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This message is in response to the negative press that the TAP program has been receiving from a small group of Brush Creek parents. I have been an educator in the district for the past 13 years and I have children who attend school here.

We are not conducting an experiment in Eagle County School District. However, we are implementing school district reform, and it’s about time. Believe it or not, community members, we do have some teachers who are in desperate need of development, improvement, or just a good kick in the … . Until the public speaks to their legislators to get rid of probationary and non-probationary status for teachers, which means that after three years in ECSD we are stuck with them for life, we will continue to have people who should be flipping burgers, not attempting to educate our children.

It has been my experience that the teachers who are professional, innovative, knowledgeable and not afraid of change are not threatened by the TAP program. In fact, they are using it as a means to improve their teaching and to impact student achievement. They are the incredibly dedicated teachers who understand workload, and who also have the common sense to recognize that sometimes change means letting go of past practices to make room for the new ones. It is also my experience that there is more cooperation and collaboration amongst my colleagues than ever before. We finally have been given the time to discuss practices and programs that we feel will benefit our students. In conclusion, I believe that I speak for many ECSD educators when I say “hats off” to John Brendza, and thank you for not being afraid to challenge the status quo that has existed in this district for at least the past 13 years.

Strain of uncertainty

I have to say that as a mother of a soon to be kindergartner, I am a bit concerned about what is happening in the school district, and I have been very watchful of the letters in the paper about the TAP program. Needless to say, there is a lot of controversy over it. So far what I have seen is that the administration is trying to push something at the parents and teachers, and the parents and teachers are pushing back. Whether the program is wonderful or awful, I would encourage much more communication from everyone. The main goal of everyone, I would hope to believe is that our children are learning and growing and will have a successful school experience. Right now, I would have to say that is probably not happening as there is a battle happening and the children are feeling the conflict. …

Nothing new

I read the article in the Trail about Tom Stone. What’s interesting is that I looked at the front cover of that newspaper, and I thought, Well, gee, there’s going to be a great expose article that’s going to just reveal some horrible crime or miscarriage of justice. I read a similar article six months ago – no new information, it is the same crap that is being restating over and over. The more I read it, the more I’m convinced there is no conflict of interest. We live in a small valley here. Relationships with contractors and architects and all kinds of people, they come up in different capacities before elected officials that they may have had personal relationships with. It just blows me away that we’re spending that much time dealing with such a lame issue. I think what’s really surprising to me is we’re spending taxpayers’ dollars having the DA do an investigation. It seems like some county commissioner, perhaps Arn, is spending way too much time focusing on what his rival there on the commission is doing rather than doing the county’s work. …

Drunk on the road

I was driving home from work in Vail approximately 11 o’clock at night when I noticed a white Toyota Corolla 4 door with a ski rack on top driving erratically. I did not have a cell phone to call 911 and report this drunk driver, but I noticed in my rearview mirror that he was swerving all over Dowd Junction. He got off at the Eagle-Vail exit, tried to pass three cars on the right-hand side, and then proceeded to cut left across two lanes to make a left hand turn at Eagle Road. All I can say is that I hope that the Colorado State Patrol, Eagle County Sheriff’s Office and the Vail Police Department, those three police departments that this drunk driver drove through, hopefully next time someone will get him. This guy could barely keep his head up, and I don’t think that’s very safe. Please, if you have to, put more people on at night. Sitting in Avon at a roundabout is not a bad thing. If you are sober and have nothing to hide, don’t worry about being pulled over by a police officer. These drunk drivers have to stop, have to stop.

Enough sour grapes

I’m just reading today’s newspaper, and I got a chuckle, I’m reading about Arn Menconi talking about Tom Stone wearing two hats, and I’m trying to figure this out. Doesn’t Arn wear two hats? Aren’t you Arn Menconi the commissioner and Arn Menconi the director of the Snowboard Outreach Society? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist or even a snowboarder to figure it out, Arn, you’re just jealous. I mean Tom Stone the Realtor is a much more comfortable life than Arn Menconi the snowboarder. Get serious, Arn, enough sour grapes.

A leadership thing

I’m a Democrat with a clue. I don’t believe we have a problem with representation in either party. It’s not the Democrats or the Republicans, simply a leadership problem. George W. Bush is a wonderful person, a great man. He’s just a poor leader. Protecting the wrong country did not help 9/11. The economy that he inherited was shared with his buddies. I believe he’s a good man. Once again, it’s not the Democratic Party, it’s not the Republican Party, it’s an American leadership problem.

Just advertising

This is in reference to Murray Hemminger. His letter on CADS. … you should just label it advertising. I’m 76 years old and I’ll quit skiing before I’ll stick a couple of rods up my blank and ski. I know they get in the way when you fall, and if a guy’s in shape, you don’t need that stuff, but no more advertising for CADS and Murray Hemminger. He may have won 72 races out of 90, but it’s in the master series, when you’re only racing with one other person, or maybe he was racing by himself, but enough with the advertising for CADS.

Thank the VRD

I keep seeing this ad in the paper for the Vail Nordic Center saying thank you to the locals for keeping the track free, but I think it’s the Vail Recreation District that keeps the track free, so I think we should thank the Vail Recreation District for doing an awesome job grooming our free Nordic track all winter long. Too bad winter’s almost over, but they did a great job, and I just want to say thank you to them.

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