Vail Daily letters to the editor |

Vail Daily letters to the editor

Vail Daily
Vail, CO, Colorado

Had enough

I just wanted to comment on Allison Dimond’s article. We, too, felt trapped in Eagle-Vail. It’s not just that the intersection close to the Shop ‘n’ Hop was down to one lane.

In addition, the whole roundabout getting to that intersection was so slow that it took a considerable amount of time to get home from, say, Walmart or Home Depot.

Recently, for example, I spent a total of 17 minutes waiting in line to get through that intersection, not only losing time but wasting fuel, as well. An additional hazard in Eagle-Vail was that quite a lot of traffic was going around the blocked intersection by using Deer Boulevard traveling at a higher rate of speed than is usual, making it difficult for pedestrians with dogs or strollers to walk along the edge of the road.

The real point, though, is that this whole project is getting really old. First it was nearly impossible to get to Minturn because that’s down to one lane. Then, it became impossible to get to Edwards without planning a lot of extra time. Then it was our own intersection, which was in addition to the others.

The Eagle-Vail Business District is still slow to get through, discouraging people from doing business there. The Minturn exit to and from I-70 is still down to one lane. Apparently it’s because of the rocks that the Rockies are made of!

Now that winter is nearly upon us, I do have a question. How will Xcel Energy relight all the pilot lights when they go to hook up this new line? There are a lot of part-time homeowners and the weather, by then, will be cold. I foresee many broken water pipes.

Marcia J. Reed

Rethink open space tax

Any mutually beneficial negotiation involves give and take. It creates a win-win situation for all parties. With several new taxes that were going to be put on the most recent ballot, I went in front of the Eagle County commissioners on June 28 and proposed in writing that they put the open space tax on the ballot and give voters the opportunity to eliminate what many consider to be a frivolous and nonessential tax that generates $4 million per year.

All three commissioners were unanimous in saying no, the question would not be put in front of voters this fall. Their reasons were as follows:

Peter Runyon said the majority of property taxes in Eagle County are paid by people who don’t live here. So if we got rid of this tax, it would save people money who live in Chicago. This logic would be the same as a famous quote by former Democratic Sen. Russell Long: “Don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax that fellow behind the tree!”

Sara Fisher added: “With all of the money that the open space fund has saved up over the past several years, we’re now using it to get deals on land.” One of the reasons that there is still money in the till is that citizens spoke up to derail the overpriced purchase of the Colorado River Ranch two years ago, which would have essentially been another transfer of public funds to private individuals for land, which would have had little or no public access.

Jon Stavney said there’s no compelling reason to put this on the ballot this year. My question is where was the overwhelming support to put the question of extending the commissioners’ own term limits on the ballot last year?

Based on the election rules in Eagle County, only the commissioners can authorize questions to go on the ballot. Over the summer, it appears that our elected commissioners rubber stamped for approval every tax increase that was submitted to be on the ballot. The one question that was submitted to allow voters to decrease taxes didn’t make it.

Money is a limited resource. If we, the citizens of Eagle County, are willing to tax ourselves $4 million per year, I believe that in terms of priorities, schools, fire and rescue and roads and bridges come before acquiring more open space in a county where more than 80 percent of the land is already open space as it is owned by the federal government.

What you can do about this situation? 1) Contact the Eagle County commissioners and tell them that you want the open space tax put on the ballot next fall, and 2) contact the members of the Eagle County School Board, as well as the Eagle River Fire Protection District, and ask them to have their organizations officially contact the commissioners to encourage them to put the open space tax on the ballot next fall.

Mike Beltracchi


Mule deer, not an elk

Letters from a lady and Mr. Glasser both complained about the picture of the mule deer – not an elk – that the hunter shot. For that animal to be that big, it was an older deer. Most deer probably don’t live past six, seven or eight years.

Back in the late 1800s, the white man nearly wiped out all buffalo, deer and elk. People realized that hunting laws needed to be in place. Since then, the state of Texas has a couple of million deer alone. Never mind the other 48 states.

By the early 1900s, it was estimated that there were less than 1 million deer in the lower 48 states. The hunting laws have quotas on how many can be shot and what could be shot.

To get a mule deer tag in Colorado is really hard. The mule deer aren’t as hardy and big as elk, and the deer have a harder time making it through the heavier snowfall winters here in Colorado. The population is smaller, too.

You do both understand this? I think both of you are totally clueless about the hunting laws that were put in place. Oh, yeah – I don’t hunt either!

Mr. Glasser, where do you expect the hunter to shoot that deer? In the butt where there are no vital organs? Maybe the hunter should have shot the deer in the foot or antlers! More power to the hunter for shooting an older and awesome deer. So all you nonhunters get a clue! Hunters conserve wildlife!

P.S. Call the Colorado Wildlife Division and see what they say! Sorry you two don’t understand the situation.

Stephen Kittle

Drilling not so easy

So, the Xcel gas line debacle continues. We all are noticing the lack of any work performed on the east Dowd Junction section (over two weeks of nothing).

Apparently they now have to pull out the pipe they pulled through there and redrill the bore.

That means there has been only one successful bore on the entire project (the southwest drilling bore under the Eagle River). There is a extremely expensive drill bit “missing” under the Avon roundabout, and untold amounts of broken equipment in storage yards.

We recognize the difficulty of the undertaking at hand, but it really raises questions regarding the safety and efficacy of directional boring. The gas and oil companies tell us that they can drill numerous wells in various directions from one drill platform without any risk to the drinking water supplies in the areas being drilled under.

I say that is B.S., as our summer-long experience shows. Please remember this as you beg the government to relax regulations regarding oil and gas drilling, citing “expert analysis” of the “safety” of the “modern drilling methods” used all across our country.

Clean drinking water is much more valuable than oil and gas to our lives, and if you don’t think wars will eventually start to secure it you are fooling yourself.

I am not implying that this Xcel project is putting our water supplies at risk. I am using it as a perfect example of the difficulty of attempting to drill underground without unforeseen problems.

We are in a fuels crisis all over this planet due to our overpopulation and consumptive greed (full disclosure: I have no children, but drive a F-250 pickup which only gets 13 mpg, ugh!) The “drill baby drill” crowd ignores the potential impacts to the resources that we absolutely require to live (clean air and water).

Please think about this when screaming at the EPA for doing their job of protecting the country’s environment. It is our future’s future that they should be ensuring, not the profits of Big Energy.

But if you are as upset about all this as I am, please, I beg you, do not take it out on the men and women holding the “Slow”-“Stop signs at the construction sites. They are doing their job (a sometimes very cold one these days) trying to keep everyone safe.

Call or write your representatives, or Xcel Energy, or the contractor Fugal, (or as I call them, “F… Up Gasline Assembly Limited”) to voice your concerns and frustrations.

Steve Johannes


Molars grateful

A big thanks the Eagle County highway department for fixing the two rough spots along the Colorado River Road. My tires, suspension and molars are especially grateful for your fine work!

Jack Bombardier

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