Email letters, April 30, 2012

Legalizing drugs will prey on human weakness and addiction

Recently, in a rare moment of short-sightedness, George Will endorsed the legalization of drugs as a solution to drug cartel violence.

His rationale was that this would undercut profits and put them out of business. If only it were that simple. You have to be very naive to believe that if we tax and regulate drugs that these dealers are going to give up, go home and start car washes and taco shops. Drugs will always be cheaper on the street and the black market will continue.

Legalization will only serve to expand the customer base of addicts and make it impossible for the police to control.

Mexico turned a blind eye on the drug trade for decades and now is dealing with so much violence it is in danger of becoming a failed state. Alaska tried legalizing small amounts of Marijuana in the ’80s and in a short time had double the national average of teen drug abuse.

We need to learn a lesson from their bitter experiences and continue to resist the expansion of this trade that preys upon human weakness and addiction.

DIANE COX
Palisade

Sentinel provides the news readers want

Many readers likely agree with reader H. Wayne Currey’s recent letter, which assessed media coverage of Mitt Romney’s dog and President Obama’s dog meat culinary habits as “pathetic.”

In defense of friends in the local media, I suggest that, like any business in our free market, media organizations must deliver customers what those customers desire if the media outlets wish to stay in business. Part of the job is to attract readers, and I suspect the media isn’t guessing when it spends time on issues such as treatment of pets, dating habits of movie stars or the draft position of the Denver Broncos.

Should surveys indicate the public no longer cares about reading such stories, we won’t see any more ink dedicated to dogs or the Broncos. No one wants to drive away customers.

For those who argue the media has a responsibility to cover more important issues such as true unemployment, foreclosure rates, congressional approval and the price of gasoline, I suggest they look beyond the dog stories. They might be amazed to see stories and guest columns dedicated to such issues in nearly every widely circulated daily paper, sometimes two to three times a week.  Those would be found in such obscure places as the first three pages of a paper, in the editorial section or in the business news. If Mr. Currey’s papers are missing these pages, I suggest he call the editor and ask who stole them.

MICHAEL MORAN
Grand Junction

Dog owners should obey leash laws

Dogs at large are a serious and growing problem in the Grand Valley. Rabid dog owners (pun intended) have become so bold and arrogant about their dog entitlement, they have no credibility when considering an effective debate for improving responsible dog ownership.

To illustrate this one only needs to consider that if you ask 100 dog owners if they believe they are mature, responsible dog owners 100 will say “Yes we are!” But on any given day in the valley walkers, joggers, bicyclists and drivers are subjected to dogs off leash and most often not in control by any one. Note to dog owners: Just because you are within shouting range does not in any manner mean the dog is under control.

Recently while walking, I encountered or observed four dog owners two of which had their dogs on a leash and this is typical. At least 50 percent of the dog owners in this valley do not have their dogs under control. Earlier this week I saw a huge (100-plus pound) Presa Canario or Bull Mastiff off the leash in the park just behind Chipeta Elementary. On any given day you can witness numerous dogs off the leash. Dogs at large and out of control in our public areas are rampant and pose a threat to everyone they encounter. By threat I don’t only mean the opportunity to be bitten or attacked. Dogs can cause people to fall of bicycles, swerve their car, run or move suddenly to avoid physical contact with a dog at large.

People attacked or harassed by a dog in most cases will hear the old “Don’t worry, he won’t hurt you” just minutes or seconds before a dog either jams their nose where the light doesn’t shine or sinks their teeth into their soft flesh. Virtually every dog who attacks or bites someone has an owner standing behind them saying “He won’t bite. He is not mean. Isn’t he cute? He loves people. Just pet him. He will only growl a little. Just push him away to keep from jumping on you. He loves kids. He has never done that before. He smells your dog. He never gets out. I love my dog. He is like one of the kids …”

If you are a civilized, mature and responsible person or dog owner who is tired of battling and enduring dogs at large there are things you can do to protect yourself and make the dog owners accountable for their irresponsibility:

Your camera phone is your best ally when trying to rid your neighborhood, park or bike path of dogs at large or out of the control of their owner. Take photos or videos of dogs at large. Include images of the owner, landmarks, street signs or house addresses. Video is better than still photos. Using the camera on your phone is quick and it has pretty good quality. You can use your camera phone while walking, jogging or iking. If you can forward the photo or video to Mesa County Animal Control 242-4646,  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), do so immediately with a description of the event, the dog, the owner and the area where you saw the dog at large.

