Sound off for Feb. 16, 2003

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Stanford compromised

I think it rather interesting that the Pilot & Today's editorial board, I believe headed by Scott Stanford, takes an opinion against the Montessori charter school when Scott Stanford's wife (Kelly Stanford, the district's director of content standards) has a key position and role in the district. The other thing that is interesting is that when Cyndy Simms talks about making cuts to programs if this charter school comes in, you never see on her list of proposed cuts administration, which has doubled since she took the helm of the district some 10 years ago.

Wrong on Montessori

Clearly the Steamboat Pilot & Today editorial board does not understand the charter law in our state. It is not intended to be used only in failing school districts to increase performance but rather to create innovative ways to educate children. School districts are intransigent and are bound by teachers unions and have an inability and unwillingness to try to innovate. That's why we need the charter law. Our own school district has said Strawberry Park and Soda Creek elementary schools are intended to be exact duplicates in curriculum and method. Call it best practices and utilize lots of different messages, but they are still intended to be exactly the same. They are CSAP driven, test-score driven, and many parents don't believe that is the best way to educate their children. Clearly more than 100 parents have said they are interested in seeing this option in Steamboat Springs. What you are saying is if you do not think this is the time because of the economics at the state level, you are saying that choice is not something to have except in the best of economic times. What you are saying is the money that the state appropriates for each child, that that child should not have a choice of educational method, even if the method better suits that child's learning style. And what that means is the only way they can get an option in education is if they are wealthy enough to afford a private school. Our affect on the district is 1 percent of the district's budget. Any business that cannot handle a 1 percent reduction in revenue has a problem.

Can't afford Montessori

I think the Montessori school sounds like a good idea. But we're a small town and we just can't have everything the big cities have. I don't think we should jeopardize the children in our school district to add another program if the school district is already looking at budget constraints and deficits. I think we are very fortunate to have the number of amenities we have in our small town and sooner or later I think we need to look at the economics of this small town and figure out what we can afford to support now and in the future.

Shame on newspaper

Shame on the Pilot & Today. On Friday, Jan. 31, the Today buried a story about the Wille family and their results from the National Western Stock Show on Page 8. Why wasn't this article headline news? The Willes basically swept the medals in the equivalent of the agricultural Olympics and yet the Today even failed to print a photo along with the article. In a town where we are desperately trying to hang on to what little is left our ranching heritage, shouldn't this ranching family have received a little more recognition for their hard work and incredible results?

Don't like classifieds

I have a problem with the classified ads and the advertising going on in the classifieds. The last thing I want to see is somebody's face when I look in the classified ads.

A vote for school choice

I think everyone should get to choose where their tax dollars are being spent. If you send your child to private school and have to pay for it, you should get a 100 percent refund on your portion of tax dollars going to a public school your kids are not using. On top of that, all taxpayers should get a vote on whether their education tax dollars go to a public school fund or a private school fund. That way taxpayers could decide which to support. I have no children myself, but if I had a choice my tax dollars would go to a private school fund.

Conduct inappropriate

Disrespect should be the Steamboat Springs School Board's middle name. Monday night's board meeting was appalling. Defensive behaviors, refusing to relocate the podium, which was in the middle of the room, going to the refrigerator when a citizen was speaking and several interruptions are only a few unprofessional characteristics of our board of education. No wonder there isn't a district-adopted virtues poster in the board room. Board members are unable to model these virtues themselves.

Rally for Dr. D

Parents for Dr. D need to reunite. It all started with the Pow-Wow at Howelsen Lodge. Then we heard the wagons were circling the superintendent. Listen up. It's worse than ever on the home front. There are issues galore that need wrangling. Round 'em up. It's time to rodeo and be at Dr. D's side one more time.

Saddam must go

My commander-in-chief was a real statesman named Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Still fresh is the memory of standing on the beach on Guam with the tears streaming down my face when he died in 1945. He had the same problem at home as our current president -- protests, demonstrations and dissent in the Congress at a crisis point in our history. FDR was finally able to declare war and join that other great statesman -- Winston Churchill -- after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. All the appeasers shut up abruptly. Iraq and its links to terrorism are a parallel crisis in some ways -- certainly the appeasement aspect of it, anyway. Should we wait for another twin towers (a symbolic Pearl Harbor) to extend the war on terrorism to taking out Saddam Hussein? I think not.

Kudos to councilors

Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah. The Bud Romberg and Arianthe Stettner that I helped vote into City Council months and months ago have finally shown up and just in the nick of time. Let the community survey be your directive and you will then be well representing your respective constituencies. Please don't be afraid to ask the tough questions and make the hard decisions. There is no duty more honorable in public service than protecting your community and trying to make it a better place to live. We desperately, desperately need controls on certain types of commercial growth in this city. Thanks again for speaking out on this subject.

Headed down wrong path

If the city decides to pick and choose which businesses should be permitted to exist, then it must take responsibility for each business' success or failure. This will require the city to subsidize expenses like rent, utilities and taxes during the down times and take a share of the profits in the good times. This is called socialism and it doesn't work in America. How is it that one person becomes a small-town council person and then has the wisdom to dictate the career options of an enterprising individual. In these hard economic times, the city should be encouraging commercial growth, not killing it.

Control growth

Yes, I do think the city should implement measures to control growth. I do not want to leave the future of our valley up to market controls.

Poor handling of meeting

School Board President Paul Fisher cannot allow himself to be rude, defensive and out of control with district teachers and parents. I know he will defend Cyndy Simms even when it is clear she is wrong. Why can't he and the board accept the truth? No one asked the board to do anything but hear the truth.

Confidence shaken

My confidence in board President Paul Fisher and the superintendent was sorely shaken at the board meeting last Monday. I feel that the rest of the board needs to sanction Mr. Fisher and the superintendent.

What about veterans?

All these Johnny-come-lately peace promoters of self-importance turn my stomach. They appear to publicly invest immeasurable "energy" and untold dedicated time proclaiming self-attention all in the moral sanctity of encouraging unified peace. While at the very same time, these same so-called good-intentioned peace lovers could have spent just a fraction of their abundant free time and energy to "cheer up" or directly remind a "disabled" veteran that they have "not been forgotten." These veteran brave souls who have honorably sacrificed his or her personal physical and spiritual health protecting these very self-centered peace lovers would appreciate some sort of consideration of time, but instead these ignored broken veterans in VA hospitals or nursing homes read about these self-glorified peace lover's quotes saying "love our enemies."

Stand up to the board

Kudos to Dr. D. for standing up to the censorship and false reporting of the Steamboat Springs School Board.

Picking on children

Should the city charge user fees for soccer and baseball fields? No. Why are you picking on the kids?

County snow sculpture

I'm wondering why the county does not support the school kids and put a snow sculpture in front of the county courthouse.

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