Vail Daily column: I shutter the thought |

Vail Daily column: I shutter the thought

Here’s something I bet you didn’t know.

If you combine the words ISIS and Ebola and rearrange the letters, it spells “bile oasis.”

While CNN’s gone full Benghazi on Ebola and Fox is using the double-barrel shotgun approach on anything they can possibly attach to Obama, the rest of us are swimming in the desert of dull reality, trying our very best to ignore the hallucinations of fear and panic that grip the ignorant and delusional.

Besides, every Gretchen and their dog in Happy Valley knows what’s really important these days.

I am, of course, referring to “Shuttergate” in Avon.

Who could possibly miss the candy-striped faux shutters that have graced Chapel Square in Avon for these past few months?

Certainly not the HOA board members and the Town of Avon Design Review Board, who both said a big ol’ “no!” when Hoffmann asked if he could put up the shutters.

He put them up anyway.

(I should mention that if you rearrange the letters in “Shuttergate” it spells “a street thug”)

Anyhoo, Hoffmann also put up 26 flags without board approval. When the HOA board voted to take them down Hoffmann voted (in a singular way, I suppose) to sue the board members if they did.

The flags are still there.

An appeal to keep the shutters was denied, but shutter they still do (in a faux way, I suppose), and now Hoffmann is suing the town of Avon to keep his barber-shop-themed shutters in place.


Look, I am neither a proponent nor opponent of Hoffmann, but I do know the history in this valley whenever someone or a group of someones with seemingly bottomless pockets suddenly appears.

The following almost always occurs:

• They sell themselves as a savior of one type or another.

• Political and real estate types scramble to somehow be connected to them.

• “Unforeseen circumstances” occur, usually economically based.

• Enemies are made, lines drawn in the snow, those who were connected claim blissful ignorance.

• The fallen head back East with their tail between their legs, never to be heard from again.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

But wealthy outsiders don’t have a monopoly on scandalously arrogant behavior, as sometimes it’s simply elected officials using other people’s money.

Who could forget the “Blue Light Bridge” in Edwards, the $100,000 temporary windmills on the golf course, Vail’s flatulating fountain, the “Fake Rock” scandal in the ’80s or the “Jesus Rock” scandal of the ’90s along with the Cordillera collapse, the Ginn meltdown in Minturn or the Lindholm flop in Avon?

Either way, and this is perhaps eerily ironic, but if you rearrange the letters in “Avon shutters” it spells “haunts voters.”

I like flags, personally, and could care less about shutter colors as long as they’re not screaming fluorescence, but I think Pink Floyd said it best as most of us are just “comfortably numb” at this point.

Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at

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