Email Letters: August 14, 2017

Colorado National Monument deserves a change in moniker

In the wake of Trump’s review of the Department of the Interior, the idea of a change in status or just a change in name for the Colorado National Monument has once again reared its head. And just like the last time, “Red Rocks” and “Rim Rocks” are the two most popular suggestions.

But the problem with “Red Rocks,” even though it is an apt description, is that there are already several very well known locales with that name, including one right here in Colorado. It just wouldn’t be unique enough to be a draw. And as for “Rim Rocks,” well, it’s just flat out a dumb name. There, I said it.

I agree that the park needs at the very least a change in moniker, even if it doesn’t get a change in status. Personally, I like “Colorado Canyons National Monument/Park.” It is descriptive of the area’s unique landscapes, which are unlike anything found elsewhere in the state. Plus, the location is right in the name. And to alleviate the confusion that people have regarding the famous monolith found inside the park – “How can there be a monument in the Monument?” –just rename it to something like “Independence Tower,” “Sentinel Tower,” or some other such name. We should be proud of our unique little park and shouldn’t saddle it with a bland unimpressive name.


County leadership’s treatment of Gray Gourmet program is objectionable

I’m pretty disappointed in Mesa County’s leadership right now. While constructive discourse isn’t happening in the halls of Congress, the least we can expect is that local government and business leaders comport themselves with politesse. I’m referring to the dismissive way the county has treated the local meals on wheels program, an award winning and well-respected program that has provided life-enhancing service to Mesa County for over 40 years. I had the privilege of directing the Gray Gourmet Senior Nutrition Program for several years and have witnessed firsthand its remarkable efficiency and stewardship.

Gray Gourmet utilizes hundreds of volunteers and relies on numerous community partnerships to prepare and deliver 400-500 meals to group dining sites and homebound elderly each day. Gray Gourmet’s meal production starts at 6 a.m. and commences with meal deliveries to over 20 carefully choreographed sites and routes throughout the Grand Valley. This arduous logistical feat is vital to those served. Gray Gourmet’s tasty, hearty meals nourish elderly who meet strict criteria for demonstrated need. Annually, Gray Gourmet serves over 1,400 elderly persons with compassion, dignity and laudable efficiency. Nearly all meal recipients insist on contributing toward the cost of their meals despite limited income.

While some meals on wheels programs nationwide receive allocated financial support from their county governments, this has not been the case in Mesa County. In lieu of that, the county’s discounted building rent over the past two decades has helped keep the Gray Gourmet program viable. Over time a genuinely cordial relationship and mutual appreciation prospered between Mesa County officials, Gray Gourmet, and St. Mary’s Hospital. Opportunities and problems were easily addressed face to face or with a quick phone call, not with a formal “eleventh hour” letter potentially derailing contract renewal.

The building that the county helped build for Gray Gourmet’s use long ago reflects a vision for civic leadership that is now lacking as the county opts to exponentially increase rent, with the added possibility of the premises being turned over to new tenants. When representatives from city, county and non-profit organizations work in harmony, it’s the citizens of the community who benefit. When this public trust falters, it is the citizens who might lose out; in this case, the most vulnerable elderly citizens who can no longer advocate for themselves. I urge the Mesa County Board of Commissioners to rethink its approach to the local non-profit community and to act as a partner, not an adversary.

Grand Junction

We need reminders of past atrocities so we don’t repeat them

In the news today was an issue that concerns me and I think us all, not directly but indirectly. It has to do with our country’s history. We cannot erase our history, the past, or what happened generations ago. However, we can remember it and try not to repeat it.

I’m not an “alt-right” or an “alt-left” person – if there is such a thing. I’m more a center kind of person, which allows me to look at all sides and make decisions on issues that work for me.

After the Civil War, the Confederate states and the Union states built statues and memorials in remembrance of their military leaders and heroes. The very thought of slavery – black slavery, white slavery, child slavery, any act that would put another person in harm’s way – is repugnant to me.

That brings me back to history. Many southern states are in the process of removing any and all symbols of the Civil War – the flag, the statues, and the commemorative memorial – in the mistaken belief this will erase the history of what each of those symbols represent. We need those reminders; we need the reminders of all atrocities, the same as we need the reminder of Hitler. We need those reminders not to celebrate the memory, but to let next generations be aware that this really did happen so that we don’t repeat those horrific actions our countrymen did to one another.

