Email letters, August 15, 2014

District 51 schedule change a huge disservice to students, parents, and teachers

It did not take long for the students, parents, and teachers of District 51 to realize what a terrible disservice the school board has done with a very stupid schedule change. I don’t understand why they changed a tried and true school schedule that is about two hundred years old enabled us to put a man in space and more men on the moon. Now a bunch of fools think that changing the school schedule is going to change the grades and level of learning. About the best we produce now (thanks to District 51) is a long list of college bound youngsters who have to take remedial classes just to stay in college.

The District 51 board then insulted us as to why the changes to the schedule were needed. If the students are going to forget what they previously learned during the summer, then how much are they going to forget with the excessively long spring and winter breaks? The board should just do their job and get our children the education they need, and leave scheduling alone since they are obviously incompetent at that task.

I am sorry that my taxes go to help pay for the nonsense that this board perpetuates. If I had students in District 51 schools, I would immediately remove them. It would be worth working two jobs just to make sure they get a good and proper education. Furthermore, I recommend that anyone who truly cares about their children’s learning experience to get them away from this incompetent board of directors.

Some of the problems with the new scheduling are simple. Kids cannot get a decent summer job, and teachers cannot get a decent part time summer job, nor can they pursue further education in their field. For many, vacation time is shot and sports have to be attenuated. Farm children can say goodbye to 4-H.

The excessive mid year breaks are nonsense and are way too long. Rearranging babysitting will be difficult, and then some. And all of this has been done to make a bunch of none too bright District 51 officials feel like they have done a wonderful thing.

Education worked without massive schedule changes and without boards that had too much ego and self-importance.

Grand Junction

Ender’s Game editorial missed the mark

The Sentinel’s Editorial Board finds it troubling that Joy Porter, mother of a District 51 sixth grader, objects to the novel “Ender’s Game” being required reading for that grade level. Her opposition is based on personally reading the book, and the “swear words, references to
genitalia, and passages about characters renouncing religion and killing each other” that it includes.

Such proactive parenting is disturbing to the editors, even though Porter also was a fifth grade teacher and sounds like she knows a thing or two about kids. Her challenge is labeled as insulting to both curriculum planners and parents who put their trust in them.

Nowhere mentioned in the editorial is the fact that a formal school board policy already exists for exactly such a parental objection. Applying the Sentinel’s (il)logic, should we then presume that it is actually the curriculum planners and parents who were insulted by the policy’s adoption?

The editorial cites other titles that have been similarly challenged across the country over the years. Unstated, however, is whether those titles targeted 6th graders, thus rendering any such comparison irrelevant.

There is a comparison, however, that may be useful. “Ender’s Game” is on the official U.S. Marines Professional Reading List for ranks 2nd and 1st Lieutenant. The obvious comparison is that there is none to 6th grade.


Grand Junction

Obama’s Nobel destroyed Nobel credibility

Rueben Navarrette’s commentary “Hispanic journalists association has become a vaudeville act” seemed well reasoned and correct in that the NAHJ is an embarrassment.

The high mark for embarrassment, though, is the Nobel Peace Prize given to Barack Hussein Obama. That truly set the standard for boneheaded, embarrassing awards and destroyed what little credibility the Nobel Prize committee had.

Grand Junction

Reader takes issues with publication of Hugenberg letters

Seems like every day there is an email letter published from Bill Hugenberg. They are all the same: anti-conservative and pro-liberal. Apparently he has nothing better to do than write letters to the Sentinel. I’m starting to wonder whether whoever makes the decision to publish his letters is a relative.

Grand Junction

‘Freedom to read’ editorial twisted the issue at hand

The Daily Sentinel editorial about our “freedom to read” absolutely twisted the issue at hand. The editorial did not address the question, “Is the profanity and sexual innuendo in this book appropriate for an 11 year-old”? Honestly, I am a bit troubled by the Editor’s logic.

I would have appreciated if the editorial would have discussed the real issue and actual question to the school board. I personally do not have any issue with the book’s “educational merits” or that it is an “award winning” book. But is it appropriate for a 6th grade class with 11 year-olds?

Honestly, if the two SD51 employees that created this curriculum are insulted, then so be it.
Is it appropriate to hand out material in which the characters call each other “half-assed” “bastard,” or “####-talking”? This book is filled with page after page of profanity, and is, in my opinion, not appropriate for an 11 year-old.

Would it be appropriate for a male teacher to read the following paragraph aloud in the classroom in front of 11 year-old girls? “He could walk between my legs without touching my balls.”

