Wednesday letters: Celebrate teachers, wolf science, guns, other graduation sash examples

Second Amendment

Honoring teachers

​​The following letter was addressed to the Roaring Fork Schools teachers, and copied as a letter to the editor.

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week and each one of you deserves all the accolades in the world. Though every single member of our RFSD family is important, this week provides a special opportunity for all of us to express the innumerable reasons why we are grateful for the special people who work so hard and passionately to educate our students: our teachers.

Some of you have heard my story about how fortunate I was to have a teacher and mentor who I often credit for changing the trajectory of my life. Thanks to him, I enrolled in college. At that point, I recognized that he had already significantly impacted my life, and I wanted to have that same kind of impact on the lives of others. It is because of him that I became a teacher. I have been lucky to be a student of countless educators who have positively impacted my life.

I am confident that you each have at least one teacher who left a lasting impression on you and if you’re anything like me, you have way more than just one. I also know that each of you are making a difference in the lives of our students in the Roaring Fork Schools every single day.

In honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week, on behalf of the RFSD Board of Education and Executive Leadership Team, I want to thank our teachers for all you do for our students. We cannot fulfill our mission without you.

Jesús G. Rodríguez, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools

Colorado not the place for wolves

The wolf advocates got their way; it’s time they stopped pretending to be defenders of science and admit their vote was based upon emotion.

Even those most vehemently opposed to wolf reintroduction recognize that wolves have a place in nature; places of vast wilderness and limited human impact.

Colorado is not that place. 

The population density, population distribution, transportation corridors, composition of land ownership, and use of land differentiates Colorado from the most-cited scientific studies upon which wolf advocates lean.

CPW conducted a study on declining mule deer populations in the Piceance Basin and determined that lions and bears were responsible for 50% of predation of collared fawns. What scientific evidence suggests adding a third apex predator will benefit that ecosystem?

In recent years, wolves from neighboring states have made their way into Colorado and it was even reported that a pack formed. What is the scientific evidence to support the introduction of non-native wolves which will be in direct competition with the wolves who are naturally finding their place in Colorado’s ecosystem?

Introducing wolves to Colorado estimates a price tag north of $6 million, without accounting for expected depredation payouts and lawsuits. I fail to see how that kind of tax burden is an economic benefit to the people of Colorado.

The claim, “Wolves have the power to help buffer…against the oncoming environmental consequences of our species” appears to be in contradiction to the primary argument being made. 

For wolves to have a proper place in our current ecosystem, we need to first address the apex invader of the ecosystem — the ever-present recreationist whose environmental impact is expanding in distance, method, duration and frequency. That means we need to close all hiking trails, biking trails, 4×4 trails, campgrounds, ski resorts, disallow hunting, halt resource extraction, and tear down hundreds of miles of wildlife fence. When that is complete, Colorado will have achieved the ideal ecosystem for the prestigious wolf to repair.

Nicholas J. Krick, New Castle

Competing ethics

The Lake Christine Fire was the result of the adrenaline and testosterone rush of watching tracer bullets in fiery flight toward a target. 

Presumably, all gun owners have a set of parameters of when and where they will fire their weapons, be it target shooting, hunting, self protection, vengeance, armed robbery, murder/suicide, mental illness, or mass shooting. 

It is this array of intentions and vagaries of the human heart that render “the right to bear arms” problematic. All of these are protected and unpreventable acts granted under the NRA interpretation of the 2nd Amendment. 

How this ethic meshes with “the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” remains open to debate. 

Robert Porath, Boulder/Meredith

Plenty of examples

Come on GPI, give the Garfield-16 superintendent a break in the Grand Valley High School graduation sash controversy (May 8 Editorial).

The superintendent probably realizes she could have used a better analogy than the Confederate flag as a reason for not allowing a student to wear a sash with Mexico/U.S. identifying characteristics. Here are two examples of two possible sashes that the school district or others might not want worn to a graduation ceremony:

• A Republic of Texas flag, worn by a former Texas resident who is proud of their heritage. The Republic of Texas, as you might know, allowed slavery and later entered the Confederacy. The Republic of Texas flag might be considered a racist sign by some.

• A Russia/U.S. sash, worn by a native Russian student, or even someone with Russian lineage. With the U.S. in a proxy war with Russia, do you kinda think someone might object to being forced to view such a sash at a graduation ceremony.

Other examples shouldn’t be hard to come up with.

Lynn “Jake” Burton, Glenwood Springs

AR-15s good for nothing but killing

“An AR–15 style rifle chambered in a .223 Remington round or a 5.56x45mm NATO round is hereby declared to be the National Gun of the United States.”

The quote above is the entire text of H.R. 1095, a bill introduced in Congress on Feb. 17 by our Congresswoman, Lauren Boebert. One of her co-sponsors on the bill is none other than George Santos, the Congressman who faked virtually every aspect of his life. Is this a cruel joke?

The AR-15 assault rifle Congresswoman Boebert wants to make our “National Gun” is a weapon of war. Its bullets are designed to tear human flesh to pieces by “yawing,” tumbling or fragmenting in the body, and thereby causing maximum internal bleeding and tissue damage. 

I am a Vietnam war vet, and the M-16s we carried there were an offshoot of the AR-15. The Army always told us it was the best rifle in the world because of how efficiently it killed “the enemy.”

Recently, the AR-15 has been used in mass shootings in Texas and many other places. As we see almost nightly on TV, it has shredded the bodies of innumerable men, women, schoolchildren, and even babies. 

These innocent victims are not “the enemy,” Congresswoman Boebert, and our peace-loving nation does not need a “National Gun.”

Andy Wiessner, Snowmass

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