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Letters to the editor

Compiled by Daily staff

Secret taxesThe Eagle County Web site has a plethora of information, but curiously provides no information whatsoever on tax collection revenues.As we approach an election in which we will be asked to approve a variety of tax increases, a significant increase in the size of the county bureaucracy, etc., etc., citizens should be able to know how tax revenue from all sources has been growing annually for the last several years. Computer technology should be able to provide almost instantaneous information on all our county revenues, and it should be readily available to all citizens. What’s the secret? How do we know whether the politicians need more of our money? Let’s have a little government transperancy. Millions for a gravel pit apeared from nowhere, millions for a barn were found, etc., all of which could have been used for education, or other higher priority needs. Perhaps the Vail Daily could publish a weekly or monthly update of comparative revenue collections? Robert BeckwithVailNew kids booksThank you so much to everyone who participated in the Gypsum Daze Fun Run. The run raised over $1,400 for the Gypsum Library to use to purchase new children’s books. We will be expanding our collections for kids from infants through teens, so come in and see what we have added.Julie RichardsGypsum Library Staff ClarificationThe $2,905 that was returned to Joe Staufer at the end of the Friends of Vail Village campaign was to cover approximately $5,000 of bills that were owed but not paid for by the reporting date of Aug. 11.In no way was the balance returned to Joe for his personal use nor were they used in that manner.Merv LapinVailPolice punks?While parking roadside, where construction vehicles often park, I was using my laptop when approached by one officer. One can only guess all these cop shows have an effect. In a snot-mouthed tone of voice, he implied he really did not approve of such a thing in HIS town, and that there is a no parking on the road per town policy. Wow. Truly fine law enforcement put into action here. Like it matters in summertime.I called in this complaint to TOV police and apparently it was well received. We don’t need punks in the police ranks around here, especially with the very high taxes we pay.Martin ThibeauxDUI derbyFrom August 18 through Labor Day (Sept. 4), law enforcement agencies across Colorado will be out in increased numbers to find and arrest impaired drivers. This effort, called “Over the limit. Under Arrest,” is part of the Colorado Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) The Heat Is On! campaign and refers to the fact that anyone caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher will be arrested. Colorado is participating in this national crackdown on people who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.The goal of The Heat Is On! campaign is to reduce the numbers of injuries and deaths caused by drunk drivers. CDOT and our law enforcement partners seek to accomplish this goal by discouraging drunk driving through increased public awareness and aggressive DUI enforcement.Drunk driving is one of America’s deadliest crimes. In fact, during 2004, nearly 13,000 people were killed in highway crashes involving an impaired driver. And an astounding 41 percent of the 1,672 motorcycle operators who died in single-vehicle crashes in 2004 had BAC levels of .08 or higher. In addition to arrest, impaired drivers often face jail time, loss of their driver’s licenses, higher insurance rates, attorney fees, time away from work and other expenses. In Colorado, a driver convicted of DUI could end up spending a total of $10,000 or more. It is my sincere hope that drivers across Colorado will support The Heat Is On! by cooperating with law enforcement at DUI checkpoints and by always using designated drivers. There are no valid reasons or excuses why anyone should needlessly endanger their life and the lives of everyone else on the road. Don’t take the chance. You will get caught. The Heat Is On! in Colorado, and those who choose to drive while over the limit are very likely to find themselves under arrest. Tom Norton Executive Director Colorado Department of Transportation Thanks for the carsTo Big Steve’s Towing in Gypsum, Steve and Denise:I just wanted to thank you again for your exceptional generosity in donating five vehicles for the Greater Eagle Fire Protection District to use for continuing our training goals. Our firefighters faced the real dangers of vehicle fires in as safe and secure an environment as possible. We trained in areas of command, accountability, engineering, fire attack and fire behavior. The value of the training is priceless to everyone. It is always a pleasure to work with you, and we look forward to continuing our excellent working relationship. We are indebted to you for your generosity and friendship.Jon R. AsperChiefGreater Eagle Fire Protection DisrictDump the GOPFor six years, Republicans have put their right-wing ideology before the health of the American people. It’s time for a new direction, with leadership that serves all Americans.President Bush has approved handouts to oil companies and multi-millionaires, but he will veto legislation to help millions of Americans get medical care.Unfortunately, in the Bush White House and the Republican Congress, radical right-wing ideology trumps the wishes of the American people.Democrats are fighting to give millions of Americans the hope of new cures and treatments that stem cell research provides. Republicans let stem cell legislation wait in the Senate for a year. Now, because of Democrats persistence, the Congress has passed it. For Republicans who claim to support stem cell research, the time has come to prove it. The Republican Congress should listen to the American people and override the President’s veto.It is time for a new direction in America, where sound science comes before ideology, and America’s future comes before Republicans’ own political futures.Michael CraigBreckenridgeWomen huntLinda Beagley is certainly not alone (“Hunting: not just a man’s sport anymore”, August 18). For too long, the stereotype that only men hunt has been allowed to persist. The reality is that millions of women worldwide participate in shooting and hunting. Congratulations on your refreshing coverage of this fact!Samara McPhedranChairwomanInternational Coalition for Women in Shooting and Hunting (WiSH)www.ic-wish.org Ballarate, Victoria, AustraliaLionshead parkingThe debate is off target. It is not about too much construction, although Lionshead merchants need a break. The debate needs to refocus on the Lionshead parking structure, which belongs to the community. Any attempt to privatize, sell off, lease, joint venture, so on and so forth is either a corrupt or ignorant use of public land. Our community needs more parking, not another hotel or a convention center. The convention center zealots need to take a break. We voted, you lost. Think forward another 40 years, not another 40 days. The land and airspace above it is far more valuable than its current appraisal. I don’t even want to “just listen” to the proposals before I decide. I’ve decided. Cancel the proposals. The parking garages are not for sale or lease. Dale BugbyVail


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