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Letters to the Editor

Compiled by Vail Daily staff
Vail CO, Colorado

Keep Eagle rural

This letter is addressed to the Town of Eagle Trustees and concerns the proposed Eagle River Station.

My name is Crosby Foster. My wife, Sally, and I recently bought a home on the Eagle River east of town. We had previously lived in Singletree and most recently in Cordillera.

The motivation to live in Eagle had to do as much with the rural nature of the town as it did the spectacular river side setting that our home enjoys.

We both believe that the proposed Eagle River Station project, if approved in present form, will be a blight on this rural town that will be impossible to reverse.

We can find nothing in the proposed plan and previous iterations that will add to the character of our rural town.

In our view the project, as proposed, will create vastly more problems than it purports to solve.

And for what possible benefit?

The only one we have heard is the promise of tax revenue.

If it is accurate that tax revenue is the “carrot on the stick,” then we respectfully submit that this is extremely short-range thinking for a problem that begs for a long-range view.

Just as no one back in the ’70s could have predicted how the valley would grow, similarly today no one can accurately predict our future growth and its consequences. Retail vacancies in Vail proper over the past several years prove the folly in expectations, a problem that I have seen first-hand at the Glenwood Springs center of late.

And this is our fear as related to Eagle River Station. What do you suppose will be the impact on tax revenue when the lease on a “big box” runs out 10 years out and the tenant (be it Target, Wal-Mart, Kohls, etc.) decides the location does not generate the revenues it has projected and leaves town?

Who then fills that space? Typically it is a Dollar Discount-type of retailer who quite often is not in the community’s best neighbor.

And, if you do some due diligence, you will find that large vacant commercial spaces are a blight on the landscape and the Dollar Discounts usually renegotiate their town tax liabilities.

We submit that this is a risk that you cannot afford to take as the current stewards of our town’s destiny. It will destroy the charm of our wonderful town of Eagle forever.

Think carefully about what you are doing. Future generations will have to deal with bad decisions, which have as their motivation the proverbial “pot of gold.”

Crosby and Sally Foster

We must get out

These days, we hear a lot about victory in Iraq, “staying the course,” and that we must win. What I don’t hear is, what is victory? How do we win in Iraq? How do you define it? And how do you make it stick? Who surrenders? The tribal leaders? The Sunnis? The Shiites? The gangsters? The corrupt politicians? The religious Imams? Do we kill enough of them that they give up? How long does it take? Do we then sit in a room and everyone signs a surrender and they give up their weapons? I’ll bet!

You notice I haven’t mentioned the Kurds. No. Because they are smart enough to stay out of this mess, and wait until the time is right for independence.

The point is this: Every day we are in Iraq, some of our troops are killed, and many others are grievously injured. My brother and I were in World War II, and so were my cousins and friends. All of us were in a dangerous situation. Lucky to get out alive. We had no choice. We volunteered because we were attacked and everyone in the country got involved, building ships, planes, tanks, trucks, weapons, and buying bonds to finance the war. That is not the case today.

Bush’s idea after Sept. 11, was “to go to the mall” and give tax breaks to the richest Americans. Like it or not we are not going to win this mess in Iraq. We must get out, and re-define how to protect this country.

Jim Bottomley

Naive Democrats

The anti-war crowd believes we have a choice between war and peace, but in reality the only choice before us is to fight or surrender. If we had confronted the Islamic terrorist threat sooner the problem would likely not have grown to such global proportions. Instead, with each attack on U.S. sovereignty we either did nothing, investigated the attack as if it were a mere criminal assault, or at most lobbed a few cruise missiles and called it a day. The problem continued to foment and we ignored it, as our culture of tolerance continued to provide safe haven to those intent on our destruction.

The anti-war crowd likes to claim the war in Iraq is another Vietnam, and our newly elected congressional leadership is determined to make it so. These politicians refuse to acknowledge that taking the war on terror to Iraq has successfully kept the war off American soil, it has allowed us to capture or kill hundreds of terrorists and their leaders; many of whom were already in Iraq before the start of the war.

In the process we helped establish a free and democratic Iraq, something most never imagined possible. These tremendous achievements are part of a brilliant long-term strategy that has successfully served to defend our county and protect our citizens, not just for today, but for future generations.

Such actions are also part of the president’s duty and responsibility. War is never a good thing, but sometimes it is not the worst thing, and history shows us appeasement never works. Previous generations of Democrats knew this, today’s Democrats remember very little. Truman and JFK possessed both the strength and requisite wisdom for leadership under difficult circumstances; few of today’s Democrats possess a fraction of either. They are more concerned with advancing their misguided socialist political agendas than in fulfilling their constitutional obligations in the defense of our nation and its people.

Rather than simply undermine our president, and the war in Iraq and our troops on the ground, Democrats should help plan the next phase of the war on global terror.

Instead, the only alternative “plan” proposed has been to retreat (concealed under the euphemism “redeployment”).

Today’s Democrats echo the naïve sentiments of Britain’s Neville Chamberlain; he too, argued against going to war, and he too, was dead wrong.

If Mr. Chamberlain’s anti-war minions had their way all of Europe would now be speaking German, and we may very well have suffered a similar fate. Whereas the Iraq war to some may appear more like Vietnam on the ground, here at home the anti-war crowd looks and sounds a lot more like those eager to appease the fascists of WWII.

Thomas Anderson

Study home rule

For those of you who will be called upon to decide the fate of home rule again I urge you to read the new charter.

Go to eaglecounty.us and scroll down the left side of the home page to “proposed home rule charter.” Click to open the .pdf file and download the 29-page charter. Read it carefully several times.

If you seriously study this charter I believe you will come to the same conclusion the majority of others have, namely home rule provides the Eagle County taxpayer no benefits.

True it adds two additional commissioners, but if this can really be considered a benefit it can be accomplished by our statutory county as soon as our fast growing population reaches 70,000.

Virtually everything else in the charter, with the exception of citizen initiatives, can be implemented by Eagle County soon without going to home rule.

That is one the reasons attorneys from Colorado’s only two home-rule counties out of 64 recommended to the Eagle County Commissioners not to pursue home rule. They said it needlessly complicated county governance and does not provide the county any additional powers.

The notion of citizen initiatives on our county ballot should be considered with great care. Our current initiative process, that is our ability to petition our elected county commissioners directly, has worked well in Colorado for more than a century and still functions well in at least 62 of our counties.

Finally, you should ask yourself why, after home rule was defeated by 54 percent of county voters less than six months ago, are the home rule commission and the Eagle County Commission willing to spend more than $1,000 per citizen, of your tax dollars to repeat the vote.

Thanks for your consideration!

Randy Milhoan

Chairman

Eagle County Republicans


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