Vail Daily letters to the editor
May 12, 2012
Thanks for everything
It was my pleasure to recognize all those special people who were involved in giving me a retirement party and everyone who attended to wish me well.
It means so much to me to know that there are so many of you out there who are thoughtful enough to do this.
Thank you to all the employees, staff and board at Eagle Fire Protection District for letting me be your leader for all those years.
Thank you to all the employees, staff and other fire districts in Eagle County with whom I have had the greatest pleasure of working with over the years.
These years have been the best knowing that I was there to help and to have been part of an organization that serves the taxpayers of the Eagle Fire Protection District and the other emergency organizations in Eagle County.
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There are many memories I will always cherish and remember.
Again, thank you to everyone and God bless you all.
Jon Jon Asper
Former Fire Chief, Eagle Fire Protection District
ERS is green?
I would like to thank Joyce Chizmadia, of Eagle, for her insightful letter May 1. While it was most assuredly intended to be a pro-Eagle River Station letter, it actually pointed out many reasons I think Eagle River Station is wrong for Eagle.
She mentions that driving to Glenwood, Avon, Frisco and even Denver for “life’s necessities” is environmentally unfriendly and “having to drive 70 miles for socks and underwear is crazy.”
She is not the first person in the paper to mention searching for socks and underwear in Eagle County. I never realized what a rare commodity I have sitting in my dresser drawer. “Life’s necessities” is a relative term.
A huge number of people living on the planet Earth can only dream of owning some of the things that are for sale in the three big-box stores that currently exist in Eagle County. But we, as Americans, are used to the finer things in life.
However, I maintain that you can find all of your life’s necessities right here within 70 miles of Eagle and most can be found in or very close to Eagle. Yes, 70 miles (roundtrip) is a relatively long drive, but “crazy”?
Some people might think risking one’s life driving 70 miles miles on icy, treacherous roads to slide down Vail Mountain is crazy, yet I know plenty of Eagle residents who do that 20, 50, 70 or more days a year and never think twice about it.
However, I don’t think you will find too many people searching for socks and underwear 70 times a year.
I’ll tell you what I think is crazy. Trying to convince me how a shopping center of any size, let alone the magnitude Eagle River Station is, is somehow more environmentally friendly than an 88-acre pasture currently populated by a few beautiful horses (and elk herds on higher snow years).
Somehow, I think that thousands of cars belching exhaust, some coming from as far away as Steamboat and Aspen (RED’s projections), a huge commercial-residential development glowing like a miniature city at night and a sea of asphalt spilling off into the Eagle River just might have a greater impact on our environment than some horse excrement.
Joyce’s letter then implies that it is crazy that we are allowing Vail Resorts to lure our work force upvalley for all those fabulous $8 to $9 an hour jobs when we should be keeping all that wealth right here in Eagle.
Are these low-paying, nonsustainable jobs what we are willing to change the entire character of the town of Eagle for … forever?
Can anyone really start a family, buy a home, even survive in Eagle County on those low wages? Remember just five years ago, when it was difficult to fill job positions at two or three times that hourly rate? What happens if-when the economy does turn around? Then, where are the people going to come from to fill these low-paying jobs?
The letter goes on to state that the current proposed site for ERS is a “dilapidated ranch property.” I beg to differ, although the land was designated as “blighted” in order to create an urban-renewal authority for ERS to utilize tax increment financing.
But I see it as a rustic farmhouse and an irrigated pasture with gorgeous mountain views. I guess we just have different opinions on what Eagle should look like, but four-story commercial and residential buildings and acres of asphalt (3,500-plus spaces) with thousands of cars makes me, er, crazy!
I think that if you are a resident of Eagle and have a serious issue with the fact that you can’t find your necessities of life within a five-minute drive, then I know of some places that you can live that will satisfy all of your shopping desires. They are called cities, and they contain a huge variety of shopping options, as they are clustered closely together, which makes it very convenient thus reducing the amount of time spent driving.
Joyce’s next point was that all us “anti-ERS” folks have come up with no ideas to bring businesses to Eagle. Not true. There have been plenty of ideas proposed, some recently mentioned in letters in the Vail Daily. It is a recession, however, and there are not many people willing to invest in any business in this economic environment, especially with the ERS proposal waiting in the wings.
To invest with a monster like ERS still on the table would be crazy. Big-box stores routinely put many small businesses out of business. It is just their nature to do so.
She mentioned that real estate values will continue to be at low levels unless ERS comes to save us all. So, if I understand this correctly, an influx of four-five big-box stores with many low-paying jobs, combined with up to 550 rental units, resulting in a complete transformation of Eagle’s unique character, will somehow raise my property values?
I must be the crazy one, but I sure do notice a lot of new residents in Eagle, many from Eagle Ranch, who seem to migrate toward the more rural areas of Eagle such as the Brush Creek Valley (where I live) to hike, bike and recreate. There must be something that is appealing about the remaining rural areas of Eagle.