If you are attacked or bitten try to find the owner immediately. Get at the very least their address and a description of the dog. Report them to Animal Control and the police. File a lawsuit. 

If it is a dangerous breed or the injury is serious give the story to the local media.

If you find a dog in your yard close the gate and call Animal Control to have the dog picked up.

Stand up to bullies with dogs. Ask Animal Control or the police to cite and fine the dog owner. It is not acceptable in a civilized society to sit silently while rude, irresponsible and arrogant dog owners let their dogs roam uncontrolled. Be brave and do the right thing — report and ask authorities to punish irresponsible dog owners. They do not have an entitled right to let their dog harass or attack you, your family, your friends or your dog on a leash.

Confront dog owners who do not have their dog under control. Safely, of course. Sadly, most people who are arrogant and rude enough to disregard your personal safety with a dog at large are also capable of assaulting or threatening you (at least 50 percent of the dog owners apparently). If they cared about anything other than themselves their dogs would never be a threat or a nuisance to begin with.

Finally defend yourself. Carry at the very least a knife that you can quickly extend the blade. If you are walking carry a walking stick or a 3 iron. Pepper spray will work on many dogs. Pepper spray is not effective on larger dangerous breeds. A pit bull breed or Rotty will not even flinch at pepper spray. Or get a concealed weapon permit and carry a firearm. Considering all the dangerous dog breeds in the valley (particularly the ones owned by the homeless population regularly using the parks and bike paths) it is a good idea to have a weapon that can stop even the most powerful, tenacious large dangerous breeds.

Yes, I am a long time dog owner. Yes, I keep my dog in a secure area or in the house. I have a leash and I use it – always (even on bike paths and walking trails). No, I do not take my dog to the grocery store, Home Depot, Bookcliff Gardens, Farmers Markets, MOG Fest, or any other public location or event. I love my dog, but I respect people’s space and safety. I do not want him to sniff people’s crotches, trip someone, crawl on someone, frighten anyone, bark, growl or possibly nip or bite someone.

DOUG TUTTLE
Grand Junction

Why cast aspersions on non-profit organization?

Providing responsible local journalism, apparently, is a virtue that The Daily Sentinel has little or no interest in. The article that describes the Abby and Jennifer Recovery Foundation as a “troubled” nonprofit organization is absolutely pathetic. 

I question what exactly motivated the Sentinel to conduct an investigation in the first place. Was it the paper’s intent to accuse the Flukey’s of wrong doing? Is it the paper’s belief that a criminal act has occurred or was the article some kind of ill-fated attempt to educate readers how to properly administer a non-profit organization?

It seems as though The Daily Sentinel chooses to overlook obvious noteworthy subjects in lieu of casting shadows on an organization and its founders that provide hope and inspiration to this community and beyond. Shame on The Daily Sentinel.

JIM MADSEN
Grand Junction

President and Democrats are not working to limit gun ownership

Letter writer Tom Streff’s gun statistics beg argument. The media reports opposing beliefs. I’ve never heard the media promote destroying the Second Amendment. And President Obama to my knowledge has never advocated destroying the Second Amendment. After the Tucson murders, he stated directly to the media that people have a right to own guns. And in his Father’s Day letter in Parade Magazine last year regarding his daughters becoming young ladies, he remarked, tongue in cheek, he was glad “a man with a gun went to school with them.” Additionally, rescuing the captain of the Mersk Alabama and the killing of Osama Bin Laden contradict Streff’s opinion.

The people who wrote the Second Amendment never could’ve anticipated any type of gun beyond a single shot musket. People forget that many, many Democrats own guns and belong to the NRA and none of these people want to lose the right. The argument isn’t about abolishing guns, never has been.  It’s about regulating them in a manner similar to old west marshals like Wyatt Earp.

