Letters to the editor
As I sat in the Vilar Center, Tuesday, May 3, listening to the “Chameleon,” by Herbie Hancock, I thought, “This could be a band in a jazz bar.” But it wasn’t a professional band. It was students from Battle Mountain in their spring concert.The eighth-grade band did the “1812 Overture,” by Tchaikovsky, which was marvelous. Later selections by the “Phantom of the Opera” were sheer pleasure to listen to. Overall, the evening was an impressive display of local talent, and what the commitment of one teacher can achieve.The title alone, “The Berry Battle Cats and Dogs,” reflected how much thought went into the making of this combined spring concert. Two schools – Battle Mountain High School and Berry Creek Middle School – came together under the leadership of one director, Jake Gasau.This could have been a very disjunctive and amateurish evening because of the differences in ages and talents. But as I sat in the Vilar listening to a rendition of “Tequila” by the middle school jazz band, I could see the future talent in these kids. I felt such gratitude to Jake Gasau for his obviously thorough commitment. (He even brought in his fellow music teacher – his mother – to ensure the night’s success.)Specifically, I’d like to thank Mr. Gasau for reminding me and everyone else in the audience of how important music is to the soul. We were all enriched by the night. For my daughter, a sophomore, to get up on stage to sing (and doing it so well) is remarkable. And how remarkable it is when a teacher can bring out the best in kids.My only regret was the number of empty seats in the theater. Two schools, this community – that theater should have been full. I’m guilty, too. In the past, I may not have been there either. Mundane things – dishes, laundry, cleaning house, homework – would have kept me away. I’m so glad I went because last night was a gift, not only in the enjoyment of the evening, but also in the clear recognition of how music can unite us into one community. Kids from the trailer park homes were seated next to kids from multi-million dollar homes, creating beautiful music and sharing pride in their mutual performance. After the concert, we rode up the elevator with a family who spoke Spanish, but we all had the proud glow from the performance. This is priceless. This is community. And as a community and school district we need to recognize and support the arts for this very reason.Did you know Colorado is 48th in the nation in funding the arts in the public schools? What kind of a message does that send to our children? It doesn’t matter if my daughter is going to be a professional musician, but for her to have the opportunity to express herself through music, and to have experiences like last night, are priceless.I plan to write to my congressman expressing my heartfelt convictions about funding arts in public schools. I also hope to encourage neighbors and friends to get out there and support these programs. And so I write to you. Get out there and write to our congressman and do what you can. (For those busy souls, I have a form letter. For a copy call Halide, 476-7156, and leave your name and number.)Halide K. GaziogluLiving in LapinlandI attended the April 26 Eagle Town Board meeting a few days ago and came away very disappointed. I had wanted to express an opinion on Merv Lapin’s Red Mountain Ranch project and ask a few questions about the same subject. I didn’t do either of these things.At a little before 6 p.m., the scheduled time, I arrived at the Town Hall. I left some three hours later while the town engineer was, in his words, “walking us through” a document entitled “Red Mountain Ranch Traffic Study April 20, 2005.” Prior to this he had given us some fascinating infrastructure information relating to such subjects as sewerage requirement for the project. I have no idea how long Mr. Engineer prevailed after I left, but he didn’t seem to be anywhere near finishing.During the presentation, Mayor Jon Stavney and members of the board prolonged the tedious process by asking questions and making comments. At the start of the meeting the room was almost full. When I left, it was less than half full. Why was all this technical information needed at this time? I’m sure that most of those who left before I did felt the same way. We did not need to hear complex details on subjects we did not fully understand and which related to a project yet to be approved. Or has it received some sort of approval of which we are not aware? …In an article written by Kathy Heicher for the April 18 edition of the Vail Daily, Mayor Jon Stavney is quoted as saying, “The level of complexity of the project doesn’t lend itself to a 30-second, California-style referendum.” I strongly disagree with the mayor. While the project itself may be extremely complex in all its details, the concept of whether or not the town of Eagle should approve a project that would drastically and irreversibly change the character of the town is very simple.When I first heard that a project was being