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Letters to the editor

Diana Donovan

Just a note from a Vail elected official to publicly state my continued concern with the representations being made on behalf of the town of Vail concerning the conference center.Just last week Mayor Slifer wrote a long letter, not approved by the rest of council, stating it is all but a done deal. Nothing could be further from the truth.The council has NEVER reviewed the proposal in its entirety. A steering committee was appointed by the Vail Town Council to verify the financial numbers used during the election to determine whether this is a financially viable alternative for the town of Vail. Regardless of the election, the council is required by law to be financially responsible especially when government is starting a new business.At our last meeting, financial numbers representing the capital costs of the entire project were presented that were so meaningless that not one question was asked by any council member. I believe that is symbolic of how this process is going.The council has not yet been presented with any of the risks of this new business. These risks are believed to be enormous by most people I talk with and not worth taking. There are so many ways to increase our visitor numbers, with almost no risk. But we, the council, have never discussed those, either.Few, if any, of the questions I have asked have been addressed.It is time for those concerned about the project to demand answers that make sense. If the answers don’t make sense then it is time NOW to object publicly. There are several public meetings coming up so you can start to get informed. The only thing I know for sure is that this proposal for a new business NEVER has a positive cash flow. That alone should be reason for concern for everyone.Wednesday, March 9, 5 to 6:30 p.m., Donovan Pavilion.Friday, March 18, 8:30 to 10 a.m., Vail Library Community Room.Thursday, March 24, 5 to 6:30 p.m., Vail Library Community Room.Diana DonovanVail town councilwomanThank you, oopsThe purpose of this letter is two-fold. First I would like to commend your paper for its thoughtful coverage of the wounded OIF veterans journey to the slopes of your beautiful community. But, as is sometimes the case with stories on the military, I had a hard time making it past the first sentence of the story, which identified the subject as a “Navy corporal.” There is no such thing as a Navy corporal, but there are many Marine corporals, and they are the heart and soul of our Corps. Thank you for telling this Marine’s story. Justice ChambersCamp Pendleton, Calif.From beginningWhen the people who settled these mountain valleys came, it was for space, open space. They came from the crowded, smoky cities and from the windy, dusty plains. No plans were in mind to erect any buildings larger than a barn. At the end of their journey, they found clear, cool streams flowing through narrow, fertile valleys. When my grandfather, Frank, and his brother, Sam, rode their horses through Gypsum Valley in the late 1880s, the sagebrush in places was higher than their heads. One remarked to the other that that kind of soil would grow anything. The piece of land selected has remained untouched to this day. In a few months it will feel the gouging of big earth moving machines and the sound of hammers.Gypsum Creek is one of the feathers in the wing of the big Eagle for which the stream is named. The Ute Indians, original proprietors of the valley, named it for shape, the wing of an Eagle. The first Spanish-speaking people called it Rio Aquilla, Eagle River. Almost a generation of Anglos took 30 years to decide on Eagle as the name for a town they built at the junction of Brush Creek and the Eagle River – another feather in the wing.As far as historians know, the first Anglo to set up any kind of shelter for more than a night or two was one of the original mountain men called only as Ol’ Bill Williams. This is thought to be in the area of present-day Edwards and was known as the “fishery.” Is this a coincidence that the developer of the modernday Edwards is also Bill Williams? As Lake Creek flows into the river from the south, another feather is added to the wing.The Eagle River is unique because the stream begins and ends in Eagle County. Eagle County may be the only boundaried area in this country to have its own self-contained river. I believe it should be honored. How better than to flow through a public park, to be seen and heard and enjoyed as a monument to a great area sought after by many. To preserve this piece of land and its share of the river is not too much to ask of those who prefer to call it home, permanently, or part time.Since this has become a serious matter, opinions are rampant. Ideas for and against buzz around like the annual mayfly hatch. Yes, $12 million is a bunch of money. How many private, single-family dwellings reputed to have cost that much or more have been built in Eagle County? How much is the land worth? What is the appraised value? The value is how much it will sell for on the open market.If the people, organizations and governments want to acquire an easement on this piece of land as much as they say they do, they will get it. If the obstacles and faint hearts are dominant, they won’t!Frank DollAvonA fairer boardReference Tamara Miller’s story, “Commissioners look at bigger board,” Vail Daily, March 1.According to the referenced article, County Commissioner Tom Stone “still needs to be convinced it’s (expanding the Board of Commissioners) a good idea.” He’s quoted as saying, “I have yet to hear any kind of convincing argument to support the notion.”I have a suggestion for Mr. Stone to help him see, literally, the merit for an expanded County Board. Look in the mirror!Stone’s narrow-minded, self-centered approach to dealing with county issues probably represents the opinion of a small minority of the the constituents that he is supposed to represent. And yet his vote on issues counts for one-third in the decision-making process. What’s needed on the Board of Commissioners is broader representation.As it stands now, the opinions and judgments of just two people direct the governance of Eagle County. That’s not sufficient representation. A five-commissioner board would increase perspective and discussion on issues, which should benefit all concerned.Richard Loth Casino Night Once again, it’s time for all locals to mark their calendars for the best end-of-the-season party!Casino Night 2005 is scheduled for Friday, April 8, at the Marriott Vail Mountain resort. The directors of six early childhood programs are reaching out to the community to support the 18th annual Casino Night bash. Over the years, this unique collaboration among programs has benefited the young children of the Eagle River Valley.We are asking all community members to spread the word about this fun-filled