Letters to the editor | VailDaily.com

Letters to the editor

Terry Quinn

I don’t want Ward Churchill to get fired. Yet. He has served to bring public attention to the sorry state of our public universities. If this leads to needed reforms, that’s a good thing. It is duplicitous for Churchill to claim the right to free speech. Last fall, he and others interfered with Italians and their Columbus Day parade. This gives an insight into the mentality of the left. They go on and on about free speech for themselves. But if they apply the right label to someone else’s speech, then it’s OK to muzzle them. In the case of the Italians, it was “ethnic intimidation.”Which brings us to our college campuses. There, certain odd notions are not only entertained, but subsidized. In Ward Churchill’s case, it’s a department of ethnic studies. Does anyone believe that office entertains diverse views on race? Or is it more likely that it tolerates only a narrow, left-wing perspective? It is common to find a number of such advocacy departments at universities. It goes further than that. Even in more traditional departments, there is a serious imbalance of opinion. It is common knowledge that conservatives are under-represented in such places. Is this a valid academic atmosphere, denying students exposure to various points of view? Going even further, the left imposes speech codes and other means to suppress ideas with which they disagree. It is not uncommon for a conservative speaker to be shouted down. The excuse is that such talk is hate speech, sexist, racist, homophobic, militaristic and so on. “I am offended” is one of the standard beginnings of such reaction. Of course, there’s more that deserves a look at Colorado’s campuses. The athletic scandals, substance abuse, student safety and foundation hanky-panky are also problems. Saturday’s Rocky Mountain News headlined: “CU bar tab: $508,000” for a story about the amount of liquor CU bought to promote higher education. It said two-thirds was spent at a store owned by the recently resigned athletic director. It would be better if politicians did not have to get involved. But the Regents, who are supposed to be in charge, have just sat there all this time, doing nothing effective. When is the next election when some of those positions will be on the ballot? Who will run, offering something other than more of the same?The heat is on, thanks to Ward Churchill. The Regents are stalling on taking action, perhaps in hopes that things will have died down by the time the investigation is completed. In the end, they’ll probably cop a plea somehow. But in case they do fire Ward Churchill, he can get a job somewhere else. Like at the Vail Daily, filling in on Matt Zalaznik’s day off. You’d probably never notice the difference. Terry QuinnEagleHow-to modelThe Web site for the state of Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County’s solid waste management is a good resource for studying up on a state-of-the-art WM facility. It shows in detail all the moving parts, the facilities and the technologies used, and describes the evolution of their county’s awareness and how they put into action a better waste management system. See http://www.lcswma.orgIf you find that Web site interesting, take a look at http://www.plasticsresource.com to improve (or refresh) your plastics vernacular. That site lists the plastics resin indentification codes 1 through 7, and describes the chemistry and uses of each.Then get back to basics at http://www.napamax.org to see how Napa County in California puts to practice encouraging and enabling RE-USE over recycling. Though Colorado seems a step behind many of our nations’s recycling programs, I believe the state is offering tax incentives for those interested in purchasing recycling equipment that readies recyclables for shipping and handling to Material Recycling Facilities.And further reading indicates that the demand for recyclables is currently greater than the supply.Billie KrugerVailVail, Colorado

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