E-mail letters, December 30, 2010

Graffiti perpetrators are
vandals, not artists

When you spray paint a surface that you neither own nor have the permission of the owner to paint, it is not art. It is vandalism. The police will confirm this for anyone who has any doubt.

Graffiti diminishes property values and is a visual blight on any city where it appears. The city of Grand Junction has worked hard to clean up graffiti vandalism, but this work was undermined by Amy Hamilton’s leading story in the local news section of the Dec. 29 edition of The Daily Sentinel.

Hamilton’s story with the bold headline, “Graffiti artist helps chamber stay on message,” cast this vandalism in a favorable light. Her decision to focus on the “message,” and breeze by the fact that it is vandalism, was a wrongheaded decision by Hamilton and the editors.

I have two requests. First, in the future, please do not refer to these perpetrators as “taggers” or “artists.” They are vandals. Do not refer to it as graffiti art. It is graffiti vandalism.

Second, please consider whether Hamilton’s sympathetic portrayal of this event is consistent with the Sentinel’s mission and with its duty to our community.
Jim Crittenden
Grand Junction

Constitution isn’t perfect;
it institutionalized slavery

As many of us know, the majority party in either chamber of Congress gets to make the rules for that body. In the upcoming session, Republicans are the House majority, and they have already established a number of new rules, including one for something that has never been done in the 221 year history of Congress:

The entire Constitution will be read aloud at the opening session of the House.

Although Democrats are welcome to partake in this event, it is assumed that most who participate will be Republicans.

It will be very interesting to see who will read Article 1, Section 9, Paragraph 1, which says:

“The Migration and Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax of duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding
ten dollars for each Person.”

The words “such persons” were code words the founders used to indicate black African slaves and white English indentured servants. That’s right, slavery was formally legalized in our country by none other than our hallowed founding document.

Although supposedly abolished at the end of the Civil War, many historians argue that the vestiges of slavery remained virtually intact until the Civil Right Act of the 1960s.

Although our Constitution is rightly considered a remarkable historical document, we should never forget there is at least one part of it all of us should be eternally ashamed of.
E. Michael Ervin
Grand Junction

Abuse ruling undermines
child-parent relationship

Recently, I sat in on a trial regarding child abuse. After listening to all the testimonies, I was surprised to hear what the judge had to say.

First, he stated that he was not taking all of the defending witness’ testimony to heart since the witness and the defendant were related. (Theywere sisters-in–law).

However, it did not seem to be a problem for the prosecution to have a husband and wife as witnesses. Not only were the husband and wife witnesses, but it appeared that the wife was the witness and she called her husband, who was the officer who gave the ticket to the mother
for child abuse.

What astonished me the most was the ruling. The judge stated that it sounded like a 2-year-old was throwing a temper. Sounded right so far. Then he proceeded to state that this mother was
guilty for “negligence resulting in injury.” He stated that this mother was guilty because she moved her child out of the road by his hand, causing him to kick out of his mother’s hand and hit his head on the pavement. He stated, “You had no way of knowing if the oncoming car was going to hit your son or not, so by grabbing his arm and moving him, he ended up getting

I wonder how many of the young parents today could and will be charged for “negligence” or “child abuse” for removing their child from the road with oncoming traffic?

When I read the papers and see child molesters are being sentenced to probation, while a mother concerned for her child’s welfare with oncoming traffic is being sentenced exactly the same, it really makes me worry about the judicial system.

I wonder what the sentence would have been had she not removed her son from the road and he was actually hit by the oncoming car? Would she have had the same result — “negligence resulting in injury” — or would she have been told, “You did all you could legally, maybe next time he will not throw his fit in the street”?

This to me, looks like a no win situation. People want to know why the teenagers of today are in trouble with the law, running the streets with no respect for the law or other people, and writing
disrespectful things on public property. Well, I can tell why they feel no guilt in doing that. The courts and laws have made it virtually impossible to discipline children without fear of being punished by the courts and/or having their children taken away.

It makes me wonder how many of the judges got their butts busted by mom and/or dad when they messed up as a child.
I believe that the power should be given back to the parents and children should be disciplined and corrected by their parents, and taught how to show and give respect to their elders and other people in general
Pamala Lawrence
Grand Junction

Why end Tiara Rado’s
successful enterprise?

The city is considering awarding the contract for the operation of the Pinyon Grill and the Lincoln park refreshment stand to the city-owned enterprise that currently operates the food services at Two Rivers Convention Center. It’s hard understand why the council would give the
operation of the golf course food services to people who have demonstrated an inability to profitably operate the business that they currently have.

Steve Hoefer and John Weiser have demonstrated that they can keep a business afloat through very challenging times. The Pinyon Grill remained open last winter and spring despite the major construction on the Tiara Rado Golf Course and little or no golf traffic.

John and Steve have been doing a fine job, whereas the people running Two Rivers have apparently been losing money, requiring a subsidy from the city. While the quality of the food at Two Rivers has been good, I believe the prices are generally higher than you would find in many restaurants in the city.

Rather than take the contract for the Pinyon Grill away from individuals who have been operating successfully, perhaps the council should consider giving up on running Two Rivers and award the contract for its operation to an independent firm.

Jack Kingsley
Grand Junction


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