Have a little faith in the justice system, please
Donald Trump has been indicted and Republicans, predictably, have had a cow. Apparently, some of them also falsely believe that the justice system is just as rigged and corrupt as the electoral system, which conspiracy theorists claim denied Donald Trump his overwhelming victory in the 2020 election.
But the reality is that an indictment is not a conviction and there can be no presumption of Trump’s guilt. Since a criminal charge has been laid, the district attorney in Manhattan must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that Trump broke the law. The glory of our legal system is that Trump does not have to prove his innocence. So let Trump have his day in court, where twelve jurors will sit in judgment of the evidence, just like every other person in America indicted for a crime.
Guy Wroble, Denver
Spare us all from drunken passengers
With regard to airlines’ abusive passengers: Does it not occur to anyone but me that the removal of access to any alcoholic drinks on a plane would greatly reduce these incidents? Listening to the news reports, the perps in these situations are nearly always drunk. The others are generally mentally unstable.
Why do we even need alcohol on airplanes? For that matter, anyone inebriated trying to board a plane should not be allowed.
Donna Noone, Thornton
School closures won’t fix DPS broken enrollment system
After rejecting the superintendent’s proposed list of school closures last November, the Denver Public Schools Board of Education is once again considering reducing the number of schools in light of declines in enrollment. To its credit, the Board plans to improve community engagement this time around. But there are still no plans to consider critical policy areas that must be addressed to get at the root causes of under- and over-enrollment in certain schools in order to make the best decisions on right-sizing the district.
School boundaries have not been meaningfully addressed since 1995 and many boundaries are ill-matched to school capacity. The choice policy has further skewed this imbalance as many, mostly privileged, families that are able to provide their own transportation opt out of their neighborhood school. Because schools are funded based on enrollment, under-enrolled schools are inadequately resourced and are trapped in a vicious cycle of loss of enrollment, leading to decreases in funding to address educational needs, leading to more families choicing out, and so on.
These three policy areas — Student-Based Budgeting, Choice, and School Boundaries — interact and conflict with one another and skew the picture of the current state of the district. Today’s under-enrolled schools, in mostly marginalized low-income neighborhoods of color, are victims of the legacy of an inequitable market-based system of student assignment. We urge the Board to analyze these three policy areas and make equity-based changes to them before making any decisions about school closures.
Laura Lefkowits, Denver
Editor’s note: Lefkowits is a former member of the Denver School Board and a co-founder of Park Hill Neighbors for Equity in Education (www.PHNEE.org) a group of engaged parents and community members working to ensure that all students attending our neighborhood’s elementary schools get a quality education and an equitable opportunity to thrive.
Cheap beer at Coors Field, but no time to drink
Re: “You’ll never guess who has the cheapest beer in the Major Leagues,” March 30 online story
The bigger question is how concession stands can make any money with shorter games – considering the Rockies’ opening weekend games clocked in at 2 hours and 40 minutes and 2 hours and 3 minutes, respectively.
Hopefully, ballparks can keep the lines moving, or beef up service at the seats, for thirsty fans who don’t want to miss precious game time.
Adam Silbert, New York
Re: “How to prevent the next tragedy,” March 12 news story
Much about serious mental illnesses, SMI, those that cause a person to experience delusions/hallucinations, occurs on a spectrum. People with SMI on the spectrum’s far left live independent, productive lives; people on the far right are unable to provide basic self-care and/or are susceptible to committing violent acts in response to delusions/hallucinations. Medications for SMI cover a spectrum. On the far left, meds eliminate the symptoms; continuing to the far right, the meds are ineffective.
The article informs us that “people who are mentally ill are more likely to be victims of crime than perpetrators,” and that “mental illness often plays a role in mass violence.” Both statements are valid.
We, the citizenry, have condoned government laws and actions that prioritize civil rights over public health and the right of the public at large to pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Combining our right to use firearms and the right of people with SMI to refuse medication results in danger for all.
There is no cure for SMI. People with SMI require continual follow-up and care on a spectrum from minimal support all the way to 24/7 total care.
In the mid-20th century, we citizens approved of abandoning state hospitals; it was, among other things, a way of saving money. We now have Community Mental Health Care. Our mentally ill citizens roam our streets, are incarcerated in jails, and, while relying on civil rights and suffering from delusions/hallucinations, are able to kill themselves and innocent bystanders. We are saving money.
I suggest that we prioritize care and compassion over civil rights for our citizens with SMI.
Also, people with SMI never lobbied our government for firearms to be as prolific as flies on dung. We, the able productive citizenry, permitted our government to define our 2nd Amendment rights and to enforce or not enforce our gun laws.
Jean Trester, Centennial