Vail Daily letters to the editor |

Vail Daily letters to the editor

Vail Daily staffVail, CO, Colorado

Retiring todayToday, I will retire from Schneider-Maurer Foot & Ankle Associates and relocate to Denver. As the founder of the first podiatry practice in Vail and Frisco, I have enjoyed my profession and treating the wonderful folks in Eagle and Summit counties for the past 21 years. In 1997, I was fortunate to have Dr. Brian Maurer join the practice. Dr. Maurer will become the sole owner of the practice upon my retirement. The new name of the practice is Eagle-Summit Foot & Ankle Associates.I recently turned 70 and, in excellent health, expected to continue practicing forever. The Obama health care mandates for physician practices have caused me to re-evaluate my future and make the decision to retire.Some may call it progress. I see it as more government infiltration into our personal lives and free enterprise. What has happened to the medical profession is shameful. I don’t know if there is anything that we could have done to prevent it. So many years of education and training, and the rules, regulations and mandates are unconscionable. Maybe 2012 will bring a more common-sense approach and fairness to both the patients and physicians regarding health care in our country. Thank you for your friendship and support these past 21 years.Michael J. Schneider D.P.M., Schneider- Maurer Foot & Ankle AssociatesThanks for support Our 14th annual Red Cliff Studio Tour has come and gone, and we would like to, once again, express our deepest gratitude to all who came to our event, as well as the Vail Daily for their continued generous sponsorship. We especially recognize Caramie Schnell, High Life editor; and Mark Bricklin, marketing guy at the Vail Daily. We could not make this event happen without any of you.We’ll all be back next year. To our supporters, thank you, thank you, thank you!The artists of the 14th annual Red Cliff Studio TourNot heresy, exactlyOnce again, I read an anti-Catholic article in the paper. Galileo Galilei was actually convicted of printing a book in violation of the church’s order not to. And if the church had actually convicted him of heresy, all of his notes and books would have been used to start a fire that burned him to death, leaving us no record of his accomplishments. He submitted his work to the church, which basically answered, yeah we know, but don’t tell anyone yet because we have been telling them for 1,500 years that Ptolemy was right. So we have to prepare them for the truth. After all, you can’t tell everyone on Sunday that this is the truth and then on Monday say, oops, sorry that was wrong; this is how it really is. And the politics of the times – “Who’s in charge here?” as every bureaucracy has to deal with – were enormously complicated. For instance, one of the reasons Florence published the book was to stick it to the pope, the city of Rome and to the church in general. Remember that the church had this man under house arrest and continued to allow him to study and write — not in prison to be burned at the stake. And Pope John Paul II did what he could to admit that the church messed this one up.Timothy Hawkins AvonLowest of the lowIs this the wildest West where you feel you can just do as you please and shoot a neighbor’s pet? I’m so outraged at whoever shot this poor dog for whatever reason. I’m responding to the article on Aug. 28 about a Willowstone neighbor shooting a pellet gun because the dog was barking. How horrible for the owner to come home and see their beloved pet dead on the floor. How utterly sad to live in a neighborhood where someone so low would do such a horrible thing. My heart goes out to these people who lost their dog, and I hope whoever did this, when they look in the mirror, all they see is disgust and a real low-life loser.Jeri Penland Avon Still outragedIn the past year, we saw a shining example of the two-tiered justice system in Eagle County, one for commoners and a different one for the rich and powerful. Marty Erzinger ran over a bicyclist with his Mercedes and left him to die. Erzinger entered tar-and-feather territory in my book of Western justice, not when he accidentally hit the man with his new Mercedes but when he left that poor man to die.This community can forgive a tragic accident. The part that is unforgivable is leaving the man for dead and apparently hoping to get away. Marty should be punished socially, where the justice system shrank from its duty to punish him in any serious way. Erzinger worked for rich people, people even richer than him. We can’t prosecute a rich guy; that might jeopardize his job. Did the district attorney really say that, or did he just imply it with Marty’s slap-on-the-wrist treatment? What would have happened to Marty Erzinger if he were a dishwasher at Denny’s and lived in a singlewide in Edwards? The case showed the two standards of justice, one for rich and powerful people and then another one for us, the poor, the unfortunate commoners. Knowing how many people are avid bicyclists around here, Marty should not be able to show his face anywhere in this valley. Accidentally running over someone is a lot more forgivable if you call an ambulance and render first aid. I read that the State Patrol wanted an aggressive criminal prosecution for leaving the scene. Instead, Marty got the good ol’ boy treatment. What’s it called, the “new car smell put me to sleep” defense? If the Easter Bunny is running against the DA in the next election, vote for the Easter Bunny. I am sure the bunny would be tougher on real crimes than our current district attorney, Mark Hurlbert. Vote no for extending the DA’s term limits this fall unless you want more soft treatment for rich criminals while the commoners get thrown to the wolves.Our own Eagle County district attorney told the world that leaving someone to die after you run them over is mildly frowned upon here, very mildly. It’s such a minor offense, it’s a misdemeanor. As long as you have a new car, a brand-new sleep disorder and an important job making the insanely wealthy more so. Great lesson for our children to learn.What was the penalty for that commoner who accidentally killed the pedestrian with his car last spring on Vail’s Golf Course? He’s going to