Brad Mitzelfelt is working on Barstow's behalf
I would like to respond to the erroneous information and flawed argument made by Mr. Bob Conaway in his letter to the editor on Jan. 16 ("Mitzelfelt irresponsible with our money"). In his letter, he attacked County Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt for his accomplishments as they directly relate and benefit our community.

First of all, he refers to the State of California budget cuts that do not even exist yet. The budget has not yet been determined. Second, he attacks Brad for spending money to improve public safety in Barstow. I do not understand what the motivation is behind his message, and/or what his priorities are; to me public safety is definitely a very high priority and should be for anyone who truly and sincerely cares about "our" community.

Supervisor Mitzelfelt and the County Board have been very conservative with their budget. They do not spent more than they have, and in the midst of the state's budget situation, they have maintained a very healthy reserve and have made sure that public safety is fully funded. In fact, Brad and the rest of the Supervisors should be commended for not cutting public safety funding when budgets are short, as opposed to the state, which is recommending cutting everybody, including public safety.

Mr. Conaway does not have his facts in-line. He criticizes Brad and supervisors for spending money to improve the Barstow Airport, even though the Desert Dispatch reported that the funding was coming from FAA grants. Mr. Conaway suggests the county should lease office space rather than build its own on land donated to the county. As businessman, I am glad to see my county being business smart by owning, rather than renting.

I would like to commend Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt for what he has done for all us. In the "big picture" of city, county and statewide politics, we are blessed to have Brad on our side.

Paul A. Courtney Barstow

Students have to want to learn
The crux of a recent article about a student education scores was the statement by the Victorville teacher Mary Fischer, "if students don't want to learn, what we, as a society, can do about it?" The simple answer is, "nothing."

We can set all the standards, accountability measures and target initiatives we want and it's not going to change a thing. Why? Too many students are simply not interested in getting an education. They view it as irrelevant. They cannot or will not recognize the impact of a lack of a well-rounded education on their future.

Until more parents begin to support the teachers and staff and insist that their children show proper respect for the teacher and support staff, all else will be futile.

Students need to take responsibility for their learning and come to class prepared to learn. We need to stop pampering them and catering to their whims. Only then will we get the results we want.

Remember, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

Antoinette Holmeyer Barstow