Vail Daily letters to the editor |

Vail Daily letters to the editor

Vail Daily Staff
Vail, CO, Colorado

Thanks, coach

I would like to take a moment to thank Phil Tronsrue for his dedication and service to the Battle Mountain High School basketball program.

I coached under the previous coach (Hageness), who used Battle Mountain as a stepping stone in his career. As a parent then, I expressed my concerns with the direction of the basketball program. There was no commitment, no continuity and worst of all, no concern for the kids.

Phil changed all that. Battle Mountain had hired a coach whose first priorities were the kids. Phil spent endless hours trying to build a program this community could be proud of.

The time he spent off the clock was phenomenal ” scouting teams, watching film and putting together game plans that would make us competitive in any given game.

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In the off-season, all of his spare time was spent taking teams to games, tournaments and camps, always preparing for next season. I have never met a coach that would do so much for “his” kids. His presence on the court at Battle Mountain will be missed by many.

Thanks, also, for letting this gym rat hang around. I can’t begin to express the joy and satisfaction I have received from coaching basketball under Phil.

Most of all, I’d like to thank Phil for everything he taught me about being a coach and not just coaching basketball.

Success is not always measured with wins and losses.

Bob Reed JV basketball coach, Battle Mountain High School

Supports coach

Coach “T” exemplifies the meaning of hard work, working as a team and success. He has the skills to coach a team to be successful and reach their goals, as he demonstrated with the 2005-06 league championship team.

The players need to perform and not rely on their parents to make them champions. If the players don’t have the desire, commitment and teamwork ethic to be “winners,” then it won’t happen, regardless of their coach and parent intervention.

I also heard comments that the coach was not promoting his players as college prospects. In my opinion, it is the responsibility of the athletic director (Houghton) to work with his coaches and get their feedback on notable players and then take the initiative to notify colleges. Has Houghton done this for his student athletes?

It is also the parents’ responsibility to encourage their children to take the steps to promote themselves to college coaches they are interested in playing for and ask their high school or club coach to help with this process.

Not all the responsibility lies on the coach. But first and foremost, you need be an exceptional player for this to happen. Does the current BMHS basketball team have the player talent, commitment and desire to win that they had in the 2005-06 team?

The success of all athletic programs has to start at the top. Coaches have to be supported by their director and not let parents make the decisions.

As a parent of alumni athletes from the BMHS program having experience with their leadership (past and present) and how they handle controversial coaching situations, their athletic director fails.

Diana Rush Avon

Meadow Mountain great

Buddy Mentors of the Bright Future Foundation would like to thank the folks over at Meadow Mountain tubing hill for donating their services for our monthly activity. Everyone had a great time, and for those of you who haven’t stopped by to check it out, I highly suggest you do! They run a great operation over there, so thanks again!

Kristin LeFevre Avon

Just like sugar

The March 10 article “Vail: Perfect ski day menu” may mislead consumers about high fructose corn syrup.

High fructose corn syrup may have a complicated-sounding name, but it’s actually a simple sweetener, made from corn, that is nutritionally the same as sugar.

High fructose corn syrup is not sweeter than sugar. And high fructose corn syrup, sugar and honey all contain the same number of calories (four calories per gram).

The American Medical Association in June 2008 helped put to rest misunderstandings about this sweetener and obesity, stating that “high fructose syrup does not appear to contribute to obesity more than other caloric sweeteners.”

Even former critics of high fructose corn syrup dispel long-held myths and distance themselves from earlier speculation about the sweetener’s link to obesity as the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition releases its 2008 Vol. 88 supplement’s comprehensive scientific review.

Many confuse pure “fructose” with “high fructose corn syrup,” a sweetener that never contains fructose alone but always in combination with a roughly equivalent amount of a second sugar (glucose). Recent studies that have examined pure fructose ” often at abnormally high levels ” have been inappropriately applied to high fructose corn syrup and have caused significant consumer confusion.

High fructose corn syrup is made from corn, a natural grain product. High fructose corn syrup contains no artificial or synthetic ingredients or color additives and meets the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s requirements for use of the term “natural.”

Consumers can see the latest research and learn more about high fructose corn syrup at

Audrae Erickson President, Corn Refiners Association

One curve or another

Back in about 1980, a guy named Laffer took a pen and a piece of paper and drew a curve. Ronald Reagan happened to see it and exclaimed that it could be used to show that when tax rates were reduced, the economy would improve and the budget would be balanced. Mr. Laffer (I think it was Arthur) said, “Really! I was just seeing whether my pen had any ink in it.”

