Maintain Adult Ed
The Adult Education program of the St. Vrain Valley School District faces severe financial cuts this year, and there is talk of ending it.
It would be a mistake to cripple or end this program, which since 1968 has provided a refuge and resource for nontraditional students, including those with full-time jobs and court orders, for parents motivated to improve themselves and for non-English-speaking people of all ages and backgrounds. Adult Ed is the only diploma program for students over 21 in the SVVSD boundaries, and the least expensive and most convenient resource for high school and language learning.
Please urge school administrators to maintain and adequately fund this valuable program.
Comment limit OK
To play devil's advocate, may I suggest the following?
As in most of your First Amendment issues, I agree with your editorial of Jan. 13 in that residents have the right to address their City Council, but I do not agree with your implication that the council has no right to formulate guidelines, even to the extent of placing a reasonable time limit on this free-wheeling portion of their meetings.
A possible analogy, and yes, I know the difference, might be found in the limitations your newspaper imposes on "free speech" material submitted for publication. Besides other restrictions, letters to the editor are limited to 300 words every two weeks; the gossipy T-C Line carries numerous preclusions. We may not like these guidelines, but they're fair to all.
I think it's unfair to those who volunteer to govern us locally, no matter their political ideology, to be held hostage for up to an hour and a half at every council meeting so that they can occasionally be turned into sitting ducks for abusive personal remarks to which they dare not reply, for fear of being called a bully or worse. One hour should accommodate 20 speakers.
Some public boards, to minimize redundancies, require that if several people plan to speak on the same topic, they select one or two to represent them. Most public boards, including the Boulder County commissioners, allow no up-front commentaries at all.
If the same, easily identifiable people who appear regularly at the city hall microphone are, for some reason or other, unable to otherwise communicate directly with the mayor and council members individually, then a longer time frame might be justified. But that's not the case.
Yes, I want people to have their say. But let's be reasonable about it.
Use smoke alarms
If you do not have working smoke alarms in your home, you may never wake up to a fire. In a fire, smoke almost always travels ahead of the heat and flames. Most people who die in a fire are killed by the smoke long before the heat of the fire ever reaches them.
Smoke alarms have saved more lives in the past 30 years, since they became commonplace, than firefighters ever have. The Longmont Fire Department wants everyone to have working smoke alarms. Longmont building and fire codes, along with virtually all national fire and building codes, require smoke alarms in all new and existing homes. None of the national fire or building codes requires or even recommends heat detectors in homes.
Smoke alarms are the most effective and affordable way to alert your family of a fire in your home. At less than $20 per unit, smoke alarms can affordably be installed in all bedrooms, outside all sleeping areas and on each level of your home.
If you live in Longmont and cannot afford smoke alarms for your home, Longmont Fire Department will install them for you for free.
If you are elderly and cannot reach your smoke alarms to test or change the batteries, Longmont Fire Department will do it for you for free.
If you have smoke alarms but cannot afford new batteries for them, Longmont Fire Department will replace them for free.
Contact us at 303-651-8437 for help in making your home and your family more fire safe.
Call 911 to save a life, stop a fire, or report a crime.
Longmont Fire Department
Thanks to the generous efforts of Longmont residents, thousands of hurting children worldwide have the opportunity to experience the joy of Christmas. Longmont-area residents joined Operation Christmas Child, the world's largest Christmas project of its kind, to pack 7,610 shoeboxes with toys, school supplies and necessity items. These gift-filled shoe boxes made their way into the hands of needy children in 100 countries.
On behalf of our community, I would like to thank the volunteers at local collection sites and everyone who packed an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift. For many of the children receiving these boxes, the simple shoebox will be the first gift they have ever received.
Although the Longmont drop-off location is closed until November, gifts are received throughout the year at Samaritan's Purse, 801 Bamboo Road, Boone, N.C. 28607. If you would like to get involved year-round in helping children in need through Operation Christmas Child, visit samaritanspurse.org/occ or call 303-745-9179.
Thanks again to everyone who participated in this project. A simple gift, packed with love, can communicate hope and transform the lives of children worldwide!
Operation Christmas Child
Recently I attended a town hall meeting hosted by our congressional representative, Corey Gardner. I raised the subject of the many "inaccurate" statements spread about the president and his policies. Most of them are still being spread in spite of having been disproved. As I recounted some of these "inaccurate" statements (the president wasn't born in the United States; he's a Muslim and a communist; he's going to raise your taxes and take away your guns; Obamacare will restrict your health care), I was shouted down by most of the attendees and shut down by Mr. Gardner, who didn't allow me to finish.
I've seen video clips of people being booed, shouted down and shut down at Republican gatherings, but I never expected that I would be the victim of Republican discomfort with inconvenient truths.
Not class warfare
Someone writes of the persuasiveness of Rep. Cory Gardner in opposing what had once been accepted as a reasonable opinion, that the richest among us pay a tax rate that could be regarded as progressive.
But he should know that the inequality Mr. Gardner's opponents cite derives from the law passed in 2007 by a Congress that felt it could not oppose George W. Bush in the midst of the celebration of "Victory in Iraq" that was as fictitious, and perhaps as dangerous and tragic, as that law has been.
The idea that "class warfare" is part of the issue is an absurdity. If there was any warfare against a class it occurred in 2007. Is it not astounding (and how little it says for our future) that people who pay 25 percent or more of their net income to the government are so intimidated by these fake ideas that they are convinced it is right that people who earn far more (like Mitt Romney) should pay much less? Yes, astounding indeed.
Our polity is founded on justice and equality, not unjust, inequitable self-sacrifice.
The Longmont Weekly welcomes readers' letters and guest opinions. All submissions may be subject to editing. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Longmont Weekly. Letters should be 300 words or less guest opinions no more than 700 words. Name, full address and day phone are required. Electronic submissions only to email@example.com