Vail Daily letters to the editor
Great kickoff to 50thOn behalf of the Vail Town Council, we wish to commend Packy Walker and members of the Pioneer Weekend Organizing Committee for hosting such a wonderful event to launch Vail’s 50th anniversary. The weekend was well organized and provided the perfect setting for our pioneers to reminisce, rekindle friendships and to remember those who are no longer with us. It is with heartfelt appreciation that we wish to thank you and the committee members for your hard work in organizing the event which brought joy to so many of the attendees. Your actions truly embody the spirit of this great place and I was humbled to take part. With such a great start to our 50th anniversary celebration, this should, indeed, be a most memorable season for the entire community, our guests and our lifelong friends. Thank you again for your tremendous contributions to our past and your enthusiasm for Vail’s future success. Andy Daly mayor of VailHappy 50th, Vail!On behalf of our Pioneer Weekend Committee, a big thanks to all the sponsors, volunteers, and the Pioneers that attended the weekend of crapulous reveling. This event would not have been as affordable if it were not for the following sponsors: town of Vail, Vail Resorts, 1st Bank of Vail, Rod and Beth Slifer, Elaine and Art Kelton, Joe and Ann Staufer, and Eve’s Print shop. Also, a big thanks to the following volunteers: Merv Lapin, Doris Bailey, Phoebe Barrett, Sharon Bell, Bill Bishop, Anneta Dixon Rappa, Chris Ekrem, Sue Eves, Bill Hanlon, Joe and Wendi Hanlon, Susie Johnson, Marka Moser, Sara Newsam, Gail Newman, Susie Potts Simoneau, Bob Ruder, Daphne Slevin, Terry Ulrich, Joni Weinzapfel Windsor, Nona Wilke, Alida Zwann Anne Hatch, Gayle Hoderer, and Shirley Ward. Thank you also to Susie Tjossem for assistance and back-up. A special thank you to Shirley Ward and Joe Staufer for all your help the last two years in helping organize this third Pioneer Reunion. Every time we plan this function, we say “never again” for various reasons. Those thoughts go out the window once we fire up this event. The hugging, kissing, laughter, story-telling, etc.. suddenly make our efforts so worthwhile. Thanks, pioneers.A special request from me. Saturday night I gave a Navajo bracelet (turquoise and orange) to someone I knew to hold for me. The owner wishes to have it returned. Please call me at 476-2340 if you have it ($50 reward offered). Again, thanks to all.Packy Walker VailBest one yet To Packy Walker, Shirley Ward, Joe Staufer, Merv Lapin and their of many who choreographed the 50th Pioneer Weekend Reunion: It was a collective of those with whom we shared early Vail. The memories, the stories and the tall tales made for three magical days for us all. You practiced on the 40th, the 45th and now outdid all expectations for the 50th. Thank you for engaging the next generation. You have set the bar high. For an awesomely great party, my thanks. Elaine Kelton Vail The gas gaugeWhen Obama took office in January 2009 the national average for a gallon of unleaded gas was $1.89. How’s your wallet doing today?Bill McCarthy GypsumYep, I misspokeResponse to Bob Gallagher Jr.: Mr. Gallagher is correct and I appreciate his pointing out my misstatement. Stephen Spielberg was the director of “Schindler’s List.” The producer of “Schindler’s List” was Gerald R. Molen, who produced “2016: Obama’s America.” Dinesh D’Souza and John Sullivan directed the film. Thank you, Bob, for keeping my research honest.Dick Gustafson VailHow could you?This letter is directed at the individual driving a white sedan who hit a black Lab at around 8 a.m. on a recent Tuesday morning near the roundabout at Highway 6 and Post in Eagle-Vail. I was jogging with my dog at the time, and tried to get your attention before you hit the black Lab crossing the street by waving my arms frantically. Not only did you fail to slow down, but after you hit the dog you neither pulled over nor stopped to assist the dog’s owner, nor offered to help. I don’t understand how someone could go on with their day after hitting a dog and failing to offer even the slightest willingness to assist. I’m sure you were on your way somewhere, and I hope it was very important.Steve Bertuglia VailCapitalism has no inherent virtues In Fredric Butler’s letter “Socialism’s no answer,” he states that Henry Bornstein is “admittedly, a socialist.” I’ve known Henry for about a decade and have never heard him advocate government nationalizing private industry, that the means of production should be owned by the state, that government should control the distribution of goods, or that there should be no private property — all standard characteristics of socialism.Perhaps Mr. Butler would like to share the source of his information. Or is this just another tired example of labeling those we don’t agree with? As for redistributing wealth, any country with a graduated income tax system redistributes wealth by definition. We’ve had such a system since passage of the Revenue Act of 1862, signed into law by Abraham Lincoln. Perhaps it’s