Letters to the editor

Michael J. Cacioppo

Cliff Thompson: What an outstanding, good-old fashioned piece of excellent journalism you did on the e-mail request of the Eagle County government, exposing control freak and Eagle County Democratic Commissioner Arn Menconi’s attempt to control the town of Minturn’s process with development on its border.The fact that the county government turned over the requested e-mails helps make the case that Jack Ingstad, the county manager, understands state laws and follows them even though he may not have wanted to.This is a far cry from what John Brendza and the absurd Eagle County School Board has done. For those who like to easily forget, Ye Olde Publisher sued the school district, forced them to pay their legal fees and my legal fees totaling $49,000, and produce e-mails that they didn’t want to produce.Congratulations, Cliff. This report is what we reporters went to journalism school to learn how to do. Keep up the good work.Michael J. CacioppoPublisherThe Speakout! NewspaperSo much needI have been reading with great interest Marty Jones’ articles on his missionary trip to Uganda and believe that Mr. Jones allowed God to use his as an instrument of peace.Unfortunately, most of us are not in a position to go on such a mission. However, there is critical work which can, and must, be done from our homes. In the western part of Sudan, which is located to Uganda’s north, in the Darfur region, entire communities of African tribal farmers are being systematically eliminated by government-backed militias, known collectively as the Janjaweed. It is estimated that at least 200,000 people have died – while more than 1.6 million people have been displaced. Women and girls who leave the camps to gather much needed firewood risk being attacked and raped by Janjaweed patrolling the countryside. In fact, the world has not seen such a calculated campaign of slaughter, rape, starvation and displacement since the 1994 Rwanda genocide. The situation in Darfur has deteriorated significantly. The intensity of the fighting has caused several relief organizations to pull out of the region because of concern for their workers. The Committee on Conscience of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, for the first time in its history, has declared a “genocide emergency” in the Sudan, indicating that genocide is imminent or is actually happening in the Darfur region.Please, do what you can to help those suffering in Darfur. Write President Bush, members of Congress and the secretary general of the United Nations, urging them to take strong and immediate action to end the violence, help the oppressed, and end the genocide. Contribute to relief services through your church or synagogue. Sponsor a child through an organization such as Compassion International. Learn more about the situation by going to Web sites such as,,, or surf the Web. Pray! Pray for the people of Darfur. Pray also that the spirit of peace and truth will inspire each of us to act and not to remain aloof, while others, where ever they may be, are in need of our help.Deacon F. Jay VocelkaSt. Clare of Assisi ParishEdwardsDon’t be rashI think that Peter Runyon should be commended for his caution on the proposed livestock pavilion at the Eagle County Fairgrounds. According to your article of March 16, even supporters of the new building are not clear on its exact uses. It seems to me that it would be necessary to be clear on usage before even proposing a design. How does the proposed building relate to the existing buildings, both in siting and purpose? How will it impact the existing open space and Frisbee course along the river west of the fairgrounds? Can enough events be scheduled to make a large, expensive building worthwhile? I have heard that the existing exhibition hall facilities (which are fairly heavily used) are poorly funded. What will the maintenance costs for the new building be? I think these points need more public discussion before the county commits to a particular building.The commissioners need to make some provision (soon, spring’s here!) for the 4-Hers whose barn they burned. However, I’d be willing to bet that there are options short of committing to a $2 million building with insufficient planning. Cynthia LepthienEagleThanksOn behalf of the families of Ricardo Beltran and Carlos Lujan, we would like to express a heart-felt thanks to all of those who were involved in the Mexican dinner fund-raiser at Battle Mountain High School on March 8. In particular, we would like to thank the following restaurants for contributing food and gift certificates: Chilly Willy’s, The Saloon, Paddy’s, The Mustang Bar & Grill, Fiesta’s, Agave, The Salad Factory, The Sandbar, Vista Restaurant, The French Press, Marble Slab, Carniceria Tepic, and The Gore Range Brewery. Thanks also to all of the families and community members who cooked, served, cleaned, and donated funds. And finally, a very special thanks to the amazing Cindy Villegas and her Interact Club members, and to Ella Montoya for her hard work and the use of her kitchen.The Mexican dinner was a success not only in the amount of money raised for the BMHS Accident Victims Fund, but also because of the way it brought community members from all walks of life together to help those in need. It was a great reminder of why we choose to be part of the outstanding Battle Mountain High School community. Sandy Borel and Heather GoodrichIn this together The Colorado Supreme Court’s recent ruling on recreational water rights underscores the need for legislation I am carrying in the General Assembly this session. My Senate Bill 62 ensures that recreational in-channel diversions of Colorado’s rivers don’t upset the delicate balance among the many competing demands on our state’s most precious natural resource. My legislation defines and provides the statutory parameters for in-channel recreational use that, according to the court ruling, the Colorado Water Conservation Board incorrectly applied. SB 62 aims to shore up the historic rights recognized under water laws that have worked well in Colorado for over a century. The bill looks out for all the users of our reservoirs, rivers and streams while also making sure none of their uses is jeopardized by future