Aug 12, 2023

Time Machine: 40 years ago, Claes Oldenburg discusses fishing pole sculpture with Vail Town Council

News News | Aug 20, 2023

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August 22, 2013

The Eagle County Charter Academy opened its new, 43,000 square-foot building for 346 children in grades K-8.

The school was built through a state grant program dedicated to building and renovating schools in rural areas. The taxpayer-funded program, called BEST (Building Excellent Schools Today), contributed $9,302,653 toward the school’s construction. Eagle County Schools contributed $2 million and the Eagle County Charter Academy raised an additional $937,679 toward the $12,240,332 construction.

The school had been in modular buildings since its launch in a church basement in 1994. The new building featured 20 classrooms, a gymnasium, cafeteria, music stage, art room, reading rooms, library, computer labs and science labs, the Vail Daily reported.

“The old modular setup had 20 outside entrances — tough for security,” the Vail Daily reported. “The new building has one, and it stays locked. There’s a camera, and they’ll buzz you in.”

August 21, 2003

Two of the central figures in the JonBenet Ramsey case wrote to Eagle County Judge Fred Gannett regarding the Kobe Bryant case, the Vail Daily reported.

“Fleet and Priscilla White wrote a nine-page letter to Judge Fred Gannett asserting that his order lacked teeth where it reminded court officials and those connected with the Bryant case not to discuss the case with the media,” the Vail Daily reported. “The Whites claim that the Colorado law upon which Gannett’s order is based has been gutted and won’t keep attorneys or anyone else from talking about the case if they want to.”

The Whites were former friends of the Ramseys who hosted the Ramseys at their house on Christmas Day 1996, the day before JonBenet’s body was discovered.

August 27, 1993

Minturn Town Manager Kent Mueller testified before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources regarding the General Mining Law of 1872, the Vail Trail reported.

“Mueller spoke at the request of the Mineral Policy Center, an environmental lobbying group working toward repeal of the law,” the Trail reported. “Essentially, the law allows companies to prospect on public lands for gold, silver, lead, and other hardrock minerals without paying so much as a permit fee. If the company discovers a valuable mineral, which the law interprets very loosely, a claim can be filed with the Bureau of Land Management. The company then gains exclusive mining rights to the property, regardless of other resource values of the land.”

Quoting Mueller, the Trail reported that in 1986, the Reagan Administration sold off 82,000 acres of federal oil shale land for $2.50 each.

“Basically, it’s a subsidy to the industry,” Mueller said. “There may be other economic uses for that land which better serves the public good — a ski slope may be one example, or a water reservoir, or a game habitat which attracts recreational hunters … It is crazy public policy to automatically give any industry, including mining, automatic first choice on use of most of the land which is publicly owned.”

August 23, 1983

National news cameras were set up at Vail Town Hall as internationally renowned artist Claes Oldenburg presented his idea for a sculpture in Vail.

Planned for the banks of Gore Creek in Lionshead, Oldenburg envisioned a 60-foot tall fishing pole attached to a tin can. Some people saw the tin can as representative of man’s tendency to bring litter to beautiful places, but Oldenburg defended the piece before the Vail Town Council on Aug. 23, 1983.

The Vail Trail quoted Oldenburg as saying that he never saw the tin can to be an “iconological feature” representing pollution.

“I never saw it in the sense of a polluting element,” Oldenburg told the Vail residents in attendance. “I’ve found quite a few things in the stream. The stream transforms these objects into nature as they decay.”

August 24, 1973

A timber logging project on Vail Mountain was underway in an effort to cut new runs in the Northeast Bowl.

“Come this winter we may all be pulling out the folk legend about ‘Babe and the Blue Ox’ to review ourselves on some of the old familiar, yet perhaps forgotten, names and terms of this logging tale,” the Vail Trail reported. “Flapjack, Grand Junction, Blue Ox, Log Chute. These are among the names given to new trails and catwalks going into the Northeast Bowl this summer.”

The logging project marked the first time in Vail Mountain’s history that timber felled for the construction of runs was sold, the Trail reported.

“The trees are being bought from the U.S. Forest Service, sold to Robison Construction, who in turn is selling them to Kaibab Industries,” the Trail reported. “Two years in planning, this system replaces the chipper used in the Lionshead area last summer to ‘eat up’ the trees.”

Quoting Bill Brown, assistant mountain manager for Vail Associates, the Trail reported that a commercial logging project had never taken place on Vail Mountain before.

“Before that, we burned and buried everything,” Brown said.

Claes Oldenburg in Vail on August 23, 1983. Oldenburg visited the Vail Town Council to answer questions about his proposed sculpture of an arch in the form of a fishing pole catching a tin can.August 22, 2013August 21, 2003August 27, 1993August 23, 1983August 24, 1973