EDITORíS DESK: D-11: Yes, it really happened

       A ton of news about the schools this issue. Apologies to those of you whose Westside interests lie elsewhere. This is just such a big deal to so many people over here - whether they have children in school now or have attended these schools in the past. We're talking multiple generations in some cases. Washington and Pike Elementary, each with their oldest buildings dating to 1956, are really the babies in the mix. Buena Vista has been opening its doors to kids since 1911 and Whittier since 1901. One of the little known facts about Whittier, according to the late good guy, LaRue Ebersole, was that its many big windows had a pragmatic purpose beside providing daydreaming opportunities for young students - and that was to let in reading light. When a dust bowl storm blew through town during the 1930s, the school had to close because the school got too dark, LaRue once told me.
       I'm sure there must be lots of other neat stories from those days gone by, and if any of you feel like sharing them, please call or write.
       Speaking of letting light in, it sure would be nice if those people who remain embittered about the Board of Education decision would just step forward and lay out their plan of attack - a recall effort (though I think it would fail) or legal challenge or whatever - so we could all just deal and move on. It's not as if there's nothing to complaint about. I know some Westsiders feel a little betrayed, believing the district should let us keep our small, cool, historic neighborhood schools because so many potential problem kids respond so well to the individual style that's an automatic byproduct of that. You can't prove the point any better than Pike, which will bow out this year as the Title 1 champion of Colorado. But at the same time... The school board believes larger schools with more opportunities are the answer. And they're the ones calling the shots. Even the principals in the closing schools are looking ahead. As much as it hurts, it's probably time for the rest of us to do the same.

- K.J.