Email Letters: April 11, 2017

FWD.us is working to fix our broken immigration system

The conversation around immigration issues in the Grand Junction area is healthy and robust. Thank you to those community members who took time to meet with me during my recent Western Slope tour. As Colorado’s organizing associate for FWD.us, I visit with communities throughout the state to discuss the importance of immigration policy and its impacts on local economies. FWD.us is working to promote policies that keep the U.S. competitive in a global economy, starting with fixing our broken immigration system.

During my Western Slope tour, I talked with a number of community members about various immigration-related issues. One common theme that came up focused on the H2A visa program and the need for reform. Colorado’s agricultural industry continues to face a labor shortage and reforming the system to allow for a greater workforce remains a priority for farmers and ranchers.
Another issue that was top of mind for many was the need to protect students, both those who are recipients of DACA (the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) as well as those who are here on student visas.

In Grand Junction specifically, I met with Bruce Talbott of Talbott Farms and Brian Cox, Owner of Black Bear Orchards to hear their thoughts on workforce immigration issues. I also met with members of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership to discuss immigration policy influences on enrollment at Mesa State College as well as on the Western Slope’s agriculture and outdoor tourism industries.

We have a once in a generation opportunity to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Our primary goals are to secure our borders and provide a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants.

Thanks again to those Grand Junction community members who met with me to share their local stories and experiences.

KAYTIA KING
FWD.us
Colorado Organizing Associate

Denver

Find out more about climate change with film shown this Thursday

A few days after the September 11 attacks 16 years ago, I distinctly remember browsing through a clothing catalog filled with photos of carefree American families at play. Seeing the pictures in light of the 9/11 tragedy saddened me – the smiling faces seemed frozen in a time of innocence that no longer existed. Oddly enough, the experience became a personal wake-up call to act for a better world.

Lately, I have come to another, urgent point of reckoning: I am frightened and worried about the future of our children and grandchildren by a growing danger that becomes more apparent each season of the year. We read about the violent storms and melting ice in other places, but I can see small changes even in my own little backyard: the gallant hummingbirds arrive earlier every year. Summers are hotter and winters warmer. The weather has become eerily unpredictable; a telltale sign of a changing climate due to global warming.

I see the innocent eyes of toddlers taking their first trusting steps into a world that is undeniably on its way to becoming hostile to human life.

A recent Quinnipiac University poll shows a total 76 percent of American voters are concerned about climate change. Sixty-five percent believe that the change is human caused.

There are hundreds of solutions on the table right now. Individually we can make adjustments in our homes, offices and church buildings. Additionally it is absolutely critical to voice our concerns to local, state and federal elected officials.

I encourage readers to find out more on Thursday, April 13, 6:30 pm at the Grand Junction City Auditorium where the award-winning film Time To Choose will be shown, sponsored by several local organizations.

We all want a better future and we all must act now to get it.

KAREN SJOBERG
Citizens for Clean Air
Grand Junction

History Colorado designates CAF bomber

The advertisement on Page 3 of Monday’s Sentinel only hints at the importance of the transformation of a long time (over 35 years) of a Grand Valley gem having received a distinction that truly creates a Grand Valley jewel.

This Saturday, a unique community museum will be celebrating, along with all of you, a true “first” for the state of Colorado. For decades now citizens of the Grand Valley would occasionally look skyward when hearing the unmistakable sound of a large World War II vintage radial airplane engine and see the local Commemorative Air Force (CAF) WWII Navy Torpedo Bomber growling its way across our skies – almost as if attempting to reach back in time and over the Pacific Ocean to its war time heritage. That deep radial engine roar was the sound of freedom over 70 years ago. It is a sound and sight every citizen, of every age and every heritage should experience and embrace.

Your Grand Valley jewel is now recognized by History Colorado, the state’s historical agency that has, “cared for the historic treasures of the state for more than 130 years…” Your jewel is now the first flying object to be designated as a Colorado “historical object.” What an honor!

Bring the kids and friends to celebrate with your neighbors. Arrive early – don’t miss the TBM taxiing in as if returning from its latest mission. Visit and talk with the actual WWII veterans that will be on board the TBM and then climb the stairs up onto the wing and explore the cockpit and “bilge” of the largest single engine aircraft of WWII. Many other unique WWII aircraft will be on display. Hamburgers, hot dogs and other refreshments will be available. 1:30 to 5 p.m., Saturday April 15, 780 Heritage Way, Grand Junction Airport. Follow the signs.

TOM HOWE
Hotchkiss

Student Senate to be commended in changing Baccalaureate ceremony

We express our support and commend the brave actions of the Student Senate in changing their Baccalaureate ceremony. What they have done is to demonstrate the very principles of citizenship, humanity and Americanism for an example to the community. This is the highest form of gratitude they might have chosen to demonstrate for their teachers, for it has made us grateful as well to the excellent instructors at Central High School.

By encouraging student voices the Student Senate has provided the means for conscious growth by a necessary moment of public reflection, demonstrated a willingness to defend and support the constitutional rights of their fellow classmates belonging to religious minorities, and achieved the goal of the MCVSD’s bullying prevention policy through inclusiveness and friendship. We compliment the District, and welcome the class of 2017 – and eagerly anticipate the even greater things they will accomplish.

AARON BRACHFELD
Loka Hatha Yoga
Grand Junction


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