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Letters to the Editor

Internet sales

 Re: Desert Dispatch column authored by Froma Harrop (July 23).
 Harrop prattles on about how the conservatives and Republicans do not want internet sales to be taxed. Will anybody out there that wants to pay sales tax on internet sales please come forward? I have never met anyone who wants to pay sales tax on any sales, let alone internet sales. 

Harrop likes to blame the world's woes strictly on the Republicans. According to her, it is now the Republicans’ fault that Internet sales are not taxed and people are not paying their “fair share.” Harrop simply cannot understand that not everybody believes that the government can spend our money better and more wisely than we can.

 Harrop says retailers are upset that the people selling on the Internet have a leg up on the people that have brick and mortar stores and (once again) that is “unfair” because Internet retailers are at a 5 percent to 10 percent advantage pricewise; they don't have to charge sales tax and can therefore sell their goods cheaper.

I own a brick and mortar store and I am not bothered at all by Internet sales. I wish we did not have to charge sales tax but that is because I think we are being ripped off by our government extorting our money and wasting it, not because the Internet retailers do not have to charge that same tax. The internet retailers do not have a leg up because in most cases, the shipping costs will outweigh any sales tax. I have found that if you provide good service, the people will come to you.  If you do not provide good service, they will go to the Internet. 

Nick Benson Sr
Barstow

BCC Accreditation

In the July 10 edition of the Desert Dispatch, the paper carried a news article that indicated the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) had in its letter to the college of July 2 taken action to place the college on Warning. This came about after the college underwent a comprehensive evaluation process, a requirement of all colleges every six years. 

The major components of the process include a self-study that is produced by the college, an evaluation team visit by representatives of the accrediting commissionwhich produces an evaluation report, and a meeting of the accrediting commission that took place in June. At its meeting, and in its letter of July 2, the commission outlined 13 areas for the college to address in order for it to fully comply with accreditation standards and regulations. The college will respond with its own follow-up report to the commission by March 15, 2013, and the commission will send a smaller team of representatives to visit the college once again shortly after receipt of the report.

So, what does a warning mean for Barstow Community College? First, the college remains fully accredited, meaning that students are eligible to receive federal financial aid, and all courses apply toward a degree or certificate or transfer, as they always have. College personnel have already undertaken strategies to address the recommendations contained in the Team Evaluation Report and the commission letter. I can assure residents that the college has been moving to refine its integrated planning process, one that is better understood and better aligns the mission and priorities of the institution with budget allocation process, and one that more effectively assesses student and institutional success and enables the college to make changes for improvement. All other individual recommendations are or will be addressed in the months ahead.

At its meeting in June, the accrediting commission granted only one public California community college a full affirmation of accreditation. All other colleges, including BCC, that were up for their six-year comprehensive evaluations were either given a warning, the mildest form of sanction, or more serious sanctions such as probation or show cause.
Barstow Community College will move deliberately to address the recommendations of the accrediting commission, while at the same continuing to strive to meet the educational and workforce development needs of our students and the communities we serve.

Thom M. Armstrong, Ph.D.,
President/Superintendent
Barstow Community College


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