prison for a long time. David Perzanowski was charged with vehicular homicide, a Class III felony, by the District Attorney Mark Hurlbert. Was this the same DA who slapped Marty Erzinger on the wrist and said “bad rich guy, bad rich guy”?What was the real difference in the case? Perzanowski hit a pedestrian at night and stayed to face the music. Erzinger hit a bicyclist in broad daylight and split. There’s a big difference.At least the commoner owned up for what he did and didn’t run away. Look at the hard prison time the commoner faces, while rich guy is free to play golf and go to cocktail parties. I wonder if the “new car made me fall sleep” defense would work if the bicyclist Erzinger hit was killed instead of merely being seriously injured. Anyone seen Erzinger lately or know if he went and apologized in person to the cyclist he ran over and left for dead? I would like to see a story on Dr. Milo’s recovery or at least hear how he is doing.Dave KraftOil, Churchill, ConstitutionResponse to Andrej Birjulin’s August 26 letter ( It is perhaps unfair for me to enter into a battle of wits with the unarmed, but people really should do a bit of research before attempting to cross swords with me. Everyone is welcome to their own opinion but not their own facts.In his vapid response to my Aug. 19 letter, “Government is not a charity,” Andrej Birjulin claims it is “disingenuous and convenient” for me to say that “oil companies make only 2 cents to 7 cents per gallon.” There is nothing disingenuous about this inconvenient truth. My data is from the U.S. Energy Information Administration ( and financial sources such as Forbes.Birjulin offers no numbers of his own, just the usual partisan rhetoric divorced from reality and bereft of facts. For fun, let’s pretend to agree with Birjulin’s financial fantasies. Let’s assume my oil company profit numbers are wrong. Let’s double the highest number or, better yet, quadruple it to 28 cents of profit per gallon! Now back to reality: Our federal and state governments collect an average of 48 cents per gallon in taxes, some as high as 51 cents per gallon. Where’s the outrage over such lucrative taxes? Birjulin conveniently avoids this key point and accuses me of “partisan politics.”In a New York Daily News article published May 11, “In defense of Big Oil: The truth about those huge, hated earnings numbers,” author Donald J. Boudreaux, professor at George Mason University and economics department chairman from 2001 to 2009, states, “oil companies’ profit margins – that is, the percentage by which their revenues exceed their costs – are quite low. From 2006 to 2010, the nation’s five largest oil companies posted an average profit margin of 6.65 percent. By contrast, Apple’s profit margin exceeded 22 percent and Coca-Cola’s surpassed 33 percent.” Where’s the outrage over these far greater profit margins of Apple and Coca-Cola? Everyone needs fuel, but no one actually needs any of Apple’s techno-bling or a carbonated cola beverage. So why the disparity? Why is all the angst being directed at “big oil” and none elsewhere?Mr. Birjulin also incorrectly referred to the U.S. as an empire and blamed partisan politics for our woes. But everyone should know we are a republic and that bipartisanship is lauded only when Republicans go along with everything the Democrats propose. Mr. Birjulin apparently rejects all facts that contradict his preferred version of reality. He then dismissed my observation that “the entire world knows Obama is no fan of Churchill” and my suggestion that “Obama needs to make one final apology tour.” If Birjulin bothered to do just a tiny bit of research, he might have been reminded that one of Obama’s first acts as president in February 2009 was to return the bronze bust of Sir Winston Churchill to Britain. He did not simply remove it from the Oval Office. He returned it to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, along with a gift set of 25 movie DVDs incompatible in the UK (whereas the queen received an iPod containing the Narcissist-in-Chief’s own speeches). Obama is a national embarrassment.According to the Telegraph UK, “Churchill has less happy connotations for Mr. Obama than those American politicians who celebrate his wartime leadership. It was during Churchill’s second premiership that Britain suppressed Kenya’s Mau Mau rebellion. Among Kenyans allegedly tortured by the colonial regime included one Hussein Onyango Obama, the president’s grandfather.” (Not to be confused with Obama’s uncle Onyango Obama, the reportedly drunken-driving illegal alien recently arrested in Massachusetts.) The “common ground” Mr. Birjulin seeks is the law of the land as established in our Constitution and Bill of Rights. As Thomas Jefferson wrote in June of 1823, “On every question of (constitutional) construction, let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and, instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or intended against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.” Healthy discourse could be achieved, the bulk of our domestic disagreements avoided and common ground found if only we adhered to the wisdom of Jefferson and the founders. Buddy Shipley EdwardsThanks for all the helpWe would like to thank everyone who made the Vail Divas race a success on Aug. 21. Thanks to the many volunteers, including the Eagle Valley High School football, cross country and basketball teams; Battle Mountain High School cross country team, Vail Christian High School dance team and countless of other individual volunteers who came out to help. Thanks to the town of Vail staff, including personnel from the Vail Police Department and Public Works, whose traffic-management assistance was a tremendous help throughout the race. Thanks, Sybill Navas and Annette Dopplick. Also, a thank-you to the Vail Fire Department for being available to hand out roses to competitors as they crossed the finish line, as well as offering medical assistance to finishers when needed. A big thank-you to all the runners and spectators who came out on race day to make it a great 13.1-mile race. Vail was truly a beautiful place to host the Divas Half Marathon at Vail.Robert and Gaby Pozo Divas Half Marathon Series

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