Letters to the Editor
A tribute to Tom Provo There are few lessons we learn in life that are as clear as the one I’m about to describe. For those of you who know Tom Provo, I’m sure you’ll understand. For most of us, if asked which jobs bring the most value to society, we might list doctors, teachers and ministers as examples of persons in positions to educate and influence the well-being of those with whom they come in contact. In raising children, your first choice of occupations for offspring might not be manager of a gas station or cashier at the West Vail Phillips 66. I’ve lived in the valley for 20 years and met Tom at the Phillips 66. Such an upbeat, consistently and sincerely helpful person I doubt I’d met before. When I paid for gas or my morning coffee, Tom made me feel like I was the most important thing happening at that moment. Back then I didn’t give too much thought to which gas station I frequented. Now that gas has been at exorbitant prices, I have been giving more thought to which station I want to use. The funny thing is, I choose the West Vail Phillips 66 for reasons having to do with anything but the price of gas. The lesson I learned is that Tom was a magnet to that station. What better way to start the day than a clean coffee bar, a warm welcome and a cozy local feeling in your heart! When the national and world news is at a crisis point, the local news discussed with Tom is optimistic and heart healthy. Through the years Tom always delivered with the the utmost professionalism and kind spirit. As most of you know, Tom recently resigned his position due to health issues. I miss seeing you at the station, Tom! I hope you know you did as much in your lifetime as any person in any helping profession could do and you passed on your legacy for hard work, commitment and generosity of spirit. Dave, Roman, Sandy and those unnamed who learned from you are carrying on your high standards. There’s still a magnet drawing me to that station. May God bless you, Tom, as you have blessed others and may you know your presence in the valley has had a tremendous impact on the lives of others! With love and many thanks, Jean CorcoranAngry at VRVail Resorts failed all locals of the Vail Valley. You offer a discounted lift ticket for locals if purchased by Oct.15, but you provided no outlet to purchase these discounted lift tickets within the entire Vail Valley. Today, we drove to Breckenridge (these tickets are only available for purchase in Breckenridge and Keystone) in order to meet the Oct. 15 deadline. The line to purchase these discounted tickets was one and a half hours long. In the cold and rain, young and old, families with kids, waited outside for over one and a half hours to reach the sales counter. I can think of no reasonable rationale for not providing a sales outlet anywhere in Vail, Beaver Creek or Arrowhead – all places where Vail Resorts has sales centers. The only answer I can come up with is that Vail Resorts does not believe Vail Valley locals deserve the discount. Shame on you. Mary Davies Opposes child taxMatt’s Oct. 12 commentary “Early start might help” is a bold journey into the correlation of mental illness and government inspired early childhood development. Clearly he is qualified. The good “doctor” presents clear and concise analysis of what’s wrong with America, and an equally clear solution. Matt cites many national examples of moral decay that government administered early childhood development will surely solve. Absent, however, were professional basketball players “visiting” Cordillera, or white pickup truck drivers shooting Hispanic litterbugs. His analysis includes, “Actually, we have even less interest (in) sparing a bit of our paychecks to pay for programs that would explore the origins of these crimes for us.” Matt’s solution in his Oct. 12 analysis is “we as (a) county should vote for the tax in the hopes early-childhood-development methods could prevent a few such catastrophes.” That’s for me! I want to vote myself a tax increase based on hope. I want my county government to explore the origins of these crimes for me! Right after they redo the chip-seal on the Colorado River Road.The Eagle County clerk and recorder’s mailing “to all registered voters” documents that the widely published $3.6 million amount is only valid in 2007. The mailing states “and by whatever additional amounts are raised annually thereafter through 2022.” There is a maximum rate of levy (1.5 mills) but there is no limit to the assessed value of your property over time. As one county tax assessor candidate suggests, in 2006 “property values could go up 30 percent.” If that’s the case, to use a Dr. Zalaznick phrase, the “free play-pen giveaway tax” gets an additional $1,080,000 per year. So in 2008 the tax is $4,680,000.Matt Zalaznick calls this referendum “Arn’s tax.” Don Rogers previously helped us understand the finances using the “six-pack of Bud a month” analogy. If this referendum passes, it’s not Arn’s tax. It’s my tax. And I don’t drink Bud!Vote NO on this referendum and instead send the money to the Snowboard Outreach Society, Meet the Wilderness, First Descents, the 4-H, or the Salvation Army! These organizations have definitive goals and missions, they will spend your money wisely, and they will say thank you! George MossmanEdwardsThanks for supportThe Rivera, Ladenburger and Abbey familiess would like to