This letter is in response to David Lien’s letter of Sept. 22 attacking OHV users.
The majority of OHV users do follow the rules and obey road closures. Taking one sentence of a newspaper article and using it out of context does not prove a point. The survey Mr. Lien mentioned in the letter does not ask users if they ride off trail.
The problem of people going off trail is serious, whether it is someone on an ATV, in a 4×4, or on a dirtbike, but it is still a small fraction of each user group breaking the rules.
Off-road clubs do a lot of work each year to keep our trails open, including cleanups and trail maintenance, and educating users on the importance of proper trail etiquette.
White River Trail Runners ATV Club
I am writing this letter in response to those who have been saying that Carbondale Officer Alvaro Agon’s behavior is inappropriate.
The one thing that continually comes to mind when I read these arguments is, “Are you kidding me?”
The most common thing I’m hearing people say is that he has impeded the trust of many families and students in the community. As a police officer, it is Agon’s job to bust people for breaking the law. To think that he is being criticized for carrying out the duties of his job really just makes me wonder what in the world is wrong with these people.
Nobody would be upset if he was making students feel uncomfortable about using drugs and disciplining them for that. This is no different. Sure, it’s a different law, but it’s still a law being broken.
People shouldn’t feel comfortable breaking the law, especially when a law enforcement official knows it’s happening. Officer Agon is doing his job and, quite frankly, I think this valley (and this country) needs more police officers like him.
There are a good number of misconceptions regarding school funding and our need for the mill levy, question 3E. Most of it seems to stem from a lack of knowledge about where education funds come from.
Our schools are 100 percent state and locally funded. In fact, Colorado is 10th from the bottom in per-pupil funding.
While low taxes are attractive to potential residents and employers, underfunded and ineffective school districts are not.
Full disclosure: I am both a parent of children and the spouse of a teacher in the school district. I’ve watched the difficulty of teachers’ jobs grow in parallel with classroom sizes and in direct opposition to salaries (lower than they were in 2008).
These obstacles, however, are surmountable. We can return to focusing on learning and manageable classroom sizes.
The first step is voting yes on 3E. A yes vote on 3E is not a vote of support for the current school district management, nor is it a vote in support of any political party. It’s support for our youth and the future of the valley.
I encourage everyone to check out http://www.voteforourkids.org and read through the links under “the Issue.”
A direct impact of not passing the mill levy this fall will be a significant increase in class sizes in all of our community’s public schools.
The Roaring Fork School District gutted its budget as far as it could last spring without losing classroom teaching positions. However, without financial support from the community this November, additional dramatic staff cuts and school closures will be inevitable. The obvious result will be a ballooning number of students per classroom teacher.
Roaring Fork School District’s low teacher-student ratio helped lure my family to the valley five years ago.
I taught in Denver Public Schools before our move and was faced every August with more than 30 eager and needy kindergartners. These incredible kids barely had enough room to spread out in class, let alone have a productive amount of individual time with their teacher.
Looking into classrooms of less than 20 students at Sopris and Crystal River Elementary schools was a relief. That was the learning environment I chose for my girls, and for myself professionally.
My husband and I invested ourselves in the Roaring Fork community when we moved here with our three school-aged children. We valued the intimacy of a small community, and the quality of the school system.
That was five years ago, however, in a flush real estate market and buoyant local economy. Now, with budget shortfalls dramatically impacting already low per-pupil spending in the state of Colorado, our school system is in real trouble. Athletics, music, arts and health programs have all been affected.
If class sizes now grow beyond acceptable levels, we can no longer expect the individualized teaching and well-rounded educational experience that our children need and deserve.
Please support our kids and our community. Vote yes on 3E.
It has been fairly heartwarming to see all of the letters coming in from people who understand our need for the school district mill levy. I love the fact that I live in not only a state but a community in that state that generally wants to help people.
And right now, the people who need help are our schools. The students are the future of this great country we call home, and we need to treat them as such. An educated population is everything.
Since I’m a senior, this decision technically doesn’t affect me. But it does. Based on the decision that will be made on the ballot, the school that gave me a much needed second chance may or may not be there to give my little brother one.
I was on the road to nowhere, and Bridges High School is what turned me around and gave me the passion to strive for the future I want and deserve. It completely breaks my heart that my sweet little brother who doesn’t really fit in might not get that chance, something he and many others deserve.
Since I’m still not old enough to vote, this isn’t up to me. It’s up to you. I’ve watched teachers and students alike suffer from the funding cuts, and if it’s blatantly obvious to teenagers such as myself that we need help, then why can’t it be obvious for the adults making these decisions that affect us so deeply?
So please, from the bottom of my heart, don’t see words on paper but the faces of my kindhearted sibling and the other students and teachers who deserve this. The decision is yours, and I’m begging you to make the right one. For our kids, yes on 3E.
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