E-mail letters, August 3, 2011

Government should not be job creators

In his Aug. 2nd column, Jim Spehar disparages those who disagree with his view that government creates jobs.

He ponders whether “the sloganeers who insist it’s the private sector” that creates jobs have ever checked the Chamber of Commerce’s web site. He points out with apparent pride that there are a number of government entities (five) in the list of top ten employers. I would prefer there were none.

Spehar and his statist cohort won’t acknowledge, “you know, non-job creators” such as police and firefighters, among others, are civil servants. They are hired and paid by the tax paying residents of Grand Junction and mesa county.

Capitalism creates jobs, government does not.

Grand Junction

Tea party is not good for government

I have watched the recent debt ceiling negotiations closely and one thing is clear. The Tea Party Republicans like Scott Tipton, have failed. Rather than doing what was best for America and our difficult economy, their goal was to cause a default and destroy the federal government as we know it.

It was clear that not only do they dislike government, they believe anarchy is preferable. I can hardly wait for the elections in 2012.

Now that Rep. Tipton has shown his true goals, I believe we can elect Sal Pace to give us the representation we deserve.


Grand Junction demonstrates random acts of kindness

Last week, while traveling from Utah to Kansas, my husband and I stopped with our five kids for lunch at McDonald’s.

I got to chatting with a fellow diner about families and the beauty of Colorado. She subsequently took leave, and I sat down with my husband to watch our kids play. A few minutes later, the woman returned and motioned me over to her. She handed me a generous gift card, said, “Just a little gift from the Lord,” hugged me, and wished us a good journey. What a kind gesture.

Well, seven days later on our return trip from Kansas to Utah we stopped again in Grand Junction for a meal. It was dinner time, but we had learned from recent experience that our kids were generally more interested in the play area than their food — we usually ended up throwing half of it away. We decided to buy half as many meals and split them between the kids, hoping not to be quite as wasteful.

They were just munching down the last French fries when a lady from the table next to us walked up with a tray of cheeseburgers. “These are for the princes and princess. Your kids are so sweet,” she exclaimed. Then she left the room again and came back with a chicken nugget happy meal for the baby (our 1-yr-old).

Amazingly, the kids scarfed down every last crumb and were grateful for the extra food. We had been touched again by another kind stranger at McDonald’s. We left Grand Junction impressed by the caliber of its citizens.

What a great city. Though it may not include free meals next time, we look forward to when our travels bring us to Grand Junction again. Thank you. Thank you.

Orem, Utah

Homeless have no place to go

In Grand Junction today we have approximately 800 destitute, homeless persons and 200 beds available at night to sleep them. Although there are scores of vacant houses and buildings, they are neither affordable nor available for people without the means to pay rent, let alone a down payment.

Finding suitable housing for parents with children and other deserving persons has been the work of social service agencies, faith-based organizations and countless others for many years. I include adult men in the mix of those “deserving,” particularly those with mental illness and seemingly hopeless alcohol addiction. Who has the will or the ability to overcome serious personal problems if they don’t at least know where they will be sleeping that night? Whose responsibility is it to judge who deserves our compassion and who doesn’t? If, as some suggest, we create new laws to curtail the use of parks and public spaces specifically for those men who have no place to go during the daylight hours, where should they go?

Grand Junction

Government wants to keep people off public lands

I have never seen as much baloney as there is in Lew Evans’ letter to the editor regarding legislation to reduce the overbearing restrictions the federal roadless rules has applied to our own public lands. You can try to convince those that fish and hunt that these rules protect the sport, when in fact, they only deny access to public lands for those that cannot hike or ride horses.

The reality of this obviously unconstitutional set of rules, is that the federal government wants to bully its way into controlling, and therefore, owning our public lands. Here in Colorado the federal government wants to keep development, as it pertains to mineral rights, off what they consider as their lands. Rather than controlling development, they want it denied to the bulk of Americans and only available for the hikers and horse people.

If Mr. Evans supports denying the majority of Americans access to their own lands, then say it that way. Don’t pretend that you are concerned about the fishing or hunting. What a laugh that is?

Grand Junction

Column makes science fun

Professor Gary McCallister’s column, Simply Science, is a breath of fresh air in an era of contentious political verbiage. His clarity of thought, humorous writing style, practical information and insight about science is a reminder to all of us that science is everywhere and it is fun. Many thanks.

Grand Junction

Residents should feel safe in our parks and public areas

As a dedicated and engaged downtown resident, I am deeply concerned by the trends that I have seen in the city, particularly in the parks and in the areas surrounding our riverfront trail. I would never consider walking,  running, or biking along those trails by myself.

As the lead organizer of the Grand Junction Main Street Community Garden, I teach our members how to grow their own food, provide nutritious meals for their families, and give (through emergency food agencies such as Catholic Outreach, Center for Independence, and Homeward Bound who utilize our donated vegetables to create fresh, nutritious meals) to the people of our community who are not able to provide this food for themselves.

While we are fortunate to have the means to share our bounty from the garden, there must be some parameters for what we can provide to people who are not contributing members of our community. We cannot continue to allow our public spaces to be overtaken by drunk, high, violent, threatening, transient individuals. When I put forth personal time and effort to make my contributions to this community in which I live, I would like to expect an opportunity to go to the park and enjoy a picnic with my family and friends or throw a Frisbee or go for a jog without feeling threatened.

Each person deserves consideration for their personal situation. However, no group of people’s imposition on public spaces should eliminate the free and safe use to others. This is not simply an issue for downtown residents and businesses. This is an issue that should concern everyone in the valley because the health and safety of our riverfront and the heart of our well-preserved, vibrant, cherished downtown have strong reverberations felt throughout the area.

Grand Junction


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