I'm writing to commend the work done by the Buddy Program. My daughter was 6 when first introduced to her Big Buddy through their in-school program in 2008; shortly after her dad was diagnosed with cancer. Having another adult in her life became so beneficial since her parents were honestly quite preoccupied with symptoms, doctors, treatments, etc. Their friendship developed in a way that eventually their "buddyhood" brought them out after school and on weekends.
Five years later Elise (my daughter) and her buddy, Erica, continue to see each other with varied frequency depending on their busy schedules. They do a variety of things, from bike rides or skiing, to craft projects and Christmas shopping. One more audience member at Elise's dance recitals is always welcomed, since most of our relatives live out of state.
Erica has been a wonderful influence and role model. She's fun, hip and clean-cut, not something readily found in our media culture. We've come to think of Erica as family and hope that she'll remain an important part of our lives for many years.
January is National Mentoring Month. What better time to resolve to make a beneficial impact on the life of a child in our community than today? Call the Buddy Program at 920-2130 to learn how you can join the mentoring movement.
In the past few months I have been tempted to write a letter about Colorado Mountain College former president Stan Jensen's severance issue. The reason I haven't is because the coverage by the Post Independent and letters to the editor seemed to sufficiently question the handling of the issue, from the absence of information (perceived by many as the public's right to know) to the amount of compensation awarded after a brief tenure.
However I'm still not quite clear on how one gets awarded a half million dollar severance package after resigning from a job after four years? (Hmmm, I've been working at the same job for 26 years ...?)
So when I was reading in the Jan. 24 edition about the ongoing search for an interim president, I still found myself dissatisfied with how the situation has been handled, as well as the lack of information being shared with the public, alias the taxpayers, whose dollars support CMC.
But to me the issue is larger than just CMC.
I found myself experiencing the same exact frustration when the Roaring Fork School District made a decision to terminate a school principal with limited or no information provided to the public they serve.
This whole concept that "we will take your money to operate our institutions and pay our staffs, but you are not allowed to know why we make the decisions we do, in order to protect the privacy of the institution and staff involved," has gone way too far.
This is exactly what infuriates many people with our government. Can a private corporation do this? Absolutely! Whether we like it or not. But you can also decide not to support that company, with your dollars, if you don't approve the policy. But this is not the case with our tax dollars.
It is past due that institutions that rely on public support (taxes) understand that we pay the bills and we deserve a clear and concise explanation when difficult situations arise. Public institutions must restructure their hiring process so all new staff understand that ultimately the public does have a right to know. No more smoke and mirrors.
Our elected president and vice-president raised their hands and took an oath on Jan. 20 to "preserve, protect, and defend" the Constitution of the United States (again). All of it, and not selected parts that they like.
The Second Amendment of that document, one of the cherished Bill of Rights, is very clear. "A well, regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
The right of the people to bear arms is clearly assumed. This right shall not be infringed; infringed, modified, amended, etc.
If Mr. Biden, President Obama and their congressional colleagues want to protect our schools, theaters, public places of all sorts, they have to find a better solution than to infringe on that right. No questions asked, period.
There is a wonderful play, movie and book out at the moment, "Les Miserables." Watch it and then ask if the citizens at the top of that barricade at the battle of the Bastille would agree that they should not be armed. That was a battle between the citizens and the police forces of the day. The police were the armed, the citizens had to fight with sticks, stones and clubs.
This event has occurred in every dying society/civilization for the last 11,000 years studied by Will and Ariel Durant. Who are they? The Durants wrote all 11 volumes of "The Story of Civilization." When the ruling class, king, president, etc., lose sight and contact with the real needs of the citizens, the populace will rise up and bring them down.
That is why the Second Amendment exists in the first place. Our constitutional designers were coming out of feudal Europe.
It won't happen again you say? Guess again.
R. Jack Panter
As an NRA member, I wanted to reply to Gerry Terwilliger's letter of Jan. 22 regarding his desire to join a militia. Article XVII of the Colorado Constitution provides that "the militia of the state shall consist of all able-bodied male residents of the state between the ages of 18 and 45 years." Mr. Terwilliger may already be a member.
Of course, since the creation of the state militia in 1860, a lot has changed. The Colorado National Guard has assumed the role of the state militia under Article 28 of our state statutes. The citizen volunteers of the Colorado National Guard have a long and distinguished history of service dealing with domestic defense, responding to natural disasters and serving in foreign wars.
The Guard also serves to counterbalance the potential threat of an overreaching federal army. From the earliest days of our republic, the anti-federalists knew that a standing army under the control of the federal government was a threat to the individual states. The response was to authorize and protect the idea of a citizens' militia and to ensure the right of individuals to keep and bear arms both for self-defense and the defense of the states.
Obviously, Mr. Terwilliger's letter was really intended as a criticism of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
While the concept of a well-regulated militia is undeniably one basis for the preservation of that right, the U.S. Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago made it clear that the right to keep and bear arms is an individual right and is not limited by the militia clause. Article II, Section 13 of the Colorado Constitution is even clearer, stating that the right of a person "to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property" shall not be called into question.
I have no doubt that the Colorado National Guard would welcome Mr. Terwilliger's volunteer services, even if he is above the age of enlistment, and if he has experience in the safe handling of firearms, even better.
Numbers are universal, understood by everyone in the developed world. Consequently, mathematics is also widely understood and universally accepted, with no grey areas: 4+4 = 8, no debate.
Paul Ryan and the House Republicans will be proposing a new budget in the coming days. Last time around in 2012, the budget plan proposed by Mr. Ryan would have taken 30 years to balance, with no new revenues to keep up with significant spending cuts.
So how does he now expect to pass a budget that balances in 10 years, as the speaker of the House has said, and still not ask for new revenue?
Mr. Bush had a term, "fuzzy math" that doesn't even apply here. This is fake math. It will never add up.
In order to make it add up, the recession that hits will be more severe than the one currently plaguing our European allies. For the amount of shunning Mr. Ryan and his brand of Republicans do of Europe, they appear determined to take America there with their careless budget proposals.
No one can deny that spending cuts need to be made for our country's financial well-being. If I were to look toward methods of savings, three huge areas where there is room would be defense spending, TSA funding, and energy and pharmaceutical subsidies. Will these programs be scaled back? We shall see.