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Local students rocked at solo ensemble contest
Congratulations to Anisia Barnett, Ingrid VonKleydorff, Kelsey Pashman, Madisyn Genender, Olivia Hahn, Rachel Malpass, Rebecca Chamberlain, Shannon Kittelsen, Tyler Lemon, Will Emery and the Sedici Corde String Quartet (Erika Malpass, Madisyn Genender, Rachel Horton and Sierra Gilman) on your fantastic performances at the Jeffco Schools’ solo ensemble contest on April 21. You all rock!
Ann Nelson
teacher and coach

Editor’s note: A story by reporter Sandy Barnes in this week’s issue addresses the uranium issue raised here by former Courier columnist Anne Vickstrom.

If you are on a well, continue reading
After losing our Labrador, Chipper, last summer and then our Golden retriever, Sammy, just days before Christmas, both due to kidney disease, we had our well water tested. It was found to have high levels of uranium, among other dangerous contaminants. The uranium is the suspected cause of our dogs’ deaths. Our third dog had kidney damage that, thankfully, has been reversed with (expensive) medication.
We purchased our home 24 years ago with a “pure” well. Twelve years ago we tested again and found that we had high levels of fluoride, which can have harmful effects. Without suspicion or cause of any problem, it wasn’t until losing our dogs suddenly that we tested the water again.
Well water changes over time, especially deep wells like ours (at 450 feet deep). As a geologist friend explained, “Things are moving around down there.”
The Environmental Protection Agency has a map of Colorado counties that is marked with areas of high uranium and other natural contaminants. It’s difficult to locate Jefferson County on this map, as there are so many marks throughout our area.
I encourage everyone on well water to test your water to assure that you, your children and your beloved pets are drinking safe water.
Anne Vickstrom

Leadership Evergreen class says thanks for donations to spring food drive
The Leadership Evergreen class of 2011 would like to give a big thank-you to all the folks who donated to our spring food drive to benefit our mountain area food banks (Evergreen Christian Outreach, Mountain Resource Center, and Loaves and Fishes). Thanks to your generosity, we distributed more than 1,250 pounds of foodstuffs to them!
Leadership Evergreen is dedicated to developing local leaders and supporting our mountain communities. If you are interested in learning more about how you could join with others to help our communities, please visit our website at www.leadership
evergreen.org and consider joining the class of 2013!
Leadership Evergreen
class of 2011

We don’t want another big-box store in Evergreen
The Canyon Courier reported that another big-box store is coming to town and Jefferson County’s Planning Commission is falling over themselves to change the occupancy rules to make it happen.
I have not seen anyone of an official capacity raising alarm about killing two more locally owned businesses. Do we have no local organization weighty enough to take a stand on this matter?
John Rybon

Jeffco School District spends money wisely — and deserves boost in tax revenue
Recently I have read many articles and opinions on Jeffco Schools, the budget concerns and ways to ensure our kids continue to receive a quality education. I feel that there are many great ideas out there, but it comes down to this: Jeffco Schools has already cut $63 million from the budget and will face further budget reductions if additional revenue is not secured. There have been many innovative ideas on revenue streams such as charging for parking permits (high schools already do this) and increasing fees for electives and/or athletics, just to name a few.
However, even if all of these were implemented, it would not come near the amount needed to ensure our kids have acceptable class sizes, instructional support, teacher-librarians and access to important technology.
Many people feel that Jeffco has too many administrators; however, this is not true. Jeffco has 144 central administrators and by an independent agency has been proven to spend below average on administration and above average on student education. In fact, it is one of only two Denver metro school districts that has received a “green rating,” which indicates the highest return on investment.
There is no doubt times are difficult; we all have faced increasing prices for gas, electricity and food while facing stagnant personal income growth. But Jeffco Schools has faced these issues as well. I feel that Jeffco Schools has been extremely prudent with spending and spend money in the right way — to educate our children.
Ruth Epps