My question to all the Eagle residents that are so very unhappy with their shopping options and the way our town looks – dilapidated, blighted, etc.: Why did you move here in the first place?
Regardless of the outcome of the vote on May 22, it is obvious that there will be a lot of unhappy people because this town is very much divided on the ERS issue. I think the obvious solution is some sort of compromise – a much smaller development with a very select choice of retailers, drawn up from a wish list from Eagle residents. And then, once it is tastefully built, with the clear majority of residents’ approval, we can move on to be the wonderful, prospering, unique community that I know Eagle is capable of.
We need Eagle River Station
A few thoughts on Eagle River Station: I have been an Eagle resident since 1987 and a property owner, as well. My wife and I raised our children here. They now, having left the nest, have no desire to return to Eagle. Why? They have told me there are no opportunities here, and even with this recession, they cannot afford it. Sad but true for us.
When we arrived in 1987, we only had a small family grocery store, which met some of our needs, not all. We would make biweekly trips to Glenwood for food. We travelled via Highway 6. There was no I-70 through there.
For the kids, the only recreation center was the old McDonald Building, now gone because a heavy snow caved the roof in. Finally, it was demolished.
Now in 2012, we still have no recreation center. Gypsum had the courage and vision to build one. Kudos to the Gypsum leadership!
We had our first swimming pool next to the middle school. If we were lucky, we would get six months’ use.
When the plans to build another pool arrived, I spoke to a previous board member and told this person. “Put a roof on it. I’ll pay taxes.” The response was “We can’t afford it.” That seems to be a common, short-sighted approach to leadership.
Instead, we got another pool, with only three months of use, if we’re lucky. This pool, along with the ice rink, fits only a small portion of the community. We have endured short-sighted leadership since 1987, yet we’re paying for it yearly.
I am in favor of Eagle River Station because there is nothing in town that meets our needs. I spend the bulk of my money at City Market. Should City Market leave, we will continue to spend elsewhere for food, clothing, housewares.
This new leadership in town has the heavy responsibility of making the right decisions to keep Eagle afloat and perhaps thrive.
Mixed up about wax
I read Joe Mahan’s letter regarding toxic wax in the Monday, April 30, Daily. Nice letter. Just one big error, though. The predominant wax being used is hydrocarbon, not fluorocarbon.
Why? The cost. Fluorocarbon is just too expensive for daily use. The patrol doesn’t use it. The instructors don’t use it. And it isn’t being used on the recreational skis, either.
The only folks that use the stuff are the racers. And even then, it is only used for certain conditions. It needs a certain amount of humidity in order to be effective.
It comes in two main forms: hi-fluoro and lo-fluoro. Here in the Rockies, because of the dryness of the snow, the lo-fluoro is used most of the time – that is, when it is selected for use. The hi-fluoro is used mainly at lower elevations and in more humid areas. For daily use, both in training and freesking, the hydrocarbon is the preferred wax. When the racers use it, it is only put on the skis that are used for the race runs. It wouldn’t be used on either the slip skis or the training skis. An exception would be at the World Cup level. Then they might use it on the training skis.
The race skis would be used for two runs on a normal day. The process of application would be: melt it on, scrape it off and then brush the heck out of the bases so as to only leave a minute amount on the running surface. Too much wax is slow.
As far as releasing the toxins, if you have the iron hot enough to cause the toxins to be released, then you’re going to be smoking the wax and then the iron is too hot and that will not give a proper application, in addition to searing the base. (Think of putting a steak on a red hot frying pan).
As far as its use by most of the guys in the local shops, you would probably be hard-pressed to even find it in the shops where the recreational skis are being prepared. The majority of the wax that is applied in the shops is by roller and not by iron, anyway. It just takes too much time to apply it by the ironing method. The roller method is faster, and that’s the name of the game when dealing with the majority of wax jobs for the public.
Most shops don’t sell the stuff, either. You would find it in specialty race shops.
As far as the figure of 180,000 pounds of that stuff on our mountain is concerned, I doubt that there has been 180,000 pounds sold in North America over the last decade. Again, the stuff is too expensive for most folks.
Hey Joe, a little knowledge of the topic is helpful before causing a panic.
Our 2012 drought
This is my question with regards to “Keeping it green ERS” (along with the Wolcott development and any other huge developments planned for our valley): What will we do if we have more than one year of low snowpack and drought?
Have our town boards, county officials and voters considered alternative solutions to our most precious resource in this valley – water? This past week, the Vail Daily headlines read, “All outdoor watering could be shut down.” This could be a reality if we do not receive much-needed moisture this month and summer!
Local water officials, previously quoted in the Vail Daily, have stated this year may be worse than 2002 and they are worried about stream flow, which is where this valley gets the majority of its water.
People take our water for granted. In our ever-changing world and climate, I do not believe anything is guaranteed. I have lived in this valley over 22 years, and there is no average weather pattern. During any given year, in fact any given month, there is no guarantee with regards to the amount of precipitation we will receive. A new plan is needed for our water situation before developing any more large projects in the Vail Valley.