As a parent of an Re-1 student, I am outraged at the decision by Superintendent Judy Haptonstall to ban teachers from allowing students to watch President Obamas speech on Tuesday. Admitting that she had no idea what was in the speech, and that she did not bother to read the pre-released transcript of the speech, Haptonstall displayed leadership by allowing a very small minority of concerned parents to dictate what my children should watch. She then further insults me by stating that she wouldnt let anyone speak in her school without first knowing the content of their message. Ms. Haptonstall, since when is the President of the United States just anyone? The message you have sent to students is that they cannot trust the leader of our country to speak appropriately, the message that you have sent to the teachers of Re-1 is that they are not competent to use teachable moments, and the message that you have sent to myself and other parents of students in this district is that you allow a small minority of uninformed right wing fear mongers to sway your decisions. These are not the lessons that I want my children to learn. This issue really makes me suspect of your ability to appropriately lead this district. At the very least I believe that you owe all parties involved an apology.Walter KnightCarbondale
Australia & New Zealand are countries with great socialized health care with a public option. Of course, they never dropped over one trillion dollars on a worthless war, so they have money for health care. And Australia lost only one, maybe two, men in Iraq. Furthermore, Australia has largely bypassed the recession!Sydney has, at least, double the small businesses we have, and they definitely have a much healthier small business environment. Americans are blown away by the thousands of small restaurants, with great food, everywhere! One reason for this proliferation is that small business does not have the extra burden of health care expense! Furthermore, Aussies, like most Europeans, do not tip! Australia was modeled after the European system. New workers get a four week vacation. They have many more holidays and sick days than U.S. workers and they can receive a retirement benefit. Of course, Australians can buy very good private insurance at about $75 (U.S.) per month for a single male or $125 per month for a family. We should be so lucky! I have greatly enjoyed spending approximately two months per year for the past eight years in Australia and I have used their socialized health system on several occasions. Being American I had to pay, but approximately one-half the U.S. rate. I also consulted one of the worlds top prostate specialists. I definitely wanted to use his service, but was unable. I have used Vets, AARP and Secure Horizons and like the Aussie system equally well, if not better.It is exceptionally easy to spot loud mouthed Americans who have rarely been out of the U.S. due to their ignorance of western nations. These perpetual whiners mostly Republican have greatly damaged our country and have severely isolated the U.S. from our western allies. Yes, we are becoming more like Russia every day. Too bad for our kids and grandkids we are not more like Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Europe. We are definitely going backward and not forward. Joe Krizmanich Glenwood Springs
Whats the difference between Socialism, Communism and Democrats? Answer nothing! Those of you who think Obama is the Cats Meow, and continue to drink the Kool-Aid will never knowingly adopt socialism. But under the label liberalism you will vote for every socialist program until America becomes a socialist nation and youll wonder how did this ever happen. If this doesnt scare you, its because you choose not to listen. The hijacked Democratic Party has become the Socialist Party of the 21st century. If Obama and his henchmen gain control of our health care system, your monthly health insurance payment will by law be electronically transferred from your bank account and he will have access to all your personal records. The trade off in government controlled health care is health care rationing. Cancers such as prostate, bladder, skin, ovarian, leukemia, and breast will have significantly lower survival rates comparable to government run health care systems in Canada and the U.K. Can you imagine saying to your wife sorry honey, if you get breast cancer your chances of survival is much less than before we changed the health care system here in America. Knowledge is power. Get yourself educated . Keep an open mind. Listen carefully and separate the facts from fiction. And remember nothing is free. Nobody thinks we dont need our health care system improved. But ramming through a socialist health care bill is not in our best interests especially since we have the best health care in the world.Stan Rachesky Glenwood Springs
Thanks to forward thinking commissioners in Eagle and Pitkin County, in mid October, by mail-in ballot, well be able to vote yes on a measure that will enable you and your neighbors to finance home energy efficiency and renewable energy projects with low interest loans. The beauty of the Energy Smart program is that its not a tax, and its voluntary if you want the money, you get the loan and pay the interest. If you dont participate, theres no impact to you. Look for details on this initiative in the coming weeks in this paper, and come October please vote Yes on 1A, and make Pitkin and Eagle counties energy smart.Auden SchendlerBasalt
