Letters to the editor
The Battle Mountain High School Project Graduation parent volunteers are blown away by the amazing support that we have received from the Vail Valley community. We can’t even begin to thank all those that have helped make our Celebrity Server events so successful. Steve Pope, Mark Bricklin, and Jared Staber of the Vail Daily were extremely patient and helpful, and we thank them for sponsoring Project Graduation. Also, thanks to Carolyn Pope who attended and got some great photos.Thank you to all of our silent auction donors. We received so many beautiful gifts and generous certificates for goods and services. And we sold each and every one of them to eager (and generous) bidders. Thank you to the Windham family for your super generous donation for our servers. And to Tim, Donny, and Jason at High Country Shirtworks. You guys were incredible to work with, not to mention speedy.Our first Celebrity Server dinner was a huge success. Thanks to Brian Nolan, John and all the wait staff at the Beaver Creek Chophouse. You made it possible for a bunch of food rookies to feel right at home in your kitchen. Our celebrity servers hustled to deliver not just dinner, but a little attitude to a great group of diners. Thank you to Barbara Treat (hostess extraordinaire), Craig Struve, Coach Patrick Engle, John Garnsey (our Chophouse grand champion!), Larry Brooks (second place, but there’s always next year), Topper Hagerman, Joe Hoy, Frank Chow, Carol Moore, Richard (show some dignity, man) Carnes, and the always exuberant Helmut Fricker. You were so much fun to work with! And Brian, we really can’t thank you enough for jumping on the band wagon and offering your wisdom. You gave us some great ideas that we carried over to the next two events. Thanks for your input and stellar generosity.Thanks to our host for the second Celebrity Server dinner, Bill Suarez at Billy’s Island Grill. Our servers for this evening got a little more sassy, and the diners ate it up! Thanks to Jeff Layman, Radio Rocko, Bill Jensen (our Island Grill grand champion!), Don Corenman (our second place earner, but by far the cutest in a chef’s hat!), Steve Rosenthal, Kent Logan, Todd Huck, Buz and Monica Reynolds, Kim (Legs) Ruotolo, JoEllen Nash, Berneil Bannon, George Brodin, and Dick Cleveland.And last but not least, thank you to Andy Kaufman and Steve Campbell at the Minturn Saloon for opening their doors to us even though they were done for the season! Thank you Margaret, Katie, and Danielle for showing us the ropes. We had an incredible turnout but our Celebrity Servers were up to the task! With a liberal dose of feistiness, our servers dished it out all night. Thank you Brian Hutchinson, Brad Tjossem, Brian Canepa, Adam Aron (No. 3 grand champion and a great sport!), Heather Lemon, Tamra Nottingham Underwood (a BMHS alum!), Frank Johnson, Alida Zwann, Bob McKown (bartender to beat all!), Gentle Ben Gallegos, Arn Menconi, Bart Garton, Dave Garton (cute as a bunny), Annah Scully, Packy Walker (thank you for your blessing), Mayor Hawkeye (second place grand champion, but boy did he take some abuse!), and the hardest-working man in the food biz, Pelle Eklund (third place grand champion).Of the 45 servers that stepped up to the plate, only a handful were the parent of a Battle Mountain senior. All of the rest contributed their time and energy simply because they have a great heart and generous nature. The sign of true benevolence is giving your time and energy and expecting nothing in return. Thank you to all of our Celebrity Servers who made this so successful. We’d tell you how much you helped us raise, but we’re afraid someone would steal our idea!To all of our contributors, thank you, thank you, thank you!Paula CanepaSally RosenthalSusie TjossemLitterbug rapI wish I may, I wish I might, catch a LITTERBUG tonight.Cans and bottles, wrappers and bags, LITTERBUG idiot, LITTERBUG spite.Driving along with no care in the world, roll down the window, LITTERBUG heave,What a disgrace to the whole human race, LITTERBUG idiot, LITTERBUG peeve.I wish I may, I wish I might, toss a LITTERBUG in the dumpster tonight,Strolling along with no respect for Mother Nature, LITTERBUG idiot, LITTERBUG spite.Lighting one up and taking a puff, open the window, LITTERBUG flick,What a disgrace to the whole human race, LITTERBUG idiot, LITTERBUG you are sick.I wish I may, I wish I might, form a posse and catch the LITTERBUG tonight,You know who you are, get up off your duff, LITTERBUG idiot, LITTERBUG spite.The USA is sure a great land, my with all the raw beauty and pristine sights,Get out and help, offer a hand, LITTERBUG idiot, LITTERBUG chip in and make it right. Dan SchonsEdwardsWrestling the bearThough my arrival and residence in the town of Eagle are very recent, I would like to offer my thoughts on the Red Mountain Ranch project. To ponder the happenings and proposals for Vail, Avon, Edwards, Minturn, Gypsum and even Wolcott, one could get the impression that an attitude of “keep up with the Joneses” has possessed all of Eagle County. It’s a “better to get ours before someone else does” mentality. Seems a shame that the cost to grow a community includes the loss of its individuality. Of course, the citizens of any community must first decide just what their identity is to be! How do they want their community to be recognized? Perhaps a shopping Mecca or luxury vacation destinations, maybe an international business center. Even all of the above. Of course, it is admirable that the owners of this property want to bring ease and convenience to the citizens of Eagle. But I think it was Benjamin Franklin that said, “He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.”What I do know is that a community can be successful while retaining its own unique identity.Permit me to explain. Prior to my arrival in Eagle I lived in Brown County, Ind., which has a population of about 15,000. Within this county is the small town of Nashville, population about 720, which is also the biggest and only incorporated town in the county. Nashville has about 130 small shops in its small business area. Brown County is home to Brown County State Park, Indiana’s largest, as well as the Hoosier National Forest and Yellow Wood State Forest. See any similarities? Anyway, within