Since that day, Mr. Reagan and the two George Bushes continued to use the same specious argument as they reduced tax rates and spoke of the Laffer curve. And now we can examine the results. Of our roughly $10 trillion national debt, $7.5 trillion of it occurred during their presidencies. That’s right ” only $2.5 trillion occurred while 40 other presidents were in power, and we overcame numerous recessions, a major depression and fought wars.

And now in 2009, we’re in the midst of a severe recession that will surely reduce our tax revenues and cause a huge budget deficit.

But once again, the Republicans, under the leadership of Rush Limbaugh, are saying that we should reduce taxes. I can probably find the Laffer curve, but where in the world is the learning curve?

David Le Vine

A parent’s viewpoint

Chris, it appears to me every time you get the opportunity to reflect on Doyon or a coaching controversy, you refer to parental interference in Doyon’s 2004 suspension.

I would like to set the record straight regarding the situation that resulted in Doyon’s suspension. The fact is Brian Doyon was suspended for what was perceived by a player’s parent as abuse in a volleyball match. This was caught on tape and presented to the school administration, which then resulted in the suspension of Doyon. Apparently they thought this incident, along with other documented complaints of verbal abuse from the players, not the parents, warranted them taking action.

Parents were not infuriated at the coach because he demanded winning from his players. It was not due to parents “overestimating the talent of their children” or a few parents wanting to “run the coach out of town” or parents upset by their child’s playing time. It was due to his behavior. Plain and simple, that is why Doyon was removed as coach and was required to attend positive coaching counseling if he wanted to continue coaching at BMHS. All students and student athletes need to be protected from physical and emotional harm from a person in authority.

I think it is time the reference to the parents being the culprit in Doyon’s suspension is corrected and the blame for his suspension placed where it belongs, on Brian Doyon himself. I hope this is the last we hear of how the parents unduly caused the suspension of Mr. Doyon before districts in 2004.

Linda Gilbert

Obama’s on cleanup crew

I’m always trying to encourage our 7-year-old daughter to talk more about what she likes instead of telling us what she doesn’t like. It’s one of those life skills you probably have to demonstrate yourself first.

With this in mind, I yearn to hear more thoughtful suggestions and less mud-slinging criticism about what our current administration is trying to do to reverse the failing course our country has taken.

It seems every time a policy is changed (which is inevitable if you want to try to fix this broken machine), people kvetch and complain about what’s so horribly wrong with our new government.

Instead of talking about what you disagree with, how fearful you are of our president and his new policies and how you want him to fail (wow, that’s mighty patriotic), why not present some of your own ideas and concrete solutions for getting our country back on track?

Obama didn’t create this mess we’re in. He’s just been hired to head up the cleanup crew. He’s one of few presidents in history to ask for direct input from the people. With the cards he’s been dealt in his first 90 days, he would probably love as much sound advice as you could dole out at this point.

But please don’t ask to return to the old business as usual. We all know where that left us.

During the election, I had a difficult time discerning exactly what many of the losing candidates wanted to do to try and improve the system. We listened to what they thought was wrong with the other candidate. Hey, if we’re going to act like children, let’s stop finger pointing and start finger painting!

We need to get creative, folks. Let’s worry less about our own personal portfolios and start finding ways to re-create a better, more cohesive United States of America. This is part of the reason our socioeconomic network is unraveling: We are a bunch of selfish children, and everything is “mine.” You aren’t a socialist if you care about the health of your community as a whole.

When you look at how our great country has evolved, you will recognize we are at another historical critical juncture where we have to try something different now ” something to move the masses in a new direction. Change is never easy, but like innovation, it’s what our country is founded upon.

To all the whiners and complainers, I know times are tough. I feel it in my own pocketbook, and nothing seems easy right now.

But think about the role you and we have all played in our current crisis. You may not have been a shady lender or Wall Street ponzi, but I would guess most of us are guilty of good ol’ American greed, self-absorption and overconsumption in some aspect of our lives.

We have karmic lessons to learn here, and those who seek solutions rather than define problems will come out stronger in the end. What’s your solution?

Amie Nelson Edwards

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