Our Readers Write

-A A +A

Film lets Columbine families tell their own stories
We recently attended the premiere screening of “13 Families — Life After Columbine” at the Denver Film Center. It was followed by a question-and-answer session with the producers and several Columbine families. Two of the Los Angeles film producers are graduates of Bear Creek High School and CSU. They produced this film using their personal funds and while working their normal jobs. They earned the trust of the families and embraced this community.
The film is a four-year labor of love to tell a story that needed to be told by the families with more than 100 hours of film footage that had to be condensed to 90 minutes.
It is more than a documentary chronicling the lives of the 13 families since April 20, 1999. It is their journey, told by them, from their hearts, not the news media.
This is an important impact film that should have universal appeal. It is about grieving in the public arena, recovery, hope, faith, remembrance, healing, relationships, and life. We learn about different directions our lives can take. In this instance, 13 families were thrust together by a common catastrophic event, and they reacted in different ways but with a common bond. You walk away from this film learning more about the families, their loved ones, and yourself.
The film has a limited engagement at the Elvis Theaters, and a portion of the proceeds benefits the Columbine Memorial Fund. We urge you all to attend.
Gary and Sheri Radtke
Jefferson County

School district’s funding shortfall puts burden on the backs of our kids
Small, tight-knit settlements characterized early Jeffco. Travel was by mule or train. Historical maps show Jefferson County thatched with stage and rail lines.
Prior to 1950, 39 independent school districts decorated Jeffco with names such as Maple Grove, Sampson and Idledale. Expenses were controlled locally.
Because of the widespread use of the automobile and 18-cent fuel, the Reorganized (R-1) District was formed. Multiple designations were expected to avoid a bureaucracy. Rather, we now have a bureaucratic dinosaur, a shrinking student base, an aging population and a recent increase in employees.
The district is adjusting way too slowly to the economy. Union interests, by a tortured logic, are coupled with the interests of students.
Affordable auto travel, the initial opportunity for the consolidation, is disappearing. Revenues available for taxation are plummeting. The second leg of the recession is just beginning as the district is estimating a shortfall of $137 million by 2014.
Who will pay for the shortfall and for past and contemplated bond issues, but those for whom these new pyramids were constructed? We’ve placed on the backs of our children the weight of building monuments to the pharaoh. And they had no choice in the matter.
Ron Rizzo