Letters to the editor | VailDaily.com

Letters to the editor

Anne Harris

Are you the young man in the yellow ski jacket who was walking down Lion’s Ridge Loop on Friday, Dec. 2, about 7 p.m.? If you are, your incredible carelessness nearly cost your own life, plus that of two others riding in a SUV which almost hit you. You were walking down the middle of Lionís Ridge Loop, evidently confident that your yellow ski jacket with black stripes made you sufficiently visible. When you noticed our headlights you waved your arms up and down to be sure we saw you. You never made a move to the side of the road, where pedestrians should walk. The road was snow packed, it was dark up there, and our bright headlights did not sufficiently illuminate you until the last minute. There were plenty of bright lights in the background coming from the condo complexes farther down the hill. We swerved to miss you, then fishtailed five times trying to regain control. There is no guardrail on that part of Lionís Ridge Loop and the drop off is 50 to 100 feet – straight down. It is a miracle that we did not hit the mountain or go off the cliff. What a needless tragedy that would have been. If you are this person, or you know who he is, please be sure this does not happen again. Walking down the middle of that road or any road after dark is irresponsible and dangerous at best. On a snow-packed road on the side of a cliff it is beyond belief. The next vehicle might not be so lucky. Anne HarrisVailGreat townEarlier today (Dec. 8) I lost my wallet, which my daughter made for me out of duct tape. About 2 this afternoon the calls started coming in from various people in the Gypsum area that I have come to know over the years. The guy at the Hi-Way 6 Store, where it was eventually turned in; Lana from the town of Gypsum, whose husband found one of my credit cards; Bill Kaufman from the Sherrif’s Office who happened to stop in at the Hi-Way 6 Store and through his resourcefulness obtained my unlisted phone number and called me at home. The list goes on. People called the bank to make sure no charges were made to the card. All this time I was not even aware that I was absent my wallet. I got to thinking that what happened to me today is exactly the reason my family and I moved to Gypsum. The people in this town look out for each other, regardless of whether a duct tape or fancy leather wallet is involved. Ross Graves GypsumBetter than that!Recently in the Vail Daily there have been multiple Tipsline comments regarding TAP and our local schools and the problems associated with this program. (This week) the CSAP results from last year were published and I noticed that Red Hill Elementary was rated as “average,” well as a parent of a second grade student at Red Hill, I just wanted to weigh in on this with a few thoughts. Although the “average” rating was for the students that took the test last year, the label will stick with the teachers and staff at the school this year, and in my eyes, this is just not an accurate depiction of these people. This school in particular has learned this year that there is just simply more to life than what a test can tell us about individuals and their ability to grow and learn.Sadly, the defining moment of this year has already come to pass at Red Hill, and the teachable moments that came with it will not be measured in any way by the CSAP test that the students will take this year. On Nov. 9, the teachers and staff members at this school had to deliver the devastating news to a group of 20 second -graders that one of their own would never be back. The teachers and parents that were there that day to hold the hand of a grieving child or to hug an equally devastated staff member were not there to receive pay raises. Their performance that day will not be rewarded. They were there because they truly love children and want to teach them the skills they will need to do well in life.The teachable moments that came out C.J.’s death will go farther with my daughter than anything CSAP will measure. The teachers have helped her and her classmates deal with issues that are far more pressing than where the “ten’s place is in the number 652.” These extraordinary teachers and staff members taught her over the last month that grieving, coping, respect and tears are all lessons that one must learn at one point in their life, albeit way to early for them. The life lessons my daughter learned this year at Red Hill will not be asked on CSAP next year, but I feel completely confident that if she were asked, “What is the best thing to do for someone who is sad about the death of a friend?” she would be able to answer correctly, “Just hold their hand and offer them a tissue.” So for that, to the teachers at Red Hill, by my book you are all more than “average.” You are truly off the charts. To the administrators in this district, if your continued support of TAP is based on CSAP, then perhaps you need to re-evaluate what is truly important in life, because if one of the great teachers that was there for my daughter when it truly mattered leaves this district because of this program, our children truly will be worse off in the long run.Jackie RindyRussian winterConcerning Kevin McCaughey’s letter of Russian exchange: When my daughter arrived in Ussuriisk, there was a city curfew, at the time of the Chenya school fiasco (it has since been lifted) and the militia had bullets in their guns.To think that they walked around unarmed is like asking our own police to go out without guns. They were guarding the schools, as well. Could they do that without weapons? Surely the Chechnyan rebels carry their own weapons. As you know, Vladivastok is a large port city and military base. They are not exempt from terrorist threat.As far as the rest of your comments, alas you are not there and she is. Up until November, their appartments had no heat and no hot water. It is only on during winter months, all things I’m sure you are willing to live without. Yes, all Rotary exchange students are brave. The point is, though, to help ensure peace and understanding that all of us want our children to grow up safe and succeed in their lives – not to judge ideals of other countries because we have not walked a mile in their shoes.Raemona BumpGypsum Taking issuePlease allow me to offer some corrections to Ms. Kaye Ferry’s column in regards to the Vail Recreation District. First let me point out that in my two-plus years on the board, Ms. Ferry has attended one meeting that I am aware of. When I ran in May of 2002, along with two other quality people, our objectives were the following:– Fiscal responsibility.– Management account ability.– Improve relationship with the town of Vail.I find her opinion on the last objective to be way off line. Just the day before her article, I attended a very positive work session with the Town Council. I walked away from that session more confident of our relationship than ever before. I would also like to point out that the Vail Recreation District and the town of Vail have had monthly meetings over the past two years to communicate and facilitate our needs to each other.In regards to our first two objectives, anyone who has followed our performance is well aware of our advances. We are not perfect, so each and every day we keep trying to continue to make a positive difference in the town we live. At any time, we are always open to constructive criticism in our effort to improve.If anyone has any questions or concerns in regards to the Vail Recreation District, please feel free to contact me at 476-8426. Oh yes, in closing, I ask that Ms. Ferry do one thing: Educate before you evaluate.Nino LicciardiVail Recreation District Board Chairman Vail, Colorado