uses downstream, including in lower-basin states. The bill would not encroach on whitewater recreation. I understand, first hand, the value of whitewater sports in my hometown of Steamboat Springs as well as its value in Colorado’s tourism trade overall. My bill simply ensures that all water uses stay on a level playing field. Senate Bill 62 is intended to define critical terminology in existing law and provide some reasonable parameters for recreational diversions before it’s too late. If we don’t act now, those diversions could threaten not only rural needs for water but also the needs of the cities that are currently trying to support recreational water uses. We’re all in this together. For the sake of future generations in our communities, we must work to avoid gridlock on our water ways – and an end-run on a system of water laws that have served Colorado well for a very long time. Sen. Jack Taylor R-Steamboat Springs Youth HockeyThe Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District, and the staff at the Eagle Pool and Ice Rink, would like to thank everyone who made the 2004-05 youth hockey program a huge success.This year there were 257 boys and girls on 23 different teams. WECMRD added 31 more skaters and 5 more teams than last year!Thank you to the Mini-Mite, Mite, Squirt, Pee Wee, Bantam and Midget coaches! Thank you Andy Clark, Julie Alt, Jeff Dalbow, Glen Thurston, David Lambert, Sam Adams, Sean Byrnes, Steve Jewett, Lonnie Bredeson, Dave Calderola, Dan Woods, Rob Crawford, Bobby Bank, Brian Blomquist, Jim Sanders, Paul Sabo, Dan Cassano, Scott Nichols, David Brennan, Scott Delorenzo, Jim Roof, Rick Granzow, Gary Defina, Sam Frey, Bill Wright, Rob Fawcett and all of their assistant coaches and team parents who helped out during the season.A special thank you goes out to all program sponsors, George Schaeffer Construction, Venture Sports, Wells Fargo Private Mortgage Banking, Lowdermilk Plumbing and Heating, Alpine Bank and My Sports Photos. WECMRD would also like to thank the Town of Eagle for the use of the Eagle Town Park, the “Zamboni Brothers”, Kent Wilson and Jeff Byron for volunteering their time to make amazing ice at the outdoor rink, Paul Gregg, Venture Sports, JBT’s and the Eagle Valley Skating Association for the recruitment of coaches and their support for the program.The youth of our communities who participated in the 2004-2005 WECMRD Youth Hockey Program benefited from your time, knowledge, enthusiasm and patience. Thank you all for an outstanding season!Scott RuffWECMRDProgress?Dear Vail Resorts: You suck. There I said it. You suck. You suck. You suck. I am sick and tired of watching local businesses disappear as you expand your evil empire, disguised under the title of “progress.” Progress? Nah, your “progress” is more like a cancerous sponge that sucks life out of local business, exterminating and replacing them with larger vats of real estate and tiny useless ice rinks. Yes, it’s true renovations are needed, but VR, you go beyond that. You renovate, and then eliminate. Perhaps the scenario goes something like this: “Mr. local business owner, hello there … nice to see you and your checkbook … now that progress has landed on your doorstep, we are going to charge you a whole lotta rent … perhaps we’ll grab a percentage of your profits through various fees also … Thank you.” Poof, there goes Mr. Businessowner, who is now out of luck. I understand that you – Vail Resorts – must make yourself, and shareholders, a perdy profit, but come on! Repeatedly eliminating small businesses from this area sucks, and I hate you for that.Colby ScudderVailWhen he comes cleanWhy should Israel give Abbas a chance? Because he is Mr. nice guy? Because he has denounced all ties to terrorism? Because he has recognized the Jewish State? Because he has apologized for his Holocaust denial? Of course he should get the chance when he comes clean. When he comes clean.Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority (PA), said that “the Israelis are responsible” for the recent Tel Aviv suicide bombing that murdered five Israelis and injured dozens more. He asserted this in his first English-language interview since taking office in January. It was published in the March 7 edition of Time magazine.When Abbas was asked by Time, “Who was responsible for the Tel Aviv attacks?” he answered, “If you ask me who is responsible, the Israelis are responsible. The bombers came from the suburb of Tulkaem to Tel Aviv, crossing the wall. So who is responsible? The wall and the Israelis.”Another question posed by Time was, “You were born in Safed, in what is now Israel. How did it feel when you went back for a visit in 1995?” Abbas answered, “Very sad. It’s my country …”When the reporter stated that “Israelis and Americans are shocked to think Hamas could be in your parliament … because they won seats in municipal elections in January,” Abbas answered, “Why not? Hamas should be in the parliament.”Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein said, “Holocaust Denier Abbas’ shocking statements that Israel is responsible for Palestinian Arabs murdering Jews, that the terrorist group Hamas should be in the cabinet, and that Israel is really his (the Palestinian Arabs) land and country makes it crystal clear that Abbas is following in Arafat’s uncompromising, bloody and belligerent footsteps.”It is painful to see that every day Abbas makes it more and more clear that he is simply Arafat in a suit. He recently executed dozens of Palestinians who helped Israel root out Palestinian terrorists, while he continues refusing to dismantle or disarm the terror groups, end all the incitement, close the bomb factories, or arrest the hundreds of terrorists walking free. Congress and President Bush should not hand over $350M in U.S. taxpayers’ dollars and should not invite Abbas to the White House until he fulfills all of his commitments to the Road Map, and starts talking like a peacemaker who supports Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, and apologizes for his Holocaust denial.”Abbas wants to carve Palestine out of Israel for the so called Palestinians without any credibility. He has to come clean.Arthur KittayEagleVail, Colorado

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