Letters to the Editor
Vail CO, Colorado
The housing debate
I feel like I’m reading a summary of “Seinfeld,” and all the reasons for Jerry’s breakups: one woman wore the same dress on every date, one ate peas one at a time, one was exactly like him, or another because she had “man-hands.”
No woman was ever good enough for Jerry. And it seems like no housing is good enough for Don Cohen.
No doubt, there is a shortage of affordable housing in Eagle County, but Don’s column trivializes the issue. He states that there were 32 listings (not including those for sale by owners) in Tori’s price range. That’s a significant number, especially when we keep hearing words like “shortage” and “crisis” thrown around.
Don proceeds to tell us why the majority of the houses on the market are no good. Lake County is too far. Modular homes are apparently not good enough. Some were too small. Some are too far downvalley. Some didn’t have covered parking. Some were old. Some were dirty or smelly.
It seems that Don and Tori would only be happy with a new 1,200-square-foot house with a garage in Edwards and parts east.
Well I hate to burst anyone’s bubble, but a starter house is rarely one’s dream home.
It may not be perfect, but a condo without covered parking or, God forbid, a townhouse in Eagle, may just have to do for a few years while Tori builds equity or gets a well-deserved raise and is able to upgrade to a house that is one step closer to her dream home.
Don’s column points out a commonly overlooked component of the affordable housing debate. Housing for both purchase and for rent IS available, however, buyers in Eagle County must make compromises between their needs and wants. The county and towns are not obliged to build (or require developers to build) affordable dream homes in the right location with all of the proper amenities.
An honest approach to determining what is truly a necessity in housing would go a long way towards cooling off this often-heated debate.
Fund prenatal care
I would like to express my support for early childhood development that is being considered for funding by the county commissioners. The initiative would fund prenatal care, dental care, and home visits for children.
I have worked in the field of maternal-child nursing for over 25 years. It is critical in a community to have available resources to support families and children that need extra help at various times in their lives.
Prenatal care is extremely important to help women maintain their own health and that of their newborn babies. If you have never seen or experienced the terrible outcomes that can occur when women do not receive adequate prenatal care, then you are fortunate. UNICEF has ranked the United States 20th among industrialized nations in the well-being of children.
Dental care for low-income children is also a problem in Eagle County. I have heard the testimonial that some parents in Eagle County who cannot afford fillings for their children’s teeth resort to having the teeth pulled.
It is shocking to me to hear that this occurs within our county. Some people would have you believe that this is not our problem.
How can we call ourselves a community if we are not concerned and willing to support children who need our help? Early childhood development deserves our attention, support, and funding.
Teresa Francisco, RN
Know the code
It would seem that some people don’t understand “Your Responsibility Code” too well, in spite of the ski industry’s attempts to publicize it.
I teach skiing out of Beaver Creek, and recently have been involved in collisions with people who claimed that I in one case, and a student in the other case, “cut them off.”
In both cases we were skiing down the hill, and turned toward another run that the person skiing or riding his snowboard behind us apparently did not anticipate.
Also in both cases, the skier and rider involved got quite incensed and treated us to some colorful language when I explained to them that the fault of the collisions rested with them, and not with the person who “cut them off.”
The Responsibility Code states: “Always stay in control and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.” and “People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.”
It also states, “Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.” The skier and rider involved in both incidents apparently felt that this provision applied at the time, although we were moving (not starting) downhill and not merging onto a trail.
With the greater side cut of skis and boards now, a lot of people enjoy carving across the hill rather than going down the fall line.
And it does make good sense that before you go across the fall line too much to look uphill to make sure you aren’t moving into traffic before you go across the hill.
You don’t want to ski/ride into the path of someone going down the hill who doesn’t possess the ability or inclination to avoid you.
But they don’t cover that in the “Responsibility Code;” it’s just good sense.
In several instances in the last few years, the aspects of the “Responsibility Code” have had the force of law, and people who violated them and caused injury to someone else have faced prosecution, fines and jail time. So the law no longer treats the “Responsibility Code” as mere suggestions.
So, pay attention! People moving slower than you have the right of way, no matter how frustrated you get when you’re stuck behind them.
Not only that, you can count on them not doing what you expect them to do, so if you do pass them, give them plenty of space. Avoid crowded areas if you want to go fast.
If you can’t avoid crowds, take it easy and expect people to do the unexpected. Don’t end someone else’s season (or life), and don’t end your own.
Happy skiing and riding!
Beaver Creek Ski and Snowboard School