Vail Daily letters to the editor
Vail, CO, Colorado
Grateful for the help
I would like to offer my sincere thanks and appreciation to Curt and West Vail Shell for his immediate and terrific assistance on I-70 during the recent snowstorm.
About 200 yards after I entered the highway during that storm, a truckers’ bungee cord became embedded in my tire. Curt’s tow truck appeared behind me less than five minutes after I pulled over and before I had a chance to call for assistance.
Curt offered suggestions and advice; he towed the car to Walmart, where they were able to repair the tire immediately. This unfortunate accident was handled with such courtesy!
I am very grateful that West Vail Shell has tow trucks on the road in storms in order to offer immediate response to motorists.
At last, a sensible project
The current proposal for a joint project between the hospital-Steadman operation and the town of Vail is a winner.
This would involve taking over the land the town administration now occupies, then adding a new health-related building and a rebuilt town administration facility.
The purpose actually maps back to a known requirement or town strategy, in this case to establish Vail as an international health and wellness center.
For perspective, a little history will show projects where it was a force-fit to map them back to a known requirement, strategy or adhere to town principles:
• Four proposals to build a conference center, going back to the mid-1980s.
• Aquatic center to be built in the Ford Park area around 1988.
• “Hub” multistory, multifunction building on the bus/RV parking area, with the signature space devoted to making Vail an international learning center.
• Complete redevelopment of the Lionshead parking structure to accommodate two hotels, a conference center, retail space, etc.
• Whole new development on the south side of the Vail Village parking structure to accommodate retail and upscale deed-restricted housing ($800,000).
• Redevelopment of Timber Ridge, with Vail selling the land to make the numbers work but with ironclad assurances about how tenants would be treated. A more recent proposal did not have the selling-the-land feature but, unfortunately, has been terminated due to problems of funding.
In retrospect, they might all seem silly, but not so at the time, with passionate arguments for their time-is-of-the-essence adoption.
Clearly three factors have made them silly: Economics have turned against them; technology has overtaken them, as the Internet has taken over many learning programs; and trends have changed in leisure and business expenditures.
As is the case for any complex project, the devil is in the details. There are two areas of concern for the current project being considered:
• Selling Vail land to make the numbers work is not a good idea. It might seem so at the moment, especially with an established deadline to meet. It would be a precedent for future project proponents to demand the same exception, in spite of ironclad legal assurances.
• Perhaps a nit, but taking funds out of the capital reserve to rebuild the administration buildings doesn’t make any sense. We have a perfectly good set of town administration buildings. The project’s objective is to facilitate economic development, so the funding really should come out of that sort of category.
The Vail Town Council should be congratulated for taking on a bold move but should be cautioned about some features that might not look so good in the future.
Time for sea change in America
Though there is a great deal of evidence to suggest that Barack Obama does not deserve to serve a second term in office, only time will reveal the true depth of the voters’ dissatisfaction, not only with his presidency, but also with both houses of congress.
Today as they board their Gulfstreams, Challengers and Citations, many of the super-rich are confidently predicting that they will continue to grow richer by playing high-stakes games with what appears to be an unlimited supply of unregulated “magic paper” (derivatives, credit default swaps and hedge funds) and that the middle class and all that it has meant to many millions of hard-working individuals endeavoring to move up the ladder is doomed to the dustbin of history.
If this assessment proves to be correct, then we all should prepare for a violent revolution.
The hordes of folks currently out of work, as well as the millions of young people just entering the labor market, must soon be able to find jobs manufacturing fine, durable products that can be sold at competitive prices both here and abroad.
Boeing, Caterpillar, Ford and a few other corporations are today demonstrating the way forward (they deserve to be emulated), and there is simply no other viable alternative to manufacturing that will ensure a stable society, for it is clear that the welfare state that we have allowed to expand out of control over the past several decades will be unable to sustain itself very much longer.
The United States desperately needs tough, experienced, pragmatic and capable leaders who understand this reality. Who possess the political skills to get the country fully employed and moving forward once again?
This will not be an easy task, as across the country a sea change in attitudes will be required. However, the history of the United States illustrates that when faced with immense challenges, the nation pulls together, is at its best and prevails.
However, the question still hangs in the air: Where are these leaders when we need them the most?
Rites to be respected
As an Australian aboriginal, elder of the Butchulla people, I read with great interest the article “Southern Ute Indians perform snow dance.” I pay my respects to the ancestors and elders of the Southern Ute People.
It is with sadness that I understand the Southern Ute People and their culture are not acknowledged each year at the beginning of the snow season and just when the marketing team considers “Under the circumstances, let’s give them a call.”
Culture is to be respected at all times, and Mr. Sutner stated, “It’s about honoring our rich history with the Southern Utes.”
We all enjoy the benefits when Mother Earth is acknowledged and respected.
It is with the support and guidance of my ancestors and elders, I will be visiting your great land in September 2012. I look forward to meeting members of the Southern Ute People and the great people of Vail.
Pialba, Queensland, Australia
Don’t close Avon school
Recently, over 100 parents came to show their support for Avon Elementary School. The school currently faces possible closure, and many families have been quite outspoken against the news.
Several parents spoke out during the meeting, expressing the importance of the elementary school to their families and how detrimental the closure would be to both the education of their children and their community.
Along with providing a true bilingual curriculum, Avon Elementary School offers students the opportunity to learn about and be a part of a new culture. Many of the people who attended the meeting were emotionally moved by the parents’ speeches.
This place is so much more than a school for so many people.
The issue of transportation costs was also brought forth in the meeting. With the school being so central within the town of Avon, the necessity of school-funded transportation has been eliminated.
The students are within walking distance of all the town amenities, including the Avon Rec Center, the library and even the Vilar Center, which have all supplemented their education.
Moving the students to another school and town would only serve to reinstate the costs of transportation.
The underlying point remains that this school is a stronghold to many people within the valley, and to take it away would truly be a tragedy.
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