Vail Daily letter: Supports Hidden Gems |

Vail Daily letter: Supports Hidden Gems

Jeff Krage
Vail, CO, Colorado

Thank you for your eloquently expressed support for the Hidden Gems proposal. I sent the following to our county commissioners, U.S. senators and Rep. Polis:

I am writing in regard to the Hidden Gem project.

“According to the U.S. Forest Service, we are losing 6,000 acres of open space a day. That’s the equivalent of losing an area twice the size of Rhode Island every year!” — The Wilderness Society.

As we lose open space in urban, suburban and other areas, the need to protect our natural resources grows.

I am a volunteer with Friends of Eagles Nest Wilderness, working directly with the U.S. Forest Service.

As I monitor trails in current designated wilderness, many visitors from all over the U.S. comment how grateful they are for areas where they can hike away from noise and pollution. They thank me and other volunteers that they can come to a place of beauty, tranquility and a chance to glimpse wildlife.

People need quiet, tranquil places to escape from concrete towers, congestion and noise.

We must protect and preserve areas of tranquility for people as well as wildlife. Wildlife is continually coming under the pressure of diminishing habitat. Wildlife requires peace to migrate, breed, give birth and raise their young. One needs only to look at the ever growing list of endangered species, both flora and fauna, to realize we as humans are having a negative impact on our natural environment.

With this perspective in mind, I urge you to support the Hidden Gems proposal.

Juliana McCahan Active member and past chair, Gore Range Group, Colorado Mountain Club

Don’t trash health care

Our health-care system isn’t working. It needs fixing, not replacing. We need a respectful and meaningful dialogue to include tort reform. At Sen. Bennet’s recent town hall meeting in Summit County, a doctor spoke of practicing “defensive medicine,” which increases costs and intrudes on the doctor-patient relationship.

In America, health insurance has primarily come through employers. The Medicare Act of 1965, amended in 2003, was intended to provide health-care to our seniors. It was partially funded through payroll taxes.

During the 1990s, the Medicare fund was raided to balance the budget and the monies set aside for Medicare depleted. With an aging baby boomer population joining those already retired, we’re in crunch time. However, we still have choices.

The Medicare Act states: Nothing in this title shall be construed to authorize any federal officer or employee to exercise any supervision or control over the practice of medicine or the manner in which medical services are provided … or to exercise any supervision or control over the administration or operation of any such (health-care) institution, agency, or person.

We need to be informed as to our choices. There will be upcoming opportunities to meet with state-licensed insurance agents, specifically trained in Medicare, to answer your questions. Please take advantage of these opportunities.

Jeff Krage


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