Letters for May 30

Thanks, from Iraq

I would like to address this letter to Molly Hibbard and Marci Valicenti in care of the Yampa Valley Community Foundation of Steamboat Springs.

My name is Dwight Murphy, and I have been in Baghdad since February. Upon arriving here, I realized just how hard it is to not only be away from home but also to be without the things that you become so used to having back home.

So far, I have received two packages from YVCF, prepared by Molly and Marci. Each package had the perfect ingredients for someone who is so far away from home. I don't think people realize that numerous trucks that come into this area are hijacked regularly and their contents stolen. I have gone for days and weeks without having certain things because of the dangerous conditions that exist on a day-to-day basis. A special thanks to Molly and Marci for their time and efforts.

More important, I have been able to share the contents of these packages with the soldiers who are here who typically do not receive things. Even if some do receive items, it is nice to recognize them with just a small thing such as a magazine, a snack or some other goody. No matter what your job is here, from spooning out food, to driving a tank, to rebuilding a police department, our presence here is a sacrifice. I appreciate those in my community of Steamboat for donating such items to the men and women who are here. Even though a lot of the people here don't want to be here, they continue to do their jobs and do them very well despite the horrible news of the faults of others. Believe me -- their sacrifice goes above and beyond the call of duty.

Please continue to remember those who proudly serve. Think of how fortunate you are, no matter where you stand on the issues of Iraq, to be able to walk the streets free. Every one of you should take the time to thank God for being in American and being in Steamboat Springs!

Dwight Murphy

Steamboat Springs

Airport study

I read with amazement about the "independent" study the Yampa Valley Airport Commission plans to undertake to look at the benefits the Steamboat Airport creates and whether it should remain open or consolidated with the Yampa Valley Regional Airport.

Usually you do not ask the fox to perform a study of the hen house. Current airport commission members are pilots who appear to have a vested interest in keeping the Steamboat Airport open at any cost. If there is to be an unbiased study, neither Mr. McNasby nor Mr. Kolonel nor anyone on the current commission should be involved. They do have an agenda that has been publicly stated in their mission statement and repeated many times. My opinion is they want the Steamboat Airport to stay open for the convenience of a few wealthy individuals at the expense of the rest of us.

I particularly object to the use of taxpayer dollars to promote the views of the airport commission and to market the Steamboat Airport's viability to the general public.

Residents deserve a valid accounting of the Steamboat Airport's financial drain on residents, answers to safety concerns and the ramifications to the West of Steamboat Plan that was to provide space for affordable housing.

Any study must have objective participants, accurate information and give the public an opportunity for input if it is to be taken seriously.

Loretta Van Norstrand

Steamboat Springs

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