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Letters to the editor

James Bernhardt

I’d just like to respond to Kaye Ferry’s column in the Feb.16 edition of the Vail Daily. Let me just preface this with how interesting, yet problematic, I found the column as both an out-of-town guest and a retired teacher. As an out-of-town guest I’ve always been treated with respect and courtesy. I return to Vail year after year, in part, because of this positive experience. However, as a retired teacher, I found the column even much more problematic. It seemed to me that Ms. Ferry was suggesting the arbitrary application of rules-laws. This leads to a very gray area in our society. Apply this to my former classroom, for instance. Imagine that I establish a set of rules. Imagine that for some students, some times, I enforce those rules and for others I decided that the rules do not apply. If I read the column correctly, it seemed to be that Ms. Ferry was suggesting just this sort of behavior. She was choosing to disregard a town rule and thought that she should be allowed to because the street was empty or because she was dropping off out-of-town guests. If we encourage this behavior, for either our kids or our visitors, what does that teach them? It certainly doesn’t teach accountability or responsibility. It doesn’t teach them to accept consequences. It does, however, teach them very well to manipulate the system and that rules are made to be bent or broken. If this is the message we choose to send, then I fear we are treading on very dangerous ground indeed. Officers of the law are very rarely our favorite people due in large part because they catch us and hold us accountable for our occasional transgressions of the law, I would say much like our parents or teachers did in our younger years. No one likes to be wrong, especially when they have a good excuse or reason. Yet, rules and laws are created to maintain order and consistency. That is not possible if we encourage those same officers to arbitrarily apply the law as they see fit. It is their job to enforce the law, not to judge the finer points of it or to determine when and how it should be applied. As for the officer’s allegedly brusque attitude with Ms. Ferry, I find myself sympathizing with the officer. Anyone in a service industry, anyone who deals on a consistent basis with people who choose to ignore a posted sign, thinking for some reason it doesn’t apply to them, would try the patience most of us possess. I would be willing to bet that Ms. Ferry wasn’t the first person that day to think she was above the law, nor was she the last. The ticket was warranted, and rather than attempting to excuse herself (as most of my former young charges would have), she should accept the consequences of her actions as should any adult who chooses to disregard the law.James BernhardtCenterville, Mass.First danceThe Vail Professional Firefighters Association would like to thank all who participated in our first Firefighters Ball held on Valentine’s Day. The success we enjoyed in raising over $5,000 for the Tsunami Relief Fund and UNICEF would not have been possible without the support of the generous merchants and vendors that were gracious enough to donate their goodies for our silent auction and raffle. Thanks to the people that showed their support by attending the event and not laughing too heartily at the firefighters dancing like Clydesdales.The ball would not have been a success without you.A super special thanks to the Vail Daily, KSKE, Channel 8 and 17, and most of all to the fantastic staff and facilities of the Sanctuary. It was certainly a night to remember. We look forward to seeing you all next year.Truly, it is an honor to serve the fine folks of this valley, visitors and residents alike.Vail Professional Firefighters AssociationLocal 4138Mountain mannersCasual observations from the slopes: Have you ever wondered why people move to the front of the lift line 3 across and then decide to wait for their friend who is at the back of the line? This is actually the origin of the term “clueless.” Why do people save things that they don’t own in the first place? “I’m saving this table or I’m saving that spot.” I watched two people today eating their lunch standing up while someone saved four empty seats. We can thank our primitive ancestors for this table-mine, me-keep mentality. Pole clicking doesn’t work if the person you are about to overtake is deaf or listening to music. Since the person below you has the right of way, why not make other plans like slowing yourself down so you don’t cause an accident? Have you ever had someone make plans to meet you at a certain time and then show up late? They obviously think their time is more valuable then yours. So tell them the next time, if they’re late, they’re buying lunch at the local ski area. There is no such thing as “your line” while snow riding on the mountain. All the lines are actually owned by the federal government and managed by the Forest Service.I wish more people would think of cell phones like sex toys. Use them in private, not on the chair lift.Finally, could you please ask first before you lower or raise the safety bar on the chair lift? The paint on my helmet is getting scratched. Jon SilverBoulderSmart growth optionAfter reading numerous articles and opinions regarding the Eaton parcel purchase, I am pleased to hear that open space and development may be able to work together. It is obvious that Rick Hermes has put a great deal of thought and time into his vision of a joint effort and has some concrete ideas on how to get there. Instead of trying to shoehorn in a project, he’s trying to tie it into the Eaton open space so that county taxpayers ultimately benefit.I hope that Arn Menconi and Peter Runyon, who voted to use taxpayer money to acquire open space, take time to sit down and seriously consider the opportunity before then. It is not often a developer is so open with his ideas and plans. This is the way “smart growth” works!Deb ShayEdwardsVail, Colorado


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