Email letters, Oct. 11, 2011

School District is using fuzzy math

I just don’t recall in 2007 and 2008, when School District 51 had all these additional dollars, that they were graduating all rocket scientists and high-test-scoring students.

Now they tell us that they need $12 million a year to add four more days to the school calendar. It seems to me that each early-release Wednesday takes about two hours out of the day. Two hours times four weeks equals one day a month. That times nine months is nine days at no additional cost to the taxpayer.

They tell us they have cut $28 million. Now they say with $12 million of that being returned to District 51, with the passing of the mill levy override, they can save our community and our children.

So, we were just wasting $16 million? Just how much more fuzzy math is there in the additional $12 million they say they can’t live without?

I say vote “No” on 3B.

TIM PARTSCH
Grand Junction

Clean energy creates jobs

The best way to create needed jobs is through clean energy.  Solar power is putting people to work and there are more than 5,500 solar companies employing more than a hundred thousand Americans in regions throughout the country. 

It is one of the few American industries that is actually growing.  Investments in solar create seven times more jobs than investments in old energy such as natural gas, and dirty energy such as coal.

Politicans can talk about creating jobs all they like, but the ones who are actually working to address the unemployment rate are the ones who are calling for more investments in clean energy like solar power.

WAYNE FLICK
Cimarron

Solar energy is a good concept

Solor. Sunshine. Clean energy. Something that will never end. What a concept.

MELODY SAFKEN
Whitewater

Gessler is hurting Colorado

Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler has deliberately and maliciously launched a full-scale assault on Colorado’s registered voters. When we signed up for permanent mail-in ballots in 2008, we naturally thought this meant receiving our ballots by election time through U.S. mail.

Mr. Gessler’s unilateral decision to only mail ballots to those who voted in 2010 is ridiculous. It’s neither practical nor feasible to expect voters to check their voting status according to Mr. Gessler’s definition of an “active” voter from an “inactive” voter. This intentional voter suppression makes no sense. The good people of Colorado deserve better.

Although I’ve lived in Colorado since 1984, I am originally from Chicago. Illinois political manipulation and resulting national shame is well known. Having Mr. Gessler oversee Colorado elections is very concerning as is the negative impact on our national reputation.

SHARI MALLOY
Longmont

Anger over the economy shouldn’t be directed at education

After attending the recent meeting of The Western Slope Conservative Alliance I was compelled to write this letter. The lack of answers provided by those who oppose the mill levy and the lack of focus on the children was astonishing. What seemed to be applauded was anger toward the economic climate, and to act as any other business that continues to make cuts. However, our business is unique; we are in the business of building the future.

The district’s desire to fund the status quo couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Superintendent Schultz and Mr. Workman gave specific examples of how the district has been anything but static. We are now at the point where we are fighting for our children’s future. The district continues to restructure under the direction of Superintendent Schultz. The guiding questions in making cuts are: Will it break any laws/mandates? Will it hurt students? Can it be reversed (with the community in mind)? That doesn’t sound like wanting to keep the status quo.

At the meeting, I did not hear any constructive solutions. Even though Mrs. Hunsinger expressed the importance of a quality teacher in the classroom, she contradicted herself in the idea of cutting staff, schools and extra programs. Research proves these programs allow children to excel and enhance academics. Keeping the mill levy in Mesa County will put contact days back on the calendar, return highly qualified teachers (which Hunsinger stressed) and improve technology so that our children have the opportunity to succeed in a global market.

I couldn’t help but notice the atmosphere at the meeting was that of anger towards the government, not the district. Let us not forget the big picture in our haste. It is our responsibility as a community to recognize the ones at stake — the children.

KELLY MCKAY
Grand Junction

Losses to school district are loss to us all

Oct. 10 The Daily Sentinel reported family incomes have declined 9.8 percent since December 2007 according to monthly U.S. Census Bureau data. In contrast, in the last two years alone the School District 51 has seen a 20 percent decrease in funding.

To put these losses in perspective let’s look at a typical Mesa County wage earners salary. Say someone earned $40,000 a year in 2007, or $3,350 per month, and have experienced a 10 percent wage decrease. Theoretically they have had four years to absorb an annual $4,000 decrease in income, unless they have taken on a second job. But, with double digit unemployment in our county who can find a second job?

By contrast the school district has lost $8,000 in that same example $40,000, in just two years. Imagine yourself going from a $3,350 monthly income to a $2,700 in just two years and making ends meet. The only second job the school district can hope to get is for us taxpayers to contribute a little more to help them out.

You say that is going to mean less for you. A very important part of the family or business expense equation that gets far too few mentions in this debate is that property values, thus property taxes, continue to decline. By the next tax assessment announcement in May, 2013 tax values and taxes we pay will have decreased by more than the increase we are being asked to pay if voters measure 3B.

Let’s give our children, our families and our economy a fighting chance to meet or exceed the school district’s funding expectation. Vote “Yes” on 3B. Vote “Yes” for the kids. Vote “Yes’ for the good of the community, the economy, jobs.

