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Letters to the editor

Jim Bottomley

The subject of this letter that I am sending to each of our U.S. House and Senate members from Colorado is the recent final report from the 9/11 Commission. This report details progress, or lack of progress, in meeting the threat to our nation’s security, following the 9/11 attack four years ago.The consensus of that committee, and of anyone using judgment in evaluating statements made by leaders of the Muslim fundamentalists, is that we will be attacked again. The question is not “will we” but “when”? The 9/11 Commission reports on the disgraceful lack of progress and oversight, both by Congress and the Bush administration, in meeting this threat to our nation’s security.For example: We have failed to resolve the communication problem among the agencies responsible for intelligence. The FBI is lagging way behind the standards required in this instance. There still seems to be a cultural problem getting in the way. This is inexcusable, and should not be tolerated by those responsible for FBI oversight.Hurricane Katrina just demonstrated that our first responders – the police and fire departments – still cannot communicate effectively with each other because of equipment and wave-length differences.How can this be, four years after 9/11? We hear the House has passed legislation to get this done by 2009. Unbelievable! Eight years after 9/11 and we still can’t do that?Can you imagine what our public will say if we get hit next year, and people die because our first responders can’t talk to each other during an emergency?These are just a couple of examples of the many failures cited in the 9/11 report.I assume our Democrats in Congress will say this lack of oversight, and the failure to recognize the urgency to deal with the 9/11 Commission matters, is not their fault. They may blame it on Republicans, who consistently block Democratic initiatives in every way. And I have seen this happen too often. But if we fail to act to solve these problems with great urgency, you are all going to be blamed.As our representative in government, are you willing to take on this most important and urgent task of oversight and to keep us informed as to your progress? If not, get out of the way!Solve these problems now and then go back to the next priorities, which certainly include:1. Recognizing that our massive and growing debt is out of control. This could lead to a worldwide depression if not addressed.2. Our growing trade deficit is but one of the more important elements that must be addressed to solve our debt problem.3. Oversight is needed to stop the constant cash raid on social security. That drawer is full of IOUs instead of the payroll tax funds that should meet your retirement needs for years to come.4. One day, I’d like to see quarterly reports to the taxpayers on Halliburton’s $4 billion no-bid work in Iraq. This is our money. We taxpayers are the shareholders in those no-bid contracts.Again, I say, blaming someone else will not let you off the hook. Do as much as you can to solve these urgent problems. This is what we expect of you. If you are unwilling, or lack courage, get out of the way!Jim BottomleyAvonThanks, and sorryTo all of you who could join us in celebrating the Citizen and Business of the Year, I want to thank you for your support.To anyone who may have been offended by the comedy entertainment, I apologize.Tim Cochrane CEO, Eagle Valley Chamber of CommerceSki coverageI simply can’t agree with the critical letter, which I was reading, concerning the Beaver Creek ski races and the Vail Daily. I never before was so satisfied with the information they reported about those races. Besides, the impressive photos have really showed well the atmosphere of this events. But I am still often missing the complete results in the Scoreboard. Even if no Americans are winning, the real results would be interesting. What was poor at those races was the performance of the local TV. I really don’t know how often I have seen the same stunts in the TV. Jumping down a cliff, sliding some rails, and so on. It looks to me like they have played the same videos for years. OK ,it is exciting to watch it the first time – but after years and years, it is really enough.And let’s not forget Vail is called a “ski” resort. For building simply a halfpipe, even St. Mary’s Glacier seems to be big enough, but not for running a downhill race like at the Birds of Prey. I don’t want to argue what is better, but when some kid out of the halfpipe asked why they make so much noise about alpine ski racing, U.S. top skier Rhalves had the right answer. I was told that he said: “Give him a pair of GS skis and he can go skiing with us.” Just send them down the Birds of Prey and you will see the difference between a good skier and a good stunt man. Who can go down there like Bode Miller does? Dear friends at our TV stations, why don’t you show in one of the world’s leading ski resorts to your customers, the world’s best skiers who have been racing just in front of your door? The Vail daily has recognized, according to its coverage, that the U.S. team is one of the world’s leading ski nations. TV has not yet learned that. Vail is the home of so many excellent ski racers. Vail Resorts supports them. Worldwide, the ski races in Vail are well known as some of the best organized events. Just ask the coaches of all the different teams.The Vail Daily does a good job, but the TV fails.Otto Wiest VailVail, Colorado


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