E-mail letters, July 14, 2011

Justice was served with
Casey Anthony verdict

In the July 14 edition of The Daily Sentinel, M. E. Johnson complained that there was “no justice” in the Casey Anthony verdict.  I think I can understand how one might come to such a conclusion, and largely for reasons that Johnson outlined.

I, like nearly all with whom I’ve discussed the situation, feel that she is actually, very probably, deeply involved in this tragedy. But I also feel that the prosecution may have rushed the case to trial without preparing as strong, persuasive case, failing to prove guilt, as was their responsibility. They left the gate invitingly wide open for “reasonable doubt.”

I was glad to see the jury, instead of kow-towing to howling public opinion, following the law and responding to the prosecution’s performance by rendering a “not guilty” verdict.

I feel that, in this instance, given the performance of the prosecution, “justice,” as intended in the books, was served and that “reasonable doubt” is well worth preserving and protecting.
Ray Lashley
Grand Junction

Don’t raise property taxes
unless schools are fixed

I am absolutely amazed and appalled at the School District 51 Board of Education. I, like so many others, have been waiting patiently for the property taxes to go down to meet the property values. Last year’s taxes just about did me in.
I am sick and tired of the threat and scare tactics that are constantly used by governmental agencies and elected officials to try to squeeze more money out of the taxpayer. It is always the police, fire department or education that “will suffer if we don’t come up with more money.” There are hundreds of other programs that can be cut, but that would not scare people enough to cause them to give up more of their money to the government.
District 51 is still very top heavy in the personnel department, and they coincidently are the highest-paid people. Go to any school in the district, and you’ll find all the administrative work gets done by the lesser-paid office personnel, not the administrators.

Give me one good reason for a school to need a vice principal, much less two and three, as are in some of our schools now. If the principal is doing his or her job, there is no need for an assistant principal.
Thirty people in a classroom and no assistant teacher? What a crock! I went through Denver Public Schools, and was never in a class with less than 30 kids. There was never a teacher’s assistant. Could it be the teachers were better at their jobs?
At the end of every year, the many failings of our schools are posted in the paper, and then they have the stones to ask for more money. It is obvious to me they are not spending the money correctly to get the job done and they want more? Money does not educate children. Leave our property taxes alone!
I would vote for an increase for education if four things were to happen: A major improvement in school productivity; the elimination of the state boards of education; elimination of the unions; an end to cutting programs, to be replace by cutting the upper tier of unneeded administration.
David Shrum
Grand Junction

‘Fortunate people’ benefit
from those who build wealth

Democrats keep talking about “those fortunate people,” referring to those who have taken great risks, worked extremely hard and prospered in this very difficult economic environment. I believe we should redefine “those fortunate people” as those who benefit from the wealth created by these entrepreneurs, taxed away and redistributed to them by government.

Why is it when 1percent of all taxpayers currently pay over 40 percent of all income taxes, that is insufficient income redistribution?

Reality is that there is no longer a political middle ground. You are either on the right or the left; advocate for limited government or massive government programs; for liberty or government tyranny. And, you are either a proponent of self-reliance or one who expects cradle-to-grave government dependency.

The federal government publishes an average of 6800 pages of new rules and regulations each and every month, proving the natural self-sustainability of government bureaucracies. This trend must be reversed! Sharply reduce regulations, lower taxes, get the government out of the way, and our economy will expand like wildfire.

Amity Shlaes, in her epic thesis on the economic failures of the 1930’s, “The Forgotten Man,” defines him as belonging to that portion of our population that continued to work, struggle and support the economy, not those to whom these earnings were redistributed to by government.

Today that “Forgotten Man,” in spite of stifling liberal government economic policies and regulations, continues to succeed and support “those fortunate people ” who are either unable or unwilling to support themselves.

The “Forgotten Man” should be rewarded and praised for his contribution to the economy, not demonized and punished by additional taxes. These entrepreneurs create wealth and jobs; government creates nothing and inefficiently and ineffectively redistributes the wealth already created by others.
Hans Croeber

Sportsmen support
Hermosa protections

Intact, unspoiled public lands are vitally important to hunters and anglers in America. Across the West, the finest big game habitat and pristine trout waters are found in undeveloped backcountry areas, and these areas provide hunting and fishing opportunities for sportsmen and women from every state in the nation.

Close to home, the Hermosa Creek area offers some of the finest habitat in Colorado, and that equals unmatched sporting opportunities for local sportsmen and women right in our backyard.

The collaborative, stakeholder-driven process that created the legislative recommendations for permanent protection of Hermosa Creek is a perfect example of the public speaking for a public resource. Everyone with an interest in Hermosa was invited to participate and, in the end, all user groups were well represented. All historic uses were honored, including existing mining rights, future water development needs, grazing and
motorized access to the main Hermosa trail.

Whether your backcountry adventure is in pursuit of a trophy elk, a stunning photograph of wildflowers, a screaming ride on a mountain bike, a bumpy ATV outing or a native cutthroat trout, Hermosa offers it all, and just a few miles north of Durango. Hermosa Creek is truly a Southwest Colorado treasure and deserves permanent protection.

As local sportsmen and women, we encourage everyone to support this effort. Take time today to contact Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Scott Tipton to express your support for protection of Hermosa Creek.
http://bennet.senate.gov http://tipton.house.gov.

Let’s protect our sporting heritage and keep this special place just the way it is for future generations to enjoy.

Chuck Wanner - Trout Unlimited
and five others

Civility in discourse
should be local tradition

Richard Gerhardt, in his recent letter to the editor, speaks of Grand Valley tradition. There is much to be said for tradition. There is also no disagreement that many recent arrivals did not realize that when they left their former places of residence in large metropolitan areas, that they would also have to leave behind many of the amenities that those provided. It is also true that many of them sought escape from the very messes to which they were contributors.

The gentleman complains that those individuals want to change things. But, if he will closely examine who is frequently in the forefront of those changes he deplores, he might well find (as some of us have) that they are often led by what is called the “good old boy” network or so-called “community leaders,” far more interested in looking after their own interests (economic, political and social) than those of the general public.
Those are often aided and assisted by local officials who, being of the same background (and thereby having the same perspectives and values), or wanting to be accepted into the “ranks of the influential,” see their primary or sole role as “rubber stamping” the wishes of those interests.

It might also be pointed out to the gentleman that tradition does not consist of doing what one has been doing and in the same way, or believing what one has believed for a long time (for some all of their lives).  Those are simply habits. Neither does tradition involve any type of trying to hide from the world. That is little else than trying to deny reality and indicates little else than lack of preparation to face what is inevitable, change.

The gentleman closes his letter by telling others to “shut up.” Is using such language part of the Grand Valley tradition? Is calling someone a liar, stupid, idiot or traitor part of that same tradition? Some of us doubt that it is, although we all too frequently see and hear such words, and in far too many places.

Perhaps the first thing that needs to be addressed about tradition, in the Grand Valley and everywhere else is civility in discourse, both public and private. That may be a tradition that either needs to be restored or, if it has not existed previously, established.
Robert I. Laitres


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