It could well have been Americas very first Peoples Town Hall Meeting, and was held in Grand Junction on Sept. 3.There were three empty seats solemnly taking center stage as the crowd of 400 prepared to ask questions of these ghosts of elections past, Udall, Bennet and Salazar. The one most vocally absent was Rep. John Salazar who, in apparent defiance of the upstart group, had a staff member host a counter tele town hall meeting at the same time.And so goes the voices of Americans and the gilded usurpers of dissent on Capitol Hill. Please take note of the under-reported grass-roots reaction to the highly publicized town hall meetings in Montana and again in Grand Junction. I have three eye-witness accounts of our presidents visit to those areas; one from Pitkin County, one from Mesa County, and the other from a long-time resident of Belgrade, Montana. The similarities in their accounts included the apparent denial of tickets based on party affiliation, secrecy in the process of obtaining tickets, denial of entry once tickets were obtained, and the staging of the events which included the arrival of buses carrying counter protesters from outside the area with professionally scripted signage in hand who acted in a menacing way toward area protesters.Along with mainstream media marginalizing protesters and vilifying this grass-roots, democratic process of outrage over government interference in the marketplace, these Americans are also referred to as tea baggers. (An X-rated reference, for those who arent aware of the term.)But make no mistake about it, August was a turning point in our country; September is already bringing solidarity to the mass of protest. There is patriotic fervor that cries out for the protection of our liberty a priceless gift that trumps all others. Liberty is the soul insurance that provides protection from the pre-existing condition known as bondage.As we see the contempt for business, currently directed at the evil insurance industry, history gives us its favorite recycled truth: Big business will fall long before big government. We who openly protest are simply fighting against the powers in place who see this as the change we need in America. Betty ScrantonGlenwood Springs
OK folks, with all the hub-bub about the town of Silt and the roundabout statue decision, has anyone noticed that the fisherman on the east facing side is naked too? Has anyone noticed that the supposed elk on this statue looks more like a female deer? (If you go to the town of Silt website there is a description of the statue). Not that I care the figures are naked but, give the fisherman his due.I knew even when it was still wrapped up in blue and white and awaiting the disrobing (ha!) that it was oddly lopsided. Most large figures are on the southwest-ish corner and the smaller creatures are scattered on the other sides.Couldnt silt have gone to Gary Russell and gotten something in iron that everyone would appreciate? Now that Silt has made the wacky town list for its naked climbers (and fishermen), whats next? Snakes in hula skirts?Romayne CarlinSilt
I would like to congratulate the Roaring Fork District Re-1 administration for rolling over to the wild-eyed, over-protective allegedly non-political, only partially racially motivated protection of our children from having the President of the United States indoctrinate them to excel in school. Perhaps you should have replayed George Bushs 1991 speech, instead. But still, well done!You instinctively knew you could trust the judgment of the same people who are opposed to the Presidents health care plan, but have not been able to suggest any alternative but the same old corporate enrichment scheme available today. Socialism indeed!The Drill Baby, Drill, crowd who assure us that we dont have to worry about our water quality until the benzene cocktail flows from the tap. Keep the jobs coming; we can find enough out-of-state workers to fill em and they can drink bottled water.The ones who are certain that global warming is a democratic plot to take money from the pockets of our noble corporate executives who barely scrape by on 600 times what their average worker receives in compensation. Arent these the same people who believe that a little torture is OK if it protects our country while our lying Presidents involve ourselves in one disastrous civil war after another in some obscure foreign county so we can advance the profits of big oil and the military/industrial complex. (Vietnam/Afghanistan/Iraq/Halliburton/Oil/War = PROFIT).Well, see there, I actually admitted that our Chief Executives lie to us, so obviously preventing Obama from lying to our children about the value of education was a good thing. Oh wellAgain, my sincere congratulations for keeping politics out of the schools; Im sure the parents (10 or 15 calls, an overwhelming majority!) who protected their innocent children (and everyone elses as well) can successfully indoctrinate their children to their personal political convictions on their own. Your courage, judgment and adherence to the party line are duly noted.R.W. BoyleNew Castle
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Garfield County’s unemployment currently sits about 1% below the state average, according to data provided by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.