E-mail letters, July 18, 2011

Families can support
each other in eating

The growing obesity crisis clearly shows that people just do not know where to start. They are overwhelmed with information about food — just look at the tons of books and magazines — mired in with all the other minutia delivered by our Western culture.

I don’t think the solution to childhood obesity is to remove the child from the custody of their parents. Rather, the entire family needs strategies and support.
That means starting with a few very simple changes, and having people with similar goals to support them.
Rather than the gourmet clubs from the 80s, families could dine with other families a couple of times a month, not to indulge their palates, but to deliver some physical and emotional nurturing — and share information at the same time.

I think it would be a great way to strengthen families, save food dollars and improve physical health by helping each other stay on track.

Ironically, in these crazy times, how and what we eat is one of the few areas where we have total control.
Paula Massa Anderson
Grand Junction

Financial reward shouldn’t
drive teachers, students

I see on the news that they want to raise taxes for education in the valley. Really?

I would be all for it if the test scores were in the top 95 percent of the nation’s scores, but we are struggling.

I would be all for it if I did not keep hearing that the majority of kids don’t know who Abe Lincoln is and what major historical effect he had.

I would love to support our educators if I did not have a sneaky suspicion that they are teaching with a liberal view.

Facts: I want history, math, English and science taught with facts. If that is being done, then why are the test scores so average?

I know we want everyone to feel like a winner, but let’s be honest. We are only cheating the kids. There was a time that older/smarter kids helped the ones who were struggling. Isn’t that the time to exploit a young person’s strengths and let them help others?

Why are we paying more average people to teach average curriculum? Maybe we should press our teachers and kids to strive to be better without the fiscal reward. We experience this all the time in the real world of work. Get them used to it and help them strive to be better because you expect it of yourself.

President Obama stated in his first year of office that he expected people to volunteer. Here is the first step.
Liberal educators who are retired, here is your call to duty. Put up or shut up!
Mike Parker
Fruita CO

There’s no justification
for the new airport fence

The attorney for the Grand Junction airport recently wrote a press release stating, “The TSA ..… has rejected the current method being used to control access to the GJT AOA” (Air Operations Area), yet in the two years of debating this project at many heated board meetings, such a document has never been produced.

All we airport tenants have heard are Rex Tippetts’ unsubstantiated words. The airport is either in compliance, or it is not. Like being pregnant, or dead, either you are or are not. The TSA would be required to notify the airport in writing of any compliance issue. It has not.
The airport received grant money under false pretenses for a purported “animal control fence” that was not required, was designed to be 10 feet tall, topped with barbed wire coils, and prohibits public access making, it impossible for the many local airport companies to continue to do business with the public. This new fence and gates will kill far more local airport businesses and tenants than be a dubious deterrent for any fox or coyote!
Stop TippetsGate now!
Rob Duncan
Volunteer Docent
Commemorative Air Force Museum
Grand Junction

Mob of Owls photo an example
of Sentinel’s great photography

Thank you for the wonderful picture of the Mob of Owls in the July 13 edition of The Daily Sentinel.  You do have some good photos in your paper.  We appreciate them.
Janice Schwener

Airport tower may leave
if traffic drops too low

The total number of take-offs and landings at our airport is a big part of justifying the need for the tower that presently controls air traffic. By locking out general aviation, the current management runs a real chance of losing our tower. The FAA is looking for ways to cut expenses and an underused tower would be a red flag for them.

Now a note relative to the many miles of new and costly fence: Wildlife have been traversing airport property for centuries on their way to the river to get water. The fence now blocks their historic paths on the south of the airport. It is a shame that there is no fence on the north side of the airport as wildlife now roam the airport and cannot get to their historic water supply.

Perhaps PETA should be involved as the animals are subjected to temperatures over 100 degrees and no water is available for them anywhere on the airport. It is significant as there are now several miles of fence
keeping them from water.
Kurt Cornum

Teaching fractions too soon
won’t improve education

The article in the July 16 edition of The Daily Sentinel, about changing the curriculum, particularly moving the teaching of fractions to fourth grade, raised some questions in my mind.

As a retired math teacher, I’m wondering what is going to be accomplished in presenting concepts at an even earlier age? Many students do not show mastery of these concepts in middle school or in high school, as demonstrated by the low standardized math test scores and the numbers of developmental (remedial) math courses that are required because so many high school graduates are not proficient in basic math and
thus are unable to take a college math course.

There is a certain level of maturity and number sense that students need before new concepts can be understood and mastered. Students may go through the motions of learning the numerical machinations at an earlier rate. However, their lack of mastery of mathematical concepts is blatantly obvious at the middle school and high school levels.

There is no substitute for building a solid knowledge base whereupon more difficult concepts may be added, understood, and mastered. This is a process requiring time, maturation, and lots of practice. Ability grouping allows for the differences in maturation and acquisition of knowledge and allows students to maximize their potential.
Phyllis Hunsinger
Grand Junction

Foreigners don’t hold
most of the U.S. debt

The dictionary defines a “myth” as “any invented story, idea, or concept,” and there is no greater myth than the one being circulated by many conservatives that the majority of our national debt is owed to “foreigners,” especially the Chinese.

