Writing the Daily’s wrongs
There are several issues I want to get into this week, mostly to balance the local media scales. So I’m just going to jump right into it. I can’t help issuing a public response to the “Our View” editorial written by Matt Zalaznick in the March 2 edition of the Vail Daily.Matt wrote that there are some “perilously dark” areas of our county that are in dire need of more lighting. He then went on to say that safety on our roadways is more important than being able to see the “faint constellations” in our heavens.To borrow a phrase from Don Rogers: That’s a crock.Matt would benefit from a thorough read of our recent cover story, “Bright lights, little city,” printed Feb. 24 and available online at vailtrail.com.In that story we outline how, with proper planning, lighting and safety needs can be met without blotting out the night sky.Simple, inexpensive, and effective lighting techniques can create downward-directed lighting, which lights up the ground not the sky. The Town of Vail provides an excellent example of how these techniques look and feel.I find that many of our environmental problems have these kinds of solutions. If we are thoughtful, and educate ourselves, we can meet human needs and environmental needs simultaneously. I understand that Matt, Don Rogers, and the columnists in the Vail Daily are primarily concerned with creating controversy, but being patently wrong seems like a counter-productive way to go about it. Speaking of being patently wrong, let’s talk about Don Rogers. In his latest inhumane beating of a rotting-dead horse, Rogers once again called the Eaton Ranch parcel a “gravel pit.” A little more than a year from now my mustachioed counterpart and I will take a field trip to that plot of land, and I will show him the green meadow that will be sprouting there. I will ask Don what he sees in front of him, and I know what His Numbness will say: “Uhhh, I see a gravel pit.”After all, we’re dealing with the same person who supports Tipsline, not because it’s a valuable way to “bring communities together,” but because it accomplishes exactly the opposite: it tears communities apart. Derision and division make a doleful din. Like the silverback gorillas that lead their tribe by waving sticks and making the most noise, so does Don lead the VD tribe by squawking the loudest. Don’s latest squawkings have been directed at the Town of Minturn. I spend a fair amount of time in Minturn, at the Country Club, the Saloon, Town Hall and Harry’s Bump and Grind. In all my time there, I’ve never seen Don Rogers once, nor have I run into anybody who’s actually seen him there. Perhaps Don and I can take another field trip, this time to Minturn, where he can stand toe-to-toe with the people he’s chosen to chide. As someone who has lived in this small town all my life, I think I’ve learned a few things. Respectful treatment of your neighbor is one. But I will give Don this: underneath his ad hominem, there are actual points of reason to grapple with in regards to the Bobby Ginn development in the Gilman area. My greatest concern is that the Minturn Militia (guardians of all that is rebellious, humorous and iconoclast about Minturn), will set their sights on fighting Don Rogers and the VD (no, not that VD I’m talking about the print version). This would be an error, I believe. When the time comes to preserve Minturn’s character and fight for all that is just, righteous, and environmentally sound, the Militia will need to spare its energy for the bargaining table and Bobby Ginn. Don Rogers is an afterthought. The “Tesla” cover of the song “Signs” has always been one of my favorite anthems. Although the song laments the proliferation of too much “do this, don’t do that,” I think Vail has taken the concept too far. I ask my old family friend, Diana Donovan, to relax her grip on this issue and give Robert Aikens and Verbatim Bookstore a visible sign on Meadow Drive. Many of our current business owners will be swept away and replaced during the New Dawn worthy businessmen like Robert deserve a bit of a helping hand as they weather the storm. Attacks on our beautiful Town Library are among the many dolorous items printed in the VD’s Tipsline recently. The Vail Trail and this editor, however, feel lucky to have a library of such high quality in our hometown. It’s ignorant, by definition, to attack people who dedicate their lives to supporting our intellectual pursuits. And Vail does this duty well. Not only does the library provide multiple interesting speakers each season, it has also developed a reputation for being on the cutting-edge of information technology without losing its foundational respect for quality literature. Untold treasures await beneath that sod roof, and last I checked, you don’t need a Gucci bag to enter (though you might want to bring your manners). This last one is unfortunate and difficult to write about, but I am compelled: a young man from Battle Mountain High School has been accused of sexual assault, essentially rape. When Kobe Bryant was accused of a similar crime, The Vail Trail printed an article that showed that rape is far more common in this county than we may like to think. I know that none of the people of my generation, who went to high school here more than 10 years ago, are surprised that someone has finally spoken up about sexual assault. It happens all the time in this town, and it’s been happening for quite some time. See our story, “The untold story of sexual assault in Eagle County,” at vailtrail.com, Aug. 1, 2003 edition. VTTom Boyd can be reached for comment at email@example.com.