Vail Daily letter: Different impression from interview
I also listened to your KZYR radio interview with Eagle County sheriff candidate James van Beek and came away with a different impression of Mr. van Beek than the viewpoint of this letter titled “Disturbed by candidate’s answers” (Sept. 11). The interview with you sounded quite congenial. Sometimes words can be taken out of context if one does not hear the entire conversation.
Case in point, the Zephyr interview:
Host: “Tell us about yourself. Why are you running for this thankless job?”
James: “Somebody has to do it. There were three of us. Now there is two” (laughter in the room).
Here is a bit more background on sheriff candidate James van Beek. His parents are immigrants from Holland. Their native language is Dutch.
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Mr. van Beek speaks several languages. Among them are Dutch, German, Serbian, Albanian and some Spanish from here.
The fact is I-70 is a corridor for smuggling by cartels. Reading through the current Eagle County Sheriff’s Office “Ten Most Wanted” list may further support why Mr. van Beek said he had “never arrested anyone from Albania but knows enough Spanish to arrest someone” during your interview with him. We as citizens do need someone who can communicate with our native English speakers as well as our foreign language speakers (or supply a translator) but that is not a slight on languages nor on specific ethnicities among us. Counting English, per our federal government, we have 18 different languages spoken in Eagle County.
It would be exceedingly difficult to speak them all.
Colorado is also one of 31 states who are official English language states. Statutorily, Colorado Constitution, Article II, Section 30 (1988) states this: “The English language is the official language of the state of Colorado.” So Mr. van Beek’s English skills are equally as important as foreign languages, perhaps even more so.
Having listened to him during this interview, I would consider Mr. James van Beek to be respectful, thoughtful, experienced, as well as a well-spoken and non-prejudiced candidate for our Eagle County sheriff.