Highlights from the

Herald Democrat

15 Years Ago

Grad requirements due for a change

by Ann E. Wibbenmeyer

Herald Staff Writer

March 16, 2006

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The school schedules will not be changing yet, but the high school graduation requirements might be.

Both were topics of discussion at the school district community summit on March 8. The summit participants were put into five groups with a school board member in each group to hear their comments and answer any questions.

Tammy Ayers, parent of a Lake County student, said the four-day calendar that was being talked about by the scheduling committee would reduce the opportunity for students or teachers to supplement their income with summer jobs.

“Teachers are not well paid,” said Sam McGeorge. “They need to supplement their income.”

As an employer in the summer, McGeorge said that if the pool of summer employees is still in school, then he would have to seek employees elsewhere.

Retention of staff, one reason why the committee looked at the four-day calendar, which would give teachers the fifth day off, is more a matter of climate within the schools, said Miles Krier, Lake County High School staff member. Teachers are on survival mode, he said.

Georgine Bogovich, parent and Health and Human Services director for the county, looked at the four-day calendar in a different perspective.

The fifth day, now an extra day at home for the kids, would mean more calls to social services because of kids being left home alone while parents went across the hill to work.

Twenty to 30 percent of families would not utilize the day cares, she said.

Colin McFee, high school teacher, said, “What’s important about the discussion is something is going to come out of this.”

The high school accountability group has been discussing new graduation requirements since August, according to Principal Rhett Parham.

The current requirement is for 22 credits. Legislation is being discussed at the state level to require all students wanting to attend a four-year college to have 24 credits, said Parham. Lake County wants to require 24 whether or not the legislation passes.

This would increase the amount of English and math required for student graduation. The honors diploma will also go from 24 credits to 27 credits, enough credits to apply to any university in the country.

“This is where most other states have been for ten years,” said Parham. “Colorado is catching up.”

According to Parham, the students dropping out are sophomores with zero to seven credits, a freshmen standing.

“It’s not good to be done with credits at the end of junior year,” said board member Debbie McCall.

The other side, she said, is offering enough classes for the students to get all 24 credits.

This takes people and money, said Bob Deister, parent.

No smoking law catches a lot of heat

by Ann E. Wibbenmeyer

Herald Staff Writer

March 23, 2006

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People choose to smoke while they drink, leaving a haze over all who choose to walk into a bar.

“I can’t have a non-smoking bar,” said Manhattan owner Dave Cerise. “It is my right to allow that.”

The “Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act,” when signed by Governor Bill Owens, who indicated his intention to do so, will no longer allow smoking in any indoor public place, such as a bar.

Most bar owners and some restaurant owners feel a right has been taken away with the ban.

“It is not government’s place to tell me if I allow smoking in my establishment or not,” said Tim Hill, owner of Groggy Bottoms.

Leadville Mayor Bud Elliott said he thinks that it is unfair to restrict the “ma and pa bars” when the casinos are not being restricted.

“It’s not like they (the casinos) would shut down or anything if the ban was enforced,” he said.

George “Fuzzy” Swieringa, a patron at the Manhattan Bar, said, “If you’re not wanting to be around smoke, go next door.”

Linda Duthie and her husband James Martinez, owners of The Grill Bar and Cafe, said this will negatively impact the bar side of their business. The Grill restaurant area is already a non-smoking area.

“I have regular customers that call to reserve the smoking section,” Linda Duthie said.

Outdoor areas of a business are exempted from the ban. However, there are only “two months of patio time,” said Duthie, making the outdoor arrangement unavailable for ten months of the year.

With most of their patrons at the Manhattan smoking, the Cerises felt the same way.

“I am personally going to fight to the end,” said Dave Cerise. He has spoken to Ken Chlouber and Senator Tom Wiens’ office on the subject.

Hill at Groggy Bottoms wasn’t as worried about the effect on his business.

“We will all be on a level playing field,” he said.

County Commissioner Mike Hickman said when a similar smoking ban was initiated in Boulder, some small bars decided to move out of town. This ban would be state-wide, not allowing for the movement of business to get around the ban.

Hickman also said that he would gladly give up the money in sales tax revenue to no longer be subjected to second-hand smoke. He is looking forward to the clean air in all public places.

Hill was more worried about enforcement of order outside.

“I don’t like the idea of people smoking outside. We can’t monitor trouble and fights out there,” he said.

“When all smoke outside, they are drunk outside, not inside where it’s contained,” said “Lumpy” at the Scarlet Inn.

The bill also restricts smokers from a specified radius outside of the doorway. The radius may be determined locally, but, if the local authority does not set one, it is 15 feet.

This will be hard to enforce, said Elliott, especially here.

Any measure taken by the local government to lessen the ban is favorable to Hill.

The Elks and Eagles lodges may not be affected by the ban because they are private clubs, according to Brad Palmer with the Elks Club.

He said he would have to research the bill more to find out what happens when the Elks is opened to the public.

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