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Letters to the editor

Bob Essin

Arn Menconi’s Special to the Daily on his, Rick Sackbauer and Ron Wolfe’s behalf concerning recreational use of the streams and proposed “bad legislation” was well-written, but some of the ideas in the proposed legislation sound like they have merit. Perhaps changing the legislation and leading should be the objective instead of just opposing it. During drought, water for drinking, sewage and farming should come before recreation (including white water and fishing and possibly do we dare suggest snowmaking). The state engineer should be precluded from protecting the RICD (recreational in channel diversions) water right’s priority during water shortage (set a reasonable standard). Whenever it is too dry on July 4 for fireworks, don’t use them. And whenever we have drought, cancel water events and don’t require unrealistic flows of the streams for water users. The sales tax numbers may suffer, but so be it. Economic benefits for the communities do no come before drinking, sewage and farming.National parks and forests many years ago did not require permits and numbers reporting for the use of outfitters and the general public. As population and use have increased, the numbers from reporting are needed to justify appropriations and controlled use of our natural resources. It is not reasonable, perhaps, to count everyone every day on Gore Creek for instance, but certainly a sampling several days a month seems justified in areas where a water right has been established. Also, use it or lose it. I am aware of fairly constant use of Gore Creek in the area of the golf course in the summer, but the whitewater park in town gets very little use except for several events that are held each summer. The community should be responsible for use reports of some kind if they apply for a permit. It does not seem so unreasonable to limit RICDs to daylight flows of water and to the times of year when watercraft actually use the streams. Towns that are not regularly in a runoff area at a certain elevation should not even have the option of applying for a RICD. I have no idea where they came up with a 2 percent number for later users or whether the idea has merit or not. Are RICDs in and of themselves a dramatic departure from traditional water law which require different law and control and reporting than the traditional water rights that have been developed in the western states beginning in the 1800s? Bob Essin Flat exploitationI was interested to read the letter Feb. 12, written by Judy Tierney of Hobart, Tasmania, when she ate out at one of the local restaurants. After reading her account, I am writing in equal outrage. We ate out at another restaurant, a place where we have eaten each of the five years we have been coming to Vail. When we received the bill we were shocked to be landed with an 18 percent tip. Yes, you read it correctly, 18 percent on the bill. Unfortunately, we were too docile and paid the bill both with deep resentment and a firm resolve never to set foot in that establishment again. Having read Ms. Tierney’s letter and the background explanation of how little the staff are paid, our bill was set in perspective. We are absolutely disgusted. This is outright exploitation of employees. Isn’t there a law that requires employers to pay their staff the minimum wage? What guarantee is there that the staff receive the entire amount of the tip? In my opinion, the manager-proprietor is a greedy profiteer. If this is the way the restaurant owners are going to treat both staff and customers in Vail, then I urge people to boycott those establishments rather than underwrite the owners’ profits on the backs of their unfortunate employees and the innocent customers. Ellen Godsall London A VR answer?I attended a meeting with the Minturn Town Council on the proposed Ginn development. Frankly, it’s hard to visualize 1,700 new units in that tight little valley and the very steep hills beyond. The are lots of obvious problems with the proposal. On the other hand, I can can understand why Minturn needs something to stimulate its economy. It has somehow been left behind in the huge financial successes that have occurred in other parts of the Eagle River Valley.Has anyone recently considered connecting Vail and Beaver Creek with gondolas? If these gondolas came to the ground in Minturn and could on and off load there a whole set of new businesses might spring up and parking congestion in Vail and Beaver Creek might be alleviated to some degree. The system could be shut down in elk calving season, and perhaps the spans between towers could be long enough to avoid unstable ground.Anyone have any thoughts on this? Vail Resorts, maybe?Roger BrownGypsumVail, Colorado


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