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5:09 AM Fri, Sept. 21st

Friday Catchall: Keep schools safe and love the Dells!

What role can local residents play in ensuring protection of the ecological, hydrological, archaeological, historical, recreational, and aesthetic values of the unique 1.4 billion-year-old Granite Dells? (Courier file photo/Cindy Barks)

What role can local residents play in ensuring protection of the ecological, hydrological, archaeological, historical, recreational, and aesthetic values of the unique 1.4 billion-year-old Granite Dells? (Courier file photo/Cindy Barks)

The Friday Catchall:

• SAFE SCHOOLS — Our state’s governor, Doug Ducey, has it partly correct when it comes to making schools safe.

Over the past week and about one month since the Parkland, Florida, shooting that killed 17 people, Ducey rolled out his plan for safe schools in Arizona — the centerpiece would shore up (read: fix) part of the database connected to background checks on weapons purchases. He contends information is missing in the database that federal firearms dealers are required to use to determine if someone can possess a weapon.

OK, fix that.

Still, while you are wondering — as I am why his plan does not go further — consider a simple answer to the questions of what to do: install metal detectors.

That is the stance of T. Wayne Wyman of Prescott who wrote to me: Metal detectors and X-ray devices are “used in airports. Quite frankly this is a simple (and) a fairly economically feasible solution for our schools.”

Have the kids walk through the metal detectors, and X-ray their book bags.

It reminds me of high schools I’ve heard of where students are met by metal detectors and security guards. A valid concept; they work to keep the flying public safe, keep our children safe at school too.

Wyman may not be too far off: “I was responsible for security at a large television studio. We had hundreds to a few thousand audiences, guests, vendors and employees (who) were screened daily. … No need for a police officer to do this. Schools may want to consider hiring a guard service.”

Along those lines, since schools are more and more having to foot the bill for School Resource Officers, Ducey’s plan includes other measures, such as money for more SROs and a central tip line where teachers and students can anonymously report dangerous situations.

They didn’t do that at my high school, we had Dean of Students Bob Nunnery (“Mr. Nunnery, to you.”), who was armed with an “air paddle” (think about it). He was built like a tank (kind of a weightlifter, wrestler and offensive lineman all rolled into one huge man). You didn’t mess with him, and you definitely included “sir” with your answers; “Yes, sir” and especially “Thank you, sir.”

Some of the older ways of doing things were on the mark. As a society we may be slow on the uptake; we’ll get there eventually.

Sigh.

• DELLS — Barbara Jacobsen of Prescott asks, “Have you ever watched a sunset, moonrise, ever walked, hiked, or floated in the area of the (Granite) Dells?”

There are precious parts of the Dells that soon may be lost to more development. Some of the growth — last count had it at 19 subdivisions that are to sprout up or be revitalized in coming years north of Prescott and Prescott Valley — is located in or near the Dells.

“Our General Plan clearly states that we need to protect sensitive open space areas,” she said, pointing to the Dells as a prime example.

I do believe in personal property rights. I also know the City of Prescott owns a few choice pieces of the Dells as open space.

Out of fairness, since more communication is always best, I am joining Ms. Jacobsen in urging residents to contact local elected officials. Request an appointment, call them, write to them — let them know how you feel.

This would help prevent items from feeling like a “done deal” at voting time. See the “where to write” listings we publish on this page.

Let your voice be heard.

• QUOTE — “Speak up, because the day you don’t speak up for the things that matter to you is the day your freedom truly ends.” — unknown

• PICK OF THE WEEK — (Proving there’s always something good to do in the Prescott area that’s cheap or free): The 70th annual Kiwanis Auction every weeknight, from 7 to 10 the weeks of March 26-30 and April 2-6. They raise money for the children of our community. Great deals to be had! It will be on 1130AM KQNA radio, streaming at prescottkiwanisauction.com, on cable Channel 64, and on dCourier.com.

Community Editor Tim Wiederaenders is the senior editor for The Daily Courier and Prescott Newspapers, Inc. Follow him on Twitter @TWieds_editor. Reach him at 928-445-3333, ext. 2032, or twieds@prescottaz.com.