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Letters to the editor

editor@vaildaily.com

Youth hockey thanksThe Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District and the staff at the Eagle Pool and Ice Rink would like to thank everyone who made the 2003-04 Youth Hockey Program a huge success.This year there were 226 boys and girls on 18 teams. WECMRD added 40 more skaters and 5 more teams than last year.Thank you to the Mini-Mite, Mite, Squirt, Pee-Wee, Bantam and Midget coaches! Thank you Andy Clark, Julie Hunter, Jeff Dalbow, Glen Thurston, David Lambert, Sam Adams, Jim Sanders, David Baker, Anthony Viera, Paul Sabo, Brian Blomquist, Gordan Adams, Jim Roof, Scott Nichols, Brett Lich, Dan Moore, John Garth, David Brennan, Tim Woods, Scott Delorenzo, Rick Granzow, Gary Defina, Chad Warren, Jim Libertini, Bill Wright, Josh Stocks, Tyson Ivie, Pat Garth, Kevin Brubeck, and all of their assistant coaches and team parents who helped out during the season.A special thank you goes out to the sponsors, The Gallegos Corporation, Venture Sports, Global Wireless, Inc., and George Schaeffer Construction. WECMRD would also like to thank the Town of Eagle for the use of the Eagle Town Park, the “Zamboni Brothers” Bill Johnson and Kent Wilson for volunteering countless hours making amazing ice at the outdoor rink, Paul Gregg, Venture Sports, Jeff Byron, JBT’s, and all of the volunteers associated with the Eagle Valley Skating Association.The youth of our communities who participated in the 2003-2004 WECMRD Youth Hockey Program benefited from your time, knowledge, enthusiasm, and patience. Thank you all for an outstanding season!Scott RuffWECMRDPublic likes feesYour recent Quick Takes regarding recreation fees on federal lands mischaracterizes the fee program and overlooks the improved recreation services and infrastructure it has made possible.The program, established in 1996 by Congress – and strongly supported by the public, based on most visitor surveys – provides federal land management agencies with authority to retain 80 percent of fees at the site collected and reinvest them into enhancing the quality of visitor facilities and services. Agencies have refined the use of fees over time, limiting them to locations with visitor infrastructure and special services and using them to add or upgrade facilities. At Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge, fee revenues paid for beach access ramps for disabled visitors and improved parking. At Mount Shasta, fees provided a sanitation program and greater safety for hikers.Bipartisan votes in Congress have extended the program several times since 1997. Recent actions in Senate on legislation to make authority for Park Service permanent will have no effect on the other agency programs. We continue to improve the fee program and believe it will enable our agencies to significantly enhance the visitor experience if current management is maintained.Lynn ScarlettAssistant Secretary, Policy Management and Budget,Department of InteriorMark E. ReyUnder Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment,Department of AgricultureNot buying itRe: “Single mom takes deadbeat dad’s home” story on March 12: It is safe to say that this single mom had nothing to do with forcing the sale of this home.Sure, let’s give Woodland & Johnson their five seconds of newspaper fame. Anything to generate clients, right boys?Child support enforcement is a serious business taken on by court-empowered county agencies to, among other things, force home sales. These agencies function at no cost to the “single mom” (and typically operate w/o any directive from the single mom).It is sadly curious that no such state-county agency exists to enforce custody orders. Affected parents – typically dads – are forced to retain lawyers (at considerable cost) to enforce their custody rights. In many cases, single moms get away with keeping the kids from seeing their dads, hiding behind support issues.To parade Joette Pitts as some sort of pioneer is probably a great boost for her ego. Congrats on the $20,000! Granted, numerous cases exist where dads entirely ignore their support responsibilities. However, behind each of these cases are details best left in the courtroom, not printed in the local paper. It all ultimately affects the children.Mark CzapinskiVailSquirrely chatI was riding the Vista Bahn at Vail the other morning when the lift slowed to a stop.I glanced down and noticed two small pine squirrels that were engaged in a conversation.I listened in as one squirrel said to the other, “I just don’t understand some humans. They come here to enjoy the beauty of our mountains and play on their skis and snowboards, yet many of them are so careless with their trash. It seems like every day they drop trash under the lift usually near the towers which shake items out of their pockets. I don’t mind when food falls out, but cans and water bottles are hard to swallow, and you know I have no use for trail maps! Thank Mother Nature for the Ski Patrol, as they are the only ones that can ski this closed area without getting in trouble and pick up the trash. It’s too bad that anyone has to pick up someone else’s trash, don’t you think?””I agree,” said the other squirrel. “I’m sure these humans recycle at home and do what they can to keep the Earth clean. They just need to be more careful when they come out to play. They need to zip up their pockets and back pouches, and drop off their bottles in the trash cans at the top or bottom of each lift here at Vail.”Jon SilverBoulderThanks for helpIn response to the letter to the editor printed on Friday, March 12, with the title “Lost Girl” I would like to start out by thanking Mr. Wilson for bringing this matter to our attention. Neither we at Ski & Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV) nor Cassie’s parents were aware that this situation had occurred on February 29th.SSCV’s primary concern is the health and welfare of the participants in its programs who are entrusted to us by their parents. We have extensive procedures in place to address reconnecting a child to his/her group should they become separated. All of our coaches receive this training as part of our orientation and on-going staff education.Please be assured that we will determine where our systems broke down allowing Cassie to be on the mountain alone and ensure that this does not happen again. Thank you, Mr. Wilson, for your care and concern for one of our kids and taking the time to be sure that she was reunited with her coach and group. We truly are lucky to live in such a community where strangers reach out to help each other. Thank you.Aldo RadamusExecutive DirectorSki & Snowboard Club Vail


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