Dig in those heelsI appreciated Mr. Brendza’s response to the prior Tipsline comment concerning the Teacher Advancement Program’s $2 million price tag. I’m delighted to see that two out of the 10 TAP schools have shown improvement. I’m assuming that the other eight schools did not improve, but I’d be happy to see that data that disproves my idea. I heard that during the 2004-05 school term that the last four or five of our schools will be on board using the TAP program. I noticed on the Milken Family Foundation Web site that only 71 schools in the entire nation are using this model, and that our school district will be the only district in the nation utilizing this method at every school within our district, and that our high schools will be the first in the nation to give this model a try. Are our children and teachers the subject of an experiment in school reform? I’d like to see the specific research papers supporting that this program is really worth the monetary cost and that it actually does increase student achievement. Teachers, could you please use this Tipsline forum to voice your opinions? Do you see this model increasing student achievement in your class or do other methods increase student achievement? How is this working for you in your classroom? What works, what doesn’t?Would helmet have helped?I feel saddened about the loss of Josh Malay, local snowboarder. The question is, would a helmet have made a difference? Did he wear a helmet, was he wearing a helmet, and what does it say about wearing a helmet?Still mad about magVail Valley advertisements preach conservation of water in small pictures and clever sayings, sponsored in part by the Daily and the water board. Other Vail Daily articles preach that you should wash the underside of your vehicle if you drive through magnesium chloride pretreated roadways. Possibly you should relegate or delegate one of these opinions to the Vail Trail staff so that the Vail Daily can take their schizophrenic stance and possibly stir up quasi controversy about the magnesium chloride abomination to the environment.Dems, get a clue alreadyThis is a question for all the angry Democrats that keep writing in against George Bush. What is your biggest problem? Did you not understand that 9/11 happened and that he inherited a bad economy? So there are two points that he has really come up against, and guess what? This president is a good, honest man and he will do the right thing for the country.Replying a bad thing?Regarding John Brendza and TAP, I was amazed that you as a superintendent even responded to an anonymous tipsline. It proves that you are unnerved by the recent parent committee in Eagle questioning your leadership in regard to TAP. You, sir, should not be pulled into anonymous columns. It maligns your credibility. But now that we have your attention, maybe you’ll stop being so defensive. Yes, you are hearing us because you respond even to Tipsline. Now please listen, too. We don’t want to hear about test scores. Of course they are going up, because you have eliminated the teaching of science and social studies until grade 4. Content reading is a smokescreen. What about millions of dollars spent on curriculum materials in these areas? Any child receiving intensive reading and math drills specifically targeted toan upcoming CSAP test will improve. We want more for our children. We want them to be able to think, examine and be liberal arts learners. Listen to us. Your teachers and principals are miserable that they cannot speak out because you have an atmosphere of intimidation. I was a teacher for 14 years in Eagle County School District. I know that ECSD spent millions of dollars on supplies and training for elementary, science and social studies a few years ago. Now it is not being taught. Such a waste. Go ahead, build up your career as a leading performance pay superintendent, and leave us with a mess. Shame on you.Call for karma policeJust wanted to call and personally thank the dishonest scumbag who put a lovely dent in the left rear door and quarter panel of my silver 1999 Volkswagen Jetta while it was parked in the parking structure or soccer field lot and didn’t bother leaving a note and taking responsibility for their actions. I hope the karma police pay you a nice little visit and infest you with the lice of a thousand camels, while at the same time inflicting you with a bodily rash the likes and severity of which have never been witnessed by modern medicine. Shame on you and your family name. Brian Baker, Vail.Promote helmetsMy heart goes out to Josh Malay’s family. What a tragic loss. My question is, what the heck was he doing jumping off rocky cliffs without a helmet on? As the parent of a 14-year-old male snowboarder, it is hard enough for me to convince him to wear his helmet every time he goes up. But when he sees the professionals riding on Channel 8, in local competitions, etc., not wearing helmets, it makes it even harder. Why don’t you professional riders set a good example for our children, and start promoting the use of helmets?Must be immigrantsGlancing through the newspaper here, I notice there’s labor jobs for $8 hour. Pretty interesting. In 1979, I made $10.50 an hour as a laborer, not ever working in construction at all. What is going on? Can anybody figure it out? And then in the same breath, gas is almost doubled in price, rent is definitely doubled, God only knows how much food is, and I’m watching TV, the same evening here, and we’re bolstering Iraq’s borders to keep out people. Wait a minute, here. We need to bolster our borders so we can earn a decent living. Please give me a break. Somebody help.Let’s stop it nowThis message is titled: “Hey Edwards, wake up”. Rick Hermes is not the reason the B&B gravel pit is going away. B&B is out of resources at the Edwards location, and their lease-own land is done in 2005 anyway. There are other options for this land, one involving the Vail Valley Foundation. Let’s stop Hermes before he gets started. Let’s not let Edwards become