Saturday, September 10, 2005
As a new resident of Steamboat Springs, I could fill pages about all the things I love about our new hometown. However, one fly in the ointment for me is the lack of accountability in your Sound Off section. I have been amazed at the degree of misinformation and just down-right whining I have read. I think if you take the position of publishing people's comments, you should list and authenticate the identity of the author. Anyone can complain, but it is a different matter to enter into a positive dialog about an issue. I would hope that you would seriously consider revising this tabloid type of publishing. It is not a healthy outlet or practice.
-- Mark MacHale
Punish sex offenders
I have a beef that I feel many people agree with -- the punishment of sexual offenders. These people are given second chances, and if you do the math, most repeat the offense. Why are they dealt with so lightly? They are committing the capital crimes and murdering the innocence of children, yet they are given second chances, slaps on the wrists and less time in jail than drug dealers. Let's get serious. Death penalties for repeat offenders, not rehabilitation. That does not work.
As a teacher in the Steam--boat Springs School District, I was appalled at the poor decision to have an incumbent School Board candidate make a speech at the teachers' opening meeting and the new teachers' orientation. It was much like a campaign speech, to the point of the statements "I hope I win" and "Vote for me." It's not only extremely inappropriate for the district's superintendent to allow, but it's politically incorrect.
Treat schools equally
I am definitely an advocate for small class size. In fact, many of our elementary classes are too large with more than 19 children. However, I'm not in favor of the middle school adding more teachers to lower class size. The teachers were in favor of larger class sizes so they could have two planning periods each day. If class sizes are lowered, planning time should also be decreased. Elementary teachers have up to 25 kids in a class and only one planning period each day. We need to make sure this is equitable for our elementary children and our elementary teachers.
Air ambulance needed
Yes, The Yampa Valley does need a locally based air ambulance service. The delays already have caused bad outcomes for several patients at the regional hospital, and the time delay factor is critical.
I'd like to address the issue of Oak Creek allowing mini-motorcycles, pocket bikes and all-terrain vehicles like snowmobiles on the town's streets. I've been living in Oak Creek, and a couple of years ago, I had a close call with a snowmobiler. They don't follow the rules and regulations of speed, they ride at night, flying up and down the streets on private properties, and by the time police arrive, they're gone. Please don't allow this. It's dangerous for us citizens and children.
Don't kill the fox
I do not think they should kill the hairless fox. I think the hairless fox and any hairless cats that may be in Steamboat Springs deserve to be captured and taken to the pound, in the case of cats, or relocated into the wilderness, if it's a hairless fox. I have actually met the hairless fox, and he was harmless to me. He didn't try to bite me, and he was chasing a mouse when I saw him. So I think he's an alright guy. He should just be captured and relocated, as you would do with any other wild animal, such as a raccoon or, perhaps, skunks.
Save historic buildings
I think it's time the community got together and saved all the historic buildings on main street and otherwise.