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Celebrate child-care providers

Dear Editors,

According to Qualistar Early Learning, “In 1950 only one in 10 mothers of children ages 0-5 worked outside the home. Today, more than 61 percent of Colorado children under the age of 6 live in a household where all available parents are in the labor force. In fact, 2/3 of Colorado families rely on child care in order to work full time. Child care has become an essential service, just like elementary education, water or electricity.”

Not only has child care become an essential service, it is an enabling service because it enables families to work and provide for their families. It also enables businesses to be successful because child-care services provide the workers that businesses need to thrive. Make no mistake, child-care services have become a vital factor in the economic vitality of our communities.

Given the need for child care by many workers, many of our youngest citizens will be in child-care programs in our community. And, noting that 90 percent of our intellectual, emotional and social ability is formed by the age of 3, it is very important that the care that young children receive is of very high quality.

So, what makes child care of high quality? There are several elements, but one of the most significant is well-trained teachers. Well-trained teachers understand the developmental needs of young children and know how to develop programs and activities for children of diverse backgrounds in safe and nurturing environments. It’s not just babysitting any more!!!

Why should you care about this? Aside from the economic factors related to the need for quality child-care services in our communities so that adults can work, it has been documented in multiple longitudinal studies that young children of working parents who have access to quality care as infants/toddlers and preschoolers enter school more prepared to learn, have greater social skills, have an overall higher success rate in school and are more likely to attend college. They are also more likely to hold jobs and less likely to access government-funded services as adults (including incarceration). In short, they are more likely to be producers in their communities as adults rather than consumers of government-funded services.

In Southwest Colorado, child-care providers are4 increasingly engaged in quality training initiatives to provide higher quality services to families who need their services. Since 1999, many have taken advantage of the Early Childhood Professional Training Project funded by the Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation of Denver. This project assists child-care providers with scholarships for college-based professional development. Courses offered by Pueblo Community College have enabled providers to become group-leader qualified, earn Child Development Associate Certificates, become Director Qualified and/or earn two-year degrees in Early Childhood Education. Some have also been able to earn BA degrees by transferring from PCC to Fort Lewis College.

During the Week of the Young Child (April 13 -20), please celebrate the child-care providers who have taken the time to increase their skills and knowledge to provide the quality services that have such positive impacts not only on the children themselves but in the broader community as well.

– Barbara Dodds, Durango

Hypocrisy on the Colorado Trail

Dear Editors,

This letter is in response to Jerry Brown’s letter titled “A poor place for wilderness.”

This is great place for a good, ole-fashioned Wilderness Area. The beauty of this area being designated a wilderness has many implications. Allow me to elaborate. The Congressional designation of an area as Wilderness serves to protect the area from the pitfalls of human use and abuse. These “pitfalls” are considered to be by modern definition … roads and road building, mining, oil and gas (petroleum), and timber harvesting. Now, you refer to these as “extractive uses.” The other side of the coin in this particular scenario is that you and other cyclists would not be able to ride through this area due to its designation as Wilderness. That’s it in a nutshell, right?

You, dear sir, are either a hypocrite, inexcusably misinformed or grossly naive about your pursuits. I’ve noticed a lot of this lately. You and your desire to pedal are directly responsible for a part of the demand on natural resource “extractive uses” that you so vehemently oppose. To put it simply, if you didn’t want a bicycle, there would not be a demand for the metal and the rubber, etc. Do you not realize that every aspect of your hobby … the metal bicycle, the rubber tires, the engineered performance you love and cherish are the direct result of mining, petroleum drilling, road building and timber harvesting, and many other industries? In fact, every aspect of the quality of life we lead in the good old U.S. is fed by a HUGE natural resource demand, and your way of life IS included in that. So, for you to suggest that the USFS should come up with a different designation that would prevent mining, drilling, road building, etc. etc., so that your bicycles can still travel there, is laughable. You are shunning an industry that provides your way of life. The NIMBY syndrome is no excuse anymore. So, it is OK for them to tear up some other area to mine your bike frame? It is OK for the petroleum industry to find more oil for rubber tires somewhere else? That’s typical.

Ask yourself some basic questions:

-What is my bike frame made from, and how are the metals mined? And where?

-Was the energy that went into its manufacture from coal, or uranium, or a cement dam, or a metal wind turbine, or a gold-silver plated photo-voltaic cell?

-What are the tires made from?

-How much gold and silver was used in the circuit boards of the engineers’ computer?

- Is there lead in the paint on the bike?

-Do I really want “extractive resources” to go away? Or, do I just want them in someone else’s back yard?

