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Letters to the editor

Compiled by Daily staff

Dantas stands outAfter spending many years working in and around the town of Avon, I feel that I have a pretty good understanding of the personality, knowledge and foresight needed to be a good candidate for a town councilmember. In the upcoming election for Avon Town Council, one particular candidate stands out as someone that has many of these qualities needed to be a good representative of my community.This candidate is a very qualified businessman. He is hard working and has good overall knowledge of many facets of development, finance and general construction. All of these assets will help in being able to look at the future of Avon.When I was working within the Town of Avon, he would constantly approach me to ask questions on the direction of the town, just for his own personal knowledge. He is also a very dedicated family man and has planted his roots in the town of Avon. I have known this candidate for many years and have grown to respect his knowledge and respect his opinions. His ability to listen to others and come up with a good consensus is just one of his many attributes.I think it is most important for a town councilmember to have good common sense, to recognize the difference between right and wrong and vote on what is best for all citizens in the Town, which makes this candidate my #1 choice.I strongly urge the citizens of the Town of Avon to vote for Dave Dantas as a new member of our Avon Town Council.Buz ReynoldsTeaching empathyI am troubled by some of the negative comments against 1A, the Early Childhood Initiative that will help young children and their families. I love the Vail Valley, have made this my home for more than 14 years and don’t ever want to live anywhere else. I love the people and the spirit of helpfulness I have found here for years. I refuse to believe that the majority of people in this beautiful and giving area subscribe to the view of it being “us” versus “them.” Most of the people I know think of this community in “we” terms. I have young children, ages 4 and 7. As a mental health professional, I have learned that one of the most important skills I can teach my children as well as the clients I meet is empathy – imagining what it feels like to be in someone else’s shoes. We know from research that having this ability is one of the biggest indicators of success in life. What I believe is that it is simply the right thing to do – care and help others. Because when we really get down to it, “those other people’s children” are part of the world we all live in whether it be the small area of Eagle County or the greater world of humankind. Join me in teaching our children that by giving, we all receive – we are not separate. Please vote yes on Referendum 1A.Julia KozuskoAvonWolfe’s the manFor the past four years Ron Wolfe has served ably and admirably on the Avon Town Council, taking an active role in guiding Avon’s smart growth balanced with the quality of valley life that we all want.Ron Wolfe is just the kind of leader and council representative that citizens of Avon need for the next four years. He is a dedicated public servant of utmost integrity. He is not afraid to tackle the big challenges, the big opportunities or the big names when the future of Avon is at stake. Ron does his homework and deals with the “devil in the details” to be sure that he acts in the best interests of the people of Avon and its business community. He studies, he listens and he acts with a conscience. What more could you ask for in a town councilor?Avon citizens should vote for Ron Wolfe, a seasoned and reasoned leader.Don GreeneAvonYes on 1AI am writing to encourage Eagle County Voters to vote in favor of Referendum 1A. The funding will be spent on early childhood health and education such as: * Training teachers to increase the quality of childcare available to working families.* Increasing access to health care, immunizations and dental care for our children.* Developing a Parent Resource Center. * Providing grants to increase the quantity and quality of early childhood programs.Naysayers want to tie down exactly which early childhood programs will receive money, and how much will be spent on each program for the next 15 years. However, as an ex-CPA and a mother with a family budget, who ever heard of deciding 15 years in advance how much will be spent on each item of your budget? If we say 20 percent of the money needs to be spent on a Parent Resource Center, the Early Childhood Commission will not have the flexibility to spend less on the Parent Resource Center once it gets up and running and needs fewer funds. Such inflexibility will also prevent the 1A funds from being spent on any innovative programs that get started after 1A is passed. I believe it is more responsible to let the early childhood experts recommend how the 1A money should be spent on a yearly basis, than to lock in an inflexible allocation for the next 15 years. That is why I am voting yes on Referendum 1A.Kristi FerraroAvon Let it slideBeaver Creek has in the past 10 years come of age and we, as a merchants’ core, cannot thank all groups involved with this evolution enough. Each of us has invested all of our money, time and energy to be a vital part of this village and have enjoyed the overall success the years have brought us.One of the secrets of Beaver Creek’s success has been to never rest on its laurels. The Beaver Creek Resort continually strives to fix what is broken, replace what is worn, and most importantly listen to the guests and members of the resort for their needs and wants.As you know the past years have been fruitful and even though we annually face the cycle of a ski resort’s seasonality we continue as a whole to grow. Each year also, we are aware of the competing resorts around us and their endeavors to continue to try and catch up with us or enhance their own