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What readers had to say this week about local stories, May 13-19

People weigh in on Ascent’s application, a church displaying a campaign sign, the Ute Pass Fire and the abortion rally

Each week we highlight some of the most insightful, passionate and witty comments shared on Facebook in response to stories in The Durango Herald.

This week, readers weighed in on Colorado Board of Education’s direction for Durango School District 9-R to review Ascent Classical Academies’ charter school application, a campaign sign for U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert placed outside a Durango-area church, the cause of the Ute Pass Fire and the abortion rally.

We enjoy readers’ input and reactions to local stories: People can weigh in via our Facebook page, at the bottom of local news stories on our website at www.durangoherald.com or by writing a letter to the editor.

Here are a few comments that stood out this week:

Story: Colorado Board of Education directs Durango School Board 9-R to review charter application
The Colorado Board of Education directed Durango School District 9-R to reconsider its decision declining to review Ascent Classical Academies’ charter school application ahead of Aug. 1. (Durango Herald file)

“I am not opposed to the charter school but I am also not persuaded that we need it. It’s not clear to me what problem Ascent is trying to solve and that these problems couldn’t be solved within the current schooling options in our area. The argument I seem to hear the most is that people deserve more options, but if that is always the argument, should every child have their own school? What is the balance between there? Spreading out the resources from our current schools has consequences too. Is the benefit from starting a new school more than the cost?” – Dani Gladden

“Big win for Ascent! 9-R should be concerned that many students would leave, but they should also agree that they should have the choice to do what is best for their families. Many families that left the district to home school would return if Ascent opens. Hundreds of expressions of interest should not be overlooked.” – Kristin Gail Dallison

“Honoring the separation of church and state is extremely important. If one digs a little deeper, Ascent Academy seems to be a religious school trying to use language that does not sound religious to gain public funding. Ascent Academy is an affiliate of Hillsdale College Barney Charter School Initiative. Hillsdale is a religious oriented school and according to their website, ‘the moral tenets of Christianity as commonly understood in the Christian tradition have been essential to the mission of the college.’ Honoring the constitution requires a separation of church and state, thus no public funds for religious based schools no matter how clever they try and word their mission. I am all for religious freedoms, but religious charter schools should not receive public funding! If someone has a problem with secular learning you have the options of homeschooling or private schools.” – Lisa Self

“This ‘battle’ between the Durango 9-R school board and the parent group, Building Durango's Future, is an unfortunate situation. Neither side is being completely candid about the information that is going out to the public. Eventually the lawsuit will be decided and some of the truth will be made public. Maybe. However, future school board elections are likely to be ugly. We already know how political campaigns can spread misinformation and outright lies. Democracy is not easy.” – Carl Ellison

Story: Campaign sign placed in front of Durango-area church raises questions
A campaign sign for U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert sits in front of the Church of Christ on Florida Mesa on Tuesday along Colorado Highway 172 south of Elmore’s Corner. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

“There should be no question – display political signs, go on the tax roles. And let’s be honest, it seems most every church wants to participate in politics to some extent. So, let us just make this simple and apply property taxes at the commercial rate... their mill levy applied to 29% of their valuation, then they can have all the signs they want! There is merit to the idea that churches should pay taxes, whether they participate in the public discourse or not. There is nothing in the Constitution that exempts religious institutions from taxation. That is nothing more than a long held tradition.” – David Black

Story: DFPD says Ute Pass Fire northeast of Durango was accidental, human-caused
An air tanker makes a drop on the Ute Pass Fire on Friday northeast of Durango. Fire officials say a heavy-duty brush mower struck a rock and started the roughly 30-acre blaze. (Courtesy of Brett Stallings, via Facebook)

“I’ve been mitigating my property for years. Even a random chainsaw spark can start something. I’m not even talking gas-powered, but an electric chainsaw with the chain and bar randomly sparking. Scares the crap out of me as a prospect – trying to do good and ending up doing bad. In general, I carry a fire extinguisher with me, and take care of ground cover first. There are some areas on my property that are safe to work in constant winds, and some where I won’t go in March. In general, I do all the chainsaw work before it gets dry, and physically haul it out in a trailer a month later (about now.) I just hope it begins to rain. It’s scary. ‘April showers’ with not a drop.” – Senior Beavis

“I would just like to say as a resident that was forced to evacuate, I harbor no ill will toward anyone accidentally starting a fire with a mower in these conditions. It could’ve been any one of us. Accidents are just that. There was no malice. Intent matters, and I’m sure this neighbor had no intent to do anything other than mow their lawn. My heart is with them as I’m sure they feel awful. Thank you firefighters!” – Kate Fisher

Story: Protesters gather at Buckley Park for march supporting abortion rights
More than 100 protesters marched down Main Avenue on Saturday to advocate for women’s rights over their own bodily autonomy. (Christian Burney/Durango Herald)

“A total ban on abortion is a religious law based on the religious belief that a developing pre-fetus collection of cells is a ‘baby.’ A lot of people do not believe that. Yet, some states will totally outlaw abortion? So women will lose the right to bodily autonomy the moment of conception? That’s crazy. It’s fine to feel a day-from-conception pre-fetus is a ‘person,’ but your religious beliefs should not apply to other people. A reasonable time period for women to get an abortion should be a constitutional right to liberty (from government interference with our lives).” – Tom Williamson

“Yesterday I was with friends near Durango’s Planned Parenthood as we’re offering good will for all, as the ‘We Will Help You’ sign proclaims. Prayers from many are being directed towards clients, staff and others caught up in the actions that are taking place within the walls of confusion at Planned Parenthood. Honestly, the help offered is full and loving at crisis pregnancy centers such as Lifeguard, which is directly across the street. Ultrasounds are free. Counseling is immediate and without judgment. Job interviews can be arranged. Money can be sent for housing, food, utilities and there are families willing to adopt throughout the Four Corners. The same is true throughout the USA, as there’s no need to travel far to find similar organizations. Also, before making a decision, I would wish mothers and fathers-to-be would discover what a 7-week-old fetus resembles and study its development. The child-in-waiting is alive and growing with human DNA from human parents and has unique value. Please consider offering your equally valued life sustaining bodily sanctuary in order to keep or place your child for adoption. Your options for life are immeasurable, however, the option for death is sudden and finite. Yes, life is difficult and the future mostly unknown yet the preciousness of life is always worth the chance for love in the highest realm. BTW (by the way), at this Buckley Park rally, it was stated that pro life people don’t care about the plight of pregnant couples – not true. Also, the Herald refuses to publish this opinion. Humm?” – Sandy McLaughlin

Reader Comments