Our View: Praise where praise is due
There are plenty of things we could take a side on this week, from contentious legislation being debated the state Capitol, to hot-button local issues, but we’d rather just give thanks.
We’re in a grateful mood after the big highway cleanup over the weekend. Organized by the Eagle River Watershed Council, some 1,000 community volunteers lined our highways on Saturday morning clean up a huge mess that has been accumulating for two years. It was an inspiring effort, and we at the Vail Daily were proud to be a part of it, cleaning up a stretch of I-70 behind our office in EagleVail.
Our backs and legs were sore after spending about three hours out there in the sun picking up junk, but our spirits were high. To those of you who came out in full force to do some spring cleaning with us, thank you. You represent the amazing spirit of this beautiful place.
Holly Loff, the executive director of the Eagle River Watershed Council, said it best: “I find it uplifting to know our community notices the massive amount of trash on the highways, and doesn’t just accept it as ‘highways are dirty … I’m sure people could have chose to do something else with their Saturday, but they chose to clean up our highways, and I find that to be inspiring.”
We’re also grateful this week for our local educators. It’s Teacher Appreciation Week across the country, and here in Eagle County, we know just how hard local teachers have worked to keep our kids engaged during the most challenging academic year any of them have ever encountered.
It’s no small miracle that our local schools have remained open and our students have mostly avoided the remote learning abyss that has engulfed other districts. Has it been perfect? No. But we’ve done it better than most other places around the country.
That’s a testament to the courage, innovation and moxie of local teachers. Nobody deserves a break more when the school year wraps in a few weeks. So, please, let your kids’ teachers, or any teacher, really, know just how much you appreciate them this week — or whenever you get the chance.
Lastly, we want to send a shout out to mothers across the valley this week. Some of those moms are the teachers we just mentioned — considering the staffing ratio of our local school district is 79% female.
Story after story shows that nobody has been more disproportionately impacted by this pandemic than women, especially those in the work force. In Colorado alone, about 20,000 fewer women were working by the end of 2020 than when the pandemic first arrived.
Women who left their jobs to care for children, or who lost their jobs as a result of closures in mostly female industries such as child care, restaurants and retail, have dropped women in our state’s labor force to its lowest rate in 20 years. That’s a sobering statistic.
As the economy rebounds, we’re hopeful that those numbers improve and that working moms can get back on the job and get ahead. We’re also hopeful that lawmakers, business leaders and local officials can help drive solutions to the disparities in our economy that the pandemic has exposed.
But, mostly, we just want to say thanks to all the moms out there who deserve a day to relax and be treated like royalty after a tough year.
The Vail Daily Editorial Board is Publisher Mark Wurzer, Editor Nate Peterson, Assistant Editor Ross Leonhart, Digital Engagement Editor Sean Naylor, Business Editor Scott Miller and Eagle Valley Enterprise Editor Pam Boyd.