If you take nothing else away from this response, remember this ... Every time you flick a light switch, eat food, sleep in a house, drive a car, fly, take a crap, take out the trash, buy new shoes, walk into a building, watch TV, listen to music, send an e-mail, turn up the heat, go to the grocery store, flush the toilet, and on and on … YOU use “extractive resources.” I know what you’re thinking, and no, there is not enough, that’s why molybdenum (hardener in steel) has gone up and up in price the last six years. They can’t mine the mo’ fast enough to make cars and bikes for everyone, you included. So, before you point fingers, it is a supply and demand thing, period. Problem is, everyone wants a car, and a bike, and heat, and electricity, and an iPOD, and that warm fuzzy feeling of being GREEN.

The way I see it, if we can’t build a road, mine your metals, drill for your oil or harvest your timber in the Hermosa Creek drainage, then you shouldn’t be able to use a bicycle, or anything else that comes from these industries there either. Welcome to the club.

– Sincerely, Jon Moore, via e-mail

Mispricing and misbehaving

Dear Editors,

Here are four ongoing extremes: “Real Dow & Real Homes & Personal Saving & Debt Burden” at: http://homepage.mac.com/ttsmyf/RD_RJShomes_PSav.html. Each of the first two is mispricing.  Each of the second two is “misbehaving” (likely abetted by mispricing).

Extremes do commonly end/reverse “naturally.

Current financial events are just more-breaking of a thing long-broken. The deceivers, who make more money from the kept-well-out-of-sight mispricings, obfuscate mispricings as the origin of current financial events.

Also: See “The public be suckered” letter in the Durango Telegraph of 1/24/2008.

– Ed Hamilton, Durango

A hugely successful summit

Dear Editors,

The Out on the Colorado Plateau Summit, which sought to encourage dialogue between the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) communities and their allies was nothing short of a huge success.

I attended the first annual event expecting to see 30 to 50 attendees largely from the LGBTQ community. Instead, more than 100 people attended, most of whom identified as straight allies trying to learn more about their LGBTQ friends, family, co-workers, patients, students, clients and neighbors. Attendees traveled from New Mexico, Kansas, Illinois, Arizona and all over Colorado. FLC and many of its staff contributed generously to the event as did several local businesses.

Keynote speaker Mara Boyd, a decorated Air Force veteran, shared her compelling story about a stellar career derailed when she told her commanding officer that she is a lesbian. Some speakers told of family challenges when a sibling came out; others told their personal coming-out stories with intentions to make the journey safer for current and future generations of queer youth.

The workshops promoted dialogue that demonstrated a readiness and willingness for Durangoans and those from surrounding areas to recognize and honor the LGBTQ people we all interact with daily.

Personally, I would like to see all diverse communities benefit from the broad-ranging influence of the Summit. Living in the Four Corners, we are fortunate to have a rich diversity of people of different races, ethnicities, cultures and sexual orientations. Together, with a continued sharing of thoughts, talents and energy, we can create a space where all feel welcome and able to contribute to our future.

Thank you to the OCP organizers and all who attended and contributed for making it a valuable event for years to come.

– Diane Morazan,

Four Corners Lesbian Network

A word from the Lord

Dear Editors:

Appreciating your policy of printing just about anything, hopefully, this word from the Lord, which I received while in prayer March 31, can be shared with my fellow Americans. Thanks for the opportunity.  

Here’s what the Lord says concerning the United States of America: “Your blessings have reached around the globe. You’re the most blessed nation upon the earth because of your founding fathers. You have reached around the world with this gospel message of the kingdom.Your charity and your mercy have touched all nations.

And, like Israel, I have called out to you from the dawning. And as I entered Jerusalem, I wept because they did not receive Me, now this nation – blessed of all nations – has cast me out of your places of higher learning; your schools for the young. And the majority of those who profess My name have no heart for the things of God.

I have sent you sign after sign that I am not pleased. So I call upon My church, My faithful followers, my intercessors. I say to you, ‘Cry out, and save your nation!’ I will hear from Heaven. My mercy is extended to you. But consider what’s going on around you. The society is in calamity. Your financial houses are out of control. Your moral standards are crashing.

But still – cry out, and I will hear you! Stand together and speak My Word. (2Chron7:14) But consider what’s falling around you. Consider the nations of the earth. As you dissipate, so will they!! Wake up; rise up – I have given you a place of faith like never upon the whole earth. Your God is an awesome God. And I will pour out My Spirit once again, says the Lord. You will see My mighty power once again. There is a harvest to be gleaned. Pray for laborers then. Those I have called and anointed shall go out in faith. They hear My voice and are obedient to it.

America, awake! Your loss will be a great loss. My church has a blessed hope. Intercede on behalf of your nation. There’s a mighty cloud of witnesses in Heaven who hear your prayers, as well. They will cheer you on. My purposes are very clear to them. You are still on the earth to stand this very day. Encourage the brethren with this message till I come.”

– Jim Cuthbertson,