There's a known futility in running for D51 seats

The recent Sentinel editorial, “A vote of confidence?” noted the fact that failure of anyone to step up to the challenge of opposing the two incumbent District 51 school board members does not indicate the community’s confidence in the status quo. That is certainly correct; however there is more to this story.

Over the past number of election cycles there have been well-qualified candidates who ran for the school board with specific ideas of how the quality of education and student achievement could be improved. These candidates were met with aggressive opposition from the teacher’s union and administration. During one election cycle, post cards were sent home with the students by the teachers enlightening the parents as to how to vote. Scare tactics were employed telling parents the teachers would be given pink slips if certain individuals were elected to the board. The degree of deceit was beyond belief. And to top it all off, the local union and the Colorado Education Association in Denver contributed thousands of dollars to see that the candidates of their choice were elected. The powers that be in District 51 do not want fresh ideas or dynamic board leadership.

Why would anyone subject themselves to the underhanded opposition and the financial hardship to run for the school board, when the odds are so stacked against them? Apparently this district is content to just talk about improving education and continue to be ranked among the lowest in academic achievement in Colorado.

PHYLLIS HUNSINGER

Grand Junction


Scott doesn’t take mandate to represent everyone seriously

I was one of the people Ray Scott blocked on Twitter. Despite Scott’s claim that he unblocked people after Leroy Garcia paid a fine, I remained block until recently.

I was blocked not because I was vitriolic, because I am not vitriolic. I do ask questions of my elected officials, and I do question their positions. I was unable to find the tweets that got me blocked, but my guess is that I asked if Sen. Scott represented his LGBTQ constituents as well as his straight and conservative constituents. This is not a vitriolic statement but a question that deserves an answer.

I am not a regular follower of Sen. Scott, so I did not realize I was blocked until I saw the news article about the lawsuit. When I went to check, indeed, I no longer had access to his feed.

Scott’s actions on social media are further proof that he does not take the mandate to represent all his constituents seriously. He will brook no disagreement and will attempt to erase our voices.

Sincerely,

SARAH SWEDBERG

Grand Junction


Science is applied based on moral judgments of people

In “The Politics of Sound Science” (Aug. 30), Greg Walcher misrepresents two fundamental concepts that undermine the logic of his belabored opposition to the reintroduction of gray wolves into western Colorado.

The first pertains to the limits of science and what it can and cannot do. The second concerns the ascription of human characteristics to wild animals such as wolves.

Science is a powerful mechanism for informing our opinions and decisions. At its best, science can explain how the world once was and currently is. Nevertheless, science is ill-suited for determining whether current realities are right, wrong, good, or bad. Only individuals can render moral judgments about how scientific knowledge should be applied. Touting the inherent superiority of the evidence-based positions of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists, or the Rocky Mountain Wolf Action Fund misconstrues the advisory role of science and promotes scientists as inerrant adjudicators of public policy.

Walcher, moreover, describes wolves as “vicious canines,” an unfortunate digression into anthropomorphism. Although wolves are conspicuous carnivores, it is a mistake to deem their behavior as vicious. Because other keystone predators such as bears and mountain lions also instinctively enact their evolutionary programming, each Coloradan must ultimately decide the value of coexisting with these creatures or constraining their presence in the landscape.

Viewing wolves as demons or ravenous threats to human and animal safety, as Walcher suggests, is the stuff of nightmares and legends emanating from a less enlightened time when wolves fell prey to Americans’ hunger for land and resources and, perhaps, their unresolved anxieties about taming the frontier and bringing it under human control.

As Aldo Leopold pointedly reminds us of this ethical dilemma, “The real problem is one of human management. Wildlife management is comparatively easy; human management difficult.”

ERIC FREEMAN

Grand Junction

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