Printed letters, July 17, 2011

It should not be difficult for state Sen. Rollie Heath to obtain 86,000 signatures for a ballot measure for tax increases for schools. There are that many teachers, union members and administrators just waiting to get their hands on more money.

It is a fact throwing gobs of money toward schools does little good and never will until Amendment 23 is trashed and the unions stop gutting or stopping every new idea that would get us back close to the top of countries with superior educational systems.

Like us, schools can learn to be lean and mean during these times of high unemployment and astronomical deficits that need to be corrected prior to taxing the public more for zero results.

R.M. SHERMAN

Grand Junction

Don’t raise property taxes unless schools are fixed

I am absolutely amazed and appalled at the School District 51 Board of Education. I, like many others, have been waiting patiently for property taxes to go down to meet property values. Last year’s taxes just about did me in.

I am sick and tired of the threat and scare tactics that are constantly used by governmental agencies and elected officials to try to squeeze more money out of the taxpayer. It is always the police, fire department or education that “will suffer if we don’t come up with more money.”

There are hundreds of other programs that can be cut, but that would not scare people enough to cause them to give up more of their money to the government.

District 51 is still very top heavy in the personnel department, and they, coincidently, are the highest-paid people. Go to any school in the district and you’ll find most administrative work is done by the lesser-paid office personnel, not the administrators.

Give me one good reason for a school to need a vice principal, much less two or three, as are in some schools now. If the principal is doing his or her job, there is no need for an assistant principal.

Thirty people in a classroom and no assistant teacher? What a crock! I went through Denver Public Schools, and was never in a class with less than 30 kids. There was never a teacher’s assistant. Could it be the teachers were better at their jobs?

At the end of every year, the many failings of our schools are posted in the paper, and then they have the stones to ask for more money. It is obvious to me they are not spending the money correctly to get the job done. And they want more? Money does not educate children. Leave our property taxes alone.

I would vote for an increase in funding for education if four things were to happen: First, a major improvement in school productivity; next, the elimination of the state board of education; also, elimination of the unions; and finally, an end to cutting programs,  replaced by cutting the upper tier of unneeded administration.

DAVID SHRUM

Grand Junction

Justice was served with Casey Anthony verdict

In the July 14 edition of The Daily Sentinel, M.E. Johnson complained in a letter to the editor that there was “no justice” in the Casey Anthony verdict.  I think I can understand how one might come to such a conclusion, and largely for reasons that Johnson outlined.

I, like nearly all people with whom I’ve discussed the situation, believe that Anthony was actually, very probably, deeply involved in this tragedy.

But I also feel that the prosecution may have rushed the case to trial without preparing a strong, persuasive case, failing to prove guilt, as was their responsibility. They left the gate invitingly wide open for “reasonable doubt.”

I was glad to see that the jury, instead of kow-towing to howling public opinion, followed the law and responded to the prosecution’s performance by rendering a “not guilty” verdict.

I feel that, in this instance, given the performance of the prosecution, “justice,” as intended in the books, was served and that “reasonable doubt” is well worth preserving and protecting.

RAY LASHLEY

Grand Junction



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