Printed letters, Dec. 24, 2009

According to “Housing First! No More Deaths,” 16 homeless people died in 2008 in Grand Junction. This number was higher than 2007, when 11 homeless people died. They died alone, homeless, in the freezing cold of Grand Junction.

Saving a person from freezing in Grand Junction is no different than saving a person in an accident, from abuse or starvation. Yet, somehow, the city seems to ignore when someone who is homeless freezes to death in Grand Junction during cold winter nights.

Our city officials have sworn to protect the citizens to the best of their ability, whether rich, poor, homeless or not. I did not see our elected officials do much, even though they knew full well that there are not enough shelters for those who are homeless on any given cold winter night. It has been brought to their attention time and again.

I did, however, see the nonprofit organizations such as Catholic Outreach, the Rescue Mission, Salvation Army, the homeless shelter and some churches step up and provide shelter during cold winter nights to those without shelter. These organizations and churches can only do so much with the resources and spaces they have.

There are many public buildings paid for with our tax dollars that are heated every winter night. Any reason why these buildings cannot be used to save lives? Our government sends money and help when natural disasters strike at home and abroad. Why not some support to save lives of the homeless in the winter in Grand Junction?

For the city to do this is no major task. The above-mentioned, non-profit organizations and some churches provided shelter last year and are providing shelter this year without any problems.


Dreaming of white space in ‘Blotter’ location

We have been appreciative readers of your fine publication for 11 years now, which includes the “Blotter” section on Page 3A. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if just for one day, all those petty criminals would lay low?

Then, the “Blotter” could be a huge white space with the following words smack in the middle: “Noting to report.” Am I dreaming?



What is ‘the right way’ for health care reform?

Are the members of Americans for Prosperity and their ilk who protested against pending health care legislation a vocal minority, or do they truly reflect the sentiments of the local community or of the nation at large?

I don’t pretend to know, but I’m curious why they chose to assemble in front of the federal courthouse. Why not demonstrate instead in front of the Marillac Clinic? It has been much in the news lately as it struggles against declining revenues to serve a growing population of uninsured and underinsured clients, and the protesters could piggyback on that story.

Or perhaps they could gather on the sidewalk in front of the home of someone who has lost his job and health insurance and also has been diagnosed with a catastrophic illness. They’d get his attention, for sure. The Americans for Prosperity are all for health care reform, they say. They just want it done the right way.

And what way is that, exactly?



Local man helped folks without seeking notice

I cannot stop thinking about one of the most honest remarks that was made to me by the most sincere gentleman I have ever know. His sincerity made my life what it is today. This gentleman just never got the credit he deserved. He never did his honest, helpful deeds to be noticed.

He certainly deserves what I want to describe. I will never forget this man for what he did to help advance me more than average in my life.

I will never forget my first paycheck from Clyde Biggs. I was just out of World War II. I went to his office with my hat in my hand. My remark was, “Sir, it will be difficult for me to make a living for me, my wife and son.”

I’ll never forget his answer: “Stay with me and we’ll make sure you do.”



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