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Letters to the editor

Compiled by Daily staff

Bigger pictureI appreciate the concern expressed for recreational water rights by Arn Menconi, Rick Sackbauer and Ron Wolfe in the Vail Daily (“Water for recreation threatened,” Feb. 15). However, as a member of the state Senate, I represent the wide-ranging interests of many different water stakeholders in our part of Colorado. I do not have the luxury of advocating for one kind of water right to the exclusion of all the others. My goal always has been to balance the competing uses for one of our state’s most precious resources – whether for agriculture, municipalities, storage, development, recreation, or whatever else. Water policy long has been among the most contentious issues in our region. So, it is naive to assume that innovations like recreational in-channel diversions, or RICDs, should dominate Colorado water law simply because of their newfound popularity. That would be like the tail wagging the dog. It is also important to remember that RICDs represent a whole new and different kind of water right from the water laws that have effectively governed our state for over 125 years. This is the only right in which water continues to flow down-river and out of Colorado. Its sole purpose is to act as a pass-through for recreational purposes. That is why pending legislation on the matter treats RICDs somewhat differently from other, more conventional water rights. Yes, RICDs generate economic development dollars, but they also let water flow downstream and out of the state, unrecovered. We also must safeguard the tremendous economic benefit to our entire state of water’s other, more traditional uses. Senate Bill 37, which has bipartisan support including my own in the General Assembly, goes a long way toward achieving a reasonable balance. As Menconi, Sackbauer and Wolfe correctly point out, this legislation would not affect communities that already have RICDs in place. The bill also upholds the prerogatives of communities that seek to establish RICDs provided they submit their requests to a review process with reasonable checks and balances. It seems at times that the more vocal advocates of RICDs, however well-meaning, wish to pick a fight with every guardian of historic water rights, whether it’s the Colorado Water Conservation Board or members of both parties in the General Assembly, including me. Let’s all come together instead. Only California wins in a water war! Sen. Jack Taylor Steamboat Springs Let me explainTo the Avon teachers, faculty and parents, I would like to extend my deepest apologies. I realize now how my comments that were printed in the article dated Feb. 1 about the Stone Creek Elementary may have offended and saddened some of you. But let me assure you that the comments were made in a much BIGGER conversation. I do not deny making the quoted statement. However I would like to take a moment to explain.My motivation for getting involved with starting a new school was brought on by the school district coming forth and saying they were going to close Meadow Mountain Elementary. I attended several meetings, but one in particular was at Battle Mountain auditorium. A mother stood up and explained how her daughter was not doing well at Avon Elementary due to the demographics at Avon. She had gotten a variance to Meadow Mountain, and by closing Meadow Mountain her daughter would be sent back to Avon. When the superintendent was asked what his plans were to try to fix the demographics, his comment was that he didn’t have a solution and that was not what we were here to discuss. We were there to discuss the school’s problems of overcrowding in the next 10 years. This is where my statements were coming from. When I said in the Vail Daily article, “They only want to fix the numbers,” I was speaking of the superintendent, Not Avon Elementary. It has been said that I don’t want my children to go to school with the children at Avon Elementary. This is so far from the truth. In the plans of Stone Creek Elementary, it calls for a mix in the demographics and therefore I will be trying to get some of the kids who attend Avon Elementary to attend our school. Never in a million years did I set out to imply that the teachers of Avon Elementary were not doing a good job or passionate about their jobs, or students. I’m sure that you, like your peers in all the schools in our district are extremely hard working and caring. And again I apologize for the confusion with the article in the Vail Daily. Secondly, it is my opinion that given the unique demographics of our county, (52 percent Hispanic-45 percdent Anglo) our curriculum that has been chosen by our officials for the public school systems is not the correct fit. I believe that starting in kindergarten, all students should be learning English and the Spanish language. By doing this we are creating a concrete foundation for our children to communicate with one another and in their first year of school we can reduce the separation and lack of communication that is our present situation. By diversifying our classrooms our children will learn compassion and understanding towards the different cultures in our community. I mean, let’s face it folks ,our world is not all white nor do I wish to have my children think that it is. I hear a lot of parents concerned that they don’t want their children to be held back in the classroom by the kids who don’t speak the same language. If the proper curriculum were in place in Eagle County, this situation would not be happening. Here in Eagle County we strive for excellence and always want to be the best we can be. Whether, we are talking about being the No. 1 ski resort in North America or the finest restaurants, the best architecture, and excellent service. However I find it interesting that when it comes to our children’s education, we are simply expected by the district to be happy with average or mediocrity. What a contradiction. I believe that we can do better. It is our taxpaying dollar that pays for this education system. I was always taught by my mother to not just complain about a situation but to figure out a solution. I believe that having another option for our children and parents, one that brings diversity with it, is a darn good solution. Do I think that it is going to be a lot of work? Yes! Do I intend to tackle this project on my own? Absolutely not. This school is going to take an entire community to build. But I can’t think of a better community than Eagle County. That is why we have all chosen to live here. Lynnette Berry Miscio Eagle-VailVail, Colorado


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