Letters to the editor | VailDaily.com

Letters to the editor

Rob LeVine

This letter is addressed to the person who used Tipsline recently to call David LeVine a whiner.For starters, one of the great things about op/eds of any sort is that you don’t have to read them if you don’t want to. Might I suggest that if what he writes bothers you, just skip over it. I must say, though, I have a strong suspicion that if my father’s views simply coincided more with yours, you wouldn’t find him to be whining at all. Rather, you’d probably be heralding his opinions. Sadly, you have no corner on that market of hypocrisy (from either side of the aisle).You admit that you’ve never met David LeVine. Well let me introduce you. He spent most of his 35-year career in the defense industry at Martin Marrietta (now Lockheed Martin), and worked his way up from a time-study man (bottom rung) to the No. 3 person in this multi-billion dollar corporation. Those words are cheap, until you equate them with many years of personal responsibility for the livelihoods (and lives) of tens of thousands of employees and their families. Before he retired, my father made countless trips to military installations around the country and spent more time in the Pentagon than you can imagine. He has met face to face with Cabinet members and done business with those in positions that most of us will only ever read about. His security clearance was the highest afforded to any civilian at the time, and his understanding of our country’s defense was (and is) worlds beyond that of most people (and most very probably yours). When he chose to retire he was in position to take over soon as the CEO of Martin Marrietta and most likely chairman, as well. At the age of 57, he decided there were more important things in life than making a lot of money, so he walked away from a ridiculously large salary, as well as beaucoup power and prestige. All so that he could spend more time doing the things he loves – playing golf, skiing, fishing, traveling with my mother and visiting more with my sister and myself. The point here is that he has a unique set of values, and he knows how to walk the talk. When you are in the upper echelons of corporate America, I can assure you that many of your peers are staunch conservatives. While many may have disagreed with my father’s political opinions, I promise you that those who know him well have the highest regard for his business acumen and equally so for his keen understanding of our economy overall. All in all, when he speaks about the direction our country is going, it may be just his opinion, and it may or may not be correct, but I guarantee you that he’s talking from experience way, way beyond that of other local pundits.In addition to being a genius and the most ethical person I have ever known, he is as unassuming and as humble as anyone you’ll ever meet. I’m sure that if he knew I was writing this letter, he would try to somehow forbid me from sending it. Like most very successful people, he can definitely be tenacious. However, I assure you he is the antithesis of a whiner. Although tolerant of others’ points of view (something you might reflect on personally), he is passionate about his beliefs and does not waver in his caring or his ideas about what is right for the future of our country. He chooses to share those beliefs through our local newspaper. Let me tell you something: Being passionate, knowledgeable and steadfast in ones convictions does not make someone a whiner, no matter how often they may choose to state their position. On the other hand, anonymous name-calling is most certainly evidence of both ignorance and cowardice.Rob LeVineFirst ride of yearThe University Program of the Snowboard Outreach Society has a lot of people to thank, as we have just completed our first ride day of the 2004-05 season. Vail Resorts continues to be an incredible supporter of SOS as we get Colorado youth snowboarding on VR mountains. The Ski and Snowboard Club of Vail provided a wonderful group of volunteers last weekend. And many local shops provided gear and services to get the SOS students outfitted in preparation for the season.Big thanks to Vail Snowboard Supply, Venture Sports in Avon, The Other Side in Beaver Creek, Phillip at the Golden Peak Rental Program, and Jeremy at the West Vail Gart Sports. SOS is so grateful for the goodwill of the greater Vail community. … Caroline HainesSOS University Program CoordinatorVail, Colorado