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Letter: Colorado GOP still doesn’t get it

I was just reading about the passage of the Defense of Marriage Bill. I followed a link to the Colorado GOP’s Facebook page (always good for a laugh). I see that they proudly declared that “Congressman Ken Buck, Congressman Doug Lamborn, and Congresswoman Lauren Boebert all voted against this legislation.” Wasn’t it just last month that I saw the leaders of the Colorado GOP lamenting the fact that they are becoming more and more irrelevant in Colorado?

Here’s some free advice. This is not the way to start your comeback!

John Ditoro

Cope: France-England is the heavyweight bout we’ve been waiting for at 2022 World Cup

The big boys are getting down to business now at the FIFA men’s World Cup. After two weeks of pool play leading into the knockout rounds — without a day off — we are now down to the major teams. After two days off to walk our dogs, get some skiing in and introduce ourselves to the family, it’s time to go again.

Sure, there are some absences — Germany and Spain, most notably — however, the remaining teams have won 10 World Cups. Only the 2016 European champions, Portugal, and the 2018 World Cup runner-ups, Croatia, lack a World Cup title on their resume. In other words, there is serious pedigree in the group of teams remaining.

The one outsider, Morocco, has given the continent of Africa hope. What a moment for Morocco, defeating Spain for the first time since the Moorish invasion of 711 AD! The Spanish will hope they can prevent this from lasting as long as the 800 years that the Moors ruled Spain, bringing with them advances in science, mathematics and education. Morocco gets a chance to complete their Iberian Peninsula domination Saturday at 8 a.m. when they face off against the Ronaldo-less Portugal. It will be a big call by the manager to leave “CR7” and his 500 million Instagram followers on the bench, but the performance of his younger players seems to suggest that he will.  

Could an African team make it to the semifinals for the first time ever? A neutral observer can only hope so. Unfortunately for Africa, a majority of the players for Morocco are European-born but of Moroccan heritage. 

This has been a trend of recent World Cups as players of African descent play for European countries or return to their countries of heritage. Within Europe, players play for their country of refuge or migration. The United States’ Timothy Weah has a Jamaican mother, his dad is the president of Liberia, he was born in Queens and he plays professionally in Paris. In truth, this dates far back in World Cup history. In fact, Portugal’s best player in the pre-Ronaldo era was the great Eusebio, who hailed from Mozambique, a Portuguese colony at the time.

France has dominated this World Cup in many ways, not the least of which is the number of players competing. Fifty-nine French-born players have suited up for various teams in this World Cup as the talent hotbeds in the suburbs of Paris seem to produce an endless production line of talent. Some in the French public and political arena have struggled with the concept of the French team being “French” enough, but with each successive generation of players, more have come to embrace them.

The troubled Algerian superstar Zinedine Zidane — of Algerian descent and from the second city of Marseille — had his image projected onto the Eiffel Tower after France won in 1998, then got himself sent off in the 2006 final defeat. France’s most beloved player at the 2018 World Cup might have been N’Golo Kante, born in Paris and of Malian descent. In 2022, Kylian Mbappe seems to be settling the age-old, “Messi or Ronaldo?” question with a clear answer: neither! Mbappe’s speed and graceful stride has taken over the tournament thus far. It will be a tall order for the English defense on Saturday at noon to stop or contain Mbappe. 

Speaking of England, the great ex-English player and pundit Peter Crouch sent out a teasing Tweet after England advanced past Senegal in the round of 16. It simply said, “It’s…” a coy reference to the, “It’s coming home,” slogan adopted by English fans since 1996, when they hosted the Euros. At the time, it was just 30 “years of hurt” since England had won a World Cup. As we approach 60 years since England’s last victory, the Three Lions will try to stop an invading French force of attackers more effectively than they were able to in 1066 at the Battle of Hastings!

