Sound off for Jan. 19, 2003

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Another option

Both my children attended Montessori preschool. My youngest attended Denver's Mitchell Montessori through fifth grade when I transferred him to the International Baccalaureate Program. While I support Montessori education, there are some serious issues that need to be addressed. Does the school district pay for early childhood education as in the case of Mitchell? To qualify for the elementary portion of their program, a child had to have the Montessori foundation. Parents of substantial means are able to provide Montessori preschool for their children. What becomes of those children whose parents can't afford that expenditure? Do they miss the opportunity to participate in the elementary Montessori program? Montessori parents in Denver pushed for a sibling policy. Although my son was first in the lottery draw, he was initially denied enrollment because brothers and sisters of other children already in the program were given preference. This is discriminatory and I fought for his acceptance. I believe in Montessori education but I don't believe it should be funded with tax dollars. It was a logical choice for a magnet program in Denver. They needed to have something that would draw children from the suburbs into the inner city. Steamboat isn't faced with the same problems and our public schools are very successful. Additionally, If we are looking for alternative programming, I would suggest the International Baccalaureate program.

Alternative needed

At first I did not support a public Montessori school, but now I strongly support it and I hope that they extend the grade offerings through 12th grade. Steamboat Springs needs alternative public schools to the middle and high schools. My children will never attend a public school in which religious recruiting is allowed at lunchtime and I do not want my daughter to become a statistic, considering the numbers of sexual assaults in grades 12 and below. Yes, our school system needs an alternative to the mess we have, and the Montessori school is a fine alternative.

Not the Oak Creek Pilot

Enough about Oak Creek. How could Cargo what's-her-name be newsmaker of the year in Steamboat? Isn't the population of Oak Creek a tiny percentage of Routt County? I guess someone on the editorial staff must be obsessed with Oak Creek. It's the Steamboat Pilot not the Oak Creek Pilot. I wonder what visitors to Steamboat think when they read all this nonsense about the barflies in Oak Creek.

No groups allowed

Bravo to Jeff Troeger for taking a stand about religious groups in the middle school. I agree completely with his remarks in the Sunday paper and he obviously has a good sense of humor about the whole thing. It seems completely crazy to me that any group of adults can just hang out in the middle school. It should be limited to teachers, parents and school employees. I thought one of the most important founding principles of our country was the separation of church and state. Whatever policies the school board is relying on are either being misinterpreted or need to be changed.

Kudos to Tom

I just finished reading Tom Ross' column about the winter of 1975-76, and I just wanted to say how much I enjoy all of his columns and the sort of local perspective and historical knowledge he brings to everything he writes. I think he epitomizes what Steamboat used to be all about and what many of us would like to see Steamboat get back to.

Survey issues

You have to be kidding. The school district is going to have a survey put out, but if you want to be part of a focus group that gets to be part of the survey, you have to call the school district and put your name on a list. How anonymous will this be. How many teachers and staff members will want to be on that list? Even business people might not want everyone in the school district to know who they are. Let's get real. Let's have some other way to be a part of a focus group to be a part of the survey.

Maybe an underpass?

It seems to me that the safest pedestrian access on Mount Werner Circle would have been for the Steamboat Grand to build an underpass so that people could walk under the road safely to Ski Time Square. I'm not sure why our planner didn't have the Grand do this. Maybe it was to save money. Or maybe they just didn't have the foresight.

Leave drunks alone

Hey big brother. There are intoxicated people in Steamboat, Routt County, Colorado, the United States and all over the world. Should we round up all those who have broken no laws and who are hurting no one and put them into detoxification centers? Is that the answer? Intoxication is as old as time and will continue until the end of time. Stop ruining people's financial lives and harassing people for the age-old quest of intoxication. And stop wasting taxpayer funds.

Thanks to director

Thank you Sound Off for being here. I just wanted to thank the new public works director in Oak Creek. He's doing a beautiful job. It's so nice not be woken at 5:30 a.m. by a plow truck plowing you in right before you go to work. Everything looks beautiful in town, and we really appreciate your efforts to be considerate to your neighbors.

War is death

The reasons given for war against Iraq are simply illogical. The emperor has no clothing. Speak now if you care for our young soldiers who should not be sacrificed for such an unworthy, foolish and ignoble cause. Their sacrifices will not make this a just war. The United States had traded wisdom, reason, fairness and diplomacy for ignorant fear mongering and blind self-righteousness. Diabolical forces are pushing us to world war, and the reasons are fear, greed and pride. War is death.

Montessori would help

I think the state was right to tell the school board to reconsider its decisions against the Montessori Charter School. Although I wouldn't send any of my children to a Montessori school, I strongly feel we should be able to have one here, that it would just help with the options available to parents.

Missed opportunity

The school board missed a great opportunity to show the community that they are not in Superintendent Simms' back pocket as many in this community believe. Requiring that Dr. D include as part of his new contract a commitment to mediation with the superintendent may be proper. However, this same requirement should have been included in the superintendent's contract, too. This relationship involves two people, not just Dr. D, and I have personally witnessed the disrespect the superintendent shows for her principal. The board may have found a hole in the line, but they have fumbled the ball once again.

Ongoing dispute

In response to the letter "Sharing the Land -- Forest Service sides with groups who want to cut access" in the Jan. 12 Pilot & Today: Forest Service employees are more or less helpless to respond to the unwarranted and fact-less diatribe contained in the letter. The skier-snowmobiler dispute has been going on for at least two decades. The two groups have worked together cooperatively at times with the Forest Service to mark trails to alleviate the problem. To little avail, apparently, as the snowmobilers seem to insist on motoring anywhere they desire -- even into the wilderness areas. Since there seems to be no cooperative solution, the Hahn's Peak District Ranger Kim Vogel has quite properly chosen to make a decision to resolve the conflict. There has been, and will not be, any favoritism to skiers; and no "arbitrary and capricious phasing out of snowmobile use everywhere," as the London, Ohio, author claims.

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