LETTERS

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WASTE OF TIMEI read the articles about the review of the Routt County Master Plan in Thursday's and Friday's Today newspapers.As a concerned resident of the County for the last 24 years, I would like to know why we are wasting our time and money on such things as this.I say this because I've been to all meetings before the Planning Commission and County Commissioners on the Camilletti gravel pit.

It's obvious to me, and many others, that the boards do not follow the written guidelines that have already been adopted by the County. If they did, this permit should have never made it past the conceptual stage.

You cannot mitigate the distance the pit is to the town of Milner. In the current Master Plan it says it is not to be in close proximity to residential areas. It also says not to disrupt scenic vistas. Not to mention the pollution and noise levels that are going to be unacceptable to the area residents of which I happen to be.

I live on the hill above the proposed site and no amount of screening of this pit is going to be sufficient to stop my wife and I from looking down into this terrible sight.I wish the Planning Commission and the County Commissioners would only follow the written word of the Master Plan as it is written. This is not the place for a pit of this size.The increase in truck traffic is going to be horrific. How many people will have to get hurt or, heaven forbid, someone has to die before the cries of the Milner residents are heard. After all, we are the ones who live there. Again, please go by the written words of the Master Plan and do the right thing and deny the proposal.

Jeff Ferguson

Steamboat Springs

YOUTH CONFLICTSThe increasing incidents of school violence by ostracized students are a wake-up call to parents, educators, and community members. The extreme measures of these disturbed students can be curbed if parents, school staff, and community members, working together, ensure that all young people are treated with warmth and respect.

According to the Blueprint for Violence Prevention, by The Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence at CU-Boulder, anti-social behavior-or actions that show a child is not engaging in her or his surroundings-can be checked and redirected in more positive directions when adults take measures to develop a home, school, and neighborhood environment that:

is warm;

positive;

has involved adults;

imposes firm and consistent limits on unacceptable behavior;

and where adults model non-violent conflict resolution.

The 40 developmental assets, identified by Search Institute, provide all adults with a framework for ensuring young people grow up with the support, values, and life skills they need to succeed. Examples of the 40 assets include positive family communication; a caring school climate; personal responsibility; and peaceful conflict resolution. Assets for Colorado Youth, a nonprofit organization, promotes the developmental assets framework to strengthen families and communities. Says Maria Guajardo Lucero, executive director, "Asset building doesn't require a program or additional funding; it's about intentionally forming positive relationships in our families and with the young people around us."

When conflicts do arise in a young person's life, as asset-building adults we can model and teach peaceful conflict resolution skills. For example, the "I Can Problem Solve" (ICPS) method, created by psychologist Myrna B. Shure, Ph.D., recommends seven steps:

1. Identify the conflict by having each person talk about what happened. Emphasize that each person's account is equally important.

2. Talk about the events that led to the conflict. What happened first; second?

3. Name how you feel. Ask the others involved to identify how they feel without blaming others.

4. Listen carefully to each person's feelings and accounts of the conflict. Use empathy skills in trying to understand each person's point of view.

5. Brainstorm solutions. Be creative. Affirm each person's ideas. Encourage all involved to think of a solution.

6. Evaluate each solution. Choose one that everyone agrees on.

7. Monitor how the solution works. If something needs to change, start again.

"If children can learn to solve typical everyday problems, they are less likely to become impulsive, insensitive, withdrawn, aggressive, or anti-social," Shure says.As adults, we can no longer turn our backs on youth's conflicts. By giving young people the skills to solve their own conflicts, we are building the peaceful conflict resolution asset and doing our part to make sure all young people feel supported, respected, and valued.

For information on the developmental assets, call Assets for Routt County at 879-6188 or visit the Assets for Colorado Youth Web site: www.buildassets.org.

Angela KImmes

and Kiki Sayre

Assets for Routt County

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