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Letters to the Editor

Compiled by Vail Daily staff
Vail CO, Colorado

Great paper

Today I was reading your editorial about dogs and how they are a measure of the town’s personality. I thought to myself, “How true. What a special insight.”

Then I read Rev. Jack Van Ens’ column that ruminated about his Princeton professor, and thought, “What a thoughtful, gentle perspective he brings to the world.”

As I delved into the nitty gritty of the crime report, it occurred to me that you produce the best newspaper I read. Day in and day out, your paper covers a wider range of subjects with more professionalism than any of the big city dailies I read each day.

It’s remarkable that a town the size of Vail can host such fine journalism.

We’re lucky to have you and the Vail Daily.

Chuck Curtis

We’ve lost Iraq

This president, this vice president, this administration and various Republicans continue to offer the opinion that if we pay attention to the Democrats and withdraw our troops “we could lose this war.”

I would suggest that we’ve already lost this war. We have 3,200 dead, plus more than 20,000 wounded servicemen; when we consider the cost of long-term medical treatment for our wounded patriots, plus replacing much of our military equipment, we will spend $2 trillion. Our international reputation for honor and integrity has been compromised; and our self-esteem has been diminished.

Given those facts, just explain to me how we can win this war.

The Shias, the Sunnis, and the entire country of Iraq, also have lost this war. There are more than 100,000 dead, a countless number of injured, approximately two million people who have chosen to leave their country, and large areas of the nation reduced to rubble.

Perhaps worst of all, they have exhibited sectarian hatred that may never be totally contained. Iraq, too, has lost this war.

And it’s all because of the ill-conceived actions of a small group of nutty zealots who believed that we should demonstrate our military power and establish a strong permanent presence in the Middle East.

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Feith, Perle and Kristol are names that will forever be associated with fomenting this irrational war ” a war that will have only “losers.”

David Le Vine

Prius proud

I was disappointed to see the negative angle taken by reporter Alison Miller about the county’s purchase of Prius hybrids.

As a county employee, I am proud to work for an organization that models environmental conservation in many ways.

To me, the purchase of Prius hybrids to replace aging motor vehicles, continues to show environmental responsibility while saving taxpayer dollars.

The county has other vehicles available to employees if equipment won’t fit in a Prius.

Jill Hunsaker

Edwards

Heed the plan

Another digression from the Eagle Area Community Plan that Eagle River Station presents is its ignorance of wildlife corridors and real “open space” that is mandated for larger acreages adjacent to town (35 acres or more).

I really did not grasp a cogent reason for deviation from the community plan on this point from the applicant, Trinity, at the planning and zoning hearing of late. This is glaring, because Eagle River Station continues to espouse that it has met all of the requirements of the plan and code ” if we apply Clintonian semantics, perhaps it has.

If we apply simple English to this provision of the community plan, and also look at the planned development as depicted in its schematics, Eagle River Station in no way has complied with Eagle’s community plan provision.

In other words, there is no meaningful “open space” in its plan, and there is no extant wildlife corridor in the whole damn project.

I keep hearing from the applicant that he would be developing in accordance with the profile of a small western town, and would “balance out” with the central business district of old Eagle; yet, and with tongue in cheek, the developer presents a plan that calls for: 1 million-plus square feet of commercial/mixed use buildings, acres of asphalt to accommodate parking for 27,000 cars per day, an interchange with three roundabouts, three railroad-grade crossings, together with 500-plus of so-called “affordable housing,” a Christian school with its own football field (not a public school), and a boutique hotel.

The size and density of this project is the antithesis of a historic and western town. As some of the commentators averred at the meeting, it is a nice project, but in the wrong place! We folks here in Eagle may not wear shoes, as the applicant alluded by innuendo, but we are not so gullible to swallow a million square feet as representative of a Norman Rockwell scenario.

The Eagle Area Community Plan prescribes that commercial development take place in and around the historical core area of Eagle (central business district).

As was pointed out, this project will be built more than two miles from the central business district. Trinity says that the development will balance out Eagle. This is nonsensical, because the imbalance is fomented in the first place by situating Eagle River Station far and away from the historic core of old Eagle.

Furthermore, the commercial/retail aspect of the project will be an enclave or island unto itself (further isolated) by the location of the Christian school/football areas immediately adjacent to Eagle.

In all honesty, Trinity should say that it is removing the commercial core of old Eagle to the Eagle River Station location ” the effect being that the little shops of old Eagle will just have to hang on, and maybe find a niche that is not being filled by the big boxes. Now, where is this “Tale of Two Towns” found in Eagle’s community plan? Trinity would argue that it really will be only one town, because we would have a trolley.

Finally, Eagle River Station’s developers propound that it is a walk/bike and “mosey, friendly” project, what with its bike baths and sidewalks. Yet, when you look at its plans, you are stunned by the acres of vehicular parking lots, the vehicular interchange from I-70, the three vehicular grade-crossings on the narrow reaches of Highway 6, the myriad of proposed vehicular roundabouts, the over-stressed and existing vehicular roundabout at Eby Creek and Highway 6, the vehicular barricades (traffic lights)at Chambers, I-70 and Eby Creek Road.

Broadway is and will remain “mosey, friendly” where the residents can survive the stroll versus dashing across the Eby Creek roundabout at 5:30 p.m. on a week day to shop at a big box at Eagle River Station.

The bottom line on this one is that Eagle’s plan calls for one town of Eagle that is pedestrian/child/old-fogey friendly; whereas, the Eagle River Station plan calls for a new and second town of Eagle that is totally dedicated to fossil-fuel vehicles, replete with big-box shopping, and a density that is inimical to wildlife, children and easy-going older folks.

I simply love the euphemisms that developer Vince Riggio uses: a “mall” becomes a “lifestyle,” a “big box” becomes a “mid-sized anchor,” a “private football field” becomes public “open space,” “tax relief” becomes “Eagle River Station foots the bill,” and “two” becomes “one” via the application of a “trolley.”

Oh well, that’s “marketing,” or should I say, “a shell game.”

Fredric Butler

Eagle


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