villages to draw larger volume of crowds.The Beaver Creek merchants as a group want to be sure the community knows we are in favor of, and strongly support all efforts to build an Alpine Slide in Beaver Creek on the lower mountain. We believe strongly that after years of our guests telling us that there is not enough to do for children and young teens that it is with perfect timing that we have the addition of an Alpine Slide and the video arcade being proposed in St. James. These improvements show Beaver Creek’s commitment to continuing to service the guests and their needs, keeping us on the forefront of entertainment for our guests, and just good business sense: listening to our guests.We are aware of the fact that a portion of the homeowners in the resort feel uncomfortable with this improvement and we respect their opinion. We understand that Vail Resorts has made significant compromise in the type and location of the slide to address many of the homeowners concerns. Even though we would have preferred a year-round solution, we can appreciate Vail Resorts efforts to find a balance. Finally, we have also heard that there are concerns from the home owners that the slide would attract an undesirable element to our resort. Beaver Creek is one of North America’s greatest resorts with a focus on families. We are confident the addition of a slide will only round out the other great offerings and be managed in the first-class style as all other things in Beaver Creek are.Finally, I was surprised when I read in the Vail Daily that at the last county commissioners’ meeting there were so many people there. The issue at hand for the commissioners is really not about who would like the slide or who would not. The issue is, most simply stated, will the Eagle County Commissioners uphold the rights of a property owner to use their land, to build a slide on their land. Isn’t that correct? I hope they can see through this to uphold this property owners’ rights.Brian Nolan President, Beaver Creek Merchants AssociationSave our schoolsOur schools are physically falling down around our children. I know from first hand experience as I frequent Battle Mountain High School often. I have one daughter who has just graduated and another currently attending as a junior. All three of my daughters have had their early education years 1-8, taught to them in a trailer. For years we were located next to the Edwards Sanitation Building, downwind. It was a challenge: no recreational facilities, no lunch room, no library, no labs, no gym, etc. They have all succeeded, despite their physical surroundings, and continue to do well at Battle Mountain, but we are fast approaching the “Critical Point of No Return.” One objection that I have heard is this bond is a blank check for Eagle County. This could not be further from the truth. The parameters of the bond issue are actually quite precise. For example, replacing Battle Mountain High School is $64.6 million; technology upgrades is $4 million; new elementary school is $22.1 million; repair, remodeling and land purchases are $26 million, and contingencies $11.7 million. The estimated tax impact on a $500,000 home would be about $165 per year. A small investment to ensure the future of our children and our Valley’s economic stability.The state of our schools is at a crisis level in Eagle County. It is amazing to me that we live in one of the most affluent communities on Earth, but our public schools are reaching ghetto status. I thought it was ironic that a recent article in the Vail Daily on burying the interstate through Vail was next to an article on, “The effects of a failed bond issue – ‘astronomical’. Yikes!! I guess you have to pick your priorities. By the way , if you are undecided you should read the article on ,”The effects of a failed bond issue.” It is in The Vail Daily issue of October 10, 2006. Being a realtor in the Vail Valley I am frequently asked the question from a new buyer, “How are the schools?” Tough question to answer. Battle Mountain High School has been rated marginal to medium in the past several years. I think a lot of the mediocrity in our school system in the Vail Valley is due to our dated buildings, overcrowding and archaic technology. I just wonder what these great kids could do in a better learning environment.Let’s take a look into the future if 3-B does not pass: Battle Mountain High School teachers today have to cart their classroom materials from one class to the other due to overcrowding and lack of adequate classrooms to teach in. It’s no wonder we have such a high teacher turnover in Eagle County. They are not going to take it much longer. Think what it will be like in two, five, 10 years from now if we do not act now. There will not be any quality teachers left, and students will be forced to home-school or go private to get an education. Vail Mountain Schools tuition is $16,000 per year! I’ll let you do the math on what it will take to get a kid through high school! This is not just an issue that impacts families with children. It is an issue that, if not addressed now, will have far-reaching negative consequences to everyone who lives in the Vail Valley. I do not think I have talked with one parent who has a child in our public school system that has said they were voting against 3B. But if you are single, a couple without children, or your children attend private schools in the Valley, your first inclination towards 3B would be to vote “NO” – just another tax increase. But it will affect you, as people will simply not want to live here anymore because we cannot provide a quality public education for their children. It will affect you personally and it will affect your businesses. I hope you will think of our children first when you vote, but if nothing else, vote YES on 3B to protect your current lifestyle and your businesses. Kirk VanHeeVail Daily, Vail, Colorado


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