Printed Letters: March 20, 2014

Delaying enrollment may be wise choice

I no longer have children in the public school system, but I have been paying attention to the pros and cons of shorter summer breaks and changing the age for beginning kindergarten.

Twenty years ago, when my children were starting school, the young mother in me would have fought hard to keep the summer break at 10 to 12 weeks so our family could enjoy all the activities western Colorado offers. I also would have wanted my children to begin kindergarten with all their friends from preschool. I now believe I would have been wrong for making those two things the priority over giving my kids every opportunity to get ahead and stay ahead by spending more time at school and at their “just right” level of education.

I spent eight years as a teacher’s aide in first-grade classrooms in the district, and I saw firsthand the problems and struggles during the year that the young 5- and 6-year-olds had compared to the older 6- and 7-year-olds. There are a lot of expectations for beginning first-graders, and if a student is not to ready to jump in on day one, it is very easy for that student to become overwhelmed. Even when each K-2 classroom had aides for support, there was no way for a teacher and the aide to foresee each young student’s needs and teach to the other children, as well. 

Now that the aides are gone, I can only imagine the problem it creates for the teacher. It undoubtedly hinders the learning of the students who are ready to move forward. Having those young students in the first-grade classrooms impacts every student in some fashion for years.

I remember how anxious I was to have my children enter first grade, but if I could do it over again, I would have them spend an extra year in a good preschool, so they were very well prepared emotionally, physically and educationally to begin first grade at the age of at least 6-and-a-half. I believe their educational success would have come more easily to them.

If I had a school-aged grandchild, I would want him to slow down a bit, learn in an environment that supports his learning needs and enter the first grade a mature, ready-to-excel 6-year-old. It is also a benefit on the other end of the spectrum. I believe an 18- or 19-year-old senior is a little more mature when selecting a college and a career.

Grand Junction

BLM field office cannot
 vacate right of way legally

Just like water rights, legal rights of way on public lands and private lands are defined by law. On federally managed public lands, the first thing that needs to be determined is what level of legislative jurisdiction has been ceded (given) by the state, to the federal government, on the area in question.

This cession of legislative jurisdiction on public lands, within a state, is required under Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17, of the U.S. Constitution. This constitutional requirement supersedes any congressional act, past or present.  The BLM would have us believe that the Federal Land Policy Management Act of 1976 and a typo in the Public Land Statistics book since 1980 give it exclusive jurisdiction over all public lands. However, FLPMA, Section 701, states specifically that FLPMA does not alter any level of federal or state jurisdiction. FLMPA, Section 701 also goes on to reveal that nothing in FLPMA limits a state’s criminal statutes or police powers.

Research by the Public Land Access Association reveals that 97.2 percent (more than 23 million acres) of our public lands in Colorado are held by the federal government in proprietorial interest only. This means the federal government has not obtained any measure of the state’s authority on lands held in proprietorial interest. The state of Colorado retains police powers and legislative jurisdiction over all legally established rights of way on these public lands as defined in the Colorado revised statutes. CRS 43-2-201(e), CRS 29-20-104 and CRS 43-1-202 define most legal rights of way on public lands in the state of Colorado.  

Since the Grand Junction BLM Field Office lacks exclusive legislative jurisdiction within the boundaries of the Grand Junction Travel Management District, it cannot legally vacate a legal right of way as defined by federal or state statutes.

Grand Junction

Penry embraces mindset that led to recent economic woes

I read Josh Penry’s column on Friday (Feb. 27) with amazement. Of course, it could be explained as simply parroting the tea party rhetoric. But I would think Penry would “study history” to avoid repeating it.

He stated that “government should get out of the way” so the recovery could proceed. Well, excuse me, but the most recent economic collapse can be directly tied to the government doing just that. By weakening banking regulations over the last 20 years, we enabled the investment bankers to rob us blind (and the house of cards came down). If the “free-market” ideas were truly followed, those institutions would no longer be in business.

See, the problem with those types is that they want a free rein as long as it aids them. But when there’s trouble, they want someone to bail them out. Something about “too big to fail.”

I, for one, would like to see the government still keep regulating banking (and other things). That is a function of government.

I would recommend a documentary movie to Penry. Its title is “Heist: Who stole the American Dream?” and it explains a lot. But I doubt he would view something so “liberal.” What a shame.

Grand Junction


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