Letters to the editor | VailDaily.com

Letters to the editor

Terry Quinn

David Le Vine is upset because I pointed out how left wingers have variable standards for compassion and outrage. He continues to demonstrate this. He says he is outraged at what the insurgents in Iraq are doing. This is the first time I recall him mentioning the subject in all the numerous letters he has sent in. Le Vine quickly goes on to condemn the Bush administration for the treatment afforded to terrorist suspects in Abu Ghraib. As I understand, low-ranking jail personnel engaged in insulting behavior toward prisoners. They have been prosecuted. Their commander was disciplined for inadequate supervision. But no one was killed, or even seriously injured – right?Then there is Guantanamo Bay. Its inmates are suspected terrorists. They are accused of acting like soldiers without wearing uniforms. Under the laws of war, they are not entitled to treatment like regular troops. What gives them a right to an attorney, or other benefits conferred on uniformed soldiers or ordinary criminals? Perhaps Mr. Le Vine could provide a brief. Some detainees have already been released. Possibly, some of those left are innocents, or small fish. But it is also doubtless there are some real bad actors in the group. They are like to resume terrorism against the U.S. if they are set free. I suspect the government isn’t sure about who is which. So, Mr. Le Vine, which of the detainees are you proposing to release? Fax a list to Donald Rumsfeld. And tell us that even if your allegations are true about Guantanamo Bay, it’s the moral equivalent of blasting passersby to bits with car bombs and assassinating Iraqis trying to create a new, better society for their country. Newsweek promoted a story that jailers had flushed the Koran down toilets at Guantanamo Bay. How despicable of our government to sponsor such insults to the sensitivities of Muslims. The story turned out to be a hoax. In its eagerness to ding the Bush administration, Newsweek violated a number of journalistic standards. Also common sense. The Koran is a book as big as a Bible. I don’t know what kind of toilets they have down there, but it’s likely that would have created a giant plumbing problem if it really happened. Don’t try this at home. The left is still trying to verify rumors of other insults to the Koran by jail personnel. After all, we have to respect people’s sensibilities. We have to take a stand against any abuses of religious symbols that mean a lot to others. That is, if it provides an opportunity to bash George Bush. It’s another example of the left’s variable morality. They got all excited about alleged abuses of a book that is important to Muslims. But remember, a few years ago, when an artist here submerged a crucifix in a vat of urine? Then, the left-wingers were indifferent to Christian sensibilities. The guy was exercising freedom of expression. They argued that he had a First Amendment right to have this art exhibited in a publicly financed gallery. Perhaps Mr. Le Vine can show us what he had to say about that issue at the time.Terry QuinnEagle Too bigThis letter was sent to the Vail Town Council last week:Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of the council: I am submitting this letter in an effort to share my observations and concerns about the proposed development at the Crossroads shopping center. As you well know, Pepi and I have lived here for more than 40 years, and it is here that we have made our business, raised our children and contributed to the community whenever we’ve seen a need that we could positively address. So I write this letter not with any contempt or personal angst, but because I hope to remind you of some of the values and objectives on which our town was conceived.Having looked at the plans presented by Peter Knobel, I am generally impressed and supportive of his design. I truly believe that his efforts will help to revitalize our village core, and I am enthusiastic that someone of such stature is eager to invest in our community. I do, however, have a genuine concern with the height of the building as a whole, but more specifically, the height of the wing on the west side of the proposal. I sincerely appreciate that the structure, as it parallels I-70, will in fact create a sound barrier and mitigate some of the highway noise. But I don’t see a need to allow the same height considerations throughout the entire project.One of the things that has made our piece of paradise so inviting and unique is that the Bavarian style of architecture has surpassed the test of time. That is not to say that new buildings must re-create the past, but it is vitally important that we maintain the views and the visual corridors inherent in this mountain town. The proposed development, as is, dwarfs the existing buildings it abuts. Gone will be the views from Meadow Drive and the breathtaking sight of the Gore Range throughout the day and in the evening’s alpine glow.I can only believe, no, I know for a fact, that our founding father’s vision for our town was to maximize its potential by maintaining its landscape, doing all that was possible to keep open spaces open and the skylines building-free. I think allowing the excessive height on the west wing of Mr. Knobel’s project is a discredit to that vision and will severely impact all that has been worked for in the last 40-plus years.I have no reason to believe that Mr. Knobel’s intentions are anything other than pure. But I caution you to remember that he is a new developer in our midst and though his plan has many positive merits, it is likely that once it is complete, he will be on his way to build in other areas. With that being said, I encourage you to trust some of us long-timers, listen to our wisdom and step back this proposed development to make it an enhancement rather than a blemish to our beautiful town.Thank you for giving my thoughts your consideration.Sheika GramshammerVailAnger unleashedWhat, no animals at the Minturn Market? I’ve been taking my girls there since it started, but with this new policy, it’s no dogs, no me!Mary WilsonEagle-VailOn the trailI am writing to solicit the community’s help for a group that has been doing great work in this valley for many years, and which is always in need of hands. Trail