Printed Letters: July 4, 2014
Can parks staff find a way to keep splash pad going?
As one of the members of the Grand Junction Lions Club who worked closely with the City Parks Department to build the Lions Club splash pad, I am delighted to learn that it is now free for all children to enjoy. That was our intent.
As a member of the Grand Junction City Council that voted to install the fountain during the Main Street Shopping Park renovations, I must say we did not anticipate its interactive popularity. Yet as a downtown merchant, I love hearing the squealing laughter of toddlers making lifelong summertime memories playing in their downtown. I understand the concerns brought by dirty diapers and dogs that have led to issues at this popular feature.
Yet, downtown is a park, just as Lincoln Park is. Could we not improve supervision from our wonderful parks staff and offer both options to our young children to enjoy during the summer? I love hearing their laughter and enjoyment, and I would rather have it supervised effectively, than to banish our children from building great childhood memories in our beautiful downtown.
Reader thanks anonymous donor for gift of dance lessons
I wish you could have seen their excitement as we collected their leotards, tights and shoes, then their nervousness as their first dance lesson approached. I wish you could have seen their thrill at getting to wear make-up for their first performance, and their agony as I attempted to apply the mascara. Were you at the recitals? They were beautiful children with the glow of accomplishment on their faces after their performances. Two of those children were mine. As the year progressed, so did their skill. I wish you could have seen our living room transformed into our own rehearsal studio and the private performances for family. Most of all, I wish you could have seen the look in their daddy’s eyes as he admired his two dancing princesses.
It has been such a blessing this past year to see Katherine and Jane grow in confidence, grace and poise as a result of their ballet lessons. Not only has the experience enhanced their lives; it has increased our entire family’s appreciation for the beauty and skill of dance.
And for all of that, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to you, the anonymous donor, for giving to our community in such a way that shared your passion for dance, benefited a local business, fulfilled the wishes of two little girls and enhanced an entire family’s appreciation of art.
Even if this letter does not reach you, I hope your example serves as inspiration to others to invest as generously and wisely in our wonderful local arts community.
Retired ranger concerned over monument redesignation
I am a retired Utah park ranger, manager and student of park management and design for over three decades. There are many reasons not to alter the current designation of Colorado National Monument, and I will mention a few.
I have visited the monument weekly, year-round since 2001. With relatively small increases in visitor use during that time, I have observed full parking lots at all times of year, as well as resource damage due to traffic overflow and congestion. Other damage has occurred from the creation of many social trails, vandalism and graffiti.
The monument is a very limited and finite resource. If money were invested, facilities could be improved and manpower increased, but there is little that can be done to mitigate the damage to the resource and the user experience, by flooding the area with more vehicles and footprints. Expansion of parking areas will only exacerbate crowding. Significant road improvement would destroy the resource we are attempting to preserve. Increases in global population and the subsequent travelers that come with it are more than enough for managers to contend with. You can help preserve John Otto’s legacy by not renaming the monument. It has been a monument for over 100 years.
While a very few people may benefit financially from a name change and the exposure it presents, the local population, visitors and the monument itself, as a natural resource that we have sworn to preserve, will be on the losing side.
Economic growth should not be a factor in deciding the designation of a national park. The purpose of designating an area as a national park or monument is to protect the area and its natural inhabitants for generations to come and for all Americans to share in its ownership and stewardship. This beautiful piece of canyon country is already protected and preserved with its monument designation. Any change in name or status would be redundant.
Immigration reform should also focus on illegal aliens
I frequently read comments about the “need for immigration reform” and our “broken immigration system.” But in our quest to fix it, no one ever defines what is broken or what to reform. The only thing I know that is broken is our ability to guard the borders and to remove those who are illegally in this country. Allowing someone here illegally to remain is no different from allowing a bank robber to keep the stolen loot. And keep in mind that all 9/11 hijackers were here illegally.
Immigration is a wonderful concept when done in a controlled manner. It allows those from other nations to come here, adopt our culture, language and values and become Americans. But rewarding millions of law-breakers with eventual citizenship will invariably lead to more. And that will trigger this stark reality — all it takes to convert a First World nation to a Third World nation is enough Third World people voting their ideology.