Fothergill and Ken NeubeckerTrout UnlimitedPreserve the ranchMy husband, Art Kelton, and I are excited by the prospect of seeing the 72 acres of the Eaton Ranch preserved as open space. To see this land restored to its natural condition and not have it developed would be a very special heritage for not only the valley residents, but for generations to come.Art and I enthusiastically support the use of $6 million of county funds for the preservation of the Eagle River Preserve.Elaine and Art KeltonVail$6 million isn’t too muchAs a lifelong resident of Eagle County and homeowner in Edwards, I want to express my full support of the use of $6 million of County funds for the preservation of the Eagle River Preserve in Edwards. I believe the Vail Valley Foundation has taken a positive step in initiating this process.With so much development taking place, I think it is imperative lands are set aside that will remain open space for future generations. The Eaton Ranch tract of land is of particular concern since the Eagle River runs through it. It would be a shame to see that pristine piece of land developed at all. I think the County Commissioners should do all they can to protect these lands.Please support the Eagle River Preserve in Edwards.Gerald GallegosEdwardsWe get letters … and emails!Write letters by hand to The Vail Trail at P.O. Drawer 6200, Vail, CO 81657. If snail mail isn’t fast enough for you, send emails to email@example.com. Messages without a name and place of residence will be relegated to our Inbox department. We reserve the right to edit messages for content and length. Messages regarding Vail Trail stories receive priority.
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