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Letters to the editor

Anne Marie Perrin-Mueller

The renaissance of Vail, what does it mean to us? Vail, my adopted home, is 43 years old. My home town of Chamonix celebrated 112 years of skiing (1893-2005).Chamonix has had several renaissances, most often to improve on what had been ruined previously, some of which cannot be reclaimed. All my Chamoniard friends bemoan the transformation of their village into an urban valley, regretting the good old days, asking themselves: Why did they let it happen? The most disturbing consequence is the brown cloud of pollution that blankets the town. As seen from the mountaintops, the narrow valley traps the pollution, just as it will in Vail.I attended the town meeting regarding the Crossroads building. My conviction to speak about the problems of urbanization have trumped my fears of ridicule, as I suggested to the council, to learn from the mistakes of Europe.I spoke from my heart and found out that IT can beat even faster than during a non-stop Riva Ridge Run.First to consider are the results of European polls on the most desirable Alpine town to spend one’s vacation. Repeatedly the winners are towns that have preserved their Alpine heritage and kept the architecture to a “human level,” the opposite of city scale.The past winner was Lech in Austria. All the runners-up are towns like Megeve, France; Aosta, Italy; Zermatt, Switzerland; all charming and quaint towns. I suggest we look at their Web sites and compare to the city scapes of Alpe D’Huez, Flaine.Imagine you are the traveler. What is your choice? There, the local hotel owners have enlarged their buildings, respecting the traditions that are in their hearts, in their families’ past. You can immediately see the work of artisans, the natural material used, etc. The Vail local owners have done the same.The newcomers are bringing city architecture, because of high density and higher profits.The building proposed is based on the grid of city buildings, long vertical concrete panes, and long horizontal concrete slabs, resulting in repetitive windows and large glass expenses. The massiveness of it all is a total departure from the Alpine or park ambience that is so favored by our visitors. In all fairness it would be well received in the newly developed Front Range subdivisions, or resorts. I have seen it happen in Chamonix and it will mushroom in Vail. After all, a precedent is not what the City Council can fight against.I have been content to sit on the sidelines, but after the meeting which ended past midnight, I could hardly attend to my own business the next morning. I want to say how I recognize and appreciate the hard work of the Town Council, but we have to participate or else! To the developers: I think the Crossroads building should be redesigned. Choose true Alpine, choose park, do the research on authenticity, how each building could be different yet connected. Think of your legacy. Will you live in our town?As for size, the concrete plaza is no trade-off. It would if it went deeper into the bulk, surrounded with arched pathways, planted with trees and grass, etc.Dear friends of Vail: Be there at the next meeting. It is your children’s future.Anne Marie Perrin-MuellerClose callWell, it has finally happened. After 15 years of bike commuting and riding in the Vail Valley I was almost hit this afternoon (June 28) by a motorist. Twenty-one years of commuting has left me a pretty astute rider. One close call is not bad, but I must admit that today I felt like the cat that used up a life. Having a motorist run a parking lot stop sign and not even acknowledge that I had right of way (or appear to see me), left me a bit rattled. But it was not all a negative experience. I must say thanks to the helpful motorist who took the time to follow the offending motorist and not only ensure I was OK, but defend me when I confronted this woman. Unfortunately, she also arrived with the news that this elderly woman had also nearly hit a fellow cyclist pulling his child in a burley.I also must thank the Eagle Sheriff’s Office, who responded and tracked down the woman in Edwards Corner. At least she knows that one’s dangerous actions do not go unnoticed. I hope the young girl accompanying her learned a life lesson about taking responsibility for your actions. I must admit that the fact she witnessed all of this was the most upsetting to me, as her elderly companion did not seem to be the least bit affected or concerned by these events. As she walked away, I couldn’t help but say “What kind of an example are you setting for this young girl?”As I read the weekly Tipsline assaults on cyclists in this valley, I usually shake my head. I truly believe that the complaints regarding rude drivers are a reflection of the minority. I know that the majority of motorists and cyclists in Eagle County are respectful of each other’s rights, and enjoy sharing the road. Defensive riding is what saved me, and I will continue to ride that way. I remind all who read this to be aware of those around you, and remember that we should never be in such a hurry as to put another’s life in danger.Louise RandallVailTeaching teachersThe University of Colorado at Boulder, the School of Education and the BUENO Center at CU would like to express our thanks to a number of valley entities and people for the successful graduation of a second teacher group. This was a first-time on the road CU master’s program in Eagle and Garfield counties, and this past May, 21 teachers from Eagle Valley, Roaring Fork and Garfield graduated from CU with a master’s degree and endorsement in English as a second language bilingual education.The three school districts have been very supportive of their teachers’ participation in this program and local businesses have worked with us all along. Among them City Market in Avon and Eagle, Z Deli in its first life, Fiesta’s and to be sure the helpful people at the Christie Lodge, including Corina, Adriano, Mary, Amanda, Alex and others. Again, CU and the BUENO Center appreciate all the cooperation of everyone involved with this very successful program and we know the students in local schools will benefit from their teachers’ matriculation in this program. Rocky HillDirector, IDPT ProjectBUENO Center/University of Colorado BoulderVail, Colorado


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