Once again, the mother that came forward to the district never mentioned banning this book from SD51, so why make this issue out to be something that it is not?

This book is sold in the teen section at bookstores. “Teen” is considered 13+.

Grand Junction

Fee-and-dividend carbon pricing would benefit economy and environment

As a Carbondale resident and member of the local Citizens Climate Lobby chapter, I was pleased to see that the Sentinel sent a reporter to cover the 11th annual American Renewable Energy Day. During the AREDAY conference, a multitude of problems associated with a warming planet were discussed: rising sea levels threatening coastal cities, intensification of storms, increasing droughts and wildfires, species extinction, and more.

In terms of the solutions that were addressed, again and again panelists including President Carter, Teddy Roosevelt IV, Tom Steyer, and others concluded that the most efficient solution to the problem is to put a price on carbon emissions.

Citizens Climate Lobby advocates for putting a price on carbon through a fee-and-dividend model. This is a free market solution that supports the core American values of capitalism and entrepreneurialism. Rather than relying on heavy-handed regulation, the idea is to put a fee on fossil fuels at their source in order to account for their contribution of carbon emissions. All the revenues collected would then be returned to the American people, much like the Alaska Permanent Fund.

Even if, despite all the evidence of climate change, you think the science is still unsettled, using this approach, it doesn’t even matter whether climate change is real or not. Economic modeling shows that it can create jobs, grow the economy, and save lives.

Regional Economic Modeling Inc. conducted an independent study of the fee-and-dividend model and found that far from killing jobs, fee and dividend would increase GDP $75 billion annually, create 2.1 million jobs, and save 13,000 lives due to reduced air pollution. As a side-note, this model would reduce carbon emissions 33 percent, all within 10 years.

It’s important that we all come together to advance economic reforms that create prosperity and jobs and minimize climate change impacts in Western slope communities. If you are interested in getting involved or finding out more there is a brand-new Citizens Climate Lobby chapter forming in Grand Junction. Please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for information.


Western Colorado Congress and other extremist groups dishonest about beliefs

Kudos to David Ludlum for his guest op-ed in Sunday’s Sentinel, in which he called out local extremist groups for their dishonesty. As Ludlum pointed out in his piece, groups like the Western Colorado Congress feign sincerity in claiming that they support “responsible drilling” and that they are “only trying to keep it from happening where it shouldn’t.”

But, in fact, the flat-earthers of the WCC and similar groups do not believe drilling should happen anywhere. They live in this fantasy world where all of our energy needs can be met with solar, wind and unicorn flatulence, and where fossil fuels are a thing of the past.

Here in the real world, most people realize this is not the case, and recognize the importance of providing for our energy future. WCC and their various parent organizations (such as World Earth Guardians and the Sierra Club) know that they will never be able to advance their agenda if they speak openly and honestly about what they believe. So they have hired PR experts who coach them in ways to couch their message so that it is more appealing to reasonable people. In essence, the only way to make their case to the people is to lie about what their position really is.

Ludlum is absolutely right in asking that these extremist groups at least be honest about what it is that they believe. Put your cards on the table, and then let’s have a real debate. While deception and subterfuge may be central to WCC and the rest of the environmentalist movement’s strategy, it does not make for a good basis for determining public policy.

Grand Junction

Letter response raises issues worthy of consideration

David Zulian’s response to my on-line letter (“Immigration system is not the only broken thing in our country”) raises several issues worthy of further consideration.

First, because sound public policy decisions should be based on objective facts rather than on subjective prejudices, the numbers I “spout” are both “correct” and relevant – in contrast to the fact-free gibberish offered by local nativists (like Zulian and Virginia/Mr. “Not So” Bright below).

Second, in April 2012, in an apparent effort to curry favor with Latino voters in advance of the Presidential election, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio offered an alternative to the DREAM Act that did not include a “pathway to citizenship.” After President Obama endorsed his proposal as a reasonable compromise, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and like-minded “Tea Partiers” railed against it – prompting Rubio to repudiate his own bill. If those facts denigrate Rubio, he has no one to blame but his fellow Republicans.

Third, on June 27, 2013, by a vote of 68-32 (including 8 Republicans), the Senate passed S.744 – the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act” – but the “Tea Party”-controlled House has yet to even consider it. S.744 would enact “comprehensive” reform by addressing all the major concerns of both parties – but “Tea Partiers” won’t allow a vote in the House because they know it would pass.

