<CENTER><B>Letters to the Editor</B></CENTER>

It’s also nice to have a judge who makes a difference


An open letter to Judge Richard Anderson:

Many people in the Yavapai County communities you preside over know you largely for your work in those front-page, headline-grabbing stories wherein your Superior Court decisions render justice in matters of civil malcontent and criminal behavior.

I hope this letter makes readers aware of equally important news that never makes the headlines, but instead, quietly restores normalcy to the lives of children. Children in our communities who, through no fault of their own, have lost the structure to family as a foundation for their futures.

Recently, you took a couple of hours from your busy schedule to meet behind the scenes with the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers, from college students to retired educators, who serve foster children — the juvenile dependent wards of your court. You listened to our concerns about the systems and bureaucracy. In turn, you shared your viewpoint.

You encouraged the CASAs to keep up the good work, and admonished us to be always sincere, truthful and forthright, even when those virtues are uncomfortable. You challenged us to “think outside the box,” trust our gut instincts, and make the system work — one case, one life, one child at a time. You assured us that you value our individual efforts, and that you weigh our opinions equally with those of lawyers, doctors and specialists. You confirmed that the investment we make as CASAs — one hour, one dollar, one dream at a time — truly do make a difference.

In short, you mandated that we in the Verde Valley, from CASAs to Foster Care Review Board members, from Child Protective Services case managers to juvenile probation officers, work together, respectfully, for the best possible outcomes for children. Of course, this isn’t the kind of news that grabs headlines, but I wish to publicly thank you for your time, your encouragement, and your belief that children matter — forever and always.

Linda Wolfe

Court Appointed Special Advocate

Average salary is $19,500, not $17,500


It is interesting to note how Paula Blankenship reported in the May 26 Verde Independent/Camp Verde Bugle the range of teacher salaries for the six noted charter schools in the Verde Valley.

What research methods did she use?

I know for a fact the information on Chester Newton Charter and Montessori School was not what was presented to her as a representation of our school’s wages. Nor were other variables cited that contribute to teacher wages such as team teaching situations, class size, teachers in training or teacher certification.

How simplified a version of salaries when it simply is not the case for most, if not all, schools, particularly new charter schools. As Mr. Lazano clearly stated, in small new schools, monies must pay for capital expenditures at first that will lessen over time.

With all information taken into consideration, however, Blankenship’s figures are still incorrect for Chester Newton. The average salary for a teacher, not taking into consideration all of the above possibilities, has been for the 1999-2000 school year $19,500, not the $17,500 that Blankenship reported.

She has listed our lowest figure as the average. It would be interesting for Blankenship to compare the realistic figure of $19,500 to the average wage in Camp Verde. Another large variable for our school is paying to train local people in a particular method of teaching as per our mission of providing a quality Montessori educational alternative to the families of the Verde Valley. We are accomplishing our goals with only three years behind us and for the record, salaries will increase again next year.

Incidentally, in addition to honesty and responsibility, our curriculum addresses the importance of accuracy, too.

Dr. Betty Chester

Director, Chester Newton Charter and Montessori School

Camp Verde

Editor’s Note: The average teacher salary for Chester Newton Charter and Montessori School was computed using statistics provided by the school’s administration. One teacher’s salary was listed at $9,380. No additional information was provided that disclosed the salary was for only one-half year of service. Comparatively, other Verde Valley Montessori educators receive similar compensation, thus the figure did not appear unusual and was figured into the school’s overall salary average.

Relay for Life participants should be proud


The slogan of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life is “It’s about being a community that takes up the fight.”

The citizens of the Verde Valley certainly lived up to that motto at the recent Relay for Life in Cottonwood’s Riverfront Park. We saw teams from many different segments of the community; City Government, Public service employees, Education, Health services, Service clubs, businesses large and small and several teams formed by individuals wanting to help in the fight against cancer

Thank you to all who participated and to those who supported the efforts of the participants. Monetary donations came from all over the Verde Valley and far beyond, as well as from many generous local sponsors.

Thanks to the local businesses who donated so much in merchandise, services, food, door prizes, entertainment and in support of their own employees’ efforts.

Thanks to the many who volunteered to help; some in planning, some in helping at the event and particularly those who took on the task of cleaning up after the fun and excitement was all over.

Thanks to the medical professionals who donated the time to present awareness programs to the public.

As Dr. Robert Gagliano pointed out at the opening ceremonies, progress in the fight has shown outstanding results in recent years and many patients who would have had no hope of survival just a few years ago, can now look forward to many years of quality life.

When the battle is finally won against cancer, the people of the Verde Valley, along with relayers from all over the country, will be able to stand and say with pride, “I helped.”

Ed Middleton

Volunteer Chairman

Verde Valley Relay For Life 2000

A full day of work for Mr. Paladini


I think there is a solution to the statue of Sedona Schnebly staying where she is.

Set a wonderful pedestal in the middle of the street in Uptown Sedona and put multifaceted Mr. Paladini on it.

He can jump down and run to his meetings, come home, jump back up, run to his work in the Valley (take some water, it’s hot down there) run home, jump back up, run to his speeches and committees and self-proclaimed responsibilities, jump back up on the pedestal and maybe then he can leave the county, Chip Davis, and us alone.

Judy Love



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