Argentina’s players celebrate at the end of the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina, at the Lusail Stadium in Qatar on Saturday. Argentina defeated the Netherlands 4-3 in a penalty shootout after the match ended tied 2-2.
Jorge Saenz/AP photo

On Friday, Argentina defeated the Netherlands. And Croatia, with the everlasting Luka Modric at the heart of their midfield, defeated Brazil — both in shootout wins. Finalists in 2018, Croatia — a country with just 3.8 million people, a little more than half of Colorado’s 5.8 million — are back again in the late stages of the tournament. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you don’t have the resources, population or athletes to win a World Cup. 

The beauty of this game is that it takes all types of people to win. Yes, great athletes help, as evidenced by Kylian Mbappe hitting a top speed the other day that, if sustained, would translate to a 3.8 second 40-yard dash. He could be a top NFL cornerback. But it also takes guile and creativity (Croatia’s Modric, England’s Henderson and Morocco’s Boufal), and it takes skill and technique (Messi and Richarlison).   

Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo plays the ball with teammates during his team training session at the World Cup in Doha, Qatar on Thursday.
Francisco Seco/AP photo

Letter: Thanks, Eagle Valley Library District

Thank you to the Avon Public Library and the Eagle Valley Library District for a festive and fun Holiday Open House on Dec. 1. The live reindeer were a huge hit with my 18-month-old, and it was heart-warming to see so many families bonding at such a wholesome event. There were lots of holiday-themed activity stations for children of all ages, and the flow of the set-up was well thought-out. Kudos to the staff and volunteers for organizing and executing a joyous event!

Sally Welsh

SSCV Impresses in slaloms and giant slaloms at the Stifel Success NorAm Series Competition

This past week, FIS Alpine athletes headed to Copper Mountain for the Stifel Success NorAM Series Competition. Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s current and former athletes performed well in slalom and giant slalom events, taking home two overall podiums, three junior podiums (year of birth 2002-2006 athletes) and eight top-10 positions across the four days of competition.

The event took place Nov. 30-Dec. 3 at Copper Mountain. It consisted of giant slalom on the first two days of competition, with slalom on the last two. SSCV had multiple current and former FIS athletes place in the top 10, including Allie Resnick with a slalom win, Kjersti Moritz (2004) with a bronze and Liv Moritz (2004) with a fifth-place overall. SSCV also had three junior podiums, including Ava Jemison snagging third on Nov. 30, Kjersti Moritz taking second on Dec. 1 and Liv Moritz grabbing second on Dec. 3.

Kjersti Moritz was third overall in the giant slalom at last weekend’s NorAm.
SSCV/Courtesy photo

Another stand out performance came from SSCV current athlete Tianna Bruce on Dec. 3. Bruce started bib 84 and finished in 24th place to score her first-ever NorAm Cup points. This was Tianna’s first race series after breaking her tibia roughly one year ago.

“Our current and former athletes definitely showed up this past week at the NorAM competition at Copper,” said Brad Wall, SSCV Alpine program director.

“I am incredibly proud of our younger athletes, Kjersti and Liv Moritz, for their incredible placements, specifically against these older athletes. For many of our athletes it was their first look at NorAm competition, for some it was an eye opener as to what that level of skiing looks like,” he continued.

“Overall, it was a great competition for SSCV!”

Below are the overall podium and overall top-10 SSCV placements across the four days of competition:

Nov. 30 – Giant slalom

  • 1- Britt Richardson
  • 2 – Cassidy Gray
  • 3 – AJ Hurt
  • 6 – Ava Sunshine – SSCV
  • 7 – Kjersti Moritz – SSCV
  • 9 – Allie Resnick – SSCV

Dec. 1 – Giant slalom

  • 1 – Britt Richardson
  • 2 – Sara Rask
  • 3 – Kjersti Moritz – SSCV
  • 6 – Allie Resnick – SSCV

Dec. 2 – Slalom

  • 1 – Allie Resnick – SSCV
  • 2- Zoe Zimmermann
  • 3 – Kiki Alexander

Dec. 3 – Slalom

  • 1 – Kiki Alexander
  • 2 – Sara Rask
  • 3 – Zoe Zimmermann
  • 4 – Allie Resnick – SSCV
  • 5 – Liv Moritz – SSCV
  • 24 – Tianna Bruce – SSCV

For a full list of results, head to FIS-SKI.com/.

