E-mail letters, June 15 2011

Obama, not Reagan, is
to blame for current mess

In response to Al Lefebre’s June 14 letter to the editor, let me see if I have his logic correct: Ronald Reagan has been dead for a few years and has not been president for about 23 years and yet he is to blame for our economy.

I think it is time to blame our mediocre present president, who was a temporary senator who voted “present,” when he should have researched the issues so he could intelligently vote.

The Democrats were in charge of Congress from 2006 through 2010, and President Obama has been in charge for 29 months. Since he has been in charge his administration has added $4.5 trillion to
$5 trillion to our national debt.

Face reality. Our country has it woes because of present leadership. He has contributed more to our national debt than George Washington through the first term of George W. Bush.

But then again, Lefebre has probably been reading that ultra-liberal, highly biased magazine “Rolling Stone,” or watching MSNBC, just like columnist Denny Herzog, instead of a news organization that does a much better job of being “fair and Bbalanced.”

Herzog should go back to full retirement and Lefebre should at least get the facts straight, as well as
concentrate on present problems not those of 23 years ago.
Rodney Martinez
Grand Junction

Washington version of hope
is ruining our nation

I am exhausted by hope! From “the Man from Hope” to “Hope and Change,” all that has occurred is broadening of wealth redistribution, a huge increase in our national debt and an ever-increasing dependent society. I ache for the return to a limited government stressing personal responsibility and freedom.
We are not sending problem solvers to Washington, but rather personal wealth and power seekers who dole out public funds for their own personal benefit. We, the voters, have been duped by these self-serving politicians saying that a little tinkering around the fiscal edges will solve all our problems and keep over-generous benefits forever flowing.

When a family borrows 40percent of what it spends, it is bankrupt. So it is also with nations.

Congress and the executive branch have proved themselves uniquely incompetent. The Democrats, violating congressional law, have not even submitted a budget in 2 years. When a few Republicans like Paul Ryan and Rand Paul submit ideas and budgets that will eventually balance the budget and reduce the debt, they are demagogued by Democrats and some Republicans.

Our Constitution does not promise government-provided lifetime health care or a secure retirement. Self-serving politicians have made these unconstitutional promises that are economically impossible to meet.

It is time to stand up as Americans and absorb our losses for the sake of our progeny, and demand that our congressmen balance the budget now! Many will be hurt, many will lose significant benefits and some will suffer. But, it is the price our generation must pay because of our personal greed and political inattention.
“Do not bite at the bait of pleasure till you know there is no hook.” Again, we have ignored the sage advice of Thomas Jefferson. The hook is national financial ruin, and unless we drastically reduce our spending, our Republic will soon be history.
Hans Croeber

Attacks on coal and oil
are really about capitalism

Barack Obama, Al Gore and many other liberal activists have long based their hatred of coal and oil on the fact that burning them releases carbon dioxide, which is supposedly a gas that causes global
warming ... er, I mean, climate change. Obama himself even admitted he desires to bankrupt the coal and oil industries.

They support the use of natural gas instead because it supposedly burns cleaner. Unlike
burning coal and oil, which creates not only planet-killing carbon dioxide but smog, soot, smoke and ash as well, burning natural gas creates only carbon dioxide.

But wait. I thought carbon dioxide was bad for the planet. So then how is burning natural gas good for the planet. All three in fact create carbon dioxide, but they only attack the two that currently make the most profits.

What happens then when they are successful in destroying “big oil” and “big coal” and they
have no more big bad bogeyman to go after? Will they then attack and demonize “big natural gas” or “big solar” because those are where the money is?

The simple truth is these people don’t care about the environment. They hate capitalism. They hate anybody except them having the money and power. They live by the simple principle that if
it makes a profit then it must be bad.
Jeremiah Habecker
Grand Junction

Birds and butterflies
need proper ID

Letter writer Joyce Gibbs is right, it is a tanager, not a towhee that I saw in The Daily Sentinel’s photo. My amateur standing remains intact. 
Without trepidation or fear of another misstep, let me continue with my efforts at educating readers of the Sentinel.

The beautiful picture by Chris Tomlinson of a butterfly in the June 13 paper is of a Two Tailed Swallowtail, one of our largest and most beautiful butterflies. Now it could also be a Western Tiger Swallowtail which is very similar but I am not able to verify since the Monday paper went out with the recycle.
Robert A. Tallarico
Grand Junction

Data back up Scenic’s
High-quality reputation

It is with incredulity that we read about the consideration to close Scenic Elementary for budgetary reasons in the June 10 edition of The Daily Sentinel.

Scenic Elementary has long had the reputation of being one of the best elementary schools in District 51 among Grand Valley parents and elementary educators.

Scenic’s reputation is evidenced by the high number of out-of-district students who choose to attend Scenic each year. This reputation is further supported by 2010 District 51 Performance Framework report, which for the past three years places Scenic as second (ranking only behind New Emerson) in Mesa County for academic achievement, performance and growth gaps, with a cumulative score of 85.5 compared to a district-wide score of 56.8.
Much of what makes Scenic special is its small size and “open space” learning environment. The district should be looking at ways to promote this small, intimate, safe, successful learning environment, not eliminate this highly desirable and successful educational model. A decision to close a school should be based on (poor) performance, not on size. It certainly makes no sense to close the best schools.

Regarding the need to remodel Scenic’s open-space design, administrative perceptions of “safety” and “noise” do not match reality. Have all school board members making this decision toured the building when class is in session?  Ask any Scenic parent whether their child would be safer at Scenic versus the traditionally roomed schools of Broadway or Wingate and they will point out that small size and open space make a safe learning environment along the lines of a large “family.”

Students learn to be considerate and quiet, and in 12 years of having sequential children attend Scenic, we never once have heard our own children, or any other Scenic children or teachers, complain about “noise” being a problem or barrier to learning.  In reality, the adult work environment often consists of open cubicles in a large room with background noise. So Scenic kids already have a leg up on their peers.

The charter school movement throughout the country (and even within our Grand Valley) has demonstrated that parents want different choices and options. Eliminating, or even remodeling Scenic Elementary to a traditionally roomed school removes both difference and success.

To close Scenic in a year of difficult finances because it is small, uses the open-space concept and “looks easy to close” on spreadsheets entirely misses the point.

Change to a four-day school week, seek business/employer subsidies for busing, cut administrators,  find money from our community taxpayers or large community donors, but do not close Scenic Elementary, one of the true jewels of District 51.
Bill and Jill Hilty
Grand Junction

Children will leave public
school if they can’t go to Scenic

As the parent of a current Scenic student and hopefully future Scenic students, I express my concern regarding the possibility of Scenic’s closure.

Principal Doug Levinson and the educational and supportive staff are exceptional. I hope my children will attend Scenic in the future with the guidance of Levinson and staff.

If my children are unable to attend Scenic due to this negative action by the school board, my children will not likely attend public school at all. Generally speaking of the public school system, in Mesa County, I have had poor experiences and retain negative opinions.

Please consider that the closure of a uniquely positive experience in education will be lost if the School Board chooses to close Scenic.
Heatherdawn Gentry
Grand Junction


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