Vail Daily editorial: Ready for a new year?
December 27, 2016
The answer is almost certainly "yes." The world has had quite a year in 2016, the year in which we lost too many David Bowies and too few Fidel Castros.
The past 12 months have been hard on the famous, of course, from Bowie early in the year to, more recently, Dave Brubeck, Carrie Fisher and John Glenn. Glenn, who owns a home in Vail, was more than a pop-culture figure, of course, He was a true American hero, in war and peace. Being the first American astronaut to orbit the earth was perhaps the most extraordinary feat of his career. For a time, he was the most famous man in the country.
Beyond popular culture, the year nearly past was dominated by politics, of course, and the sourness of the campaign for president trickled down to even county-level politics. Very little of the fussing and feuding was entertaining even in a watching-a-dumpster-fire kind of way.
Locally, life in Happy Valley continued to be, well, pretty good. The economy continues to strengthen and visitors still flock to recreate in our remarkable backyard.
Success isn't trouble-free, though. The valley's nearly-constant housing problem may be as bad as it's ever been, complicated by rising home values and the allure of rent-by-owner websites that offer the promise of income that long-term rentals simply can't match.
Still, even those of us working our tails off through the holiday crush have to marvel at what surrounds us on a blue-sky day. Ride a chairlift and marvel, friends.
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Which leads to the ultimate point of this piece: There are horrible things in this world, as is always the case. But the world remains mostly at peace — however much the barbarians crashing at the gates would have us believe otherwise. More people are more prosperous, and less vulnerable, than at virtually any other time in history.
The bright side of life exists, and it's there if you choose to look for it. We may be near the end of a relative stinker of a year, but let's all give thanks that we aren't looking ahead to, say, 1917, when what was then known as the Great War still raged in Europe.
From housing to the Denver Broncos' offensive line, our problems today are far more manageable.
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