Summit Daily letters: A waiting list for pre-K students is shameful
August 29, 2018
Act now before it's too late
In response to the Summit Daily reporting that "345 children on pre-K waiting lists due to lack of space, staffing shortage." What if the article had said, "345 Summit high school students on wait list due to lack of space, staffing shortage." That would never happen for the issue would immediately be taken care of. Plus, the high school students would be marching, lobbying, speaking out on social media, protesting in many different ways. Their protests would be on the front page of the paper everyday.
Unfortunately, the 345 pre-K children can't march, they can't lobby, they can't write checks for if they could, the heat would be turned up on this shortage. Elizabeth Edgar, Early Start and Head Start director, was quoted, "We know from current brain research that the ages of 0-5 are critical areas for development."
These early years are the foundation for all of their futures. This is a critical age to stop bullying before it begins. This is where social skills are starting to develop for the adult world. It is estimated that the reason for 85 percent of employees being let go is from lack of social emotional aptitude, not from job skills. Realizing this, businesses should be a strong supporter of early childhood development.
If you were a builder and found that after a couple years there were cracks in the sheet rock, it would be obvious that a better foundation was needed to prevent such problems. With early childhood schooling we are building a stronger foundation to reduce problems later on.
Summit County is a resourceful community. Let's see some creative brainstorming take place. Get businesses involved, churches, community centers. The heat needs to be turned up on getting these 345 children a place in pre-K. Lets do the "marching" for them. Let us not waste this special young age.
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Founder, Children's Kindness Network
Climate change and wildfires
On Aug. 15, there were 11 wildfires, over 100 acres in size, burning in Colorado, the majority located on the western slope.
Senator Gardner has joined Senator Bennet and Congressman Tipton, who represents the Western slope, to issue statements that affirm their commitment to seek federal aid. We appreciate the steps taken. However, there was no mention of one of the primary factors that is considered to be contributing to this excessive fuel load — shifting climate patterns. These are considered a driving force for both regional drought and the beetle epidemic.
There is a 97 percent scientific consensus that fossil fuel emissions are causing small increases in global atmospheric temperatures leading to shifts in climate patterns around the world.
In the West, climate change is about water. Brad Udall, a hydrologist working on western water issues was hosted at CMC by the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District in June. His presentation included data showing that Colorado weather patterns are shifting as predicted by climate models. "Drought" and warmer winter temperatures will likely be the new normal. A consequence is that the "fuel load" of our forests will continue to increase.
At the end of his talk, Udall endorsed his priority solution – enacting federal legislation that would put a price on fossil fuels. A Carbon Fee and Dividend plan would return the proceeds of the collected fee to citizens on an equal basis. This solution is endorsed by scientists, politicians and economists across the political spectrum — including leaders within the Republican party. The Climate Leadership Council speaks to this.
Although many Republican legislators are reluctant to speak up, this hesitancy is shifting. I encourage voters who wish to remain loyal to the Republican Party and who also recognize the link between fossil fuels and climate change, to hold their government representatives accountable.
What if Clinton were in Trump's shoes?
Try this thought experiment. If Hillary Clinton had squeaked an electoral college victory while losing the popular vote, and then been found to have paid illegal hush money to cover up a sordid affair which would have almost certainly cost her the election, would Republicans allow her to remain in office? Would Republicans be happy with her selecting two very liberal Supreme Court justices? No. She would be impeached in an instant. The indignation among Republicans in Congress and among Republican voters would be enormous. Well, that is the way Democrats feel right now. In the name of decency and fairness to the American people, Congress should act to remove Donald Trump ASAP and forego appointing any Supreme Court Justice at least until after the midterms. In fact, his "victory" was illegitimate and Hillary Clinton should be named president.
John Yates, MD
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