proposed for approval by the town of Eagle that would convert ranch land and wildlife habitat into a melange of hundreds of thousands of square feet of commercial buildings, parking fields and mixed residential units, I was ready to cast a vote against such a project. Since then everything I’ve learned about the project has done nothing but reinforce this opinion.From what I read in the newspapers and what I hear from residents, the only people in favor of this project are those who stand to profit from it. It is worth noting that none of these people live in Eagle.Where I live in Red Canyon Townhomes this project would be right in my back yard. More importantly, it would be in the back yards of the cattle and wildlife. They would lose their homes. There is no way this project can be integrated into the present town of Eagle. It will be an entity unto itself.Please, Mr. Mayor, have this project put to a vote. Ask your constituency what they want.John HannonEagleNot Snoop’s faultI have been an Eagle County resident for collectively 20 years and I feel obligated to voice my opinion about the Snoop Dogg concert.I was surprised and excited to hear that Snoop Dogg was even coming to Vail, and purchased my tickets right away. When I heard there were going to be more tickets sold on the day of the show, I was surprised! Obviously, there was going to be a huge turnout for someone this big! I spoke with a friend on the phone the day of the show, and she said there was a line a quarter mile long of people trying to get the extra tickets.I parked at the Vail parking structure and headed toward Ford Amphitheater (where I assumed the concert was). There were no signs or anything indicating where exactly this concert was. I arrived at the entrance to Ford Amphitheater and it was closed. My husband I noticed other people heading to the amphitheater, too. Finally, a young lady said there was a different entrance and we ended up by the frontage road.We waited in line for quite awhile, and upon arriving at the entrance, my husband was practically strip-searched by “female security,” while I was patted down and walked in. I heard other people in line commenting about how the women were searching my husband. One of the male security officers was even laughing. They might as well have had a metal detector! This whole time I never saw one law enforcement officer, even when we finally got into the concert. I was amazed at the number of people, and surprised there were no seats or anywhere to sit down. When the crowd outside the concert supposedly “rushed the fence,” I heard someone say a security person fell on the fence and knocked it down. I thought about how many people were already there, and more came in!I don’t understand why there are so many letters complaining about Snoop Dogg, when in reality the promoters of this concert made the mistakes. For instance, why wasn’t this concert at Dobson Arena, so the amount of tickets sold would be limited? The fact that the parking lot was so overcrowded because of excessive ticket sales was not Snoop Dogg’s fault! Also, everyone I encountered at the concert was very friendly. There were no riots, shootings, rapes or stabbings, were there? Compared to “big city” concerts, I would say things went pretty well.In closing, being a person that was practically raised here, I am disappointed to see all this hate mail printed in the paper! This is all being focused on the wrong person. It wasn’t Snoop Dogg who caused all these problems, it was whoever planned out this concert!Jill Dexter-MartinezLeadvilleGreat supportThank you to everyone who joined us for breakfast at Harry’s last Saturday in support of Radio Free Minturn. Nearly 100 individuals from Minturn and our surrounding communities battled the cold and snowy day to hear the sounds of Swing Daddy and special guests and pledge their support in both manpower and money to launch a community radio station. While the event was not meant to be a fund-raiser, we managed to generate over $750 in coffee sales and pledges to support constructing the station. Special thanks to Harry and his family, Vail Mountain Coffee Roasters, Hill & Company Marketing & Advertising, Steve Kiene Designs, Swing Daddy and all the volunteers for making the event possible. It took an act of Congress and the determination of a few journalists and community advocates to give our communities access to the airwaves. Now it’s time to take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity. To learn more, please visit of our Web site minturnradio.org or e-mail email@example.com. Put the power of the airwaves back into the hands of the people.P.S. In a relatively short amount of time and through the enthusiasm and support of our communities, Radio Free Minturn has garnered over $14,000 to support constructing and operating the station (A total of $40,000 is needed.)Kevin Hyatt, Justin Hurley, Liz Campbell, Virginia Olson, Bill HolmRadio Free Minturn Board of DirectorsVail, Colorado
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