another Avon.Appreciate the helpThis is for the guy in the red truck that let me know I left my gas cap off and almost lost it in Highway 6 on Wednesday. It’s people like that who make us stay in the valley. I appreciate that again, and I hope I can reciprocate sometime. Call me Jimmy. Thank you.Get involvedYay for the parents who are stepping up and taking an interest in TAP. Please continue to question is this is the most beneficial path for our children in our school district.Love ungodly?I would like to respond to the comments made by the God-fearing homophobe on Thursday, March 4. What is ungodly about two people who love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together? Nothing, according to this person’s God, provided the commitment only made between a man and a woman.To suggest that homosexual love and commitment is sickening and ungodly is illogical and ignorant. And to the person who actually believes in such a myopic God, I will pray for you and hope that one day you see the light. My name is Sarah Robinson, and I would be proud to attend the wedding of Dick and Jane, Susan and Jane, or Dick and Walter.Should ban the stuffLet me see if I understand this correctly. CDOT has for years said that magnesium chloride is harmless. CDOT paid for a study by the University of Colorado that said so. They said it is harmless to the environment, yet trees appear to be less than healthy where they use mag chloride. They said it is harmless to vehicles, yet we all know it is highly corrosive. They said it is harmless to your health, and so far there’s no proof otherwise. CDOT says that their study show a reduction in accidents and road closures, and this is probably true, but is it all because of mag chloride or the fact that more people use better designed all season or winter tires than they did even five years ago. More people are driving better designed vehicles equipped with all wheel drive, antilock brakes, traction control, and other vehicle stability management systems. These facts as well as the truck chain up areas and enforced chain laws probably have as much to do with reduced accidents and road closures as mag chloride. CDOT claims to be a financially strapped government entity, yet now they spend thousands of dollars on billboard, radio and newspaper advertising to tell us that the so-called glorious gunk they study as being harmless is actually harmful. They tell us to wash our cars early after every application of this crap, which can be every day, as is the case lately. Has it occurred to CDOT or anybody else that we are in a drought? Isn’t it time we wake up and ban the use of this stuff? Just another example of a mismanaged, bureaucraticorganization run by an overpaid, underperforming government worker.Civilized societyIn reference to the letter on Sunday the 7th of March about the young lady who had the ill manners to spit on the older lady’s fur coat, I say to the young lady, well done and bravo. I wish I had such courage in my convictions. Wearing fur demonstrates a despicable and sickening willingness to torture and kill small animals in order to flaunt your wealth. Maybe we should do a little more spitting.They made our visitThis is Frank Cresta from Montana. I just wanted to congratulate the information people at the information booth. They do a fantastic job. We came in and were looking for a hotel room on short notice, and kind of were in a bind, and they helped us to find one. Then later they helped us with some restaurants and other activities. The skiing helped, as well, but we wouldn’t have had a good time if they wouldn’t have been there, so thanks for the information.A burst bubblePlease save the ice bubble, by making it a multi-function building, or perhaps a grant from the National Hockey League. Possibly, some of that good tax money. Thank you. Without sports we are a burst bubble.That’s hope?This tip is to all the people who keep getting something in about a God fearing society and what goes against God. The sooner the society realizes that there is no God, the better off we’ll all be. Hopefully someday is sooner rather than later.No license?Excuse me? I’m reading the paper March 10. The airport has a ground transportation company that has no PUC license? Who’s going to pay for that mishap? It certainly is not going to be JackIngstad or Tom Stone or Mike Gallagher.Outraged at dismissalI am outraged that Superintendent Brendza let a terrific educator like Nelson Gould go. The only reason I could figure out is that Nelson didn’t enthusiastically embrace the district’s ill-conceived TAP program. What a tremendous loss for the school district. Clearly the writing is on the wall in bold capital letters, and Mr. Gould is just the first of many talented dedicated educators who will be shown the door for opposing the ludicrous TAP program being imposed by a heavy handed superintendent and board. As a taxpayer, I can assure you that as long as Mr. Brendza is superintendent, I will vigorously campaign against any tax increase that the school district might propose.Evaluation is stressfulIs TAP really a success? This call is in response to John Brendza’s letter to the editor. Are we sacrificing our children and our teachers to the TAP program just to produce better test results? Is the sacrifice worth the results? Since the implementation of this program, I have heard over and over again from teachers who are currently working at TAP schools how unhappy they are in their jobs because the TAP program is adding more workload, is creating less cooperation amongst teachers, is taking the teachers out of the classroom when they really want to be with their students, and is adding more stress to the teacher’s workday when they are constantly being watched under a magnifying glass. I don’t know about you, but I do not perform as well when I feel that I am constantly critiqued by my co-workers. Teachers have enough worries in their day than to worry about every move they make and for any mistakes to show on their next evaluation.