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Wisdom from the Web

Compiled by Daily staff

On the Vail Daily Web site, you can comment on each story or editorial you read there.Here, we publish excerpts of those comments:Re: Focus on achievementThat was a great speech Mr. Brendza. Unfortunately, you sound more like a politician than an administrator. The CEO of a company such as yours must always look at all factors. First of all, let’s look at your pet project being used on the students of Eagle County, TAP, the Teacher Advancement Program. This is year three of full implementation in our district, the only district in the western United States using this program, by the way. The best teachers (masters and mentors) have been removed from our children’s classrooms for a substantial period of precious teaching time. Meanwhile, the rest of the teachers stay in the classroom. I don’t have a Ph.D or anything, but common sense tells me the best teachers should be in the classroom teaching 100 percent of the time. Why not have the master and mentor teachers stay in the classroom teaching, while the others leave their classrooms to learn how it should be done by observing the best in action? Seems to me we have it backwards here. If the best teachers are out of their classrooms, then we are not placing them in front of our students every day. Furthermore, this year all the specials, i.e. art, music, etc are taught on only one day of the week because of TAP. Do we not think that our kids deserve to be taught about culture the rest of the week? If teachers are so important to you and as you state to our kids, why then did we have such a high turnover last year, which your office downplayed as being near the state average? Shouldn’t we have a much lower turnover rate than the state average if they are so important to you? I don’t want my children to be guinea pigs for your experiment that you state has “long-term” goals. Three years is “long term” in my child’s education, that’s half of their elementary school time with your company. The title of your commentary is “Focus on Achievement” and you state that your company has a “laser-like” focus on this goal. You must be joking. In a district as affluent as ours, our district has not met the 90 percent proficient rule of AYP (adequate yearly progress) the past two years. AYP is part of “No Child Left Behind.” This is an important measurement because now you have had to submit a plan to the state in January to address how you will meet AYP, so that the federal funding for the district will not be lost. You can talk all you want in the media about how the state got your report card wrong last year, but failing to meet AYP is the most miserable measurement of all. … Re: Health care ‘still not safe,’ speaker saysIn response to the questions posted, I would like very much to share my thoughts with your lovely community. The best way to make certain that your community is safe is to keep this issue alive through discussion and public meetings. Your hospital has already had the foresight to staff patient service-oriented professionals. You have both a patient safety/performance improvement coordinator and a director of quality management who attended the luncheon. This shows me that your community hospital wants very much to be involved in patient safety, but in order to do this effectively they need you to partner with them. I would strongly encourage your people to become involved with patient safety committees not only through the hospital, but also through your civic leaders. This could eventually become a liaison committee that you speak of. I would also recommend that you contact IHI and JCAHO for advice on how to be more proactive consumers in these matters as well. There are also patient safety organizations, also known as PSOs, being formed all over the United States that will collect data on medical errors to learn from it. The data collected may not be used in litigation, but will be very useful in protecting the public from future events. We are hoping that someday the voice of the consumer will be a part of the PSO reporting system. Of course our organization PULSE is always available as well as I am to assist you. You are in an ideal situation to lead your region in consumer-driven health care, which will encourage quality and partnership with your providers. For more information on the agencies I mentioned please go to the following links:IHI: ihi.org/ihiPSO Legislation: theorator.com/bills109/s544.htmlJCAHO: jointcommission.org/PULSE: pulseamerica.org/A community like yours that takes an interest in these issues is an inspiration to all. Thank you for your commitment to bringing about positive changes in healthcare.Jennifer DingmanPULSE of ColoradoRe: Second call for CSAP boycottNicole Frey: The following is grossly inaccurate:”Glenn Harakal says he decides what’s best for his children, even if it’s ‘illegal.'”As is: “Harakal also said the new flyer delves into parental rights – like the right to take a child out of testing even though it’s against the law.”The issue at hand is that the state does not “grant” the right because parents already “have” parental rights. Nowhere did I ever acknowledge that boycotting CSAPs was illegal or against the law. Furthermore, the “penalty” for boycotting is a “zero” grade for your child for the school district. I don’t consider that a penalty, but rather a bonus that gives parents leverage against the current administration. Glenn HarakalEditor’s note: The Daily stands by the accuracy of its story.Re: Youngster takes on old hand for state HouseDan (Gibbs) seems like a nice kid, but he has no experience. We need someone who will give us a strong and experienced voice. He will probably be just like the current Democrat in office and decide that he doesn’t like it after one term and then quit. These Democrats seem to be real quitters.Re: Second call for CSAP boycottGlenn Harakal stated in his letter to the editor, “Concerned parent fights for district reform.” He then goes on to list his agenda and things people and the district can do to improve the situation in our schools. Our schools are not educating our kids to an acceptable level. John Brendza promised us that the TAP program would raise achievement. It has not. According to the CSAP results found at (http://education.rockymountainnews.com/index.cfm?search=scoresDistrict&year=2004&dnumber=910), in 2003, 10th graders of our school district scored as follows: The percent passing in math, 34 percent; reading, 64 percent; and writing, 51 percent. In the year 2005 the percent passing in 10th grade: