Vail Daily letters to the editor |

Vail Daily letters to the editor

Vail Daily
Vail, CO, Colorado

Got that safety advice backward

Regarding the Nov. 26 “Safety Reminders: Slow Down, Be Aware”: A good article that exposes a major problem. Snowboarder Hunter Smith says “people should not be making S-turns on narrow trails and should just go straight.” The people he’s complaining about are turning to control speed and be safe, unlike him.

This is a major problem on the hill when people like Smith want to go faster than the lower-level skier or boarder on green and blue trails. Smith and others like him refuse to acknowledge that the downhill skier or boarder always has the right of way, not the uphill person who wants to pass everyone out.

It’s not up to the person downhill to turn around and look uphill to see who is coming behind them and then go straight as Smith says they should. Snowboarders like Smith then yell at the downhill person saying, “You’re not suppose to be turning on this trail” or “you’re in my way.”

With such a belief and making stupid statements like this, Smith and others like him are reckless people on the hill and are responsible for many of the collisions that occur on the hill.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

Tom Clancy


Could have handled that better

Recently, my sister-in-law and her husband joined me for a day on the mountain. Coming from Hawaii, and not being on anything but a surfboard for over five years, they were very excited to be back on a snowboard.

After a few warm-up runs, I had to return to work and I left them on their own. They then set off to explore and, unfortunately, had an unpleasant run-in with a Beaver Creek yellow jacket.

They accidentally got into an area they were not supposed to be in, after being waved on by a red jacket into what they thought was going to be a good run. While trying to get back onto the right track, they entered a roped-off area and were then screamed at by a yellow jacket below them.

Now, this couple has lifeguarded on the North Shore and know how to address safety issues in extremely dangerous situations and are good law-abiding citizens.

This yellow jacket (unfortunately they did not get a name) immediately began berating them loudly under the Centennial chair without listening to any explanation or taking their day passes, tanned skin and Hawaiian accents into consideration.

I understand that early season it is important to crack down on rope cutting, safety violations, etc. But all my years as a guest-service attendant trained me to educate a day skier-rider of an infraction instead of making them feel horrible and embarrassed.

These two are not the boarders who will be ducking ropes and creating unsafe situations daily all season; they were just misguided.

As they were being berated by this yellow jacket, they even had another couple ski up and tell the yellow jacket to lay off and not speak to my relatives in that manner.

When I met back up with them and was told the story, my sister-in-law was in tears and shaken up. I am pretty sure that is not the impression Beaver Creek wants to have on any of their guests.

They will now be boarding at Vail tomorrow, as a Beaver Creek yellow jacket has left a bad impression on how they will be treated at my beloved resort.

I am writing this letter as a call to all mountain employees to treat all our guests with respect. Not all snowboarders-skiers who are somewhere they shouldn’t be are there with the intention of breaking rules. Just because you have on a bright-yellow jacket doesn’t give you the right to treat people like scum.

I just hope that my new sister-in-law and her husband will return to teach their young son to ski or ride at our usually top-notch resort and that this one situation will not stain their impression of Beaver Creek.

Julie Strablizky


How to conserve water

I had the most wonderful dinner the other night at a friend’s house – great food, fun and happy people. My only objection was when it came time to wash the dishes.

As someone who is very aware of water usage (I own a landscaping-irrigation company) and a quasi environmentalist, I was shocked to see my friends open the tap on the kitchen faucet and let the water freely flow for minutes.

I assumed that most people, especially those living in an environment that prides itself on being natural, would be more water conscientious. How many people out there are letting the water run like a river while brushing their teeth, washing the dishes – do people turn the shower on and leave the bathroom to do other things while waiting for the water to heat up? On any given day, how much water is actually going down the drain unused?

Just out of curiosity, I did a little research on the art of washing dishes and other water facts. There is endless information – all of it interesting and some of it contrary to what I believed to be true. I present the following as factual. However, I’m sure there are those who would be able to argue points otherwise.

