E-mail letters, Aug 8, 2010

Regional Center provided
for all needs of those moved

As someone who has worked for the Grand Junction Regional Center for almost 10 years, I was appalled at the recent article in The Daily Sentinel that seemed to go out of its way to portray the Regional Center in a negative light. Over the years, I have known every person who moved into Mesa Developmental Services’ new homes and can say without hesitation that they received excellent care when they lived with us.
There was a fierce dedication on the part of the staff to ensure that all of the needs of the people we served were met — physical, social, recreational, emotional and spiritual. The staff who chose to work with these particular people on a full-time basis are among some of my most devoted co-workers.
I recently read an MDS newsletter that was unfortunately similar to this article. In it, they were unable to tout their new homes without first disparaging the Regional Center.

I have no issue with MDS promoting these houses and the living experience they hope to provide. Like my fellow staff, I want to see all of them continue to lead rich, full lives. However, MDS needs to learn fast that comparisons to their residents’ former homes aren’t going to be enough. They will have to prove to them and their families that they can meet these needs on their own merits. This will take time, work and a lot of dedication.
The Grand Junction Regional Center provided a true home for this wonderful group of people. I’m very proud to have worked with every one of them, and hope that they continue to grow and thrive.
Phil Wolfe
Grand Junction

Justices must be booted
for undermining TABOR

Since its passage, Colorado taxpayers believed the Taxpayers Bill Of Rights (TABOR) guaranteed the constitutional right to vote on tax increases before they were enacted. Once TABOR became part of the state Constitution, Coloradans believed the vote-before-taxation issue was settled and expected the state Supreme Court to protect their TABOR rights from challenges. For years, the system worked as designed and TABOR held back the runaway tax-and-spend policies that pushed other states closer and closer to the
bankruptcy abyss.

Recently, Coloradans have been hit with a series of massive tax increases on their homes, vehicles and a host of other items. Under the artful names of “Mill Levy Tax Freeze”, “Vehicle Registration Fees” and “Exemption Elimination” the Legislature rammed through these “revenue enhancements” without the required TABOR vote. When taxpayers turned to the Supreme Court for protection, a majority of justices ruled that
freezes, fees and rollbacks weren’t really tax increases and, essentially, the taxpayers were out of luck.

In November, three of these justices come up for retention, which means voters can now hold them accountable for failing to protect our TABOR rights. A majority of “No” votes for Justices Michael Bender, Alex Martinez and Nancy Rice means they will each loose their seat on the state Supreme Court and, I hope, be replaced with justices who will uphold TABOR rights under the Colorado Constitution.

State Supreme Court Justices are accountable to the people and need our approval to stay in office. Justices Michael Bender, Alex Martinez and Nancy Rice can’t be trusted to protect our constitutional rights and have earned our “No” vote for retention.
Martin Chazen
Grand Junction

Judge in gay-marriage
case was exemplary

The Daily Sentinel’s Aug. 6 editorial titled, “Gay judge wrong to rule on marriage case,” shows an ugly bias on the part of those who wrote it.

Try replacing “openly gay” with one or all of the following with varied legal judgments in mind: “openly straight,” “openly Caucasian,” “openly African American,” “openly Native American,” “openly mixed race,” “openly senior citizen,” “openly teenager,” “openly a person with disability,” “openly Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim or Atheist.” The list could be endless.

Only the last on my list is a matter of choice, one’s religion or lack thereof. All other classifications are a matter of birth, life’s progression, or possibly in the case of disability, accident.
“Gay” is not a choice. It is a fact of nature. It is past time that equal rights be given to all.  From reading and listening to various reports on his decision, Judge Vaughn Walker was exemplary in the performance of his duties.
Carole Chowen
Grand Junction

Dual standard exists
for views about gays

So it is perfectly all right for an openly gay judge to rule and strike down California’s Proposition 8 (same-sex marriage) but if a college student who is majoring in counseling openly states her position on the homosexual lifestyle, she is expelled from school.

Anybody see anything wrong with this picture?
Jack Wernet
Grand Junction

Legislative candidates show
need for ballot amendments

Friday’s report on the two legislative candidates (Ray Scott and Bob Hislop) proved the need to pass the three ballot issues: Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101. We can’t count on politicians disciplining themselves about spending our money. They never have and never will. Voters need to control them with sensible limits.

Both candidates claim to be fiscal conservatives, but oppose limits on deficit spending in Amendment 61.

Both deplore the illegal tax and car registration hikes recently passed, but oppose Proposition 101’s repealing them and setting yearly car registration fees for everyone at $10 per car.

Both say property taxes are a problem, but won’t agree to Amendment 60’s simple half-page tax reform either. Do they even care that homeowner taxes for seniors doubled this year? No.

Both claim they support the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, but oppose these three moderate, phased-in ballot issues to undo the rampant TABOR violations of raising taxes and debt without voter approval. So much for their oath of office to uphold the Constitution.

Both think tax relief will hurt business. Yeah, right. Increased after-tax profits and more money in customer pockets is “bad for the economy.” They must have slept through Economics 101.

Why are they on both sides of every issue? Because they are politicians. They seek power so they can run your life and spend your money without your permission. If they had to obey laws, rather than simply impose them on us only, public office wouldn’t be such an ego trip.

To see why they are hypocrites, visit COtaxreforms.com. Then ask them why they prefer the bureaucrat’s bloated pay and fat pensions over modest tax relief for your family. Who do they really represent? 

If you want tax relief, you have to vote for it. You won’t get it from power-hungry politicians.
Barbara Hulet


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