time for neoconservatives to get over this piece of history.Mr. Butler believes capitalism to be “the only moral and just social system.” Capitalism isn’t moral or immoral. It is amoral. And it isn’t a social system. It is an economic system. With due deference to Alan Greenspan, capitalism is not imbued with integrity and trustworthiness as cardinal virtues. The purpose of capitalism is to build wealth, and it is by far the most effective economic system in the world to do exactly that. The creation of jobs is a by-product and thought by some to be a necessary evil to achieve wealth creation. When jobs are off-shored to find cheaper labor, that’s capitalism at work. And when technology makes those jobs expendable, that’s also capitalism at work. Having spent many years as a line manager (having both revenue and cost responsibilities), my goal was always to hire the best people I could afford. I paid them what I had to to keep them and I hired as few of them as I could get away with. The highest output from the least input possible. Although Mr. Butler might like to think otherwise, we have never been a laissez-faire capitalist nation, even from our earliest days. However, regulations have grown and will continue to do so as the world shrinks and becomes more complicated. But understand, we aren’t regulating capitalism or corporations. We are really regulating people. The news is filled daily with high-ranking corporate executives, money managers, Wall Street investment bankers and powerful government officials being charged with white collar crimes — crimes committed from an all consuming quest for money and power. Other than government, who would we charge with protecting the common good? Private industry? Remember that capitalism is about creating wealth. There is nothing in that charter that addresses the common good. The mining companies of yore, before the Environmental Protection Agency, sure did a good job of taking care of their waste in Colorado, didn’t they? And the EPA? It was created by executive order in 1970 by President Richard Nixon. I recall that Mr. Butler was among letter writers in the past that argued that Christianity was the official religion of the United States. He should know that one of his “intellectual giants,” Ayn Rand, rejected all forms of faith and religion. She also condemned the “initiation of force” as immoral. It’s not so hard to find common ground with others that have opposing views on some of life’s basic choices. Mr. Butler already has.Jim CameronLayman for commissionerI invite your vote for Jeff Layman as county commissioner. With a solid public service and business background, he knows Eagle County and will provide leadership for smart government and smart job growth!In last week’s public debate between commissioner candidates, Jeff clearly called out the need for local governments to cooperate for the common good and to provide leadership for the complex challenge of job growth.I have operated local businesses for 20-plus years in the Vail Valley, but my keenest insight into the importance of the county commissioners and town councils’ role came from leading the start-up of complex community projects (such as the Family Learning Center Pre-School and the new Colorado Mountain College’s Edwards campus), as well as a new smart development project — the GreenPort economic development corridor with a new transit system. All the projects needed the cooperation of towns and the county government.Jeff has already demonstrated leadership, which he will bring to the county commissioners. He is about independent thinking and he does listen!Vince Cook AvonKeeping meals goingI would like to express a heartfelt thank you to the Vail City Market for their generous donation of deli products to last Wednesday night’s free community dinner hosted at the Eagle River Presbyterian Church (every Wednesday). Thanks to Loretta, Phil and their staff for coming through in the clutch! And while I’m at it, I would like to express additional thanks to the coffee shops, bakeries, grocery stores and other businesses throughout the county that contribute to the program from time to time. The donations are always appreciated and your kindness carries further than I can express.Sean Koenig and the Loaves & Fishes Cafe CommitteeClean up Obama’s messListen up: this is an emergency! Four years ago Barack Obama’s campaign slogan was “hope and Change.” Well guess what? To many Americans who are without jobs, others who can not earn enough to support their families, others who have retired and find their savings dwindled by economic disappointment due to mismanaged government, students who see no future jobs, citizens, who fear for our security in this terror fueled world, future generations burdened with a minimum $16 trillion debt, our country is tipping toward hopeless.Change, what change? Our democracy is fast turning into a socialist country when those in Europe have proven that socialism doesn’t work. We cannot let our founding fathers down. They gave us a constitution to limit government and encourage the