Isn’t that the imperative of the NRA with their desire to train people with guns so they can regulate themselves? But I’ll bet most people with guns don’t belong to the NRA and I’ll bet most of them don’t care about training. And just as “guns don’t kill people” neither do they instill morality or conscience or decency into the brain of the one who pulls the trigger. Does the NRA application ask: “Are you a drunkard?” “Do you think about killing people?” Does the letter writer have statistics on the families murdered by NRA members? Additionally, does the NRA care at all about gun crimes as opposed to how many can be sold?

EILEEN O’TOOLE
Grand Junction

Our grandchildren deserve to have us focus on our debt

I wonder what thoughts are going to be going through the minds of Krystyn Hartman’s grandchildrens’ minds 50 years from now.

As the grandchildren review their grandmother’s musings and postings, they wonder why their grandmother wasn’t more worried about stopping the massive spending that ran their country into so much debt. The grandchildren realize that even if they could find a high-paying job, there is no way they could get ahead of the tax burden they carry to support the government debt their grandmother’s generation created.

Those grandchildren will probably review these early days of this century and wonder why we (Krystyn’s generation) didn’t appreciate the freedoms, liberty, economic and entrepreneurial opportunities available enough to insure that they (the grandchildren) would have some of those opportunities as well.

But the grandchildren realize that their grandmother’s generation was more worried about peace and harmony and frogs and wind and ... than freedom and liberty and the financial foundation of the nation.

(Hey Krystyn, I sense more potential in you to help the nation than I see in a lot of others.)

TOM HOWE
Hotchkiss

City and county should not force landowners to install water-thirsty landscaping

Upon reading the article written by Greg Trainor recently in The Daily Sentinel, I did not know whether to guffaw or cry. He talked about all the issues with water and how the city has addressed or is addressing the issues. He did not, however, address the elephant in the room and it is not apparent to me how he missed it.
  
Two years ago the city of Grand Junction built the Riverside Parkway. They installed $1,000,000 worth of landscaping. This landscaping requires routine maintenance and watering that will go on for years to come. Although the parkway follows the Colorado River the water to maintain the greenery comes from potable water.  
   
As any builder can tell you for the last 20 years or so the main concern at the county office is not how big the building, but rather how many trees and their placement. We live on the edge of a desert as most people realize, yet the county has required acres of grass and thousands of non-native trees to complete a building project. 

This land for this landscaping is aggressively confiscated by the county and the owner of the property receives no usage from this land. The owner however does have to pay to plant the greenery, maintain the landscape for God knows how long, and water it, usually with city water. Even Ute Water company ended up with acres of landscaping. The owner is also required to pay property tax on the landscaped area even though it brings in no money with which to do so.  

Mr. Trainor and others who encourage the average person to conserve water and not pollute what we have, never seem to be able to see the forest for the trees. Do you think that any business slapped with a huge bill for water and landscaping costs just pay it merrily? Probably not, the consumer pays for it.  Man, those ornamental pears sure look beautiful, but I bet it makes your latte cost more. 

When the city and the county get serious about the landscaping rules and regulations and when the city and Ute Water refuse to allow landscaping to be watered from potable water, then I will get serious about conserving. 

JOHN BRACH
Grand Junction

Is there a cure for malignant arrogance?

Were I a pharmaceutical chemist I would immediately embark on a project to develop a safe, non-toxic and effective preparation to cure a malady rampant in today’s United States Congress — malignant arrogance.

I would then persuade the American public, not Congress, to pass a law mandating use of the aforementioned substance by all members of Congress. It is my belief were such a substance available and use of it mandatory for every Congress person many of the problems facing this country today could more easily be solved.

Anyone know a bright, unemployed pharmaceutical chemist?

H. WAYNE CURREY
Montrose

More information was missing in story on evictions

I was disappointed at the content-free coverage of evictions in the recent article. A couple of incidents of long-time renters being evicted were depicted with photos. It all sounded very tragic, and indeed it may be.

However, something important was missing. There are different reasons why people may be evicted: lack of payment of rent, foreclosure or sale of the property, other lease violations, the owner wanting to occupy the premises,  etc. We were not informed in the article (at least in the online version I could see) as to why these unfortunate people were being forced out of their homes. This omission leaves a very incomplete picture.

RANDY CAMPBELL
Paonia



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