Email letters, March 7, 2012

Taxpayers will pay more with loss of intermodal transportation facility

The commentary by Charlie Quimby, March 4, regarding the joint bus facility is a breath of fresh air for The Daily Sentinel and the readership. This is real news. The original story previously published focused on the adversarial issues and did not speak to many underlying facts as Quimby noted.

The bus station has evolved through several companies from Continental Trailways to Greyhound, and has been a business asset within the community since about 1947 at the present location. Throughout the decades many local businesses depended upon bus transportation for equipment delivery, parts and personnel to arrive through this cost effective and timely service.

Greyhound and its customers deserve more dignity than was offered in the Sentinel articles. Greyhound will move out of downtown with the proposal. The loss of the intermodal transportation facility is emphasized, economically, by the loss of grants. Under the original proposal presented by Grand Valley Rural Transportation Authority (GVRTA), the cost to this community would have been minimal. Who will now pay for the grant losses? The local taxpayers now bear the expense. This should have been one of main topics in the initial articles.

The diligence with which the GVRTA approached the planning for several years has been wasted on the backlash fueled by misinformation. The issue deserved a thoughtful and open dialogue by the all the political entities having a say in the transportation center. A review of the benefits of this facility should have been thoroughly reported. It also deserved the neutral observations and reporting as evidenced by Quimby’s column. 

Will the parties to this ever stand to account for their rush to polarize and pushing an important issue to the entire community aside? The community would be served better through the intermodal transportation center as proposed by Grand Valley Transportation Authority and Greyhound, at this site or another.

Grand Junction

Allah is a God of submission, not freedom

I am sorry to disagree with Karen Sjoberg’s March 6 letter “Muslims and Christians pray to the same God” but I must. The Judaeo-Christian God and the Muslim God are not the same God; in fact they are exact opposites. 
The Judaeo-Christian God is a God of reason and free will and thus allows for the concept of liberty. For Jews and Christians, human beings were created in the image of God with the capability of reflection and choice with a mind and will of their own so they would be free to accept or reject His friendship of their own free will — that is precisely what is meant by “in His image.” He would not make them His friends by submission but by choice, it is their duty to make that choice. The Christian God wants the friendship of free people, not slaves.
Islam is a faith of total, absolute, submission to the will of Allah with no allowance for a free will and thus no place for the concept of liberty. To claim to have a free will, that is “to be free,” is to be an infidel and thus contemptible in the eyes of Allah. For Muslims nothing is in the image of God — the very concept is blasphemous. Allah is too great, completely beyond all our categories. Allah is so great in the Islamic view that He overpowers human liberty resulting in a kind of determinism. Allah does not concern Himself with our liberty, only our submission and obedience, it is unthinkable to talk about human beings “in the image of God.” Allah is too great for that. Thus orthodox Islam is a religion of absolute submission and servitude; the very concept of liberty is blasphemous. To claim to be a free person is to be an infidel.

Dave Fox is a great man and coach

The article written by Patti Arnold in regards to the resignation of Dave Fox at Fruita Monument is a sad day in deed. I was fortunate enough to be coached by Mr. Fox from 1983–1986. I played football at Fruita Monument and only shared in his coaching influence, I was able to become his friend over time.

In a time today of negative news of people in a position of trust, I was blessed to have someone that helped me get from practice every evening to my grandmothers through junior high school. It was at that time that my brother and I lost our mother to MS. After the funeral and my first day back to school, the first person to intercept me, was Dave Fox. He pulled me aside, told me how sorry he was, and that he would always be there if I need help. Needless to say, he always has been there, even today.

I feel bad for the students that will be denied his positive influence, his vast knowledge in teaching, and his ability to take a negative situation and turn it into a positive learning experience.

Dave is truly a great man, and I was honored to have him as a teacher, and coach.


Impact of four-day school week on student achievement unknown
After holding several community budget forums, it seems that the majority of the community supports a four-day school week for District 51. However, I oppose adopting such a drastic measure as a means of cost-savings primarily given the limited systematic research on the impact of a four-day school week on student achievement. 

In July 2006, the Colorado Department of Education published a report entitled “The 4 Day school week” in which it found “[t]he jury is out on the question of student performance.” Moreover, several prominent educational experts have voiced concerns with a four-day school week. In particular, Diane Cargile, president of the National Association of Elementary School Principals, stated “[t]he rationale behind the four-day week is not to improve instruction, but to save dollars.” The president of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, said that the concepts of school reform and a four-day school week do not mesh.

In the event the District 51 School Board adopts a four-day school week, I would propose including an automatic mechanism to revert back to a normal five-day school week in the event of a districtwide decline in student achievement. I have not heard any public discussion on this topic, and obviously the School Board along with community input would need to ascertain the triggering decline level.  Yet, given the lack of peer-reviewed research on the academic effect of a four-day school week, we must include a means of quickly ending this experiment should it fail.

Grand Junction


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