individual to seek life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. All our past generations have been willing to work hard, play by the rules, praise success and enjoy the fruits of our labor. As parents and grandparents, we encourage our offspring to study hard, compete in sports, in music, art and science, challenge ourselves and reach for the stars. If we take the incentive of success away, we will become homogenized. We must let the cream of the crop rise and set the example that performing well in whatever we choose will be rewarded not discouraged. No, we do not want socialism. We want people to strive to be their best and earn good success because human nature shows that successful people are more apt to share their wealth willingly, not forced by government.This I sincerely encourage you, the American voters, to believe in America and elect Mitt Romney for president of the United States of America 2012 and let’s return our country to its former constitutional self.Laurie H. MorrisFine should be much higher I believe the fine issued to the Eby Creek resident that shot and killed a female black bear earlier this week was not appropriate. I understand that the Colorado Division of Wildlife is constrained under the laws established by the state of Colorado and am therefore not arguing with how the Division of Wildlife handled this case. However, I do believe that Mr. Giegling was not cited for the full extent of his crime.Black bears are considered by biologists as an animal with a low reproductive potential as they do not mate until they are 5-7 years old, mate at the most every other year (if summer and fall food conditions are good), and only produce an average of two cubs per litter. In addition, cubs remain with their mothers until 17 to 18 months of age. Therefore, Mr. Giegling killed three bears (one sow and two cubs). The typical black bear can live up to 20 years old. Therefore, according to my mathematical calculations, Mr Giegling should be held responsible for the killing of not one, but at the very least 13 black bears (mother, her two cubs, plus 10 more years of producing at least two cubs every other year; that’s 10 cubs). These calculations do not include the reproductive contributions of the two cubs killed. (They cannot make it through the winter alone.) Nor do these calculations include the reproductive contributions of cubs the sow would have produced. At the very least Mr. Giegling owes the state of Colorado $17,842.50. I also believe Mr. Giegling should have gone to jail and had his hunting license revoked permanently, as his lack of wildlife and hunting ethics and his inability to make sound decisions with a firearm makes him not worthy to be a part of the hunting community. If he was not ticketed for discharging a firearm in close proximity to homes, thereby endangering his neighbors, he should have been.In addition, Mr. Gieglings letter of apology is beyond understanding. Mr. Giegling had the cover of his home to remain “safe” from the bear, not that the bear would have harmed him or his family (I do not believe it would have). In fact, if the wildlife officer believed that Mr. Giegling was truly in danger, then the officer would not have given him a ticket. Game rangers are well trained in law enforcement practices and procedure, and if a ticket was issued, then it was deserved. Mr. Giegling chose to react to a perceived threat in a very irresponsible manner.Cindy Ticer Retired Wildlife Management Biologist, Arizona Game and Fish Creating a hazardRecently, in reporting on the Vail Town Council discussion of major alterations to the Vail Golf Course, you said: “Dave Tanner, a golf course safety expert, said the current 18th green’s location is at risk of being in the fly zone for driving range balls. ‘You have to look at the safety issues very seriously,’ Tanner said.”This is exactly the problem most golfers are so frustrated with in the Town Council meetings — total misinformation coming from all these so-called experts! In the present location of the 18th green, there has never been a driving range ball that landed nearer than 50 yards! Safety has not been an issue for the green since Ben Krueger designed the course. The plan to shorten the hole and relocate the green right where the balls do fall in order to accommodate an expanded events center is the safety problem! This is the reason for the expensive plans to narrow the driving range in order to construct taller “baffle nets” (in addition to the expense of moving the green). Thus we end up with a smaller range and shortened course until more money is spent altering other holes for more remedial remedies in an effort to correct the problems caused by a desire to increase weddings from 120 to maybe 200. That’s a very costly boondoggle, in my opinion. We will lose a beautiful finishing hole and never recoup the costs.Rol Hamelin
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Are we seeing more bears because there are more bears on the valley floor, or because we’re all spending more time at home? It could be a bit of both.