VMS home tour story deserved better | VailDaily.com

VMS home tour story deserved better

Laura Chiappetta

Many years ago I was hired as a temp to answer phones in the office of Vail Mountain School for one afternoon. When I agreed to answer phones in the school office I expected a quiet, rather dull afternoon ahead of me. I imagined I would be in a tiny office out of view of students and faculty.

The reality was the direct opposite. I was greeted by staff and children from first grade to high school. The friendly, inquisitive manner of the children I encountered was a delightful surprise. They wanted to take me to the library, show me their classrooms and find out about the new person in school.

That afternoon was so impressive that the school won me over. If I had children I would send them there. The school or rather “community” that embraced me had heart. The heart of that community has not diminished, it has only expanded.

Over the years several of my friends have sent their children to VMS. I have gone as a guest of these children to their classroom. I have visited with several parents, gone trick-or-treating with the kids and attended the school’s home tour.

Unfortunately, the recent VMS Home Tour became the target of Alex Miller, Vail Daily’s assistant managing editor and a Summit County resident. I will not speculate why Alex took aim at the Home Tour with clearly exaggerated comments that read: “Just imagine, we were thinking, getting a bazillion bucks somehow and moving into this: the 50-bedroom, 70,000-square-foot super-palace with 47 bathrooms, an indoor basketball hoop and enough antlers to outfit an elk herd.”

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Miller sounded like a petulant 5-year-old throwing a temper tantrum because someone had what he wanted. I was embarrassed for this grown man who showed his boorish attitude to the entire community.

As the publisher of this small, but thriving newsmagazine, I was saddened by the narrow-minded ignorance Miller illustrated. The article was published as an arts and entertainment story. In 20-plus years of being in the newspaper business I have never read such putrid, rubbish that was not under the guise of a commentary (personal opinion). Journalists, I have been taught, are to remove as much personal bias as possible when reporting an event.

Mind you I graduated from business school and came up the ranks to publisher that way. I do not pretend to be a journalist. However I do know what should be on the opinion pages and what should be a news story. Shame on you, Vail Daily.

The Vail Trail staff are an independent thinking and acting organization. If you don’t believe that, ask anyone in this valley who knows me. When I saw this egregious outlash on a group of individuals supporting an honorable cause I began writing.

For those who took exception to the article there is irony in this situation. Recently, Miller returned to Colorado from Hollywood, where he was a writer for a sci-fi television show.

Sounds like he is still writing science fiction. VT

Laura Chiappetta is the publisher of The Vail Trail. She can reached at laurac@vailtrail.com.

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