Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Third-quarter sophomore and junior students in Maggie Riley’s Bridges High School English classes participated in “A Tribute to Moral courage: Standing Up Against Injustice,” essay contest sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League. Students were asked to choose a person or group which demonstrated moral courage and how those actions have influenced our world.
Most importantly, students needed to share personal stories about how this act of moral courage influences their lives and actions today. Students were encouraged to choose a person/group who has perhaps been overlooked in history. Essays needed to be between 750-1,000 words, and use only one Internet source.
Students chose everyone from unknown heroes in the current war, Jehovah Witnesses in the Holocaust, Princess Diana, and Che Guevara to President Barack Obama. Students felt passionate about the people they chose, and worked diligently to represent them in a way which would do them justice.
I found out today two of my students, Abbey Leone and Tyler Newcomb, placed in the contest.
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Abbey, an eleventh grader who took first place in the contest, wrote a wonderful tribute to Paul Rusesabagina, the Rwandan man who saved 1,268 civilians during the Rwandan genocide. Rusesabagina was immortalized in the heart-stopping film, Hotel Rwanda.
Tyler Newcomb, also a junior at Bridges, took third place in the contest after writing an essay about “tank man,” the lone student who stood in front of the tanks in Tiananmen Square on the June 5, 1989 demonstrations in China.
We may have also taken second place in the contest; not all students were at school today, and the winners have received calls at home.
Aside from the pride the students feel, they have also won significant money in the contest. Abbey will take home $500 and Tyler $100.
I knew some of our students would win. They were so passionate about the essay and spent countless hours researching and talking about their chosen person.
I am hoping to bring a bus load of students to the Presentation of Awards ” Governor’s Holocaust Remembrance Program ceremony in Denver April 21.
Bridge High School
This is a response to Sue Benson’s letter regarding the newly passed Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) rules and regulations for the gas industry. She claims the rules are chasing away the gas companies and are damaging the economy.
Apparently, Ms. Benson has not been following the gas industry news that the price of natural gas nationally has been on a downward spiral during the past few months. The gas companies have their own economists who watch and study the market. These are smart people. They knew they would have to pull back operations here as well as in surrounding states.
Let’s not use the gas rules as the scapegoat for our local economy. It is not just the gas companies which are cutting back. Everyone is cutting back and making different choices.
Also, Ms. Benson talks about wildlife, and not about the many people who have been stricken with cancer and other harmful diseases as a result of the gas-drilling pollution. In addition, Ms. Benson should look at the drilling permit numbers. They are not as bad as many people might believe. According to the COGCC website statistics (03/09/09) chart, 1,271 permits have been issued so far in 2009. Garfield County has 465 of those permits. The industry is on pace for 7,610 permits for 2009. That is pretty good compared to 2008 when 8007 permits were issued by the COGCC. Fear not Ms. Benson, the gas companies are not going away due to the new rules and regulations. They have already prepared themselves for this situation.
The gas industry came in to Colorado and contaminated our communities with their wealth and their culture of greed. The gas industry is like a bad drug. Too many people became dependent on it and now need a quick fix. Look to the coming green energy industry for the cure.
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