1. With modern-day technology, it’s actually more economic to use a dishwasher than to hand wash. Some caveats that come with this claim are the age and condition of the dishwasher and additional water used while prerinsing. An average modern Energy Star washer uses between three and nine gallons of water, prerinsing averages 10 gallons bringing total dishwasher usage to about 19 gallons. The average “economic” hand washer uses 16 to 27 gallons of water, the super economizer will use as little as 2.5 gallons (this does not include rinsing but wiping the soap off with a towel), while the full water washer will use up to 35 gallons.

2. It takes approximately 2 gallons of water to brush your teeth if you leave the water on, less than half if you conserve.

3. The biggest offender is the toilet – three gallons per flush! Modern toilets are much more efficient with the half flush option or the flush only when necessary option.

4. It takes 400 gallons of water to produce one egg.

5. It takes 4,000 to 18,000 gallons to produce one pound of beef. “Estimates vary a lot due to different conditions of raising cows.”

6. The island nations Tuvalu and Tokelau are slated to run out of water by next Tuesday. It has not rained enough on the islands in the last six months to support water usage; furthermore, desalination plants broke during the drought leaving the country dry.

For a great way to measure your home water usage and other interesting water statistics, check



My point? We can all make small steps to help save water and prolong our beautiful environment and lifestyle.

Kelli Rohrig


Unhappy with parking fee

Recently, my wife and I were heading into town when we saw the Solaris $17 parking sign. When we pulled up to the gate to get our ticket, we saw a smaller sign – not visible from the street – stating that there was a charge of $7 for 0-31 minutes.

We were trapped. There was no turn-around, nor was there a live person at the gate.

It was going to cost us $7 to leave, so we decided to park and do a little shopping. After buying gifts at several local shops, I returned to my car 1 hour, 10 minutes later.

When I checked out, the charge was $17! After pushing a button on the machine, I was told, “Sorry, that’s our policy.”

This type of behavior reflects poorly on Vail and is clearly intended to take advantage of visitors. Solaris can charge whatever they like, but they should make these charges visible to motorists before they are trapped into paying a $7 exit fee.

Bob Kleemeier

Great dogs

As an owner of an American pit bull terrier, I feel the need to reply to Wednesday’s Valley Voices column.

First off, any owner of any animal is responsible for their “property.”

Secondly, outlawing a breed of animal or toy or anything of that matter for a few bad apples is outlandish.

People use cars and trucks irresponsibly every day and innocent bystanders are affected. Should we outlaw SUVs? Should we outlaw guns and knives?

My dog’s name is Mary Jane. She was born April 27, 2005, in Minturn, next door to where I lived.

Her mother and father, both American pit bull terriers, are sweet, loving animals.

I did not hesitate to welcome her into my house with my wife and newborn son. To all who know her, Mary Jane is also a sweet, loving, fun animal.

However, upon taking her into my home, like any responsible pet owner, I read as many publications I could about the breed.

Understanding things like not taking her to a dog park due to her natural intolerance of other dogs, walking her daily, giving her attention and simply following the age-old adage of giving a dog discipline, exercise and love, in that order.

My dog does not show any signs of aggressive behavior, but I do not put her in situations where she feels threatened.

Many of my friends feel I am overprotective, but I feel it is necessary to be a breed ambassador. Pit bulls are wonderful family pets and have been bred for generations to not bite humans, albeit for inhumane reasons.

All American pit bull terrier owners should not take the responsibility of owning one lightly.

They are lots of hard work, but the reward is worth the time put in. In the case of the dog who died, or one who dies at the hand of an American pit bull terrier, the responsibility lies with the owner of the pet.

If someone were to ask me whether they should get an American pit bull terrier, I would not hesitate to tell them they should but be prepared for a demanding animal. This is not a breed you can tie up or let sit in your backyard. It’s like having another child who needs attention and lots and lots of love.

American pit bull terriers are not vicious animals, but in the hands of a poor pet owner, they can be destructive creatures, yet no more so than a golden retriever.

Lastly, I would say if you can’t handle the demand of owning a pit bull, do the world a favor – don’t own one.

Anton Kress


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