Pine River Times
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Melanie Brubaker Mazur
Denise R Hess
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Bayfield, Co 81122
480 Wolverine Dr. Bayfield
COMING March 26!
Zero Dark Thirty
Rust and Bones and more!
Over 4000 titles
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Killing them softly
A Royal Affair ~ and more!
This year’s heated (to put
it politely) debate about
Amendment gun rights
includes on one end those
who insist that any gun re-
strictions whatsoever are a
plot to gut the amendment
and take away our guns.
Others argue that the
other amendments in the
Bill of Rights have some
limits and are not abso-
lute, and neither is the 2
five parts. The press is
subject to libel laws and
liability for various trans-
gressions into personal pri-
vacy. As for speech, next
time you are on a commer-
cial plane, try joking about
having a bomb in your lug-
gage and see what happens.
Inciting others to violence
might cross the line too. I
hope so, although it seems
to be anything goes with
Your religious freedom
doesn’t include the right to
violate someone else’s re-
ligious freedom. You have
a right to peaceable assem-
bly. Riots and destruction
Petitioning for the re-
dress of grievances doesn’t
include those either, al-
though history has shown
that sometimes more than
petitions are needed to get
the attention of powers that
be, e.g. during the civil
rights protest era.
about forced quartering of
troops in people’s homes
was relevant when we won
but probably irrelevant
now. That’s why we never
hear anything about it.
against illegal search and
seizure was gutted in the
name of the War on Drugs.
Property confiscation is a
popular way for law en-
forcement to bring in ex-
tra revenue, and it’s not
contingent on the owner
being found guilty of a
drug crime. The 4
has suffered in the name
of security after the 9-11
attacks. Google FISA and
The important 5
Amendment due process
protections were gutted by
the Bush-Cheney regime
after the 9-11 attacks as
well. Same with the 8
Amendment that prohibits
excessive bail and cruel
and unusual punishment.
Amendment 7 is a sleeper
dealing with civil lawsuits
where more than $20 is at
Amendments 9 and 10
are beloved of libertarians
and states rights propo-
nents, preserving rights to
the states and the people. I
would argue that the federal
War on Drugs has violated
these, in terms of the rights
of citizens and states to
legalize medical and rec-
Conversely, social con-
servatives argue for states’
rights to take away wom-
en’s reproductive choices
and to discriminate against
non-heterosexuals. I op-
pose any claim of states’
rights that involves taking
away anyone’s rights as an
Anything can be taken to
extreme and thus pervert
something that is otherwise
good. The Constitution
and its amendments are no
Heritage Society thanks Cabin Fever supporters
To the editor:
I would like to extend my appreciation to the people
who attended the Pine River Valley Heritage Society
Cabin Fever even.. You made it a fund-raising success.
It appeared a great time was had by all.Aspecial thanks
to Melody Semler and Marv Conrad for the chili, and
Sandy Cooper for the potato soup. The Grocery Store
donated cheese and ice while Brenda’s Old West Cafe
donated the crackers. Bob Cooper’s auction skills enter-
tained us and opened our purse strings to buy homemade
pies. The entertainment was provided by the talented
Worleys and Tim Krebs.
The auctioneer, Bob Cooper, was assisted by the La
Plata County Fair Royalty; many thanks to Bob and
these hard-working young ladies. Heritage Society
members assisted in the evening event and the Bayfield
Parks and Rec. Department did a nice job setting up the
gym. Aspecial thanks to Brenda Jones, who was helping
President, PRV Heritage Society
Bill of Rights
is crucial to
U.S. citizens —
all of them
Ignacio school board discusses
scheduling, graduation at IHS
By Carole McWilliams
Times senior staff writer
How do high school class offerings and schedules help
or hurt student achievement?
Ignacio High School counselor Avril Fisher presented
ideas for those and other graduation issues at the Feb.
14 school board meeting.
“A lot of your students will drop out,” she said. “Your
(graduation) standards are above college requirements,”
even for non-college bound students. “I’m seeing
students give up early. I want to meet the needs of all
She continued, “We don’t have students graduating
with honors diplomas even though it’s available, because
some students are taking the same class two or three
times,” so they can’t amass the 32 credits needed. Stu-
dents also need a 3.5 GPA for the honors diploma.
Eighteen of 45 seniors have taken a class more than
once, Fisher said. “Of the 18, over half could have quali-
fied for the honors diplomas.”
