Summit Daily letters: 1A represents Summit County values
October 31, 2018
1A represents Summit values
The 1A ballot initiative truly represents the values of our community. As a resident of Summit County since 1994, I am all too familiar with how hard our locals work to attain the dream of a middle-class life in our beautiful mountain community. I know that we value quality education for our kids, we want to support the mental health of our friends and neighbors, and we are fierce protectors of our amazing environment. Perhaps most importantly, we don't wait for "fixes" from Washington or Denver. We identify a challenge and work together to find a solution.
When I was asked to be the treasurer of the 1A campaign, I did my homework. I assure you that there were years of planning with the right experts in the room. This initiative was created by our friends and neighbors who are leaders of nonprofit organizations in Summit County. The Summit Foundation, FIRC, Early Childhood Options, HC3, Building Hope and Summit School District are a few of the organizations whose leaders have shared their expertise, best practices and research to establish the programs and services that will be funded by 1A.
This measure would raise substantial funds over the next 10 years, which would allow programs to be implemented and staffed for the long term, to ensure proper outcomes. To protect the interests of taxpayers, both Summit County and these various organizations will audit the programs for expenses and success. It's not a blank check.
Our community organizations developed 1A and our community members will benefit from 1A. 1A represents our values — making preschool affordable and accessible for our local kids, bolstering mental health services, stepping up our recycling efforts and protecting our communities from wildfires. I urge you to join me in casting a YES vote on 1A.
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Colorado's future is bright with Amendment 73
As a Summit School District board member, I know first-hand the budgetary challenges faced by our district due to the School Finance Act not being fully funded since 2009 despite our highly supportive community! There has been a loss in the state share of funding to the tune of about $27.6M that would have gone into the district's operating budget over the past decade. Amendment 73 is a statewide measure that would be a long-term fix after a decade of cuts. These cuts have consequences — Colorado invests about $2,800 less than the national average on each student, trailing even Mississippi and Alabama. This disinvestment has also resulted in Colorado paying the least competitive teacher wages in the nation. Given that Colorado has the best economy in the nation, it's time we address this conundrum.
Amendment 73 would raise $5.9M for Summit School District and it gives our district the control needed to address its biggest priorities. This proposal creates more adequate, equitable and sustainable funding for our schools by having those who have benefited the most from our booming economy contribute more, coming closer to paying an equal percentage of taxes as others — all the while keeping Colorado's status as a low-tax state. Even with Amendment 73 passing, it will take more than five years of this new funding to repay the past shortfalls. The longer we wait, the more expensive the fix will be.
Amendment 73 will help fix a broken state funding system that places too much pressure on districts to pass local property tax measures. The ability of some communities to pass measures while others have tried and failed has created 'haves and have-nots' among Colorado's children. Everybody wins when our kids attend well-resourced, inviting classrooms and learn from caring, dedicated educators. Our students deserve nothing less.
Our voters have a real opportunity this November to make a difference for our children, our communities and our state. Vote Yes on Amendment 73.
Lisa W. Webster
The senior discount stops here?
So, the Frisco Nordic Center is raising rates for the Super Seniors. I can't say I blame them. That snowmaking and the groomers don't come cheap. And besides, there is no earthly reason that someone, just because they are 70, should be provided what is essentially free skiing at three ski areas. Last I checked, Vail Resorts doesn't do that.
I am just guessing here, but I would be willing to bet that the demographic impacted by this fee increase is hitting those with the deepest pockets in the county. Sure, not every senior has a lot of money, but as a population base I'll bet they are pretty well off. If anything, a rate cut should go to the 20-year-old "kids" who are working minimum-wage jobs.
This would have been my first year to take advantage of the Super Senior rate. Alas, it's not to be. But I'll happily pay a fair amount to ski these great Nordic centers. So this year I will pay $195 for a three-area pass — ski 50 times and that comes out to $3.90 per day. In Summit County I doubt you can buy a cappuccino for that!
Meat industry is really scary
I have no fear of zombies, witches, or evil clowns lurking on Halloween. What really scares me is the meat industry.
This is the industry that deprives, mutilates, cages, then butchers billions of cows, pigs, turkeys, chickens – animals who feel joy, affection, sadness, and pain, as we do…
— that exposes undocumented workers to chronic workplace injuries at slave wages, and exploits farmers and ranchers by dictating market prices…
This industry contributes more to our epidemic of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer than any other, then bullies health authorities to remove health warnings from dietary guidelines…
— that sanctions world hunger by feeding nutritious corn and soybeans to animals, instead of people…
This industry generates more water pollution than all other human activities, spews more greenhouse gases than all transportation, and destroys more wildlife habitats than all other industries.
Fortunately, my local supermarket offers a rich selection of plant-based meats, milks, cheeses, and ice creams, as well as a colorful display of fresh fruits and veggies. Even the meat industry publication Feedstuffs reports that sales of plant-based foods doubled last year. That's what gives me both courage and hope.
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