Right, duty to vote | VailDaily.com

Right, duty to vote

Those of you reading this are hopefully Americans enjoying the freedoms as outlined in the Constitution of the United States.

You cannot go to the polls and vote if you are not registered to vote. Here is some of the more interesting reason I have heard from those who choose not to register: “My vote doesn’t count”; “It’s too complicated”; “They all look the same to me”; “I can’t really change things.”

Where, you say? The municipal offices of Avon, Minturn and Vail, as well as the Eagle County Building – Clerk and Recorders Office, and the Eagle County annex in the Avon Center Building.

There are many crucial decisions that will be made by those elected Nov. 5. Be a part of that process. Monday, Oct. 7, is the last day that one can register for this election. Be there!

Steve Miller


Avon Town Council

Venal media

When Democrats played politics with the tax refund last year, using the media to give it a negative connotation. That was lousy enough. But now we have (and I know this is redundant) the Democrats and the media sinking even lower with the likes of Maureen Dowd. Surely the Vail Daily might find less hysterical and more factual columns? Or be ethical and alternate columnists and views?

Sen. Tom Daschle is playing politics with national security. Daschle, Bill Clinton and other Democrats supported action against Iraq.

But as fall elections near, Democrats are desparate and as usual resort to negative attacks and childish name-calling in lieu of rational, intelligent debate.

Still, Ms. Dowd and Mr. Rogers, that’s no mature excuse to defame President Bush and other hard-working, honorable individuals.

Despite being trashed by Senate liberals like Daschle and Kennedy and former presidential candidate Al Gore recently, President Bush’s popularity remains high.

The latest Pew Research poll shows Bush has a 71 percent approval rating. A diversified media would reflect that instead of ignore it.

Rick Olson


Sign rights

If you hadn’t noticed, it’s election season. One of the ways local, state and national candidates get their name out is through the use of the political yard signs. The yard sign allows local citizens to voice their support for a candidate of their choice by placing a yard sign on their private property or in a window of their home. The yard sign is an expression of free speech and is protected by the First Amendment of our U.S. Constitution; so says the United States Supreme Court. The case that decided this was City of Ladue v. Gilleo decided June 13, 1994.

The Supreme Court held:

“While signs pose distinctive problems, and thus are subject to municipalities’ police powers, measures regulating them inevitably affect communication itself. Such regulation may be challenged on the ground that it restricts to little speech because its exemptions discriminate on the basis of the sign’s messages, or on the ground that it prohibits too much protected speech.

“Displaying a sign from one’s own residence carries a message quite distinct from placing the same sign someplace else, or conveying the same text or picture by other means, for it provides information about the speaker’s identity, an important component of may attempts to persuade. Residential signs are also an unusually cheap and convenient form of communication. Furthermore, the audience intended to be reached by a residential sig – neighbors – could not be reached nearly as well by other means.

“A special respect for individual liberty in the home has long been part of this nation’s culture and law, and has a special resonance when the government seeks to constrain a person’s ability to speak there.”

The reason I cite this specific case is that the town of Vail and many homeowners associations (quasi-government agencies) – Singletree and Eagle-Vail, to name a few – prohibit the displaying of political yard signs in their jurisdiction. By prohibiting the displaying of yard signs, these entities are opening themselves up to a plethora of lawsuits.

The ACLU, who I typically don’t agree with, has been winning many cases across the country on just this issue. If a person wants to display a political yard sign in their yard do it. If a town or homeowners association objects a quick call to the Colorado office of the ACLU will probably trigger a lawsuit in our high profile valley. As you probably know legal fees are very expensive these days.

Rob Spangler


Part of world

Instead of using the events of Sept. 11 as a means of further insulating us from the rest of the world by encouraging sentiments of extreme nationalism, in my opinion, we should use these events as an impetus to committing ourselves to becoming more involved in the world community. Sept. 11 showed us that we are not immune to world events and that we are, in fact, an important player in those events. As the super power we are, we can act as an example to the rest of the world by becoming more committed to being a part of the world community:

1) By giving more economic aid to counries in need and, thereby, perhaps getting at the roots of terrorism.

2) By actively participating in international forums, whether they be on the environment, global warming, or other important worldwide concerns.

3) By taking part in international agreements and treaties, and not backing out of them once made.

4) By acting with international consensus when engaging in war.

5) By supporting programs which encourage travel by stude

nts to foreign countries.

6) By committing ourselves, as individual Americans, to becoming less self-absorbed, to doing whatever it takes to become more aware of and sympathetic to the situations of others in the world, whether that be through foreign travel or by reading about other peoples, their ways of life, their religions.

By working toward these ends perhaps the events of Sept. 11 can give some meaning to the tragic loss of so many lives.

Nancy Hill


Teak’s the one

By chance the other day I had the good fortune to run into an old friend of mine, Teak Simonton, at the local bank and she mentioned that she was running for Eagle County clerk and recorder. I wanted to take this opportunity to express my delight in her decision, not only for herself but for Eagle County, also. I have had the great pleasure of knowing Teak for the past 10 years and the good fortune of working under her supervision and tutelage for five of those years. In this valley so many people come in and out of our lives. But very few actually make a difference and an impact on our lives. Well Teak Simonton was one of those people that made a huge impact on my life and the direction that my career and personal life was going to take.

Teak showed me what hard work and determination could accomplish when one puts their mind to a goal. Through Teak’s enthusiasm, experience and her willingness and ability to communicate ideas clearly and concisely, I was able to develop successfully as a manger and on a personal level as well. Teak’s vision, management techniques and her ability to make tough decisions based on facts and figures would make her a valuable asset as county clerk and recorder for Eagle County.

John P Mulholland

Support Local Journalism