Letters to the editor | VailDaily.com

Letters to the editor

Rosie Shearwood

Ohhhhhh, OK, I get it! All along I’ve been thinking that the town of Eagle and/or Eagle Ranch have been conducting West Nile virus research in our swamp on a corner of Brush Creek Road near Eagle. But now I realize they’ve simply hooked up with WECMRD and added a much-needed mud bog pit to complement the pool and ice rink recreation center located nearby. It certainly does give our jeep-driving, midnight-wandering teens something to do, and the mud residue on Brush Creek Road does add a rather natural touch to the otherwise stark black asphalt.But then perhaps it’s a combined effort in the name of science to see what effect roaring Michelins have on the virus. Perhaps the county commissioners could create matching funds to erect a winter bubble to preserve the research site so that the $100,000-plus spent for mosquito control this summer would not have been aimlessly spent.I am further pleased to see that the surrounding planning/use at the Brush Creek Meadows is 150 percent equal to the beauty, design and engineering of the adjacent housing tract.Way to go Eagle, bravo!P.S.: Also, perhaps the county Environmental Health Department could get involved by setting up a self-pay station so the late night bogging participants could contribute to a memorial fund for the horse next door that died after testing positive to the virus. Sadly, his death last year went amazingly unnoticed by everyone. Rosie ShearwoodEagleGovernment taking”LEDE Reservoir condemnation.” Hmmm, Gypsum town residents, try this one for size instead: “eminent domain.” What does it mean and why should you care? Eminent domain is an approach utilized by local, state or federal governments when they want to own something or change something, and the private property owners don’t agree to give in to their demands, so the government seizes it.Why should you care about that? I will tell you why. This legal maneuvering is not limited to taking a ranch’s water source. It can be utilized to take your home or force you to give them your private business.What can Gypsum residents do? Question your town council, your planning commission and your town manager, who are the ones putting the eminent domain lawsuit into effect. Call them, appear before them and complain. Speak up. It works. See the results from one town at http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/stories/2000/08/07/editorial1.html. Their city council “wisely rejected a plan to condemn a privately owned parking lot.” Condemning land for public purposes was at odds with the sanctity of private property was the reason stated for the city council refusing to seize the property from its rightful owner.If, as Jeff Shroll stated in the Vail Daily, “This isn’t so we can go hog-wild and develop everything. This protects the town (as it is now),” then he must mean this allowed growth was allowed knowing there was never enough water to sustain the growth he has already allowed. Was the growth permitted despite enough water because the manager and our elected town council were aware that the town of Gypsum would be seizing local rancher Ned Goldsmith’s reservoir if he refused to sell it to them? In the Gypsum town Web site section titled “Water, Fire & Drought Resources,” it features a picture of LEDE Reservoir (http;//www.townofgypsum.com/index.asp?ID=65) As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. This reservoir is water Mr. Goldsmith needs to maintain his 850-acre cattle ranch and that he owns. Key word is “own.” He owns it. It belongs to him. Gypsum has no right to force his selling to them.The members of your town council and town claim that they want to preserve the open space, ranching, small town, and community life. Gypsum’s motto is, “Proudly committed to serving and protecting our citizens’ quality of life with strong leadership that supports opportunities for business.” Dear council and town manager, actions speak a great deal louder than words. Or do multiple family generations of Gypsum ranchers not count as either citizens or as businesses here?Ask yourselves, what if your neighborhood is red-tagged by Gypsum for neighborhood improvements and you refuse to pay for the upgrades? Your home could be condemned under eminent domain and seized. It can happen and more importantly, it does happen. It is not a rarity. As Mark May stated in the Vail Daily article, “But such condemnations are likely to become more and more prevalent as the population grows and the demand for water begins to become acute.”Manager Shroll’s statement of “this was not option A” with regard to forcing the ownership exchange of LEDE Reservoir leaves me curious. What was option A? Paying the man what he wanted for his private property, since it does belong to him? The town seems to have plenty of money. Look no further than the La Venture home. All of us Gypsum residents bought it this spring for $571,000 and why? Because Gypsum Town lost in court when they tried to pull a fast one in zoning changes, mid-court lawsuit, after investing huge dollars in a illegally lit ball field. A costly mistake for us, the town’s taxpayers.Remember, you, the residents of Gypsum, are the EMPLOYERS of the town manager, Town Council, and Planning/Zoning Commission. They work for you. Not the reverse. Do something before it is your home, your business, or your grandparent’s ranch that the town of Gypsum decides it wants to seize next. Think about why you moved here and then ask yourselves, when is enough finally enough?Vieva DeGraw GypsumThere he goes againMatt Zalaznick’s rants come off like an intoxicated loudmouth at the local gin mill. Matt seems incapable of developing a single theme into logically persuasive argument. No doubt his use of incomplete arguments, disjointed slogans and code words are applauded by those whose understanding of the issues is as superficial as his. However, his writing can only be seen as inflammatory and insulting to anyone shopping in the marketplace of ideas. I found the following sentence particularly offensive: “Bush’s flag-draped fans, of course, all presume the world will be waiting to see in Iraq the blossoming of wholesome Christian democracy.”What is Christian democracy? Democracy was invented by polytheistic Greeks. It is practiced by Jews in Israel, Hindus in India, Muslims in Turkey, and by Shintos, Buddhists and others in Japan. It is embraced by atheists, agnostics and even Wiccans in the United States, so what are you driving at? You need to explain yourself. Like most of what you write, the exact meaning is unclear. If you meant this as a religious slur, then you need to apologize publicly. David MillerGypsum

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