Fourth, as Republican Sen. John McCain insists, those (like Zulian) who think S.744 grants “amnesty” don’t understand the meaning of the word. Rather, the present system is “broken” because it already amounts to “de facto amnesty” due to the absence of the rigorous enforcement (and millions of deportations) that nobody but “Tea Party” nativists really want, while S.744 imposes a $1000 fine and requires “illegals” to self-identify themselves to immigration officials to obtain temporary legal status.

Fifth, Simpson/Mazolli failed because the Reagan administration did not enforce it against scofflaw U.S. employers (presumably, Republicans), whose demand for cheap labor continued unabated. When President Clinton increased border security, determined immigrants found more remote and/or inventive ways to enter illegally.

Sixth, “Tea Partiers” have yet to clearly defined what they mean by “securing” and/or “sealing” our southern border – much less confronted the dubious cost-effectiveness of doing so, when (like the 9/11 terrorists) 40 percent to 50 percent of “illegal immigrants” actually enter legally and overstay their visas and/or arrive by boat, plane, or car hundreds of miles away from the “southern border.”

Nevertheless, S.744 would provide some $43 billion to “secure” 700 more miles of border with 20’ fencing and double the size of the Border Patrol to 40,000.

So, why are House Republicans still afraid to have an “up or down” roll call vote?


Grand Junction

Local climate change experts presented great information on Aug. 4

We have climate change experts right here in town: Jay Scheevil, geologist; Jerry Nelson, food security and climate: Chris Jaulola, BLM; and Gigi Richards, water specialist; all with advanced degrees in their specialties. On Aug. 4, at a presentation sponsored by Conservation Colorado, the Math and Science Center, and the Grand Junction library, these experts dug into some of the complexities of climate change for those of us lucky enough to be at the library to listen and ask our questions.

They shared many computer model variations, graphs, and Gigi’s wonderful Rube Goldberg arrangement of buckets and faucets depicting the way our Colorado River sends and saves water for us, and for Denver and California. There was one simple theme: whatever the ups and downs of all those marvelously data derived lines are, the temperature is and will be going up, and the water supply is and will be going down.

This is not an action movie, slow and inexorable, but fate, our fate? Geology says that this is a lot slower than you think, all that change. But if we know about it, don’t we have to pay attention? Don’t we have to try to study it, and try to understand what we can and cannot do about it?

We at least need more meetings of experts, our experts, people we can talk to. We need to share the ignorance, and hopes and dreams, and share the teaching moments, learning moments, and action moments. Perhaps we need a bit more than the nonetheless hopeful 30 percent reduction in carbon over 26 years.

Grand Junction


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buffalo’d bill Hussein barking about things he knows nothing about. Got that bus ticket south yet Buff? got your plan to fix all ills ready? The Mexican government is waiting. Maybe if you go clear to South America you can make a bigger impact? What does the Sentinel pay you?  Mr. Bright

Mr. Hugenberg:  I don’t put much stock in a first-term Senator who is elevated to ‘presidential material’ in the media, before he even learns the workings of the Senate.  As for blaming the Republicans - thank God they are against ‘paths to citizenship’ other than what was, and is available to those wanting to come here.  Line-jumpers screw it up for those who follow the rules.  Senate S.744 isn’t a panacea to all our woes. To say that Reagan’s ‘amnesty’ worked would be an out and out lie. Even Hugenberg agrees that enforcement has not been accomplished, nor will it.  He doesn’t offer a solution, only blame.  If the grower’s want cheap help, that can be accomplished - we have work visas - enforcement is what is lacking.  If you want to come to America, and become a citizen of America, do it the legal way.
I actually do agree with Mr. Hugenberg on what constitutes the ‘broken’ system, not what ‘amnesty’ is.  When you don’t ‘secure’ our border, fail to deport those who have sneaked in, or overstayed a visa, whether you do it to placate the growers, or because you just don’t have an interest, it is ‘de facto amnesty’.  That term can be applied whether you don’t enforce, or if you grant legal status - even limited - to those who came here illegally.  Either way - those who try to come here and become true citizens of America, get shorted by the illegal’s.
Simpson/Mazolli failed - in the manner that the border wasn’t secured, which was part of the bill.  Mr. Hugenberg can blame it on Reagan, as do I.  Reagan should have vetoed it.  Regardless who one blames, the bill resulted in the 12 million illegal’s admitted to by our government now, whether it was by non-enforcement, or whether those 12 million see their chance at another ‘amnesty’.  S.744, along with DACA, and the DREAM act, is but another ‘amnesty’ for those here illegally.
I will offer a definition of “Securing our Nation” from the hordes of illegal’s coming.  That would be to require ‘legal permission’ to be here, in the form of a visa of some sort, (papers) carried on your person, surrendered at the request of ANY officer of the law.  Border Patrol ON the border, not forty miles away, with authority to deport any person without said visa on their person.  Authorization to ask, by ANY law enforcement agency for said papers based on reasonable suspicion of lack of same.  I don’t want to hear: “We can’t just round up and deport 12 million illegal’s”.  You can’t do it in a day, or a week, or a month - maybe even in a year - but it can be done, and that is part of the ‘broken system’.  We need to have the WILL to do it.  Administration(s) have not made the effort - and that is how we arrived at this point.  Cost effectiveness should not enter the picture.  Administrations have let this go for far too long, using every trick in the book to not face it - now it is incumbent upon America to fix it.