math, 29 percent; reading, 62 percent; writing, 47 percent. As you can plainly see the results were horrid to begin with and have declined in the past three years. Our school district has historically shown this pattern. The longer students stay in the district, the worse these students perform. The district is in denial and something must be done. Imagine if we had vouchers. The ECSD certainly would approve because if their programs are as good as they claim no parent would withdraw their children, and therefore the district would not be afraid of competition. Thank you, Glenn, for stepping up and rattling a few cages! Re: Hear Chris and Ian talk about the week ahead in local and national sportsWe loved it. It was great. What a nice addition. Please bring those great guys back.Editor’s note: Chris and Ian will talk about the week in sports every Saturday in the soon-to-be-launched Vail Daily podcast page, so stay tuned!Re: VR should stayHere’s another concern about Vail Resorts relocating its offices to Denver: When we’re out of sight, we’re out of their minds.Could it be easier to make decisions that dramatically and negatively impact employees’ lives when you’re removed from the day-to-day scrutiny of your constituents?What will happen to health insurance, pension plans, pay raises? Will these be chipped away because shareholders become ever more important than those responsible for the corporation’s success?Perhaps a union card will be as necessary in the future for Vail employees as an employee pass.Unless there’s some ironclad reassurance to the contrary, perhaps we had best begin investigating just what it may take to get one.Re: Who’s subsidizing whom?Wow! Listening to Ron Wolfe make excuses about his corporate welfare program makes me worry about global warming. What a big bag of wind he is. Every penny that the town spends on the Confluence site is another penny in the developers pocket. The site should have been turned into a park. Now all you will have is over development and the town is paying for it. Why should the town reimburse the developer for anything? Stop global warming today and get rid of Ron Wolfe.Re: The new pub in town – Finnegan’s WakeMy wife and I visited the pub for the St Patricks Day celebrations. It had a fantastic atmosphere as the amount of attention to detail that went in to making the evening so special was tremendous. The owners obviously have expertise in the entertainment business and left a lasting impression in our minds. They also had a group performing the Riverdance who were excellent !!Re: Don’t be late, and answer the phoneThe correct Web site address is http://www.gethuman.comRe: Youngster takes on old hand for state HouseDon’t sell (Dan Gibbs) short till you see where he stands. I’m not much for Democrats, but I know Dan very well, and he at least has integrity and knows where he stands. That is a lot more than I can say about our current representative or senator. He’s got my vote, and hopefully you’ll do more research before dismissing him just for being young and a Democrat.Re: Second call for CSAP boycottWhy is it that whenever someone decides to challenge the status quo of the school district people attack the messenger? From what I observe, Mr. Harakal only wants people’s attention, and I think he has achieved that goal. He wants people to freely speak up for and against the school district. He wants parents and teachers to come together and talk about issues facing all of our kids. The way the schools work now, only a very small portion of kids are being served. This is logically to the detriment of all the others. Our district has basically operated the same for the last 20 years, and it is time for a system-wide shake up so we truly can be a premier district. So from where I sit, you have missed the point and your attacks of Mr. Harakal are ill placed.Re: Don’t be late, and answer the phoneKaye (Ferry): Good for you. If it weren’t for the fact that you are a woman and I am a man, I would have assumed that I had a twin that I did not know about. Your two pet peeves are the same as mine. I once had a fellow worker riding to work with me daily but he was always late. I always know exactly what time it is and I told him that we were leaving at 6 a.m. I had previously left him a time or two. One morning as I was watching the seconds tick away to the departure time, he came to a screeching stop and jumped out of his car, threw his lunch pail in the back of my truck and hollered at me that he needed to run to the store, which was about 100 feet or so, for a pop. As he was running to the store, the clock turned straight up 6. I left him. There is no excuse for tardiness and I do not tolerate it. I have fired people for it. By the way, this fellow worker was never late again. As for the dreaded phone menus which we both hate, when you get the machine which asks you to pick a language or any other option for that matter, which will only get you to more options and on and on and on and on – do nothing. Pretend you heard nothing. Do not pick a language, do not push a single key, not even when they say to speak to an operator push 0, do nothing, ignore them and most of the time you will get put through to a real live person. Try it, It works great. Much faster. Re: Another big box for Gypsum?I don’t really see how Costco affects small business. It will help them by bringing multitudes of people close to them, but who they affect will be Wal-Mart and City Market. Both who need to be shaken up. Wal-Mart will have to stock their shelves or lose. It will shake up the liquor and gasoline markets, as well.Re: Quit pretending this isn’t a suburbMatt Zalaznick: You’re not completely right. However, you’re close.The real threat to a small town and its sense of community is the constant outsourcing of our sense of community by the sale of our town’s real estate to people who don’t live here.The worst of course is time-shares that encourage an army of folks to visit us for a week a year, then leave. Suburban areas don’t have this epidemic of 2nd home owners owning over 50 percent of our downtown real estate….and is now the case in Vail and Avon.The existence of any big box store just means the average working family that does live here, gets to buy some of the things they need for their family at an almost reasonable price. The same cannot be said for gasoline. Think it through again, Matt.Re: ‘Vail is not a real town’If Vail does not provide reasonable cost venues like 8150 to survive, it will turn out as stale as boring Beaver Creek.Vail, Colorado


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