Letters to the Editor
Patient safetyMedical errors are among the four leading causes of death in the United States, resulting in the deaths of as many as 198,000 Americans a year (according to a 2006 survey from The Institute of Healthcare Improvement and The American Medical Association). On March 9, The Kimberly Linn McDonald Foundation had our second annual Patient Safety Awareness luncheon, which was overwhelmingly successful with renowned guest speakers: Dr. F. Van Pelt, M.D., M.BA., Brigham and Womens Hospital; Ms. Linda Kenny, director and founder of MITSS (Medical Induced Trauma Support Services); Ms. Cari Fouts of The Colorado Foundation of Medical Care, and local Mr. Greg Repetti CEO of Vail Valley Medical Center. All these speakers spoke inspiringly on how to become a patient safety advocate for your family, friends, and community. We could not have done this without the generous support and guidance of our guest speakers: The Beaver Creek Resorts Company Tony ORourke, Kyle Copeland and staff; Mountain Estate Builders; Dr. Harvey Cohen, obstetrician an gynecologist; R.A. Nelson and Associates Chupa Nelson and staff; The Chaparral at Cordillera Valley Club; The Vail Valley Medical Centers Patient Safety Coordinator Anne Robinson, Chief Nursing Officer Linda Brophy, and Quality Assurance Coordinator Berta Turner. Additionally, many thanks to our esteemed KLM Foundation Board of Advisors, John and Cathy Nichols, and Beverly DeMoss, who worked effortlessly in organizing this event and relating the importance of patient safety in healthcare to all. We are grateful for your continued support and hope that with education, cooperation and open communication with the medical community and community at large, we can help save other lives in memory of our namesake, Kimberly McDonald, who died on Nov. 18, 2000 here in Vail, Colorado due to complications from surgery. Thank you for caring and for being with us!The Kimberly Linn McDonald Foundation Board of Directors Ironic commentsI read with interest your recent editorial on the new charter school being planned for non-English-speaking high school students. Its ironic that the school district and media are embracing this charter school for struggling Spanish speaking teenagers, yet were less than welcoming to Stone Creek Elementary and the Charter Academy. It is also ironic you used the term white flight in reference to white parents seeking the most appropriate education for their children, but not the term brown flight in reference to the Spanish-speaking teenagers that will have their needs best met at this alternative charter school.You also wrote in this editorial, Never mind that native English-speaking students score as well as any anywhere, even the various white-flight programs. I acknowledge that our white students are as fully capable of academic success as white students anywhere in our state, but are our white students scoring as well as anywhere? I decided to use the Standard & Poors Web site, http://www.schoolmatters.com, to check the validity of your statement, and chose to compare the 2006 CSAP scores, for white students only, at Eagle Valley High School and Cherry Creek High School (which is near Denver). The percent of white ninth-graders scoring proficient and advanced in reading and math at EVHS were 75 percent and 47.4 percent, respectively. Cherry Creek High School scores for ninth-grade white students in reading and math were 92 percent and 72.4 percent, respectively. The percent of white 10th-graders scoring proficient and advanced in reading and math at Eagle Valley High School were 76.8 percent, and 36.4 percent, respectively. At Cherry Creek High School the scores for white 10th-graders were 89.9 percent and 62.7 percent, respectively. I also checked the 2006 CSAP results for Summit High School, Steamboat High School, and Basalt High School. All of these schools posted higher scores for white students, proficient or advanced, in reading and math in both ninth and 10th grade than Eagle Valley High School. So, the answer to my question, Are our white students scoring as well as anywhere? is a resounding no.As a parent and taxpayer, I am deeply concerned about the discrepancy of these scores. Why are Cherry Creeks white students out-performing ours by such a large margin? What can be done differently, in Eagle County, to boost achievement for our kids no matter their race, income or disability?Finally, Don, please check your facts. We count on you to provide us unbiased and accurate information. After all, we want the same thing; a superior education for all our kids. And that begins with the facts.Karen GuzikEaglePrius faultsWho is the idiot that thinks that 20 Priuses in one small county are good for the environment? Several recent studies point out many of the Prius faults.Under the revised Environmental Protection Agency estimates, the Prius can no longer boast 60 mpg but a more real-world 45 mpg.The nickel used in the Prius batteries is an ecological nightmare. The nickel is mined and smelted at a plant in Sudbury, Ontario. This plant has caused so much environmental damage to the surrounding environment that NASA has used the dead zone around the plant to test moon rovers. The area around the plant is devoid of any life for miles. The plant is the source of all the nickel found in a Prius battery and Toyota purchases 1,000 tons annually. (Refer to bookrags.com/research/sudbury-ontario-enve-02 for this quote.) The nickel has to travel via cargo ship to Europe, China, Japan and then the U.S. on its way to becoming a battery for the