E-mail letters, May 23, 2011

Mexico is an important
U.S. trading partner

Gary Harmon went far afield to find information about demographic changes in the Western Slope of Colorado in his May 21 story on Hispanic numbers.
According to Harmon, services are being duplicated due to language barriers (ballots, dispatchers, bi-lingual programs, etc.) because Latino immigrants are fleeing conditions in their countries of origin to western Colorado.

I prefer to view Mexico in a more positive light, as the U.S.’s third-largest trading partner, with exports of $45.8 billion in goods and services to the U.S., imports of $62.2 billion from the U.S with a total in overall commerce of $108 billion or 12.6 percent of U.S. trade in 2011 so far.

Good or bad, whole sectors of our economy are almost completely reliant upon foreign labor: agriculture, construction, hospitality, etc. In agriculture alone, according to 2007 USDA Agricultural Census stats, the market value of agricultural products in Mesa County was $61 million. According to the Colorado Department of Agriculture this sector generates economic
activity to the U.S. in the range of $20 billion annually, with as many as 100,000 jobs. How many people in such an important sector are actually Americans?

Regarding the gas industry, several acquaintances of mine are engineers working in that industry. These gentlemen hold advanced degrees, speak English, Spanish and in at least one case Russian. They are Peruvian, Bolivian and Ecuadorian. Their professions are hardly those of menial laborers.
Mesa County Valley School District 51, with pressure from community parents, has responded to the realities of our changing society by establishing the Dual Immersion Academy, which educates young people both in Spanish and English. This carefully designed and administered program is celebrating the first graduating eighth-grade class of bi-lingual Anglo and Hispanic students.
The challenge we have in our antiquated educational system is providing an appropriate environment for these bi-lingual students to continue their exemplary development.

I look forward to the day when we are as integrated socially as we are economically with our friends to the south.
Thomas Acker
Grand Junction

We’ve been inconsistent
on language requirements

Waiting in line behind two American Indian women who appeared to be Navajo from their dress, I listened as they conversed in their native tongue. Then they spoke English as they checked out and paid for their merchandise.

It suddenly occurred to me that once American Indians were forced to learn English by the federal government, and now we post Spanish and various other languages, and also hire people to interpret for those who do not speak English.

Do we not at the very least owe American Indians an apology?
When I was a young boy, an old family friend who came from Sweden said he was told to learn English. He said when he became a citizen he was informed that he now had an allegiance to the United States and the flag of the United States. If he didn’t wish to honor that allegiance, he should return to Sweden.

We certainly have become a nation of dual standards and that is not a good thing, in my opinion.
Neal A. Ward

Where did Harold
Camping go wrong?

I hear that Harold Camping is in seclusion right now, trying to figure out where he went wrong. Please allow me to mention a couple of ways.

First and foremost, he ignored what the Bible actually says about the return of Jesus Christ, as

—Jesus himself said that no one knows the day or hour (Matt. 25:13). Camping declared the day and hour, so he set himself up for failure.

—Jesus will come after the great tribulation, not before (Mark 13:24-27; Matt. 24:29-31).

Camping’s website is full of unbiblical ideas. I just gave a couple of very obvious examples of where he went wrong.
John Bush
Grand Junction

Pastor apparently does
not know the Bible

Regarding the recent article on the May 21 spiritual disaster, I take issue with Pastor Mike Burr’s comment that the Lord coming on a White Horse is “biblical nonsense.”
Either Burr does not know his Bible, or doesn’t believe it is truly the word of God that it is.  Revelation 19:11 states clearly, “Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse.  And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.”
It is very clear that the Christ will return on a white horse at the end of the tribulation. Burr should check his Bible and pray.
Carol Anderson

Disabled students feeling
pinch of school budget cuts

I’m one of many special-needs students at Grand Junction High school, along with the many others at the various schools across Colorado. I need support to help with my daily life and to function properly. I know many others like me who share similar disorders and debilitations. We rely on the help of our teachers, fellow students and case managers to aid us in the survival of our school years.

Recently, many people in the educational departments have had massive cuts and are losing jobs. One of the people who help me make it through my day nearly every day is at risk and I honestly don’t know what I’d do without her. She is a library assistant, but throughout the day she plays the roles of nurse, counselor, teacher, taskmaster, case worker, therapist, and friend. Almost all of the students absolutely adore her.

It’s not just her, I’m certain. Thousands more teachers, both loved and respected are losing their jobs. It is predicted that if the teachers go, then so will the students, because the quality of schooling will go down. Who wants to send their kid to a school that can’t provide them with the necessary education?

I’m tired of watching some of my favorite teachers go, one-by-one, because they cut school spending. I believe that if you cut school spending, you create unskilled workers. By creating unskilled workers, you lessen the effectiveness of our country’s workforce. You’re cutting the budget of people who are going to teach the future of our nation how to read, write, do arithmetic, and for some even tie there shoes! Why would you hamstring yourself for the future?

I don’t understand why all the people who are going to help us understand the world around us are being ripped away. Why does the government want us to darken our future so they can brighten their short-term horizons?

I just want people to see and maybe understand how people like me feel when our lines of support are cut away and we are left free-floating in a breeze of confusion. The normal person can only handle so much stress, most of us can barely hand half that much. These people help us to fight against the odds to be like the other people in the world — with some sense of normalcy in their lives.
Jordan Balikes
Grand Junction


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