Liv Moritz finished second in the Dec. 3 junior slalom and was fifth overall.
SSCV/Courtesy photo

Letter: An incredible volunteer effort to put on races

“Amazing” doesn’t quite cover how I would describe Beaver Creek races last weekend. Most races around the world involve armies of staff preparing the race course. Not so here in the Valley. We have a number of volunteers from all over Eagle County to care for it all.

Friday’s race preparation was a miracle and Saturday wasn’t far behind. The endless hours spent to make the race course safe and challenging at the same time is truly an accomplishment to be recognized and celebrated. Big thank you to volunteers and Vail Resorts, another beautiful achievement. Cheers and best holiday wishes,

Jan E. Helen

Edwards welcomes new real estate office

Compass, Inc., the largest residential real estate brokerage in the United States, has announced the opening of a new permanent office location in Edwards. Compass agents including David Adkins, Jill Moneypenny, Jen Wanner, Brad Cohn and Caroline Wagner will be based out of the new office.

“The Vail Valley is a perennial hotbed for the secondary home market,” said Heather Bustos, Colorado regional vice president at Compass. “Our new Edwards location offers the convenience and resources needed to support Compass agents who specialize in the Vail resort market.”

The office is located at 56 Edwards Village Boulevard in the Edwards Corner retail center. The new workspace is the second Compass office located in the Vail Valley. 

Compass is the leading residential real estate brokerage in the United States based on 2021 sales volume. The company is home to over 28,000 agents in more than 350 cities across the United States. Last year, Compass agents transacted over $250 billion in residential real estate — more than any other brokerage in the country.

For more information, go to Compass.com.

Eagle River Water & Sanitation District selling several vehicles at auction

The Eagle River Water & Sanitation District is selling seven utility and pickup trucks, plus four passenger vehicles using the Public Surplus online auction service. Bidding closes at 3 p.m. Dec. 15.

“As a local government, we want to provide water and wastewater services at a reasonable cost to our taxpayers and ratepayers,” utility services manager Shane Swartwout said. “Using Public Surplus reduces district costs associated with selling used assets and it also broadens the buyer pool, which helps ensure the best value out of vehicles that were used to provide our community with these essential services.”

Vehicles up for auction were used in daily operations and were regularly maintained. Most district vehicles are replaced at about 110,000 miles.

Interested parties can sign up as a registered buyer on the Public Surplus website, where they can also view the district page showing current auction vehicles with pictures and information.

The Utility Services department manages the auction; questions will be answered through the Public Surplus website. Bidders may arrange to inspect auction items between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, by contacting facilities and fleet services technician Mike Cushman at 970-477-7933. Test drives are not allowed for insurance reasons.

Vehicles available in this auction are:

YearModelMileageAuction #
2007Chevy Colorado 4×4112,4343158033
2008Chevy Colorado 4×4106,4213158042
2008Chevy Silverado 4×4118,2973159408
2008Toyota Tacoma, 2-door, 4×495,3533158056
2009Toyota Camry, V6, 4-door 102,0873158063
2009Toyota Camry, V6, 4-door 103,4363158129
2009Chevy Colorado 4×4116,0923158122
2009Chevy Silverado 4×4127,9253168392
2011Toyota Camry, V6, 4-door106,5553158135
2011Chevy Silverado 4×4105,6513158026
2015Toyota Rav4, AWD120,8913169791

The highest bid submitted for each item that meets or exceeds the reserve amount will be the winning bidder. Winners will be notified directly by Public Surplus. Winners will pay their winning bid plus a 10% handling fee charged by Public Surplus. For more information, go to www.erwsd.org.