Action Group (TAG) is a local grassroots non-profit, whose charter is to maintain/fix trails, maintain access and create new trails for all non-motorized use on public lands in Eagle County.In the late ‘990s the U.S. Forest Service was going to close many of the valley’s trails, as they did not have the staff to maintain them. TAG stepped in, and to forestall the closing of the trails, rallied hundreds of volunteers, and with picks and shovels, helped the Forest Service keep the trails open. TAG has been so successful with this effort, many of the trails are in the best shape they have ever been in. Some of the nationally recognized trails saved from permanent closure: Paulie’s Plunge, Son of Middle Creek and Meadow Mountain Singletrack. Not only did TAG volunteers help to prevent the closure of many trails, several new trails have been brought into the Forest Service system, which the Forest Service will now continue to maintain for years to come.I can tell you that I have done one TAG work day on Meadow Mountain. Yes, as you have probably heard, it was hard work. I had blisters on my hands and sore muscles, but it was the most gratifying hard work I’ve ever done. Every time I ride Meadow Mountain now, I get to enjoy the fruits of my labor and see how beneficial the work has been for years to come. The trail’s great, there’s less damage from poorly designed turns, run-off and stream crossings. What is most important, though, is that I feel a little more like the trail is mine.If you’ve ever hiked, biked, horse back ridden, or even gazed up a hillside and enjoyed the unspoiled beauty of our mountains, you owe it to yourself and your community to get out there and do a day, or more. So far this year there are four work days scheduled. The dates are as follows:Friday, July 8, Buffher Creek, meet at the trailhead at 9 a.m.Sunday, Aug. 14, Booth Creek Falls trail, meet at trailhead at 9 a.m.Saturday, Sept. 10, Cougar Ridge trail, meet at Minturn Turntable parking lot at 9 a.m.Saturday, Sept. 17, Meadow Mountain-Whiskey Creek trail, meet at Battle Mountain High School parking lot at 9 a.m.It is a full day, and lunch is provided. Workers should come with long pants, work gloves, cold weather and rain gear, sunscreen, sturdy work/hiking boots, and snacks and water. Tools and leaders are provided. I encourage you to get out there and do your day. For more information or to volunteer, please contact Dawes Wilson at 476-1914 or daweswilson@hotmail.com. Also, check out the Web site: http://www.trailactiongroup.com. Thanks in advance for your help.Pavan KruegerAvonFront Range viewHi! Remember me? I didn’t want summer to begin without offering my observations now that my perspective has changed. I’m not talking about my political perspective, but rather my geographical one. Although, you can be certain I’ll get to the former later on in this letter. I’ve been up to my eyeballs in securing a new way of living for my family down here in Denver. Mind you, I’ll still be back come winter. Who in their right mind wouldn’t? But as sure as life goes on if it can, I’ve had to climb down from Happy Valley to deal with all the mundane issues and responsibilities that would make anyone feel like a plain flatlander under the best of circumstances. For starters, I notice that the belief that it’s more expensive to live in the mountains than it is to live in the city is a myth. You can go through cash just as fast in either location. And things, no matter what “they” say, cost about the same. So I don’t need to eat out every night. But, if I choose to, it’ll cost about the same regardless of altitude. Hhiking is still free in most places. How long do you figure that will last? I think it’s better up in the High Country, if only because good trails are closer to hand. But even there, I have to add an asterisk since I haven’t had the time, yet, to take a Front Range hike. I’m certainly surrounded by more Democrats down here, or at the least, folks too lazy to tear the Kerry/Edwards stickers off the backs of their cars. I figure they must just be hiding dents. Drivers down here are awful. But I don’t think they know it. There are plenty of ‘W’02s I see, as well, mostly on the backs of pickup trucks and really big SUVs. I figure those are the folks who like to take a flexible view of the truth. Hope you all have a really nice summer, whether you live up there, or just come in to visit for a while. Best wishes, and I’ll see you around.Gus Nicholson Not quiteIn response to Mr. Buckley’s “Why A Bill” letter: Unfortunately, Peter only had two items correct in his letter to the editor: Yes, I am the president of the Avon Business Association and did present a bill to the town of Avon for $1,980 for security costs. My husband, David Courtney, co-owner of Beaver Liquors, is a nice fellow.The ABA does not want the Avon taxpayer to “pay our bills.” We have asked the town of Avon, and they have agreed to share the cost of securing Nottingham Park during the Salute to the USA on July 3. Regardless if the ABA sold beer or not, the town would have to hire additional security above and beyond the police force to man the entrance/exits and to perform bag checks, prohibit coolers, open containers etc. Therefore, the security cost to the town is NOT AN ADDITIONAL burden to the Avon taxpayer. It will be allocated from the Salute to the USA budget already in place.Also, Beaver Liquors absolutely, in no way, profits from the beer sales at Nottingham Park. Mr. Buckley spent four years on the town of Avon Liquor Board and should know that beer sold in Nottingham Park can only be sold by a non-profit organization and that it must be purchased directly from the distributor. In our case, that would be Coors Distributing, the company that donated $20,000 in 2003 in an effort to save our salute after the Avon Town Council decided to cancel the fireworks. The Avon Business Association is proud to be part of the town of Avon Salute to the USA celebration and is happy to partner with the town to provide family friendly events. Thank you Mr. Buckley for your concern. However, it would be most appreciated if in the future you research your facts before sharing with the Vail Daily.Michelle CourtneyAvon Business AssociationVail, Colorado

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