It’s a scheduling issue, she said. The current schedule
doesn’t offer enough flexibility. For sophomores, juniors,
and seniors, it is four 90 minute periods. Freshmen have
one 90 minute period and six “skinny” periods of around
45 minutes each.
“That’s what creates huge problems with our sched-
ule,” she told the Times. It affects both struggling and
She told the board, “Some (students) take the same
class because it’s the only one available. … Students
are wasting class periods because there’s nothing they
Twelve current seniors have ACT scores above 20,
which means college readiness, she said. “Only one is
taking physics. They don’t want to take it because it
won’t help them.”
They don’t get any extra credits for taking hard classes,
and those classes could lower their grade point averages,
Fisher suggested a four point grading system for regu-
lar classes, a five point scale for more difficult classes
like trigonometry, and six points for AP and honors
classes as a way to challenge students to take the higher
The school also needs flexibility in PE and health
classes, she said. There also is a lack of classes for gifted
and talented kids. Sharing teachers with the junior high
is another thing that reduces flexibility.
Another issue is classes that all students must take
for graduation, such as world history and civics, that
are geared toward the higher academic students, Fisher
said. There need to be counterpart classes geared to the
There is flexibility for students with some sort of
documented disability who are on individual education
plans (IEPs), but more students need that flexibility,
She recommended changing the high school schedule
to five blocks of 75 minutes each for all grades. Class
grades should be weighted to reflect harder classes, so
students with high ACT scores will be motivated to take
That could also help students who don’t get serious
about graduation requirements until their sophomore or
junior years, she said.
The five block schedule would allow students to amass
up to 40 credits, and it would allow students to redeem
themselves as an alternative to dropping out, she said.
“We’ve had freshmen who failed 4 of 7 classes. I have
a couple sophomores who want to know if it’s still pos-
sible to graduate with their class. If they see that they
can’t, they just give up,” she told the board.
Fisher presented the idea of different types of diplomas.
A “general” diploma would have lower standards than
the current diploma. Students would not be able to opt
for that until their sophomore year. It would be geared
toward students who are interested in going to a techni-
“It would get those students that we tend to lose in the
junior and senior year” because they can’t do the more
advanced work, she said.
A “standard” diploma would get a student into most
four year colleges, she said. There would be mandatory
classes such as algebra I and II.
But she said, “Purdue won’t even look at you any more
with this diploma. It has to be an honors diploma, 26
(ACT composite score) or higher.”
Ignacio students aren’t making the grade to get into
the more selective schools, Fisher said.
“I think our top ACT score this year is a 24, but no
honors graduates,” she said. “We want to reward top
students. What I’m proposing offers a lot more flexibility
and pushes the higher expectations. Kids aren’t being
pushed now. They say, ‘If it would improve my GPA I
would take it.’”
Fisher showed colored note cards that she used previ-
ously in Indiana to track students on their progress toward
one of four different diplomas. She is using them now in
Ignacio. Each grade level has a different colored card.
Board member Troy Webb commented, “I’ve read all
your notes. I like a lot of what you offer. … I couldn’t
support a lower than standard diploma. I’m hesitant to
say we are going to track (students) into a lower diploma.
I’d prefer two diplomas, standard and honors.”
He continued, “I think changing the schedule and
weighting grades are good ideas.” He said he’d like
intervention times built into the schedule for students
who need that.
IHS Principal Melanie Taylor said, “That’s my pro-
posal. … During homeroom, the entire school. That’s
what I’m proposing tomorrow.”
Fisher said she is proposing even more time for stu-
dents who are struggling, but who aren’t at the level to
need IEPs. Webb worried that a lower level diploma
could put the district at risk with federal requirements.
“My gut is screaming against it,” he said.
Board president Ed McCaw said, “We’ve talked about
blocks and modified blocks. This is the first time I’ve seen
it in terms of what is best for the students.”
LikeWebb, he didn’t like “the watered down diploma.
We have high expectations for all students. But this is
the best presentation we’ve had.”
Fisher told the Times, “I’ve been told to schedule (for
next school year) with the five block for all four grades.
I have to present a proposal for the two diploma types.
There are those now, but you can’t get the honors” be-
cause of the problems she laid out to the board.
The four board members present onMarch 14 were un-
able to agree on a proposal for the honors requirement.
They will consider those on April 16.