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Letters to the editor

Robert Harrison Aikens

As you may know, I did not win Tuesday’s election, but came very close. Even within three votes of one incumbent. So now on to the next election.I chose to run this year because I wanted to give the local business scene better representation on the Vail Town Council. The large number of people that supported me showed that I wasn’t the only one who thought the town council needed this perspective. During my campaign, I forced issues on the table that normally would not get attention. I will continue to work to better Vail.My assistant manager and campaign manager, Kelly Coffey (without whom I don’t know what I would have done), and I would like to thank all the people who came out to support me during my campaign. These supporters helped give me the campaign confidence to keep going, whether it was making phone calls, writing letters to the editor, giving donations or just moral support. I want to thank everyone for their vote. I would not have gotten anywhere without you.Vail is an amazing town and we should show to the world how amazing it is. A special thank you to all the people that I called or called me to offer advice whether or not we agreed with each other. That is what makes communities. Let’s keep to a higher standard than average. With each sentence and action we make we are representing Vail, Colorado.Please keep checking robertforvail.com from time to time. I plan on continuing the site for local issues, opinions and guest commentary. THANK YOU.Robert Harrison AikensVail Town Council Candidate (2007)Great helpThank you to all that contributed to the success of Oct. 23’s Gulfport Relief Fundraiser at the Eagle Ranch Pavilion! All funds raised will be sent directly to hurricane stricken Gulfport, Miss.First and foremost, thank you to the sponsors: Moe’s Original BBQ, The town of Eagle, Alpine Bank, and Bella Construction! Thank you to all that created a fun filled evening: Kort McCumberland and McCumberland Gap for their Bluegrass sounds, The Children’s Chorale for their musical contributions, Lucky Horseshoes 4-H Club and the Guzik Family for the pony rides, WECMRD for the Moonwalk, “Grace to the Gulf” for refreshments, Make a Difference Club, the Porchlight Players, and all of the local businesses that donated to the success of the silent auction!The event would not have been possible without the numerous hours offered by volunteers. Thank you Joe and Lynn Kelly, Jennifer Bliss, Chelsea and Drew Birdwell, Mara Palma, Elizabeth and John O’dell, Janet Thrasher, Stacy Vorous, Susan and Bob Baker, Meredith Kennedy, Rob Scott, Rachel Overlease, Doug Bitteto, Wendy Davidson, Andrea Tatreau, Annie Egan and many others!Thank you, once again, to the Vail Valley Salvation Army for their assistance in the “Eagle County Relief to Gulfport” efforts!It is an inspiration to be surrounded by people who generously give of their time and resources to aid those that are in more need than us. Once again, I am reminded of the greatness of the people of Eagle County!Melissa LallyEagle County Relief to Gulfport Can be doneMr. Vranich is right. Commercial-grade maglevs can indeed handle steep grades such as the ones along I-70 west of Denver. Three things not mentioned: maglev can bank/tilt on its guideway up to 12 degrees, four times more than a high-speed train, making it better able to fit into the mountainous terrain. Maglev can also perform well in weather conditions (snow, ice, rain, wet leaves) that hobble conventional rail systems. And the winds that constantly buffet I-70 are much less of a problem for maglev, since the suspension and guidance magnets essentially “clamp” it firmly to the guideway. Two corrections/additions: First, the Transrapid suspension magnets keep the train levitating over the guideway at a set distance of four inches (there is a 10-millimeter gap, but it’s under the guideway). Second, several other areas of the country are studying the use of high-speed maglev, including Pittsburgh; Los Angeles (two projects); San Diego (two projects); the Texas’ “T-Bone” project connecting five cities; and others that are just starting conceptual plans. Contrary to conventional wisdom, maglev is something that should be considered in Colorado. Right now. Before big money is wasted on trying to make trains do the job. Maglev is fully operational and commercially available today in Shanghai, and it already has 21 years of full-scale testing, safety certification and technical risk reduction behind it. Four and a half million people have ridden maglevs, most travelling at 250-260 mph, a lucky few hitting 310 mph in a special test a year ago, but all have ridden in complete safety and comfort. I should know. Having worked for nearly eight years as senior engineer in Transrapid International’s U.S. affiliate, I’ve visited the Transrapid sites in Germany and China and ridden more times than I can remember. In my opinion, Colorado deserves to hear from any and all technology suppliers who think they can handle the challenges posed by the I-70 corridor. Without such a debate, the state will continue to drift along, doing paper studies, looking for solutions and tilting at windmills. For me, my money’s on maglev. Let the debate begin. Larry Blow MaglevTransport Vail, Colorado


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