I think an injustice is being done by not giving our Southern citizens enough credit or benefit of the doubt – there’s that center thought speaking – that they’re not supporting an evil but supporting an historical fact. These things did happen, and removing, deleting, and not speaking of it will not make it go away. History happened and it can be repeated.


Removing reminders of our country’s history is senseless

It seems crazy to me to spend all this time and money to remove statues and other historical monuments all over the country. It is history, not that it was right or wrong, but these are reminders of our past. Removing historical sites, statues, plaques, etc. to supposedly satisfy 13 percent of the country’s population is stupid. Do we tear down all items that represent the generals that quashed the Indians or tear down anything that mentions or represents President Roosevelt because he sent the Japanese to camps wrongly? Should we destroy all firearms in museums because some might have killed someone? Why not get rid of any cowboy statues because they were hard on horses? Lee was offered the command of the North’s army but refused, as he could not fight against his home state – not that he was for slavery. He was a great person and should be remembered.

Grand Junction

Trump, stop the rhetoric and state clearly what America stands for

Our president, every word he speaks is analyzed and criticized. He speaks his mind like a New York street guy. Nothing he has said offends me, even though I might have liked it said differently. I agree with what I believe to be his core beliefs. I believe that his comments on the riots in Virginia were proper. Both sides deserve scrutiny because the entire event could have been planned by one entity to bring down his presidency.

On the other side, we have the mainstream media, including Fox News, with a deluge of words spoken by individuals with no proven record of accuracy and no accountability for what they say. In my day, I would say they fill empty air.

President Trump, stop the rhetoric. Just state, clearly, what America stands for and what Americans will support in the time of crisis. Any wrong to the freedom of anyone on this planet is against what we believe is right, and we will defend ourselves and those wronged with whatever is in our power.

Grand Junction

Residents, keep up the good work in maintaining city’s cleanliness

This letter is in response to Anthony Valdez. I personally think Grand Junction is a well-kept city. If you have potholes, you call and the city is on it. Weeds out of control, call code
enforcement. Abandoned cars, call GJPD. And on and on.

Anywhere you live there will always be slackers who need to be prodded. Drive to any big city and you will find way worse. This man’s place is so clean because he is retired with nothing to do all day but work on his yard. The rest of us work all day and it’s a struggle to keep the roses cut. So keep up the good work Grand Junction and stay classy! Don’t listen to these newspaper whiners.

Grand Junction

It’s time to provide FRAM the permits for drilling in Whitewater

The energy project proposed in Whitewater is one of the most studied and thoughtful drilling programs in Western Colorado. In Texas, a company can acquire a drilling permit in a week. In Ohio, a permit takes a month. In Western Colorado FRAM has been trying to acquire their permits for over 10 years. And despite a decade, the BLM process still drags on.

Local activist groups like Western Colorado Congress are now bringing activist groups into the fight in an attempt to keep our nation’s energy in the ground. But at some point, one has to ask, if 10 years of study weren’t enough, what amount of time would be? From storm water protections and cactus conservation measures to the fact that the entire project has been removed from the City of Grand Junction’s watershed, FRAM has gone above and beyond trying to address the concerns of Western Colorado Congress Activists. But the organization never has and never will support any drilling project because they are opposed them all.

So its time, after 10 years, to provide FRAM the drilling permits they paid for over a decade ago.


It takes a strong leader to step in and make decisions

Lest we forget about lessons from the past, perhaps Democrats need to go back and read what happened at the Bay of Pigs when Kennedy was president. Some mistakes were made but Kennedy followed through just the same. Threats are still as viable today as they were then and it takes a strong leader to step in and make decisions. Truman had to do the same thing.



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I too think Colorado Canyons National Monument is an excellent way to convey what it is. I can tell you from experience that some people see the sign for Colo Natl Mon as they approach Fruita, then spot the large military exhibit along the frontage road and incorrectly assume that they are one in the same. Clear naming and branding are key to attracting visitors, tourism, and the revenue they offer.

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