Letters to the editor Your opinions on Sirko, energy and more
Plenty of people support Sirko
In reference to the recent opinion piece about the RE-1 superintendent Diana Sirko, who may be awarded another contract, there seem to be some misconceptions. I am wondering why a Sopris Sun board member is writing an opinion piece versus an article that represents different sides of a news story.
Some people, such as ex-school board member Debbie Bruell, claim that every parent, teacher, and principal she has talked with is ready for Rob Stein to move into the position of superintendent. I found it disconcerting that she decided to speak for all teachers, administrators and parents in the district. I am wondering how big this circle of people is that she is representing, or is she simply big on promoting the person she chose when she was on the school board?
Education in our district is going through many changes, from Common Core Standards, to new math and reading curriculums, to the wide variety of different testing mechanisms that are now required. For those of us who are in the classroom, day in and day out, dealing with these requirements while still keeping our educational integrity, is a challenge and Diana Sirko has been an amazing.
Superintendent Sirko came out of retirement to help our district. She has proven to have great leadership qualities, provides a calming support system, and has offered continuity when there have been so many changes. Countless parents, teachers and principals support Diana Sirko in her role as superintendent and will continue to do so until she decides to move on, at which time Mr. Stein can re-apply for that position. Mr. Stein has worked diligently to complement and create programs for our district, and no one is saying this needs to come to and end. Sirko is our current leader, and Mr. Stein is a part of her team, and many of us see no reason to change the situation.
I would hope that in the future, the Sopris Sun reporters and board members will write informative and responsible articles that offer different points of view and not use the paper to promote their own opinions while spreading misinformation about our school district. As an independent newspaper that prides itself on staying in touch with its community, you seem to have missed the opportunity to inform the community of this issue in an unbiased format.
RE-1 educator, Carbondale
Support for the holidays
Pathfinders will be holding grief and loss support groups throughout the valley this holiday season. The holidays can be a hard time when you’ve lost someone you love. The focus of these grief groups will be to love, remember and honor the ones we lost.
We will host groups in Aspen and Carbondale on Monday nights and Rifle on Wednesday nights. The groups are open, so you can come to all of them or just to one. There will be ads in the paper but please feel free to contact me with questions at 970-379-5276 or Allison@pathfindersforcancer.org.
Level the playing field for energy
I agree with the basic premise of James Kellogg’s latest column, that U.S. policy should be to provide affordable energy, reduce dependence on foreign oil, and stimulate job creation and economic growth.
But why does he assume that fossil fuels are the best or even the cheapest way to do that? Who says renewable energy and efficiency won’t be cheaper? Why not level the playing field and see?
The place to start would be to eliminate the $5 billion in annual subsidies the fossil-fuel industry gets from American taxpayers. Strange that James Kellogg, known for his libertarian views, fails to mention that. If you want an energy economy based on free-market principles, eliminating subsidies should be at the top of your to-do list.
And then there are the costs that the fossil-fuel industry foists on society (climate change, impacts to health, water and land). Economists – especially conservative ones – will tell you that this is a “market failure” that should be corrected by putting a price on those fuels.
Kellogg trots out straw-man arguments about cap-and-trade and EPA regulation, but there are free-market policies that would train our economy to be more energy-efficient while simultaneously adding jobs and growing GDP (google “carbon fee and dividend”).
Though Kellogg wraps himself in the flag of libertarianism, he turns out to be just another protectionist for the status quo. If this were the 1800s, he’d be telling us we need to double down on whale oil.
Disappointed at disrespect of CDOT officials
The bridge meeting was impressive. Our community involvement and display of information was fantastic. It is obvious our small community rallies when they are passionate. The project has many in favor as well as those opposed to replacement of the bridge. Both sides have many reasonable positions that can be justified. It is also understandable to be on either side of this spirited debate.
It is not understandable to hear the disrespect of our local CDOT by a very few in our community. There is no valid reason to condemn professional and accomplished experts that are putting forth a viable infrastructure solution. A few of the comments were simple nonsense, and “shame” on you for your behavior. Our community does not need to hear about “shame” and other derogatory statements when discussing highway improvements.