Vail accepting nominations for Vail Trailblazer Award through Jan. 6

Nominations for the 2023 Vail Trailblazer Award are being accepted by the Vail Town Clerk’s Office now through Jan. 6, 2023. The award is presented annually by the Vail Town Council to recognize an individual, couple or team that exemplifies the spirit and fortitude in making Vail a great community through one or more actions that make a lasting impact. 

Nominated actions should demonstrate pioneering contributions of time, talent, courage, leadership, vision or other attributes that have made a significant impact to the overall betterment of the Vail community. Those contributions need not be limited to achievements within the past year but may be cumulative over a period of years. 

The selected recipient for 2023 will become Vail’s eighth honoree following the award’s creation in 2016 as part of the town’s 50th birthday celebration. Past recipients include Dr. Thomas Steinberg (2016), Vi and Byron Brown (2017), Sheika and Pepi Gramshammer (2018), Glenn Porzak (2019), Josef Staufer (2020), Sally and Bill Hanon (2021) and Terry Minger (2022).  

The 2023 Trailblazer will be announced by the Vail Town Council early next year, with the recipient recognized by a mayoral proclamation as well as other honors. Nominations will be reviewed by a selection committee appointed by the Town Council. 

Nomination forms are available online at VailGov.com or by contacting the Town Clerk’s Office at 970-479-2460 or by emailing SBibbens@vailgov.com.

Eagle County resident Shad Murib seeks to lead Colorado’s Democratic Party

Shad Murib thinks Colorado’s Democratic Party needs to look to the western part of the state.

Murib, an Eagle County resident — and husband of outgoing state Sen. Kerry Donovan — this week announced his candidacy for the chair of the Colorado Democratic Party. Morgan Carroll, the current chair, has announced she will not seek a fourth term in the position.

Murib, a veteran of more than 15 years of political organizing and campaigning, said the party leader’s job is to help set policy, with the ultimate goal of winning elections. Democrats currently hold the state’s governorship, both U.S. Senate seats, and won five of eight seats in the U.S. House of Representatives in November’s election. The party also holds solid majorities in both houses of the Colorado legislature, as well as every statewide elected office.

Still, Murib said, there’s more work to do. While the Democrats have had “great” elections since 2018, “We still see far-right dominance” in several county governments across the state, Murib said.

“When a sheriff refuses to enforce our gun safety laws, that puts all of us at risk,” Murib stated in a release about his candidacy. “When a county clerk tampers with election equipment or gives conspiracy theorists safe haven, our democracy is compromised. When a district attorney targets people of color, justice is lost. When a county commissioner puts our public lands at risk or refuses to work on affordable housing, our economy and way of life is threatened.”

Murib for years worked with Donovan in Colorado Senate District 5. That district currently includes Eagle, Chaffee, Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Lake and Pitkin counties. Redistricting following the 2020 Census put Eagle County into Senate District 8. Rep. Dylan Roberts, a Democrat from Avon, won that seat in the November election.

Roberts has endorsed Murib for the party chair post. In a release announcing Murib’s candidacy, Roberts wrote, “I am proud and excited to endorse (Murib) to be the next Chair of the Colorado Democratic Party. Shad’s campaign, government, and private sector experiences combined with his commitment and track record of looking out for Democrats across the whole state makes him a perfect fit to lead the (party).

A first-generation American born to immigrant parents from Lebanon, Murib grew up in Littleton and got his start in politics as his high school’s volunteer coordinator for John Kerry’s presidential campaign in 2004.

He has also served as state director for Sen. John Hickenlooper, and helped lead Hickenlooper’s successful 2020 primary and general election campaigns. He also served on Gov. Jared Polis’s 2018 campaign as policy and research director.

In all of his work across the state, Murib said the key to winning votes is with a personal touch.

 “We can try to push on policies, but sitting down and having a real conversation is the most powerful way to win a vote,” he said.