DOUG VAN ETTEN
Fruita

School District is using fuzzy math

I just don’t recall in 2007 and 2008, when School District 51 had all these additional dollars, that they were graduating all rocket scientists and high-test-scoring students.

Now they tell us that they need $12 million a year to add four more days to the school calendar. It seems to me that each early-release Wednesday takes about two hours out of the day. Two hours times four weeks equals one day a month. That times nine months is nine days at no additional cost to the taxpayer.

They tell us they have cut $28 million. Now they say with $12 million of that being returned to District 51, with the passing of the mill levy override, they can save our community and our children.

So, we were just wasting $16 million? Just how much more fuzzy math is there in the additional $12 million they say they can’t live without?

I say vote “No” on 3B.

TIM PARTSCH
Grand Junction

Clean energy creates jobs

The best way to create needed jobs is through clean energy.  Solar power is putting people to work and there are more than 5,500 solar companies employing more than a hundred thousand Americans in regions throughout the country. 

It is one of the few American industries that is actually growing.  Investments in solar create seven times more jobs than investments in old energy such as natural gas, and dirty energy such as coal.

Politicans can talk about creating jobs all they like, but the ones who are actually working to address the unemployment rate are the ones who are calling for more investments in clean energy like solar power.

WAYNE FLICK
Cimarron

Solar energy is a good concept

Solor. Sunshine. Clean energy. Something that will never end. What a concept.

MELODY SAFKEN
Whitewater

Gessler is hurting Colorado

Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler has deliberately and maliciously launched a full-scale assault on Colorado’s registered voters. When we signed up for permanent mail-in ballots in 2008, we naturally thought this meant receiving our ballots by election time through U.S. mail.

Mr. Gessler’s unilateral decision to only mail ballots to those who voted in 2010 is ridiculous. It’s neither practical nor feasible to expect voters to check their voting status according to Mr. Gessler’s definition of an “active” voter from an “inactive” voter. This intentional voter suppression makes no sense. The good people of Colorado deserve better.

Although I’ve lived in Colorado since 1984, I am originally from Chicago. Illinois political manipulation and resulting national shame is well known. Having Mr. Gessler oversee Colorado elections is very concerning as is the negative impact on our national reputation.

SHARI MALLOY
Longmont

Those against funding education offer no solutions

After attending the recent meeting of The Western Slope Conservative Alliance I was compelled to write this letter. The lack of answers provided by those who oppose the mill levy and the lack of focus on the children was astonishing. What seemed to be applauded was anger toward the economic climate, and to act as any other business that continues to make cuts. However, our business is unique; we are in the business of building the future.

The district’s desire to fund the status quo couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Superintendent Schultz and Mr. Workman gave specific examples of how the district has been anything but static. We are now at the point where we are fighting for our children’s future. The district continues to restructure under the direction of Superintendent Schultz. The guiding questions in making cuts are: Will it break any laws/mandates? Will it hurt students? Can it be reversed (with the community in mind)? That doesn’t sound like wanting to keep the status quo.

At the meeting, I did not hear any constructive solutions. Even though Mrs. Hunsinger expressed the importance of a quality teacher in the classroom, she contradicted herself in the idea of cutting staff, schools and extra programs. Research proves these programs allow children to excel and enhance academics. Keeping the mill levy in Mesa County will put contact days back on the calendar, return highly qualified teachers (which Hunsinger stressed) and improve technology so that our children have the opportunity to succeed in a global market.

I couldn’t help but notice the atmosphere at the meeting was that of anger towards the government, not the district. Let us not forget the big picture in our haste. It is our responsibility as a community to recognize the ones at stake — the children.

KELLY MCKAY
Grand Junction

Losses to school district are loss to us all

Oct. 10 The Daily Sentinel reported family incomes have declined 9.8 percent since December 2007 according to monthly U.S. Census Bureau data. In contrast, in the last two years alone the School District 51 has seen a 20 percent decrease in funding.

To put these losses in perspective let’s look at a typical Mesa County wage earners salary. Say someone earned $40,000 a year in 2007, or $3,350 per month, and have experienced a 10 percent wage decrease. Theoretically they have had four years to absorb an annual $4,000 decrease in income, unless they have taken on a second job. But, with double digit unemployment in our county who can find a second job?

By contrast the school district has lost $8,000 in that same example $40,000, in just two years. Imagine yourself going from a $3,350 monthly income to a $2,700 in just two years and making ends meet. The only second job the school district can hope to get is for us taxpayers to contribute a little more to help them out.

You say that is going to mean less for you. A very important part of the family or business expense equation that gets far too few mentions in this debate is that property values, thus property taxes, continue to decline. By the next tax assessment announcement in May, 2013 tax values and taxes we pay will have decreased by more than the increase we are being asked to pay if voters measure 3B.

Let’s give our children, our families and our economy a fighting chance to meet or exceed the school district’s funding expectation. Vote “Yes” on 3B. Vote “Yes” for the kids. Vote “Yes’ for the good of the community, the economy, jobs.

DOUG VAN ETTEN
Fruita



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