thank so many people for their help during Wanda’s illness and her death. Thanks to everyone who came to show their love and support and for all the prayers sent. Thanks to those who helped with the meals and the arrangements. We know from all the outpouring of support she was a very loved woman and we thank you all.Riveras, Ladenburgers and Abbeys GypsumGreat programI would like to take this opportunity to make sure everyone is aware of the amazing cultural experiences the students of our community have available to them because of the STARS program. This program allowed my fourth-grade students to attend the Ballet Gran Folklorico at the Vilar Center this week. This performance was incredible. The music, costumes, and dance were unbelievable and my students left with an experience that I could never provide in the classroom. Thank you to all of the donors who provide these cultural experiences to my students for no charge, as well as to Martha Brassel, Jen Mason and the rest of the Vilar Center staff for everything you did to make this event happen. I would also like to thank the Beaver Creek Resort Company for providing the transportation to our students for the performance. The teachers and students of Edwards Elementary School appreciate the generosity of our community.Beth Cooney Edwards Rename Lionshead!I believe it would be advantageous to rename Lionshead “Vail Village West.” Including Vail in the name would identify Vail Village and Vail Village West as one entity. After all, we’re Vail! Elaine Martin Denver and Vail Message, and messenger Amy Phillips, I’m trying to figure out why you are lecturing me about the 1st Amendment and freedom of expression issues. I studied it for years. Did you? I’ll explain it to you.If I am writing a column for the Vail Daily, I am obligated to put my name on the opinion. In part, that’s because the newspaper is an owned entity, and they grant me the space to print an opinion on their terms. (However, I’m surprised that you don’t know that some of our very founding fathers wrote opinions in newspapers under assumed names.)This is the United States, not North Korea. An individual should be able to speak without fear of retaliation, threats, firing, harassment of the speaker’s children, and so on. I have seen retaliations against teachers here, employees of Vail Resorts, public employees, and the list goes on. I not only know what it’s like to be blackballed for taking a stand for disabled/special education children, I have been threatened with bodily harm for putting my name on stands against racism, for just immigration reform, and of course, someone from the “religious” right, and I know of many others who have been through similar. I was threatened with a very scary threat after I wrote a fairly logical letter to the editor on the war in Iraq, of all things. One would think that in the U.S., one would be free to express an opinion without fear of retaliation a la Soviet Union, Guatemala, or most of the world for that matter. I have two children, too. In some cases, such as with a public figure, like an elected official, identifying the speaker is relevant for obvious reasons. However, one of the reasons Tipsline was criticized is that public figures, including elected officials, allegedly use Tipsline to reveal confidential or other inside information before decisions were made, and so on. Essentially, politicians were allegedly surreptitiously abusing Tipsline. Haven’t you read some of the tragic stories of what happens to whistleblowers around the country? “Identifying the critic just helps to understand the ax they have to grind.” This statement is ludicrous. I challenge you to defend this particular statement since I can refute it. I don’t care about the name-calling morons who can’t construct a logical argument in Tipsline. If one makes a logical case, the ax they grind should be based on a logical conclusion, especially if it is a deductive conclusion instead of an inductive conclusion. In essence, it isn’t who is saying it (private citizen); it is what they say. Nine times out of 10 (not a real figure), wanting to know who is saying it is so retaliation can be exercised. Attack the messenger, not the message. I know you have heard this phrase before, and it rings true because it is the real world.I really don’t care if you’re an “Avon town councilor,” and putting your title on your Web comment left me with an impression of arrogance, not the illusion of authority you think it implies. The title does not substitute for an lack of knowledge on First Amendment, freedom of expression, right of access, or the simple reality of the millions of retaliations over history that occur when one is forced to identify oneself, ostensibly to suppress that expression. You have a great example right there in the place you hold your meetings. If a town of Avon employee speaks at a Town Council meeting, especially if they criticize the town, they are immediately fired.Michael G. GallagherNot the former county commissionerOn Tipsline”During my tenure as publisher at the paper we never had a “Tipsline” and always required “letters” to be signed by the individual submitting them. We never allowed people to take anonymous cheap shots at their adversaries.”There are publishers and there are publishers (and editors). …Arthur KittayEagleVail, Colorado
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