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VT Inbox

Staff Reports

Save Chair 10I checked out this editorial piece online after seeing it mentioned in the April 14 Trail (see “Ode to Chair 10, last vestige of the expert skier or 17 minutes of true love,” by Tom Boyd at vailtrail.com, April 11, 2003 edition).Some friends and I totally agree with your assessment of the rickety old lift. As such, we were wondering if you had any of the T-shirts mentioned in the April 14 article still laying around – we’d gladly buy a few if you’ve got some.Ben Talbot and Nikken Cullman, VMS Class of ’00Editor’s Note: As we all know, fighting the good fight in the modern era requires great T-shirts. Our first batch went like lightning, but lately I haven’t been able to get funding for T-shirts, hats, or the like. You’ll be happy to know, however, that plans for a Chair 10 party are in the works for next year (and hopefully many years after that), and we’ll definitely have T-shirts (and more) for that event. When we do print some T’s, you’ll be the first to know. Ben, Nikken: Keep the faith! (Go Rangers!)Mountain biking is evilWhy don’t you tell the TRUTH about mountain biking? (See “100 percent Genuine,” at vailtrail.com, May 5 edition). Mountain biking may seem harmless, but actually, mountain bikers provide bad role modeling for young people: seeing it teaches them, even without any words being spoken, that the rough treatment of nature is acceptable. It’s NOT!Mountain biking accelerates erosion, creates V-shaped ruts, kills small animals and plants on and next to the trail, and drives wildlife and other trail users out of the parks. What’s good about THAT?Mike Vandeman, Ph.D.mjvande@pacbell.netEagle’s phoenix”RMR’s Staff of Life” Eagle’s proverbial “Phoenix” has again emerged from the ashes of past and missed opportunities that may have been of great benefit to the denizens of Eagle, and to the coffers of the town, itself (see “A better town,” at vailtrail.com, April 7 edition).To put the pending RMR application into a historical perspective as visualized by past Town of Eagle (TOE) staff/manager members, Mr. Lapin’s application seemingly fits all town, local and community “master plans,” and is in keeping with the small town profile for which we all supposedly strive; ergo, staff/management’s retinence to oppose is the “staff of life” for the success of the RMR project irrespective of the sentiments of the vast majority of Eagle residents, including the populus of its environs (Eby Creek Mesa, Kaibab, etc.).To somewhat discern the historical mind-set of the TOE staff/manager, it is appropriate to look back at past development projects that were presented to TOE staff/management for its “august” input, and which were denied or rejected either by the aggressive adversity fomented by staff/management or via its inaction. To name a few of which I am aware and come to mind: (i) the Adam’s Rib application process through both the county and town, presented an opportunity for the TOE to expand its “small western town” vision south and for some distance up the Brush Creek valley, had only staff/management (and indirectly, the council) been more perceptive of its obvious benefits to the town, e.g. not located in the immediate approaches to the Eagle, water rights acquisition, planning and zoning authority, low density residential clusters, sale’s and bed tax revenues derived from a small upscale hotel (not a “big box”) planned for “Frost Creek”, open space and wild-life mitigation protection, and close proximity to the CBD of old Eagle; ergo, staff/management is on the record on numerous occasions opposing the many applications of HBE over the years, since the plan did not fit its (staff/manager’s) construct of a “community master plan”; (ii) the Airport/Gateway project presented an opportunity that was “pregnant” with financial rewards (as we now see Gypsum realizing), what with its tax potential, both at the industrial park and the airport; and had staff/management and the TOE pursued the matter aggressively, either by direct annexation to the TOE or via service provider agreements, it (TOE) would not find itself in the dire financial condition that we are now led to believe – for some rationalized reasoning, staff/management did not feel that it was in the town’s best interest, albeit, the zoning and infrastructure was basically approved and/or in place, the demographics were favorable, and the proposed acquisition would have had very little impact on the “small town” image that Eagle was endeavoring to maintain, i.e., CDOT would someday build an interchange directly to the industrial/airport area, rather that and an additional one just east of Eagle; and (iii) the CBD’s twenty-five year endeavors to improve its infrastructure, which would have enticed greater business development that would be compatible with its “Mayberry” image and casual lifestyle only recently have the business owners of the CBD been able to attract the attention of staff/management regarding such improvements – and this only as a result of a change in the “complexion” of the town Board of Trustees, and the formation of a CBD committee to represent the business owners in confronting their other representatives” (the town staff/management) to deal with the issue; heretofore, the CBD has been the “lost stepchild” in the eyes of staff and management on this score; and had these improvements been made years before (when the cost of doing so was reasonable) more sale’s tax revenues from the CBD would be flowing into the town’s treasury as we speak.The town/staff group is now once again confronted with a momentus application (RMR) that would have an impact on the Eagle area as a whole, and in particular its “stepchild” (the CBD) “Phoenix as arisen”, and apparently with it, “the staff of life”; ergo, staff/management has been conspicuously silent in its “adversity” to this project query, is staff/management in favor of the application as submitted? Have prior commitments or encouragement to this developer been made by management or council members? Or has staff/management found a new “master plan” that makes a “big box” fit in lieu of the criteria that it found objectionable for the Adam’s Rib project, e.g. green belt, wildlife mitigation, etc? Where is the vociferous opposition from the town manager on this application? Why doesn’t the manager and staff actively pursue the only viable alternative the Gateway venue with its ideal location and concomitant tax-sharing feature? Other than from the concerned citizens in opposition to this proposed project, I have heard no opposition from staff/management regarding the sale’s tax rebate and subsidy to this developer to aid him in defraying a sizable portion of his costs; viz., Eagle Ranch and the owners and developers in the CBD have not been considered for a “perk” such as this. The Planning and Zoning Board for the town had no trouble discerning that “a little town does not fit in a big box”; however, the developer, from his vicarious and distant observation, certainly feels that “a big box fits in our small town” at the location in question. The bottom line is that were the TOE to approve this project, its action in doing so would be consistent with the inimical, arbitrary, historical and demonstrated visions of staff/management, and certainly not pursuant to any known “master plan” other than that of the developer.Fredric Butlerstockmans@vail.netWe get letters … and emails! Write letters by hand to The Vail Trail at P.O. Drawer 6200, Vail, CO 81657. If snail mail isn’t fast enough for you, send emails to tboyd@vailtrail.com. Messages without a name and place of residence will be relegated to our Inbox department.We reserve the right to edit messages for content and length. Messages regarding Vail Trail stories receive priority.

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