Wednesday letters: Teacher pay, Bernie Sanders, Confluence development, Trumpcare, and politicians’ egos

Educator pay raise bill would tackle low teacher compensation

My name is Shelby Shinabargar, and my husband and I moved from Bemidji, Minnesota, this summer so that I could work as an eighth grade math teacher at GSMS. I had the opportunity to lobby at the capitol on Feb. 27 with RFCEA, the local chapter of the Colorado teachers’ union.

Our goal in Denver was to speak with state representatives like Sens. Moreno, Hansen, Donovan and Rankin about Bill 20-089 for an educator pay raise fund. As a math teacher, my mind works with logistics and numbers, so here are a few for you:

• The difference between the cost of living index in Denver compared with Glenwood Springs is 128 to 135, to be compared with the national average at 100. We have an incredibly similar cost of living … with Denver being slightly cheaper.

• The difference in beginning teacher wages in Denver compared with Glenwood Springs is $45,800 to $39,932 — almost $6k less here in Glenwood.

• The difference between the maximum potential earnings in Denver compared with Glenwood Springs is $100,000 to $82,507; and, our earnings for the initial license stops after 9 years, whereas Denver teachers continue to earn more money until their 20th year, regardless of their level of education. That’s a $20,000 difference.

These facts are found in a simple Google search for teacher salaries, but the bottom line is that educators need more pay in the valley in order to make ends meet. I live in the subsidized teacher housing, and we will need to reassess our ability to stay with this community when our five years are up. Cost of living only increases the farther up-valley you travel, and this bill will help tackle low teacher compensation, one step at a time.

Shelby Shinabargar,
Glenwood Springs

Sanders could halt or slow economic apartheid

According to the Poor People’s Moral Budget, 140 million Americans are poor or on the verge of being poor. Sen. Bernie Sanders is the only presidential candidate that has the potential as president to halt or slow the economic apartheid that has plagued America in the past several decades. Sen. Bernie Sanders is the Nelson Mandela of America!

Randy Fricke
New Castle

Glenwood Springs have enough development already

I agree with Don Gillespie’s letter to the editor (“Put confluence development to a vote,” Post Independent, Feb. 26) regarding the use of the Confluence area. This important area should be set aside as an open space; not a commercial development. The people who live in Glenwood Springs should have an opportunity to vote on this issue. Glenwood Springs has plenty of commercial/residential development already. Most days Grand Avenue and Glenwood resemble a parking lot. Lets get behind the idea of a nice river park for the Confluence. Thanks Mr. Gillespie for your insightful letter.

Bob Durand,
Glenwood Springs

Do you Trust trump with your Family’s Health?

Trump told a rally in South Carolina on Feb. 28 that the Coronavirus was a democratic hoax. Then he appointed Mike Pence to lead a team to coordinate the U.S. effort in response to the virus. Is Mike Pence a doctor? No! Is he a public health specialist? No!

Are any of these actions wise? No! Why did Trump not put the Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams in charge?

Trump has demanded that all information regarding Coronavirus be channeled through the White House. Is that the best way to get the truth to the American people? No!

Trump said the U.S. will have a vaccine very, very soon. Doctors have explained publicly a vaccine takes at least 15 months to develop.

Do you trust information coming from the White House? Do you think Donald Trump puts your family’s health ahead of his political control and career? I don’t.

We need a national health care system where all people have access to health care, and there is a coordinated response to health emergencies. People’s health, the community’s health, has to be put first, ahead of politics, corporations and ahead of Donald Trump! Imagine that!

Illene Pevec,

Politicians are ego-centric

All good. The Hick is all about his ego. He needs to feel important. He is also dangerous to the people of Colorado and elsewhere. Not just fracking, but fossil fuel extraction and burning has to stop.

Most politicians are about feeling important. A lot at the national level are already wealthy. If they were not a senator, nobody would pay any attention to them. Lindsay Graham for example. Their egos couldn’t take it. That’s why they will do anything to keep their jobs. Including lie like crazy and take bribes.

I coined a phrase the other day (I think). Our politicians are so bad they are giving politics a bad name.

Fred Malo,

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