Response to ‘View of Bert’
I would like to voice my support of the Berthoud Recorder and, in particular, its journalistic staff that provides Berthoud its news with objectivity and integrity. It troubles me that a member of our Town Board would question the motives of the Recorder, even so far as to recall the results of a lawsuit that should be dead and buried and has nothing to do with town business.
We look to our print media to provide us with information that is both accurate and ethical. The Recorder has attempted to do this and instead of having someone respond with clear and factual information about the accomplishments of this committee, has received this angry diatribe.
I also think we should stop blaming every questionable thing that happens in the town on the former Town Administrator. But that, as they say, is another can of worms.
— Judy Lehn, Berthoud
Wildfire a Community Success
Wildfire Community Arts Center thanks Berthoud for a successful Eighth annual Street Festival and Silent Auction. Although there were a few rainy moments on Saturday, the crowd and entertainment at the eighth annual street festival didn’t give up and stayed in place until 10 p.m. celebrating another year with Wildfire. Wildfire was supported to the tune of approximately $3,000 by the silent auction bidding, and beverage sales.
Fire dancers closed out the evening accompanied by Jacie McConnell her band An’ Shee Eilee, and the BlocoEmFoco Afro Brazilian drummers. The festival this year instituted more emphasis on food and had local barbeque wizards G & S Barbeque, John Dough’s Pizza and delicious grilled hamburgers, brats, and homemade desserts from the Berthoud United Methodist Church.
Wildfire would like to thank all the volunteers who made the event so smooth and fun, Joyce Jones for letting the kids play on her beautiful grass, all the artists who donated art and the people who showed their support by purchasing items at the silent auction.
Wildfire will continue providing classes and programs for the community, and will likely undertake some improvements in the studio space with a portion of the proceeds from the 2009 festival. Fall classes are starting soon. See our Web site at www.WildfireArts.org for information.
— Wildfire Community Arts Center
President’s Message Worthy
I’m sure a headache like this was not how you local educators imagined starting the school year, but as a former history teacher, Assistant Principal, I’m deeply disappointed by the decision by the Thompson Valley School District not to take advantage of the brief, and easy civics lesson afforded by President Obama’s back-to-school speech to America’s children on Tuesday, 8 September.
True, a minority of the Berthoud area voted for Obama, and I certainly appreciate that interruptions to the planned curriculum of any sort are contrary to educational best practices. Yet, for this not insignificant minority of voters — regardless of their ethnic background — the President’s message has special significance in the history of the civil rights movement. Millions of young Americans around the country will actually be able to believe it, this time, when their President tells them that if they work hard, and succeed in school, they too could do anything in this country, even grow up to be President.
I appreciate that the District’s decision to defer this to individual teachers and principals put many of them in a difficult spot, and I’m sure they’ve heard plenty from those opposed to the President. The simple fact of the matter, however, is that Barack Obama is the duly elected President of the United States; that teaching students to avoid political issues undermines our civic culture; and that allowing phone calls to determine what will and won’t be taught in schools undermines the democratic processes by which we make education policy in this country.
I strongly encourage the school district’s leaders to reconsider, and to show the speech as part of your Constitution Day activities on September 17th. On a day set aside to honor the document that protects the rights of all Americans, it is important to remember that the minority’s right to be heard, is first and foremost.
— Tim Kubik, Berthoud
On a Different Note
“On Tuesday morning, Sept. 8, Turner Middle School will join public schools across America as we show the live broadcast of President Barack Obama’s special address to our nation’s children.
The president’s message of encouragement and support is appropriately scheduled at the beginning of what we believe will be an exciting year of learning and growth. We welcome the president’s decision to present a live broadcast, thereby engaging himself in Turner Middle School’s educational pursuits in a direct and meaningful way. President Obama will challenge students to set meaningful educational goals for themselves, facilitating lifelong learning.
Please feel free to contact Turner Middle School with any questions or concerns, or log on to the official Department of Education Web site, www.ed.gov for a complete description of this special educational event.”
From the discerning, decisive Turner Middle School I have grown to trust and admire, this should have been the note sent home to parents Sept. 4. Instead we were handed a sad, grim note of surrender. “Turner has received a number of inquiries regarding if students will be shown the speech. After discussion with our staff, President Obama’s speech will not be viewed on Tuesday, Sept. 8.”
This just doesn’t sound like any of the teachers I’ve come to know. So tell me…
Wherein lie these teachers of such ill repute
For I have seen them not.
Bring them forth
That I may challenge
The machinations of their boggy brains,
The measure of their cranial capacities.
Ah, perchance the foul culprits
Lie not within these fair walls
But elsewhere wand without.
A small, yet vocal minority
Hath driven this decision home.
Shame shall forever be their scratchy mantle
as they lumber beast-like, but blind,
One clumsy mind bestowing naught but swill.
Well, it’s late, and I’m getting carried away. But as events inevitably unfold, by 10:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, a rather rare opportunity will have passed our children by. The tentative language of the Sept. 4 note brings into question whether or not Turner Middle School students will even be allowed to see President Obama’s address at a later date.
Our schools claim to strive to uphold the following standards: to be inclusive, to welcome diversity, and to encourage the open exchange of ideas and opinions. Sadly, with one shortsighted decision, Turner made a mockery of those ideals last week by saying, “Thanks, but no thanks” to the president of the United States.
— R. Patrice Lier, Berthoud