Jeffco letters to the editor for July 30

Posted 7/30/20

Trump’s First Amendment flip-flop I write to admit that my perception of our First Amendment’s right to free speech must be flawed. On one hand, President Trump tells us that free speech would be …

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Jeffco letters to the editor for July 30


Trump’s First Amendment flip-flop

I write to admit that my perception of our First Amendment’s right to free speech must be flawed. On one hand, President Trump tells us that free speech would be infringed upon by compelling people to wear masks to protect their fellow citizens in the time of an epidemic. He makes the same argument regarding the banning of the public display of the Confederate battle flag and the removal of monuments to a treasonous planter aristocracy.

Those men plunged our country into a bloody civil war that cost 600,000 American lives in order to protect a State’s Right to allow the labor exploitation of chattel slavery. There is no honor in treachery, ask Benedict Arnold or Michael Flynn.

On the other hand when Colin Kaepernick expressed his right to free speech and took a knee to protest injustice it was unforgivable. The NFL took Kaepernick’s career and Trump held him up as a symbol of national hate and scorn, mostly from people sympathetic with others waving Confederate flags.

If anyone can make a cogent argument that reconciles this distinction I’d like to hear it. In a just world Colin becomes an International Ambassador for Justice while the Trumps enjoy BBQs with Ed Snowden at Trump’s dacha in Siberia.

Paul Barnkow, 


Teachers union shows true colors

For decades, teachers unions nationwide have put teacher interests ahead of the students.The local teachers union, JCEA, has informed the school board they’d like teachers to be able to sit at home and draw full pay this fall.No surprise.

I support proposed federal legislation that, according to Newt Gingrich, “would include a provision that any school district that refuses to open its schools for in-school learning should lose its federal aid – which would then be converted into a tax credit for the students in that district if their parents want to home school, establish a small community school with others or go to a private school.”

Hopefully the school board shows some backbone. I would protest my tax dollars being used to pay teachers who don’t return to the classroom.

Mark W. Salley,


Ready or not

I have just read the July 16 edition of the newspaper. Two side-by-side stories caught my eye: The large heading at the top of page 10 reads, “Jeffco schools still looking for sanitizing wipes, gloves.” At the top of page 11? “All Jeffco students can return for in-person schooling this fall.” How did this get past the Irony Police?

Harlan F. Smith,


Durkin for DA

I had occasion to go to downtown Denver a couple of days ago and I was appalled at what I observed at the State Capitol.  A building that is the seat of government for nearly six million Coloradans sits with boarded up windows and stained with graffiti, the result of actions by a few hundred vandals.  They did it because they could.  It hasn’t happened in Jefferson County yet, but no place can be considered immune.

I support Matthew Durkin for District Attorney in the First Judicial District because I want elected officials who will address these problems and not just support them. I want elected officials who will follow the law. I want a District Attorney who will prosecute the crimes associated with these actions while working to provide appropriate help to those who need and deserve it. The candidate who can do this is Matt Durkin.

Tom McAdam,


Historically bad

I found Mike Alcorn’s July 23 column appallingly tone-deaf and insensitive. Does he seriously think that Black Americans would read his piece and say, “Gee, you’re right, I should just be glad we have a strong country. It’s a good thing my ancestors were slaves and not considered fully human because the country might have failed otherwise.” 

I often struggle with Mike’s libertarian pro-Trump columns, but this one takes the cake. Before you write about anything pertaining to race again, Mike, educate yourself. 

Kris Long,


Remembering Mr. Papenfus

Art Papenfus died this past Thursday, July 23, at the age of 90, but his work, his spirit and his contribution to the community will live on. Art was the biology teacher at Golden High School for many years, and in his class I came to understand that learning can be fun and challenging at the same time. Happy Pappy, as the students often called him, was indeed a man who loved his profession, and saw the good side and the potential of every student who came under his bright gaze. When I speak to anyone who graduated from GHS during that era, the conversation always turns to Art Papenfus. He was certainly not the only fine teacher at GHS in those years, but his every-day bounce and enthusiasm was infectious and, I am sure, inspired many of his students to continue their educations and their study of biology. We all recall his rule against chewing gum during class. The penalty, if caught, was to dip the gum in the swamp tank, and chew again. I am not sure that anyone was caught chewing gum. Art, you are an important part of the great history of Golden High School.

Siblings Robert Krattli and Marilyn Willard,



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