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Letters to the editor

Robert McClain

An article was written recently concerning skiers and elk in Intermountain. I would like clarify my position here. First of all, I am an avid backcountry skier and hunter. As such I have logged many hours and miles in the surrounding hills. The elk behind my house are part of our local herd that live in the Back Bowls in the summer and winter in the hills above Minturn and Intermountain. At this time of year the elk are in survival mode, they move as little as possible and try to expend as little energy as possible. Skiing through the middle of them or disturbing them at all makes survival tough. We have built up every inch in this valley we can and left precious few places for the elk to be at this time of year. These elk aren’t in my backyard. I’m in theirs, and so is everyone else in this valley, and we need to have some respect for them. We close down entire stretches of forest for animals that don’t even really live here, like lynxes. Why cant we give a little room for ones that do live here? We close the Back Bowls in spring for elk to calve. Why can’t we protect them at such critical time of year as this? This area from Eagle’s Nest to Minturn, from the ridge to I-70, has always been designated as deer and elk sanctuary and hunting is not allowed because this is very critical habitat, especially in the winter. All I’m asking is for people to use some discretion here. If it were just a couple of people doing this, it would be no big deal. But you know when you cut that trail down that ridge, everybody will follow. Come on, guys. We have the biggest ski area in the country and one of the biggest forest areas in the country, there are plenty of freshies to be had by all. Can’t we let the elk have a couple of hills to themselves. Is that too much to ask? Robert McClain VailNo real tax cutLet’s just tell it like it is. Mr. Bush and this Republican Congress have never given us a REAL tax cut! What they have done is to reduce our current taxes and then borrowed money to cover the expenses of the government. That has increased our nation’s debt, and left us to pay the added interest. It’s the same thing as when we use our credit cards and don’t pay all of the balance. And just as we are concerned if the balance on our credit card keeps growing, we should also be concerned about our national debt. Furthermore, when Mr. Bush proposes new tax incentives for the pharmaceutical industry or small businesses or for oil and gas companies – we will pay because the government will borrow more money and we will have the additional interest payments. To have a REAL tax cut, we first need to achieve a budget surplus so that there is a decrease in the national debt. Only then can interest payments be reduced and REAL tax relief happens. Unfortunately, in the case of our government, we will be paying the interest FOREVER since it is doubtful if we will ever again have a balanced budget. We haven’t had one since 1960. Incidentally, as of now, the first $350 billion that is collected each year by the IRS is for interest on our $8.2 trillion debt. That number ($350 billion) has increased by almost $100 billion since Mr. Bush took office and it will go up another $50 billion by the time he departs. It now consumes approximately 15 percent of our taxes.I do believe that we should be concerned. David Le Vine Ribbons removedI want to thank the person who removed the ribbons that I spent so much time placing to mark a trail for a snowshoe in Homestead I recently led. Fortunately, you missed the pot of gold. In the past, after marking a trail and taking my group on a healthy hike, I have returned to remove the ribbons. As a native Coloradoan, it is my intent to leave little or no mark on the land. Jackie AnthonyGotchaPresidential truth. The uproar about the security services doing phone tapping without a court order has been front and center for the past few weeks. The administration of G.W. Bush persists in the notion that the spying was, is and will continue to be legal. However, consider this. On Sunday’s (Feb 5) NBC “Meet The Press,” a taped Bush speech showed that he knows that a court order is needed for this phone spying, and (since Bush knew that the phone spying without such an order was under way at that time) the 2004 speech is nothing but a downright LIE! The text of Bush’s speech on April 20, 2004, is: “Now, by the way, anytime you hear the United States government talking about wire tap, it requires – a wire tap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we’re talking about chasing down terrorists, we’re talking about getting a court order before we do so.” Given all the lies that our government has told us over the past few years, I can’t say I’m surprised. It’s true that other presidents have been known to lie in the past. However, I don’t know of any presidential lie that has managed to kill more than 2,000 American service persons and countless Iraqis.Tom McCaldenWolcottThanksVailArmedForces.com, Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, Naval Special Warfare Foundation and Special Operations Warrior Foundation would like to thank the following companies and individuals for their support and contributions to the Vail Armed Forces Week. For sponsorship of the Marine families and the wives of fallen Navy SEALs we thank: Frontier Airlines, Colorado Mountain Express, Double Diamond, John Walters from Vail Resorts,Red Lion, Franklin Boyer and his family. You all provided them with a very special week in Vail, and wonderful memories. They wanted me to say a special thanks to Adam and his crew at Double Diamond for their excellent service and help. We also appreciate all the generous donations and contributions to our Vailarmedforces week and wish to acknowledge the following sponsors: Starwoods Vacation Ownership and Sheraton Mountain Vista Avon, Sheraton Vistana Villages Orlando Fla., Volvo, Surefoot, Blackhawk.com, NavySeals.com, James Avery, Odyssey Cruise, Power Lung, Firestone Vineyard, Club 8150, Fresh Communications.A special thanks to the folks at the Vail Chamber and Business Association and Diane Sanza of Vail/Beaver Creek Reservations for their support. Thank you to all who attended our events to help us raise money for educational scholarships for the children.Without your support, we could not have had a successful week.Paul DonenPresidentVailArmedForces.com


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