Prius.The toxicity doesnt go away, and there is no way of recycling these batteries.Chevy Aveos would have been a much greener choice and would not have wasted all of my tax dollars. Some politicians just cant see through the purple haze to get a look at the big picture.John SickingEagleIncompetence and IraqI was astounded by Tom Hendersons letter trying to justify the loss of American lives in the Iraqi war by his perspective that we lose so many lives to crime in this country. Im sure the wives, children and husbands of our deceased soldiers wont be so sympathetic to his perspective.Here is what weve accomplished so far by invading Iraq:We have effectively destroyed the country that we were supposed to Americanize. Two million Iraqis have left their country, one-and-a-half million were displaced from their homes, and hundreds of thousands also have been killed. We also eliminated the buffer to Irans expanding power. We were diverted from Afghanistan and the restitution of that country. We incurred the wrath of the Arabs all over the world and increased their enlistment in al-Qaida. We alienated most of our allies around the world. This war was ill-conceived, ill-planned, with an incompetent strategy by arrogant and ignorant civilians. The axis of evil was actually Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. It was a war of choice that was rushed with poor or no planning for running the country after Saddam was overthrown. The troops were not well-equipped, with too few armored vehicles and vests. There were far too few troops used, which resulted in the uncontrolled looting and the failure to guard or destroy the ammo dumps all over the country.Mr. Hendersons comparison with our war against Germany in World War II was ludicrous. Germany had conquered all of Europe with the exception of England and was populated by a people not warring with each other for 1,400 years. Yes, freedom is worth fighting for, but when the incompetents are running the show, it is time to rethink our strategy.William PintzowEdwards Thanks to Camp Vail hostDear Mr. Scott Green, president of the Eagle County School District Board of Education:For many years, the Vail Recreation District has been delivering an incredible summer camp experience to both local and visiting children of Vail, known simply as Camp Vail. Every summer from early June to late August, approximately 100 kids per day experience a myriad of activities in an engaging, educational and inclusive environment, all within the unique and beautiful alpine setting of Vail.The Vail Recreation District would like to extend our sincere appreciation and gratitude to yourself and your fellow Eagle County School District Board of Education members for your understanding and assistance in our recent endeavors to secure Red Sandstone Elementary School as host location for the summer 2007 session of Camp Vail. Acknowledging the Eagle County School Districts challenges at hand in scheduled summer maintenance and subsequent logistical details, we recognize and applaud your decision to maneuver certain appointments to accommodate Camp Vail, thereby solidifying Camp Vails legacy of delivering summer fun.Through the years, both the parents of Vail and visiting tourists alike have come to rely upon Camp Vail as their childrens summer programmed activity, allowing them to work and play with the confidence that their children are not only being taken care of, but also learning and growing in the process. Securing a Vail-specific location was paramount in realizing adequate enrollment levels and eliminating logistical challenges for these parents, and we are indebted to you for permitting Camp Vail to occupy Red Sandstone Elementary this summer, continuing a tradition that so many locals and visitors have come to enjoy. We look forward to continued collaborations, delivering world-class educational and recreational programs and facilities to the Vail Valley.Vail Recreation District Staff and BoardJoin the clubSpring is here and summer is just around the corner, but many of us want to squeeze out the last bit of winter fun while there is still some snow left to play on. One of the smaller groups of enthusiasts in the state are the snowmobilers, only about 11,000 in the state and only 600 in Eagle County. Of these only one in 10 belongs to a snowmobile club.The news each winter has stories about lost riders or those caught in avalanches and a few who are killed while snowmobiling. These stories are big news, but who are these unfortunate few who have or cause problems on their sleds? The vast majority are independents, riders who do not belong to a Colorado snowmobile club. Snowmobiling is a club sport, and through the club system riders learn proper and safe use of their equipment and have competent friends to ride with. In Colorado there are 35 clubs in the Colorado Snowmobile Association (CSA) and most have an area that they map and groom. CSA provides the clubs with a support system through which riding safety and knowledge are promoted and they also work with the various agencies that manage the riding areas, as do the local clubs.The local Eagle County club is the Holy Cross Powderhounds, and on Saturday, April 7 they are having an end-of-the-season party at Ski Cooper. I want to extend an invitation to all snowmobilers in the county to attend this party enjoy the camaraderie and help support out efforts. The riding starts at 9 a.m. and a barbecue will be provided at noon. If you have questions call 476-2417.Randy Guerriero
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