E-mail letters, June 11, 2011

Obama’s energy policies
put our nation at risk

Two of America’s major problems are the lack of good-paying jobs and the high price of gasoline. Asinine government policies regarding the development of our nation’s abundant natural resources are the cause.
The Obama administration refuses to recognize the issues. They have created so many obstacles that impede the development of huge reserves of oil in the US, especially off shore and in Alaska. They are also restricting shale oil research by limiting leases.
With sound government policies, issues surfaced from environmentalists and over-regulation can be resolved.
Oil and gas exploration and production are huge businesses. Just look at its effect on employment in North Dakota and Pennsylvania. The activity creates jobs for paleontologists, geophysicists, geologists, engineers, truck drivers, welders, electricians, construction workers, rough necks, shipbuilders, helicopter pilots, truck builders, etc.  The impact on the local economies is significant because of increased revenues in services.
Renewable energy is promising but it presently has little impact on imports. It supplements electricity production and reduces the amount of coal being used, which we have in abundance.

We have an ideologue for president who is willing to put our national security and economic growth at risk by ignoring the facts. This also makes Americans hostages of the Middle East and higher gasoline prices.

Unrest in the Middle East is a given. There is an ongoing Sunni and Shia conflict and the attempted overthrow of existing dictators will continue. Why do we depend on them for 18 percent of our oil supply?  The more important question is what are we doing about it?

Why are we allowing Obama, who doesn’t have a lick of common sense, to put our future in jeopardy?
William F. McKnight
Grand Junction

School districts must adopt
protections for gays, lesbians

On May 13, I watched as Go. John Hickenlooper signed House Bill 1254, a law aimed at reducing bullying in schools.
This new law clearly defines bullying, requires school districts to enact anti-bullying policies, and explicitly protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender young people — the most vulnerable youth in our schools.
A bipartisan group of legislators stood up for LGBT young people and passed this bill because they heard heart-breaking stories from students across the state who have experienced name-calling, isolation, vandalism, harassment and violence. 
These legislators knew they could no longer sit back while LGBT youth were tormented. We can’t either. It’s our responsibility as adults to improve the safety of our schools by effectively implementing HB 1254 throughout the state.
As the new law requires each school district to enact its own anti-bullying policy, I want to urge districts in Grand Junction and across the state to pass policies that explicitly protect LGBT young people.
Studies have shown that students attending schools with an anti-bullying policy that includes protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity felt safer than students at schools with a general policy or no policy. In fact, in schools with specific protections for them, LGBT students heard fewer homophobic remarks, experienced lower levels of victimization and were more likely to report that staff intervened when they witnessed bullying.
I call on school board members to stand up for LGBT students as our legislators have done. I call on them to recognize the critical problem of bullying, harassment, and violence in our schools and take immediate action to address it through the passage of comprehensive, inclusive anti-bullying policies. I call on them to fulfill our responsibility as adults — to make schools safe for every child who sits in our classrooms or walks through our halls.
Jessica Cook Woodrum
Communications Manager
ONE Colorado

Scenic has superior
staff and policies

I would like to begin to thank everyone who works and volunteers at Scenic Elementary School.  They are so informed of others and care about both student and staff members. They also appreciate parent presents in all children projects and accomplishments.

I love the Book Buddies program at Scenic. The younger children look up to the older children and don’t fear them. The older children look at themselves as examples.

I love the Battle of the Books. It is so fun to challenge the children to use questions to see their understanding of the book and what details stick out to each child. I really think it spikes the children’s interest in reading when they see other children getting rewarded for reading

Principal Levinson is so involved with his staff and children. He is a great role model for the children at Scenic. He takes time to read and play sports with the kids at Scenic. He spends time with a small group of children by treating them to ice cream if they follow the “Work Hard and Be Nice” motto. This is a great motto for the school. It’s even posted on the flagpole with the American Flag. You get a sense of pride for America when you are around Scenic

The teachers there care about the kids and want to work hard to do their best to get them ready for coming year.  They expect the kids to do the work and do their best also.  The teachers there reward the children and recognize the children who are on-task and following instructions, which sets the example for the rest of the class.

Another thing I love about Scenic is it location. It is hidden off a main road and that offers great peace of mind.

My family would be seriously lost without the security and closeness that presides at Scenic. I hope this letter makes it a harder choice to close Scenic Elementary.
Amber Hinkle
Grand Junction

Closing Scenic would be
economic and educational mistake

I’m writing about the possible closing of Scenic Elementary and I have one thing to say: Please don’t!

I’ve lived in Grand Junction since 1970. My youngest child went to Scenic and now my youngest grandchild goes there. It has been a wonderful school for all. My granddaughter is excited to go to
Scenic and loves her teachers.

I think there must be another solution besides closing this much-loved school. There have been enough jobs lost in this community recently and this would only add to the demise of the economy.
Conny Buller
Grand Junction

National politicians aren’t
the only ones acting dumb

The Anthony Weiner scandal is the very latest example of a long line of elected officials in Washington who have made highly questionable personal decisions that call directly into question their ability to make the best decisions for their constituents. As we are finding out here in Montrose,
Washington doesn’t have a corner on the market for dumb questionable decisions.

At Tuesdays City Council meeting, we learned that Councilwomen Marvel and McDermott, while in Gunnison representing the city at taxpayer expense, took it upon themselves to launch their own personal investigation of fellow Councilmember Thomas Smits. The ladies sought out Smits’ former bank employer and questioned him about Smits’ integrity, ethics, personal and professional history, as well as his interest in any special interest or political groups. The former employer clearly indicated “the two ladies were on a witch hunt”.

Smits confronted the ladies in the council meeting about their vindictive, unethical and unprofessional behavior. It was obvious to all in attendance that they knew the cat was out of the bag, because they had prepared remarks ready to respond. And a more flimsy response (“We just
wanted to know how to get along with you Thomas”) has never been given for such despicable and unethical behind the back behavior. Astoundingly, no public apologies were proffered by either lady.

City Council is a growing dysfunctional array of accumulating poor decisions, topped off by this shameful independent action by Marvel and McDermott. This truly boneheaded stunt should give rise to citizen demands for their resignation. Taxpayers should expect a lot more from their elected
Dee Laird


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