Mountain News: Do gates deliver security or status? 

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As for the pedestrian, maybe she should have heeded the adage: "You get what you pay for."


Dual immersion a classroom hit

JACKSON, Wyo. - Dual-immersion programs have started in several schools in ski towns and resort valleys of the West. In Jackson, Wyo., the program has had to turn away potential students. And in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., many parents want to see more commitment to the program.

In Wyoming, 80 students were taught in both English and Spanish last year at Davey Jackson Elementary School. Students were divided between native English and Spanish speakers.

Parents of children in the program were told by school officials that scores on standardized reading and math tests may lag behind other children at their grade level for the first few years. But, if two sets of parents interviewed by the Jackson Hole News & Guide are a guide, parents remain unconcerned.

"In the beginning it's tough, but I think they're on a good path and are going to succeed," said Edgar Lopez, the father of a girl who spoke mostly Spanish until starting kindergarten.

Parents on both sides say they believe knowing two languages at an early age, and learning to see beyond skin colour, will benefit their children immensely.

In California, the Sheet reports a packed meeting in Mammoth Lakes. Most parents apparently were at the meeting to object to the lack of a full-on immersion program, similar to the one in Wyoming. For example, the dual immersion will be added to the sixth grade, but only after school for two days per week.

Not all people think that dual immersion is such a hot idea. The Sheet reports some community sentiment for keeping math and science in English.


Does hot air cause more dusty winds?

DURANGO, Colo. - Spring always brings wind, but the winds this year seemed stronger and grittier.

Travellers in Arizona reported dust storms that left sand a foot deep along the highway. As was also true last year, snowpacks across Colorado were coated with dust, leading to earlier runoff. Even Denver was affected, as cars in late April looked like they had gone through a car wash that dispensed dust, not water.

Scientists generally warn about making too much of any one thing. Last winter's snowstorms on the East Coast do not debunk global warming, nor do any one month's hot temperatures prove it. The pattern of changing climate, they say, will only become distinct from the "noise" of natural variability with time.

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