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Miller: Hope and loss

by Alex Miller

Arriving home from work one day earlier this week, I was greeted by the wonderful sight of five children jumping on the trampoline in our backyard. In an instant, the concerns of the day weighing me down were lifted as I watched our 8-year-old and his neighborhood friends enjoying themselves on a beautiful fall day.

Sometimes, that’s all it takes. It can be too easy in these rocky times to get down about everything from money and politics to health – and health care. But it’s not always easy to heed that “focus on the positive” advice most of us recognize to be a valuable way of thinking. The loss of one our community’s children to flu last week also drives home the fact not just how precious life is, but that it’s not always possible just to focus on the good stuff. Grieving, at times, is as much a part of life as those joyous moments, and how we do it can have as much to say about an individual and a community as anything. The outpouring of support and compassion for the Pineda Rosas family has been extraordinary; the stories coming out about this passionate and dignified young boy touching. As we continue to send our thoughts and prayers to his family, we owe it to Bryan’s memory to do our best to see our way through this epidemic with no more loss of life.

***

This weekend sees the return of last year’s wildly successful fundraiser for the hospital – Dancing With the Mountain Stars. The focus for this year’s event is raising money for the 10-bed expansion going on at St. Anthony Summit hospital. Summit High grad Mandy Moore – a professional dancer and choreographer based in L.A. – is on hand again to coach local celebs through some tricky steps with her cadre of dance pros. I’ve known Mandy since she was a kid, so it’s exciting to see such a talented young woman excelling in the world of dance (no easy feat) while taking the time to return to her roots and help a good cause.

That’s not all the news from the talented Moore Family, though. Wendy Moore is back to direct a production of “Third” at the Lake Dillon Theatre, which starts tonight and stars husband Bob and daughter Missy. I saw this play by Wendy Wasserstein a couple of years ago at the Denver Center, and it’s well worth seeing for its poignant examination of red state/blue state politics and how being too identified with either can cloud our judgment. It’s always fun to see Bob and Missy on stage together with the directorial hand of Wendy behind them –

powerful stuff!

***

The Daily’s editorial board had a visit from two of the people promoting passage of the upcoming ballot question in Breckenridge regarding decriminalizing marijuana. Our board will weigh in on this soon, but in the meantime it’d be a good idea for Breckenridge residents to learn what they can about this initiative – with an eye on separating fact from fiction. Given Summit County’s past voting record on similar issues, my guess is this one will win handily.

***

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks pondering news and moves out of Vail Resorts. Revenues were about halved from the previous year, but we were told that was to be expected (if not exactly welcome). Lucy Kay, long-time and well-known ski area exec for both Keystone and Breck left her post at Breck under what can only be described as mysterious circumstances. Meanwhile, the company announced it was pulling its much-ballyhooed support of wind energy in favor of forest restoration in a part of the state where they have no resorts.

So, is VR CEO Rob Katz an Obama-like figure – seeing moves on the chess board before anyone else – or is the company like so many others in the U.S. simply trying different things to make sense of what’s become a tough-to-predict economy? Hard to know, but I will say “best of luck” to both Lucy and her successor, Pat Campbell, who’s moving over from Keystone. If skiers keep their spending at levels similar to last year, we’re all going to need it.

Summit Daily editor Alex Miller can be reached at amiller@summitdaily.com or (970) 668-4618.


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