Letters to the editor | VailDaily.com

Letters to the editor

I liked Matt Zalaznick’s “Greedy Valley” column. I recently graduated from CU, and in the interim time that it took me to land my first real job, I was able to return to the valley for a brief stint. While up in the valley, I had the opportunity to work for Mr. Menconi through the Snowboard Outreach Society. During this time I was able to get more of an idea of his politics, and the rhyme and reason behind them. On most every level I believe that he is fighting the good fight, and in a lot of cases has become the victim of misinformation attacks. However, the recent column speaking of the inherent “greed” in the valley brought up some very legitimate realities. Perhaps Mr. Menconi has engendered the hyper-development culture he now seeks to stop, but there has been at least one previous generation of valley politicos before him that have been seduced by the same magic that ensorcelled Peter

Runyon when he thought he could end the Eaton debate by appealing to an “everybody wins” logic.

I moved up to the valley with my family when I was 12 years old; I am now 22. The friendships I cultivated there withstood the social pressures of high school, and were cemented as lifelong in college. My buddies and I still talk about how we dream of retiring up to the valley so our kids can grow up with the same awesome experiences that we had. These were times before gigantic flagpoles and hulking mega-stores. It becomes more and more clear with each passing year, and each infrequent homecoming that the valley we thrived in as kids won’t be around by the time we’re ready to pass it on.

You described it as a death, whereas I think of it as a terminal crux. Valley residents want to live in a majestic ski town, but they also want all the amenities of the suburbs. The old corporate captains seek to replace the quaint, yet wholly unreliable small town shops with the soulless, yet well-stocked franchise. The luxury of having most everything people need available to them in their home community is tainted by the fact that the measures required to achieve these luxuries involve a societal transition that demolishes the “small town” identity. Therein lies the crux: Stopping growth would hurt the valley by causing real estate prices to soar, ensuring that the valley possessed little to no local middle class residents. Yet a continued suburbanization of the valley would inevitably cause a flight of wealth away from the area, turning Vail into Loveland. Not to mention the whole, “last one in” mentality that causes residents to be wary of growth. Both destroy the finely tuned balance that attracts so many people. Which is worse?

In the end the choice is simple. At some point, perhaps many years from now, the homes and buildings will creep up the valley walls … or they won’t. Expansion is a healthy process for a cosmopolitan community, but when is it time to level the slippery slope. At some point it must happen, or the innocence and isolation that attracted most residents to the valley will disappear.

All in all, it was a good article that brought up some main points that the debate has forgotten. At the very least, valley residents should put the brakes on their fervor and reinvest their thoughts on these central issues that have been lost in the process of vicious political attacks.

Andy Cohen


I spent a month in Vail this summer and had a lovely time. It is so beautiful, the cool weather was such a relief, and the concerts were great.

While I was there, I read one or two letters in your newspaper by a Mr. Art Kittay about the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. My daughter has since shown me other letters he has written on the subject over the past year from your Internet web site. All of Mr. Kittay’s letters are very one-sided.

Distortions do not help American Jews, they make people uneasy, so I think an overview of events that occurred in 1948 when Israel was formed is necessary to give your readers a more accurate picture.

In the 1980s, Israel opened its archives on the 1948 war. For the first time, our scholars could read inside accounts of what actually went on. It was brutal and before we became Israelis, we drove out the Palestinians in large numbers. Even before May 14, 1948 when we declared Israel a nation, I am ashamed to say that we had already destroyed nearly 60 Palestinian villages between Tel Aviv and Haifa, plus others elsewhere, and we had forced 200,000 Palestinians to flee for their lives.

There is a large difference between the history that we were all taught and what really happened. How could this be? It turns out that in the early 1950s, our government had popularized a fictitious version of what had happened. I’ve heard lectures by one of the researchers who had access to the archives and who has written books on the subject, Tom Segev. National Public Radio did a session on this whole situation about a year ago and said much the same thing. It turns out that we only ever paid for a small part of our land. That is at the bottom of the conflict: Israel sits on Palestinian land. That’s why the Palestinians keep talking about their right to return to their properties.

I think we have to be careful in our denunciations of the Palestinians. I want peace as much as anyone, but please Mr. Kittay, stop writing angry letters as you are not helping.

Mrs. J. Rubin

New York City

… the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God …

“U.S. Declaration of Independence

“Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.”

“Albert Einstein

I guess old Einstein was just another one of those fundamentalist yahoos who don’t know how the world really works. Maybe E doesn’t equal MC squared after all.

Richard Carnes pulled another trick out of the PC bag – he says that religious believers are trying to “force the rest of us to believe the same.” But his own quotations of what the President said show that Bush merely wants ID to be presented as an alternative view to godless evolution. He is not calling for evolution to be eliminated from the curriculum.

That illustrates the mindset of those people. In one breath they say, “Let’s celebrate diversity.” Then they turn around and frustrate attempts to present points of view with which they disagree. Their my-way-or-the-highway attitude shows up about a lot of subjects.

Neither Carnes nor the other commentators on his side have addressed one of the central issues in this dispute: If God didn’t create the universe, then where did it come from? Who or what started it? If you believe in the Big Bang Theory, for example – who or what assembled the components and lit the fuse?

Carnes says that evolution has been proved over and over again. Yet he goes on to admit that this proof is “in theories, of course.” Because no one has been able to reproduce the theory of godless evolution in a laboratory. Sounds like a matter of faith.

Carnes’ example of bacteria in a dish doesn’t do it. Because that experiment does not show whether that phenomenon is the result of an unplanned system or one that is planned. And it doesn’t explain where bacteria came from in the first place.

I have used the term “godless evolution” because ID does not require that you disbelieve evidence that the universe developed gradually. ID just says that however it happened – seven days or seven billion years – it was started by a supernatural force; and it is subject to natural laws enacted by that supernatural force.

In the end, it is a matter of faith on both sides of this issue. The followers of Darwin have faith that his theories are correct. Those theories are based on observations he made in the 19th Century. Neither Darwin nor his believers claim that any human saw the beginning of existence, or that they can prove that there was no divine involvement. They just don’t believe in it. That is their faith.

The First Commandment says: ” I am the Lord your God.. . . You shall have no other gods before me . . . .” Richard Carnes should consider this: When you die (if you are right) that passage won’t mean a thing. But if you’re wrong, you’re gonna be in a whole heapa trouble, boy.

Terry Quinn


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