Letters to the Editor
No recourseFebruary 8, 2007. An absolutely beautiful day in Beaver Creek. A 64-year-old woman is skiing on this beautiful day, doing what she has done since 1983 in Beaver Creek. Larkspur Bowl: the largest area on the mountain to ski down and on this day not crowded at all. She is on her third run, fairly close to the area near that final run to the lift when WHAM! She is blind-sided, knocked down and finds herself in a tangle of skis. Afterward, she looks up and asks the young woman who hit her, are you OK? This person does not inquire after her health and does not apologize to her for this transgression. In fact, she has almost nothing to say. A mountain volunteer is soon there getting the skis untangled. It is at this point that the woman, feeling some pain, stands up and gets very angry. She proceeds to tell this young woman that she has skied for 35 years and has NEVER run over another skier. She suggests that perhaps the young woman needs to go find another place to ski and get her butt off that portion of the mountain. The young woman mumbles something like you need to watch gets up and skis off. Another volunteer and the womans husband arrive. She has difficulty getting her ski back on but manages and then skis down to the lift and goes to the Spruce Saddle area, hardly able to ski and in some amount of pain. Once there she tells her husband to call the ski patrol. They are wonderful and decide she must ride down in the sled to the clinic. She gets oxygen finding that she is suddenly shaky and scared to death. The clinic personnel are wonderful, but she finds out she has a fractured pelvis. The outcome is three to four weeks of healing and $1,000 for the bill. She has $2,400 deductible for her insurance. Oh, almost forgot, the ski trip is over and she must returns home to Oklahoma and wait to ski next year. Could this have been avoided? Damn right! When I started skiing in 1972 as a young adult, the first thing we learned was how to stop, using the snowplow, and the second thing we learned was courtesy to others. We heard over and over the rules of skiing. Watch those below you and be responsible for not running into them. I have always skied in control and been watchful of others. Is it too much to expect that of the young people of today? About two years ago on Centennial above the restaurant a young man on a snowboard slid into me. He was very apologetic and he knew he had committed an error. I growled at him to slow down. Sure, you say, accidents happen, but on the widest part of the mountain where there is plenty of room for everyone. NO EXCUSE!Also, I can in no way make this person pay for this injury. I have no recourse. Something is wrong here and I have no answers, but solutions need to be found before more people are hurt or killed. Furthermore, dont think this cant happen to you. I had never been in this kind of incident before, either. Betsy HerringHelp wantedThere appears to be a limited number of pieces left to the Vail puzzle. We dont exactly know what shape they are or how they fit together, but one thing is certain. We are going to need top quality workers and we are going to need more every year.Employee housing is only important if you have employees. The Vail Town Council is working towards a policy to create more housing for employees, but where are the employees coming from to fill that housing? Who is going to fill all of the new positions being created by development?Let us suppose that the approval to move forward with negotiations for a new Lionshead Parking Structure results in a car park with all of the amenities being proposed by the developer. The developer estimates that 700 new jobs will come with the finished construction. With all of the current plans in development and on the horizon, it has been estimated that another 700 jobs are in the works. How many positions went unfilled this past winter? How many should have been left unfilled because the quality of worker was not world class?Vail Resorts is large enough to recruit employees from around the world. Town of Vail Transit goes down under every year to recruit drivers. How can a small business fill all of its positions with quality employees?Affordable housing for employees to rent in town is a good first step. This will always be an attraction for front line and seasonal employees. They want it for a variety of reasons. Anyone who thinks differently is out of touch with the workforce.The real dilemma is how do we find people to fill that affordable housing. We need to find solutions before the lack of high quality employees becomes a very serious problem, if it hasnt already become one.Unless we want to be relegated to hiring only those who show up every season, there needs to be some sort of outreach. Job fairs, college campus recruiting, corporate connections, something that specifically helps the small business community. This would be a tremendous benefit to members of a business organization or chamber of commerce. This idea would seem to merit the consideration of several groups.This is the perfect opportunity for one of them to step up and take the lead in solving a problem that impacts everyone in the Vail Valley.Stephen ConnollyToo many rulesIt distresses me to see our valley in the state it has become lately. I am writing in response to the generous offer of land for Habitat for Humanity that is being lost because of excessive regulations and costs brought on by our county.Affordable housing, once claimed to be a top priority by our county government, is being strangled out of existence by these very agencies with regulation, red tape and personal political agendas that cause excessive costs to anyone trying to do something about it. Habitat for Humanity has now lost out on two very big donations, land and building materials at cost, worth millions of dollars simply because our county commissioners couldnt see past their personal agendas and approve projects that could have resulted in huge inroads to our housing problems. Now, there is tremendous outcry for a recall of one commissioner, possibly two, over their inability to live within the guidelines handed to them last year after the election. Political power breeds arrogance and self-righteousness, and the people of Eagle County have had enough. I am glad that, as citizens, we are on the verge of doing something we should have done a long time ago. It is time for a good cleaning at the county, and as they say, dont let the door hit you in the #%&.Karl BergerAvon
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