this town and county there are no big box stores, large or small malls, or industrial or business parks. No four-lane interstates or airport exist in Brown County. Yet, between 2 million and 3 million tourists each year come to Brown County and Nashville, Ind.Why? This community has an established historical identity that dates back to the late 1800s, and the citizens and elected officials have long preserved and promoted this identity. I know this from having served as the town marshal for Nashville, as well as on the Nashville Town Council and the Brown County Area Plan Commission.The folks of this county and town long ago decided what they wanted their community to be and stuck to it. Outlet malls have been voted down, billboards are not permitted, lit signs are prohibited within the town of Nashville. There is a Long John Silvers in the town that has successfully operated for more than 25 years in a building that from what I was told was once an old horse barn. A CVS pharmacy was repeatedly denied until the architectural design met town specifications. Development that wishes to hook onto the towns water and sewer utilities, such as the golf course, restaurant and condominium development that came into Brown County a few years ago, must pay the full cost of the infrastructures, based on the towns requirements, then the town takes responsibility for those infrastructures.I should point out that the city of Bloomington, which has a population of about 70,000, is 20 miles to the west. The city of Columbus, Ind., population of about 35,000, is 20 miles to the east. And let us not forget that bout 50 miles north is the city of Indianapolis, population about 900,000. Yes, the folks of Nashville and Brown County do shop in the bigger cities of Bloomington, Columbus and Indianapolis. But the people that live in and visit these larger cities come and spend in Nashville and Brown County, again to the tune of between 2 million and 3 million people. OK then, what does the town of Eagle want to be? Converted into another shiny mediocrity or to stand apart with its own unique identity. Here’s one of those often repeated admonishments from my parents and grandparents. It’s one of those sayings that you never thought would stick with you and hoped you would never hear again, “Appreciate what you have because once it’s gone, it’s gone.”Just for the record, I moved to Colorado because your hills are a little higher and I have not yet wrestled a bear!Alan PattersonEagleOvershadowedIn response to Erica Ring’s “Not enough” letter to the editor, I would like to say Bravo. As a new teacher to the Eagle County School District and Battle Mountain High School, I have been consistently disheartened by the Daily’s reporting. As Erica accurately pointed out, the high school’s name, and now reputation, has been synonymous with the current rape allegations. It is important to remember that these alleged crimes happened at private residences, not on school property or time. It is also imperative to be aware of the fact that the crime of date rape is not uncommon. (One in four girls will be sexually assaulted in Colorado by the age of 18 – Finkelhor). Almost equally disturbing is that, more often than not, these date-rape crimes go unreported. With a rape being reported every two minutes in America combined with the startling statistic that only 37 percent of rape crimes are reported, prove that the two students who came forward demonstrated great courage and personal strength. (U.S. Justice Department). How frequently are crimes of this nature happening in high schools all across our nation, and our county, going untried, even unheard of? I wish the Daily would have used the publicity that they created for this case as a message to parents and women in this valley. A message that would have emphasized becoming educated on the reality of date-rape and other forms of sexual assault; understanding the emotional, mental, and physical effects that a rapist leaves on his/her victims, and lastly a message of how to come forward if this barbaric act has ever happened to the reader. The alleged date-rape situation associated with a Battle Mountain student did not happen on or near the campus. What did happen in the high school was that the victims, like so many other students with various serious-life difficulties, felt safe enough to approach teachers and counselors with such information, so that they could start taking back control in their lives. Like the multitude of positive happenings, mentioned by Erica, taking place at and through Battle Mountain, I feel like that important fact has also been overlooked by our local newspapers.Dana ZillioxTeacher, Battle Mountain High SchoolEditor’s note: Everything the Daily was criticized for not covering in this and the other referenced letter the paper in fact has covered, often prominently, including educational features about sexual assault and teen-agers.RebuttalMr. Lanning is right on about using agricultural products to reduce our fuel needs, and ethanol burns clean. However, there are a few facts that he failed to mention.1. A gallon of ethanol produces 10-15 percent less energy than a gallon of gasoline. Therefore you need to use that much more to go the same distance.2. Growing corn or any other energy crop requires herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers, all of which are derived from crude oil. Organically grown corn won’t make it because it would require three to four times the current farm ground to produce the same amount of corn. (Reference: book by John Avery from the Hudson Institute).3. One reason ethanol is somewhat cheaper in today’s high cost energy market is that it is subsidized by the government (your taxes)! 4. Infrastructure (ie. distribution system): It can be sold at gasoline stations, since it is already an additive to gasoline, but it seems to take a long time to develop a dependable network. Vehicles with compressed natural gas have been around for years, and it is still very scarce if you are traveling across country.Agricultural products are just a few among many energy sources that we are going to have to develop into a mobile source of energy!Fred “Skip” KinsleyVail, Colorado
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