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Letters to the Editor

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Zero wasteFor several years, I have cleaned, sorted and bagged household plastics that rode into my house (along with the food and drygoods I purchased) and that are NOT accepted by our local recycling programs (municipal, county or state levels) because these plastics are either (1) too expensive to ship out of Colorado (which has very little re-use plastics industry within because it still has lots of cheap – everthing’s relative – land for landfills) or (2) not reusable or recyclable anywhere in the world today. The quantity has become astonishing. I have spent considerable hours searching online for end users, to no avail (not even postage pre-paid), because I do not have “tonnage” (yet) and the plastics are not commercial grade, i.e. not baled nor chipped. At this point, I would just like to make a point; so, I would like to ship the plastics (at my expense, of course) to a destination that might prove effective, in that the recipient would possibly not want to throw the plastics into THEIR landfill or into THEIR municipal waste incinerator, in an effort to not contaminate THEIR local water or THEIR local air with dioxins, at least not before they consider, or maybe ponder later, the message that these plastics need a home (or the plastics industry should consider birth control). Who would be the most likely effective recipient: The producer? My state governor? The President of the United States? Al Gore? And is there someone else out there who has already done this, so I could follow in your footsteps. Maybe we could make the footsteps a trail and the trail a road?Billie Kruger West Vail ProperEditor’s note: Summit County has recently expanded its plastics recycling program to include items beyond the No. 1 and No. 2 plastics. It might be worth checking their Web site for more info at highcountryconservation.org/.Good job, VRDThe recent article “Fore” is an accurate account of the last VRD meeting but it is also a hallmark of something more important: voter particiaption in the process. I applaud the group who came forth (a bit self-serving since I was one of them) but I also applaud Mike Ortiz and the board for listening – and more importantly now taking action to remedy a faulty process – whereby the board enhances its understanding of its role, the public gets to provide input and the parties involved can search for options which provide a win-win situation. I am encouraged by the openness of the board, the executive director and our golf management team to search heartfully for a solution which serves both our community and the parties involved. The current VRD board has shown great sensitivity to the public. They and Mike Ortiz are going the extra mile to serve our/Vail’s intersts now and in the future with options and sincere efforts to satisfy their clients: us.Like a duck on the water seemingly calm but paddling very hard to swim, I have new appreciation and belief the board will do the right thing. It is those of you who have come forth with letters and the like which will make this board and the services we so enjoy better.We all hope Brent, Mike and the board negotiate a win-win agreement. There is reason to be proud of officials who listen to their constituency.Phil Weinstein,East Vail Beyond daycare The last several weeks have witnessed numerous letters in your paper complaining bitterly about the proposal to put a tax increase to fund early childhood development before the voters in November. These letters contained a lot of venom and few facts. Also, from these letters it is clear that there are misconceptions out there.First, Arn Menconi is not trying to take money out of your pocket. The tax increase will be on the ballot and put to the voters of Eagle County. The citizens of the county will decide on this tax increase, not Menconi. Second, this is not a tax just to fund daycare. This tax, if approved, would be an investment in early childhood development. It would provide more licensed child care and preschools, boost pay for people working in those centers, and help provide medical care to poor children. Menconi wrote in a letter that appeared in the Denver Post May 19, 2006: “Early childhood development creates four ways to ensure brighter futures for our children: family support, early childcare education, early child health and social and emotional development.” Not prioritizing early childhood development is penny-wise and pound-foolish. This paper reported that the owner of a home worth $400,000 would pay about $32 per year if the tax increase is $2 million. Look what you get for $32. The Economic Policy Institute, found on the Web at epinet.org, points out the following: “There is a strong consensus among the experts who have studied high-quality early childhood development (ECD) programs that these programs have substantial payoffs. Investments in high-quality ECD programs consistently generate benefit-cost ratios exceeding 3-to-1 or more than a $3 return for every $1 invested. Even economists who are particularly skeptical about government programs make an exception for high-quality ECD programs. Follow-up studies of poor children who have participated in these programs have found solid evidence of markedly better academic performance, decreased rates of criminal conduct, and higher adult earnings than among their non-participating peers.” The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, found on the Web at woodrow.mpls.frb.fed.us/research/studies/earlychild/, commissioned a study of early childhood development programs and found the following: • Improvement in child educational performance, including higher test scores, reductions in special education, grade retention, and school drop-outs.• Increases in child high school graduation rates and college enrollment rates.• At least short-term gains in child IQ scores.• Reductions in child juvenile delinquency and criminal activity later in life.• Higher earnings and tax payments by child and parent.• Reductions in welfare use.• Reductions in child abuse.• Larger, more qualified workforce for employers. Virtually every letter opposing this proposed tax increase has focused on the tax revenues going to fund poor budgeters/over breeders. In reality, the people who will benefit from this investment are those reading these lines right now. You can either pay a little now, or a lot later. I urge you to consider voting for this tax increase. If you are not going to do it for a struggling family or a poor child, at least do it out of enlightened self interest. $32, you decide if it’s worth it. Deirdre NobleArrowheadVail, Colorado


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