Murib noted that a hunter’s experience with climate change is seen in altered game migration patterns. Others may experience climate change in different ways, he added.

Murib said his aim is to ensure that “everyone knows they have a home in the Democratic Party.”

The party will select a new leader in April. For now, Murib said he and Donovan are attending to the small herd of cattle on the family ranch. Murib is also the president of Ulysses Strategies, a consulting firm that he launched that, among other things, helped elect the first Latina immigrant to the Colorado State House and developed political strategy for some of the state’s leading environmental organizations.

The Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch turns 20

The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch celebrated a milestone anniversary with a party on Thursday night for long time patrons and local notables. The landmark hotel at the base of Bachelor Gulch on Beaver Creek Mountain honored the past while looking forward to its future with its Celebration at Elevation event.

“The Celebration at Elevation is an evening to commemorate all that has been accomplished in the past 20 years and to thank the partners, friends and the ownership group that have helped make The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch the iconic premier resort that it is today,” said Dan Dickhart, the property’s general manager.

Guests were greeted by a woman wearing a “champagne dress” – a gown with a tiered hoop structure with glasses filled with champagne surrounding it. There was also a specialty cocktail created for the evening called The Parkitecture using Bachelor’s bourbon, which is a single barrel bourbon from Breckenridge Brewery blended exclusively for the hotel, and named after the architectural style of The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch. The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch drew its inspiration from the lodges of the National Parks. Think Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone National Park and those characteristics carry into the design of this iconic structure.

Guests were greeted by a woman wearing a champagne dress at the 20th anniversary party of The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch on Thursday.
Townsend Bessent/Courtesy photo

Guests mixed and mingled while appetizers like canapes, mini tuna tacos and Colorado lamb lollipops were passed around but a crowd gathered at the hottest feature of the evening, a hat station where guests could choose the color, style, hatbands and other embellishments for a unique gift they were able to take home.

Guests were treated to all sorts of selections off of the menus from the restaurants at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch.
Jean Alexander/Courtesy photo

The hat station was a nod to The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch’s western heritage, but there was plenty of focus on the latest food and beverage offerings with the expansion of the Fireside Bar and WYLD Terrace bar, the opening of Sakaba and the addition of The Market and Buffalo Terrace Bar.

“Most recently we opened a private dining room, The Edge of WYLD, a beautiful space for private dinners and celebrations,” Dickhart said.

Executive chef Jasper Schneider and his team created a beautiful spread showcasing dishes from the collection of restaurants on the property. From WYLD, they served American Snake River Farms Wagyu with homemade Worcestershire sauce was a favorite and so was the black truffle mac and cheese. There was also a caviar station with Imperial Ossetra Caviar, chive crème fraiche and blini.

The salad display made an impression. Behind the ice berg wedge crab Louis salad and the ultimate wedge served with Nuskee bacon and Maytag blue cheese was the lettuce wall. Bachelor Gulch was a lettuce farming and ranching area at the turn of the century. Lettuce grown in the high country was loaded on rail cars filled with snow to keep the lettuce fresh and shipped to Denver and Leadville.

Adolfo Martinez Becerra was serving up sushi chef at Sakaba at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch’s 20th Anniversary.
Townsend Bessent/Courtesy photo

There were also flavors of Sakaba shared with the party-goers. Toro nigari, fresh wasabi house soy, Hokkaido uni toast and Kinmadi yuzu kosho were served.

The guests danced through the decades with music provided by the Walton Stout Band of the Jordan Kahn Music Company. The various genres of music the band played represents the fun apres ski and music experience hosted every day during the ski season at The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch.

In addition to the happenings inside WYLD restaurant, The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch had an ice bar and lounge area outside.

Come celebrate with The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch this winter. The property underwent a full renovation of guest rooms and suites and refreshed the communal spaces like the lobby and the stately Great Room with the help of Simon Hamui Design Studio.