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Your Letters

Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

The lawyers arrived in Garfield County from New York City. Why? There must be many more ambulances to chase in their home city.

Yes, that is sort of a sick joke, but they do go where they think they can extort money from governments, companies and extra-rich individuals. It would be interesting to know who called them to appear.

Their tactic is to put so much pressure on their victims that they will settle out of court to avoid the legal costs for a trial defense.

It doesn’t matter to these lawyers whether there is a violation of laws or not. Their cause is to extort some kind of payment from their target to fatten their own bank account, with a pittance to those who sign up to sponsor the suit. They certainly don’t care that taxpayers will absorb a portion of the court costs attached to their nuisance actions.

They come into an area and enlist an attorney licensed to practice in the state. They then contact local disgruntled and fearful people to file a suit against the alleged perpetrators. The recent county meeting was only partly successful. At least one level-headed party was suspicious enough to refuse to sign on. There were probably others, but the Post Independent article named only one.

We have responsible companies developing our gas fields. They can continue in this area only as long as their operations aren’t hampered by unsupported petty complaints, lawsuits and unwarranted government regulation. They must be assured a large portion of the population wants them to continue operation. I believe we do.

Jack E. Blankenship

Battlement Mesa

In days gone by, labor unions served a legitimate purpose. They fought for safe working conditions, reasonable hours, and fair pay.

Now, for the most part, these unions have gone way beyond the original boundaries of common sense. Today most have become left-wing organizations whose main intent is to grow the Democratic party and funnel millions of dollars into political campaigns.

No wonder Obama is frothing over the stand taken by the governor of Wisconsin.

Unions coerce members to campaign for and vote for liberal candidates, as I experienced in the teaching profession.

So many of our manufacturing jobs have gone overseas to avoid the heavy-handed demands of unions. When pay and benefits outstrip what a company can afford, they will move their businesses elsewhere.

The unions of yesterday are no longer so benevolent. They, like some of our congressmen, are simply on a power trip. In an economy that sees a $l4 trillion U.S. debt, states are well within their rights to demand moderation and cutbacks.

Or maybe some of our most fanatic union supporters would just as soon see the United States cave in to dominance by China, just to defend what has become outmoded thinking and practice.

Carol Abbott

Parachute

I am stunned at what is going on in Wisconsin; I can’t understand the madness.

What exactly have teachers done to deserve such ridiculously high pay and benefits? What specifically have they given back? Test scores are low, proficiency levels are down. Yet more and more money is pumped into public school systems that are failing.

Our youth is dense compared to the rest of the world, and who do we have to thank for that? Kids don’t make themselves stupid.

Nevertheless these teachers have the audacity to cry, “I don’t want to contribute, making me contribute is mean, I want more, give me more, I deserve more.” For an insignificant average of 20 percent aptitude among students?

Teachers in Wisconsin on average collect a salary of $51,000, plus benefits that average $38,400 per year. Add it up and that’s just shy of $90,000 per year. People in the private sector make on average $38,000 per year, not including benefits they can’t afford. That isn’t even enough to pay for one teacher’s benefits per year. It would take almost three private sector workers an entire year’s worth of earnings to cover one teacher’s salary and benefits for a year.

Almost $90,000 per year, and these teachers are crying because they would have to chip in 5 to 10 percent of their pay for their own benefits.

But somehow these same people can stand on the other foot and condemn, criticize, and attack wealthy private sector business owners for being unkind, greedy people who don’t pay their fair share. Maybe these teachers should practice what they preach and pay for their own benefits.

Jolene Varley

Carbondale

As a longtime professional educator at the secondary level, it is my belief that the state of Colorado can save a huge amount of money by changing the way we administer the CSAP test.

It currently costs $19 million to administer the CSAP test. It is not the test that is the costly problem; it is the way that it is administered.

Each student receives a detailed test packet that must be boxed, shipped, distributed, filled out in detail and then returned to the state for grading. Grading the tests then requires the state to hire independent graders and repeat this cumbersome process.

Much of this expensive and unnecessary “test processing” can be avoided by administering the CSAP “on-line.” The state already has a pool of test questions that can be converted to electronic on-line tests. This can either be done by the state, or by the individual school districts, and the results transferred electronically to the state for statistical analysis.

The link below and password is a sample general biology test that I have given to my sophomore level students. This test meets and exceeds the current state standards for sophomore biology.

http://www.proprofs.com/quiz-school/story.php?title=general-biology-test-1-ecology

Password 44444

Changing the way we administer the CSAP test could save the state up to $19 million. This savings is enough to run an entire small school district of thousands of students. Considering the severity of the state cuts proposed to individual school districts, changing CSAP at the state level should come first.

Joe Mollica

Science teacher, Glenwood Springs High School

Glenwood Springs


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