Monday letters: Be a literacy volunteer, real evil, right decisions, ‘valuable asset’ |

Monday letters: Be a literacy volunteer, real evil, right decisions, ‘valuable asset’

Post Independent Letters to the editor graphic

Literacy Outreach volunteering an amazing opportunity

I wanted to take a minute and introduce myself; I am a student from Colorado Mountain College taking a leadership class, one of my many assignments for this semester was a community engagement service-learning project. I was given the task to show the social change model of leadership. This is leadership that is based on seven values; they are awareness of beliefs, being genuine and authentic, having a commitment, being able to collaborate, having a common purpose, being a leader who can disagree and still have focus on the common purpose and finally being able to connect to the community. 

I can honestly say that I was apprehensive, not sure I truly understood my project. I set my fears aside and called Literacy Outreach. I knew working with them in the past I had built a pretty good relationship with them, and I was able to commit time to supporting a community member. I called Steven the Volunteer Coordinator thinking I was going to help with Spellebration, but instead I was asked if I wanted to be a tutor. I knew that it was stepping out of my comfort zone. 

I signed up for a four-hour training session and within a month I was introduced to a community member who is needing support with English classes. We found a common purpose and we are creating a lasting friendship. Their eagerness to learn is amazing. I look forward to seeing them every week, we share commonalities and their weekly events. 

I am not a teacher; I am a community member who has stepped out of my comfort zone and has found some normalcy after some trying months. There are so many other community members looking for support and I am hoping you will take a minute and maybe call Steven at Literacy Outreach 970-945-5282 and volunteer. 

Pauline Trujillo, Carbondale

Reserve judgment for evil in the world, not drag shows

Bill Sanderson (4/28 letters), I think your fears for the future are warranted but misplaced. 

Transgressive fashions in dress, comedy and expression have always been responses to conformist majorities’ repressive tendencies. It’s one of our species’ flaws that we rush to judge, condemn and punish the variable ways there are of being human, attributing moral significance to difference itself. We’re quick to label as “evil” things that seem outlandish or inexplicable. Why is it so tempting to demonize the unfamiliar instead of trying to understand it?

There is plenty of real evil afoot: the destruction of the natural world; the rise of mindless violence against the helpless; the growing masses of stateless refugees, and domestic homeless — who have little hope of ever enjoying a safe place in the world no matter what they do. In our own beautiful valley, there are encampments of the dispossessed within a stone’s throw of truly obscene levels of wealth and luxury.

Gender dysphoria has been a real source of suffering for as long, I am certain, as there have been enforced gender roles in society. Born in the ’40s and growing up in suburbia, I was a kid who today would have best fit the transgender label. Suicide was my greatest temptation through my early adulthood. I was lucky enough to have come out as a lesbian and survive. I have two children, five grandchildren and seven great grandchildren, a vocation, a place in the community, and a voice.

I understand that you find drag shows disgusting. I find beauty pageants and football and the stock market disgusting. So I don’t participate or spectate. Of course I judge, cautiously I hope, about what I don’t understand. But I reserve my worrying about evils for things like greed, indifference, cruelty and oppression — things that cause real harm and truly threaten to destroy of the world.

Laurie Raymond, Glenwood Springs

Reader supports decision of Garfield 16 superintendent

Seems to me, Re-16 Schools Superintendent Jennifer Baugh made the right call in not allowing 18-year-old Naomi Pena Villasano to wear a Mexico/American sash (sarape) to her high school graduation ceremony. This one shouldn’t be hard to figure out.

If superintendent Baugh allows Villasano to wear her sash, thereby setting a precedent, wouldn’t she have to let Russian student wear a Russian/American sash? How about Irish-American students who want to celebrate their Irish heritage with an Irish/American sash, or a Jewish student who wants to celebrate their heritage with an Israeli/American sash.

If Villasano cares deeply for her right to wear the sash, maybe she should forgo the graduation. In any case, her actions have taken the spotlight off all graduating seniors and put it squarely on herself. I don’t think that’s what graduation ceremonies are about.

Lynn “Jake” Burton, Glenwood Springs

Just say no to all development

Finally, some smart folks in Rifle have stood up to the dirt pimps of development in our fair valleys. Rifle said “no” to annexing a piece of Garfield County for yet another subdivision.

The old song says, “pave paradise to put up a parking lot.” But we haven’t been satisfied with only cement carpets, no, we cover up our skies with tall ticky-tacky tenements to be. Heck, developers have even hidden views of Mt. Sopris from the center of Carbondale.

Nancy Reagan’s “just say no” solution to drugs didn’t work too well, but it’s the perfect answer for devious developers’ dubious dreams.

Bruno Kirchenwitz, Rifle

CARE shelter a ‘valuable asset’

I recently had a wonderful opportunity to volunteer at the C.A.R.E. Animal Shelter in Glenwood Springs. The shelter houses animals of all sorts, particularly dogs and cats being the most popular. I was shocked at how fast the adoptions go through.

The shelter allows easy access to volunteering, and they are so appreciative and happy to see you. The area is surrounded by the beauty of mountains all around, with a killer view of Mt. Sopris out the front door.

Walking dogs was my choice of volunteering, and the experience was as rewarding for me as it was for the four-legged friends I acquired. The shelter takes in strays and provides free goodies, toys, supplies, and food for those in need. The facility is clean and spacious, the staff is very friendly, and you can tell they all care deeply about the mission they accomplish every day for these animals.

If I had the opportunity to work there as an employee, I would highly consider it. I had a lot of fun volunteering at this shelter, and I encourage anyone looking for an easy way to give back to the community to sign up at C.A.R.E. by visiting their webpage. The shelter is such a valuable asset in our small mountain community.

Sometimes we are faced with difficult circumstances that force us to make sacrifices, such as rehoming a pet. This shelter provides an ease to those tough decisions, as they take in, love, and care for the animals which are in need.

Brianna Heardt, Battlement Mesa

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