Published: August 26, 2014
Take care of the necessities
In the last week in The Gazette, I read that El Paso County has $2,044,078 in "excess revenue" from 2013. With that money, our money, they want to buy another park. I think parks are great, and I use them often. However, I would like to ask if the county has fixed all the potholes in county roads? Have they done all they can for fire mitigation? What about storm drainage? If the park is purchased, will they then come to voters asking for yet another tax increase?
I have two bicycles already. Our family has an extra $2,000 this year. I think I will buy a new bicycle, perhaps one with full suspension. Or would it be wiser to save the $2,000 for the new tires our car will need soon? Also, our roof is getting older; should I save the $2,000 for home repairs? If I unwisely buy another bicycle, and find that I lack enough money to buy the new tires, I guess I could ask my boss for a raise.
One other thought, since we are all on the same team. Have the county commissioners considered sharing the excess money with the city? Common sense causes me to think that we should take care of necessities before spending for nonessentials. Guess I am rather naive!
Still not convinced
Response to Rod Bernsen's "Optics ugly, but officers deserve their protection."
What about the optics of Lt. Ray Albers pointing his gun at a crowd of citizens and journalists?
Let's add audio of Lt. Albers shouting: "I will f...ing kill you...".
Then let's add the double standard.
Cops routinely kill unarmed civilians because of perceived threats - and police review boards routinely approve those actions (a quick Google search shows dozens this year alone).
Lt. Albers was not shot while armed and threatening to kill people. He was not even arrested. The other cops just escorted him away (while still in control of his weapons).
Sorry, I remain unconvinced.
We can do better
As a native and resident of Louisiana, I am surprised at the interest in Bobby Jindal. If he weren't term limited, it is doubtful if he could be re-elected governor of Louisiana.
Over the last two years he has spent almost half the time out of state campaigning for president. He has balanced the state budget each year by depleting funds supposedly reserved for future needs.
He changed his position on Common Core apparently due to tea party pressure, and he is in court fighting the man he had appointed to reform education. The costs of his "hospital reforms" are unknown and controversial. We can do better.
Flow of money into state's elections
I commend Wayne Williams' action in sending back a $550 donation from the Republican State Leadership Committee mentioned in the Aug. 12 article on your website. ("Wayne Williams says 'no' to conservative group's campaign")
However, the bigger issue that the article seems to hint toward is the enormous flow of money into Colorado elections, a problem that is perpetuated by flimsy campaign finance laws after Citizens United.
Interestingly enough, El Paso County actually voted overwhelmingly in favor of Amendment 65, which would have directed our congressmen to reinstitute stronger campaign finance limits and minimize the amount that groups like RSLC can contribute and influence politics in localities of which they have little knowledge.
It is essential that citizens take a stand against outside money flooding Coloradan politics. We need to reinstitute stronger, airtight spending limits legislation, and push for getting dark money out of politics. We must retake control of our elections.
Leaders need to stand up
I am proud to have been a teacher in School District 11 for many years, and I am proud of the fact that Superintendent Nicholas Gledich is one of the first leaders in the area to ask for a three-year waiver from tedious assessments, which students must endure to satisfy state requirements. The question is why other leaders in Colorado are not standing up as a group to remove Common Core and unfair standardized testing from the school environment in Colorado.
Other states are getting waivers and creating options for school districts to pursue alternative forms of teaching and assessment. In those states, teachers can actually get back to educating instead of having no choice but to foist an unproven system of learning and testing upon our students. This system was not even created by educators and is certainly not developmentally appropriate for our young children.
Ask parents of any special needs child what they think of Common Core and the testing that will start this school year.
Unfortunately, it takes an enlightened governor and Legislature, plus an informed Colorado Department of Education and State Board of Education to recognize the problems and change the state law. Until this happens, our educational system in Colorado is not about individual children and their needs anymore. Their parents have no other choice in the public school system but to opt out of the testing.
Sandra L. Wickham