Mr. Bright:  To what are you referring when you say that Hugenberg
“is barking about things he knows nothing about?”  Immigration?  Climate Change? (or is it Global Warming this week?)  Maybe the ACA?  There are so many things he comes up short on, that I’m having trouble discerning what it is you refer to.  Thanks.

J.C. Smith:  We all have wondered just how it is that Bill Hugenberg enjoys such a level of printed matter in the Senile.  Especially so, since most of what he writes, one would be hard put to verify in any reasonable way.  Also, if one questions one of his statements, or uses his own numbers to prove him wrong, he covers that up with yet another BS statement.  I will give him this:  He never met a far-left liberal he couldn’t back, or a conservative he couldn’t berate in some way.  (And, he LOVES Obummer)

Mr Zullan Ole Buff bitches pisses and moans about the situation on the border and he’s never spent time there, for one. I have offered to take him on a guided tour of things I have actually seen from living along the border, both north and south of our nation and let him involve the Mexican government, I’m pretty sure he could solve all their problems just as well as he has ours. HE DON’T know jack on the subject. As far as the rest of your items he quotes facts and figures put out by the liberal press and that is about all. He has nothing to say to the over 300k people in Colorado alone that had their healthcare taken away, forced to buy another private product, and pay more for others that CHOSE not to or didn’t have the means to purchase healthcare could have it subsidized. If it’s socialism Buffalo’d bill Hussein is all for it, should common sense and honor be discovered in his ramblings it is by chance only they occur. Mr. Bright

Mr. Bright:  I do believe you have your finger directly on the pulse of Buffalo’d Bill!  It’s nice that I’m not the only one who sees him as someone who will strike at conservatives, but embrace Socialism.

Mr. Hugenberg: 
Objections to a ‘pathway to citizenship’ are due to the fact there’s always been a pathway to citizenship, however, past and current administrations haven’t enforced ‘illegal immigration’, making that choice a moot point.  I would not have information regarding illegal’s desires concerning voting, and I suspect you don’t either.  As for the ‘constant threat of family-destroying deportation’ - for those who come here legally, there is no threat.  For those who sneak in one at a time - the family separation was already an issue.
As for those ‘self-identifying illegal’s’ (not undocumented) who pay $1,000. fine - I don’t think they will be lining up in droves to ‘self-identify’ and pay $1,000. - do you?  If they wait long enough - Democrats will find a way to make them legal anyway.  See “DACA, DREAM, and Amnesty”.
S.744 is “the only policy proposal on the table” mostly because the laws on the books now haven’t been enforced, resulting in at least 12 million illegal’s, and present administration keeps saying: “We CAN’T just round them up and deport them”.  We don’t need new laws, we need to enforce the laws we already have.
Non-immigrant visas, such as work visas are a good idea.  You want to come from Mexico to pick lettuce?  Get a visa, come pick to your heart’s content, accept whatever wage you will, and go back home when the picking is done.  Enforcement of these visas is required.
Those “Republicans” who are taking advantage of the illegal workers are a real pain in the neck, aren’t they Bill?  Do you really think that the “non-agricultural” employers are all Republicans?  Even in California?  “Presumably Republicans” just doesn’t do it, Bill.  We already know where your heart is - no need to make it obvious.  As for ‘hiring prohibitions’ - I agree.  Enforcement of laws that are already on the books.
Your “papers please” argument doesn’t hold water, either.  Just how many ‘brown-skinned’, legal U.S. citizens do you know who don’t have some form of ID on their person?  The ‘illegal brown-skinned’
folks are the ones without papers.  Like the “voter ID” argument, you try to make it illegal to ask for citizenship legality, in an effort to make illegal immigration a not-unlawful act, and whether it was committed yesterday or five years ago - it’s still illegal.
As for “defense in depth”, as you term it - securing the border at the border, means you don’t have to do it forty miles away.  Those at the border moving NORTH are the ones to turn around.

