Letters to the editor
Big lossesI was deeply saddened to read the article last week in the Vail Daily concerning the struggles that the small businesses in Vail Village are experiencing. My heart goes out to the owners, particularly Robert Aikens, the owner of Verbatim Booksellers.For as long as I’ve lived in the valley, Verbatim Booksellers has provided residents and visitors with a warm welcome and a place to lose oneself for a while as they browse aisle after aisle, through fantasies and adventures. After Verbatim moved from Lionshead to Vail Village, many anticipated challenges for Verbatim, but felt that somehow it would continue to thrive. That is, until now.Robert needs your help. Despite record numbers of skiers and visitors this winter, Verbatim Booksellers is in danger of having to close its doors. Not just for mud season, but forever. He needs something on the order of $200,000 to keep his business open and he needs it now.I would like to call upon all of the residents of our happy valley to contact Robert and offer your help in whatever way you can. Personally, I have offered to relinquish all profits from the sales my book, “Ski Instructors Confidential,” sold at Verbatim, until he gets back on his feet. So if you haven’t read the book yet, stop by and pick up a copy. You’ll have few laughs and be helping out a neighbor at the same time.I’d also like to call on the Vail Town Council to re-evaluate the signage restrictions that prevent small business owners from calling attention to their locations, tucked away into the corners of the village. If CDOT can allow Wendy’s, Burger King and Conoco to litter the landscape along I-70 with advertisements, why can’t the Town Council work with small businesses to post tasteful, discreet signage to help visitors find their shops?Before ski villages across the country started to become “Intrawested,” one of the unique lures following a day on the slopes was the opportunity to browse amongst the local retailers looking for that item to take home that says, “I just visited ___” (you fill in the blanks). If we can’t find a formula to help our local businesses to stay solvent and remain competitive, then we’re in danger of losing the uniqueness of our resort communities.Our local businesses depend on us. Verbatim depends on us. Please give Robert a call and ask him how you can help.Allen R. SmithVailOur district, tooI have to say that I found the recent article about CSAPs, parents and the school board to be very sad. It is shameful that the only recourse that Mr. Harakal feels like he has is to try to keep the district from receiving money. We all know that the only ones that get hurt are the children. But based on the feelings of many parents that I have spoken with and I included, we do feel that Mr. Brendza and the school district do have deaf ears to parents that question the programs, the processes and the decisions of the district. I have also heard from teachers that they have the same feelings. So, it now seems that we have three different entities fighting against each other for the overall same goal; the success of our children! Do we not realize that with all this chaos and fighting the only ones that lose are the children? We need to get together and discuss programs and options. Mr. Brendza, this is not just your school district. We, the parents and the teachers, want the district to be successful as well. What would happen if you could actually get support from teachers and parents? We could be a model for other districts – parents, teachers and the district working together for success. The first thing that needs to stop is the fighting, and we all need to start working together. Let us all put our differences aside and join the same team. Let us be an example to our children and show them how we all need to compromise. Mr. Brendza, you are the one that was hired as superintendent. I would imagine that part of your job description would be to work with parents, teachers and the community to make the district successful. Please let the parents and teachers feel that their input is important. Don’t ignore parents that want the best for their children. Do not insist that it is your way or no way. I ask you to step up to the plate and get us all on the same page and heading forward. You need to be a leader. The bottom line is the fighting must stop because we all lose there!Kathy Calton Eagle Vail, Colorado
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