event. Casino Night 2005 will feature 53 gaming tables, including craps, roulette, black jack, baccarat, and red dog. Tickets are $20 each (includes $400 in gaming chips) and can be purchased at the participating preschools or at the door. There will be a variety of wonderful items you can bid on at the silent auction from 7-9:30 p.m. Players and guests can shop at the “Joker’s Wild Store” and win door prizes.Casino funds will be distributed amongst the following Eagle County early childhood programs: Children’s Garden of Learning, Eagle Montessori, Family Learning Center, Mountain Tots, Pooh Corner, and Prater Lane Play School.For more information on how you can support this even or to purchase tickets, you can call any of the participating programs. See you at the party!Sandy BrownFamily Learning Center DirectorThanks for tipsI thank you (Don Rogers) for your timely tricks of writing essays. I immediately recognized that your subtle manipulation of writing styles employed in commentary are only for somewhat selfish (if not self-serving) intentions of quite possibly simplifying your editing and having to fit long unpunctuated rambling sentences into very short lines for publication.I realized your intent to inhibit verbose and loquacious correspondents utilizing multisyllable words quickly enough to quit reading for content halfway through, but skimmed the last part to get the gist of the article due in part to the fact that it possibly could ruin all of the fun that I have in maximizing the quantity of thoughts, with the very minimum of punctuation, in my correspondence with Commentary.I could just end this epistle with saying, “Thank you for your generous sharing of newsprint with my blather.” But I feel compelled to say, “I thank you.”Steve ZorichakVailSki dayMeet The Wilderness would like to thank Vail Resorts and the Antlers for their primary sponsorship of our fund raising scavenger hunt ski day at Vail. More than 150 people pondered four clues like “4 plus 5 does not equal 11” and found a raffle ticket beside the ski patrol headquarters on top of Vail Mountain.After skiing, everyone had a great time back at the Antlers chowing down on Fiesta’s finest chicken enchiladas and Domino’s pizzas. Two sets of skis (donated by Gorsuch and Base Mountain Sports) were the top prizes. Thanks to all our sponsors who made the event a success: Benjamin West, Lockton Corporation, East West Partners, First Bank, Shop and Hop, American National Bank, Southern Wine and Spirits, and the Gallegos Corporation.Joe SchmittAidan FlemingTom McCaldenA hazardIs the convention center becoming a benefit for the masses or a mass benefit for the few? The latest proposal calls for further extending the front (south side) of the center onto East Lionshead Circle. Thousands of guests, our excellent bus system and the children who visit the ice arena and the library use that thoroughfare on a daily basis. We must stop and consider their safety and comfort before we narrow that road to accommodate and impress the 300 conventioneers that may use the center. The proposal to build a deck to view our magnificent mountain is also without merit and perhaps should be reconsidered unless, of course, the caterer is more important than the people of Vail ! Jeff LaskyVailWe won’t sell outRe: “Minturn acting like a giddy teen,” Don Rogers, March 3 – I don’t get it. Why are you bashing Minturn? I fail to understand why a developer’s grandiose plans are the cause of animosity toward the citizens and town of Minturn. I believe that Minturn has chosen to pursue annexation of the Ginn project to try to maintain a measure of control over its own destiny. It is not the town of Minturn that owns and is initiating the “selling out” of Battle Mountain. I can only speak for myself when I say I wish the whole thing would go away and I don’t care HOW much money my house is worth. I’d rather not see that pristine land developed, rather not see exponential growth of traffic go past my house, rather not see more wildlife displaced, roads widened ad nauseum. But, if it’s going to happen, it’s in my best interest as a citizen, and I believe in the best interest of all my neighbors (residents of Red Cliff included) that those most affected by the impacts of this huge project, those closest physically, have easy access to all the meetings, public forums and annexation proceedings. Are we “dying to be the new Cordillera,” as stated in D.R.’s editorial? God, I hope not. It seems to me that Minturnites and staff are trying to look for the bright side of that which is beyond their control. If this privately held land is developed, why shouldn’t we get some benefits from it, even “baubles” like the ability to continue replacing wooden water mains and have improved services? And why are we the object of your ridicule and made to feel guilty for getting some benefits? We will certainly sacrifice enough for those benefits?I for one will do my best to see that if and when this project actually manifests that it does so in the smallest, least obtrusive version of itself possible. We do not need to approve everything that Ginn asks for. I don’t believe the people of Minturn will sell out. Lastly, I am willing to bet that I am not the only one of my neighbors to feel this way.Linda OsterbergMinturnTruth? Ha!In “Discovering something, in a reserved way” (Vail Daily, Feb. 28), Rohn K. Robbins asserts that the discovery process promotes “the very essence” of a lawsuit, which is “the unferreting of truth.”I fear Mr Robbins has fallen into error. The legal system has never been interested in truth, and the essence of a lawsuit is to maximize lawyers’ net earnings. The outcome will turn on many fewer than 50 documents, but they can demand to see millions.Evan Whitton,Sydney, AustraliaFruitful visitMany thanks to all who attended the Women’s Cancer Coalition fund-raiser on Feb. 1 featuring best-selling author Mitch Albom. We would like to express our gratitude to the sponsors who enabled us to donate 100 percent of the evening’s proceeds – the Vail Daily, WestStar Bank, EKS&H, COPIC Medical Foundation, Alpine Bank, Andrea and Boland Jones, Connie Holden, Vail Marriott Mountain Resort & Spa, Slifer Smith and Frampton Real Estate, and NRC Broadcasting. We would also like to recognize The Bookworm of Edwards and Verbatim Booksellers for donating 100 percent of their proceeds from the evening’s book sales. Thanks to Vail Resorts, the town of Vail, and Carolyn Pope – who provided valuable in-kind donations which greatly enhanced Mr. Albom’s visit. Most important, thanks to Mitch Albom, who ventured into our valley so that we were able to raise necessary funds for the Educational Resource Library at the Shaw Regional Cancer Center. As always, your support is greatly appreciated.Vail Symposium and Vail Valley Medical Center FoundationVail, Colorado


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