what people and I reluctantly include Buffalo’d Bill Hussein in that, don’t know is that it isn’t just children that have been coming across our borders illegally. Also there is human trafficking, drugs (IE… Tunnels of recent news), and people that gee golly whiz just wanna be free! Having spent actual time living along that border I know for a fact that criminals, coyotes, gun runners, and numerous other felons run back and forth across the border regularly. Where does it end. I have a friend that is an ICE agent that sums it up like this. “I had a kid ride up to the border on his bike everyday”, “I asked him what he was doing, he said just visiting”. After a year he finally figured out the kid was stealing bikes and taking them north and selling them. Let the border patrol do their jobs! After awhile some of may get tired of foreign nations telling us how to run our lives, using our resources, and listening to the prattle of Sociopathic Socialist like the (0) in office and his lovely bride Bill. Mr. Bright

My subscription ends this month.

Mr. Bright, your dialogue is hostile and it is getting offensive. Please communicate in a more respectful manner. 

Frankly, your writings sound like they’re coming from a 15 year old school yard bully.

Sentinel readers deserve better.

Apologies Ann, due to the responses and personal attacks I have and my Wife have received from Bill Hugenburg I tend to inundate him with like in kind response. He seems to think he is capable of solving all our problems yet imposes the same failed plans that the liberals have for over 50 years that I know of. Are you a friend of Lawyer Hugenburg? He has called me far worse, impugned my moral character and verbally attacked my wife only because her name is on the top of the account, I always sign my responses. He is posted more than any other Letter writer, voices vile composites of half truths, and verbalizes glee for tearing our nation apart in order to rebuild his Socialistic view of society when his nothing more than a social parasite. Is that clearer and more concise for you. My Marine corps background sometimes takes me away in my opinions and I may have been derelict in my duty at times. When Bill Hugenburg attacks any conservative thinkings with his vile diatribe I should think you would be far more offended my occasional straying from friendly dissertation by use of improper diction. MR. Bright

You do have an “off” button do you not?

I see you a lot as well Jerry, almost as much as Buffalo’d bill. Good Morning to you too.Mr. Bright

I was talking to Ms Landman concerning the on and off switch. She is surely not the be all and end all here. I deserve better than her. You may see me here but no way in print as much as Hugenburg. I haven’t been in print in years.

noted I try to address individuals as well when warranted, Jerry as you comment came in the middle of others debate.Mr. Bright

Ms. Landman - You’re probably right to a degree.  ‘Hostile dialogue’ can be offensive - but this is the first time I have seen you comment on this page, although I did read a letter from you, printed not long ago.  I think I remember you from a few years back.  Something about a flag taken down by someone, from your property up on Glade Park, as I remember.  I don’t know what kind of a flag it was, but it evidently incensed someone enough to take it down.  There was lots of publicity at that time.  Seems the Sheriff was involved, as well as a lawyer representing you, and it seems to me, it came out during that time that you are a member of ‘Atheists and Free Thinkers’.  I don’t remember the lawyer’s name who represented you, Ms. Landman.  Care to share the reason’s for the flag’s removal, and the name of your lawyer?  It may lend some insight to lots of things.  You know - “The rest of the story”.

Mr. Bright:  Be nice - Thank you for your service to our country the Democrats are trying to waste, ... and Semper Fi!

Jerry Sanders:  Better renew - you’re going to miss out on all the fun, and we may need your help.

Mr. Bright:  I almost forgot!  While you’re being respectful and nice, don’t write like a “15-year-old school yard bully” as Ms. Landman says.

response to the Buffalo’d Bill like in kind. I am no bully but will not take Hugenburgs BS any longer, especially after his remarks upon my wife and she has never posted here. He has never been to the Mexican border that I’m aware and has no knowledge of the situation there, yet continues to quote rhetoric of an obvious ignorant ranting about it. I retired a short while back and for many years I bit my tongue as the work situation demanded it. Now, unchecked I may go off a bit from time to time, especially when threatened by the likes of the liberal loser for the Sentinel buffalo’d Bill Hugenburg. To constantly try to intimidate people with his rhetoric will not be tolerated on my watch. His support of the O in office is a constant reminder of the level of lost our education system and this state has fallen to. I grew up on the Western slope when it was a “common sense” place to live. I had many a personal Battle with the like of Pat Schroeder and others. Mr. Hugenburgs propensity to socialist teachings remind me a lot of her brand of politics. I think conservatives have been quiet long enough, this administrations failures are proof of that. Wake Up America! MR. Bright 15 year old enough for ya?

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