I enjoy and use Glenwood Canyon and Snowmass Canyon regularly. I know for a fact the improvements in safety and function in these areas and many other projects completed by CDOT. CDOT employees and officials have earned respect over many years of service and do not deserve this nonsense.
Some in town would have everyone believe that the railroad corridor is a viable “bypass” and as a result we should halt the project. This is pure fantasy that has been considered for 50 years. This is not a bypass, but rather just another big old road in downtown Glenwood. The same thing we did in 1950 that finds us in this predicament today.
I agree we need a real bypass very soon. Regardless we still need to replace the bridge. We need to improve the flow of traffic and safety. We need to prevent a bridge collapse. We need to improve the quality of walking and biking in town. The project will address these problems. Our town should assist CDOT and government officials with this process and make this the best possible solution to a very difficult problem. I am also certain that CDOT and government officials welcome any reasonable input and even spirited discussion, along with proper manners.
Thank you, Mari Rose Hale, for speaking up
Mari Rose Hale, I am so sorry that you experienced that incident of violence. I am so very thankful that you were able to fight off your attacker, that you had the awareness and the physical ability to stop the attack.
I want to thank you for taking the courageous step to share your experience in such a public forum. By sharing your story, you reminded us all to be more aware for our own safety and the safety of those around us. You modeled the importance of speaking up. Silence has the devastating effect of allowing these crimes to go unreported, unprosecuted and perpetuates a culture where violence against women isn’t taken seriously. Finally, I believe sharing your story is what led to the arrest. It allowed the community to get involved. We all have an interest in keeping our community safe. Thank you.
Thanks also to the Post Independent, the Police Department and Target for keeping the community informed and protected.
This is a great community we live in and when we work together, we can make it a safe one for all.
Comprehensive compromises needed for tax reform
I basically agree with Michael Gorman’s support of a carbon emissions tax in his letter of Nov. 18. Even if the impact of carbon emissions on global warming is not absolutely certain, it is a sufficiently high risk that it is prudent to take action to reduce the emissions. A phased-in tax would be the most effective way of mobilizing market forces to achieve carbon reductions, through some combination of conservation measures and development of alternate energy sources with private capital investments. Those alternate sources would, to a degree, include natural gas as a less environmentally damaging substitute for coal, because burning natural gas produces more energy per unit of carbon dioxide that it emits. Development of new nuclear power plants would also be encouraged.
To ever be politically viable, however, a carbon emissions would need to be coupled with a reduction in other taxes. If it were possible to overcome conservatives’ justifiable fears that liberals would simply use all of the revenues from the tax to increase social spending, many would buy into a reduction in the tax on corporate profits.
And many people across the political spectrum would support a reduction in the Social Security and Medicare taxes on low-income earners, with some of the revenues from the carbon tax being used to supplement the trust funds for those programs. If there is ever to be meaningful tax reform, it will need to be based on comprehensive compromises such as this that address some of the major concerns of people on both sides of the political divide.
Carl Ted Stude
A veiled shot at a few writers
All right, I’ll submit to my friend Don of the incessant request for me to write something. Occasionally, I enjoy doing short humor pieces that may give my fellow citizens a chuckle with their morning coffee or afternoon or evening coffee if one is a swing or graveyard shift worker, as the case may be.
Maybe someday I’ll be able to step back up, and sit down at a desk, with a good old-fashioned word processor, a coffee pot and a finely cut glass ashtray where I would be safe from the ever-advancing hordes of radical, almost militant anti-smoking people. Having my preferred “roll your owns” with a triumphal self satisfied glee.
Henceforth cranking out bits with titles such as “The pedestrian” or a short series called “conversations with my imaginary girlfriend head.” Then the epic saga of “how I restored my photo ID, without having a photo ID.”
That last one, “my fellow citizens” would actually have to have an ending.
See how I’ve managed to pull this off without allowing a very deep, soul-searing aggravation to boil over?
It is true, I really am an op-ed writer.
Darn funny one, too, occasionally.
OK, Don, next round’s on you!
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