Writing in The Washington Post, columnist Eugene Robinson sets the record straight when he says,“Contrary to popular impression, less than a third of the $14.3 trillion national debt is owed to foreigners, with roughly 10 percent of the total to China. The biggest chunk, about 40 percent, is
owed to U.S. individuals and institutions. Another 25 percent or so is owed to the Social Security trust fund, the U.S. Civil Service Retirement Fund and the U.S. Military Retirement Fund.”

These facts reinforce a recent assertion by Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio that, “The rancorous debate over the debt belies a fundamental truth of our economy — that it is run for the few at the expense of the many, that our entire government has been turned into a machine which takes the wealth of a mass of Americans and accelerates it into the hands of the few.”

The right-wing currently controls half of Congress and a majority of the U.S Supreme Court. If we allow them to take the Senate and White House in 2012, Corporate America will finally realize its ultimate
dream of controlling all aspects of American life from cradle to grave.
E. Michael Ervin
Grand Junction

Consumption tax needed
to end tax-class warfare

Concerning David Copley’s July 15 letter to the editor: Current presidents have larger budgets than earlier ones, partially due to inflation. Like it or not, Reagan fought the cold war. Both Bushes had wars — very expensive as we’re seeing again now.

George W. Bush had a Democratic Congress. Clinton’s was Republican. As Copley says, do the math.

Against the advice of Larry Summers, Clinton OKed bundling bad mortgages and selling them on the
market. Clinton reinforced the community reinvestment act so banks had to give high-risk loans or get sued by ACORN. The deregulation obviously was by both parties. Everyone made money (the presidents of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae really cleaned up).

As Goldman Sachs goes, so goes the country. Nearly everyone in the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Bank once worked for Goldman Sachs, even up through now.

This idea that everyone is entitled to home ownership is almost 100 years old. Medicare about 45 years old. We have an extremely high standard of living, even in a recession.

Take a cue from the failures in Europe about entitlements. You have to pay the piper eventually. Congress could triple axes starting at $100,000 a year earnings and it won’t dent the interest due. Without some kind of consumption or flat tax we will continue the politician’s tax-class warfare.
Gordon Nielsen
Grand Junction

Green Machine threatens
our economy and energy

An Englishman, Lord Christopher Monckton, tells us “The Green Machine — the extreme environmentalist political lobby — is destroying your American economy right before our eyes.”

He knows because his England is in the throes of an economy that forces people, especially the elderly, to go to libraries or to ride in busses all night for warmth, because they can’t afford to heat their houses due to the high cost of energy.

In this country the Green Machine is trying to shut down coal mines, deny drilling for oil, and substitute wind and sun in place of viable energy sources.

Lord Monckton goes on to say, “These reckless anti-energy policies come from the Green Machine — the massive global network of left-wing environmental zealots.  The Green Machine has decided that hydrocarbon fuels are evil and that America must pursue only ‘Green’ energy sources.”

The EPA has gained enormous power under the Obama administration. For example, a previously approved permit for a coal mine in West Virginia (Mingo Logan mine) was vetoed by the EPA after seven years of producing tens of thousands of pages of documents and the expenditure of millions of dollars trying to satisfy NEPA requirements. This happened after Obama took over.

An out-of-control EPA is operating in violation of federal law in a manner contrary to sound, defensible science.

Eric Ellington, a founder of Greenpeace, withdrew shortly before his death, stating “The Marxists had taken Greenpeace over, and they did not care for the environment at all.” Many Green Machine activists, appointed by President Obama to run federal agencies, have in turn hired equally radical people to run the agencies’ programs. Our only hope is a return to sanity after the 2012 election.
Dick Prosence

Why cover crime stories
before there’s a final verdict?

One of the bedrocks of our society is “innocent unless proven guilty” …  supposedly.  If that is the case why, in this era of instant and constant news-in-your-face, is an arrest, with names and details,  considered newsworthy?

As soon as someone is arrested and it is public knowledge, that persons reputation is often forever besmirched or even ruined, no matter what the outcome of a trial.

Why is it okay to make an arrest public knowledge? Merely to prove the police are doing their jobs to show people are getting value for the taxes they pay?

How is it possible to get impartial juries when many are tried in the arena of public opinion? Should the public ever have any information regarding the “alleged”  —  there is that word heard so often — misdeed or crime? Why doesn’t “alleged” mean that details may be revealed publicly later only after trial, when it is determined just exactly what happened and who did it? If not proven guilty why should a person’s name ever be associated with whatever happened?

From the lowliest drunk on the street to possible candidates for the presidency in France, how is the public benefitted with the knowledge of who is involved and what they are alleged as having done? Every time I see TV coverage of a crime locally that say that names are not yet available but then the picture goes to the address of the supposed perpetrator from the number on the house or mail box, I cringe.

I understand that it appears to have always been the case that all police activity resulting in arrests is news and all details that can be uncovered are fair game for public disclosure. Why?  Who benefits from prejudgment of fellow human beings until —  “innocent unless proven guilty”?
John Borgen
Grand Junction


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