Printed letters, April 5, 2012

Regarding the April 1 Daily Sentinel columns, “The best way to teach math in the 21st century”: Jody Mimmack and Bill Larsen argue, in their endorsement of yet another new approach to new math, that 21st century skills also require mastery of critical thinking and reasoning, information literacy, collaboration, self-direction and invention. Certainly, but why confuse those with math?

You can be a whiz-bang at math and not give a hoot about collaboration. You may never invent the next widget but are not, therefore, blocked from understanding E=MC2 and the intricate mathematical structure supporting it. Similarly, you can collaborate until the cows come home and still not be able to divide 63 by 7, in your head or on paper.

Look at it in reverse. Would you insist on the ability to solve quadratic equations or explain the Pythagorean Theorem if the goal were to find a collaborative team player? How about inventors? Some of the finest were brooding loners who were mad as hell and weren’t going to take it anymore.

There’s no secret to math. It doesn’t need to be re-discovered, re-invented or prayed over. It is a discipline, and discipline is what it takes. Rote instruction plays an integral role in its mastery, as it does in countless other life skills, from typing and handwriting to driving and shaving.


Grand Junction

Government-controlled burn is an oxymoron

Why am I not surprised about the cause of the tragic, devastating, out-of-control Jefferson County fire? Well, how can an out-of-control government be expected to exercise proper control on anything? Regardless of what level of government is involved, why is an excuse always offered instead of an explanation or, in this, case a real apology?

The latest drivel from the Colorado State Forest Service regarding the Lower North Fork Fire proves my point. Colorado’s deputy state forester apologized for the fire, announcing that an ember apparently jumped a containment line and started the blaze.

Embers don’t just jump, nor do guns just shoot people. The ineptitude of Forest Service prescribed-burn experts allowed embers to jump as the result of negligence and carelessness.

What national or state government bureau or department operates with proficiency or even adequacy regarding the responsibilities for which it is charged ?

The Forest Service manager who helps plan prescribed burns says burns aren’t made unless all the parameters are met. Consider a common definition of “parameters”: “numerical or other measurable factors forming a set that defines a system or sets the conditions of its operation.” Say what? Doesn’t that sound exactly like the ambiguous manner government uses to make decisions?

One has to wonder if local weather reports or unusually dry climatic conditions that persisted for months with likely winds could have been more obvious “parameters” to follow.

Finally, true to form, our Colorado governor follows up four days after the fire raged out to control with a suggestion to consider suspending such burns “for now.” That is almost decisive. So much for subtle insinuations about good judgment, common sense and logic.

Perhaps there’s reason for concern about how much faith to have in allowing all levels of government to either protect or control our lives and what we intend to do about it.




Article demonstrated county’s commitment to animal welfare

I wanted to write a personal thank you for the article that was published in The Daily Sentinel. Rachel Sauer’s story was accurate, inspiring and educational for readers who are unaware of the work of many dedicated individuals. They make a difference in the world of animal welfare and it is refreshing to read an article with well-deserved accolades for people devoting their lives to give many animals a second chance. Having grown up in Grand Junction, it makes me especially proud to see what The Daily Sentinel is doing to increase public awareness.

I would add that Penny McCarty, the staff, Cindy Haerle and the volunteers of Mesa County Animal Services work tirelessly to facilitate the many “happy ending” stories you hear about.  Mesa County should be proud to have such a dedicated group of people overseeing their animal control services.

All Breed Rescue Network, Inc. members work closely with Mesa County Animal Services, and we know first- hand how much they have elevated the caliber of care that animals receive, as well as the increased number of animals that receive a second chance. Penny and the team she has assembled have created an exemplary model for animal control services and are held in high regard throughout the animal-welfare community. 

It does take a village to make a difference and the collaboration that exists between ABRN and our colleagues in Grand Junction does make a difference. That collaboration enables us to uphold the reputation that Colorado has as a leader in matters of animal welfare.

ABRN greatly appreciates the visibility that the Sentinel story gives the rescue community and thanks you for helping further our organization’s mission of “ending the euthanasia of Colorado’s adoptable dogs.”

KAREN BROWN, President

and members of the Board

All Breed Rescue Network, Inc. 



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