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Letters to the editor

Ken C. Pearson

I am just a patriotic as the next guy, but I’m outraged at the new 150-foot tall flagpole recently erected in front of Wal-Mart and Home Depot! I think it would have been more fitting, just as patriotic and just as all-American to have erected 50 flagpoles of a more normal stature (say 30-feet) along the roads leading to these two icons of American consumerism instead of one huge, ridiculous eyesore. Remember, this flagpole will still be standing long after “these days” of post 9-11 nationalism, unless something is done to remove it. WAKE UP AVON. The Village at Avon has only just been started. What other surprises are we in for? I feel very concerned if this is an example of how Traer Creek LLC, their architects and their own design review board feel this “flagpole (is) in keeping with the landscape.” I guess we should be thankful that they didn’t put up the originally planned 205-foot high flagpole, since they “felt the lights would impact local residents” and only erected a 150-foot high pole in its place! Whew! I’m comforted to know they were concerned enough to scale it back so that this gigantic purple pole that can literally be seen for miles will have no impact on me or on our beautiful mountain environment! Keep a close eye on this, development people. Traer Creek has demonstrated more than once that they will try to do whatever they please. It’s only through vigilance and activism by all concerned residents of Avon, surrounding communities and Eagle County that we have any chance of maintaining some semblance of the mountain lifestyle that attracted us all here in the first place. Let’s not let these guys turn the valley into a distant suburb of Denver! Please attend the Avon City Council meeting at 5:30 p.m. today, June 22 and let your opinion be heard. Ken C. PearsonSend a messageLike many others who apparently have some concern about both the quality of life and the appearance of what we generally call the Vail Valley, I object to the intrusion of a 150-foot high flagpole into this community. It doesn’t matter the nature of the flag to be flown on it. The pole wasn’t put up because we’re a nation at war with terrorists, and the pole won’t be brought down if the war ends. For those who say that it’s an appropriate display of our flag, it must be pointed out that neither this pole nor any flag flown from it is a patriotic gesture. These features are nothing more or less than an advertisement, substantially identical to a number of locations in the Denver area, intended to make people conscious of the fact that there’s a Wal-Mart store at this location. The American flag was never intended to be an advertising device.This inert variation of a ground-to-air missile may have been put up by Traer Creek, but it’s for the benefit of Wal-Mart and Home Depot. Few can doubt that Wal-Mart makes the decisions. Wal-Mart is not known for its sensitivity to local concerns. Across the country, the company is attempting to locate super-stores in the midst of objecting communities. A comment made to the manager on Sunday, which generated laughter as a reaction, confirms that the company is sensitive only to its bottom line. Based upon that reality, and the fact that we in the valley have an effective way of communicating with the company, I have a suggestion. Although it may be necessary for us to shop at Wal-Mart for some necessities not available elsewhere in the area, that isn’t true of groceries. With the Safeway or City Market cards, their prices are generally not that different than Wal-Mart. People shop for groceries at Wal-Mart in part because of its convenience when shopping for other necessities. A message can be communicated to Wal-Mart by shopping at Safeway or City Market and then taking our cash register receipts to the Wal-Mart manager of the day with the message that those sales have been lost because of the continued presence of so out-of-place a structure as this flagpole and, perhaps, to the use of the American flag to advertise its business, rather than to show respect for those whom it might be interpreted to represent.Better yet, or in addition to this suggestion, a copy or reprint of those Safeway or City Market sales receipts might obtained at the time of the transaction or made later and then be given both to the local manager and sent to H. Lee Scott, president, and S. Robert Walton, chairman of the board of directors, Wal-Mart Inc. at Post Office Box 116, Bentonville, Arkansas 72716, where these decisions are ultimately made. To the extent anyone feels that Home Depot might be worthwhile, that individual, and his address, are Mr. Robert L. Nardelli, chairman, president and CEO, Home Depot, 2455 Paces Ferry Road NW, Atlanta GA 30339-4024.It may be only in this way that a message can driven home that there is a financial consequence to not only the blanket commercialization, but the trashing of this Valley.Art Abplanalp


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